Despite its close proximity to the University of Hong Kong, where I spent my undergraduate and postgraduate years at, I’d only been to Opendoor Café + Courtyard twice. I didn’t do a review the first time I went but you can find a photo I took there hidden in a blog post I published earlier this year. Recently on a whim, I decided to visit again. This time, I went with the aim of writing a blog post.
I’ve had plenty of experiences at cafés with poor wifi signal. The internet breaks constantly, the pages take forever to load, and some seats of the café aren’t even in signal range. But I knew for certain that Opendoor Café + Courtyard has always been praised for its reliable connection. What’s more, I was delighted when I sat myself down in the outdoor area. It was the end of November but already, Christmas decorations had been set up all over the café. The outdoor area even had a large Christmas tree. Everything looked super festive. It’s never too early for Christmas, right?
Opendoor Café + Courtyard is located just a minute away from MTR Sai Ying Pun Station, facing Sun Yat Sen Park. The café frequently tunes in to Hong Kong’s community, beginning with the homey touch of the interior with artwork by local artists decked on the walls. It also rents out the two floors of its space for private events such music gigs, film screenings, birthday parties, office gatherings and my favourite, dog adoption days! The second time I went, there were puppies wandering all over the café and it was cutest thing ever.
The indoor area of Opendoor Café + Courtyard isn’t huge, but the layout of the tables makes for great seats. Private working spaces you wouldn’t expect to find are slotted into tiny corners of the narrow floor plan, for example, a tiny bar table facing the street. I personally really like this setup because when I work outside, I feel so self-conscious that other people are judging what’s on my screen (which I hate to admit that more often than not, is Neopets). The seating arrangements of Opendoor Café + Courtyard ensures total screen privacy, which is perfect for me.
My favourite area of the café, though, has got to be the courtyard. After all, that’s what the coffee shop is named after! Like I’ve already mentioned, the outdoor space was decorated with festive ornaments when I went. But even when it isn’t all set up for Christmas, the courtyard is an attractive spot. It’s not only opened to fresh air, but it’s also covered, making it possible for visitors to chill on the deck even on a rainy day. And the best thing about the courtyard is the gorgeous mural on the walls which gives you something to admire while you chat away to your friends or have your tea.
Opendoor Café + Courtyard promotes its cauliflower fried rice heavily and does a whole range of cooked dishes, but as usual, I went in the afternoon so I decided on some lighter options for tea. For some reason, I really felt like tuna that day, so I ordered a Tuna Mayo Sandwich and a Nicoise Salad. The presentation of the food was nothing special as my orders were ready-made, but I’ve seen pictures by others of Opendoor Café + Courtyard’s cooked food and they looked much more spruced up. If you want something Instagrammable, get a hot dish.
While the sandwich was nothing special, the salad portion turned out amazingly generous despite its budget-friendly price tag. I swear, there was a whole tin of tuna fish in it! I have to applaud Opendoor Courtyard + Café for this. I hate portions for ants. There was also plenty of veggies in the salad to make it a full meal and not just a snack.
Like a lot of cafés I’ve been to, I wish Opendoor Café + Courtyard wasn’t so far from where I live. I can’t believe I didn’t visit more when I was still in school at HKU. That’s a total of four years I’ve missed for potential visits to this place! The coffee shop might be nothing special in terms of food but I do love the space for its hidden working areas. I mean, I really hate playing Neopets in public but I’m addicted to that website, never mind the fact that I began frequenting it when I was nine in 2003. Old habits die hard, okay?
Back to topic, though. If you’re looking for a working spot with fast and reliable Wifi – which by the way, not all cafés have – Opendoor Café + Courtyard is your place to go. Another café that gets a thumbs up from me!
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