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Restaurant Hopping in Hong Kong

Lung King Heen, Four Seasons

Don't miss Lung King Heen in the Four Seasons.

Hong Kong is a food lover’s nirvana, boasting some of the world’s best restaurants, snack shops and street food. Cantonese-style fine-dining, buzzy dim sum spots and late-night noodle joints flourish side by side. I could spend a year eating through the city and barely scratch the surface of its depth and brilliance. You can stumble into some superb spots easily, but here are a few favorites.

Beef brisket noodle soup is quintessential Cantonese comfort food. If you can’t find a local grandma to make it for you, your next best option is Kau Kee. What this place lacks in ambiance it makes up for tenfold with perfectly braised brisket served on top of e-fu egg noodles and steaming beef broth. It’s one of my five favorite spots to eat globally—it’s that good.

Manor Seafood Restaurant is best known for its superbly reliable from-the-sea dishes, but it’s the perfectly stir-fried soy sauce noodles I can’t stop thinking about. The dish is simple—whisker-thin noodles stir-fried in soy sauce and topped with crunchy bean sprouts—yet you need to cook on the line for three years before you can make it for a customer.

       
Steamed mud crab at Mott 32.        

Hong Kong’s food fanatics can’t get enough of Mott 32, the latest see-and-be-seen restaurant from Maximal Concepts. It’s the company’s first foray into Chinese cuisine, and the barbecued prime Iberico pork with yellow mountain honey has earned a cultlike following. With only a dozen portions made daily, sampling it is no easy feat. Other standouts include pork belly salad rolls doused with a garlic and chili sauce and braised imperial bird’s nest soup with crab claw.

No trip to Hong Kong is complete without dim sum. For a fancier experience, try Lung King Heen in the Four Seasons. It’s the first restaurant in the city to earn three Michelin stars, so expect unparalleled service, atmosphere and cuisine, complete with the most stunning harbor views. Dim sum lunches feature stellar dumplings such as the roast goose with chestnuts and X.O. chili sauce, the steamed rice rolls with barbecued pork and preserved vegetables and the crispy shrimp rolls with crabmeat and shrimp roe.

Looking for a less fancy option? Go to Tim Ho Wan, the brainchild of former Lung King Heen chef Mak Kwai Pui. It’s backpacker cheap. In fact, it’s the least expensive Michelin-starred restaurant in the world. And the dim sum? Insane. Be sure to try the char siu bao, piping hot baked buns stuffed with barbecue pork.

The self-proclaimed “x-treme Chinese cuisine” of chef Alvin Leung Jr. at Bo Innovation is a reinterpretation of classic ingredients and technique through a modernist lens. Leung’s version of xiao long bao, steamed soup dumplings filled with minced pork, is a gelatinous sphere bursting with the same flavors as its traditional counterpart but definitely not the same texture. Plates here are more than food; they’re artistry.


For more from chef, author and teacher Andrew Zimmern, host of Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel, click here.


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