BRUNCHES | PARTIES | ADVENTURES | FAMILIES | BUFFETS | PIES
sorted for a year
Oh look. It’s Hong Kong’s best dining guide
Just my cup of tea
388 delicious recommendations
Expert tips 10 new Tables dine with a view amaze your guests
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6/ Our favourites 14/ Just opened New bites on the block 18/ Views Window views 22/ Visitors Guests, sorted! 28/ Comfort food Meaty goodness 32/ Vegetarian Eat your greens 34/ Brunch Hurray for buffet 40/ Caterers & delivery Home dining 44/ Family-friendly restaurants Take the nippers 48/ Business dining Eat, drink, deal 52/ Adventures Get outta town 64/ Trend watch Hot or not
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ne of the most common greetings you’ll hear in Hong Kong is “Sik jor fan mei?” or “Have you eaten yet?”. You will never hear me turn down a dinner invitation – the problem is getting me to stop talking about how fantastic it was the next day. To share this passion for great food with great company, we’ve put together our inaugural Expat Dining Guide. No matter if you’ve lived in Hong Kong for one year or 10 – every expatriate will love digging into the city’s sheer abundance of local cha chaan tengs (p.25), trendy restaurant openings (p.14), and beautiful beachfront cafes (p.52). Inside you’ll find only the best recommendations for your every craving: from where to find delicious comfort food (p.28) to impossibly good views (p.18) to time-honored local eateries (p.22) that every expat should experience. Who exactly is an expatriate, you ask? The thousands of international men, women and kiddos who are making a life here in Hong Kong and devouring all the culture, food, and adventure they can stomach along the way. We hope this guide will help you discover the city’s top tables and most authentic dining experiences as you settle into the SAR. Give yourself a pat on the back, relax and enjoy the calm before the onslaught of June. So... have you eaten yet?
www.fastmed ia .com . h k Expat Dining Guide is published by Fast Media Limited. This magazine is published on the understanding that the publishers, advertisers, contributors and their employees are not responsible for the results of any actions, errors and omissions taken on the basis of information contained in this publication. The publisher, advertisers, contributors and their employees expressly disclaim all and any liability to any person, whether a reader of this publication or not, in respect of any action or omission by this publication. Expat Parent cannot be held responsible for any errors or inaccuracies provided by advertisers or contributors. The views herein are not necessarily shared by the staff or publishers. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher.
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Posto Pubblico “My favourite dish would have to be linguine arrabiata at Posto Pubblico. I have it at least once a week as my go-to comfort food. It’s off the menu but very simply made using chef Vinny’s special homemade tomato sauce and chillies for punch. Consistency is crucial in our industry and the team knows exactly how to execute it to perfection every single time.” Posto Pubblico, G/F, 28 Elgin Street, Central, 2577 7160, www.postopubblico.com.
Chef of Grassroots Pantry www.grassrootspantry.com
The Golden Stupa Lounge and Momo Bar
“Having grown up with an Italian grandmother who was a genius in the kitchen, I am partial to family-style, home-cooked Italian food. In Hong Kong, I had an amazing ravioli dish at Italian restaurant 121BC. The restaurant is from Sydney and has done well enough there to warrant setting up shop overseas. I have to say, I’m happy that little slice of Australia and Italy is accessible here in Hong Kong.”
“My favourite food in Hong Kong is a type of Nepalese dumpling known as Momo from The Golden Stupa and Momo Bar. The restaurant closes at around 2am, which is perfect for those of us in the F&B industry. It is authentic, straight-forward, home-style comfort food, which is perfect for after-dinner service. The sauce is spicy, full of flavour and the filling is very generous. This is where we like to take our team after service. It reminds me of some restaurants in Italy.”
121BC, 42-44 Peel Street, Central, 2395 0200, 121bc.com.hk.
The Golden Stupa Lounge and Momo bar, Cheung Hing Commercial Building 37 Cochrane Street, Central, 3480 9026.
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CEO & founder, GRANA www.grana.com
Chef of NOM www.nom.com.hk
our favourites Famous Peking duck
Sha Tin 18 “Sha Tin 18 does one of the best Peking ducks in town and the way they serve it is simply awesome. It’s served as crispy skin and meat with sugar and hoi sin sauce. The restaurant has a wide range of regional Chinese dishes including lamb dumplings and innovative dishes such as shiso with avocado. Save your appetite for the fusion desserts: must-try date soufflé, sesame and apricot roll, and Chinese-style ice cream.” Sha Tin 18, 4/F, Hyatt Regency Hong Kong Sha Tin, 18 Chak Cheung Street, Sha Tin, 3723 7932, www.hongkong.shatin.hyatt.com. Recommended by...
Gloria Chung Food writer @foodandtravelhk
Ho Lee Fook “With so many restaurants in Hong Kong, choosing a favourite is difficult. The dish I just cannot get enough of is Ho Lee Fook’s Mom’s “mostly cabbage a little bit of pork” dumplings. It’s so simple – pork and cabbage dumplings served with vinegar and soy sauce, chopped chillies and coriander – and yet so delicious. I could eat two servings on my own without hesitation; it’s just a shame people always want to share them.” Ho Lee Fook, 1-5 Elgin Street, Central, 2810 0860, holeefookhk.tumblr.com. Recommended by...
Ale Wilkinson Blogger of Dim Sum Diaries www.thedimsumdiaries.com
“ABC Kitchen’s suckling pig with sweet potato mash and braised red cabbage is my favourite. The crispy crackling meat pairs fantastically with the sweet potato. The braised red cabbage, acidic and a little spicy, cuts right through the richness. The food is down-to-earth and just simple, good cooking in a homely atmosphere.”
“My favourite type of food in Hong Kong is traditional Chinesestyle lemon chicken from Sang Kee. The reason I love this so much is because [the restaurant] feels family run and it is a true type of hospitality. The lemon chicken also reminds me of when my father used to take me to Chinatown in New York City as a kid.”
ABC Kitchen, Shop CF7, Food Market, 1 Queen Street, Sheung Wan, 9278 8277, www.abckitchen.com.hk.
Sang Kee, 2/F-3/F, 107-115 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, 2575 2239.
Tung Po “Tung Po’s atmosphere is electric and restaurateur Robbie is always there to serve up artery-clogging but delicious salted egg yolk golden prawns. They’re the epitome of salty umami goodness and so crispy you can even eat the shell. Also try the speciality, squid ink noodles with squid balls.” Tung Po, 2/F, Java Road Municipal Services Building, 99 Java Road, North Point, 2880 5224.
Chef and founder of Invisible Kitchen www.invisiblekitchen.com
Owner of Homegrown Foods www.homegrownfoods.com.hk
Designer of Mischa www.mischadesigns.com
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Cococabana “Cococabana is the place for a long laid-back lunch with friends and family. Located right on Shek O Beach, Jean Paul Gauci creates a relaxing atmosphere with mouth-watering Mediterranean dishes to pair. It’s my favourite Hong Kong restaurant.” Shek O Beach Building, Shek O Beach, 2812 2226.
Tom Hilditch Publisher at Fast Media www.fastmedia.com.hk
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8½ Otto e Mezzo “I love 8½ Otto e Mezzo’s modern take on tiramisu, which looks like a piece of art with the cream, cake and chocolate delicately placed on a plate instead of in a small bowl. All the food at this three-Michelin-star restaurant is amazing, but the tiramisu simply melts in your mouth.” 8½ Otto e Mezzo, Shop 202, Landmark Alexandra, 18 Chater Road, 2537 8859, www.ottoemezzobombana.com.
