Category Archives: Family Friendly

New MTR exit and underpass in Wan Chai now open

If you live in the Avenue on Lee Tung Street, you’ve now got a nice underground walkway to get you to the Wan Chai MTR station without navigating street traffic across Johnston Road. This underpass took around two and a half years to build so I’m relieved it’s finally done.

To get to it, take either escalator or lift down to the basement where the supermarket is and walk along the corridor until you get to the end where you’ll see an escalator taking you down to the tunnel.

Okay, so it’s escalators in the middle, stairs to the right. What about barrier free access?

Initially I thought this was a ramp. (Yay!). But no… it’s a lift for wheelchairs 🤔🧐.

The big pain is that you can’t just use it like in other buildings, you have to call the staff to switch it on. (Call in advance! 3791 2103) That is just so lame. Why couldn’t they just put in a ramp or just leave it on for the convenience of anyone in need of it. Why create another step and waiting time?? MTR Corp you are slowing down my journey!!! Hell, I’ll just use the escalator for my stroller. I feel sorry for the wheelchair users.

When you do get down into the tunnel, it’s nice and wide (at least 3 meters wide), slopes uphill going to mtr station and downhill if you’re walking to Lee Tung Avenue. From the design of it, Sino Land and Hopewell seem to expect a crowd heading in their direction. I suppose this is in anticipation of their next development and continued connection to Hopewell Center II. There are spaces created for a few new retailers in the station too.

That’s a new circle K shop coming up next to the platform lift (under repair until May 2018).

And here’s another shop undergoing renovation on the left opposite Circle K. Not sure what it is yet.

I’m not sure if behind this white sheet there will be a shop or an advertising installation. You can see beyond it however that there’s a corridor for future expansion into Southorn Playground’s new underground mall when that gets done.

So this exit is D and here’s a reminder of the opening hours.

I guess the arcade corridor access and lifts to the surface remain operational during these hours too. Check out the promotions from the basement arcade shops below.


Kamachi Pro Sport Shop- Wetsuits and rash guards all year round

If you’re looking for a simple non-fancy wetsuit in an easy to find location, Kamachi Pro Sport is a great place to pick one up.

Prices are relatively inexpensive and quality is decent, they have several of the usual designs (with or without zip, front or back zip, long or short, black or patterned etc).

The two lady staff are helpful and friendly, mostly Cantonese speaking but with the simple selection, it isn’t difficult to point out what you need in simple hand gestures. There’s a small area at the back of the shop where you can try on the suits behind a curtain.

The swimsuits and rash guards occupy the top hanging shelf and the wetsuits for kids and adults are below. The selection looked fuller in the summer, it that’s probably because it was summertime swimming season and more stock and sizes were out on display.

Here’s a kids wetsuit. Same one we got for my kid except that it’s now on 20% discount.

Here’s a sleeveless neoprene vest for adults. Ah….., it reminds me of the days when I used to go diving off Malaysia.

These are the adult rashguards (kid sizes also available).

And these are some exercise mats for yoga or just general stretching. Very cheap, less than 100 HKD per mat.

The shop sells other swim related stuff like goggles, swim hats, and dive related stuff like wet shoes. They also have a small selection of exercise training equipment.

This is what it looks like from the front, it’s between two tea shops on Johnston Road opposite Tai Yau Plaza, right on the intersection of Johnston and Wanchai Road.

More locations are listed on their card ☝️if you’re not in Wan Chai.

A very strange playground off Bowen Road

Bowen Road has been undergoing some remodelling and renovations recently, mostly slope reinforcements and a refurbishment of decade-old toilets 👍.

But still no concession stands or octopus pay drink machines anywhere, which would be nice if LCSD could address. (I mean sometimes we forget to bring our water bottles and snacks for kids and ourselves…. how about allowing a pop up juice bar- coffee shop with croissants and bo-lo-baos that operates on weekends? Or a food truck?) Anyway, on my walk yesterday I noted the completion of a new playground off the fitness path. I really don’t know what to make of it. I think it’s neither here nor there.

only two rocking horses and a small platform that's not even a slide. Oh yeah that's exciting. Yawn.

