Hong Kong’s culinary scene reflects the city perfectly; it is a multicultural smorgasbord featuring global representatives, with restaurants ranging from high-end luxury to the cheapest of budget eats. We round up the best restaurants in Hong Kong.
The only three Michelin star Italian restaurant outside of Italy, 8½ Otto e Mezzo di Umberto Bombana is the brainchild of acclaimed chef Umberto Bombana. This chef was previously the head chef of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel’s legendary Italian restaurant, Toscana. 8½ Otto e Mezzo di Umberto Bombana is a more quirky, heartfelt take on the rustic cuisine of his homeland, but still maintains the highest gastronomic standards as its three stars reveal. The restaurant is named after Fellini’s 8½, and embodies the same eccentricity and creativity in its culinary creations as Fellini did with his classic film. Particular favorites are the fassone veal tenderloin with braised celery and black winter truffle, truffle jus and whipped potato, and the tenderloin and short rib in a plum sauce. Umberto Bombana has been branded ‘The King of White Truffles’. His culinary creations are a highlight of Hong Kong’s packed dining scene.
Shop 202, Landmark Alexandra, 18 Chater Road, Central. +852 2537 8859.
A fine dining establishment which reinvents the well-worn classics of Cantonese cuisine, Lung King Heen has been awarded three Michelin stars for its luxurious take on Hong Kong gastronomy. Located in the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, it is helmed by Chef de cuisine Chan Yan-tak. He has been working in Hong Kong restaurants since the age of 13 and was coaxed out of retirement to take on the role of head chef at Lung King Heen. His specialities are seafood and dim sum, which he produces with exquisite attention to detail and the freshest local ingredients, while never losing site of the classic flavors of Guangdong’s long culinary history. Standout dishes include crispy taro with shrimp and black truffle and wok-fried Australian wagyu with spring onions, garlic and black pepper. The name of the restaurant translates to ‘View of the Dragon’. This is a reference to the incredible harbor view which diners enjoy, while they indulge in the best of Hong Kong cooking.
8 Finance St. +852 3196 8888.
Managed by the self-proclaimed ‘demon chef’ of Hong Kong Alvin Leung, Bo Innovation is the city’s answer to the molecular gastronomy made famous at El Bulli in Spain. Leung has a reputation for being a culinary rock star who isn’t afraid to try radically different flavor combinations and cooking methods in his pursuit of gastronomic glory. Diners must prepare to be shocked and challenged in their eating habits. Leung’s take-no-prisoners approach combines culinary techniques and flavors from all over the world in an experimental melange. His cooking style is known as ‘x-treme Chinese cuisine’. It brings elements of Cantonese, Hangzhou and Sichuan cooking to the fore, and then drastically reinvents them. Leung’s molecular dim sum is a joy to behold. Dishes such as rock lobster with Sichuan hollandaise, Chinese leek dumpling and charred corn and Yak’s milk cheese with black truffle ‘cheung fun’ will be like nothing you have ever experienced before.
J Residence, 60 Johnston Rd. +852 2850 8371.
A heavyweight of the European culinary world, French chef Joël Robuchon has spent much of the last few decades expanding his food empire to Asia. An elegant blend of Eastern style and French delicacy, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon opened in Hong Kong in 2006. This was after the massive success of chef Robuchon’s Tokyo restaurant. L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon’s seductive atmosphere and red and black lacquer interior is a distinctly Hong Kong touch. Meanwhile, the tables wrapped around the open kitchen let diners see the culinary experimentation of Robuchon’s staff in action. Dishes such as black miso cod and thick sliced wagyu beef sirloin see Robuchon embrace the flavors of his adopted continent. Distinctly experimental takes on European classics maintain his reputation for culinary experimentation of the highest order. These experimental dishes include caramelized cream custard with pistachio and cacao, and sea urchin with cauliflower cream.
15 Queen’s Rd W, Central. +852 2166 9000.
Awarded one Michelin Star in 2013, dim sum restaurant Tim Ho Wan has gone on to develop a global reputation as the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant in the world. It is an extremely local slice of Hong Kong culinary culture. It has heaving crowds, a constant chorus of banging dishes and baked food orders and some of the finest dim sum on the planet. This cramped Mong Kok institution, which now has a branch on Orchard Road in Singapore, regularly draws crowds in their hundreds. Queues of more than three hours are the norm (seating is on a first come first serve basis). Their specials have become legendary, such as steamed egg cake, vermicelli roll with pig’s liver and pan fried carrot cake. Their take on dim sum classics such as steamed chicken feet with black bean sauce and steamed pork dumpling with shrimp are unbeatable.