Stephanie Chai Founder of The Luxe Nomad www.theluxenomad.com
“I love everything chef Peggy Chan and her team creates at Grassroots Pantry. You can taste the love and care of seasonal ingredients in every bite. The tandoori dish is light yet complex and packs a lot of flavour. This dish uses mushroom in such a unique and delicious way that I’m sure even meat eaters would be impressed. The kale salad is sexy and textural with loads of flavour. Happy Cow ice cream is the perfect ending and, hands down, my favourite dairy-, soy- and refined-sugar-free ice cream. It’s made in Hong Kong, too, which I support.”
“MANA! Raw Wild Juicery does great Vushi – vegan sushi with incredible teriyaki sauce. Washed down with fresh juice, I love how satiating and flavourful this dish is, especially the dipping sauce, which is the perfect accompaniment. I could have this for lunch, dinner, snack, or breakfast. It made me feel light and energised, as opposed to heavy after a grab-and-go snack.”
Grassroots Pantry, 108 Hollywood Road, Central, 2873 3353, www.grassrootspantry.com.
Bites on the go
MANA! Raw, 97 Wellington Street Central, 2259 5125, www.mana.hk/raw. Recommended by...
Rachel Whitfield General Manager and Director of Raiz The Bar Chocolate Makers www.raizthebar.com.
Seventh Son “I’m a big fan of the special Cantonese-style fried chicken at Seventh Son. It’s cooked in the wok, not deep fried as it is in Korea or the US, and it demands a lot from the chef, who has to continuously bathe the chicken in hot oil. The result is perfection: crispy delicious skin, moist perfectly textured meat. It’s a sublime expression of the philosophy of Cantonese cuisine, which strives to simply present and highlight the fresh natural flavour of food. When we take clients like top US chef Rick Bayless to Seventh Son, they start to ‘get’ Cantonese cuisine.” Seventh Son, 5/F-6/F, Kwan Chart Tower, 6 Tonnochy Road, Wan Chai, 2892 2888, www.seventhson.hk.
Founder of Raiz The Bar Chocolate Makers www.raizthebar.com.
Director of Little Adventures Hong Kong www.littleadventuresinhongkong.com Priscilla Soligo (left), Rachel Whitfield (right)
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Artichoke Canteen “When we go out for a meal we go to places where we can party with the kids, with high-quality service and laid-back ambience. We are a vegetarian family. Our favourite is Artichoke Canteen. The food is good, they even sometimes make special dishes off the menu for us or have us test their experimental dishes. The sunsets are great, they have a chess set, sometimes dance parties and exhibitions in the art gallery. We have had some really sweet parties there. One time my five-year-old had a sore throat and, without even asking, the staff served her a lemon and honey drink while we were dining. This attention and friendliness is why we keep going back.” Artichoke Canteen, 3/F, Harbour Industrial Centre, 10 Lee Hing Street, Ap Lei Chau, 9684 9964, www.artichokecanteen.com.
Melanie B Founder of Yoga Bam Bam
Pure Veggie House
“My favourite dish is steamed sea whelk at Youka. The whelk is cooked in its shell in a hot broth. It is very delicate and reminds me of childhood. My mother used to cook this dish and it perfectly represents the great simplicity of Japan. I love the fact that the dish is served warm in the shell so you can smell and taste the ocean.”
“Steamed truffle dumplings from the yum cha menu at Pure Veggie House. The restaurant uses organic vegetables grown on its own farm, organic rice flour and cold-pressed peanut oil, and showcases the best Cantonese and Sichuan plant-based cuisine, offering diners a healthy and fresh alternative in Hong Kong’s local food scene.”
Youka, Shop 1D, 35-45 Johnston Road, Wan Chai, 2833 5188, www.youka.hk.
Pure Veggie House, 3/F, Coda Plaza, 51 Garden Road, Central, 2525 0552.
Kam Hing Chiu Chow Restaurant
“My favourite is chu hung, or pig’s blood, from Kam Hing Chiu Chow Restaurant. There are several reasons for liking something so obviously loathed by 99 per cent of Western society. For starters, it’s healthy. Secondly, it goes great with rice. And thirdly, well, it’s really local – and it’s generally badass to eat blood.” Kam Hing Chiu Chow Restaurant, 398-400 Queen’s Road West, Sai Ying Pun, 2546 2553.
Sonalie Figueiras and Tracy Turo
Founder of Mayarya www.mayarya.com
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Co-founders of Green Queen www.greenqueen.com.hk
Adventurou s eats
Founder of Squarestreet www.squarestreet.se
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Repulse Bay has been on the upswing ever since The Pulse opened. Among the top newcomers is Limewood, an alfresco fusion concept from Maximal Concepts. The food is a mixture of South American, Caribbean and Southeast Asian cuisines, with a sprinkling of Hawaiian thrown in for good measure. Scratching your head? Barbecued, charred and roasted seafood and meats are brought to life with zippy seasonings â€“ chimichurri sauce, ginger, orange, pineapple, guacamole, jalapeĂąo, coconut, and lime. Lots of lime. One of our favourite aspects of the restaurant is the 180-degree front-row view of Repulse Bay Beach. Shop 103-104, The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay, 2866 8668, www.limewood.hk.
New bites on the block The greatest of the latest new kids in town. 12 | Expat Dining Guide
Take your friends
A new venture from Chôm Chôm’s Peter Franklin, Viet Kitchen takes a contemporary approach to Vietnamese staples. Find the usual must-have banh mi, pho and rice rolls, but the presentation and ambience set the experience apart from the average Vietnamese joint. Despite small portions and higher price points, Viet Kitchen pleases with creative cocktails, funky flavour combinations and excellent service. A standout is the signature Saigon pho, which has a complex, flavourful broth that demands to be slurped. The crispy, sweet and spicy caramel chicken wings are a close runner-up. A dedicated banh mi counter draws a hungry Central lunch crowd, but the place is quiet and cosy come dinnertime. G04 & 06, Nexxus Building, 41 Connaught Road Central, 2806 2068, www.vietkitchenhk.com.
Staff at La Paloma
Spanish outpost La Paloma perches right next to the new Sai Ying Pun MTR station, so there’s no excuse not to try this hip tapas spot. The colourful, laid-back decor takes inspiration from Barcelona’s “chiringuitos” beach bars and there’s a spacious terrace that looks enticing for cooler nights. Executive chef Vito Chiavacci turns out heaping pans of paella from a live station and crispy roast meat from an imposing clay “asador” oven that fires up to 300°C. Try the crackling “cochinillo” suckling pig, with a light and fruity sangria.
Stalwart Wyndham Street restaurant Koh Thai recently underwent a total overhaul, re-emerging as Soi 7. It might look different, but the idea is similar: authentic Thai food at approachable prices. The new concept is more about Thai culture, with knick-knacks, memorabilia and a hipster vintage vibe. The service and food has improved too. The chef isn’t shy of spice and the presentations have a dramatic, borderline-gimmicky new look, evidenced by the lobster pad Thai. With easily shared dishes that put the value back into Thai food, Soi 7 is a welcome upgrade.
1/F, SoHo 189, 189 Queen’s Road West, Sai Ying Pun, 2291 6161, www.lapaloma.hk.
Trending tastes Juice detoxes and macarons are so last year. Here’s what’s hot in 2015. Crispy KFC No, not those big old buckets from Colonel Sanders. We’re talking Korean fried chicken. Get your fingers greasy at Oppa Chicken. Shop M, 419 Queen’s Road West, Sai Ying Pun, 6608 0803. Fat Burgers All of a sudden Hong Kong is craving burgers, with quality beef and gourmet toppings sandwiched between crispy buns. Get the real deal at Butchers Club Burger. G/F, Rialto Building, 2 Landale Street, Wan Chai, 2528 2083, www.butchersclub.com.hk.
Real Coffee Finally, Hong Kong is following the Aussie example and pioneering new coffee frontiers with quality caffeine. The classy cuppas are worth every penny at Elephant Grounds in the Woaw store. 11 Gough Street, Sheung Wan, 2253 1313, www.elephantgrounds.com.com.
