We asked Southside residents about their favourite activities, restaurants, things to do and more… here are the winners of our Readers’ Choice Awards for 2017!
Best New Restaurant – Limewood
For the third year in a row, Limewood has won Best Restaurant – can anyone knock it off the top spot?
The Maximal Concepts hit offers barbecue, seafood and margaritas, inspired by Southeast Asian, Hawaiian, South American and Caribbean recipes. The 48-hour charred beef ribs with a mango-infused barbecue sauce remains a favourite.
Relax with a pitcher of ice-cold margarita and enjoy the gorgeous views over Repulse Bay beach or grab some fish tacos to go and ask to borrow some of the beach games.
The restaurant has just introduced a monthly quiz night, so gather your most knowledgeable friends (maximum of four people per team) and email your team name to firstname.lastname@example.org to book your spot. Quiz starts at 8pm, arrive earlier to bag your table, grab a drink and get comfortable.
Shop 103 & 104, G/F, the pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay, www.limewood.hk, 2866 8668.
Best New Restaurant – Amalfitana
Artisan pizza bar Amalfitana opened in the pulse last year, brought to us by the Roopchand and Chellaram brothers – the same four behind popular Caribbean bar/restaurant Rummin’ Tings. Headed by Chef Michel Degli Agosti, Amalfitana serves up classics inspired by the colourful Amalfi coast.
“On behalf of our entire crew, we are deeply touched and honoured to receive the award for Best New Restaurant,” says Harsh Roopchand. “We have lots to look forward to in the coming months: an Easter Egg Hunt for the kids, our anniversary round the corner – we’re also soon to be open seven days a week. We thank each of you for your love and loyal support!”
The menu offers a selection of starters, cold cuts, cheeses and salads, including the eye-catching ‘Tricolore’ (a delicious combination of tomato bruschetta, avocado and Bufala Mozzarella), but the focus is definitely on the pizza. Chef Michel uses a long rising dough to make the pizzas lighter and easier to digest.
Kids are kept entertained with games and colouring sets while the Bambino menu features fun fish-shaped pizzas with a number of kid-friendly toppings.
G/F, Shop 105, the pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay, www.amalfitana.hk, 2388 7787.
Best Fine Dining – The Verandah
It’s no wonder Southsiders have voted The Verandah at The Repulse Bay the best place for fine dining. A reconstruction of the grand terraced dining room of one of Hong Kong’s most elegant establishments, The Repulse Bay Hotel, the restaurant oozes old school charm and offers glorious views of Repulse Bay Beach. From the lofty ceilings and gently whirling fans, to the grand piano at the entrance – the atmosphere at The Verandah is both relaxed and refined, providing diners with a glimpse of the colonial splendour once enjoyed by Hong Kong’s high society.
The food is classic European and the wine list is comprehensive, with French and Italian vintages, as well as new world options.
“Thank you to everyone who voted for us,” says Franck Studeny, Executive Chef and Operations Manager for The Repulse Bay Company, Limited. “It is an honour for us to have served both southsiders and people in Hong Kong for over 30 years. We will continue to enhance the fine dining experience for our guests with a brand new menu, which will be launched this month.”
109 Repulse Bay Road, 2292 2822, www.therepulsebay.com
Best Place to Grab a Drink – Smugglers Inn
Located on Stanley Promenade with picturesque views onto the water, The Smugglers Inn is named after the smugglers who used to reside in Stanley (the seaside town is known as Chek Chue in Cantonese, which literally translates as “Bandit’s post”). There’s definitely an ambience, with banknotes covering the ceiling and walls, wooden beams and tables and stools made from old barrels.
The Smuggler’s Inn is a popular expat haunt, especially for post-dragonboat training drinks, thanks to its casual atmosphere and wide range of beers and pub food (think sandwiches and pies).
“Thank you to all our valued customers for voting The Smugglers Inn as the best place to grab a drink in the Southside,” said Manager Bryan.
G/F, 90A Stanley Main Street Stanley, 2813 8852
Best Cup of Coffee – The Coffee Academics
Coffee Academics has once again been voted southsiders go-to choice for a quality cup of coffee. And why not when you can enjoy views of the beach with a prime spot by the entrance?
Shop 108, Level 1, the pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay.
Best Residential Complex – The Repulse Bay Complex
Located along Hong Kong’s sunny riviera, The Repulse Bay continues to be the epitome of sophisticated living. And with newly renovated club facilities – including upgraded tennis courts, a circuit-training outdoor gym and personal training – plus store openings, there’s plenty to keep residents and visitors entertained. The club alone spans 60,000 square feet: work out in the gym, go for a swim indoors or outdoors, catch up with neighbours at the cafe or unwind on the sunbathing deck. There’s also a range of workshops and classes for adults and kids: from tennis to dance to swimming. Meanwhile, in the rest of the arcade, you’ll find the rest of your needs catered for by supermarkets, fashion boutiques, dentists, doctors, spas and salons, restaurants and more – all with the beautiful backdrop of Repulse Bay beach.
