In a city that lives to eat, Hong Kong visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to dining destinations.
From tiny, backstreet cafes where only a local would venture to fine dining experiences from some of the word’s greatest chefs, Hong Kong has got it nailed.
This city is the first stop on my month-long foodcation. I’m on a mission to eat for Australia and tell you all about the experience.
Here are five restaurants I discovered, four in Hong Kong’s Central district, that offer both fabulous food and a memorable experience for the traveller.
Bread Street Kitchen
Newly opened by British chef Gordon Ramsay, Hong Kong’s Bread Kitchen strongly echoes its London counterpart in both food and menu. While this is Ramsay’s first restaurant in Asia, many other chefs of world renown have already opened in Asia’s gourmet capital. Expect delicate sea bass carpaccio flavoured with ginger, avocado and horseradish (a favourite); crisp, crunchy and fall-apart tender honey-glazed beef short ribs with refreshing bites of pomelo and sesame seeds; traditional British beer battered cod with truly mushy peas and the most tender sliced rib-eye steak.
Finish with a dish of thinly sliced pineapple carpaccio with hints of passionfruit and a dollop of coconut sorbet or a high-piled Eton mess filled with fresh strawberries and chunks of meringue.
Aberdeen Street Social
British chef Jason Atherton, opened Aberdeen Street Social in Hong Kong’s newest creative hub, PMO, the former Police Married Quarters buildings. The complex has been transformed into a haven for local designers with everything from fashion, furniture and stationary to jewellery. You’ll be amazed by the creativity.
There’s plenty of creativity in Jason Atherton’s food as well. Downstairs is a cocktail bar and café while upstairs is the restaurant with outdoor terrace. The cuisine is modern British — think octopus with green sauce, caper berries, potatoes, dehydrated tomato and basil or confit pork belly stuffed with sage, polenta with apple, brown onions and spinach, but also expect some surprises as nothing is quite what it seems.
Fu Lu Shou
Eat, drink and be prosperous is the theme at Fu Lu Shou, a new rooftop bar in Hong Kong’s Central district owned and operated by Australian Ping Lam. Here you’ll find the sort of Chinese food found in Chinatowns around the world but rarely in Asia, such as sweet and sour pork, lemon chicken and prawn toast. Must try are the ‘Big Arse Dim Sims’ which will fill your palm. This is a hidden bar after 6pm daily, so call ahead for the door code and admittance. Ph +852 2336 8812.
Ho Lee Fook
A wall of happy, waving cats welcomes diners to Ho Lee Fook, which features Sydney-based, Taiwanese-born chef Jowett Yu’s quirky Chinese cuisine. Expect pan-Asian and European influences with dishes such as prawn spring rolls with taro and black fungi, and Mom’s “mostly cabbage a little bit of pork” dumplings, in honour of Jowett’s mother.
Tim Ho Wan
It’s the world’s cheapest Michelin starred restaurant, so with a no reservations system you can expect to queue, but that will all be forgotten once you sit down to dim sum at Tim Ho Wan.
Opened by Mak Kwai Pui, ex head dim sum chef at the Four Seasons hotel’s Lung King Heen restaurant, in 2009 the restaurant was awarded a Michelin star in 2010. There are now four Tim Ho Wan restaurants offering high-quality food at extremely reasonable prices. A serving of four freshly steamed shrimp dumplings will cost you HK$25, which is just over A$3. Must tries are the signature char siu pineapple bun (baked barbequed pork bun with a crispy crust), and the steamed egg cake which is chef Mak Kwai Pu’s favourite dish on the menu.
Find your way around Hong Kong by downloading the My Hong Kong Guide from Discover Hong Kong. It will be your virtual guide with 1800 activities and attractions with plenty of suggestions from other travellers.
Disclaimer: Kerry Heaney travelled to Hong Kong with the support of Cathay Pacific Airways and stayed at the centrally located Park Hotel Hong Kong, just a short walk from Nathan Road, one of Hong Kong’s hot shopping strips.