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Samsen Wagyu Beef Boat Noodle
Photograph: Courtesy Samsen

Best Southeast Asian restaurants in Hong Kong

Find out where to get your laksa, satay, or pho fix right here!

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Written by
Fontaine Cheng
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The variety of Asian cuisine and culture in Hong Kong is wide and really quite impressive. From the traditional Cantonese dim sum to the more nuanced flavours of Japanese cuisine, and even Korean cafes have amassed a huge number of fans in the city. But there is just something about Southeast Asian cuisine that continues to excite us. Perhaps it's the punchy flavours and addictive spice that keeps us coming back for more, or maybe it's the casual style eateries that are just so agreeable with both our palates and wallets. Either way, Southeast Asian food is the way to go when you need something a little bolder than burgers and steak. So, here it is, our list of the best Southeast Asian restaurants in Hong Kong to get you started.

RECOMMENDED: Speaking of Asian food, Hong Kong is home to its own delights, including unique foods to the city that you have to try, and the best cha chaan tengs too.

  • Restaurants
  • Thai
  • Sheung Wan

The Popular Thai restaurant consistently dishes out great food from the Northeastern regional cuisine of Isaan, offering crowd-pleasing dishes including Gai Yang, a juicy grilled chicken thigh, Goong Golae, made with tiger prawn in a dry red coconut curry and Sam Chan Tort Glua, a seriously indulgent deep-fried crispy pork belly dish served with tangy and spicy tamarind sauce that adds a slight kick and even more flavour.

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  • Restaurants
  • Thai
  • Wan Chai
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Kin Kao, which means eat rice in Thai, is a rustic-style restaurant that offers authentic Thai cuisine in Wan Chai. From one plate rice dishes to soup noodles, spicy Thai salads, fried noodles, curries and more, Kin Kao is an affordable spot for lunch or dinner. The staff are Thai too, so be prepared to be transported through the sounds and flavours of Thailand.

  • Restaurants
  • Vietnamese
  • Sheung Wan
  • price 2 of 4

Co Thanh consistently serves up excellent Vietnamese food, bringing Ho Chi Minh to Hong Kong with every dish. We recommend the classic truyen thong banh mi, with rich pate and pork charcuterie, or the elevated banh mi op la, served with a perfectly fried egg with a runny yolk. The cold or hot bun and pho options are on point too. Centred on fresh Vietnamese ingredients, the bowls are packed with flavour and always bring comfort come rain or shine.

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  • Restaurants
  • Wan Chai
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One of the latest Southeast Asian restaurants to hit Hong Kong is Bibi & Baba. Serving up Nyonya, also known as Peranakan, cuisine in Hong Kong, the restaurant aims to bring the vibrant flavours, spices, and colours that come from this complex hybrid culture that fuses Chinese and Malaysian traditions, with elements from Indonesia and India too. We recommend going for the creamy laksa or flavourful Penang prawn mee, topped up with crispy kueh pie tees. For more punchy flavours, options such as assam fish, shrimp stir-fried with petai (a stinky bean) or beef rendang will hit the spot.

  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary Asian
  • West Kowloon
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The brainchild of reputed chef Will Meyrick, who was the man behind now, unfortunately, closed pan-Asian restaurant Mama San has returned with another hybrid cuisine dining concept. Delving into the Southeast Asian flavours of Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Vietnam and more, this restaurant offers a varied menu, to say the least. Go for the super tender beef rendang, salmon amok, or the refreshing char-grilled pork neck salad with coconut, longan, and kaffir lime.

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  • Restaurants
  • Wan Chai
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Named after the Malay word for spice, Rempah Noodles in Wan Chai also offers Nyonya dishes full of flavour and aromatics. They cover all the classics from both Singapore and Malaysia but hones in on Peranakan favourites. We recommend the laksa lemak or prawn noodles for something more substantial, but the creamy kaya toast washed down with a strong kopi is just as good when you're in need of a Southeast Asian style break.

  • Restaurants
  • Thai
  • Wan Chai
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Offering solid Thai street food and boat noodles to Hong Kong, popular Thai restaurant Samsen is a favourite among many (yep there are still queues on weekends), and for good reason. The generous bowls of wagyu beef boat noodles are topped with plenty of veggies, beef balls and crunch in rich and meaty broth. We'd highly recommend getting extra crispy pork or fish skin to complement the meal, and a beer wouldn't hurt either. Casual, and slightly cramped, this eatery feels as though it came straight out of Bangkok's side streets. And it really isn't a bad thing.

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  • Restaurants
  • Vietnamese
  • Wan Chai
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Helmed by Vietnamese chef John Nguyen, formerly of Chôm Chôm, Xuan is modern style Vietnamese restaurant that offers all the classics with a little bit of a twist. The12-hour braised beef tongue salad, for example, is a winning start with freshness from pomelo, green mango, and homemade citrus dressing, followed by their signature beef pho in a beef broth that has been simmering for 24-hours. You can opt to amplify the noodles with add-ons such as roasted beef bone marrow or even chicken heart, liver, and crispy skin. Another star dish is the com ga Hoi An chicken rice which gets top marks with the runny duck egg yolk too.

  • Restaurants
  • Malaysian
  • Shek Tong Tsui
  • price 2 of 4

You can't have the best Southeast Asian restaurant list without Cafe Malacca. As one of the most authentic Malaysian and Singaporean kitchens in the city, this restaurant is often ranked high, if not highest, with the local Southeast Asians in town. The smoky and aromatic char koay teow here is one of their most popular dishes, but we'd also recommend the tangy Penang style assam laksa, which is more distinctive if you want to get those Southeast Asian flavours in. They also have a wonderfully fragrant and sweet onde-onde cake that is truly sublime. You're welcome.

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  • Restaurants
  • Indonesian
  • Sai Ying Pun
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Tucked inside the Hong Kong outlet of Potato Head (of the Bali club fame) Kaum is a restaurant with a tropical atmosphere and island vibes. The menu here offers Indonesian cuisine to diners in Sai Ying Pun and focuses on traditional cooking and flavours, including dishes such as the Malukan-style marinated raw tuna with coconut oil, lime, pomelo, and toasted kenari nuts, or the Balinese grilled fish served with sambal matah and more.

More restaurants and cafes that have just opened in Hong Kong

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