When you’ve shopped and dropped, head for the nearest restaurant on our list for some of the best fare Hong Kong’s Wan Chai district has to offer.
The Pawn, Wan Chai
Bar, Restaurant, Chinese, $$$
A favorite of the most discerning crowds, this newly renovated bar blends the best of Hong Kong heritage with cool modern chic. The Pawn reinvented an old school pawn store and made it one of the hottest spots in Hong Kong, complete with a roof garden and a balcony perfect for people watching below. Aside from serving up some of the best food in Hong Kong (seriously, these guys aren’t kidding around), their drinks menu is nothing to scoff at either.
Le Bistro Winebeast Restaurant & Wine Shop, Hong Kong Island
Bar, Bistro, Restaurant, Wine Bar, French
If beer and vodka mixers aren’t your thing, this modest French wine bar and restaurant is a great option. Run by a group who also retail amazing French wines, they definitely know their reds from their whites and as such have a wine list to die for. Le Bistro Winebeast is an unexpected oasis of calm in Wan Chai and while you might have to call ahead to get a seat, their modern French food comes highly recommended. (Tip: try the duck confit and beef tartare.)
Babbo Trattoria has built a strong local following for its extensive and diversifying menu. Sandwiched between several fast food restaurants in Rusell Street, this place has archaic decor, with white-painted brick walls contrasting with classy black couches. The must-try dish at Babbo Trattoria is not the bruschetta nor ortolana pizza, but the best-selling caesar salad. There are choices of beef tenderloin, romaine lettuce, and tomatoes. Grana Padano cheese is freshly shredded on the salad. When served it melts into your mouth immediately while you’re savoring the refreshing vegetables
The la-dolce-vita environment at Assaggio Trattoria Italiana offers a relaxing and leisurely atmosphere for diners to savor Italian cuisine. ‘Assaggio’ in Italian literally means ‘small bites to taste’. The artistically furnished spots uses this theme to regenerate traditional and classic dishes with simple cookery. Dishes are presented with a stimulating and innovative style that embodies the fun-filled dining experience. Served here are authentic favorites, including cheese platter, parma ham pizza, and clean beef broth with poached egg and parmesan crouton. Assaggio also offers an extensive list of cocktails and red wines for wine fanatics.
Loving Hut is situated in Kowloon Bay and serves up a wide selection of international vegetarian and vegan cuisine. Menu highlights range from marinated tofu with mushroom rice to a Japanese-style vegetarian cutlet with curry sauce. If you’re feeling peckish, try the steamed dumplings. This cosy venue also plays host to the occasional live-music performance.
OVO Café aims to take patrons out of the city and into nature. The menu is made up of mostly vegetarian dishes, with a few vegan options. Highlights include the niçoise lotus root salad, the spinach cheese pie with portobello, and the impossible burger. The venue is filled with pendant lights, potted plants and rustic, tailor-made furniture.
A casual and inviting Spanish restaurant, The Optimist’s semi-buffet weekend brunch is perfect if you’re craving Mediterranean fare. Start with a selection of vibrant salads, cold seafood appetisers, and the indulgent, cooked-to-order ‘Huevos Rotos’, before delving into the delicious main course options. They are known for their grill selection, so don’t miss the juicy chateaubriand or the baked sea bass.
Escape into the exotic, opulent interior of Ophelia | Courtesy of Dining Concepts
With interiors designed by well-known Australian bar designer Ashley Sutton, Ophelia’s peacock-feather motifs, giant birdcages, beaded curtains, swing seats and moody neon-lit walls conjure images of glamorous, 19th-century opium dens of the East. Escape into the exotic as you sip on one of Ophelia’s signature cocktails, such as the Pursuit of Happiness made with lavender-infused Tanqueray, maraschino cherry liqueur, grapefruit juice, syrup and egg white.
Although a pricier option in comparison with many of the entries on our list, Xi Yan Hong Kong is much cheaper than the city’s typical luxury dining scene but with all the flavor and quality. It would also serve as a reliable introduction to the world of Chinese cuisine for any newbies unsure of where to head. Start with their signature Szechuan spicy chicken dish or try out the vegetarian shark fin soup if you’re feeling a little more adventurous. Unassuming but delicious, there’s always a wait so reservations are a must.
A Hong Kong (and East Asia) stalwart, Crystal Jade branches can be found all over the city, but we recommend you stop by the Tai Yau Plaza branch. Crystal Jade is committed to spreading the reach of authentically prepared Chinese food, as well as preserving the rich quality and tradition of it, meaning you can rest assured about the quality of the food, but perhaps don’t overestimate the originality of it. A combination of Cantonese and Teochew dishes, Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao is the perfect and most convenient place to introduce yourself to Chinese cuisine.
Now a century old, this Michelin-recommended diner is a legacy family business dating back to the late Qing dynasty. Forget about the fluorescent lighting and plastic tableware — the only thing that matters here is the quality of the roast meat. Perhaps the secret to Joy Hing’s divinely tender goose lies in the restaurant’s ancient oven, which dates before World War II.
You can’t visit Hong Kong without trying the city’s acclaimed roast goose, and there’s no better spot to do so than Kam’s Roast Goose. Founder Hardy Kam is from the family behind Hong Kong’s infamous Yung Kee Restaurant but after many family disputes decided to branch off and open a new venue, serving a more affordable but equally delicious version of the beloved delicacy. Kam’s Roast Goose proved its quality by gaining a Michelin star just four months after opening, and now serves lines of patrons happy to queue for this delicious signature dish. Along with the sweet and juicy roast goose on rice – a must-have when visiting – make sure not to miss their succulent suckling pig, tender and flavourful char siu and, if you’re feeling adventurous, the controversial century egg.
For travelers on a budget, who are still looking for the pricey, high class sushi experience, BA Sushi is the perfect spot. Homey, affordable and well-located, it boasts an extensive menu sure to satisfy any diner. Some of the top recommended dishes are any one of the huge special rolls, especially the shrimp tempura roll with avocado, cucumber, or the cheaper still sushi and hand rolls. It’s perennially busy, but you shouldn’t expect fancy surroundings. Complimentary mochi ice cream with the bill is a nice touch.
A chilled-out paradise, ideal for weary travelers searching for a classic European brunch, Mansons Lot Coffee House strives to serve mouthwatering classics and fragrant warm beverages. Warm your insides with a creamy latte and munch on a satiating plate of fluffy scrambled eggs accompanied by toast and greens. Mansons resembles a typical coffee shop with its signature blackboards stating the in-house specials and outdoor furnishings which make for a comfy and laid-back venue.
In a fast-paced city like Hong Kong, restaurants tend to fall out of favor fast. Not so Chez Patrick, which has been a perennial favorite since restaurateur Patrick Goubier established it in 2006. Hailing from Lyon, Goubier brings the tastes of his home to Hong Kong, served up in a dining room that recalls the glory days of European aristocratic living, right down to the gold flocked wallpaper. While Goubier glad-hands diners and tailors dishes to their needs, you can choose from plates like foie gras trio, or all-time classics like the Chateaubriand black Angus.