Get us in your inbox

Search
Bâtard
Photograph: Courtesy Bâtard restaurant made for wine lovers, but foodies flock to all the same

6 of the hardest Hong Kong restaurants to book right now

A look at some of the city's toughest tables and some insider tips on how to snag a seat

Tatum Ancheta
Edited by
Tatum Ancheta
Written by Gayatri Bhaumik
Advertising

In a city of dedicated foodies and thousands of restaurants, you would think that getting a dinner reservation whenever and wherever you want is easy. But perhaps it is exactly because Hongkongers know good food when they see it that some restaurants are always nearly impossible to book. 

There are many reasons why it can be hard to snag a table at one of these highly coveted spots. High-quality food is one, naturally. But there's so much more to it than that. Sometimes it's the restaurant's sheer uniqueness. Occasionally, a personable chef and friendly service team keep guests coming back. And, of course, in a dense city like Hong Kong, a restaurant's size can cap demand, too. 

Here, we look at six of the most difficult Hong Kong restaurants to book to find out what makes them special, why it's hard to get a table, and what diners can expect when dinner service finally reopens on April 21. And if you want to nab a table, there's no real secret – all of them say persistence and luck are key.

RECOMMENDED: Not willing to wait for months to get a seat? Check out other outstanding venues from our pick of the 50 best restaurants in the city.  

  • Restaurants
  • Indian
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

Opening an Indian restaurant in a five-star hotel was already a bold move for Hong Kong. Add chef Manav Tuli's refined approach to Indian cuisine and a very guest-centric approach to service, and you have the recipe for a notoriously impossible-to-book Michelin-starred restaurant, which Tuli credits to guests who offer valuable feedback and allow for constant improvements. Chaat reservations open at 9am on the first of every month for the second month ahead, and tables are snapped up in minutes. Tuli recommends trying to book odd times – like 3pm – or calling before 12pm on the day you want to visit. Amidst the pandemic, Chaat has adjusted by opening throughout the day and refining portion sizes for smaller groups. Once dinner service opens again, guests can expect some exciting new menu additions, including a focus on the different royal houses of India. 

  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Sheung Wan

Hong Kong's much-lauded modern Chinese restaurant consistently makes the cut for the industry's biggest awards, whether that's the Michelin Guide or Asia's 50 Best Restaurants. But even before the accolades began rolling in, the restaurant was hard to book. With a dedicated following enthused over its fresh takes on traditional Chinese ingredients and cooking techniques, it was a hit with both classicist and adventurous diners. Right now, a big disclaimer on the restaurant's reservation page notes that they're fully booked through June – but keep trying. You never know when your persistence might pay off. 

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Sheung Wan

The latest venture by chef Vicky Lau (owner of two Michelin-starred Tate Dining RoomMora, is an homage to soy products. Drawing on Lau's French-Chinese cooking skills, Mora focuses on exploring the versatility of soy without compromising on flavour. Opening amid Hong Kong's fifth wave of Covid-19, Mora had to be flexible, switching to lunch services and ensuring staff and diners were always protected. Like many new restaurants in the city, Mora's lunch and dinner reservations are already booked through July. Tables open up four months in advance, and the team advises that potential guests should reserve and plan early to try and snag a booking. As dinner service resumes, guests can look forward to Mora's first comprehensive dinner menu and a wider range of homemade soy products.

  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary Global
  • Lan Kwai Fong

For award-winning chef Augustin Balbi, the recipe for his restaurant, Ando's, success is no secret. "It's an experience that's 100 percent focused on the guest's happiness. Our goal is for people to leave the restaurant feeling emotionally restored. We focus on a lot of details and don't cut corners," says Balbi. Perhaps that's why the restaurant is booked out through June. They're trying to make it easier by opening bookings a month ahead and offering more tables and time slots. Balbi's advice? Add yourself to the waiting list to be in line for last-minute openings. In response to the pandemic, Ando has had to switch to two seatings before 6pm and open six or seven days a week instead of its usual five. Balbi himself also did private masterclasses via Zoom and turned his hand to creating special delivery items. With restrictions easing, he's excited to welcome guests with new menus, new dishes, and even show plates that he's making with his kids.  

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Pan-European
  • Sai Ying Pun

Even before this Sai Ying Pun hot spot opened in 2020, people were already talking about it. The restaurant is a partnership between Bistro du Vin and The Fine Wine Experience. Once diners got through the door, they raved about it and kept coming back for the exquisite, elevated French cuisine laced with premium ingredients and paired with a spectacular selection of wine. That, along with a dedicated following among Hong Kong's French expat population, has meant that picking up a reservation can be hard. Doubly so when your booking is only confirmed after putting down a deposit of $500 per person. Still, reservations open at the beginning of the month and only for that month, so you might nab a coveted table if you're quick off the mark. 

  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Sheung Wan

Chef Vicky Cheng's Wing puts a bright, modern spin on the Eight Great Chinese Cuisines to create a well-balanced sensory experience underpinned by understated elegance. Unfettered by tradition, Wing pays homage to authentic Chinese dishes while pushing the boundaries with Cheng's French training and infusing simple, seasonal ingredients. During Hong Kong's fifth wave of Covid-19, Wing opened bookings for two lunch sessions that served the full dinner experience to allow guests to really experience the restaurant's culinary ethos. Still, with bookings only open a month in advance and a space that features only five tables, two private rooms, and a semi-private area, tables are nearly impossible to reserve.

From April 21, Wing will go back to serving dinner only, and reservations will be released each day at midnight for a month ahead. 

More inspiration for your next meal

Advertising
Recommended
    You may also like
      Advertising