You’ve tried Parisian-style steak frites, grilled Argentinian steaks and perhaps even the American T-bone steaks during a good ol’ backyard barbecue, but have you been to a Hong Kong-style steakhouse? Nicknamed ‘Soy Sauce Western Restaurants’ due to their soy sauce-based marinated steaks, Hong Kong steakhouses are best known for their sizzling hot plates and unbeatable prices.
If you associate steakhouses with glamorous interior design, superb service, sparkling water, red wine and expensive cuts of meat, you’re in for a bit of a culture shock. Looking more like local cha chaan tengs, you’ll be able to enjoy a tall glass of Hong Kong milk tea to go alongside your meal. While the quality of the meat at Chinese steakhouses is most likely going to be on the more cheap-and-cheerful of the spectrum, the affordable set meals and the bustling environments make it a one-of-a-kind experience. By Doris Lam
Best Hong Kong-style steakhouses
Meaning “Neighbourhood” in Cantonese, Kaifong serves more than just the neighbourhood folks. Bookmarked by over 30 thousand users on Openrice, Kaifong Cafe is slightly more modern than the rest of the bunch, with semi-buffet options available during dinner time. Choose your choice of main from U.S Angus Striploin ($198) to Japanese Black A5 Rib Eye ($368) and get unlimited access to the buffet bar where there’s a wide range of drinks, soup, salad, yakitori, salad and carbs galore. For those who aren’t too hungry, try the signature a la carte options such as the Grilled U.S. Rib Eye Steak ($99). Also, while braver souls can give the Grilled Beef Tongue ($89) a try.
Celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, Golden Phoenix Restaurant has locations all around the city but the Prince Edward branch is by far the most popular one, attracting long lines starting at 6pm. Wondering if it’s worth the wait? The numerous news features and magazine cuttings plastered on the window should give you a hint. Inside, you’ll find no-fuss interior consisting of red booths, circular tables, fans and simple wooden chairs. For food, order the chef suggested picks such as the US Sirloin Steak ($145) or the Steak with Japanese Scallop ($126) which comes with your choice of pepper or gravy sauce, bread and butter, soup and a drink. Get your camera ready for the iconic smoke and sizzle when you pour the sauce onto the hot plate.
Folks who grew up in Hong Kong back in the 70s, 80s and 90s will feel a massive wave of nostalgia when visiting Boston Restaurant. A popular dating spot back in the day, Boston Restaurant has everything from steak and baked pork chop rice to an array of desserts. With a selection of cuts and meats available to order, those who have trouble deciding can get the works and give the American Mixed Grill ($169) a try. Finish the meal on a sweet note by ordering the flaming Baked Alaska ($98) or share a Banana Split ($65) with a date for maximum romance points.
Marble tables, sofa booths, carpeted chairs… Tiffany Restaurant not only features a blend of European Chinese food but also a western/ Chinese interior design. As the only restaurant on the list that doesn’t serve steak on hot plates, you can expect to taste the undertones of soy sauce even more clearly when you bite into your steak. Not in the mood for beef? Give the seafood option a go and order the Baked Crab Carapace with Seafood and Rice ($188), which features two crab shells filled with seafood and rice topped with melted cheese, or try the Pig’s Knuckle ($198) to get a bang for your buck.
Located on the first floor of Sang Fa Mansion, The Prime Steak Restaurant is the place to go if you’re low on cash but still want to impress your lady. The signature dinner steak set ($72) comes with bread and butter, soup as well as a drink while a steak during lunch will only set you back $67. Pasta fanatics may want to consider skipping their beloved carb unless you’re a fan of chunky, uneven sauces on overcooked pasta.
A chain with 11 locations around the city, Sweetheart Garden Restaurant can be hit or miss depending on the branch that you visit. Take a trip to Kwun Tong for the highest-rated spot and order the chef-recommended Grilled King Prawn with Beef Tenderloin ($141) or Kobe Beef Tenderloin ($141), served with soup and a drink. If you’re feeling peckish in the afternoon, go for the tea set menu where you’ll get a choice of meat over rice or pasta for under $50.
Hong Kongers were devastated when Goldfinch Restaurant, a popular Hong Kong steakhouse, closed down in September last year, but then were pleasantly surprised when the restaurant reintroduced itself as Nostalgia a few months later. Serving the same, juicy steaks and jello parfaits, the steakhouse kept its signature green table cloths and brown booths and added in nostalgic Chinese movie posters and decorative old-school telephones. Splurge on a luxurious Braised Abalone and Wok Fried Beef set ($450) or get the classic Black Pepper Fillet Steak ($220) for a finger-licking dinner.
Tucked away in Tsuen Wan, Salami Restaurant maintained its popularity in the last two decades. Despite its name, there is (sadly) no salami available but there are plenty of steak sets for you to choose from. Dinner steak sets such as the Sirloin Steak ($155) even comes with your choice of an ice cream sundae or drink. And did we mention that you can have beer as your set beverage?
This one’s for our bougie readers – located in Wan Chai, Loyal Dining doesn’t have a long history like the rest but instead tries to imitate traditional Hong Kong-style steakhouses by blending Western and Chinese food together. Their menu includes Fried Rice with Black Truffle and Diced Beef Tenderloin ($118), Deep-fried Prawn Toast ($72) and of course, hearty steak options like the New Zealand Rib Eye ($228). Best suited for diners who like a gourmet version of Hong Kong’s signature eats, Loyal Dining even has a bright green neon sign alongside nostalgic decor for you to take the perfect Instagram shot.