Why, hello there strangers!
Sorry it’s been a little while since the last post. We spent the first 10 days of April exploring Japan and then the next 4 days at work, but I’m back to tell you guys about a daytrip from the end of March.
I’ve been meaning to visit Chai Wan for quite a while. However as it’s nestled in the east corner of Hong Kong Island, it’s quite a trek for us to get there as we live on the end of the West Rail Line. Nevertheless we finally got ourselves together and made our way over to check out what it had to offer! Turns out it only took about an hour on the MTR, so it wasn’t much of a trek after all! 😉
Our first stop was the wet market as we noticed that there was a cooked food market above, where we could grab a spot of lunch.
However we didn’t fancy anything on offer, so continued to explore outdoors.
We stopped off at a street stall for a snack of delicious curried squid, while Ry went for some fried rice rolls, which he enjoyed 😀
On our way to the park, we passed a shop selling joss paper goods.
These items are burnt and believed to be received by the deceased.
I love the juxtaposition of high rises and nature in Hong Kong.
This article initially drew me in to visit Chai Wan as it described it as a neighbourhood in the process of outgrowing their residential and industrial-based roots and attracting artsy small businesses in the process. Eclectic stores, art galleries and eateries have sprung up in this neighbourhood’s former factory buildings. I do enjoy a quirky find off the beaten track!
Having had a look for places to visit online before our trip, we discovered ‘Hey Pantry’ which serves a mix of local and Western (no MSG) cuisine with a sea view.
In we go…
Gorgeous painting in the lobby.
Making our way up in a huge warehouse lift.
On the 13th floor, we were greeted by a colourful sign.
Having never been in a restaurant in a warehouse before, we were surprised by how big it was!
I adored the décor!
Being the only customers, other than the girls on the sofas next to us, we went for the table with a sea view.
The weather wasn’t the best, but it’ll do 😉
While we were waiting for our order, Ry rummaged around their little bookcase and came across a book from the Studio Ghibli Layout Designs Exhibition that we’d visited last year.
Ry went for a smoked salmon salad, which was lush! The vegetables were really fresh 😀
Unfortunately the drunken chicken wings that I’d ordered tasted far too strong for me, so I definitely won’t be ordering them again!
Nevertheless we’d definitely recommend a visit as the décor is lovely, the staff are really friendly and it’s a peaceful spot to chill out with some lunch or a drink.
Why do I always look so awkward in photos by myself?!
Our next stop was the AO Vertical Art Space, described as “a ‘vertical flow’ gallery in Hong Kong stretching from 13/F to 3/F” ie. the artwork is dotted along the walls of the staircase.
Any lift with a chair gets a big thumbs up from us! 😀
The main exhibition on our visit was ‘Fortune’ by Cheung Yee.
Aged 79, Cheung Yee is a professor of fine art at the Chinese University and has been a mentor to many of Hong Kong’s younger generation.
His work has also been featured three times at the Hong Kong Museum of Art.
AO Vertical Art Space presented a selection of his paper-cast mural artworks that he has developed since the 70’s. Deeply inspired by Chinese culture in both technique and style, Cheung carves out wooden molds and fills the voids with his handmade paper.
Most pieces are finished with a monotone bright colour. The strong primary colours of blues, greens, reds and gold are used to remind us of the colour palette used in many Chinese temples and palaces.
These vibrant 3D mural sculptures are laden with intricate patterns and symbols. Some works are embossed with dragons, koi fish, ancient poems and writings. Others reveal narratives through little figurines acting out old stories and legends.
On the 7th floor, we encountered ‘Forever Young’ by Zhao Haitien.
Hai Tien crafts digital paintings with her fingers on an iPad, which are then printed and made unique again by manipulating the prints with crayons and paint.
Practicing Buddhism freed the artist from the dominance of her mind to a liberated state of being, using painting as a direct reflection of her soul. Meditation has had a profound influence on her work:
“The more empty you are, the more you can take in and learn.”
Although these exhibitions weren’t really our cups of tea, they were still interesting to check out.
Unexpectedly, we were also treated to Ho Fan’s wonderful photography which were taken and printed over 60 years ago.
Photography exhibitions are always my favourite and his work is beautiful!
He captured the light perfectly.
We really enjoyed this and would definitely suggest a trip, if only to check out Ho Fan’s photos.
Plus it’s free 😉
However if you’re thinking of heading to Chai Wan, we’d recommend doing a spot of online research first as a lot of attractions of tucked away in high rises and we wouldn’t have found these places if we hadn’t search beforehand.
For dinner, we headed back to Central to devour a couple of burgers and fries at The Butchers Club!
The menu is really minimal, so you won’t need to umm and aah for ages.
I also opted for a Dr Pepper ice cream float.
The food is here!
Dreamy, thick cut and triple fried in duck fat….
These juicy bacon cheeseburgers are made using bacon, cheese, tomato, pickle, special sauce and the Butchers Club’s own brand of dry-aged Black Angus beef from Australia. The cattle are fed on a diet of organic hormone-free and antibiotic-free pasture, which is supplemented by organic grain, creating a unique flavour. Patties are minced fresh to order in front of the customer before being grilled to a perfect medium i.e. nice and pink in the middle.
Verdict: Delicious, but for the price, you’d expect a bigger burger. However it would be ideal if you’re treating yourself at lunch 😉