Thursday, January 31, 2013

Free WiFi Cafes in Hong Kong :: An Ongoing Compendium

I don't post here regularly but I think a list of Hong Kong cafes that offer free wifi deserves a home on FFE. Since moving to Hong Kong, I've been adjusting to a work-from-home situation. It has its highs and it has its lows. One of the lows being that it is terribly lonely. (cue sad violin music) So, I've been forcing myself out of my apartment to work amongst the people! And I've found some great wifi hot spots around HK.

Here's an ongoing list of Free WiFi Cafes in Hong Kong that are tried and tested (plus a handy public Google Map)

View Free Wifi Cafes Hong Kong in a larger map

Heirloom Eatery & More
226 Hollywood Road
Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Notes: Solid lunch joint for creative and flavorful sandwiches, salads and tacos. If you work late enough to warrant a cocktail, they have a great selection. Closed Mondays.

Shop B, 18 Tai Ping Shan Street
Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Notes: They don't advertise free wifi but if you ask for the password, they'll share it with you. Such a lovely place with a rotating lunch plate and carefully made teas. It's a small and new space, so be mindful of others and maybe don't post up for a whole day sipping on 1 cup of tea. Closed Mondays.

Java Java Coffee & Tea Lounge
188 Hollywood Road
Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Notes: Friendly staff, simple snacks and drinks. Ask the friendly staff for the password. Plenty of seating. By far my go-to spot for afternoon work sessions.

108 Hollywood Road
Central, Hong Kong

Notes: Great for people watching. Very good lunch menu.

Holly Brown
22 Stanley Street (Between
Central, Hong Kong

Notes: HUGE. Free wifi not available from noon-2pm weekdays and only accessible from the first floor. Take a break with good coffee and ice cream.

Brunch Club
70 Peel Street (Between Elgin and Caine Road)
Central Midlevels, Hong Kong

Notes: Hike up Peel Street to this all-hours brunch cafe. Very good lunch, shabby chic decor with outdoor seating.

Cafe O (multiple locations)
284 Queens Road Central
Central, Hong Kong

62 Bonham Road
Central Midlevels, Hong Kong

Notes: A chain with healthy food and juices. WiFi can be spotty in my experience.

Cafe Loisl
Tai On Terrace
Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Notes: A small Austrian cafe with a terrace. Delicious lunchtime sandwiches, cakes and tortes. Extensive tea and coffee menu. 90 minutes of free complimentary WiFi. Closed Mondays.

The Coffee Academics (multiple locations)
38 Yiu Wa Street, Causeway Bay

35-45 Johnston Road, Wan Chai

Notes: I really like the location in Causeway Bay. It's big, airy and the food is quite good. WiFi is free flowin' and the waiters don't give you much grief if you come post-lunch rush.

  • Shop 2, G/F, The Centrium, 
  • 60 Wyndham Street, Central
  • Hong Kong

Notes: OK, not really a cafe but one of the better Mexican restaurants in Hong Kong. They offer free wifi on their outdoor counter service seating. Great for warmer weather when you want some tacos, guacamole and margaritas. The waitresses here are super friendly and nice too!

Monday, March 12, 2012

I Tumble For Ya

I broke down. I've switched over to Tumblr here. Who knows, maybe I'll end up hating Tumblr and come  back to Blogger, but for now, Tumblr's doin' for me. Come join the fun!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Mr Vietnamese Banh Mi in Fortress Hill

I started apartment hunting this week. I've been looking forward to home search all month, but now that I'm finally doing it, I'd like it to be over. Having just moved from a serviced apartment in Roppongi Hills, it's safe to say that I need to adjust my expectations in Hong Kong and accept the fact that our bathtubs will not be automated by friendly robots and our washer/dryer will be in the kitchen.

Our real estate agent in part Vietnamese and being around Viets always makes me crave Vietnamese food. So to reward myself for surviving the first 2 rounds of viewings, we tried a highly rated (on Open Rice, the Yelp! of Hong Kong) banh mi shop in Fortess Hill.

Mr Vietnamese is pretty decent and I'm sure I will return to try the other variations. It's a very small shop with a few places to sit and enjoy your made to order sandwich. The bread is spot on with the fillings hitting all the right notes, though lacking a bit of punch.

Mr Vietnamese
Shop 9, G/F, Wang Fai Mansion, 2-12 Wang On Road North Point

Take the tram to the Fortress Hill stop. Walk down Oil Street, turn left on the street after Electric. It's the shop with the green awning.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Hong Kong, I'm Here

I have to be honest. I kind of hate the blogger platform. I was just tooling around with Tumblr and was oh so tempted to jump ship, but then I realized that I've had this blog for FOUR YEARs. That's an amazing feat for someone like me. I've kept this up from New York, San Francisco and Tokyo, why stop now, right? 

So here I am. In Hong Kong. Bloggin' away. My first impressions of the city are mostly positive. The vibe of the city feels very downtown New York (both Tribeca banker fancy and Lower East Side gritty) with a touch of SF Chinatown thrown in the mix (sassy old people and hills). I think I'm going to like it here though I'm sure, just like with Tokyo, there will be days I absolutely hate it. So bear with me! 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Last Meal Tokyo :: Tonkatsu Tonki

Hello from Hong Kong! It's been a busy few days but we're all settled in our temporary apartment in the Hong Kong Mid-Levels. I'm taking a quick Dim Sum break to share my final Tokyo meal, dinner at Tonkatsu Tonki in Meguro. 

Tonkatsu Tonki has been a Meguro institution for generations. It is still family owned and operated, with most of the family still working in the kitchen, frying up katsu like you've never had before. They make their own tonkatsu sauce and each meal comes with some of the best tonjiru soup you'll ever have. A close friend, SS, introduced us to Tonki and it has since been our go-to katsu shop. Her family is from Meguro and they've been regulars at Tonkatsu Tonki for generations. Literally. On any given night (they're not open for lunch) you'll see a long bench full of people waiting for a seat at the counter. 

So yes, this is what we chose as our final meal in Tokyo. For this special event, we were seated upstairs in one of the private tatami rooms. I ordered the kushikatsu, which is deep fried pork and leek. Blammo always goes for the hire cut. Per usual, it was perfectly crispy and delicious and we made sure to take advantage of their free refills on soup and cabbage.

Looking at these photos make me miss Tokyo a lot. That's not to say that I'm not excited for what Hong Kong has to offer. The food here doesn't suck. But I'm certain I won't find katsu as good as Tonki. If you're in Tokyo, stop by and have some on my behalf. Who knows! It may turn out to be your choice for last meal in Japan too. 

Tonki Meguro, とんき 目黒店 
1-1-2 Meguro, Tokyo
JR Meguro Station, Southeast Exit, 4 minute walk
Tokyo Metro Meguro Station, 3 minute walk
Dinner Only, Closed on Tuesdays

Monday, February 13, 2012

Hello Kitty x Hooters :: Only in Japan

Don't forget to tip your waitress.

Raw Horse Meat :: Nay or Neigh?

I had a work party on Friday night. Our first course was raw horse meat (basashi). Everyone's reaction was about the same: 

"Ohhh, yum. Sashimi...hmm..or beef? Do we cook it? It's what? Horse meat? Oh wow. Do we cook it? No? You just eat it raw? Oh.

Since I'm leaving Japan soon and I've never had it, I had a few pieces. It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. People complain that it is chewy but what do you expect? It's raw meat! I much prefer basashi to raw chicken, which I have had in Japan as well. I have not been confronted with whale meat yet and am going to do my best to avoid it in our final week in Tokyo.