Best restaurants in Hong Kong
Even after nearly seven years in the business, Yardbird attracts diners by the hordes, thanks to being the kind of super hip izakaya/yakitori venue that not even Tokyo denizens would roll their eyes at. The chicken here is treated no differently than the finest piece of toro, that is, with love and care. And it returns the favour by donating literally every part of its body including the thigh, wing, neck, liver, tail or skin.
Dubbed the ‘king of truffles’, chef Umberto Bombana whips up rustic, truffle laden Italian dishes while embodying the essence of Italian hospitality through his venues’ exceptional service. Expect things like homemade Cavatelli shellfish ragout and sea urchin, Tajima short rib and beef tenderloin with a red wine, plum sauce and whipped potato.
British chef Simon Rogan breaks into the Hong Kong dining scene with the opening of Aulis in Causeway Bay. Already in Cartmel (where it’s housed next to Rogan’s two-Michelin starred L'Enclume) and London, Aulis is touted as a development kitchen for Rogan and his team to experiment in. In an intimate chef’s table setting that seats up to 12 guests, the Hong Kong location offers multicourse tasting menus that change on a regular basis to showcase seasonal produce and the breadth of the kitchen team’s creativity.
Chef Guillaume Galliot whisks guests into the world of French gastronomy using the finest ingredients to create the most sensuous flavours. On the menu are dishes like Alaskan king crab with oysters, prawn jelly and caviar. The restaurant has a fantastic French artisanal cheese collection and, naturally, an extensive wine list focusing mostly on Bordeaux and Burgundy.
People come from all corners of Hong Kong for a helping of the Islamic ‘beef burgers’. They also come here for the lamb curry and beef brisket noodles. Cheap as chips and tasty as hell if you’re willing to wait for a table.
Lauded as one of the best restaurants in Asia, The Chairman has been popular ever since it opened nearly 10 years ago. Why? Suppliers who offer the best seasonal produce – and it’s mostly organic at that – and no MSG. If there’s one thing you must try it’s the pigeon with longjing tea and chrysanthemum, a classic dish that’s never left the menu.
Recently ranked one of Asia’s 50 best restaurants, the sleek yet minimal interior of Belon is intentional, allowing the dishes to really do the talking. Helmed by British chef Daniel Calvert, the menu includes a wonderfully fresh oyster tartare, chickpea falafel with hummus, pigeon pie, whole roasted chicken and more.
Hailed as one of the oldest and greatest Cantonese restaurants in the city, Ser Wong Fun not only impresses food lovers with its exquisite selection of traditional cuisine and snake soup, but its clay pot rice is equally delicious. The pig liver sausage and chicken clay pot rice is definitely a must-try during the cold winter months.
Yes, Tim Ho Wan may be a cliché go-to for tourists but it has become famous for good reason. One of the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurants in the world, the service is perfunctorily but the dim sum is gold-standard. We recommend visiting the Sham Shui Po outpost and ordering just about everything. No trip is complete without tucking into second – and perhaps third – helpings of the restaurant’s renowned baked cha siu bao.
Chef Björn Frantzén holds the accolade of owning the first restaurant in Sweden that boasts three Michelin stars. His eponymous eatery, Frantzén, is the height of fine dining in Sweden’s capital city. Helmed by Jim Löfdahl, Frantzén’s Kitchen is the chef’s first venue outside of his home country, serving up fantastic Scando cuisine that’s pricey given the portion size, but still worth every cent.
Following the success of the art-themed restaurant Bibo and award-winning The Ocean by Olivier Bellin, dining group Le Comptoir raises the bar yet again with Ecriture at H Queen’s. A French fine-dining venue named after renowned Korean artist Park Seo-Bo’s groundbreaking abstract expressionist series, Ecriture attempts to emulate Park through bold colours and designs that rely heavily on shapes and lines. With the restaurant’s open kitchen in the centre and floor-to-ceiling windows, diners can experience stunning views to go with the French culinary art.
One of the most exciting restaurants at H Queen’s is Arbor, a French fine-dining restaurant with chefs Nicolas Boutin and Eric Räty at the helm. Serving innovative dishes in a forest themed surroundings, Arbor makes for a perfect tranquil getaway in the heart of Central. You can also wind down with a brunch every weekend as well before heading over to the art galleries downstairs.