57 Wyndham Street, Central, 2840 0041, www.soi7.com.hk.
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Frites Frites just added another spacious restaurant to its stable. The Belgian beer hall brings its lowkey pub grub to Central with a 7,000 sq ft eatery that has the brand’s familiar wooden booths and high ceilings, plus eye-catching stained-glass windows that wouldn’t look out of place in a cathedral. The buckets of mussels and plates of fries are great for sharing, but that’s not the only reason you will love it. Frites is a great venue for parties and the 70-label “Beer Bible” is the longest list of Belgian brews in Hong Kong. 1/F, The Wellington, 198 Wellington Street, Central, 2217 6671, www.conceptcreations.hk.
Meen & Rice Repulse Bay newcomer Meen & Rice opened on the beachfront this year with a relaxed, sociable atmosphere. It serves a modern take on home-style Chinese cuisine and, as the name suggests, the menu consists mainly of noodles and rice. Look out for traditional favourites such
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as cheung fan rice noodles, barbecue pork and salt-and-pepper deep-fried squid. Shop 113, The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay, 2566 8886, www.facebook.com/meenandrice.
just opened We’re still obsessed with... It’s been more than a year since BÊP touched down on Wellington Street in place of Nha Trang and the lines have yet to wane. Diners queue night and day for quality dishes at reasonable prices given its prime SoHo location: think a healthy helping of suckling pig for $198 or plump soft-shell crab rolls for $78. LG/F, 9-11 Staunton Street, Central, 2522 7533, www.bep.hk.
Gaucho Just thinking about Gaucho’s Argentine menu makes the mouth water, thanks to its mesmerizing list of ceviche, empanadas and, most importantly, steak. Grass-fed, cut-to-order Angus beef is presented on a daily “beef board” at every table. Go for the chimichurri-marinated cuts that have been languishing for 48 hours in garlic and parsley sauce before hitting the grill –
paired with a smooth Malbec, of course. The interior design isn’t for everybody, though, with a clubby vibe, cow-hide chairs and disorienting mirrored panels that might put off diners with kids. 5/F, LHT Tower, 31 Queen’s Road Central, 2386 8090, www.gauchorestaurants.com.hk.
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Window seats Food with a view.
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Aqua For captivating harbour views in swish surroundings, Aqua is a no-brainer for those willing to splurge. Taking up the penthouse floors of One Peking, Aqua is three concepts rolled into one: Aqua Spirit bar and Aqua Tokyo-Roma serving both Japanese and Italian cuisines. Start with sashimi and sushi, then move onto the Italian signatures â€“ handmade buffalo burrata, lobster and pumpkin risotto, homemade tagliatelle with mushrooms and foie gras â€“ and finish with a lychee martini at Aqua Spirit. The panorama from the bar is among the best in town. 29-30/F, 1 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, 3427 2288, www.aqua.com.hk.
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Tapagria Spanish tapas, a sweeping view, 65 types of sangria â€“ thereâ€™s much to love about Tapagria. The menu has classics like paella and crispy suckling pig plus creative twists such as the creamy and meaty VIC (very important croquettes). The Spanish sensibility continues in the decor, with sexy dim lighting, leather seats and stone accents, plus a huge, wraparound outdoor terrace with showstopping 270-degree views. 18/F, The One, 100 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2147 0111, www.tapagria.hk.
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Nanhai No.1 The focus at Nanhai No. 1 is the contemporary Chinese cuisine - if you can take your eyes off the view, that is. The restaurant borrows its concept from naval explorations and, as you might expect, thereâ€™s plenty of seafood on the menu. A few of the signatures include garoupa fin with bamboo, tea-smoked chicken and tangy prawns. Wherever you look thereâ€™s a touch of seafaring flair, including a mini replica of the namesake ship and antique-looking maps. 30/F, iSquare Mall, 63 Nathan Road, 2487 3688, www.elite-concepts.com.
Quayside Harbour Front Restaurant & Bar Perched a few feet above the water on Fenwick Pier, Quayside Harbour Front Restaurant & Bar is one of those restaurants where you feel right at home and ready to hang out all day. The 7,000 sq ft alfresco resto has a little of everything: wine cellar, cigar room, bistro, outdoor seating and bar. The French-driven international menu has a mixture of crowdpleasing steaks, burgers, salads and more. Fleet Arcade, Fenwick Pier, 1 Lung King Street, Wan Chai, 2661 6708, www.quaysidehk.com.
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270 harbour view O
Holding court atop the Star Ferry Pier, Watermark hovers right above the harbour with 270-degree views and front-row seats to the sparkling skyline. The dimly lit stone entryway opens into a sophisticated space, with high ceilings, crisp white linens and floor-to-ceiling windows. Gourmet international fare dominates the menu, which means dry-aged steaks and fresh seafood all around. Level P, Central Pier 7, Star Ferry, Central, 2167 7251, www.cafedecogroup.com.
Alfresco tables Fresh food in the fresh air. Hebe One O One Situated next to Kwun Yam Temple in a seaside village near Sai Kung, open-fronted, colonial-inspired Hebe One O One is a breath of fresh air. Stop for a drink in its ground-floor bar before heading upstairs to the first floor restaurant or rooftop to dine on international cuisine. The best views are from the wicker chairs on the roof, overlooking the yachts and tranquil waters of pretty Hebe Haven. 112 Pak Sha Wan (Hiram’s Highway), 2335 5515, www.hebe101.com. Peak Lookout A heritage property built in the 19th century as a sedan chair shelter, the Peak Lookout is a rare character building with an even rarer fireplace. It has a large and rambling outdoor terrace with views of Aberdeen and the South China Sea from a few tables. The international menu is somewhat predictable, but we like the Hainan chicken, open-flame barbecue and fresh oysters. 121 Peak Road, The Peak, 2849 1000, www.peaklookout.com.hk.
Artichoke Canteen Ap Lei Chau is getting a total makeover ahead the MTR’s arrival next year. New restaurants have been popping up one after the next, but one of the coolest is Artichoke Canteen, with beautiful wood tables, a large terrace and a Scandinavian bent. The food is just as fresh, featuring vegan-friendly and nutritious dishes such as quinoa with purple artichokes and veggie-topped pizzas. 3/F, Harbour Industrial Centre, 10 Lee Hing Street, 9684 9964, www.artichokecanteen.com. Fofo by el Willy All-white interiors and floor-to-ceiling windows act as a blank canvas for Fofo by el Willy’s colourful and creative food. The menu was designed by Barcelona chef Willy Trullas Moreno and brings together classic Spanish staples such as Iberian ham and paella, alongside innovative creations like beef cheek with banana and passion fruit. Go for the Spanish flavours, but stay for the view: a huge terrace overlooks green hills dotted with dense pockets of skyscrapers. M88, 2-8 Wellington Street, Central, 2900 2009, www.fofo.hk.com.
Hebe One O One
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guests, sorted! Top places to take visitors.
Jumbo Kingdom Tick two boxes off your tourist list: take a rustic sampan through the Aberdeen harbour to lunch aboard Hong Kong’s iconic floating restaurant Jumbo Kingdom, or just take the more functional shuttle from Sham Wan Pier.
Built in 1976 to resemble an imperial Chinese palace, the landmark is adorned with colourful Chinese dragons and intricate murals that make excellent photo backdrops. As for food, expect traditional Cantonese fine dining, and do try the
Give your guests a taste of a casual Hong Kong dinner at Tung Po in the Java Road Cooked Food Centre. The surroundings are bare-bones, but the food is fantastic: deep-fried pork ribs, squid ink pasta and garlic shrimp all come highly recommended. Guests still dubious? Reassure them that Tung Po earned Anthony Bourdain’s stamp of approval in 2007. 2/F, Java Road Municipal Services Building, 99 Java Road, North Point, 2880 5224, www.fehd.gov.hk.
