Shop G01-02, G/F One Island South, 2 Heung Yip Rd, Wong Chuk Hang
The opening of Wong Chuk Hang’s MTR station has brought locals closer to a myriad of dining and leisure options in the Southside district, not least of which is superb, artisan coffee shop, sensory ZERO.
Opened by Alvin Hui and Dixon Ip, this sophisticated specialty coffee bar – together with the first-ever fitness and MMA fight club inside a cafe – is a hidden gem in Hong Kong’s coffee scene.
Evocative of a hip Brooklyn coffee shop, sensory ZERO masters a balance between function and artistry, with natural light filtering through large windows in a minimalist space. It’s a perfect place to park yourself on a sunny Saturday afternoon, with sensational coffee served up by friendly and knowledgeable baristas.
A shared interest in coffee culture is what united Dixon and Alvin, the founders of the lifestyle cafe concept. Dixon’s passion for coffee began as a child, when his father presented him with his first percolator after a trip overseas. From then, he was hooked. He trained to become the first certified CQI Licensed Q Grader in China and Hong Kong and is a Certified World Coffee Event Judge. He is also the first non-Japanese Rice Grader, certified by the Rice Grader Association of Japan.
Alvin’s influence is felt in the cafe’s design and art concepts. His expertise is so well-respected that he’s also had his hand in the development of over 200 cafes and restaurants in China and Hong Kong, mostly focusing on branding and concept development. A student of photography, Alvin’s passion for artistry also extends to coffee and food, viewing coffee, photography and the senses as art and science.
This forms the basis of the name sensory ZERO or a place where ‘Sensory Artisans’ come together to combine art, science and each member’s sensory expertise. ZERO is committed to using zero additives in the food and drinks – the team’s motto, ‘from ZERO to HERO’, means anyone can become a Sensory Artisan with hard work and dedication.
If this isn’t enough to convince you that sensory ZERO is serious about coffee, one sip will make you a believer. Baristas control everything about your coffee experience, from the design of the cups to the beans (which they roast in-house), as well as brewing temperature profiles. Using a state-of-the-art Rancilio espresso machine, they achieve a range of flavours from their espresso blend.
The food amplifies the whole experience. There’s double-egg toast with thick slices of ham, tofu cold noodles tossed with sesame sauce and a triple-decker eel rice with generous pieces of unagi under a layer of shredded nori sheets.
The self-designed tableware is particularly noteworthy – cobalt blue plates and handmade cups add a pop of colour and flair to the industrial background.
Meanwhile, the addition of sensory FIGHT CLUB, a sleek fitness and MMA club run in collaboration with Fight Club Hong Kong, adds another layer of cool to the coffee shop. If you want to enjoy your caffeine fix in trendy and artsy surrounds, you’d better move a trip to Southside to the top of your list.