Hong Kong and eating. Simply, where do you start? With over 4000 restaurants in one gleaming cosmopolitan city, not to mention a labyrinth of street food stalls, markets and strange looking slippery things in tanks, Hong Kong diners could stay here for years and still not stumble across everything there is to taste.
Most of us, however, don’t have years. We have days. Sometimes even hours.
And for that reason, I’ve rounded up five of the best places to eat in Hong Kong to help you spend that time wisely. Not only will this list give you a taste of different cuisines, it’ll give you a taste of Hong Kong itself: from glittering skyscrapers to wild sandy beaches and beyond.
Let’s tuck in.
Up on the 49th floor at Cafe Gray Deluxe, it’s easy to forget you came here to eat when you can spend hours sipping martinis and watching taxis zip between the ice-lit skyscrapers far, far below. That would be a mistake, though, since masterchef Gray Kunz’s approach to the menu has made the food here into a Hong Kong institution. I loved the baked Alaskan halibut “en papillote” not to mention the white chocolate pannacotta with a cranberry compote. And can I mention again? The view of the city is spectacular.
Sat right next to the Flagstaff House Museum of Tea in the heart of central Hong Kong park, this is hardly an off the beaten track recommendation. But with its carved wooden screens, blue and white porcelain and old fashioned tables and chairs, Lok Cha brings authentic Cantonese tea traditions back to life. I went for the floral Nanyan spring tieguanyin with a serving of glutinous rice balls but you can also tuck in to platefuls of vegetarian dim sum too. For extra inspiration, test out the blossom fairy craft and triple happiness craft teas on the menu. You’ll be a new person by the time you leave!
Now this is a place that will help you get away from the tourist crowds. Catch the ferry to Mui Wo and then stroll past the rows and rows of bicycles to reach the open air “food court” on the waterfront. You’ll find all kinds of seafood wok creations here that are cooked before your very eyes, although there’s little English spoken among the fluorescent menus and plastic chairs. Point, smile, taste and enjoy. I loved Wah Kee Restaurant but experiment and see which suits you best.
For traditional Cantonese staples given the Michelin-starred treatment, head to Cuisine Cuisine within the uber-cool Mira Hotel. Decorated in deep emerald green instead of the more usual gold-trimmed red, Chef Yu serves dishes like crab meat with minced shrimp balls and black truffles topped with caviar and served in a pumpkin soup. It’s a place to focus on the food rather than the surroundings, and with things like chilled champagne jelly, that’s not such a bad thing.
The food is simple and delicious: the setting is stunning. High Tide is a Thai restaurant nestled beneath trees twirled in fairy lights on the edge of the sand of Lower Cheung Sha Beach. Chef Shukjai grows his own lemongrass and cardamom in his garden next door and so the staples like green chicken curry and Thai mango salad are bursting with flavour. The real highlight for me, though, was when the wild buffalo wandered past and had a snooze on the beach as the sun was setting. Peaceful, quiet, beautiful. Almost perfect in fact.
This restaurant is now closed but will reopen soon.
Abigail King is an award-winning writer and author who swapped a successful career as a hospital doctor for a life on the road. With over 60 countries under her belt, she's worked for Lonely Planet, the BBC, National Geographic Traveller and more. She is passionate about sustainable tourism and was invited to speak on the subject at the EU-China High Level summit at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.Here she writes about food, travel and history and she invites you to pull up a chair and relax. Let's travel more and think more. Welcome!
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