HK foodie trip in October
It's time to be brave and reveal my shortlist of HK restaurants, after having done a lot of research on Chowhound. I don't have that many lunch and dinner slots in HK, so please let me know your opinions! I've also had to take into consideration the husband, who's vegetarian, so if you're wondering why I've left certain places off my list, that's why. Plus, I have 6 days in Beijing plus a trip to Macau, so that's 16 days of eating, which means I have to keep an eye on the wallet (and waistline!). I speak Cantonese, but can't read Chinese menus.
Breakfasts, Lunches & Snacks:
Mak's Noodles (Wellington St) & possibly pop in to try Tsim Chai Kee afterwards, if I'm still hungry - for wonton noodles
Lor Fu Kei, 144 Queens Rd Central - for congee
Tai Cheong for egg tarts
Lock Cha Tea Shop - Admiralty, for vegetarian dim sum
Mak's (the other one) on Wing Kut St - for wonton noodles
Lei Yuen Noodle & Congee Restaurant - for beef brisket noodles & congee
Ho Hung Kee - for wonton noodles
Freedom Noodles - for wonton noodles
Lung King Heen - for dim sum
Fu Sing - for dim sum
T'ang Court - for dim sum
Kung Tak Lam
Wing Hop Shing
Xiao Nan Guo
Chung's Cuisine, Times Square
King Crab, Causeway Bay
Star of Canton, Lee Theatre Plaza, Causeway Bay
Hutong - I really would like to know if it's really worth the experience (heard about the HK$300 minimum spend per person in the evenings too)
Many thanks in advance!
Helen Yuet Ling Pang
I'm leaving for HK tomorrow and was on the board looking for recommendations for this jaunt. I read your question regarding Hutong - I've only been 1x (based on a NYT 24-hours in Hong Kong article). The view was fantastic. I found the food to be unsatisfying. Did not enjoy the whole experience and will not return. I was excited and then disappointed by the fried lamb. The dim sum place a few floors down (name, anyone?) has a nearly identical view with enjoyable food, but the atmosphere is completely different. On the way to dim sum, I feared that the company I was dining with was taking me back to Hutong. I don't spend enough time in HK for second chances. But I know Hutong has their fans.
siuyeh - great blog, thanks for the tip! going to be spending ages going through all your posts now. and i'm going to do the peak walk as you suggested. how come I've never come across you on wordpress?? I've been on it for the last year...
Nibbs - I'm so divided on Hutong! I keep reading good and then bad reviews. Thanks for your opinion though, it's good to hear from someone who actually dreads going back!
re: foodie guide
Hutong tends to get mixed review because it depends on the background of the person. It is not as popular to the locals, especially the more conservative crowd, because it is not really authentic Chinese food (and trust me, it is not northern food as well based on the menu I reviewed) and feel it is way overcharged. However, it is popular with tourists and hip young crowd because of the view and the ambiance. Also this crowd will also accept how Hutong interpret its own version of northern Chinese food.
re: foodie guide
Hi Helen, thanks for the positive comments. I'm relatively new to food blogging, which is probably why. I've only started a couple months ago.
In response to your question, I don't think Kau Kee offers anything without beef. I'm not sure what kind of vegetarian your husband is, but if he can have beef broth / soup, then I would strongly recommend he just have a bowl of plain "e-noodle" in broth. And perhaps a "Yao Choi" on the side (they only have lettuce though).
How many bowls for you? Well that depends whether how stuffed you are from your itinary. It looks pretty packed to me!
most people either love Maks/hate Chim Chai Kee or the other way around, so few would go to both.
Ho Hung Kee - go not for the wonton noodles but for the stir-fried rice noodles with beef. Sister restaurant Tasty's (in Happy Valley or IFC) also does the same dish well. Arguably the best in HK.
Lock Cha Tea Shop serves great veggie dim sum.
Xiao Nan Guo has been struck off my list of Shanghainese restaurants
Hutong - I would expect to pay double the minimum you quoted, judging from how much sister restaurants charge and adding a premium on top
Kau Kee for sure
Hi Peech! Thanks for these tips. I've read many opinions on Mak vs Chim Chai Kee, but put them both on the list as I'm headed to Wellington St anyway. I'm most definitely prioritising Mak's over CCK, and will try to fit Kau Kee in. I think Hutong is dropping further down the list too...
re: foodie guide
With so many of you 'Won-Ton Noodles Aficionado' out there, I am really surprised that none of you actually mention 'Jen Dao' in Hung Hum's Whampoa Garden or the one off Blue Pool road in Happy Valley?!