VEA stands for Vicky et Antonio – chef Vicky Cheng, the visionary chef formerly of Liberty Private Works, and Antonio Lai, the legendary bartender behind The Envoy and decorated establishments Origin and Quinary. There’s only a tasting menu on offer at the one Michelin star venue and it is recommended to pair it with Lai's fantastic cocktails.
Helmed by award-winning chef May Chow, what’s so impressive about Little Bao is how it’s taken familiar products and flavours – such as miso, pickled daikon, mushrooms and pork belly – that have been favourites in Hong Kong for decades, and given them a new, glorious life. This is a tiny place, but one full of energy, good vibes and even better food.
Ronin carries the same Yardbird stamp of warm service and swingy, anything-goes vibe, and has amped the class up a bit with fancier finger foods, fancier drinks and even a fancier dim mirrored bathroom that could give Dragon-i a run for its money.
Focusing specifically on dishes from the Punjab region of India and Pakistan, which centres around tandoor oven cooking rather than thick curries, NPC offers stellar – if pricey – dishes from the sub-continent. The masalewali chanp lamb chops with beetroot korma are a standout and a tipple from the roving gin trolley is not to be passed up either.
South American cuisine in Hong Kong has been on the rise thanks to the popularity of restaurants like Buenos Aires Polo Club, Brickhouse and La Pampa. And joining the club is Ichu Peru. As you can tell from its name, Ichu brings Hong Kong a range of excellent, authentic Peruvian food. The excitement doesn’t end there, the anticipated restaurant is also led by Peruvian chef Virgilio Martínez Véliz, the recipent of the coveted Chef’s Choice Award 2017 at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
Regarded as one of the greatest pizza-masters in the industry right now, Franco Pepe brings his Geneva-based brand to Soho for the very first time. In a terraced, open-kitchen space on Wyndham Street, Kytaly offers more than a dozen different pizzas, as well as Italian salads and desserts. Another reason to visit? The venue boasts the city’s first Campari bar, meaning that it does a mean negroni.
A long-time favourite at the Intercontinental Hong Kong, Yan Toh Heen has recently moved into a new harbourfront location within the hotel. Aside from boasting jaw-dropping views, the new space also features a gorgeous interior, which includes a hand-carved jade corridor and silk screens with floating floral embroidery. It’s the perfect setting to enjoy the restaurant’s delicious Cantonese dishes – many of which are made with globally sourced and seasonal ingredients – as well as specialty brews selected and prepared by Yan Toh Heen’s very own tea sommelier.
Home to a fusion of traditional and new world Chinese cuisine, the food at Bo Innovation is intelligent, humorous and thoroughly thought out. Culinary excellence abounds and the service is beyond anything one ordinarily expects in Hong Kong.
A three-Michelin star restaurant of the highest quality. An intimate dining experience with just an eight-seat sushi counter (excluding the special private room for six), Sushi Shikon imports all its ingredients twice daily from Japan, ensuring the best quality. Pull up your chair at the counter and marvel at chef Kakinuma’s skill as he prepares each dish before your eyes.
This Chinese restaurant was the first in the world to be awarded three Michelin stars and it’s not hard to see why. Chef Chan Yan-tak and his team create the most delicate pieces of dim sum, as well as perfectly steamed seafood dishes, nourishing double-boiled soups and delicious seasonal ingredients.
Sharing is caring at Pica Pica, which specialises in Spanish dishes that are designed to be enjoyed family-style. The neighbourhood tapas joint is helmed by chef Edgar Sanuy, formerly of the highly rated BCN restaurant, who excels at adding playful modern touches to classic Spanish dishes. Try the black paella rice as well as the red prawn hotdog with grilled prawn head.
In 2005, third-generation restaurateur Tracy Wong established this Sichuan restaurant. Now, it’s one of the best in the city. Authentic cooking based on recipes that have been passed down through the generations is the order of the day here. ‘Ma’ Sichuan peppercorns feature prominently, as do spicy ‘la’ dishes and vibrant ‘tang’ dishes. A real fiery feast.
Don’t expect incredible service or fancy interior design at this Hong Kong institution. They do one thing well and that’s consistently good roasted meats. The roasted Peking duck is a must, sliced tableside, ready to be rolled into a pancake with crunchy cucumber and sweet sauce. A word to the wise – book weeks in advance to get a table. You’ve been warned.