A badminton court surrounded by trees. Hmm, great for blocking the wind I suppose but kind of dark and enclosed.

It seems like a bit of a tick the box we have these facilities type thing. What a waste of money. To get kids and parents to go down those stairs to get to rocking horses and then back up is probably too much for most Hong Kong families. Mums with babies and toddlers wouldn’t go if they had a stroller. Who is this for exactly? Someone who has a kid of 2-5yrs and a 2 teenagers who play badminton?

ok, the space and area layout is sort of awkward but they should have done a fun looking playground based on a theme. Or just put in an awesome swing set with a view.

Maintaining it is quite a job in itself too. Poor sweepers looking at the stairs are likely to hate it.

Wish those in charge had been a little more innovative in design, then maybe it would be worth the effort.

If you want to see what inspiring playgrounds look like, check out the pics at the end of this post.


New Japanese lunch spot on McGregor Street

After promising to have lunch together for at least 4 months, my friend PB and I finally agreed on a date.

“What are we having?” asked PB, “I can have anything.”

Since we went to Samsen on our last date, I thought we should try something new.

“A few options… new Thai place, new Japanese place, burger joint, fish n chip joint…”….”Pick one”.

Japanese it was. Full disclosure to her that I’d never been and was curious to check it out.

It’s one of these hole in the wall restaurants that does not make any effort to welcome you. The window panes are frosted so you can’t peer in, the menus are written in chinese (only an issue if you can’t read it) -and most of it is sushi or skewer based- but the restaurant goes through the effort of having an English name printed on the signboard. It’s called Silver House Japanese Restaurant (首庫居日本料理).

I remember seeing it on the launch day when a row of flowers lined the street in front of the restaurant and people stood on the pavement looking in. I thought it was all a bit odd as staff and presumably owners brought in large plastic bags of packed food and they sort of stood around consuming it. Shouldn’t a launch party have a bit more organisation to it than that? Anyway.

We got there promptly at noon when the restaurant had just opened and was completely empty. The waitress presented us with a lunch menu consisting of about 8 different sets and told us that the a -la-carte sushi and skewers wee only available for dinner.

We settled on sharing a quick seared salmon sushi bowl and an eel bowl.

First came the salad, a small but tasty portion, I forgot to take a photo.

Next came a simple miso soup.

Then the eel bowl arrived.

The eel tasted fine with the teriyaki sauce but the texture was a tad soft.

This salmon bowl was nicely done. I could definitely have this again.

Dessert finals, a small fruit palate cleanser. The melon was ripe, succulent and sweet. The grapes weren’t bad, but they definitely weren’t japanese 😉

The salmon set was $128 and the eel bowl was $88, very reasonable lunchtime prices.

The restaurant was full to maximum capacity when we left. Some fashionable types, some office types and some singles looking to tuck in alongside their mobile phone.


Will New Life get a NEW LIFE?

5 Nov 2017: I was amazed to see that after a whole year of non starting, the vegetarian place Soul Food was getting a new signboard put up today. Apparently the vegetarian concept was not going to work (taste the veg place round the corner, it’s not very good in my opinion) and the management has now decided on New Life- Thai cuisine instead. Hmm.

I think this wall needs NEW PAINT.

The guy was still in process of taping the NEW SIGN on the corner.

Let’s see whether 2018 will be a time for them to finally launch and if the New Managers can make it a success.

Read this post to see what it was supposed to be.

Update 13th November: Looks like this sign was not up to standard and taken down again…


Jacomax Pizzeria has a very cool interior. Star Wars fans alert!

It was Friday night and we didn’t want to head out for dinner. My in-laws were here and we couldn’t decide what to eat. No surprise when #1 jumped and whooped for joy when pizza was put forward as a suggestion. 

Pizza Express, unsurprisingly, was full. The table availability only started at 9pm. Perfect! A chance to try something new. 

