Favourite Eats in Hong Kong - Part 1 (Central)
We’ve been in Hong Kong for over 2 years now. How time flies!
You can say we’ve lived here long enough for our friends in Singapore and Australia to ask us for recommendations on where to eat in Hong Kong. We started like everyone else, taking recommendations from friends, explored and eventually discovered some of our own favourites. Our list has grown considerably, so perhaps it is time to share some of these inherited food wisdom and favourites here. In Part One of our very own best Hong Kong places to eat, we begin with Central, Hong Kong Island.
Hong Kong Island is full of little nooks and corners with really great food. Lots of stairs and slopes so you can cardio-pay for your sins right after a big meal. When we first moved to Hong Kong, we stayed at Sheung Wan and that’s where we will begin our food recommendations. This will also include Central and Sai Ying Pun which is just a stone’s throw away from each other.
Dim Sum Square
88 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan
We begin with our favourite spot for Dim Sum on Hong Kong Island. To us, Dim Sum Square is better alternative to Tim Ho Wan. If you have heard of and tried Tim Ho Wan, you need to pay this place a visit. Their crispy baked char siew bao is way better than the famed ones at THW. The only down side is the selection. It is not extensive but everything they serve here is quality. They open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Prices are very affordable.
Tsim Chai Kee Noodle Shop
98 Wellington Street, Central
Our favourite wanton mee shop. A friend recommended this and we are loyal customers ever since. If you have heard of the famous Mak’s Noodle, forget that and come here instead. In fact Tsim Chai Kee is right across the road on Wellington Street. Mak's Noodle serves the tiniest bowls for double the price of what you get here. Prices and quality at Tsim Chai Kee are way more honest and tasty. They also do hand made beef balls and fish balls which you can order as a triple treasure selection. You can also choose your type of noodle from egg noodles to rice noodles. One of the few places that do ‘konlow’ dry version that is a popular serving style in Singapore and Malaysia. Seating is a tight squeeze so be prepared to share and get cosy. If you want to avoid crowds, go as early as 5pm for dinner. It will still be rather crowded but at least you won’t have to queue for long and the staff are not as impatient. Open for lunch and dinner.
For Kee Restaurant
200 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan
Our favourite pork chop rice spot other than the one at Causeway Bay. They are open for breakfast and lunches only. Do note that they only serve noodles for breakfast. Rice is only available for lunch. There are many other options on the menu but the pork chop is the star here. This is a very local place. I can’t even say they are rough on the edges. It’s just rough inside and out. But, the pork chops here are next level tasty, even if they don’t look it. If you are after instagram worthy pictures, you might get turned off. Food is served on humble orange plastic plates and look like they were flung from one end of the prison… I mean, kitchen, to almost miss the plate it landed on. Not kidding. But once you get past the need to take pictures and bite into this, your taste buds will disown your phone camera. Mostly we upgrade our pork chop rice by adding fried egg, veggies and mushrooms. That is the only way to get the best experience here. So very very very satisfying and very affordable too. Being that this is a local family owned establishment, it is your typical share-any-table and they-might-shout-at-you-if-bad-mood type of place. They’re not really shouting at you. It’s more like a default volume setting, so don’t take it personally. It’s a small space as well, so seating is limited and there is always a queue. The old uncle who usually takes your order (who is also the owner) is getting on in years and his memory isn't very good, so when ordering, go slow, in case he screws up your order. He can be quite nice if you speak canto (or try to) and you might get treated to family shouting drama fest from within the kitchen from time to time. Best place to watch real life HK soap opera while enjoying your lunch. Very charming little place.
Bonus tip: According to a friend (who is also a published food author), you need to also order the black pepper satay beef sandwich with egg. In his words, ‘It’s intense’.
206 Hollywood Rd, Tai Ping Shan
Modern Thai place. A bit on the pricey side but really good ambience, vibe and authentic thai. Staff are super friendly and upbeat. Definitely a nice fancy but not too fancy dinner spot. Definitely order the Gai Yang, which is this amazing lemongrass grilled chicken on sticks. We’ve been once with a big group of friends and left with good memories. The address says Tai Ping Shan, but it’s really Sheung Wan cos it’s a stone’s throw away from For Kee.
Kwan Kee Claypot Rice
Wo Yick Mansion, 253-263 Queen's Rd W, Sai Ying Pun
Claypot rice! Forget the famous ones in Mongkok. This one’s a local recommended bozaifan and it's better. Very popular with locals. They also do lamb hotpot which is a mainstay menu during winter. They open at 6pm and usually full 5-10 mins after opening. So get there a few minutes before they open.
70 Peel St, Central
Affordable brunch with decent selection like eggs benedict. Selections are hearty and decent. Coffee here is not bad.
G/F, 28 - 30, Staunton Street, Soho, Central
Weekend Brunch here is on the pricey side. But really good value for money. One price for a 3 course brunch, including shared appetisers, mains selection (which you can also share) and dessert. You can also add a drink buffet package. TLDR: Free Flow Alchohol - sparkling, red, white wines, sangria, bloodymary. You can also switch drinks mid-way! All this for around HKD$450 (AUD$80) per person! We spent about 3 hours here on a Sunday.
19 Elgin Street, Central
Come here for Daiquiri. The cocktail glass is covered in super yummy chocolate powder. Great spot for after dinner drinks. Or pre-dinner if you wanna get in for happy hour which ends at 8pm (I think). Drinks outside of happy hour are still affordable! A good friend in Hong Kong took us there once and we have fond memories. This was her drinking haunt when she was a student cos drinks were cheap compared to many other bars.
Shari Shari Kakigori House
47 Staunton St, Central
That shaved ice japanese awesomeness. If you know ice kachang or bingsu, this is the Japanese version but with shaved ice that is akin to powdered snow. Have no idea what engineering witchcraft goes into this but I’ve never tasted snow like this before. They also have another shop at Causeway Bay.
Also see these spots
Lan Fong Yuen milk tea
2 Gage Street, Central
Famous for pork chop buns and milk tea.
Tai Cheong Bakery
35 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central
Famous egg tarts, but they are kinda like everywhere now.
21 Gough Street, Central
Famous beef noodle. We love it when we were here for holiday few years ago but we've never been back since they renovated and the queue is still as long, if not longer. But worth a visit if you are patient enough.
Finally, if you are feeling a little fancy, check these out.
6 Pound Lane, Sheung Wan
Ho Lee Fook
3-5 Elgin Street
48 Peel Street, Central
also at 12 Hart Ave, Tsim Sha Tsui
I’ve only ever been the La Vache. All 3 places are highly recommended by foodie friends in Hong Kong so we thought we leave them in this list. The first two are modern chinese, taking on classics and putting a twist to them. La Vache is really good for steak and free-flow chips. They only serve these as mains with a choice of desserts and wine.
If there is anything else I should also try, please let me know in the comments below. I’m always keen to explore new eats!