Hello Hong Kong! Star Street Precinct, Monocle Shop, King-Tak Hong Porcelain Co., Wanchai (星街小區)

Information: Star Street Precinct, MTR Admiralty Station Exit F, follow the subway signs to the Three Pacific Place Link, which leads directly to the Star Street Precinct.

After my professional development workshop,I had just a little bit of time in Hong Kong for a short holiday.  Unlike previous visits, where I had detailed lists of places to go, sites to see, and desserts to try, this time, I decided to take it easy, and just schedule a short trip to see the “Star Street” area in Wanchai. Hong Kong Electric’s power plant used to be located nearby, but now it is home to a selection of eclectic shops, chic restaurants, and the Monocle shop.

The Star Street precinct is easily accessible by MTR.  Take the blue line and get off at Admiralty Station, and find Exit F.

It’s a pleasant walk in the Three Pacific Link. ( PS- If you need to stock up on snacks, the Admiralty MTR stop has a Marks and Spencer’s shop, a 7-11 convenience store and a Pret a Manger.  It’s definitely one of the better equipped MTR stations)

Once you come through the Three Pacific Link, you will come up the escalator to a glass building.  Exit the building and turn right, and you should be right on Wing Fung Street.

I recommend that you make Elephant Grounds your first stop to fuel up on their excellent coffee and breakfast (I had the most perfect BLT sandwich!) before exploring the surrounding streets.

In addition to Wing Fung Street, this area consists of Star Street, Moon Street and Sun Street. I was there early on a Saturday morning, and it felt like the neighborhood was just starting to wake up.

One of my favorite buildings is this building on Moon Street, which looks just like a Mondrian work of art.  (Turns out that it’s a trash collection point)

Soon after, I came across the Monocle Store, in St. Francis Yard.  The store is tiny, and has a curated selection of Monocle products (books, housewares, clothing, etc). I purchased a year long subscription to Monocle magazine. I decided that I was finally ready to upgrade from reading it standing up at bookstores, and have it delivered to my mailbox every month. The benefit of subscribing in store is that you get a free travel guide (I chose Copenhagen) in addition to the free issues, and a free tote bag. I also enjoyed chatting to Monocle staff member, Jolene, who gave me such interesting insights of what it was like to grow up in Hong Kong.

Jolene also kindly provided me with a guide to Wanchai, which has a handy map marked with their recommendations for shops, coffee, places to eat and cultural attractions in the surrounding area.

It started to pour sheets and sheets of rain soon after I left Monocle, so I I took a quick look at the guide, and happened upon this magical place:  King Tak Hong Porcelain Co.

It’s a deceptively small building, that was two stories of kitchenware and homeware heaven.  There was a well-chosen selection of both imported and locally made items. Very tempted by these stainless steel woks and bamboo cleaning brushes.

I only brought a carryon suitcase with me, so I really had to be particular about my purchases.  In one of the pots and pans aisles, I discovered this curious stainless steel receptacle that I had never seen before.

It’s a soup strainer! Which I guess functions similarly to a tea bag~ you can steep all the ingredients for your broth in this strainer, and then fish it out once the broth has brewed.  That way, you can prevent bits of bone, or stray ingredients from affecting the clarity of your finished product.  On a side note, Hong Kong is famous for its soups and takes extreme pride in their consommés.  In fact, in every place that I’ve had soup in Hong Kong, I’ve never been disappointed. Every single time, no matter if it was a fancy restaurant, chain store cafe, or a small family-run restaurant, the soup has always had a a hearty, deeply flavored bone based broth.

It was still raining after I left, so I decided to cut the rest of my day outside short, and escape indoors to grab a yet another cup of coffee and a snack. On my way back to the MTR station, I noticed this on the wall:

Indeed! I felt so fortunate this trip to explore yet another corner of Hong Kong, which will make the city seem even more familiar to me the next time I visit.  I loved this little neighborhood, and will be back to explore all the shops and eateries next time!

Information: Star Street Precinct, MTR Admiralty Station Exit F, follow the subway signs to the Three Pacific Place Link, which leads directly to the Star Street Precinct.

The Monocle Shop | 1-4 St. Francis Yard| Ph: +852 2804-2323: Website: monocle.com

King-Tak Hong Porcelain Co.  128 Queen’s Road East| +852-3118-2422| Website: kingtakhong.com.hk

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