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Sham Wan Pier Drive, Wong Chuk Hang, Aberdeen, 2553 9111, www.jumbokingdom.com.
Photo credit Kan Lee
Java Road Cooked Food Centre
most famous dish: flaming “drunken” shrimp prepared tableside.
Another Hong Kong stalwart, Yung Kee is a leading purveyor of roasted goose, one of the city’s most popular dishes. The menu is mind-bogglingly long, but you can’t go wrong with the signatures, and the century-old eggs in particular make for a photo opportunity. More than a half-century old, Yung Kee started as a humble cooked food stall and now stretches across several floors in the heart of Central. 32-40 Wellington Street, Central, 2522 1624, www.yungkee.com.hk.
Tim Ho Wan
Michelin-starred dim sum? Yep, Tim Ho Wan is the real deal. Serving the cheapest Michelinstarred food in the world, Tim Ho Wan is a must-try for visitors. Don’t expect awardwinning service, but the food is awesome: crumbly baked char siu bao, pan-fried turnip cake, steamed egg cakes and vermicelli rice noodles with pig liver. Even if you order a tower of dim sum baskets, your bill will rarely exceed $50 a head. Be prepared for long lines at weekends. Shop 12A, Hong Kong Station, Podium Level 1, IFC Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, 2332 3078, www.timhowan.com.
Chaang it up For a taste of the real Hong Kong, visit a cha chaan teng.
Is there anything grander than sipping tea from porcelain cups under the ornate ceilings of Hong Kong’s grand dame hotel? Served in The Lobby, The Peninsula’s afternoon tea commands long lines every weekend for a reason: the scones alone are worth queuing for, and don’t get us started on the homemade clotted cream. The tiered delicacies have an international reputation, and you’d be doing your guests a disservice if you didn’t treat them to an indulgent afternoon. Get there early, and remember: pinkies up. Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2920 2888, www.peninsula.com.
Mido Cafe In a city where restaurants open and close in the blink of an eye, this historic eatery has stood the test of time. It checks all the cha chaan teng boxes: tiled floors, vintage touches, rough-and-ready service, and venerated baked pork-chop rice. 63 Temple Street, Yau Ma Tei, 2384 6402. Australia Dairy Company If the line outside doesn’t give it away, we can assure you Australia Dairy Company is a Hong Kong favourite. It’s famous for its fluffy scrambled eggs – no need to look for a menu, just follow the crowd. 47 Parkes Street, Jordan, 2730 1356. Tsui Wah Open 24-seven, Tsui Wah is Central’s goto late-night dining spot. After a night on the town, savour beef-brisket curry and a plate of steaming Hong Kong French toast. 15-19 Wellington Street, Central, 2525 6338, www.tsuiwah.com.
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Maxim's Palace City Hall
Iconic dim sum
For a taste of old Hong Kong yum cha, head to Maxim’s at City Hall. The huge banquet room is rammed at weekends, but the line moves quickly. As tradition dictates, the service is brisk and impersonal, but the restaurant serves more than 100 varieties of dim sum and decent bo lei tea to cut through the grease. Flag down the trolley ladies pushing old-fashioned carts stacked high with baskets of your favourites: har gow, cheung fun, spring rolls, egg tarts and tarot balls. Colourful, cheerful and endearingly kitsch, Maxim’s Palace is a comfortable yet authentic experience. Get there before 11am to avoid the long lines. 2/F, City Hall, 5 Edinburgh Place, Central, 2521 1303, www.maximschinese.com.hk.
Me me aet t...
Easy rendezvous spots
Mes Amis Pull up a front-row seat to the Wan Chai nightlife throng at Mes Amis, a wine bar on a key corner in the middle of all the madness. 83 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, 2527 6680, www.mesamis.com.hk.
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Captain’s Bar The Mandarin Oriental’s bar is an institution with the after-work crowd thanks to its slick service, classic decor, live jazz and beer served in silver tankards. Try the “Captain’s Bar Beer” crafted by local brewery Young Master Ales. Mandarin Oriental, 5 Connaught Road Central, 2825 4006, www.mandarinoriental.com.
The Globe This easygoing pub draws a crowd almost every night. Aside from a killer beer list, there’s also darts, Scrabble and board-games galore. 45-53A Graham Street, Central, 2543 1941, www.theglobe.com.hk.
Red Bar Easy, breezy Red Bar atop the IFC Mall has great views over the harbour as well as a spacious outdoor setting. A sundowner here puts postcards to shame. 4/F, IFC Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, 2537 5037, www.pure-red.com.
The Pawn Housed in a cool heritage building (a former pawn shop), The Pawn’s balcony is a great place to meet. The restaurant takes classic British dishes to another level. Visit on a Sunday for roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. 62 Johnston Road, Wan Chai, 2866 3444, www.thepawn.com.hk.
Located in the heart of Soho, Sole Mio charms you with its tradition, serving classic Italian cuisine for over 15 years. Sole Mio brings you a memorable dining experience with recipes that have stood the test of time.
Reservations Upper Ground Floor 51 Elgin Street, Soho, Central Hong Kong +852 2530 0422 www.solemio.com.hk
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MeatY Goodness Steak your claim to the best cuts in town.
Ham & Sherry Following the success of sister restaurant 22 Ships, Jason Atherton and his team opened Spanish restaurant Ham and Sherry, just down the road in the hip part of Wan Chai. Adorned with blue and white mosaic tiles, Ham and Sherry serves Spanish tapas, more than 50 different sherries, and appetite-whetting glazed Iberian pork ribs and braised ox tongue with roast peppers and capers. Delicious fish and vegetarian options are also available. 1-7 Ship Street, Wan Chai, 2555 0628, www.hamandsherry.hk.
The Butchers Club Burger The Butchers Club Burger opened to great fanfare in 2014 and still brings in long lines of diners every day. The open-air eatery specialises in one thing and one thing only: big fat juicy burgers. The patties are made from 100 percent ground black Angus beef, dry-aged by the butchers themselves and doused in the restaurantâ€™s special seasoning. Get your hands dirty with the triple-fried duck fat fries and wash it all down with an A&W root beer float. Like all Butchers Club outlets, thereâ€™s a not-so-secret menu: ask your server for the inside scoop. G/F, Rialto Building, 2 Landale Street, Wan Chai, 2552 8281, www.thebutchersclub.com.hk.
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Morton's The Steakhouse A Chicago import that oozes class, Morton’s The Steakhouse has an impressive selection of surf and turf: think jumbo lump crab cakes, ahi tuna, oysters Rockefeller, filet mignon porterhouse and a signature New York strip. A popular date-night destination, it also draws a post-work crowd, which might have something to do with the bar: Morton’s mixes one of the best martinis in town. Go for “Mortini Night”, martinis and free-flow steak sandwiches for $60 every weeknight, 5pm to 7pm. 4/F, Sheraton Hotel, 20 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2732 2343, www.mortons.com.
Stone Nullah Tavern Wan Chai’s friendly neighbourhood tavern has revamped its menu to focus on “New American fare”, which translates to pig’s cheek nachos, chicken wings, meatloaf sliders, mac ‘n’ cheese, tenderloin, filet mignon, maple BBQ-glazed ribs and an epic 18-ounce dry-rubbed T-bone steak. Chef Vinny Lauria partners with Homegrown Foods to source fresh ingredients from local and regional farms. The American theme continues through a long list of craft beers and boutique Kentucky bourbons and whiskies.
69 Stone Nullah Lane, Wan Chai, 3182 0128, www.stonenullahtavern.com.
A diner a dozen Chow down at American-style diners. The Diner Considered one of the most authentic American diners in Hong Kong, The Diner does breakfast like a champ. Head here after a long night or if you’re feeding a hungry family; the hefty portions are great for sharing. 4-8 Arbuthnot Road, Central, 2562 3181, www.thediner.com.hk.
