What do you get when you mix a creative duo with a derelict apartment and blend it all together with a good dose of LSD? Mum's Not Home!
This riotous splash of colour and compositions sits above a suspiciously empty looking apartment in downtown Yau Ma Tai, on Shanghai Street. You'd easily walk past it a thousand times unless someone knew where it was. I was fortunate enough to be in town with a friend who knew the way, and up we went to the second floor and rang the doorbell and waited.
A skipping, singing, charming owner opened the door and motioned for us to sit by the window. The room was a car-crash of bohemian, punk, hippie vibes all melded into one. Nothing felt out of place even tho nothing matched.
The backroom was quiet and thoughtfully spaced out. People could have their own private corners yet not feel they were excluding the other guests. Perfect for mingling or sitting with a friend and catching up.
Drinks were handed to us and the conversations flowed, taking turns to walk around and explore. Finding out that one of the owners was a fashion director didn't exactly come as a shock. You had to have a natural flair to make something look so accidentally purposefull. Apart from the clothing store and cafe, they host live music on the odd occasion, and rumour has it you can get your haircut if they're not busy.
These small hole in the walls are exactly the reason I love exploring when travelling. To find spots that even your local friends who live in the city have never heard of goes to show that a curious nose can bring you far.
I have visited Mum's Not Home on all my subsequent visits to Hong Kong, and forget how fantastic the place is until the door opens into this insane psychedelic kaleidoscope.
Make sure you check it out when travel resumes and you feel like adding a bit of colour to your black heart.
These recommendations are just personal opinions based on my palate, things change, chefs get fired or replaced, places open-close, relocate, so take it all with a pinch of MSG and discover your own gems too. But please do try a few of these, they have been researched exhaustively.
"Sadness is tempered by umami, grief by the motion of slurping, hope restored in the ladling of glistening, fatty broth"