Whether you want to bask in the sun or enjoy some favourite dishes indoors, these top 7 alfresco restaurants will make every dining experience a different one.
Located in the original canteen of an Ap Lei Chau industrial building, Artichoke Canteen serves international cuisine with a focus on vegetarian food, plus a few fish and chicken dishes for the carnivorous. Open and spacious, with an industrial-chic vibe, a big sunny terrace and a domed wood-fired pizza oven, what’s not to love? Make the most of the big, sunny terrace with the three-course Sunday brunch, served noon to 6pm ($550 for two). On weekends, enjoy a chilled Jamaican Red Stripe and an hour of pool on the terrace for $55 a person. Open Wed-Sun, noon-10pm. 311 Harbour Industrial Centre, 10 Lee Hing Street, Ap Lei Chau, 9684 9964, www.artichokecanteen.com.
Launched by the Press Room Group in 2006 with a mission to revive street-level interaction and neighbourhood sociability, Classified has become a Hong Kong favourite with 10 branches across the city. The Repulse Bay branch is less urban than most, in a nod to the beach vibe of the location. With a completely open front and blue and white interior, the restaurant easily blends into its seaside surroundings. Prime position is one of the two pillow-strewn swinging sofas facing the sea, preferably after a day on the beach: sit back and relax with a cool drink in your hand and enjoy the ocean views. The menu features all your favourites, from burgers to charcuterie platters, as well as a good selection of wine, breads and its famous artisanal cheeses to eat in or takeaway. 1/F, The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay, 2351 3454, www.classifiedfood.com.
Locations don’t get much better than Spices. Opened in 1987 and renovated in 2010, Spices serves authentic Southeast Asian food in a gorgeous setting with a celebrated terrace overlooking beautiful Repulse Bay. It’s a big restaurant, able to seat 168 diners, and is famed for dishes such as kaeng phed ped yang (barbecued duck with lychees and red curry sauce), salt and pepper squid and grilled naan with minced garlic. The Repulse Bay, 109 Repulse Bay Road, 2292 2821, www.therepulsebay.com.
The decision to move Murray House, one of the oldest colonial structures in Hong Kong, from Central to the Stanley waterfront seems nothing short of inspired from its wrap-around veranda on a sunny day. Settle down at a balcony table at Spanish restaurant Mijas and order a carafe of sangria and plate of carabineros – jumbo-sized deep-sea prawns with a distinctive red colour that are simply salted and grilled, and taste absolutely divine. Then while away a lazy afternoon, as Stanley takes on a golden glow across the bay. Now that’s how we like to enjoy our heritage. 1/F Murray House, Stanley, 2899 0858, www.kingparrot.com.
This yellow-painted Stanley landmark is just a stone’s throw from Stanley Market and metres from the waterfront, making it the perfect setting for a lazy weekend lunch. Try to sit outside either at a table next to the promenade or head upstairs to the first-floor balcony for beautiful ocean views. The menu includes soups, salads, pasta, sandwiches and seafood, but we recommend the fish and chips. 86-88 Stanley Main Street, Stanley, 2813 4467.
With a panoramic terrace and seaside vibe, chef Jean Paul Gauci’s beachfront restaurant is a lovely spot to linger over a French- Mediterranean meal after a day on Shek O beach. Fresh seafood features prominently, including bouillabaisse, scallops St Jacques, whole grilled French sea bass and standout piri-piri king prawns. Meat options include rib-eye steak, roast chicken, Corsican pork-knuckle stew and slow-cooked ox tongue and vegetarians will love the ratatouille gratin. There’s also a crowd-pleasing kids’ menu. The set menu is $398 for three courses. Open daily, noon-11pm. G/F Shek O Beach Building, Shek O Beach, 2812 2226, www.toptables.com.hk/coco.
Pok Fu Lam’s only pub is a family-friendly venue with a chilled-out terrace, fun staff and a good line in comfort food. Tuck into the wide selection of pastas, classic stone-oven pizzas, ribs and grilled items such as pork chop and char-grilled spring chicken. At 7,500 square feet, the terrace has ample space and overlooks lovely Lamma Channel. While it is a communal area, Delaney’s has a license to use it at weekends and provides full service, with live music every Saturday from 6pm. Next to the terrace is an even larger green space where kids can run free while parents loll on the freshly cut grass with a tall drink. Ah, that’s better. The Spire at the Arcade, Cyberport, Pok Fu Lam, 2677 1126, www.delaneys.com.hk.