For a one-stop shop of emerging local designers, make your way to PMQ, the former police dormitories (“Police Married Quarters”) turned creative retail hub. From sourdough bakers to potters, fashion designers, vintage collectors, and artists, this is the place to go if you want to pick up a piece by up-and-coming local talent, such Janko Lam, who designs cheongsams (see In the Mood for Love for inspiration) at Classics Anew. More established designers like Vivienne Tam and eccentric homewares label G.O.D. anchor the complex. For a casual lunch, Sohofama serves up wholesome Chinese plates like a Hong Kong mother would make, such as sweet organic miso eggplant casserole with minced pork. (It’s also one of the few places in Hong Kong where you can enjoy Chinese food alfresco.) Aberdeen Street Social is a good stop for sundowners with a British accent. We loved the Spanglish, a combination of raspberry, lemon, sherry, and, of course, gin. Hop out the back of PMQ onto Staunton Street to find Little Bao, known for obsession-worthy “Asian burgers.” Save room for the deep-fried ice-cream bao for dessert. A few steps away is Yardbird, the hippest yakitori joint in town, and for good reason—every single part of the chicken can be eaten here, and every part is done well. If you need a bit of liquid courage for the chicken heart skewer, try a Bloody Kim Jong Il (kimchi-infused Bloody Mary), or stay on the safe side with some wings, grilled to perfection and best with a squeeze of lemon and a dash of shichimi (Japanese “seven spice” chili powder). Ready for more shopping? Go down one more block on Hollywood Road to Gough Street, home to hipster boutiques like WOAW, with limited-edition sneakers and sleek designer phone covers, plus coffee nook Elephant Grounds at the back. A few blocks down, there’s kooky interiors and furniture shop Homeless.
From Sheung Wan station, the narrow hilly roads of Bonham Strand will lead you down to the even narrower Aberdeen Street. This rabbit warren of shops and business leads to Staunton Street where you’ll find a host of homegrown talent.
CLASSICS ANEW: Unit H407, 4/F, Block B, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen St.; +852-9275-7059
VIVIENNE TAM: Staunton/GF/SG03-SG07 PMQ, 35 Aberdeen St.; +852-2721-1818; vivennetam.com
G.O.D.: Staunton/GF/ SG09-SG11, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen St.; +852-2915-2822; god.com.hk
SOHOFAMA: Staunton/GF/SG12-SG14 PMQ, 35 Aberdeen St.; +852-2858-8238; sohofama.com
ABERDEEN STREET SOCIAL: JPC Building, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen St.; +852-2866-0300; aberdeenstreetsocial.hk
LITTLE BAO:G/F, 66 Staunton St.; +852-2194-0202; little-bao.com
YARDBIRD: 33-35 Bridges St.; +852-2547-9273; yardbirdrestaurant.com
WOAW: 11 Gough St.; +852-2253-1313; woawstore.com
HOMELESS: 29 Gough St.; +852-2581-1880; homeless.hk