“We are very pleased to win this annual award again,” says Tina Wong, General Manager, The Repulse Bay Company, Limited. “It is wonderful to be recognised as Hong Kong’s ultimate oceanfront residential complex, offering quality service and professional management. We really appreciate it!”
109 Repulse Bay Road, 2292 2878 (apartment leasing), 2292 2900 (club enquiries), 2292 2829 (wedding and event hire), www.therepulsebay.com
Best Lifestyle and Interiors Store – Indigo Living
Winning the award for a fifth year in a row, Indigo Living remains a firm favourite with Southside residents thanks to its fresh and inspiring collections each season.
As well as retail items, Indigo Living offers furniture rental, design consultancy and a bespoke furniture service for commercial projects.
6/F, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau, 2555 0540 (flagship); G111-112, The Repulse Bay, 109 Repulse Bay Road, 2592 8721; Shop 316-317, Level 3, The Arcade, 100 Cyberport Road, 2989 6557; Unit 1004 – 1005, 10/F Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau, 2580 6003 (discount outlet). www.indigo-living.com
Best Workout or Gym – Pure South
It looks like Pure South – The Pulse is still giving southsiders the best workouts around. Part of the Pure Group, this hybrid yoga and fitness centre offers a huge range of classes including Spartan Training, Wall Rope and Hot Yoga.
The beachside location is also home to a Pure Apparel and a nood food juice bar, providing gym-goers with a pre- and post-workout boost.
“Thanks so much to the Southside community for this fantastic recognition,” says Gary Wise, Regional Marketing Director of the group. “Pure South at The Pulse is a great representation of the Pure Group brand and our mission to support people to lead happier and healthier lives. We’re looking forward to many more years of total well-being with you down at the beachfront!”
Best Hair Salon – Capelli
Capelli Hair Salon offers a full range of hair spa and salon services from professional stylists. Kids are also welcome at the salon where they can play with games consoles while mum is having her hair done.
“Thank you for your continuous recognition of Capelli Salon as Southside Magazine’s Readers Choice Awards for Best Hair Salon,” says Co-founder and Managing Director Anna Treier. “Together with our creative director Robin Lomas and our salon team, we are delighted and grateful to receive this meaningful award and we shall continue to create beautiful hair and treatments.”
Services include hair cut, wash and blowdry, keratin smoothing treatment, perming, highlighting, Balayage, colouring and up-dos.
G115-116, The Repulse Bay Arcade Repulse Bay, Hong Kong T.2592 9559, www.capelli.hk
Best Spa Experience
Multi-award winning spa group Sense of Touch continues to keep us feeling pampered.
“We sincerely appreciate this wonderful accolade from our loyal clients,” says Co-founder and Managing Director Anna Treier. “We’re launching a new innovative treatment at Sense of Touch Repulse Bay this May, the HYDRAFACIAL, and something else exciting will also be coming to our spa soon, so stay tuned. Thank you for this heartfelt award.”
Cyberport: 3/F, Le Meridien Cyberport, 100 Cyberport Road, Pok Fu Lam, 2980 7698.
Repulse Bay: 1/F, The Repulse Bay Arcade, 109 Repulse Bay Road, 2592 9668, www.senseoftouch.com.hk
Best Art Gallery – Blindspot Gallery
For the second time, Blindspot Gallery has been voted as readers’ favourite art gallery. The Wong Chuk Hang gallery opened in 2010 to bring contemporary photography and image based works into the mainstream within the Hong Kong arts scene.
“Being one of the first galleries to open in the south side of Hong Kong, it is an honour to be voted as Best Art Gallery by the readers of Southside Magazine,” says Director and Founder, Mimi Chun. “Our gallery represents both emerging and established artists, mainly from Hong Kong and the region but also beyond. Our current show which runs throughout April, features the photographic work of mainland Chinese artist Jiang Pengyi, made with cameraless technique.”
28 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, 2517 6238, www.blindspotgallery.com
Best Extracurricular Activity – Faust International Youth Theatre
Life in southside is never short of drama, especially for the kids at Faust. The youth group was formed in 1999 by Matthew Gregory and has since grown into one of the city’s most successful performing arts schools for kids.
It runs classes in locations throughout Hong Kong, including weekly workshops during school terms and week-long holiday programmes in drama and creative writing.
