Hong Kong is a food paradise with over 10,000 restaurants. It not only offers the finest Cantonese food but also international cuisine. What should you try? Here's a guide to food experiences you shouldn't miss in Hong Kong.
Dim Sum - the Heartbeat of Hong Kong Cuisine
Dim sum means "to touch the heart". Dim sums are to Hong Kong people what tapas are to the Spanish. It is all about small servings of different dishes that are always served in piping hot bamboo baskets.
The classic dim sum dishes are shrimp dumplings (har gau), congee (rice porridge), steamed pork dumplings (siu mei), sweet pork buns (char siu pau), and rice noodle rolls (cheung fan). It helps to assemble a small group of people so as to be able to order many different kinds of dim sum.
Dim sum restaurants, which are always lively and crowded with diners, are good places to have a close interaction with local people and experience local life.
- Maxim's Palace City Hall (美心皇宮): 2/F, Low Block, City Hall, 5 Edinburgh Place, Central, Hong Kong Island
- Tim Ho Wan (添好運): 9–11 Fuk Wing Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon
- Lin Heung Tea House (蓮香樓): 162 Wellington Street, Central
- Lei Garden Restaurant Group (利苑酒家): 3007–3011, 3/F, International Finance Centre IFC, Central
Chinese Barbecue - a Traditional Hong Kong Dining Favorite
Chinese barbecue, known as "siu mei", includes highly-seasoned meats roasted over an open fire or in a rotisserie oven. It is very popular in Hong Kong and all around China. You can taste it in a fancy restaurant or at a street stall where you will see entire ducks and roasted meat hanging in the windows.
Roast duck or goose is a traditional specialty of a Hong Kong barbecue. A whole goose is roasted with secret ingredients and cut into small pieces. Each piece has crisp skin, meat, and soft bones, and is eaten with plum sauce.
Barbecued pork, called "char siu" in Cantonese, is the typical reddish pork that has been seasoned with spices, wine, and a plethora of other condiments.
- Joy Hing Roasted Meat (再興燒臘飯店): 265–267 Hennessy Rd, Wan Chai, Hong Kong Island
- Yat Lok Restaurant (樂燒鵝): G/F, 34–38 Stanley St, Central, Hong Kong Island
- Kam's Roast Goose (甘牌燒鵝): G/F, Po Wah Commercial Centre, 226–226A Hennessy Rd, Hong Kong Island
Seafood - an Integral Part of Hong Kong Cuisine
Hong Kong consists of more than 200 islands. Seafood is certainly an integral part of Hong Kong cuisine. If you are a seafood lover, you should not miss a seafood experience in a local restaurant in Hong Kong.
The main seafood options are grouper, abalone, crab, clams, shrimp, lobster, and scallops. Seafood restaurants can be found everywhere in Hong Kong, but the ones in seaside villages and on small islands are the best.
You will find that the restaurants have tanks full of their live swimming offerings. You just pick your meal on the spot and tell the server whether you want them to be braised, steamed, or stir-fried.
- Ming Court for Gourmet Cantonese Seafood (明閣): 6/F, Langham Place Hotel, 555 Shanghai Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon
- Lei Garden (利苑酒家): Unit 3008, IFC Mall, 1 Harbour View Street, Central, Hong Kong Island
- Under Bridge (Qiao Tei) Spicy Crab Cantonese Seafood (桥底辣蟹海鲜馆): G/F–3/F, Ascot Mansion, 421–425 Lockhart Road, Wanchai District, Hong Kong Island
Noodles and Congee - Simple but Worth a Try
After tasting the roasted meat and seafood, a bowl of noodles should be a good option. The most famous noodles are wonton noodles, beef brisket noodles, and rickshaw noodles.
Wonton noodles perfectly combine rich broth, leafy vegetables, springy noodles, and goldfish-shaped wonton filled with shrimp and pork.
Beef brisket noodles are thin ribbons of noodles that are ideal for creating a delicious parcel of seasoned beef and Chinese herbs.
Rickshaw noodles are so-called because in the past vendors always sold this food on street corners from wooden carts. They are instant noodles served with a variety of other ingredients, such as pork rinds, fish balls, sirloin, and carrots, with soup and sauces.
You can always order congee in a noodle restaurant. You can select plain congee, which is rice and water simmered for hours, or taste "complicated congee" with chunks of juicy fish belly, seasoned liver, shredded pork, dried oysters, or salted egg.
- Mak’s Wonton Noodles (麥奀雲吞麵世家): G/F, 77 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong Island
- Tsim Chai Kee (沾仔記): 98, Wellington Street, Central
- Kau Kee (九記牛腩): 21 Gough Street, Central
Street Snacks - a Way to Experience Side Street Culture
In this international metropolis, apart from exquisite food in fancy restaurants, street snacks will give you a unique experience. There are street food stalls everywhere in Hong Kong. You can enjoy some snacks after shopping or sightseeing.
The most popular snacks are pineapple buns, chicken feet, curry fish balls, stinky tofu, mini egg waffles, egg tarts, and fake shark fin soup.
Do not try the street food if you suffer from a weak stomach.
- Temple Street, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon: open daily from 6 or 7pm to 11pm
- Haiphong Road, Kowloon Park, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon: open daily from 12pm to 9pm
- Graham Street, Central, Hong Kong Island: open daily from 6:30am to 8pm
Dessert - Take Time Out from the Rush of Urban Life
For Hong Kong people, it is a way of life to enjoy some desserts after having a meal, working, or shopping. You can find many dessert shops in shopping malls or in small streets.
There is a wide selection of desserts available, ranging from light traditional Chinese desserts to rich Western temptations, such as sweet red bean soup, tofu pudding, tong yuen, mango pudding, and sago mix.
- Honeymoon Dessert (滿記甜品): Shop B105B-3, Food Court, B/F Times Square, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Island
- Hui Lau Shan Healthy Dessert (許留山): Shop 3, Yee Wo Street, Causeway Bay
- Yee Shun Dairy Company (義順牛奶公司): 506 Lockhard Road, Causeway Bay
Take a Hong Kong Food Tour with China Highlights
Food is an important part of a city. Tasting some local food in Hong Kong is a great way to experience the real Hong Kong. It will be helpful to have a local guide who can give you some insider's recommendations on what to eat and where to eat.
Please contact us if you need any information about Hong Kong food or would like us to tailor-make you a Hong Kong tour.