I’m currently spending what’s left of a public holiday stuck in bed with bronchitis, which is definitely not where I planned to be today but such is life! I’ve decided to use the opportunity to catch up on computer related things, e.g. cleaning up all my photos and ordering prints. I’m thinking this will kill time and also be extremely satisfying once I’m finished. I love looking through old photos and also reflecting on all the things we’ve done and seen over the last few months. Also – all the places we’ve eaten! We’ve eaten out heaps since moving here, cheap babysitting and overexcitement proving great ways for us to become acquainted with the city’s food scene.
I thought I would share a few of my favourite places (and there are SO many so this is hard!!). The way I did it was just to write down the first restaurants that came to mind, and many are places we’ve been back to again and again and take friends to. I hope you are able to visit some if you come to Hong Kong!
Ho Lee Fook
This is modern Chinese at its absolute best – no reservations for small groups, but if you show up and have to wait they’ll take you to one of their affiliate bars in nearby Staunton St for an aperitif. Once your table is ready you’ll get a call and head downstairs past the wall of waving cats into the dark-in-a-good-way underground restaurant. The food is honestly amazing and will have you moaning with every bite – we loved the pork belly, duck and stir fried vegetables. It was very well accompanied by the Sichuan Spiced cocktail! We’ve only been here once but have recommended it to everyone and had nothing but rave reviews – a Hong Kong must-do.
This is our go-to pizza delivery place as well as a very cool little Italian eatery in Wan Chai’s bustling Ship St. The pizzas are delicious Naples style, with a crispy outside and soft, doughy middle as well as minimal toppings. It’s very child friendly if you want to eat in, and if you choose to order from home (as we sadly do often) the pizzas always arrive hot and on time. The prices are also reasonable for such good quality.
This hip tapas bar, also on Ship St, has a great vibe and will have you dancing to the 50s, 60s and 70s music that blares from the speakers. I’ve always found the staff here to be exceptionally friendly (especially by Hong Kong standards!) and the service to be efficient. I can highly recommend just about everything on the menu as we’ve loved everything we’ve tried, particularly the green beans with miso dressing (yum, yum, so yum). The prices are very Hong Kong (aka $$$) but it’s worth it if you’re prepared to part with your cash. Again, you can’t book so show up early on weekend nights.
Tin Lung Heen
Tin Lung Heen is part of the Ritz-Carlton, on the 102nd floor of the ICC in Kowloon. The views from here are the best in Hong Kong and so are the dumplings. This is definitely a special occasion, “sometimes” place but is absolutely worth it and essential to check out if you’re a lover of Chinese food. The duck! The duck! I’m salivating just thinking about it. If you plan on drinking, expect a crazily pricey wine list – but if you know Hong Kong you will have guessed that anyway. Make sure to book in advance for this one.
Souvla is an awesome Greek restaurant in Lan Kwai Fong. It’s a great location to take guests as it lends itself perfectly to after-dinner cocktails, and the food is perfect for sharing. The lamb stuffed eggplant with yoghurt and pomegranate is legitimately one of the best things I’ve ever eaten (I’m determined to try to recreate it at home!) and the Saganaki cheese is “OMG” good. With drinks it will set you back at least $500HKD a head and the one thing I would say about that is that it doesn’t leave you feeling exceptionally full for the price. But we love it and continue to go back!
This is getting a mention purely because it was one of the craziest eating experiences I’ve had and if you like spicy food – like REALLY spicy – then you have to go here! Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Head straight to Soho and eat the spiciest food of your life. This delicious Szechuan food is like tongue-numbing, mind-numbing, body-numbing spicy, with that distinctive Szechuan pepper flavour. I actually ate around the thousands of chilli’s and was still gasping for air. I ate there with four big, burly men and of course it was a beating-of-the-chests exercise to see who could handle the spice best. Sadly, they were all suffering the following day but I was fine!
Stone Nullah is basically the fancy Hong Kong version of our local pub. We often meet friends here for a drink and one of our closest (and very first!) friends here knows the owners, so it’s a go-to place and also conveniently in Wan Chai. There’s a great area near the footpath where you can stand and have wines with friends and the food is sort of modern-American pub food done really well and with a bit of “zhoosh” added. Non-locals will find the food expensive but it’s fairly standard HK prices (especially as a lot of it is meat-based and meat here is pricey). One thing is that Justus often feels quest after eating here as the food is very rich. I of course can stomach an obscene amount of calories before reacting and have never had a problem!
We are crazy about The Butcher’s Club and have experienced just about everything they have to offer (and there is a LOT) – The Butcher’s Club Burger in Wan Chai and Soho do the best burgers in Hong Kong, hands down. You can head to their larger restaurant in Aberdeen for lunch or dinner, and they often run special nights. We recently went to their Long Lunch for Australian Father’s Day, which cost $500 a head and included unlimited alcoholic drinks as well as food from a range of stalls they had set up on the roof. Heike and Justus have even done a sausage making class here!! We also often order meat from their online store, and it’s always amazing – highly, highly recommended.
It’s almost embarrassing how many places we’ve eaten out (and how many times) in only four months, but hopefully it can be of use to someone!!! Certainly not our diets. But being an expat is nothing if not fun, and we need to make the most of it – right?!