We all love Hong Kong for its food, but it is not just about dim sum in this bustling city. The diverse culinary scene often leave me torn between trying something which is non-Cantonese or International, as I usually only plan for a short trip in Hong Kong, perfect for a weekend getaway. I know that I still love my Cantonese food more, but I am also very selective about where I have my meals while in Hong Kong as I do not want to waste calories on bad meals. If you are planning a trip to Hong Kong and still pretty clueless about where to check out, the below list should serve as a good food guide, complied over two of my personal trips to Hong Kong based on recommendations from friends and personal research, and of course my personal judgement and experiences while trying them all. Capitol Cafe, Chau Kee (周记点心), Elephant Ground, Fook Lam Moon (福臨門), Kam’s Roast Goose (甘牌燒鵝), Lan Fong Yuen (蘭芳園), Lei Garden, Lin Heung Tea House (蓮香樓), Little Bao and Saam Hui Yaat (叁去壹點心粉麵飯) – take your pick!
Capitol Cafe (華星冰室)
What’s a visit to Hong Kong without a breakfast at a traditional teahouse? Forget about Australian Dairy, Capitol Cafe at Wan Chai is equally worth checking out, serving similar fares minus the incessant queue at Australian Dairy. The Scrambled Eggs with Black truffle is the star dish here, so good and worth every penny of its price tag. Skip the milk tea as it was too diluted when we visited. The redeeming factor is that it is not as busy as Australian Dairy and service is generally more friendly as well.
Panda’s top pick: Black truffle scrambled eggs with toast
Shop B1, G/F, Kwong Sang Hong Building, 6 Heard Street, Wan Chai
Tel: +852 2666 7766
Monday to Sunday: 7am to 11pm
Chau Kee (周记点心)
We love Liu Sha everything. Opened less than a year, Zhou Ji restaurant located near Saam Hui Yaat is already making waves with its quality dim sum and reasonable prices. With a typical Hong Kong teahouse setting, the crowd is mainly local residents. We were compelled to check out the place because of our love for its Liu Sha Toast, otherwise known as the Salted Egg Toast. Luscious and rich in flavour, we highly recommend every Liu Sha fan to try this. Do not leave without having some of its signature dim sum such as the Siew Mai and Fried Carrot Cake in XO Sauce as well. Average price from HKD 18 per dish.
Panda’s top pick: Liu Sha Toast
Shop H1, G/F, Tung Lee Mansion, Water Street, Sai Ying Pun, Western District
Tel: +852 2559 2389
Tuesday to Sunday: 6am to 5pm
If you happen to be in Central area, Elephant Grounds is a decent stop for some good coffee, housed within a lifestyle shop. Using beans from regions such as Papua New Guinea and Brazil, the café roast its own beans and seems to have gained a strong foothold in Hong Kong’s coffee scene. Try its house-made Ice-Cream sandwich as well if you have sweet cravings.
Panda’s top pick: Cafe Latte
11 Gough Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2253 1313
Monday to Saturday: 11.30am to 9pm
Sunday: 12pm to 7pm
Fook Lam Moon (福臨門)
Located in Wan Chai, One Michelin star Fook Lam Moon is often branded the restaurant to see some of the wealthiest people in Hong Kong. Famous for its Roast Chicken and Sucking Pig, we only managed to try the dim sum this time. Expect the usual dim sum dishes such as Siew Mai and Custard Bun, with prices from HKD 50-60 per item. I will not say the standard is exceptional for dim sum for its hefty price tag, but it is quite an experience to dine alongside Hong Kong celebrities and be greeted by the infamous paparazzi at the entrance.
