Visiting Hong Kong is definitely a once in a lifetime experience, and by that we mean it’s great. Even more so when you know exactly where to get those authentic dining experiences. This is Citizen Femme’s guide to where to eat like a local in Hong Kong
However, you need to know that this place is a very peculiar one – it’s filled with magnificent views and amazing places, accompanied with great and interesting culture. But, you never know what to expect there, especially when food is concerned. Let’s be honest – food is important wherever we go, and we really love to know in advance where and what to eat, and food in Hong Kong can be a double-edged sword. There certainly are great places you will want to revisit, but then again, there are places where you shouldn’t go. So here’s our guide, find your preferred cuisine and see what places you simply have to go and eat.
One of the main reasons to visit Hong Kong is to try their spectacular dish, dim sum. The old Chinese tradition is to drink tea, which is also known as yum cha, and along with it, it’s a custom to eat small bite sized dishes also known as dim sum. You’ll find restaurants serving this at every corner in Hong Kong. Even though it’s widespread, eating good dim sum is very important, so make sure you know where you’re going.
The best place to try this is the popular Lin Heung Tea House, on Wellington Street, Central. It’s worth the fight for a table in this establishment, bustling on any given day, with all the dim sum rolled out piping hot on trolleys. Often reported as one of the top 10 things to do in Hong Kong generally, its one to check off the list. Rumour has it that the development has been bought and it may face closure. Let’s hope not, or at least it will move to another location!
If you cannot grab a table there, you can go to the next best dim sum place – the Sam Hui Yat. This place is not as crowded as Lin Heung Tea House, but it is your go to traditional local dim sum restaurant in the old quarter of Western District on Hong Kong Island. Free from fancy decorations or sumptuous dishes but run with enthusiasm and character, the restaurant has a loyal collection of customers and regulars, with some excellent dim sum.
Another must-eat in Hong Kong is the roast goose, which is a dish you will not find anywhere else in the world. “Why?”, you ask! Because this type of goose is marinated in a blend of multiple secret spices (sometimes even as much as twenty!), then roasted using charcoal until it’s crispy golden. It’s eaten with the skin, and it’s truly a remarkable experience, as you feel the skin melting in your mouth and producing the most succulent taste. Perhaps the best restaurant to try this one is Yat Lok, a One Michelin Star restaurant, frequented regularly by locals.
Burgers & Beers
Provided that you tried the two dishes that we mentioned above, you can give yourself a break from this type of cuisine and opt for the good old burger and beer instead. But, there’s a catch – it’s not easy to find a good burger joint in Hong Kong. If you really want to taste the classic American burger in a beautiful Hong Kong setting, you simply have to try the Big Sur. This great restaurant is also a bar, so you can grab a beer after you’ve filled yourself with dishes from their amazing cuisine. It’s open every day from 12 midday to 1am, which makes it an excellent place to have a good lunch at.
Another option is the Butcher’s Club Burger, which is also a restaurant that specializes in burgers (but you’ll have to go for beer someplace else). Those in the know can put in an order from the ‘secret menu’, accessed either from the Butchers Club website or via the mysterious QR codes posted around the restaurant.
If you’re up for noodles, you will find them everywhere in Hong Kong, mostly because there are so many different kinds. But, make sure to try the fish ball noodles first, as these are perhaps the most exotic type. You might not like them at first, but give them a shot, they tend to grow on you. The place you want to go to is (and make sure you keep this open so you remember the name) Wong Lam Kee Chiu Chow Fish Ball Noodles. Alongside fresh fish ball noodles, you will also find other types of noodles, brisket and even peanut butter toast.
After you’ve tried this one, you can go Kwan Kee Bamboo Noodle and try their amazing Wonton noodles, which are made with eggs and come with dumplings. Yeap, egg noodles made with bamboo poles known as zhuk sang meen (竹昇麵); a process from back in the day when there were no machines. A experience in a taste of history for egg noodles in Hong Kong which is what you will get and what this place is renowned for.
Don’t be fooled – there are other things that you have to try in Hong Kong, such as seafood, good Sichuanese, fried rice, sweet and sour pork… but make sure to check out these four first. We promise you won’t regret it!
Head over to these impressive bars in Hong Kong after your meal.