Faster than you can say Artisan-Matcha-Soy-Latte, Shek Tong Tsui and Sai Wan, industrial chic districts on the west side, are becoming the favourite haunts of the hip and trendy here in Hong Kong. Because we (not so) secretly love it, we have put together some very cool things to do, all just a stone’s throw away from theDesk Sai Wan, to help you unleash your inner hipster.
by Sophia Gerakios
Go for a tea tasting at Plantation by Teakha
This is the younger sister of the well-known tea establishment, Teakha. With its soft opening just last week, the shiny, new tea company houses a cool, collected vibe – ideal for tea tasting and mellow afternoons spent learning all about tea, from making and blending to drinking and appreciation. We sampled a soothing Red Oolong and the whole experience made us feel cooler than cool. A must do.
Plantation will be setting up weekly workshops, so if you’re curious about the art of tea, sign up for their e-mailing list to get updates about upcoming events.
- Hours: 11 am – 7 pm (closed Tuesdays)
- Venue: Plantation by Teakha, 18 Po Tuk Street, Sai Ying Pun
- More: plantation.hk
Try a Soy Iced Matcha Latte at Brew Bros.
The epitome of the Hipster drink, this tried and tested beverage is definitely a winner for the matcha lovers out there. While you are there, also try the smashed avocado on toast with a side of matcha, chia and almond milk muesli with fresh fruit on top.
We confess — we have sampled this dish at least ten times, and still, keep going back for more.
- Hours: 9 am – 6 pm (closed Tuesdays)
- Venue: Brew Bros. Coffee, 53 Hill Road, Shek Tong Tsui
- More: facebook.com/brewbroshillroad/
Go shopping at Ethos for some hand-made jewellery
Ethos is a store that will make you feel immediately more cutting-edge just by being inside. We love the necklaces by Atelier Honne, inspired by Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold. There are a number of other equally fabulous products, from magnetic sunglasses to handmade leather watches, minimalist pottery to pop-art, to suit all hipster tastes.
- Hours: 11 am – 7 pm
- Venue: Ethos, 93 – 99 Hill Road, Sai Wan
- More: ethosstores.com
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Sample a crepe at Ethos Cafe
Once you have done your artisanal shopping, head next door to Ethos’ cafe to try the Ethos Mini Burgers with red wine onion, truffle mayonnaise and creamy mushroom. Finish it off with a Matcha Crepe Wrap with red bean coulis, caramel sauce and vanilla ice-cream. One can never have enough matcha!
- Hours: 10 am – 10 pm (Wednesdays off)
- Venue: Ethos café, 93 – 99 Hill Road, Sai Wan
- More: ethosstores.com
Go to the mixtape music gigs at Artisan Garden Café
A welcome stage for acoustic singer-songwriters this café will be a great venue for gigs to come. With a unique antique-general-store-turned-hipster vibe, the café regularly lists its upcoming gigs on their Facebook page. Be sure to visit, if not for the live music, then for one of their fine grilled cheese sandwiches because they taste like heaven. As their motto (and every university student ever) says: “Life begins after coffee.”
- Hours: 9.30 am – 8 pm
- Venue: Artisan Garden Cafe, 23 Po Tuck Street, Sai Ying Pun
- More: facebook.com/artisangardencafe1/
Check out the charity art exhibition at .jpg Café
Enjoy a coffee and bagel while you check out the art exhibitions (currently ‘Dawn’ by twelve local and international artists) at .jpg café, who has teamed up with HKart.club to raise awareness and support for World Refugee Day. Art on display is available for purchase or for visitors to ogle while chilling out at this seriously cool establishment.
- Hours: 11 am – 6 pm (closed Wednesdays)
- Venue: .jpg café 6-20 Po Tuck Street, Sai Wan
- More: facebook.com/pg/jpghongkong/
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Have some Italian coffee at Artisan Room
Bring your re-usable cup and enjoy the fine espresso-based drinks brewed with the finest Italian Costadoro coffee from this classy brewer. Nestled within the complex Eight South Lane, this is many a local (and non-local)’s favourite and oozes hip and charm.
- Hours: 7.30 am – 7.30 pm
- Venue: Artisan Room, 8/12 South Lane, Shek Tong Tsui
- More: artisanroomhk.com
Pop over to the local markets for some succulents and florals
Nothing completes the wanderings of the HK Hipster than a collection of succulents or some beautiful florals to dry and hang (ironically). The market has a reasonably priced, beautiful range on display, and it’s just a short walk away so those who crave fresh air (and flowers) during their lunch breaks must check it out, with matcha latte in hand (of course!).
- Hours: 6 am – 8 pm
- Venue: Shek Tong Tsui Market and Cooked Food Centre, Shek Tong Tsui Municipal Services Building, 470 Queens Road West, Sai Wan
- More: fehd.gov.hk/english/map/market/market_pt.html?mapID=519&type=market