The Top 10 Restaurants In Kowloon, Hong Kong

| © Roland Nagy / Alamy
Jake Setterfield

Hong Kong is a destination for opulent cuisine, but for a cheaper and more authentic Cantonese experience, Hong Kong visitors are advised to try its cheaper counterpart, Kowloon. Though less accommodating to English speakers than the island, Kowloon offers a truly immersive experience. We revisit Kowloon’s ten best restaurants.

1. Above & Beyond

Restaurant, Chinese

Above and Beyond cocktail bar
© Luke Hayes-VIEW / Alamy
The 28th-story view from the exemplary Above & Beyond restaurant offers panoramic vistas of the expansive and beautiful skyline. The Cantonese-style interior of the restaurant is mixed with more contemporary styles, making it an upmarket yet relaxing place to enjoy a cocktail and sample the delightful dishes, which are contemporary twists on authentic Cantonese cooking. Highlights include the noodles with mushroom and black truffles, deep-fried whitebait with honey chili and sesame, and steamed turbot in a delicate soy sauce broth. The restaurant’s dishes aren’t solely Cantonese – on weekends and lunchtimes there is a delicious selection of afternoon tea and authentic American breakfasts.

2. Aqua Roma

Bar, Restaurant, Cocktail Bar, Chinese, European

Octopus salad
© Valentyn Volkov / Alamy
For a less authentic, but more refined experience, diners are recommended to visit Aqua Roma, situated in Kowloon’s ultra-fashionable One Peking. The impressive and stylish interior is matched only by the dazzling views of Hong Kong’s harbor and skyline, with seats arranged on mezzanines, ensuring every customer has a great outlook. The restaurant mixes Japanese cuisine with that of southern Italy, from the Italian lobster pizza and olive tapenade, to the Japanese octopus salad and stone-cooked wagyu beef. The prices are reasonable for the quality and location. Twinned with a great selection of accompanying wines and unusual cocktails, this restaurant is one of the best in Kowloon.

3. Cambo Thai Restaurant

Restaurant, Thai, Seafood

Spicy Thai soup Tom Yam with Chili pepper and Seafood close up
© The Picture Pantry / Alamy
The popular Cambo Thai Restaurant offers a range of extremely fiery dishes, from hot curries and spicy fried curry crab, to the milder shrimp served with a sweet and sour sauce. Sticking to its Thai roots, the restaurant uses fresh ingredients to create authentically cooked Thai dishes. Highly recommended is the baked seafood rice in coconut, which is a mild creamy dish, served as an alternative to the staple red and green curries. The rice comes served in the coconut shell, which allows you to scrape the flesh, adding to the flavor and the authentic exotic feel of the restaurant. For dessert, the creamy black rice with mango and coconut milk is a good palate cleanser and contrasts well with the spicy food.

5. Islam Food

Restaurant, Halal

Char siu buns. Dim sum. Chinese dumplings.
© Simon Reddy / Alamy
Islam Food is a popular restaurant in Kowloon that serves up a wide selection of Cantonese dishes in an unpretentious setting. The food is all freshly prepared and halal, and also caters for vegetarians, and some of the house specialties include the dim sum veal goulash cakes, and the stir-fried mutton. Also highly recommended are the soup noodles in peanut sauce, the sweet and sour prawns, and the spicy fried tofu. Being very popular with locals, Islam Food is a great place to mingle, and if there is space at your table, it is customary to give up your seat for another waiting customer.

6. simplylife BAKERY CAFE

Bakery, Cafe, European

Classic pineapple bun, egg tart and BBQ bun served in Hong Kong
© Addy Ho / Alamy
simplylife BAKERY CAFEis a popular hangout for locals, serving a variety of breakfast and lunch items. Founded in 2007, it offers a mix of both East and West culinary inspirations where every day, freshly made European-style breads, pastries and pizzas are created in-house. The cafe’s mantra is to keep things tasty and simple, using only the freshest ingredients and the café’s own unique cooking expertise. The reasonably priced set lunch menu includes tea, soup or salad, and a main course, of which the black cod comes highly recommended.

7. Spring Deer

Restaurant, Chinese

properties shop Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
© Roussel Bernard / Alamy

Although it may not be the highest-profile of Kowloon restaurants, Spring Deer is a modest establishment that has been running for over 45 years. The restaurant is often overlooked by the guidebooks, but its old-school atmosphere makes it an ideal place to enjoy traditional specialties. The house favorite honey-glazed Peking Duck is tender and tasty, and is also well priced for two people to share. North Chinese and Pekinese meals are a specialty here – as well as the duck, there are a number of other roast pork, beef and chicken dishes that come highly recommended. Booking far in advance is a necessity at this busy institution, as it is often filled with local families and groups, so getting a table can be extremely difficult.

8. Temple Spice Crabs

Restaurant, Seafood

plate of spicy crab seafood at a table in an outdoor market temple street cafe at night kowloon hong kong hksar china
© Radharc Images / Alamy
Kowloon in the summer sees the temperatures rise, but as the evenings get cooler, the outdoor eateries come alive. The area was once home to numerous outside eateries, but nowadays these are mostly found in the bustling Temple Street, which is home to a wide selection of excellent spicy crab restaurants, with Temple Spice Crabs being one of the most popular. Although extremely busy with locals and tourists, it is the cheap beer, fresh seafood and well-spiced crustaceans that set it apart from the others. The chairs of the eatery spill out onto the street, which looks like a chaotic scene, but once seated on the long benches, the bustling atmosphere makes it a great place to eat. The spiced crabs are of course a must-try item, but the establishment also cooks up a tasty selection of Cantonese seafood dishes too. The price of the food is reasonable, but the cheap beer draws the crowds.

9. Tim Ho Wan

Restaurant, Chinese

deep fried dumplings at one dim sum tim ho wan michelin starred restaurant in mong kok district kowloon hong kong hksar china
© Radharc Images / Alamy

Whilst Hong Kong is often cited as the most expensive region in the world, Tim Ho Wan is an amazing value-for-money restaurant, worth visiting for its fantastic array of dim sum – and known as the world’s (former) cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant. The most popular dim sum is the cha siu baau, a Cantonese pork-filled bun, which attracts a number of loyal customers. As well as the cha siu baau, there is vermicelli roll stuffed with pig’s liver, pan-fried turnip cake, and steamed egg cake, which make up the menu’s ‘four heavenly king dim sums’. Be sure to get there early enough to secure yourself a table, as the restaurant’s rise in popularity means queues are regularly over an hour in length.

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