Named after the golden age of Chinese history, the T’ang Dynasty, this three-Michelin star restaurant is furnished lavishly in extravagant burgundy and gold tones. The extensive menu includes exceptional signature dishes like stir-fried lobster with spring onions and shallots and golden-fried stuffed crab claw, and the more expensive bird’s nests and abalones.
Mott 32’s Joyce Wang-designed interior is a sight to behold, the former bank vault reimagined as a storage facility for family heirlooms forgotten by wealthy Chinese immigrants. Items like a giant abacus and calligraphy pens act as clues to the larger political and social history of Hong Kong. The design is striking but the food, such as the excellent siu mai and Iberico char siu, is just as sure to please.
Locals swear by this Hong Kong-style joint on Hollywood Road that offers a wide selection of everything pork chop. Well-marinated with a subtle hint of sweetness, For Kee’s chops are said by diners to taste just the way it does over in Macau.
Chef Adam Cliff's take on Thai street food is a step above other such restaurants in Hong Kong, but without hurting the bank balance. The food remains true to its origins but with a few tweaks. The generous bowl of wagyu beef boat noodles with crunchy topping is a must-try, and the desserts are also impressive, using lots of fresh fruit and homemade ice creams.
Serving up quirky Chinese cuisine with pan-Asian and European influences, Ho Lee Fook boasts a trendy interior and excellent modern Canto fare that keeps the lines outside long, though it’s worth the wait. Try Mom’s ‘mostly cabbage, a little bit of pork’ dumplings with sacha soy dressing and the awesome cha siu pork. Wash it all down with one of the restaurant’s funky cocktails.
Created by chef Hideaki Matsuo and headed by executive chef Agustin Balbi in the kitchen, Haku serves modern Japanese cuisine with a European edge. Guests can order à la carte but we highly recommend the chef's tasting menu. Dishes change to reflect seasonal ingredients but you're likely to find signatures such as the uni brioche and assorted fresh sashimi.
Classing itself as ‘Japanese reinvented’, Okra is home to culinary creativity and exceptional flavours. The menu – of which almost everything is excellent – is separated into A-sides for smaller bites and B-sides for larger ones. There’s an extensive sake list featuring micro-distilleries dotted all over Japan to top things off.
Taking over the former Club JJ’s and Thai & Grill space, the Grand Hyatt Steakhouse is all dark woods, leather banquettes and heavy drapery. The menu is simple – no fanciful, foamy dishes or fusion touches – just straight-up, stripped-down, classic American steakhouse cuisine. And it’s all cooked brilliantly.
This family operation has been satisfying the public with its tasty wonton noodle soup for five generations. The secret is in their soup base made from fresh and dried shrimp and flounder. The portions are on the small side, so be sure to order a few bowls extra. Cash only, too!
Dim Sum doesn’t have to be pricy, it just has to be tasty. And the fare at One Dim Sum is both those things. All the classics are here inside this small, ever-bustling Prince Edward space, from har gow and siu mai to turnip cakes and char siu bao. There are boatloads of dumplings to try, plus ribs and spring rolls and rice rolls and, oh, just about everything. Best of all, you rarely fork out more than $20 for each offering.
Incredible dim sum up in the clouds. That’s what you get at this Michelin-starred eatery 102 floors up the ICC in Kowloon. The highest Chinese restaurant in the city knocks up incredible dim sum creations like pan-fried turnip cake with XO chilli sauce, baked oyster tart with black pepper and onions, and baked abalone puff with roasted goose and dried bonito.
The art deco style of this Peninsula restaurant gives it a super-classy atmosphere and complements the top quality dim sum on the menu, like the steamed shrimp dumplings with bamboo shoots. Also enjoy authentic Cantonese dishes such as the pan-fried garoupa fillet and the superior bird’s nest and shredded bean curd soup. There’s nothing quite like Spring Moon when it comes to grandeur and taste.
This stylish little hub, located just across the road from PMQ, offers inventive Korean cuisine with an Italian accent. The chewy rice cakes are a must-order and are tossed with sauces such as carbonara and pesto, although there's also a more conventional K-style version made with gochujang. We'll also wax lyrical about the tender pieces of Korean fried chicken, as well as the small but deliciously satisfying sea urchin rice.
