Before the extension of Hong Kong’s subway – the MTR – to the Western Districts in late 2014, Sai Ying Pun was a discreet and largely isolated bumpy district. In only three years, SYP – like its new hip and young population calls it – has become the centre of Hong Kong’s evolving urban culture and a food mecca.
The fast gentrification of the neighbourhood resulted in the closure of many traditional shops and eateries. Nonetheless, It transformed SYP into a small gem. A walk down High Street and the surrounding alleys is definitely an interesting experience.
The architectural synthesis between Chinese walk-up buildings and newly constructed lavish serviced apartments, as well as the presence of both old residents, expats and students, create a uniquely vibrant atmosphere.
More than everything, the area was transformed by the opening of bars and eateries that attract young professionals and youngsters from all over Hong Kong. Restaurant openings have been a weekly routine for the past three years in SYP, which quickly became a dining paradise.
Hong Kong’s acclaimed restaurateur Yenn Wong and celebrated Chef Nate Green opened the door of Rhoda in 2016. The restaurant encapsulates the new identity of SYP, as it’s all about bold flavours in a stylish and distinctive setting.
Last Year, the inauguration of Potato Head further elevated the reputations of SYP as the new hip place to be. Like its well-known counterpart in Bali, it comprises an all-day dining area and bar and the celebrated Kaum, which serves the best Indonesian food in Hong Kong. Designer Sou Fujimoto also included an audiophile listening space, which adds to the charm and the remarkable design.
If SYP used to be where everyone went for a less mundane but edgier alternative to Soho, it’s now set to become the centre of Hong Kong’s transformed cosmopolitanism.
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