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Open 24 hours The Flying Pan A go-to stalwart for late-night dining or a big brunch, The Flying Pan has locations in SoHo and Wan Chai. Pair your eggs Bennie with a peanut-butter banana smoothie, and thank us later. 9 Old Bailey Street, Central, 2140 6333, www.the-flying-pan.com.
Since opening 50 years ago in New Orleans, Ruth’s Chris has become a household name around the world for buttery steaks seared in a proprietary 1,800°F broiler designed by Ruth herself. Eating here won’t do your cholesterol level any favours, but your taste buds are sure to enjoy it. Aside from a long list of fillets, strips and ribeye steaks, Ruth’s Chris also serves tasty fries, sought-after sweet potato casserole and creamed spinach. A special occasion restaurant, indeed. The Lippo Centre, 89 Queensway, Admiralty, 2522 9090, www.ruthschris.com.
Shore An after-work hot spot, Shore takes its surf and turf seriously - evident in the “Meat Bible” that describes all of its wet- and dry-aged steaks in careful detail. All the steaks are aged in-house, and the flavours in the dry-aged cuts have developed over the course of 21 to 30 days. For bragging rights, order the biggest steak in Hong Kong: the 80oz US double-bone tomahawk steak for four to share. Chandeliers, hardwood floors, and shiny copper touches lend a sophisticated touch to the modern 10,000-square-foot space, but there’s also a more casual outdoor terrace that’s perfect for happy hours. 3/F, The L Place, 139 Queen’s Road Central, 2915 1638, www.shore.com.hk.
Biggest steak in town
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Life Cafe Organic Restaurant & Bar
This humble open-air cafe just off the MidLevels Escalator is veggie haven, with homemade dishes made from sustainable, organic ingredients. Count on lots of meat-free variety: salads, soups, filo pastries, cakes and cookies all made from scratch daily. 10 Shelley Street, Central, 2810 9777, www.lifecafe.com.hk.
Eat your greens Healthy bites Three delicious and nutritious alternatives. The Kinnet Cafe Holed up in the Kennet wellness centre in Sheung Wan, this little alfresco joint serves cold-pressed juices and healthy organic food: think fresh veggies, chicken, mixed green salads and heaps of quinoa. 33 Hillier Street, Sheung Wan, 3968 7600, www.thekinnet.com. Locofama A joint effort between lifestyle store G.O.D. and health-conscience Sohofama restaurant, Locofama is a locavore’s dream. As well as all kinds of farm-to-table goodness, a section of the menu is devoted to carb-free and paleo dishes. 9-13 Fuk Sau Lane, Sai Wan, 2547 7668, www.locofama.com.
Grassroots Pantry Founder chef Peggy Chan has created a warm and welcoming environment at Grassroots Pantry, which has shot to the top of vegetarians’ dining shortlists. Dedicated to nutritious, plant-based foods, the Sai Ying Pun restaurant’s unprocessed, farm-to-table menu is vegan-friendly as well as gluten- and sugar-
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free. Though the offerings change daily, expect soups, quinoa salad, guacamole, tofu stir-fry and raw chocolate. 108 Hollywood Road, Central, 2873 3353, www.grassrootspantry.com.
Mana! Raw You won’t find any cholesterol bombs at this fast food resto. Instead, MANA! Raw is dedicated to all things fresh and flavourful, including nutrient-packed smoothies and veggie sushi or “vushi”. 97 Wellington Street, Central, 2259 5125, www.mana.hk/raw.
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Hurray for buffet
Fill your boots
For a splashy afternoon, head to sky-high Ozone at the Ritz-Carlton. Not only is it the highest brunch in the world, but it is also one of the most decadent in town: foie gras-topped wagyu beef burgers, a huge spread of sashimi, charcuterie, fresh lobster. This summer, the restaurant is pairing free-flow Dom Perignon bubbles with their signature brunch. Cost per head: $1,800 118/F, Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, ICC, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, 2263 2263, www.ritzcarlton.com.
Cirqle Brunch at Ovolo Southside’s Cirqle restaurant is a family affair. There’s a bottomless barbecue station on the big outdoor terrace, as well as an egg corner, salad bar, Mediterranean station and a slew of desserts including chocolate fondue. There’s even a
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live DJ and free-flow champagne for extra buzz. Cost per head: $448 4/F, Ovolo Southside, 64 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen, 3460 8100, www.cirqle.hk.
The Super Fin De Brunch at popular Spanish tapas bar Boqueria is one of the best buffet deals in town. Bon vivants will enjoy the lively atmosphere, free-flow Cava and impressive spread of cured meats, cheese, paella, suckling pig, seafood and myriad Spanish staples. But that’s not all Boqueria’s buffet has going for it: a DIY sangria station earns mega bonus points. Cost per head: $288 7/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central, 2321 8681, www.boqueria.com.hk.
Zuma There’s more to brunch than eggs and pancakes. Zuma’s Japanese delicacies put Western fry-ups to shame. Its “Baikingu” brunch is all about informal izakaya-style dining, with a robata grill for veggie and meat skewers, plus udon, tempura, sushi and a constant flow of sake. Not your thing? You can also opt for wine, champers, beer or a Bellini. Cost per head: $490 5/F-6/F, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, 3657 6388, www.zumarestaurant.com.hk.
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You can’t utter the word “brunch” in Hong Kong without thinking about Tiffin. The Grand Hyatt’s venerable cafe has been leading the pack for years with the ultimate Sunday brunch: free-flow Moët & Chandon rosé champagne, and tables groaning with waffles, souffles, crepes, eggs, cured meats, sushi, seafood and so much more. All the desserts are homemade, even the ice cream. Cost per head: $758 Lobby, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, 2584 7722, www.hongkong.grand.hyatt.com.
Brunch number crunch The Mira’s Yamm restaurant has one of the most abundant buffets in town. An average Sunday spread packs: • 120kg fresh Boston lobsters* • 1,200 freshly shucked oysters • 30kg fresh crabs • 10kg foie gras • 300 egg tarts • 80 bottles of sparkling wine
*Yamm serves 3.5 tons of fresh lobsters a month.
Yamm Classy, contemporary and full of surprises, Yamm at The Mira is constantly reinventing its buffet. Start with foie gras and a few oysters, move onto the sushi station, pile on some fresh Boston lobsters, add crabs and don’t forget to check out the ham-carving station. When it comes to dessert, Yamm does not
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mess around: there’s a chocolate fountain and a whole wall of freshly baked cakes and pastries. Cost per head: Dinner $668 | Lunch $288 G/F, The Mira, 118 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2368 1111, www.themirahotel.com.
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caterers & delivery
Home dining Gourmet meals at your gaff.
Great for picnics
Invisible Kitchen Call in professional chef Tom Burney to cook for your next dinner party. After years in Michelin-starred restaurants, Burney founded Invisible Kitchen caterer and deli. Catering for private dinner parties, picnics, corporate events and junk trips, Invisible Kitchen offers a range of menus using top-qualit seafood, meat and other ingredients, which are also available to order from the deli. 24/F Honour Industrial Building, 6 Sun Yip Street, Siu Sai Wan, 2711 5788, www.invisiblekitchen.com.
Chef for a day
Secret Ingredient For a home-cooked meal without the fuss of shopping or chopping, order dinner from Secret Ingredient. Founded by Maximilian von Poelnitz, the company supplies prepped meals â€“ vegetables julienned, dressing whipped, ingredients measured, meat seasoned â€“ and full instructions for you to whip up a cheffy dinner in less than 30 minutes. Secret Ingredient is available throughout Hong Kong, with sameday delivery on orders placed by 5pm. G/F, 32-34 Tai Ping Shan Street, Sheung Wan, 2108 4000, www.secretingredient.com.hk.
