Wondering where to live in Hong Kong? It’s always good to talk to the neighbours! In our regular Street Talk feature, we get the inside scoop from residents of different areas. Here, we chat to French expat Aurélie Samuel – a jewellery designer and founder of Lilie Sai Wan (Instagram: @liliesaiwan) – about what it’s like living in Kennedy Town.
Where in Hong Kong do you live? Kennedy Town, part of Sai Wan area. It’s been an inspiration for the name of my jewellery brand!
How long have you been here? A year and a half.
Why Kennedy Town? It’s very accessible from the city centre, combined with an amazing sea view and an incredible diversity of bars and restaurants. But most all, it’s flat!
What transport is available in your suburb? MTR, bus, minibus, taxi, tram.
When you walk out of your house, what’s the first thing you see? The sea!
What’s the closest store to your front door? The Pacific Coffee at the corner of Belcher’s and Davis Streets. I can count on the nice team there to get my daily double expresso with “extra water”, the perfect equivalent of the French café allongé.
What’s the unofficial uniform of your area? A pair of sneakers, a cup of coffee in one hand and a cute little brown poodle in the other.
If a celebrity were to move in nearby, who would it be? The cast of How I Met Your Mother. Speaking of unofficial uniform, I can totally imagine Barney Stinson’s character trying to hook up girls with a cup of coffee and a cute little brown poodle!
When you’re in need of a dose of culture, what do you do? I buy tickets to watch one of the amazing productions of the Hong Kong Ballet at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. I also recommend visiting the Hong Kong Museum of History where you can learn about the city and its past.
What’s a mandatory stop for taking out of town guests? Going up to the Peak, and then crossing the harbour for a walk in the local areas of Kowloon and Mong Kok. And, last but not least, boarding a traditional junk boat for a night cruise on Victoria Harbour to enjoy Hong Kong’s fabulous skyline.
What’s a common myth about your area? That it’s not as great as Sai Ying Pun!
If something wakes you up in night, what’s the reason? Bad pillows! Otherwise nothing really disturbs me, I’m a very good sleeper.
What would a late-night rager in your suburb involve? An improvised drink with my husband watching the sunset along the pier. Or gathering with friends on Friday evening at Winstons Coffee for an endless Prosecco Night!
Tell us your hands-down favourite neighbourhood joint. KTM Bar and Kitchen, a Nepalese-Indian restaurant offering the best momos in town! Or Bun Cha, a delicious Vietnamese restaurant on Hau Wo Street.
What about the best local food? Hoho restaurant on Davis Street – very popular among HKU students. Delicious fried rice, rice noodle rolls, fried wontons, fish balls and more. Very generous portions and cheap prices!
Best sport for neighbourhood bargains? The Salvation Army Family Store where you can find plenty of second-hand clothes, accessories and decoration items. I’ve found so many nice things for dressing Lilie Sai Wan’s jewellery photo shoots.
Guiltiest local pleasure? A local shop at the corner of Belcher’s and Davis Street where they basically fry everything! The chicken nuggets are just unbelievable – way better than McDonald’s. People are queuing there day and night!
Strangest thing you’ve seen in your neighbourhood? Dogs carried in strollers.
What’s one thing you’d never change? The sea view. I can’t get tired of it!
If the city gave you HK$5M to soup up your area, what would you do? I’d revamp the pier area nearby Victoria Road with tables and outdoor sofas. It would be the perfect spot to organise popup events with art and design exhibitions, music, bars and local food.
Do you love your neighbourhood? Share it with others – just email us at email@example.com with “Street Talk” in the subject line. Include your name and street, and we’ll be in touch!
Like this? See more in our Living in Hong Kong section
This article first appeared in the June 2020 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.