There’s a little bit of everything in Hong Kong’s Central – and that extends to the restaurants. Whether you’re in the mood for fancy fusion or darn good dim sum, read on.
Tucked away on Central’s Kau U Fong, Beet serves elevated modern European fare in a pared-back but intimate setting of raw concrete, earthy tableware and abstract art. The innovative tasting menus are curated by executive chef Barry Quek, who hails from Singapore and trained at Michelin-star establishments there, including Joël Robuchon Restaurant and Les Amis. His use of local ingredients coupled with European techniques sets Beet apart.
Awarded two Michelin stars by the 2019 Michelin Guide Hong Kong & Macau, Écriture centres on executive chef Maxime Gilbert’s “Library of Flavours” menu, a fusion of refined French cooking techniques and Japanese ingredients. Gilbert’s kitchen elevates both cuisines to equal heights. Book a table beside the window for fine city views.
A ten-seat sushi bar accented with light wood tones, minimal decor and a clean finish, Hollywood Road’s UMI offers one of the most authentic Japanese dining experiences in HK. Executive sushi chef Yukio Kimijima brings his experience of working in Tokyo to bear on proceedings here, not least the exquisite Edomae-sushi tasting menu. UMI’s omakase menu only has two seatings each evening, so book early to ensure you get a seat.
Located at the heart of Hong Kong’s Central district, the expansive Mott32 serves up elevated versions of well-loved Chinese classics in a chic, moody space designed by Hong Konger Joyce Wang. Highlights include Shanghainese xiao long bao with hairy crab roe, the melt-in-your-mouth barbecue pluma Iberico pork with Yellow Mountain honey and the decadent “Royal Cut” Peking duck. Make time to dine at lunch if you want a decadent dim sum experience.
This place is an absolute riot of modern art set against ruggedly handsome industrial fixtures and fittings. The stuff on the plates is pretty creative, too, with Bibo specialising in (oh-so) fine French dining and flawless wine pairings.
Three-Michelin-star Swedish chef Björn Frantzén brings Nordic flavours and log-cabin cosiness to Lan Kwai Fong with this gastropub. The Flying Elk’s dishes are created for sharing, change seasonally and employ a variety of Nordic cooking techniques and ingredients from chef Frantzen’s home country.
It’s easy to spot Butao Ramen – just look for the long line of hopeful patrons waiting at its Wellington Street doorstep for their fix of rich broth, springy noodles and tender meat. You can customise a little (soup type; noodle texture; toppings) but ramen aficionados plump for the “classic” bowl with tender pork slices.
When a restaurant sets up in the renowned Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, the kitchen has to pull off something pretty special. Caprice’s three Michelin stars would suggest they’re up to the challenge. Indeed, this is one of HK’s most popular fine-dining destinations, with a talented kitchen – led by chef de cuisine Guillaume Galliot – that hits the heights of culinary decadence and innovation, while staying true to French flavours. Surroundings, as you’d expect, are opulent. Be sure to visit the cheese room, featuring one of the most extensive collections in the city.
One of HK’s favourite Sichuan restaurants, located on Soho’s Old Bailey Street, Chilli Fagara offers authentically spicy grub. The menu is separated into three sections – “ma”, “la” and “tang” – which together represent a good grounding in the different aspects of Sichuan spice, from the numbing “ma” variety to the fiery “la” recipes and the milder “tang” selection. Don’t miss the craft beer promotions, which are ideal for cooling overstimulated mouths.
Few dim sum restaurants still feature carts loaded with bamboo baskets, but when you’ve been open for over a hundred years like Lin Heung, why change? First, order a pot of Chinese tea and absorb the bustling atmosphere. Then, when you spot a loaded cart being pushed amongst the crowds of diners, make your way over to choose dishes. The lid of each bamboo basket will be lifted for a few seconds so you can see the options. You’ll need to make your choice swiftly (whether you’re a local regular or a wide-eyed tourist, that cart waits for no (wo)man) but then guessing’s fine, as it’s all good: pick out any of the steamed dumplings, buns or spring rolls. If you want to try something different, go for the chicken feet.
Choose your meat. Choose your knife (really). Chow down. That’s more or less how it goes down at MEATS, which will be heaven to some. Highlights include the tender lamb ribs and Iberian presa, served with mini meat cleavers and carving knives. To contrast with the primeval carnivore fest, the experimental cocktail menu throws some boozy curveballs. MEATS doesn’t take reservations, so arrive early if you don’t want to wait at the bar.
Large, bright and spacious, Yum Cha puts a fun, modern and eminently Instagrammable twist on the traditional dim sum restaurant. Alongside the popular dumplings, you’ll find cute buns featuring faces and animals that are sure to please children (and Instagram followers). The high-quality food allied to creative presentation has made Yum Cha the HK hit it is.
Don’t let the long line here intimidate you – Kau Kee’s slurp-worthy soups are definitely worth the wait. This small restaurant, which started as a humble stall in the 1930s, has two must-try dishes: the tender and fragrant beef brisket kway teow soup and the curry beef tendon noodle. Portion sizes are generous, and service is as fast as it is efficient.