Simple and effective, Kam's Roast Goose’s focuses on a highly edited offering – roast goose and char siu, a variety of soy marinated ‘lo shui’ meats and offals. Everything is top quality.
Kwan Kee’s widespread popularity owes much to the charcoal-fired clay pot rice dishes, which arrive with a layer of crispy, just-slightly-burnt rice at the bottom. Although the queue is often long, the wait really pays off when you finally get to taste the rice.
Escape the hustle and bustle of Mong Kok with a Michelin-starred experience at Ming Court. Recognised by the Michelin guide since 2009, the restaurant offers top-tier Cantonese dishes, as well as an extensive wine selection. The signature Ming Court Eight Delights is a must-try, and includes a selection of refreshing cold starters and the restaurant’s acclaimed honey-glazed char siu. If you want luxurious fare and ambience in Mong Kok, this is the place to visit.
From the folks behind Pirata Group (Pirata, The Optimist and TokyoLima) comes neighbourhood pasta bar Pici. Fresh, hand-rolled pasta is the name of the game here, with simple and hearty dishes from the pici cacio e pepe, to meatballs and ravioli.
A long-time favourite with tourists and locals alike, Peking Garden at Tsim Sha Tsui has recently undergone a complete facelift in celebration of its 40th anniversary. Aside from the sleek new interiors, the restaurant has also revamped its menu to include more dishes inspired by Beijing’s imperial cuisine. Old favourites remain, of course, including the signature Peking duck and the elaborately presented beggar’s chicken, which is set aflame and then cracked open with a large golden hammer.
A Vietnamese eatery on the border of Central and Sheung Wan, Co Thanh dishes up authentic dishes that challenge the palate and send the senses to Saigon. The bun bo Hue pho is one of the best bowls of pho in the city – its rich Hue style beef broth addictively moreish.
This humble spot in Central has been around for more than 50 years and it has one simple invention to thank: the pantyhose. The secret to its milk tea is straining the brew through, you guessed it, a pair of pantyhose for an extra smooth taste. This, and the instant noodles with pan-fried chicken breast keeps the celebrity clientele coming back for more.
Fair play, there are some real solid steakhouses in Hong Kong but they often come with a hefty price tag. We love the simplicity of La Vache – cough up $278 and you get warm French bread and butter, a light and tasty salad, steak entrecôte cooked to your liking with lashings of creamy bearnaise sauce and as many fries as you can eat. Which is a lot, once you’ve tasted these golden wonders.
A good pho can be hard to find. In general, most versions of Vietnam’s national dish here come laden with either salt, MSG or both. Brass Spoon slow-cooks its soup base for 12 hours and the flavours of the pho are devoid of any artificial additives. Its noodles are supposedly uniquely available to Brass Spoon and their texture is wonderfully thick and soft to the bite. It all makes for one of the most authentic phos in town.
Opened by former Four Seasons executive pastry chef, Grégoire Michaud, Bakehouse offers all sorts of oven-fresh treats, from naturally leavened sourdoughs to buttery, flakey croissants and other pastries. If it’s your carb cheat day, this is the best place to go wild.
Housed within Lane Crawford at IFC, Shè is a venue for those with a taste for the finer things in life. Traditional Chinese dishes get a glamorous, contemporary makeover and include everything from roast meats and vegetarian options to dim sum and rice and noodle options. The restaurant also serves premium Chinese teas, many of which are available in the inventive cocktail menu.
Yet another opening by Black Sheep Group (La Vache!, Belon, Ho Lee Fook and New Punjab Club, among many others), Hotal Colombo plates up delicious Sri Lankan fare with a heavy helping of nostalgia. The restaurant is inspired by the warm and casual eateries that dot the streets of Sri Lanka’s capital city. Definitely order the kothu – a streetside favourite made with shredded roti and plenty of spices.
There aren’t many eateries left in Hong Kong that still make their own noodles the traditional way from scratch, Lau Sum Kee is one of the few. Best known for its wonton soup noodles with dried shrimp roe, the noodles here are made daily and kneaded with a bamboo pole. Try the beef stomach noodles; together with the tableside pickled radish it’s a winning combo.
The open-air venue has survived so many changes to the Central dining scene but it's still perpetually packed, thanks to its cheap yet delicious comfort fare, such as noodles in tomato broth and lemon honey on crunchy toast.
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