Head down to Central’s Tai CheongBakery for a box of flaky egg tarts and join the throngs at Maxim’s Palace City Hall for another quintessential Hong Kong food experience, dim sum. Selections here are made from carts proffering small plates of food that pass by your table. Lines form on the weekend from 11am. Further afield in Central, Yung Keeserves drool-worthy roasted goose and the Luk Yu Tea House transports with its classical Chinese facade and timeless interiors. For meat lovers, come to Blue Butcher, the only restaurant with a pink salt dry-aging room in Hong Kong. Looking for something more refined? L'Atelier de Joël Robuchonoffers an array of great French classics in innovative tapas-style portions and Le Jardin de Joël Robuchon offers a contemporary fine-dining experience with a menu of gourmet French cuisine. If you fancy Chinese cuisine,Mott 32serves classic Cantonese, Sichuan and Beijing style dishes with a modern twist. Be sure to make your reservation in advance!
At Din Tai Fung, chefs on show knead dough and wrap it around morsels of meat to create legendary soup dumplings. Often busy and open for lunch and dinner, this place is never fussy despite holding a Michelin Star. Be sure to include black truffle soup dumplings in your order. For a taste of Hong Kong’s past, hop onto a sampan and enjoy a delectable seafood dinner at Causeway Bay’s Shun Kee Typhoon Shelter. Order chilli crab, drenched in chilli, tangy soy sauce and chopped garlic, the order of the house, and ask for daily recommendations. Elsewhere, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver brings his easy Jamie’s Italian concept to Tang Lung street, while Penthouse, in the same building, hosts views of the harbour and brunch platters almost as mesmerising.
Keep a look out for cha chaan tengs, simple cafes that offer filling cheap eats and a chance to eat like the locals. Must-have orders include thick slabs of white toast, scrambled eggs, curried noodles and barbequed meats with rice best accompanied with cups of strong, frothy milk tea, an insider favourite. Loud, proud Tsui Wah is a national treasure, as is the Australia Dairy Company, but anyplace with a line usually signifies goodness, and there are many. Head to a ‘dai pai dong’ for an authentic dining experience with true Hong Kong flavour. A typical ‘dai pai dong’ is a stall normally located at a street side, but Tung Po Restaurant is located in a lively and noisy food centre just above a wet market. Don’t miss their signature dish, ‘Wind Sand Chicken,’ which is a crispy chicken buried in fried garlic, and Deep Fried Pork Knuckle.
From the Sea…
Hong Kong is famed for its seafood and it’s worth making the trek to try some. RainbowSeafood on Lamma Island is one of the most famed,but Lei Yue Mun’s tiny maze of restaurants (closest MTR: Yau Tong) and the strip of alfresco places lining Sai Kung’s waterfront are other fine options. Most places offer a set menu, or pick a la carte from the fresh-caught species swimming in tanks.
Hip & Happening
It has to be SOHO! Take the Mid-Levels escalator up to Staunton and Elgin Streets where a world of restaurants awaits. Continue along to Aberdeen Street, where PMQ offers trendy eats like Jason Atherton’s Aberdeen Street Social alongside boutiques and handicrafts. For bars, wander Hollywood and Wyndham Streets before joining the masses partying at Lan Kwai Fong!