It’s all change in Sai Kung where the family dining options are getting tastier and tastier. This weekend, head up to Hong Kong’s ‘backyard’ for some weekend fun.
“Hooray!” cried every tween and teen from Clearwater Bay to Sai Kung when The Diner rolled into town last month.
Already a popular hang-out on Arbuthnot Road, Central, The Diner is thick-shake and burger heaven. For littlies, burgers come attractively presented in a cardboard car and the kids’ activities on the back of the menu are some of the most interesting we’ve seen – we had to take the Sudoku challenge home (answers on a postcard, please).
If you’re not craving a juicy patty, there are plenty of salads, as well as a tasty “hippy” veggie burger option. The chips are entirely moorish, sprinkled with sea-salt and rosemary. And if you value your figure, it’s probably best not to get started on the milkshakes – our tiny diners loved the M&M and Malted Malteser versions.
The restaurant replicates a 1950s American diner with “car” seating, banquettes, authentic US carplates on the walls and is a lot of fun – although a little dark towards the back of the space. We’re already gearing up for our next visit.
72-74 Po Tung Road, Mon-Thurs 7am-11pm, Fri 7-12am, Sat 7.30-12am, Sun 7.30am-11pm, 2725 2899, thediner.com.hk
Formally known as Hebe 101, Padstow occupies a prime position on Hiram’s Highway between Sai Kung and Clearwater Bay, overlooking the Inner Port Shelter and Hebe Haven Yacht Club.
The three-storey, colonial-style building closed earlier this year for a refurb and re-opened with a fresh new look and name – Padstow is a pretty Cornish fishing port on England’s west coast.
The kids menu features the usual favourites – fish ‘n’ chips, burgers and mac and cheese. A nod to its English pub provenance includes national classics such as scotch eggs and sticky toffee pudding, as well as great pies, lots of fish and seafood options (the whole Boston lobster comes recommended) with daily specials – such as half-price steaks on Mondays – weekend roasts and breakfast on weekends.
Downstairs there’s a selection of board games for eager kids, although the dartboard has gone (maybe for the best, children and flying darts is never the best combo). Perfectly situated for a re-fuel after a trip to Trio Beach (sampans run from Pak Sha Wan pier opposite) and with a panoramic roof terrace for cooler days, Padstow is worth the trip.
112 Pak Sha Wan, Mon-Thurs 11.30am-11pm, Fri 11.30-12am, Sat 11-12am, Sun 11am-11pm, 2355 5515, padstow.hk
This smart addition to Sai Kung’s popular ‘square’ opened earlier this year and has been a welcome arrival to the area. It’s owned by the Enoteca Group and these guys know their stuff, with established restaurants already plying a fine trade in Quarry Bay and Central (The Phoenix, Iberico, Cicada and Enoteca).
The owners, Rob Cooper and Kim Minards, live locally and had been on the look-out for the perfect pad on their own stomping ground for some time. It appears they have found it. Their specialist area is Spanish tapas and they’ve created a menu groaning with Mediterranean favourites including potatas bravas, calamari, snapper chunks in coconut milk, meatballs and arancini balls. And not to mention the fabulous antipasti platters and homemade pizzas.
Kids will be wowed with the carefully thought-out tiffin tins – restaurant owner and mum-of-two Kim Minards has successfully translated her own kids likes and dislikes into a well-rounded kids menu.
There’s also a varied breakfast menu which also comes with kid-friendly alternatives (the dippy eggs and soldiers are great for tiny tums), as well as a variety of wine-friendly lunch and dinner platters if you don’t fancy a full meal. The location means kids can wander off to the play-park in the Square (in view of the restaurant), which is usually busy with scooters and skateboards on weekends. There’s shaded al fresco dining, but if you’re after some air con, the interior has been beautifully decorated in relaxing greens and beiges with stunning Portuguese floor tiles.
26 Wan King Path, Mon-Fri 10am-12am, Sat & Sun 8am-11pm, 2792 1105, enotecagroup.com
St Barts and Feather & Bone
A Castelo production (owners Brian and Wayne Parfitt both live locally), smart St Barts occupies a prime position on the ground floor of the swish new Mount Pavilia complex at Tai Po Tsai, Clearwater Bay. The large, white and brightly lit interior segues into a garden space via giant floor-to-ceiling bi-fold glass doors (there’s even a lawn), with dining views over the emerald green mountains on the other side of Clearwater Bay Road.
Naturally there is an easy-eats kids menu, while adults will enjoy breakfast highlights including Egyptian Eggs (Turkish bread, avocado, rocket, poached eggs, beetroot hummus, feta and pistachio dukkah), along with a weekly changing set lunch menu, and a la carte (if you’re looking for a light lunch, standouts are the Vietnamese beef and chicken mango salads). The coffee is good – Castelo now grind their own label, Kim & Co, in Hong Kong, and it’s difficult to walk past the churros on the dessert menu. Laid back, kid-friendly dining at its best.
Upstairs, high-end deli Feather & Bone has also recently moved in offering a butcher, charcuterie, cheese counter and specialist condiments and treats. In partnership with St Barts downstairs, diners can opt to buy their preferred cut of steak from the butcher counter here, and for an additional $100 the St Barts staff will cook it and add two sides of your choice.
St Barts, G/F Retail Block of Mount Pavilia, 663 Clearwater Bay Road, 7.30am-10pm, 2791 1189, casteloconcepts.com
Feather & Bone, Mount Pavilia, 1/F Retail Block of Mount Pavilia, 663 Clearwater Bay Road, 8am-9pm, 2791 1680, featherandbone.com.hk
An oldie but a goodie, Jaspas has occupied a prime position in the Square for over twenty years. Restaurant manager Sing is a local celebrity and goes all out to ensure diners enjoy their Jaspas experience.
Top menu picks include the sizzling fajitas and the breakfast menu has recently enjoyed a complete overhaul to include hipster favourites coconut chia, fresh fruit as well as smashed avocado, eggs and sourdough combinations. The coffee is much improved – Castelo is now brewing its own – and there is a full kids menu. Portions are on the large size – you won’t go hungry – and one of the better options if you’re dining as a group is to share a number of tasting plates from the entree menu. Drinks servings are generous, and our kids can’t walk past the coke and lemonade spiders.
This is another ‘Square’ located restaurant in full view of the kids play area, so littlies can wander off when they’ve had their fill. Jaspas is traditionally the buzziest area of the Square – although stiff competition has entered the fray this year and last – so you’re guaranteed a fun lunch or night out. The interior was been re-freshed earlier this year and is now much lighter and brighter.
13 Sha Tsui Path, 8am-10.30pm, 2792 6388, casteloconcepts.com