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Nov 17, 2008 10:15 AM

Yat Lok in HKG

My wife and I are going to have an overnight in Hong Kong on Thursday and we're looking for food ideas. Neither one of us reads or speaks Chinese, but we're adventorous. Our flight arrives at 7:45am and we're staying at the Sheraton in Kowloon. We were planning on taking the Airport Express to the K2 bus, so we think we'll be at the hotel around 9:00am. Our flight leaves the next morning at 9:00am to Bangkok.

We'll have been in the air for 20 hours, but are hoping to have caught some sleep and use the adrenaline for the day.

I hate to be a TV follower, but after seeing Yat Lok we are very interested in trying their goose and pig. I know roasted meats are all over the place, but we'd just as soon try this one as any.

Can anyone provide advice on the best way to get there from Kowloon? Are they open for lunch? Will we have problems ordering?

If we can squeeze that in for lunch we'd like recommendations for dinner. Unfortunately, neither of us will have packed anything fancier than a button down shirt, jeans and tennies for me.

We'd also like any recommendations for a nice bar with a view to grab a pre-dinner drink and soak in the skyline. Early weather reports look nice.

We're planning on doing the basic touristy stuff in our limited time, which means the Peak and Star Ferry along with riding atop the double decker trams.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Yat Lok (一樂) is in Tai Po Market, which is a 5-10 minute walk from the KCR. Take the KCR East Rail from East TST (right at your hotel) to Tai Po Market. They are open 11am-11pm according to Openrice. Look up Po Wah Building in the New Territories on to see a good map of where it is. It's not super far from Kowloon but I wouldn't recommend bothering to go up to Tai Po for just that. Give yourself some time to check out Tai Po Market and also the Tai Po Complex (2 or 3 blocks south) that has a huge cooked food centre on one floor, and a wet market (the clean modern kind) on another. There's a good chance people behind the counter at a casual food place won't speak much English, but it's easy to point at a hanging piece of meat and get it on rice.

    The thing is, just because this place was on TV doesn't mean it's extra special or even one of the 25 best roast meat places in HK- if your true goal is to "try any" roast meats places, just go walk around Mong Kok and save the travel time. I think it's a good idea to get out of a super-touristy area to really get a feel for the place but like I said, don't make that one food shop your single destination in the area. If you want to do touristy stuff while you're in the New Territories I highly recommend checking out the 10000 buddhas in Sha Tin.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Luther

      Thanks to both of you! 10,000 Buddhas in Sha Tin was definitely on the list of things to do, so great to hear it is close. I am just starting the mapping out of our day and that makes it much easier.

      Understood on the TV angle, but the place does seem to get really go reviews on here. If it were going to be a 30 minute commute each way, and we were there for nothing but that, I wouldn't bother, but the 10,000 buddhas makes it immediately worthwhile.

      After arriving at the hotel we'll head over the the Peak, then back to the East TST station and up to lunch at Yat Lok, then down to Sha Tin, then some walking around Kowloon, then the harbor light show, then dinner, then crash.

    2. Luther is spot on with his directions to and recommendations of things to do in Tai Po!

      As for dinner, take the train back to Kowloon, but get off at 'Tai Wai'.( the stop after Sha Tin ). Directly across from the station exit you'll see the Cantonese restaurant ' Fung Lam'. They are really famous for their Roasted pigeon and Fried live sea prawns with spicy salt and pepper. A bit expensive but worth every cents. Do check with the waiter the daily price of the prawns and order accordingly ( by weight ). The prawns are to die for!!!

      As for a bar with a view. There are a few in and around your hotel. I personally like the oyster bar and Pink Giraffe inside the Sheraton. Hand carved Spanish Serrano ham is one of the finger food available to go with your drink. The other is Aqua on top of 1 Peking road ( just behind the Peninsula Hotel ). One of the best view of Hong Kong Harbour. You can also have dinner there. Aqua Tokyo and Aqua Rome combined to give an interesting Japanese/Italian fusion combo food experience! A bit expensive by HK standard. But its worth paying extra for the view alone!

      Enjoy and good luck!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Charles Yu

        Oh yeah, good call. Bucky could also consider doing the peak after dark to get a better view of all the lights.

        Fung Lam on openrice (which seems to have killed off its English side):

      2. I live not far from the Sheraton and I wouldn't go all the way to Tai Po for roast meat when there are many options much closer to home, but I admire your enthusiasm.

        Another couple of drinks-with-views near your hotel:
        Felix, atop the Peninsula. It's a little less trendy now that Aqua has become the Tsimshatsui bar-of-the-moment, which is a good thing. Best view is from the men's bathroom.

        The lobby bar at the Intercontinental, across the street, mixes a nice cocktail. It's a lower-level view.

        I would check with both Aqua and Felix re dress code; Felix at one time didn't allow sport shoes, not sure if that's still the case. Shouldn't be an issue at the Intercontinental.

        If you want to cross the harbour, there are a few modern lounge/bars with views on top of the IFC Mall, near the Star Ferry in Central. The only one I've been to much is Isobar, above Isola restaurant. Good drinks, nice view, with the tallest building in town on one side, and also some (rare for HK) outdoor seating.

        The weather is nice this week, but our legendary air pollution is pretty bad today.

        3 Replies
        1. re: HKDave

          Thanks Dave, any recs closer to the hotel for roast meat? Is Aqua the same as Hutong?

          1. re: Bucky

            Both Aqua and Hutong have stylish decor with floor to ceiling windows that allow for a spectecular view of the harbour and skyline.
            Aqua offers both Italian and Japanese cuisine split into two contrasting sections on the menu. One is truly spoilt for choice. Must be the only place on earth where one can have a sea urchin nigiri sushi to be followed by a plate of sea urchin, cherry tomato squid ink pasta!
            Hutong, a floor down serves Nouvelle Chinese Cuisine. More specifically, a modern interpretation of Northern Chinese gastronomy eg., an amazingly good crispy deboned lamb ribs. Very expensive!

            1. re: Bucky

              Aqua and Hutong are from the same company, in the same building, but are different concepts (other than that they're both trendy and very expensive). Details:

              Close to your hotel, there's a branch of Guangdong BBQ at 43 Hankow Rd. They're rude and slightly more expensive than others, and serious foodies pooh-pooh them because they're popular, but I haven't found better BBQ in the immediate area.

              There are a lot more options if you're willing to walk a bit further, in Jordan and Mongkok, or if you take a short ferry to Wanchai.