PMQ – Hong Kong’s Current Most Hipster Place Is A Former Police Married Quarters
[Hong Kong] It took me a while to discover PMQ. I have been to Hong Kong several times, revisited many attractions, but it was until my recent visit that a friend told me, “I think PMQ is your kind of place.”
He is right. PMQ is short for Police Married Quarters. This used to be the dormitory for Chinese rank and file police officers, also the original site for the Queen’s College Central School formed in 1862.
It has known been transformed into a local creative hub, containing design studios, shops and offices, along with periodic exhibits and flea markets.
Very happening, very hipster.
Architecturally wise, you can image how it was in the past, especially I had my staple of old Hong Kong Chow Yun-Fat and Stephen Chow police movies and historically-set Echoes of the Rainbow.
The very first thing that would greet you at the door is a tall figurine of a Bruce-Lee-like kicking kung-fu master. Take a short flight upstairs and the revitalised PMQ is filled with shops after shops of indie enterprises, cafes, and even the Japanese ABC Cooking Studio.
Half the tenants are in the fashion and household product design sectors with the rest in creative design categories such as fashion accessories, food, furniture, jewellery and watches, design services and design galleries.
The weekends are buzzing with people and musical performances. To orientate yourself, what we did was to take a life up to the highest floor, then walked through the shops on our way down. Less tiring.
I didn’t get the sense that PMQ is done for the sake of doing. There is really immense energy and positive vibes, and it seems like designers have a real, true space to develop, grow, sell and interact.
For the foodies, here are 10 Food & Dining spaces you can go to:
Aberdeen Street Social
Modern British cuisine helmed by Michelin stared chef Jason Atherton.
Isono Eatery & Bar
H601 – H608
Spanish centric Mediterranean eatery and bar serving up food made for sharing with friends, including homemade Italian pastas, hearty French stews and Spanish roast meats, and a wide range of seafood, cheeses, olive oils and cured meats.
SHOWcase by bread n butter
HG01 – HG05
Contemporary Brittany-style sweet and savory crepes, with classic French fillings such as the Crepe Complete (ham, cheese, egg and spinach, and localised Hong Kong ones which incorporate condensed milk, peanut butter, toasted coconut and ice cream.
SG12 – SG14
A collaboration project between Hong Kong’s popular lifestyle brand G.O.D. and LOCOFAMA who aims to promote eating healthy and living happy through food. Expect chemical-free food, incorporating locally grown and organic ingredients.
Vasco Spanish Fine Dining
H701 – H708
Contemporary Spanish Fine Dining Restaurant led by Chef Paolo Casagrande from two-Michelin-starred Lasarte Restaurant in Barcelona.
H412 – H414
Bistro focusing on burgers, burritos and lobster dishes.
Alice Wild – Luscious
H102 – H103
The dessert ice cream café is opened by Hong Kong actor cum I Am A Singer 3 Host Leo Ku. Itss Mystery Ice Cream comes with dry ice at the bottom cup, sending ‘smoke’ around. Definitely Instagram-worthy.
A coffee specialty café featuring fresh and iced hand drop coffee, with coffee roasted right in front of customers.
Tai Lung Fung
1F / H107
Has the “Handmade in Hong Kong” brand all over – with an over-the-top HK retro décor, serving drinks and bites that play on the local food culture.
Specialised in custom-made cakes, cupcakes and cookies and special occasions such as weddings and birthdays.
No.35 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong Island
Opening Hours: 7am – 11pm
Google Maps – PMQ
Directions from MTR Sheung Wan Station Exit E2. Walk through the Grand Millennium Plaza to reach Bonham Strand. Cross the road and turn left onto Wellington Street and walk for around 2 minutes. Turn onto Aberdeen Street and walk for around 3 minutes to reach PMQ.
Directions from MTR Central Station Exit C. Walk along Des Voeux Road to the Hang Seng Bank Headquarters, which is linked to the Central–Mid-Levels Escalator. Take the escalator to Staunton Street and turn right. Walk for about 3 minutes to reach PMQ. The whole walk takes about 15 minutes.