I remember seeing this little pizza place with funky lettering called Jacomax on the junction of Hennessy and Luard, a very bold location. The exterior was sort of dark and it didn’t look that welcoming but I had a look at the menu when it first opened and it looked like a very traditional pizza parlour with all the conventions. 

So off we went to order pizza! 

The one man pizza factory
Pizza menu Drinks menu
The bar

Some photos of the quirky interior decor . 

Naked lady in recline and deer mount in rainbow technicolour
More seating areas behind
Painted horse or rainbow zebra? Note the craft beers available in the fridge below (unseen in photo)
Seating at front of house

Small person was mesmerised by this Star Wars infused painting. “What’s the stormtrooper doing?” This painting which looks rather grand scenic style was quite unexpected and a nice touch. I asked the lady waitress where they got it but all she knew was that her boss chose it. 

Can you spot the AT-AT walkers?

We left with 3 pizzas. A 13″ magherita for small person, a 13″ Hawaiian and tuna half half and a large 20″ pizza salami and mushroom half half. 

We lugged the boxes home and ate with so much relish that I forgot to take a photo of them. Well, my hands were full of pizza. 🙂

Click here for Jacomax branches, opening hours, telephone numbers and location. 


Premium meat lovers alert: Foodies Gourmet has reopened opposite the Blue House

Derek chose a beautiful autumn afternoon to launch his newly renovated shop selling imported meats and a few new accompanying products. He’s retained the same brand name Foodies Gourmet.

See what you can buy!
Unfortunately it’s not stroller friendly so you’ll have to park it outside

The space is a little smaller but he’s somehow managed to pack more into the fridges. 

Flowers for a blooming start
Owner Derek, wife and a few friends

He had a wonderful spread of canapés which included German sausages, some caviar on a small vol-Au-vent, roast suckling pig, steamed chicken, smoked salmon on crackers and figs with various deli hams. Fresh juices quenched the thirst and made all the canapés taste better. Thanks for the delicious snacks Derek! 

Derek is moving towards a delicatessen style of shop, he’s got the dried goods and some nice meats in cans and jars. The shop has a false wall behind it where their back kitchen sits. It’s too bad that we can’t see the sink and cutting table anymore, I rather enjoyed watching the sushi master (Derek) prep the salmon and wash his knife and boards… just gives you confidence in the cleanliness. Oh well. 

I forgot to take photos of the canapés, but here are the meats and accompaniments he sells in his shop.

Wines, pasta, pasta sauces, olive oil
Half bottles of wine, beef jerky, quinoa

On the right as you enter are the dried goods.

On the left, he’s filled it wall to wall with freezers.

Big freezer full of imported meats and a wine fridge
Door 1: German sausages & Turkey
Door 2: Pork, Beef, lamb, chicken
Door 3: Fois gras and French baby chicken

Then he’s got a small chest type freezer for the carbs.

Pain au chocolate, croissants, chocolate tart and udon noodles

And of course the chilled meats section where you can buy top grade Japanese beef, New Zealand lamb and Norwegian salmon. 

Chilled beef
Salmon, iberico pork, cheeses

Derek is super helpful and will marinade your meat for you with advanced notice, so that all you have to do is bung it in the oven or pan fry it to perfection. 

He’s taking orders for his specialty, baby turkey for thanksgiving or Christmas. It takes 10 days advanced notice for best results. He’ll defrost it thoroughly and marinade it with his special seasoning and heat seal it all in a bag for you to take home. 

I bought one last year, it fed 5 people and was perfect in the oven with Derek’s instructions. Tasty, tender and thoroughly recommended. 

Yes, you can tell I’m a satisfied client.

His contact number remains the same. 🙂

Find him on Stone Nullah Lane, more or less opposite the Blue House and Samsen. It’s across the street from those two, between a school uniform shop and a hk style coffee shop. 

Oh yes, if you live in Kowloon or HK island, Derek will deliver to your door FOC as long as your bill exceeds $600 HKD. 👍