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caterers & delivery
Wine delivery Winerack Winerack is all about quality wines at reasonable prices. Deliveries throughout Hong Kong and pick-ups from three convenient locations. Delivery is $80, or free with purchases of six bottles of wine or more. www.winerack.com.hk. Etc wines A grand selection of boutique wines and spirits can be delivered throughout Hong Kong. Delivery is $180 or free with purchases of $1,500 or more. www.etcwineshops.com. Cork Culture A fine selection of organic and biodynamic wines from Italy, Spain and Germany. Delivery from $110 or free with orders of $1,000 or more. www.corkculture.hk.
South Stream Seafoods South Stream Seafoods delivers the premium seafood from Australian and New Zealand waters right to your door. Place an order online and owners Mark Mowday and Bradley White fly in quality seafood the next day. Poultry,
meat, baked goods and gluten free and organic products are also available. Order at 2555 6200, www.south-stream-seafoods.com.
VinOnly This wine club sells boutique wines from all around the world. Monthly membership is $588, including two carefully selected wineand-food pairing recommendations. Delivery is free to most parts of Hong Kong. www.vinonly.com. WineshopAsia A comprehensive list of wines, spirits and beers can be delivered within 24 hours of ordering. Delivery is $60, or free for orders worth more than $800. Extra charges for outlying islands. www.wineshopasia.com. Berry Bros. & Rudd A great selection of fine wines and spirits with next day delivery. Spend over $1,500 for free delivery, otherwise shipping costs $150 for Central and Kowloon. Extra charges apply for the outlying islands and New Territories. www.bbr.com.
M&C Asia Online orders of fresh seafood from France and the Atlantic, including John Dory fillets, Venus clams and Normandy oysters. As well as food delivery, M&C can provide seafood platters and deluxe catering packages for junk trips. Free delivery to Hong Kong Island and Kowloon
on orders of more than $1,200, or pick up your grub directly at the M&C Asia warehouse. 17/F, Kwong Ga Factory Building, 64 Victoria Road, Kennedy Town, 2563 8891, www.mnc-asia.com.
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caterers & delivery
Homegrown Foods Fresh meat and organic vegetables are available to order individually or in differentsized baskets for regular delivery. Homegrown Foods deals direct with local farms to ensure consumers have healthy, nutritional and seasonal produce. Free delivery to most locations in Hong Kong on orders of more than $458, or $100 delivery charge. 2671 2771, www.homegrownfoods.com.hk.
Farmerâ€™s Kitchen One for the carnivores. Farmerâ€™s Kitchen is a premium butcher specialising in 100 per cent grass-fed Australian beef and lamb. For your next barbecue, order a meat pack or individual steaks, plus sauces, seasoning and barbecue accessories. Next-day delivery on orders placed before noon online at www.farmerskitchen.com.hk.
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caterers & delivery
Tipple your fancy Where to find your favourite drinks. Whisky: Angel’s Share A whisky connoisseur’s playground, serving more than 100 different whiskies and other beverages in a rustic loft. 2/F, Amber Lodge, 23 Hollywood Road, Central, 2805 8388, www.angelsshare.hk. Gin: Ping Pong 129 Step through the red doors of this former ping-pong hall and into a stylish Spanish gin bar serving speciality gins and tapas to pair them with. LG/F, Nam Cheong House, 129 Second Street, Sai Ying Pun, 9158 1584, www.pingpong129.com. Wine: Le Bistro Winebeast For a taste of France, try Le Bistro Winebeast’s selection of French terroir and organic wines for connoisseurs. 15 McGregor Street, Wan Chai, 2479 6833, www.wine-beast.com.
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Beer: Roundhouse Roundhouse taproom offers 25 different craft beers on tap, more than 70 bottled beers and fires up a Texas barbecue. 62 Peel Street, Central, 2366 4880, www.roundhouse.com.hk. Mixology: Little Lab Inventive mixologists draw on Hong Kong’s culture and cuisine to produce strange yet innovative cocktails, such as Hong Kong Teatime and The Newborn in a modern urban bar. 48-50 Staunton Street, Central, 2858 8580.
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Take the nippers Mum tested, kid approved.
Rosie Jean’s Cafe If your kids need to cut loose and you need a coffee, hit up Rosie Jean’s Cafe, which was designed with children in mind. The stable of strollers outside hints at what’s to come. The cafe has a play area with toys, books, crayons and a tiny toilet for bubs, and your tykes can roam the Woodland Montessori Pre-School playground next door for $20 on weekday afternoons (after 4.45pm) and all day at weekends. The children’s menu includes veggie sticks, cake pops and tiny muffins, and there are adult-sized sandwiches and salads for parents. 119 Caine Road, Central, 2549 9718, www.rosiejeanscafe.com.
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Cafe Deco Bar and Grill You might have to fight tourists for a table at Cafe Deco Bar and Grill on The Peak (sit by the window for stunning harbour views), but it’s a family favourite for a reason: the children’s corner is equipped with books, toys and mazes, where kids aged three to 11 can play while mum and dad dig into an endless brunch. The “kids” food
also goes beyond the standard spaghetti. Nutritious offerings include salmon quinoa cakes and mushroom risotto for rug rats with sophisticated palates. 1/F-2/F, The Peak Galleria, 118 Peak Road, The Peak, 2849 5111, www.cafedecogroup.com.
Jaspa’s If you’re a fan of Jaspa’s junks, you’ll probably be on board with the restaurant’s breezy original restaurant in Sai Kung. With a little of everything – pizzas, salads, steaks, baby back ribs, fajitas – the menu is great for families with fussy eaters. Hyperactive kids? Staff supply crayons for children to draw all over the paper tablecloths. Plus the restaurant is on Sai Kung’s large main square, close to a playground buzzing with kids, and has plenty of outdoor seating so you can watch as they play. 13 Sha Tsui Path, Sai Kung, 2792 6388, www.casteloconcepts.com.
Dan Ryan’s Chicago Grill Whether you’re gearing up for a birthday bash or simply enjoying a night out with the progeny, Dan Ryan’s Chicago Grill is a family institution in Hong Kong. The restaurant knows how to win kids over, with welcome balloons, a toy train circling the ceiling, crayons, colouring and a tasty children’s menu featuring the likes of spaghetti and meatballs. Shop 315, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, 7-27 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2735-6111, www.danryans.com.
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It’s party time
Looking for somewhere to celebrate? You can’t go wrong at these restaurants.
Aberdeen Street Social
This PMQ favourite serves up casual vibes and creative cocktails in the garden bar downstairs, with more formal dining on the first floor. The restored 1950s building has quirky original features, and the food by Jason Atherton is modern British and beautiful. 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, 2866 0300, www.aberdeenstreetsocial.hk.
Located in a 19th-century former explosives compound, Ammo looks like a movie set. The space is fantastic, and the food is more than up to scratch with complex dishes, a focus on handmade pasta and sous vide cocktails. 9 Justice Drive, Admiralty, 2537 9888, www.ammo.com.hk.
For a special occasion, Bibo ticks all the boxes: street art-splattered walls, indulgent French food, handcrafted cocktails, a lengthy champagne list and thoughtful staff who go out of their way to make your night special. G/F, 163 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, 2956 3188, www.bibo.hk.
Bread Street Kitchen & Bar
Gordon Ramsay’s casual British resto has an industrialcool design and beautifully constructed dishes to match. Big portions of fish and chips, shepherd’s pie and flatbreads are great for sharing, but keep the thyme-infused bloody Mary all to yourself. Mezzanine Level, LKF Hotel, 33 Wyndham Street, Central, 2230 1800, www.diningconcepts.com.
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Eat, drink, deal These restaurants are the business. Suit up.
Caprice Caprice is about as classy as it gets. Chef Fabrice Vulin creates inspired French haute cuisine in an open kitchen complemented by glorious harbour views and glitzy Czech-crystal chandeliers. For extra privacy, book a private room or arrange seats at the chefâ€™s table, but be prepared to splurge. If your meeting calls for celebration, the French sommelier will choose a perfect pairing from the tome-like wine and champagne list. If youâ€™re out to make a good first impression, Caprice should get the job done. 6/F, Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, 8 Finance Street, Central, 3196 8888, www.fourseasons.com.
