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Exploring Your Neighborhood – Happy Valley
Happy Valley is an upscale residential area, part of the Wan Chai District, on Hong Kong Island. Happy Valley boasts some of Hong Kong’s best restaurants and is most famous for being home to the Happy Valley Racecourse, which doubles as an expansive sports ground on non-racing days. This neighborhood is a great destination for those who love international cuisines, indoor and outdoor sports and horse racing. Explore all that Happy Valley has to offer with our recommendations on where to eat, where to go for recreation and sports, and how to get there.
Happy Valley Restaurants
Home to over 100 restaurants, Happy Valley is a foodie’s paradise. With most restaurants located within a 10-minute walk from V Happy Valley, it’s a challenge to narrow down our favorites.
Yakitori, or Japanese style grilled chicken skewers, is often a simple meal. Not at Nan Tei. Their comprehensive menu creatively puts a large number of ingredients through the skewer test. Highlights include shrimp wrapped in chicken skin and shiso leaf, duck breast with long onion,and fresh eel. Wash the skewers down with some hot soup poured over rice, a Japanese delicacy. This time, pair your rice with traditional ingredients, such as salmon, plum, and cod roe.
Beautifully decorated and located on the ground floor of Amigo Mansion, this spacious French fine-dining restaurant is distinguished by spectacular decors such as antiques, wooden beams, and Roman statuettes. Amigo is certainly a great location to celebrate special occasions such as a birthday or a romantic date. Be prepared to be swept away by its signature dishes, which include fresh pan-fried goose liver escalope and grilled veal chop.
Anyone living in Happy Valley will be familiar with Pang's Kitchen as they have been luring residents since it opened its doors back in 2001. Its reputation is built on its solid Cantonese cuisine, which is prepared in a distinctive homey manner. V’s favorite dishes include the pork spareribs with strawberry sauce (may not sound like an obvious combination, but you’ll have to trust us on this one), the fried garlic chicken, and the congee. Even plain congee tastes better at this Michelin-starred restaurant. Be warned though: Pang’s Kitchen has a very limited number of seats, so it is worth booking ahead of your visit.
Home to one of the most formidable wine collections in Hong Kong, this elegant wine bar is a great place to unwind. The servers are knowledgeable about their wines, making Aedes a great place to try a new bubbly or learn the insider track to their recommendations. The bar also serves a modest fare of deli meats and cheese to accompany the main attraction of the wine.
Wong Nai Chung Cooked Food Center
Located inside the Wong Nai Chung Market, this food court serves dishes with the freshest of ingredients at a fraction of the price you would pay at a fancy restaurant. With a mostly local clientele, the dishes are similar to those in local tea houses (Cha Chaan Teng). Seafood dishes are their forte, with fresh seafood kept alive in boxes for you to choose from. The busy and competitive atmosphere is part of the intrigue, and all in all, it is an efficient and authentic experience of Hong Kong local dining culture.
Sports & Recreation
Apart from having a wide variety in choices of gourmet food, Happy Valley is also an outdoor recreation hub! The Happy Valley horse races occur every Wednesday night, when tourists and locals from all over Hong Kong flock to the area to get together, have a beer, and bet on the race horses. When the racecourse is not in use, the venue turns into Happy Valley’s largest sports ground, with plenty of space to run or play all kinds of team sports.
Happy Valley Racecourse and Recreation Ground
Horse racing has over hundred years of tradition in Hong Kong and the Happy Valley Racecourse has contributed to its fascinating history since 1847, when the first horse race took place in Happy Valley. Horse racing lovers and tourists gather here to have a jolly time every Wednesday night during race season. Other than gambling, people can also enjoy beer and food in the racecourse with friends. With the Happy Valley horse races, The Hong Kong Jockey Club has provided a new favourite destination for social gatherings, aside from having happy hour and watching football match broadcasts at a bar.
Locals always find extra trackside fun on non-racing days. The Recreation Ground, located in the inner fields of the course, is a comprehensive sports ground with a composition of sports and leisure facilities, including football courts, hockey fields, and rugby pitches. It has become a home to the grounds of the Valley RFC rugby club and the Hong Kong Football Club. You can also just relax and kick back on the green lane to enjoy a match with friends or family. Jogging around the race track is also a great exercise option!
Wong Nai Chung Sports Centre
Indoor activities are a great option when you are stuck inside on a rainy day. Combined with its excellent accessibility and infrastructure, Wong Nai Chung Sports Centre is the perfect location for indoor sport events. The public is welcome to book the facilities, such as table tennis courts and basketball courts, as well as participate in the recreational activities organized inside the sports grounds. Wong Nai Chung Sports Centre is just 5 minutes downhill from the V Happy Valley.
Whether you are based in Happy Valley or not, this lovely neighbourhood is worth exploring. From gambling on horse racing, to savouring Michelin starred food and workouts with friends: there are plenty of high quality entertainment options in Happy Valley. For more information on Happy Valley, or for further help with directions, feel free to contact your concierge at the V.
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