By LUXE City Guides, Images by Calvin Sit
If anything demonstrates the cosmopolitan energy of Hong Kong, it’s the city’s eclectic dining scene. From local street eats to haute cuisine and everything imaginable in between, the range of food experiences is frankly staggering.
We invited food writers KC Koo and Kee Foong to share two dramatically different yet equally exciting itineraries for eating out in Hong Kong. Prolific food blogger KC takes us on a day trip to the New Territories for ultra-local experiences, while globetrotting travel and food writer Kee showcases the urban, international side of the city. Whichever way you sway, you’ll need to pack an appetite.
Authentic Hong Kong Eats with KC Koo
This off-the-beaten-track itinerary requires effort, but the reward is a smorgasbord of local dining experiences and a glimpse of everyday Hong Kong that few visitors get to see. Note that the restaurants listed are basic affairs where decor plays second fiddle to the food; you might want to BYO napkins.
Take the MTR out to Yuen Long in the New Territories. This northwestern-lying district is home to an array of good local eateries. Less than 10 minutes’ walk from the station is Kin Yip Street, where you will find stalls serving congee, noodles and such. My personal pick is Tim Kee, a Chinese siu mei, or roast meat shop that opens in the morning. The char siu and siu yuk pork are popular, often selling out before noon.
After breakfast, it’s a short taxi ride to Lau Fau Shan, where the last of Hong Kong’s oyster farms operate. The area is lined with seafood restaurants but the most interesting part is watching farmers harvesting or shucking oysters, and buying a bottle of oyster sauce, a local delicacy, from one of the village stalls. From Lau Fau Shan, you can also see Mainland China across the bay.
- C5, Kin Yip Street Cooked Food Market, Kin Yip Street, Yuen Long, New Territories
- +852 2476 1742
Lau Fau Shan Seafood
- Main Street, Lau Fau Shan, New Territories
Now take a taxi to Fanling, about 25 minutes northeast. Have lunch at Kwan Kee Beef Balls & Pork Knuckles, which as the name suggests, is all about pork knuckles and beef balls, best eaten with noodle soup. Or, Sun Hon Kee serves authentic Hakka cuisine such as braised pork belly and steamed freshwater fish, which isn’t easily found in other districts.
Burn off lunch with a hike in the Pat Sin Leng Country Park. There are several trails to choose from and the easiest is the clearly identified Hok Tau Reservoir Family Walk (remember to bring plenty of water with you). Alternatively, there are a few organic farms in the area, including Rainbow Organic Strawberry Farm, where you can pick fresh berries. Catch the 52B minibus from MTR Fanling Station to Hok Tau Wai to start the hike or explore the village.
Kwan Kee Beef Balls & Pork Knuckles
- G/F, 5 Luen Cheong Street, Luen Wo Hui, Fanling, New Territories
- +852 2675 6382
Sun Hon Kee
- 5 Luen Wo Road, Fanling, New Territories
- +852 2683 0000
Hok Tau Reservoir Family Walk
- Hok Tau Reservoir, Pat Sin Leng, New Territories
Rainbow Organic Strawberry Farm
- 76 Hok Tau Village, Fanling, New Territories
- +852 9302 0258
By now, chances are you’re hungry again. Hop on the train from Fanling to Tai Wai, a low-rise, local enclave where you’ll find dai pai dong, hawker-style eateries that used to be found all over Hong Kong. Fu Kee is the pick of the bunch, and while it’s indoors, the food is delicious, and dishes are prepared à la minute to bring out the wok hei, which translates to the “breath of a wok”. It’s a big menu, so ask for the owner Mr Chan, who’ll be more than happy to recommend dishes.
- Shop 10-11, Cooked Stall, Lung Hang Estate, Tai Wai, New Territories
- +852 2696 3497
A Global Gourmet Gander with Kee Foong
Start your morning in Wan Chai with the buttery croissants and proper sourdough bread to eat in or take away at Bakehouse, founded by Gregoire Michaud, former Executive Pastry Chef at the Four Seasons Hong Kong. It’s best to get there early to avoid the queues and items selling out.
After breakfast, throw yourself into the labyrinthian streets around Wan Chai Market, and follow Wan Chai Road towards Causeway Bay. You’ll reach the wet market on Bowrington Road and an indoor cooked food centre. Venture inside and look for Wai Kee, a Chinese halal restaurant known for its roast duck rice. Yum. Post fowl, double back along Queen’s Road East to King Tak Hong Porcelain Company, packed to the rafters with affordable kitchen and homeware. You’re near Francis, a terrific Middle Eastern restaurant run by an Englishman, an Italian and an Israeli, which is a great spot for a light lunch and a glass of wine.
- 14 Tai Wong Street East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong Island
- Shop 5, 1/F, Bowrington Road Cooked Food Centre, 21 Bowrington Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong Island
- +852 2574 1131
King Tak Hong Porcelain
- 126-128 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong Island
- +852 3118 2422
- 4-6 St. Francis Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong Island
- +852 3101 9521
Hop on a tram for a leisurely ride past Central’s high-rises and the dried seafood stores of Sheung Wan and Sai Ying Pun to alight at Kennedy Town. Follow your nose to Shing Fat Coconut & Spices for all manner of Asian spices, sauces and condiments, as well as coconut oil and fresh coconut milk. Stroll down to the waterfront for a reviving coffee break at % Arabica, though be warned, the queues can be daunting, or head inland for Winstons Coffee, a corner java joint that buzzes all day and come evening, morphs into a cocktail bar making a mean espresso martini. Also here is the delightful Slowood, a chic one-stop shop for eco-friendly products and groceries, with a cute cafe serving mostly vegan fare.
Linger along the water-fronting praya for dazzling sunset views, or make your way back to Central for a cocktail or wine at Shady Acres, where crowds usually spill onto the street. Just steps away is Chôm Chôm, a little pocket of Hanoi in Hong Kong. It’s no reservations, so put your name down and watch the world go by, Saigon beer in hand while waiting for a table. Or, book ahead for one of Asia’s best restaurants, Amber, at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental. Recently reopened after a renovation, it will change your perception of fine dining, with a dairy- and gluten-free menu that manages to be both healthy and luxurious. End your day with a nightcap at Behind Bars or Dragonfly, cocktail bars in the Tai Kwun heritage and culture development in the former Central Police Station. Cin cin!
Shing Fat Coconut & Spices
- G/F, 48-49 Praya Kennedy Town, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong Island
- +852 2572 7725
- Shop 4, G/F, Grand Fortune Mansion, 1 Davis Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong Island
- +852 2326 4578
- Shop 8, The Hudson, 11 Davis Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong Island
- +852 2559 5078
- The Hudson, 11 Davis Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong Island
- +852 2818 0203
- G/F, 46 Peel Street, Central, Hong Kong Island
- 58-60 Peel Street, Central, Hong Kong Island
- +852 2810 0850
- The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong Island
- +852 2132 0066
- G/F, E Hall, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong Island
- Shop 10-G1, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong Island
- +852 2777 2633
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