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Tate Dining Room Tate owner Vicky Lau was recently crowned the best female chef in Asia by Veuve Clicquot. This posh spot has light and airy interiors by Candace Campos, who also designed Mana! Fast Food Slow, and the high ceilings are a welcome respite from Hong Kong’s cramped corners. The food is a whimsical fusion of French and Japanese. Booze and schmooze over a set dinner menu, which could include salmon tartare, honey lavender duck or sweetcorn soup. Each dish is an “edible story”, so you should have plenty of conversation starters. 59 Elgin Street, Central, 2555 2172, www.tate.com.hk.
Mott 32 Named for the address of New York City’s first Chinese convenience store (32 Mott Street), this upscale Cantonese restaurant has a basement that screams “power lunch”. Guests are treated like VIPs from the moment they glide down the glitzy stairwell. The service is matched by the food, which is impeccably prepared with gourmet ingredients. There’s even a custom-made duck oven and fridge for air-drying and roasting the apple wood-
smoked Peking duck (pre-order only). Other must-have dishes include barbecued Iberico pork with yellow mountain honey, and Kurobuta pork, crab and caviar soup dumplings. Five private rooms are available for groups of all sizes up to 50 people. B/F, Standard Chartered Bank Building, 4-4A Des Voeux Road Central, 2885 8688, www.mott32.com.
Mealin’ and Dealin’ Execs from the startup scene reveal their goto power lunches. “I love meeting at Fish and Meat (32 Wyndham Street, Central, 2565 6788, www. fishandmeat.hk) for lunch; the menu is always full of tasty options. I also love the space as it’s very open and lends itself well to easy conversation.” – Ben Cameron, co-founder of Kingdom Wear, www.kingdom-wear.com.
Gaia Gaia brings Italian-style sidewalk dining to Hong Kong, with big red umbrellas near the fountain at The Piazza on the Central-Sheung Wan borders. It’s a go-to for contemporary Italian fare and alfresco lunches, with a bountiful antipasto buffet, freshly baked breads, homemade pasta, Roman-style crispy pizza,
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parma ham, steak, and more than 600 wines. The name means “happy” in Italian, and that’s likely what you’ll be after a business lunch here. The Piazza, Grand Millennium Plaza, 181 Queen’s Road Central, 2167 8200, www.gaiagroup.com.hk.
“My favourite place is Nanhai No.1 (30/F, iSquare Mall, 63 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2487 3688, www.elite-concepts.com). The food is good, and it has great views from the outdoor terrace where guests can have a drink.” – Eric Gnock Fah, co-founder of Klook Travel, www.klook.com. “The Chinnery (5 Connaught Road Central, 2825 4009, www.mandarinoriental.com) has an excellent and somewhat decadent lunch menu, but the food is superb. It’s also quite private and excellent for one-on-one business lunches.” - Radek Barnert, CEO of WeConvene Limited, www.weconvene.com.
Lai Bun Fu A new Cantonese dining room from Chung Kinleung, who once spent a year as the executive chef at Government House, Lai Bun Fu is equal parts business and pleasure. Cooking for visiting diplomats and world leaders has paid off, as the standards here are high. Dine on foie gras prawn toast, e-fu noodles with abalone, and chicken soup with bird’s nest. This summer, try the “Dining Like a World Leader” Saturday brunch, and ask about the VIP “La Bun Room” to make an extra impression. 5/F, 18 On Lan Street, Central, 2564 3868, www.laibunfu.com.
Great for big groups
Fook Lam Moon Meaning “Good fortune arriving at your door,” Fook Lam Moon is a fitting place to strike a deal. Dating back to 1972, the restaurant has a long history of serving world leaders, visiting dignitaries and local politicians. One of the many draws may be the way the restaurant is set up, with innumerable quiet corners and private rooms tucked into its four storeys. As for
the food, Fook Lam Moon focuses on traditional Cantonese cooking with a twist, so expect refined dishes with premium ingredients such as bird’s nest and abalone. 43-45 Johnston Road, Wan Chai, 2866 0663, www.fooklammoon-grp.com.
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Photograph: Graham Uden
One-Thirtyone A stunning secret hideaway in Hong Kong’s backyard, One-Thirtyone in Sai Kung is off the beaten track, but well worth the effort. The three-storey house has an old-world colonial vibe and an enviable view from the water’s edge at Three Fathoms Bay in Tolo Harbour. But the view is just an added bonus: the prix-fixe set menus steal the show with French and modern European cuisine, using herbs from the outdoor garden for a rustic, farm-to-table touch. Despite the massive outdoor space, the restaurant is small with space only for 20 diners so be sure to book in advance. 131 Tseng Tau Village, Shap Sze Heung, Sai Kung, 2791 2684, www.one-thirtyone.com.
Mandy’s Caribbean Bar & Restaurant For a taste of the Caribbean, there’s a new option in town: Mandy Kaur, the gregarious chef behind Mandy’s Private Kitchen, recently opened a restaurant in Sai Kung old town. Mandy’s Caribbean Bar & Restaurant serves her popular signature dishes, such as her beloved spicy curried goat, jerk chicken, hummingbird fried chicken and lots of fiery rum cocktails. It’s small but very tasty. 24 See Chung Street, Sai Kung, 2791 2088, www.mandysprivatekitchen.com.
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On the beach
Tucked away on Lantau’s quiet Pui O beach, Mavericks has the relaxed vibe of a surf shack-inspired restaurant. The service could be improved, but there’s good reason to make the trip: the restaurant serves a mean burger, tuna platters and wonton nachos. Plus, there are good tunes from live DJs, artsy wall murals and craft beers by the likes of Kona brew from Hawaii. If you’re just back from catching a wave, you’ll likely appreciate the “no shirt, no shoes” attitude. The open-air restaurant is right next to the Pui O campsite should you want to pitch a tent for an overnighter. Only open weekends. Pui O Beach, South Lantau Road, 5402 4154, www.mavericks.hk.
Live a little Dinners with a difference. Grandpa Octopus A miss-it-if-you-blink hole in the wall on Gage Street, Grandpa Octopus serves an exciting 12-course kaiseki menu, which includes octopus in all forms – baked, steamed and still writhing. Adventurous eaters will long remember the fresh-as-can-be “Grandpa Octopus fashion” live sashimi, which comes out wiggling and suckers onto your tongue. 48 Gage Street, Central, 2363 5656. Alchemy in The Dark Ready your senses for a “dining in the dark” experience. And when they say dark, they mean it: there’s not a glimmer in the 850 sq ft basement. The idea is to eliminate all distractions – mobile phones are left in a locker throughout the meal – and reboot your relationship with food through taste, sound, texture and smell. LG/F, 16 Arbuthnot Road, Central, 6821 2801, www.alchemy-concept.com.
Se Wong Yan For a touch of the traditional, try snake soup near the Temple Street Night Market. One of the last remaining snake stalls in the area, Se Wong Yan serves snake meat in mushroom and ginger broth that’s especially popular in winter. Try a glass of bitter snake gallbladder wine to round of the adventure. 80A Woosung Street, Jordan, 2384 5608.
Alchemy in The Dark
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Big Fish Another venture from restaurateur Datta Susanta, who also runs near neighbour Grande, Big Fish opened in the space that formerly housed Cru then the Gourmet Burger Company in Sai Kung. The seafood and grill has a Mediterranean menu with a focus on seafood – fresh oysters, lobsters, prawns – plus meat dishes such as herb-crusted lamb chops and Angus steak. Within parents’-eye view of the playground in Sai Kung’s main square, Big Fish has plenty of alfresco tables on its covered outdoor seating area. 18 Wan King Path, Sai Kung, 2751 9177.