“This vote is the cherry on top of our 18th anniversary year!” says General Manager Keon Lee. “Thank you to all who have been with us and voted for our fourth consecutive win as best extracurricular activity. We look forward to bringing more fun and exciting opportunities in our upcoming production of King Lear, The Faust Festival, Summer Programmes and more.”
5/F, Nan Dao Commercial Building, 359-361 Queen’s Road Central, Sheung Wan, 2547 9114, www.faustworld.com.hk
Best Vet – Stanley Veterinary Centre
Readers have again voted Stanley Veterinary Centre as their most trusted place to take beloved pets. The fully-equipped practice has seen thousands of pets and their owners walk through the doors of the years and the clinic has continued to expand and purchase the latest equipment to take care of Southside’s furry friends. Retail shop and grooming centre, Pacific Pets, is conveniently located next door and offers a wide range of quality products and supplies from food to toys to accessories for dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, birds, fish, reptiles and more.
LG/F 10-12 Wong Ma Kok Road, Stanley, 2813 2030, www.stanleyvetcentre.com
Best Private Members Club – The American Club
Founded in 1925, this member-owned club offers a small taste of home to Americans (apparently the burgers are particularly good), though there are membership options for non-US citizens as well. Its two clubhouses in Central and Tai Tam provide contrasting views of Hong Kong and the club has reciprocal agreements with over 80 others across the globe. The Country Club is set on 3.5 acres in Tai Tam and has four restaurants, six tennis courts, three squash courts, indoor and outdoor multi-purpose courts, rock-climbing wall, swimming pool and baby pool, three-storey play zone and teen hangout, clifftop spa and a ballroom. No wonder so many of you love to spend your leisure time relaxing at the club. American Individual membership ($438,000 joining fee plus $2,420 per month) is available to US citizens only, but the one-year temporary membership ($45,600 annual fee, plus $1,800 per month) is open to all nationalities.
28 Tai Tam Rd, Stanley, 2842 7400
Best Kindergarten / Preschool (tie) – Woodlands / Southside Kindergarten
In joint first place, are Southside Kindergarten and Woodlands.
Founded in 2000, Southside Kindergarten is an independent, co-educational kindergarten, located in the beautiful The Repulse Bay. “It’s wonderful to hear that we have been recognised,” says founder, Cheryl Raper. “Everyone from the teachers to the parents, and especially our students, works so hard to make Southside Kindergarten the school it is – a warm, welcoming environment where children thrive. In the lead up to the end of the school year our children are excited to progress along their individual learning journeys. Whether this learning takes places in the classroom, on the playground, or in our Extended Day programme, the confidence and skills developed will ensure a smooth transition to their next phase of learning. Thanks again to everyone who took the time to participate in the Readers’ Choice Awards.”
G203 The Repulse Bay, 109 Repulse Bay Road, 2592 7527, www.southside.edu.hk
With 10 centres across Hong Kong, Woodland has become a trusted and well-regarded preschool for parents in the territory for 39 years. ‘We are delighted to win this award as we are committed to serving out community with high quality education,” says Curriculum Coordinator Carrie Johnson. “A readers’ choice award comes directly from the people we are working with and so it really does make it extra special. This truly validates all the hard work that the teachers put in with the children – we have some amazing staff who deserve to be recognised. This year we’re focusing on making our Summer Fun program extra special with new activities that will take the children on some truly magical adventures.”
The Summer Fun Programme runs from July 3 to August 11 and is open to all children aged 6 months to 7 years. In addition, children between 2.5-6 years old can get a week’s free trial of Woodlands Pokfulam Preschool until May 31, before committing to join. To enquire, call 2551 7177 or email email@example.com
Preschools throughout Hong Kong, including Repulse Bay, Pokfulam and Aberdeen. www.woodlandschools.com
Best Destination for Guests – Stanley Beach and Market
Once again Stanley Market is your favourite place to take visitors. The popular tourist destination can get crammed at the weekends but savvy southsiders know that a trip during the week can be much more laid-back afternoon out. Spend some time making your way through the shops and shady alleyways to find a few unexpected items and a bargain or two. Many of the shops are run by families who have lived in Stanley for generations. Paintings, trinkets, sportswear and print t-shirts are some of the best finds.
Favourite Annual Event – Dragon Boat Race in Stanley
Every summer thousands of Hongkongers descend on Stanley and Aberdeen for the Tuen Ng or Dragonboat festival to watch the teams of suits, mums, fishermen and athletes battling it out for glory, a trophy and a roast pig. Over 200 teams take part in the Stanley International Dragonboat Championships featuring men’s, women’s and mixed races while up to 30,000 spectators enjoy the party atmosphere.
Don’t miss this year’s event to be held on May 30 at Stanley Main Beach (warm up races on May 6). Yat, yee!