An Insider’s Guide To Working In Quarry Bay
Over the past decade, Quarry Bay has evolved from an industrial backwater to one of Hong Kong’s most desirable business addresses for employees. From financial and investment powerhouses to independent creative start-ups, everyone seems to be getting a kick out of this buzzing young community. So what is the big attraction? If your company is planning on heading east on the Blue Line this year, read on to discover everything you need to know about working in Hong Kong’s quirkiest new CBD…
Despite the rapid influx of big business, Quarry Bay has still managed to retain its individuality and authenticity. Shiny new corporate centres like Taikoo Place and K11 Atelier rub shoulders with the heritage godowns that used to make up the majority of buildings here, creating a quintessentially Hong Kong mash-up of old and new, East and West. The bustling flower and fruit markets, the independent restaurants, cafes and boutiques, art and culture hubs and Art Deco walkways criss-crossing the King’s Road all ooze character, and are perfect for showing off your city to visiting clients and colleagues. In short, Quarry Bay encapsulates what makes Hong Kong so special.
There’s a reason Quarry Bay initially appeals to big companies looking to escape the price-tag of Central and Causeway Bay – it’s incredibly commuter-friendly. Sitting as it does at an interchange station for Hong Kong and Kowloon, it is a natural hub for all our public transport systems; MTR, buses, trams, pedestrian walkways. You can even hop on the Kowloon to North Point ferry if you don’t mind a brisk 15 min walk to kick start your morning routine (something that we’ve been enjoying more and more during these recent times). If you’re heading in by car or taxi, the new Central-Wanchai By-pass has cut the journey from IFC to under 10 mins. So much for living on the edge!
Once you’ve settled in at your new desk, your next mission is to locate what you need for your business to function. Where can you find everything? The simplest answer is “within walking distance”. Quarry Bay has always enjoyed a wealth of everyday facilities, but with the recent arrival of some major business players, the satellite companies that feed off them have rapidly followed suit. All the major banks, delivery services, food outlets, coworking spaces, events venues, office supplies, health and fitness services… you name it, it’s pretty much on your doorstep. If you looking for specifics, check out our continually-updated list of Quarry Bay’s local services and amenities HERE.
The Food Scene
Quarry Bay was once criticized for its lack of places to eat, but those days are well and truly gone. The food scene here is booming, from large suit-filled chain restaurants specializing in executive set lunches to mouthwatering holes-in-the-wall. Anyone who can’t find a meal to suit them here simply doesn’t know where to look. New options seem to be arriving with each passing month, even amidst a global pandemic; our personal current lunchtime favourites are a warming bowl of pho from Pho Tai on a cold day, a fresh platter from Shobu to satisfy our sushi cravings, or a take-out box of healthy goodness from Fete Up for when we’re tied to the desk. Find an updated list of recommended local eateries HERE.
The Great Outdoors
Everyone needs to step away from the office from time to time. Quarry Bay is blessed with many places to escape to when you need to recharge and reconnect with yourself. Take your lunch break at one of the well designed public squares or al-fresco dining options, such as Bib N Hops. The Quarry Bay Park is also a good destination to sit down with your take-out coffee under a shady tree and watch the tai chi practitioners go through their routines. If you want some exercise yourself, head to the waterfront and take a stroll along the promenade. Popular with joggers, rollerbladers, dog-walkers and photographers alike, this harbourside walk is a rarity in Hong Kong, and stretches all the way from Hoi Chak Street to Sai Wan Ho Ferry Pier. And for the truly ambitious, Quarry Bay is the starting point for the Mount Parker Trail, which you can find mapped out HERE.
The Quirky Discoveries
One of the many things that people love about working in Quarry Bay is the hidden discoveries around every corner. It is an Instagrammer’s dream, home to iconic locations such as the Yik Cheong estate (the “Monster Building”) and the old Tai Koo Sugar refinery buildings as well as the characterful markets and alleyways. Its individuality is reflected in the quirky little shops, cafes and boutiques that can be found. Wander the lanes in your lunch hour and support the many independent boutiques that make Quarry Bay the charming place it is; the unobtrusively retro gentlemen’s barber on Hoi Tai Street, the tiny “Farmer’s Kitchen” on Hoi Chak street selling locally-grown organic produce as well as lunch, the unexpected art sculptures on street corners… there is always something interesting to stumble across.
The Impress List
Got a game-changing deal to close with important clients? If you’re looking for more than a bowl of pho and a banyan tree selfie, there are some seriously impressive corporate entertainment options within a 10 minute walk of Tong Chong Street. Take advantage of one of the area’s off-site private business venues to conduct your meetings with utmost privacy, such as the Library at Banyan Workspace. Seal the deal over lunch at a room at Enoteca or, for the ultimate in exclusivity, join the private members club The Refinery in Dorset House, Taikoo Place. Celebrate your success late into the evening by walking over to EAST hotel and enjoy a drink at one of Hong Kong’s most spectacular rooftop bars, SUGAR.
Quarry Bay is the perfect combination of a modern, essential business centre and a vibrant, authentic community. The companies that relocate here tend to do so specifically to enjoy this unique amalgamation, which in turn encourages the preservation of its heritage and the development and redevelopment of initiatives that further add to the interest and character of the area by the big landlords. Swire Holdings, for example, the owner of Taikoo Place, is taking an active role with various projects such as Artistree arts hub and the Tong Chong Street Market.
So head east and visit Quarry Bay. Meet your colleagues for lunch or try one of the many coworking spaces to get a feel for the area. Because once you have made the leap, you’ll wonder what the attraction of those generic skyscrapers of Central ever was.