Basket cases Feast alfresco at one of these picnic-perfect spots. Fei Ngo Shan Also known as Kowloon Peak, Fei Ngo Shan has stellar views of the harbour and Hong Kong Island. Several trails lead to the 602-metre summit, which is a great spot to throw down a picnic blanket, fly a kite and enjoy the sunshine. Get there: From Choi Hung MTR, take Minibus 1 or 1A to Fei Ngo Shan Road.
Victoria Peak Gardens One of the most accessible picnic spots for Hong Kong Islanders, Victoria Peak Gardens is an hour-long walk up the Morning Trail from Hatton Road. The paved pathways are great for kids and pets alike, and the pleasant park at the top is full of grassy plots with views of the city and water below. Get there: Hike up the Morning Trail, take the Peak Tram or walk up Mount Austin Road.
Bride’s Pool Who says Hong Kong is a concrete jungle? One of the territory’s most glorious waterfalls, Bride’s Pool in Plover Cove Country Park, is pretty easy to reach via a 30-minute walk on a well-marked nature trail. Unpack your picnic in one of the nearby pavilions, barbecue site or by the waterfall’s river bed. Get there: From Tai Po MTR station, take bus 275R or minibus 20C to the trailhead.
Inspiration Lake Despite being built and managed by Hong Kong Disneyland, entry to Inspiration Lake is free. Open 9am-7pm, families can take a surrey ride, bob around on a pedal boat or plop down for a picnic by the water and enjoy the space and the scenery: with mountains all around, it’s pretty hard to beat. Get there: Walk about 15 minutes from Hong Kong Disneyland Park.
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Casa Sai Kung Expect a warm and friendly welcome at this funky modern tapas bar just behind the Sai Kung seafront. Run by the Winerack crew, the open-fronted venue focuses on reasonably
priced wines and craft beers, with an eclectic menu of Asian and western small bites. There’s a good choice of vegan and vegetarian dishes and crowd pleasers such as pulled-pork sliders, hummus and veggies, mussels in white wine sauce, and crispy little “bocadillos” with various toppings. For a local touch, Casa serves ice
cream from homegrown Hong Kong brand Happy Cow, which uses coconut milk to keep its products lactose-free. Shop 1, Sui Yat Building, 1 Sai Kung Hoi Pong Square, Sai Kung, 5594 0007, www.casagroup.co.
Alternative bucket list Tourist epicentres can make discerning travellers cringe. Steer your visitors off-the-beaten track for a more rewarding trip. Skip that Bus sightseeing tour Mall shopping One-hour harbour tour Ngong Ping Village Hong Kong Disneyland Plaster animals at Noah’s Ark Golden Bauhinia Square, Wan Chai View from Sky100 (100/F, ICC) Hollywood waxworks (Madame Tussauds) Cotai Strip, Macau
Do this Ride the Hong Kong Tram Temple Street Night Market One-hour Mui Wo ferry Tai O Village Ocean Park Plaster deities at 10,000 Buddhas Monastery Nan Lian Gardens & Chi Lin Nunnery, Wong Tai Sin View from Ozone (118/F, ICC) Hollywood Road antiques Coloane Island, Macau
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more top tables
Hong Kong Island BIBO
French G/F, 163 Hollywood Road, Central 2956 3188 $600-$1,000 per person
Mexican G/F, 20A D’Aguilar Street, Central 2810 0560 $100-200 per person
Thai G/F, 206 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan 2549 0020 $200-$400 per person
French 9 Shin Hing Street, Central 2568 8857 $600-$800 per person
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Western 108 Hollywood Road, Central 2613 9286 $400-$800 per person
Café de Paris
French 23 Elgin Street, Soho, Central 2810 0771 $300-$500 per person
Chicken on the Run
Western The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay 2537 8285 $100-$600 per person
International G/F, 3-3A Upper Station Street, Sheung Wan 2885 8688 $300-$500 per person
Western 88 Stanley Main Street, Stanley 2813 4467 $300-$500 per person
Mexican 9 locations around Hong Kong Island 2904 7698 $70-$150 per person
The Chop House
International 3/F, Soundwill Plaza II – Midtown, 1 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay 2771 3177 $300-$500 per person
Western Basement, Landmark Prince’s, 10 Chater Road, Central 2810 6988 $200-$500 per person
more top tables
Hong Kong Island Duddell’s
Chinese 3/F-4/F, Shanghai Tang Mansion, 1 Duddell Street, Central 2525 9191 HK$400-$800 per person
GP Dynastie Banquet Hall
Italian G/F, 74 Queen’s Road, Central 2308 3088 $400-$800 per person
Western 90 Stanley Main Street, Stanley 2813 4313 $200-$400 per person
Italian UG/F, 51 Elgin Street, Soho, Central 2530 0422 $200-$400 per person
El Charro Mexican Cantina
Mexican Shop 208, The Arcade, 100 Cyberport Road, Cyberport 2793 2522 $200-$400 per person
American Shop 114-115, G/F, The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay 2515 1661 $100-$300 per person
Spanish 5/F, QRE Plaza, 202 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai 2836 0699 $200-$400 per person
Steak Frites by The Butchers Club
Western UG/F, 52-56 Staunton Street, Central 2858 9800 Lunch $150-$350; Dinner $600-$1,500 per person
French Window Brasserie and Bar
French 3101, Podium Level 3, IFC Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central 2393 3812 $600-$900 per person
Pâtisserie Les Amis
French Shop 320, The Arcade, Cyberport, 100 Cyberport Road 2191 0391 $50-$100 per person
Japanese G/F, Shop 109, Beachfront, The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay 2808 2333 $400-$600 per person
Western G/F, 32 Wyndham Street, Central 2565 5268 $200-$400 per person
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more top tables
Hong Kong Island The Verandah
Western 109 Repulse Bay Road, Repulse Bay 2292 2822 $400-$1,000 per person
Japanese 33-35 Bridges Street, Sheung Wan 2547 9273 $500-$1,000 per person
Balinese Shop 302, 3/F, Lobby C, The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay 2515 0577 $200-$400 per person
Western 22 Ship Street, Wan Chai 2555 0722 $200-$400 per person
We Grill Korean Express
Korean Shop 302, The Arcade, 100 Cyberport Road, Cyberport 2889 0100 $50-$100 per person
208 Duecento Otto
Italian 208 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan 2549 0208 $300-$700 per person
Kowloon Cuisine Cuisine at The Mira
Chinese 3/F, The Mira Hong Kong, 118 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui 2315 5222 $800-$1,200 per person
Western 5/F, The Mira Hong Kong, 118 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui 2315 5999 $700-$1,000 per person
Western 21/F, The One, 100 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui 2771 3600 $700-$850 per person
New Territories Berliner
German Shop G01B, D Deck, Discovery Bay 2987 8203 $200-$400 per person
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Chinese G/F, 16 Wan King Path, Sai Kung 2191 2498 $250-$300 per person
Western G/F, 72-74 Po Tung Road, Sai Kung 2660 5755 $100-$300 per person
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Hot Not Coconut water
Artisan ice-cream sandwiches Cheap sashimi after Fukushima Thai fried grasshoppers
Liquid nitrogen ice cream Cheap chicken after bird flu Korean fried chicken
Minimum wage Ketosis diet Gourmet burgers Exploring Hong Kong
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Tipping Paleo diet DIY burgers Hibernating in SoHo
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Boss for dinner
Whether it’s your mid-week glass or occasion dining at home, we carry delicious every day wines that won’t break the bank. With next day delivery, any bottle you buy will have passed our one simple test: ‘Is it good to drink?’
Suite 2305-06, 23/F, China Resources Building 26 Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong www.bbr.com/HK
62 Expat Dining Guide |
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