Panda’s top pick: Custard Bun
Shop 3, G/F, Newman House, 35-45 Johnston Road, Wan Chai
Tel: +852 2866 0663
Monday to Sunday: 11.30am to 3pm, 6pm to 11pm
Kam’s Roast Goose (甘牌燒鵝)
If you love Yung Kee for its roast goose but find it too expensive, Kam’s Roast Goose is the next best alternative. This Wan Chai restaurant shot to fame after earning one Michelin Star just six months after operations, with surprisingly affordable prices. Expect a queue to form outside the small restaurant during peak hours. While we are not huge fans of roast goose meat, it was not a mind-blowing dining experience for us but we believe it should satisfy the palate of goose lovers.
Panda’s top pick: Roast goose noodle
G/F, Po Wah Commercial Center, 226 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai
Tel: +852 5408 7740/2520 1110
Monday to Sunday: 11.30am to 9.30pm
If you love old-school teahouse, Lan Fong Yuen is one of those you will not want to miss. The original Central outlet is rustic and cramp, with a long history, and has seen many famous celebrities through the years. Do not leave without trying the famous Pork Chop Burger, best to go with the Milk Tea as well. If you love toast like me, the Butter Toast is the best bet. If you are looking for a more spacious and comfortable setting, visit its other outlet in Tsim Sha Tsui.
Panda’s top pick: Pork Chop Burger
2 Gage Street, Central
Tel: +852 2544 3895 / 2854 0731
Monday to Saturday: 8am to 8pm
Even though there is lei garden in Singapore, I find it customary to visit its outlet in Hong Kong whenever I visit the city. Afterall, quite a number of the Lei Garden outlets in Hong Kong are awarded one Michelin star, including the one in IFC. Go for the Peking Duck if you love this dish like myself, which is great when it is served in half or full portions. Other dished I like include the Roast Pork Belly and Salted Egg Yolk Prawns.
Panda’s top pick: Peking Duck
Shop 3008, Two International Finance Centre Mall, 1 Harbour View Street, Central
Tel: +852 2295 0238
Monday to Sunday: 11.30am to 3.30pm, 6pm to – 11.30pm
Lin Heung Tea House (蓮香樓)
Crowded, cramped and rowdy. Lin Heung Tea House located along Wellington Street is one of the best places in Hong Kong to experience the teahouse culture. Be prepared to share tables with locals, who can sit all day with a newspaper on hand while sipping their tea. You get the idea. Be warned that you also need good eyesight and some form of aggressiveness to battle with the crowd for the more popular dim sum items, which are usually snapped up by hungry patrons within minutes.
Panda’s top pick: Siew Mai
160-164 Wellington Street, Central
Tel: +852 2544 4556
Monday to Sunday: 6am to 11pm
(Tea: 6am to 4pm)
Who would have expected to have burgers in Hong Kong? Contrary to popular belief, Little Bao is one burger joint in Central you would not want to miss. Go at an offpeak hour to avoid the queues as the space is extremely small, with mainly counter seats. The small portions are served at a standardised HKD 78 price, with a toss between savoury and sweet flavours. The Szechuan Fried Chicken bun we tried was more than just finger licking good, especially the mouth-watering sauce. Save some space for the Fried Bun ice-cream as we tried the Fried Bun with Matcha Ice-cream and condensed milk. Trust us when we say we will never look at burgers the same way again.
Panda’s top pick: Szechuan Fried Chicken bun
Monday to Friday: 6pm to 11pm
Saturday to Sunday: 12pm to 4pm, 6pm to 11pm*******
Saam Hui Yaat (叁去壹點心粉麵飯)
For an old-school dim sum experience, do not look further than Saam Hui Yaat. This local’s favourite dim sum joint serves unpretentious dim sum fare in a rustic setting. Be prepared to rub shoulders with local folks who swear by its reasonable prices and quality, with prices averaging HKD 15-20 per item. We enjoyed the local experience, but note that this place is not for you if you like things posh and comfy.
Panda’s top pick: Steamed rice with pork chop
11 Pokfulam Road, Western District, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2547 3917
Monday to Sunday: 5.30am to 2.30pm
Ranted by The Ranter