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.
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.