Your definitive guide to eating at Tai Kwun

by: Angie Kwon, Editor
18 Jul 2018

Old Bailey

The spiral staircase in the JC Contemporary building is already becoming a problem; clogged with instagrammers trying to get the shot. They’re all trying to get the same shot. Come on guys, this is a staircase, not a photo booth. Ranting besides, it is worth bushwhacking through the forest of selfie sticks to the second floor, where said staircase will lead to Old Bailey. Old Bailey serves traditional Jiangnan food and is well worth the effort.

Café Claudel

Ooh la la! Café Claudel is a proper Parisian-style pavement café. The parade ground at Tai Kwun makes for a beautiful public space, a perfect meeting place. A coffee at Claudel is just the ticket for a spot of people-watching beneath a parasol.

Lock Cha

Coffee not your cup of tea? Look no further than Lock Cha. The Lock in Lock Cha (樂) isn’t a reference to Tai Kwun’s former life as a prison, it means good fortune and happiness. If Yum Cha makes you happy, this is the place for you.

Behind Bars

On the subject of Tai Kwun’s former life as a police station and prison, the pun in Behind Bars’ name seems kind of inevitable. Opening later in the summer, it’s handily located right next to the Old Laundry Building Steps, which will host free music shows every month. Ideal, should you require a stiff drink mid-performance.

Mao Mao Eat

The name sounds like this should be a cat café, but as far as we can tell it has nothing to do with cats and everything to do with pineapple buns and condensed milk. This is one for families spending the day at Tai Kwun. Once you’re tired of trying to instil a love of culture into the kids and just want somewhere to get a bite to eat, Mao Mao Eat looks set to inject some casual fun into your visit.

Madame Fu

On the other hand, if Fine Dining is your scene, Madame Fu is the place to go. Let’s call it by its full name; Madame Fu Grand Café Chinois. Like any good Grand Café Chinois, Madame Fu is a colonial-era throwback. Remember to sit up straight and don’t rest your elbows on the table. Of course, the whole colonial get-up is all about making the restaurant highly Instagram-friendly rather than being in aid of, say, proving a pleasant dining experience. Seriously, is there anywhere left where we can get a bite to eat without having our photo taken first?

Dragonfly will be opening later in the year. This bar looks set to be as much about swanky decor as it is about the cocktails they’ll be serving, with an interior designed by Ashley Sutton of Iron Fairies, J. Boroski, Dear Lilly and Ophelia fame. Instagrammers at the ready...