Shop 72, Ground Floor (Outside), Olympian City 2, Olympian City Mall, Mong Kok. +852 23322896.
Peking may have its roast duck, but Hong Kong has its roast goose and Yung Kee is the place to try this staple of Chinese fine dining. Founder Kam Shui-fai originally made dim sum at a street food stall near the Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Pier in the 1930s. His incredible popularity allowed him to buy a restaurant in Sheung Wan in the early 1940s, which was then destroyed by a Japanese air raid during WWII. Undeterred, Kam Shui-fai reopened his restaurant on Wellington Street where it remains to this day. Yung Kee is legendary for its roast goose and can serve as many as 300 whole birds per day. The set menu comes highly recommended, on which the roast goose is joined by preserved eggs and pickled ginger, deep fried prawn and mini crab roe, and preserved trotter.
32 Wellington St, Hong Kong Island. +852 2522 1624.
With incredible views over the harbor and a dedication to creating an atmosphere straight out of ancient China, Hutong is a fascinating introduction to the heights of Hong Kong cuisine. It is inspired in its distinctive interior by the Beijing Hutong, traditional courtyard residences which once dotted the city. It combines this historically inspired interior design with cuisine which brings traditional elements to the fore in a minimalist but very powerful way. There are dishes such as the black fungus and sharks’ lips salad and the ‘red lantern’, a soft shell crab that comes in a wicker basket brimming with red peppers. There is also Hutong’s signature crispy de-boned lamb ribs. These plates are aimed at making a visual statement as much as a gastronomic one, and this fine dining haven does not disappoint.
1 Peking Rd, Kowloon. +852 3428 8342.
A retro refuge in the heart of Hong Kong’s Central District, The China Club is a private members club which is inspired by both the colonial chic of the British, and the Communist kitsch of the Chinese. It takes its cue from the clubs which once lined the Bund in Shanghai in its rich wood panelling and leather furnishings. It hosts an incredible collection of contemporary Chinese art, particularly in its ‘Long March Bar’, thanks to owner David Tang, the founder of the Shanghai Tang fashion chain. The Club is located on the top three floors of the former Bank of China Building. There is a main dining room on the 13th floor and the bar and private rooms are on the 14th. A library and terrace is on the 15th, filled with books on Chinese art and other miscellaneous items from Tang’s incredible collection. The restaurant specializes in traditional Hong Kong food and regularly puts on spectacular cooking displays. While it is a highly exclusive experience, those that do manage to bag a seat at this most prestigious club are in for an unforgettable experience.
12/F, The Old Bank of China Building, Bank Street, Central. +852 25218888.
The Dai Pai Dong tradition is an integral part of Hong Kong’s food culture, but is dwindling rapidly as the city’s rapacious developers attempt to move these old-fashioned street stalls. These cheap, cheerful and communal street spots were once the lifeblood of Hong Kong’s food scene. They still serve food throughout the day and most of the night. Classic Cantonese dishes are offered with minimum fuss and maximum flavor. Staples including wonton noodles, diced pork and cashew nuts, and beef fried with tomatoes are served to hundreds on a daily basis. There are now only 28 Dai Pai Dongs left in Hong Kong, and the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department no longer issues licenses for them, making them even more of a rarity. The best Dai Pai Dongs are within walking distance from Graham Street Market near the Central escalator. Sit down at one of the crowded tables, and prepare to experience an endangered Hong Kong culinary treat.
Graham Street , Central.
Lei Yu Mun Fishing Village is a throwback to an earlier Hong Kong, when fishing was the main industry and cooking revolved around the catch of the day. The fish market features a seemingly infinite array of fish and other sea delicacies. Upon entering, customers are encouraged to pick their dinner from the vast tanks full of freshly caught fish. Then, customers take their preferred catch of the day to a local seaside restaurant to get them to cook it. A little haggling is required to ensure that diners get their money’s worth, but given the incredible array of fish on offer it is not hard to find a bargain. The best way to visit Lei Yu Mun is by boat from Hong Kong Island to the ramshackle fishing village. Here, the neon lights of the city’s famous skyline can still be enjoyed as you tuck into your rustic seafood dinner.
Lei Yu Mun Fish Market, Kwun Tong.