It’s almost intimidating to create a list of must-visit restaurants because new venues seem to pop up there faster than the wait for the MTR.
And, really, you cannot contain Hong Kong or sum it up into one internet article.
It is an ever-evolving, constantly shifting moveable feast of sight, sounds and tastes. You can only keep your fork at the ready and try to keep up.
We’re going to give it a shot though. Here are our findings. Gird your belly because things are about to get glutonous…
Shop 1, G/F, The Peak Galleria, 118 Peak Road, The Peak
+852 2854 3871
If you come to Hong Kong and don’t get stuck into a bowl of thick wonton noodles then you haven’t really taste-tested the city and we suggest you rethink that gluten-free diet of yours. Delicious squishy wontons floating in a large nourishing bowl of broth, covered in egg noodles is what life is truly about. No joke. And the bonafide, no-questions-asked, best place to eat them is a Mak’s Noodle, either on The Peak or in Central (77 Wellington Street, Central).
Mr Mak and this handmade strings of heaven have been filling the bellies of in-the-know locals since the 1960s, when he brought some of that genuine mainland knowledge over from Guangzhou (passed on from his restaurateur father). His plump prawns and comforting soup are a nice way to warm your belly up for the onslaught of feasting so put this early on in your itinerary and get ready to gorge.
Vegetarians, we are so sorry. We love your lithe, virtuous kind and promise we have places you’ll love on this list, however Lu Goose is a thing that exists. And within its somewhat non-descript walls, covered in hanging barbecued ducks, are some of the best plates of braised meats to ever touch human tastebuds. The best part? The prices are very Sham Shui Po (which is code for bargain). Ask for the Lo Shui Ngor (braised goose) and fun tai (pork knuckle) and feel positively local.
2 Elgin Street, SoHo, Hong Kong
With it’s quaint roads and eclectic neon signs, Elgin Street is a charming spot to visit even if you’re not hungry. But come on, this is Hong Kong, even if you’re full you can always make room for a sweet treat. The Leaf Dessert dai pai dong has been serving up scrumptious rice balls to near-stated city-folk for almost a hundred years, with no signs of slowing down. Search for the ramshackle green cart perched on the uneven street and ask for a coconut soup (be sure to bring cash only. This place is old school in every respect).
Shop 3319, Gateway Arcade, Harbour City, Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
+852 2347 6898
Hong Kong is a city that runs on two things; shopping and eating. Or in the case of M&C Duck, both at the same time. M&C sits in Harbour City, HK’s long-time home of luxury labels and more often than not provides the reliably tasty fuel for customers making a consumer pit stop. But we’ll be honest, it’s best to line up early before the lunch time rush because this is a city of 7 million people and they all love what this restaurant specialises in, succulent crispy peking duck served fast and at super reasonable prices.
This is the slightly trendier version of local fast-food hero Maxims Chinese Eatery (you’ll spot their signs all over the city). Here it’s all about fusion, with modern clean european design lines mix with classic old asian flourishes and the menu aims to tread the line between traditional peking-huayang flavours and still appealing to the tastebuds of a younger generation of foodies.
If you spend more than a normal amount of your time pondering where your next duck pancake is coming from, then this place was created just for you.
This place does so many things well we almost don’t know where to start.
From the pretty parquetry floors, marble tables, to the duck egg blue chesterfield sofas and curious shadow box wall frames, you’re just going to want to move in. But here it’s all about the dim sum, crafted with a wholly modern take for the younger generation of foodies in mind. The truffle shiitake buns are a standout but you’ll die over the presentation of the signature chicken soup, served straight up in a baby coconut. Brilliant fun.
It’s no secret that Hong Kong has a fairly good sense of humour about itself. The mega-design franchise G.O.D (Goods of Desire) has made an entire empire out of celebrating the city’s quirks with their Delay No More spin off – if you speak Cantonese you’ll know the specific phrase they’re alluding to (explanation here) but also directly translates to ‘good fortune in the mouth’.
Ho Lee Fook is another brilliant concept eatery that honours HK’s history with classic asian flavours but with a wink and nod to the modern western influences that filtered into the city while it was a British colony.
For instance, the decor is full of sly references to cultural icons, with a phalanx of those plastic gold waving cats (maneki neko) greeting you as you walk in the door and to the brilliant backlit paintings of the nearby SoHo ‘wet market’ by artist Jonathan Jay Lee (which makes sense because Douglas Young of G.O.D helped advise on the details).
Meanwhile, the menu features ultra unorthodox combinations by former Sydney-based Ms G’s chef Jowett Yu. Think fried cauliflower and brussel sprouts slathered in maple bacon chilli jam, or super tender roast wagyu short ribs with Jalapeno puree. It’s wonderfully inventive and completely reflective of the Hong Kong of now.
TIP: No reservation? Go early and you might be able to swing a table. Otherwise, make a night of it, start at SoHo’s Ho Lee Fook before winding your way to Boqueria Spanish Tapas in the nearby party strip of Lan Kwai Fong. Both are owned by the Black Sheep Group, which is fast becoming known as the city’s hippest restaurant group.
JUST BLOW YOUR BUDGET AND REVEL IN IT
Don’t freak out, we’re not trying to lure you into some hotel restaurant just because we stayed there. Most of the Flint clientele aren’t even hotel guests, which might be the biggest compliment one could bestow on a hotel restaurant.
This is a stand-alone marvel of sleek design which fits with the JW Marriott’s moody luxe ethos but still feels completely independent. Interior-lovers will adore the blend of rich wood tones and New York-style downlighting (it feels almost like a luxurious apartment), while foodies will lose their minds over the fusion of flavours from master mixologist Bryson Rivera (ask for his ‘feint obscurity’ cocktail, his signature take on the old fashioned) and head chef Sven Wunram’s lobster bisque poured over a cognac cream.
It will completely transform both how you feel about hotel restaurants and steak-houses in general.
A collaboration between Michelin-awarded British chef Jason Atherton and Singaporean restaurateur Yenn Wong, there’s romance in every crevice of Aberdeen Street Social. This cast iron and brass beauty beneath the artsy collective of PMQ and was designed by Neri&Hu, so if you get stuck for conversation you could easily while away a whole meal just discussing the amount of thought that has gone into the decor, which references traditional British members-only club vibes with the more romantic elements of the British-Shanghai occupation.
On the bottom level you’ve got relaxed indoor-outdoor tapas bar, with the top level reserved for only a dozen tables for dinner guests and a VIP room.
A dinner reservation here can be tough to wrangle but we feel like Aberdeen Street Social is best enjoyed outside with the trees on a sunny afternoon with a Pink Revolution cocktail in one hand and a fully-loaded lobster roll in the other.
So by now you’ve suitably shown your tummy the town. From ramshackle dai pai dongs, to the ultra-hip eating houses in SoHo, you might think you’ve seen (and tasted) it all. Well not yet you haven’t. With its unsurpassed views across Fragrant Harbour back onto Central, Hutong is the ultimate in dining with a view.
Blending old school Northern Chinese dishes with modern Hong Kong’s minimalist decor, it’s more than a meal, more like a celebration of how far this city has come and with a continually changing view showcasing where it’s heading.
Ask for the ‘Red Lantern’ crispy soft-shell crab with sichuan dried chilli. It’s so more-ishly spicy, it’s for masochistic tastebuds that enjoy a little bit of heat.