Old Town Central is Hong Kong's most historic neighbourhood, where east meets west, past meets present, and tradition contrasts with international influence. Meet some of the city's most accomplished residents and famous expats, who share some of their favourite streets, galleries and food & drink hot spots.
Award-winning chef May Chow will capture you instantly with energy and dynamism. It’s the same spirit reflected in her food, a mix of east and west in style and flavour. Her restaurant ‘Little Bao” on Staunton Street puts her in the heart of Central. “I would say I love the Gough St Area. As within a very close space you have both old and new.” May grew up in Canada but now calls Hong Kong home.
“I love Pottinger St. which still has the original cobble stones. I have my watch repaired, buy the newspaper and purchase funny dress costumes for my kids in one of the many market stalls”. You might find Shane Osborn, renowned chef and owner of Arcane Restaurant, wandering through the bustling wet market for local ingredients or Pottinger’s steps – one of Hong Kong central’s oldest streets. Osborn has swapped his native Perth and London for Hong Kong and brings his culinary talents to a place he now calls home.
“My best moment was the first time I went to Victoria Peak and watched the sun rise over Hong Kong…I think it is still my favourite spot to go until now. As a photographer, Hong Kong provides so many different ambiences whether it’s in the city or out in nature.”
Capturing the personality of a building or even a sunrise is second nature for Indonesian photographer Ari Mahardhika, who studied Architectural Design. Take hidden gems like the YMCA on Bridges Street. “It gives me a feeling of Old Hong Kong, very different to the image of cosmopolitan Hong Kong. It has an American brick house design but uniquely combined with Chinese architectural features such as a green glazed tile roof.” “Everywhere I explore there’s always something new to discover.”
“Without consciously thinking about where to look, I somehow end up finding the most interesting and stylish places in Central”.
Over the past 10 years, Miyako has interviewed countless owners, chefs and bartenders in Central, including some at her favourite places such as Teakha, Quinary, J. Boroski, Mott 32, Neighborhood, Duddell’s and Inbetween. She accredits their passion to do the best in what they love to Central’s unique energy and beauty.
Miyako introduces Hong Kong’s attractions to media outlets across Japan and on her blog hk-tokidoki.com. One of her most recent finds is a Chinese dress rental shop called Yan Shang Kee. “It’s a fun idea for tourists to try on the traditional outfit and take photos with Central as their backdrop”.
“It made me feel like I was a part of one of Wong Kar-Wai’s movies.”
Craig Au Yeung
From food to art, cultural connoisseur, author and cartoonist Craig Au Yeung has this city in his blood. “Hong Kong is my hometown, a place that I can always return to. It gave me so much support, courage and inspiration during my time growing up.”
A firm believer that food culture can be an art form, he established the Taste Library at Old Town Central’s creative hub PMQ. The Taste Library serves as a platform to blend art, design and culture in one place.
“My favourite corner in Central is the uphill open wet market along Graham Street. It was one of the oldest wet markets in Hong Kong. It features every detail of our local food culture, home cooking, customs and behaviour, full of energy, very down to earth – yet sophisticated.”