Hong Kong is a coastal city and one of the dining capitals of the world, so it’s no wonder that its residents are a savvy and adventurous bunch when it comes to seafood. In addition to the rich seafood traditions of the local Cantonese cuisine, you’ll have no trouble finding anything from oyster bars to New England-style lobster joints. Here are some of the best spots in town to satisfy your fish cravings.
Almost twenty years old, this Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant is located on the harbourfront of the seaside village of Sai Kung. Giant tanks and displays near the entrance proudly display the array of live fish, crabs, shrimps, clams and mollusks that have been caught by local fishermen. Order off the menu or select your fish of choice from the tanks, and let the kitchen work its magic.
A favorite among locals, this restaurant serves superbly prepared seafood and Guangdong stir-fry dishes at reasonable prices. The star of the show is the signature crab congee, a rich golden concoction filled with tender pieces of succulent crab meat. The steamed abalone is also a standout, as is the steamed grouper.
From behind the bar, the open kitchen at this high-concept seafood joint combines local catches with French cooking techniques before your eyes. Chef David Lai, a former apprentice of the renowned chef Alain Ducasse, is a master of wonderfully eclectic pairings between fish and sauce, such as a chargrilled squid with salsa verde, or oyster croquettes with a spicy yuzu mayo.
Floor-to-ceiling windows reveal a dazzling harbour view, whilst artwork by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami and actor Adrien Brody adorn the walls of this 8,000-square-foot dining room devoted to haute seafood cuisine. The extensive menu features ceviche, sashimi, tartare, caviar and Chinese-style dishes. Highlights include the langoustine tartare and the lobster in XO sauce.
Located in the middle of Aberdeen Harbour, this immense three-story “floating” restaurant traces its roots back to 1976 and is designed in the style of a Chinese imperial palace. It’s the closest you’ll get to feeling like royalty, especially knowing that Queen Elizabeth II once dined here. Enjoy an extensive menu of Cantonese-style classics, including sautéed garoupa, braised scallops and freshly steamed lobster.
It’s hard to believe that this discreet little Cantonese restaurant holds a Michelin star — until you taste the food, that is. From the steamed scallops to the fried squid cakes, everything dish here is cooked with flair and skill. One must-try dish is the deep-fried Australian baby abalone, which is succulent and bursting with flavour.
Anyone who’s serious about oysters should put the Oyster & Wine Bar on their bucket list. Slurp a selection of the freshest and juiciest mollusks from around the world as you enjoy the panoramic view of the Hong Kong skyline from the 18th floor of the Sheraton Hotel. A sommelier is on hand to help you choose the champagne or white wine that best complements and enhances the flavours of the seafood.
Owner and head chef Gianni Caprioli, who hails from the beachside city of Rimini, Italy, brings his native Italian cookery to the table at this elegant Wan Chai restaurant. Dine on delicacies such as a bluefin tuna tartare in a tomato marinade, or a perfectly al dente spaghetti with lobster. Be sure to order the signature Bloody Fishsteria, a twist on the Bloody Mary featuring 1800 tequila and a spicy tabasco kick.
Cull ’N Pistol Hong Kong, Tai Hong Street | Courtesy of Cull 'N Pistol
Yes, a New England-style lobster shack, right here in Hong Kong. This rustic waterfront eatery sources its sustainably caught lobsters, oysters, mussels and clams from North American waters. The stellar clam bake is stuffed with clams, lobster, mussels, shrimp, chorizo and potatoes in a delicious shellfish broth. If you stop by for brunch, breakfast dishes such as lobster and egg gratin await.
The interior features a cozy bamboo and wood theme, with ornamental screen windows, evoking the boat-dwelling culture of the Tanka minority of southern China. The steamed hot pot is a healthy twist on regular hot pot, and here, the focus is on seafood, including grouper, lobster, jumbo scallops, giant razor clams and more. Feel free to experiment with mixing and matching at the sauce station, which features over a dozen tasty dips and sauces.