IMHO, of all the noodle houses that I tried ( including almost every one mentioned on this board and more ), the 'JD' version I find to be the most authentic and delicious! All three of the major components are well prepared and executed. First the broth. This ultra delicious authentic tasting broth truly reflects the use of all the key ingredients into making this gem - shrimp eggs, roasted dry flounder, buddha fruit, prawn shells, chicken, pork and Chinese ham bones. Then comes the noodle. Their version is amongst the finest and most al-dente around. The authentic part is that the cook tossed the finish product with a few drops of 'lard' to 'kick it up a notch'. As for the won-ton, these 'shrimp only' morsels have just the right amount of white pepper/sesame oil seasoning and the crunchy consistency reflects that fresh shrimps are used. Lastly, the final product is dressed by a sprinkling of chopped yellowing chives and more shrimp eggs before serving! Now, this is what I call 'Won-Ton Noodle'!!
Hello Peech and skylineR33!
Greetings Peech! Thanks for the name clarification. I've tried both locations but somehow I found the quality and taste of the Hung Hum location a lot better, especially in the evening, after the dinner rush. May be its my own imagination?!
As for Stir fried beef noodles. The absolute best version I have tried, believe it or not, was at the canteen of Ying Wa Boy's school in Kowloon Tong before they moved to their new address. The single portion was cooked using a giant wok, over this huge butane burner, the size of an oil barrel located on the side street! The resulting 'wok hay' was simply unreal! No wonder even the MaryKnoll girls from nearby came over for the food??!! Ha!
re: Charles Yu
Hey Charles, Jen Dao (Tasty) actually opened by Ho Hung Kee's second generation (who also manage Ho Hung Kee now), and they are both good I think but expensive. The stir fried beef noodles at both places are actually really great with the lard used, make it so much better in taste !
I agree with Peech. I love Maks because I love their noodles. If you're going there, you must try the Sui Gao in addition to the wontons - I personally think the sui gao is better than the wontons although it's usually the wontons which get the good reviews. Wing Wah's noodles are no where nearly as good as Mak's.
I don't like the wonton noodles at Ho Hung Kee.I am told the stir fried stuff is actually better there.
Xiao Nan Guo used to be a favourite but like Peech, I have struck it off my list. For Shanghainese, I now prefer Liu's Pavilion. If you can get a local friend who is a member to take you - go to the Kiangsu Chekiang Association.
If you want authentic Chinese food, Hutong is the wrong place to go. authentic
I wonder why you do not include any Chiu Chow restaurant on your list. Hong Kong has the best Chiu Chow food. And your list seems to be dominated by wanton mee, dim sum and Cantonese Cuisine for 10 days; would you want to seek other varieties like non-Southern Chinese food and others.
Sounds like there's going to be hard time finding the definitive verison of won ton noodles in HK as everyone will think the most well known or famous places are not as up to par. Wish I could go back to judge....My question to those living in HK or have been to the Maks, Hon Hung Kee's etc, is Wing Wah on Henessey Rd in Wanchai (where the noodles are supposedly kneaded with bamboo pole in the dough making process) worth a visit?
They say Tai Cheong has a cookie type crust for egg tarts, but their sa yung is also a big must (Chinese sugary doughnut without the hole). For multi layer flakey pastry (supposedly over 100+ layers) Honolulu Cafe in Wanchai (near MTR station?) is highly recommended, although the lard content is high. But at least the cafe will also have other things you can have and not just a bakery (supposedly their pineapple buns, walnut eggy spone cake, coffee and milk teas, are nice).
Agreed that I've heard good things also about Ho Hung Kee for dried stir fried beef chow fun.
re: K K
Thanks everyone for your comments. No Chiu Chow restaurants on the list yet simply because I haven't had a chance to consult my Chiu Chow gourmet uncle in HK, and there are also a couple of restaurants that relatives will be taking us to. And I'm going to be in Beijing for 6 days as well, hence the focus on Southern Chinese. The list will be refined by the time I arrive in HK in two weeks! Many thanks...