iShop Foo Tak Building

Vertical artists’ village with cosy bookstore

You might imagine a bucolic cluster of rustic studios, but this is Hong Kong – and so the village is vertical.

Vertical village

Mention the words “artists’ village” and you might imagine a bucolic cluster of rustic studios, but this is Hong Kong – and so the village is vertical. Founded by artist May Fung after a landlord generously donated a number of vacant units in her building, the Foo Tak Building’s creative community includes studios for artists working in a range of fields from installation work to Chinese calligraphy. There’s also space for filmmakers, an independent media outlet and more. The rooftop is occupied by a vegetable garden.

Creative calendar

Although most of the artists’ studios are private, the top floor is home to a bookstore-café, ACO, that holds regular events such as readings, film screenings and music. Stop by to explore the shop’s collection of Chinese and English books, sample a meal of locally-grown ingredients (including some from the roof) and enjoy a quiet space for reflection in the heart of busy Wan Chai.

Hawker stall snack

Not far from Foo Tak is Keung Kee 強記美食, which started many years ago as a mobile hawker cart. Years later, the government banned these itinerant hawkers and they had to find a permanent, fixed location. Keung Kee is one of the lucky hawkers that is still able to carry on the business in an affordable fixed location. No more than 15 dishes are on the menu – one rice, one congee, one rice noodle rolls, one noodle dish and so on. We love Keung Kee’s rice noodle rolls (腸粉) and steam sticky rice (蒸糯米飯).

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