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Romance, nostalgia and neon lighting… stepping into Happy Paradise is like stepping into a futuristic Wong Kar-Wai movie.

The modern day “cha chaan teng” (a Hong Kong style diner) is located on a corner on the fringe of Soho, and the brains behind the operation is chef May Chow.  

Chow also owns restaurants Little Bao and Second Draft, and was named Asia’s Best Female Chef in 2017. At Happy Paradise, her menu is a love letter to Cantonese cuisine, featuring tongue-in-cheek finessed plays on classic dishes.

The drinks here deserve their own mention. Like the food, cocktails at Happy Paradise put a creative, boozy twist on local ingredients - think durian, chrysanthemum flower petals and Shaoxing wine.

The sensory overload might not be for everyone but - much like Hong Kong itself - it really can be paradise for those who embrace it.