My Hong Kong Top 10 Local Eats
Hong Kong is a gourmet’s dream, filled with local eats pouring out of every corner of the city, spilling onto streets and home to plenty of celebrity fine dining restaurants that delivers and rivals the same experiences you’d get in Europe or the US. And then there are lovely private kitchens, best kept secrets and the old school confectionaries that have been baking the same bread recipe for decades through generations.
Friends and family are always asking for my Hong Kong local eats recommendations, so here’s a list of my Top 10 favourites in no particular order, though the list would go on because there’s so much local deliciousness in this city!
1. Yat Lok in Central, a hole in the wall local diners with some of the best roast goose in town.
2. Joy Hing Roasts for charsiu and crispy roast pork – go before 6pm as they often sell out before dinner time. BBQ roast pork is the backbone of Cantonese cuisine and this little corner store in Wanchai does it well, a clear sign as it’s packed with locals young and old at meal hours. The curry fish balls are also worth an order.
Block C, G/F, 265-267 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai
3. Mak’s noodles. This place on Wellington Street in Central Hong Kong is no secret, it’s been written about to death and featured on Anthony Boudain’s HK visit. Portions are tiny, the tasty broth and wonderfully textured handmade noodles and dumplings are worth the price tag. If part of hiking up the Peak was on your holiday agenda, you could go to the less crowded Mak’s at the Peak and a simple tasty lunch to reward yourself with after a sweaty hike.
G/F, 77 Wellington Street, Central
Shop 1, G/F, The Peak Galleria, 118 Peak Road, The Peak
4. On Lee Fish Ball noodles, right on the East End of Hong Kong Island, but worth the trek out for those freshly made fishball and noodles
5. Bamboo Noodles Kwan Kee. The yellow egg noodles here are made fresh daily kneaded and rolled old fashioned way by a huge bamboo pole, giving them a delightful texture when cooked a perfect al dente. You have to order their signature shrimp roe oyster sauce dry noodles HKD29 (I much prefer this option as it reminds me of the Singaporean style mee-pok dah back home), or if you’re just here for the noodles, choose the plain egg noodles in a pork based broth that includes a leafy green or two, but why not top it up with some wantons – pork and shrimp options available.
1 Wing Lung Street. Cheung Sha Wan. Kowloon.
6. Stuffed Roast suckling pig Kimberly Hotel. I haven’t had this anywhere else, but it’s one heavy meal with this glutinous rice stuffed roast piglet. They also serve up great double boil Cantonese soups here.
7. Claypot Rice: Two of my favourite options.
Choi’s Kitchen Claypot Rice in Tin Hau, order their signature claypot rice and if you’re into fish head, their fish head taro strew with cabbage is a perfect pick me up on a cold winter’s day. Other items on the menu include Cantonese dishes like sweet and sour pork and stir fried greens.
I used to live 2 streets down from Kwan Kee Claypot rice in Sai Ying Pun and it’s always full, so don’t forget to reserve your table in advance. Our staple orders include the fish soup, eggplants, crispy fried chicken and of course their signature claypot with greens, lap cheong Chinese sausage, pork and dressed in soy sauce.
Shop 1, Wo Yick Mansion, 263 Queen’s Rd W
Tel:+852 2803 7209
8. Lan Fong Yuen milk Tea. A humble road side da pai dong that has been around for decades on Gage street, right below the Central escalators and I always have one to go on my weekly HK runs. It’s thick and smooth and everything a traditional milk tea brew should be. They serve breakfast too, instant noodles with spam, spam and egg sandwich – your typical local diner’s menu.
9. Dimsum Yumcha: Maxim’s at the Hong Kong Cityhall (opposite Mandarin Oriental and by the library) is a little more fancy these days post renovation with old aunties pushing the dimsum push carts complete with ipads showcasing what’s in the steam baskets. The food is good, but their no reservations policy can be a pain. And of course Saam Hui Yat on Pok Fu Lam Road by the Post office that I recommended for The UK Sunday Times. A generous lunch for two sets you back HKD50. Many people ask and talk about the cheapest one Michelin star restaurant in the world Tim Ho Wan for dimsum, is the food good? Yes, and it’s cheap and cheerful, is it worth the 4 hour long queue, no. You can eat equally great dimsum elsewhere. I’ve been twice to this outlet, and the second time at 4pm on a week day – perfect if you’re a tourist and it’s just old folks hanging around over yumcha. The weekends and at lunch hour, you can forget about getting a table. I just realised they’ve been monetised so well with the publicity, they even have outlets in Singapore and a website to boot! Definitely not the grimy hole in the wall yumcha I knew!
G/F, 9-11 Fuk Wing Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon
Nearest MTR station: Tsuen Wan Line, Sham Shui Po, Exit B2
Tel 2788 1226
Opening hours: 8am-9.30pm daily
10. Lastly Tung Po where I like to take my out of town guests. Although not authentic Hong Kong food, you get a whole range of fusion dishes from squid ink pasta (which is good!), garlic roast chicken, black pepper fried fish, glutinous rice chicken wrapped in fragrant large lotus leaves and their egg plant.
Well, that’s it for my Hong Kong Top 10 Local Eats! Enjoy! And Spread the delicious love. Tweet: Hong Kong’s Top 10 Local eats http://ctt.ec/ftgC4+
By Juliana LohBBQ pork, charsiu, claypot rice, dapaidong, dimsum, Food, Hong Kong, hong kong top 10, kwan kei, local eats, noodles, roasts, yumcha
Jul 06, 2014 @ 14:48:23
It’s about time someone posted some local cuisine instead of some fancy, westernized food in Hong Kong. People travel to Hong Kong wants to sample local cuisines, not something you can get from your own country, like USA!
Jul 07, 2014 @ 02:03:04
Thank you for your note! Hope you enjoy the list of local Hong Kong eats! :) Bon appetit!
Sep 17, 2014 @ 23:27:34
On the 9th one: Can’t agree more about Maxim’s. It was where Bill Clinton was recommended for a yum cha many years back when he visited HK as US President. I was there with him, just as the rest of the dinners that day did : ) There is no reservation but if you arrive around noon, you can get a table real soon.
Tim Ho Wan — nope, don’t think its food is worthy of the waiting. There is another place I consider serving better dim sum.
Oh, only if a Chinese name of the places can be appended, people who can read Chinese can relate better.
Feb 16, 2017 @ 09:37:12
Update: Maxim’s at the City Hall now accepts booking through the Foodguru app https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.foodgulu&hl=en (likely has an iOS version)
Feb 17, 2017 @ 16:21:55
Thanks for the tip!! That’s great as the snaking queues are impossible!
Sep 24, 2014 @ 13:29:27
thanks Nevin for the tips! i should add in Chinese names too – if only I had enough time to blog in Chinese too – I use weibo for that. short and sweet!