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My HK plan: please advise

This is a follow-up to my last post. We have 3 nights in HK. I've calculated that we can do 13 meals, including 3 breakfasts/dimsum. The first meal will be a late dinner after a long flight from London with a toddler, so may have to do with something covenient near our hotel, which is the Salisbury YMCA in Kowloon: would Spring Deer be a reasonable choice (peking duck)?

I do not speak any Cantonese/Mandarin, cannot read Pinyin. I have 6 months to try and pick some up but the intonations in Cantonese scare me. I don't want to ask for chicken and end up with a prostitute! So please let me know if any of my choices are a complete no-no without the requisite Chinese language skills. Please let me know if I need to make reservations at any of these places, would rather not, as we are new to the city and will be negotiating the streets with a toddler in stroller. I've made a list of places I would like to try, please help me tailor my chow itenerary if I have not chosen correctly. Please let me know if any of the places I chose is really expensive, because I might have to ditch that.

Dimsum: With a toddler in tow, sometimes it is pretty late in the morning before we can get our act together. So perhaps late morning dim sum would be nice instead of breakfast. I've picked the following

Lock Cha Tea Shop in Admiralty for vegetarian dimsum

Star of Canton in Causeway Bay

Luk Yu (mixed reviews, should I avoid?)

Lin Heung: the experience here sounds fairly stressful. maybe I should avoid it?

Please recommend some more places you think would be suitable !

Cantonese:

Chung’s Cuisine, Causeway Bay

Yat Lok, New Territories. Recommended for roast goose (apparently better than Yeung Kee) and roast suckling pig.

Leaving out Yeung Kee as have read quite a few negative reviews.

Noodles:

Mak’s Noodles: are both branches equally good?

Tsui Wah Restaurant, Wellington Street, Central: Wonton noodles and Hainan chicken Rice

Seafood:
Lamcombe Seafood Restaurant, 47 Main Street, Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island.

Any recommendations for Lantau? Didn't see anything that caught my eye.

Char siu:

Looks like a toss-up between these 3: Joy Hing, Lung Moon and Fu Sing. Looking through the threads, seems that Joy Hing's char siu sauce is really good, whereas Lung Moon is the only place to roast their meat over charcoal and Fu Sing has the best quality pork. I am more of a lean pork girl needing a small amount of fatty pork to keep some moisture in and lubricate the rice. I would love to do all 3 places, as I am a total char siu fanatic, but my hubby will get a bit annoyed if I turn our little trip to HK into a char siu fest. So please recommend which one I should go to if I only have one choice. Apart from the char siu, any other things we should definitely order at these places? I will hit all 3 for char siu if I can!

The last dinner will have to be at the airport, terminal 1. It's a choice between Maxim's, Hang Heung's Kitchen, Taiwan Beef Noodle and Ah Yee Leng Tong. Have read some stuff about all except Hang Heung's Kitchen. Any recs would be appreciated.

Also, Chiu Chow cuisine remains a mystery. I am not a fan of food served at room temp/cold, which I am told a lot of Chiu Chow dishes are served as. Any advice on Chiu Chow, or is it too much to tackle both Cantonese and Chiu Chow on a 3 day visit?

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  1. Of course you know that in Cantonese the phrase to "order chicken" is the same as to ask for a prostitute... =)

    In general I think your plans are too ambitious, especially since some of the places you mentioned are actually very far away and not that easy to get to. In particular Yat Lok in New Territories and Lamma Island, and forget about Lantau. You'll kill too much time just commuting to/from these places.

    Surprised that for dim sum, you left out Maxim's at City Hall, Victoria Seafood and Fu Sing.

    Tsui Wah has a number of branches so don't need to stick to the one in Central.

    Why does the last dinner have to be at Terminal 1? Why not check in earlier at Airport Express and do something at the Elements Mall upstairs? Perhaps Lei Garden?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Peech

      Thanks Peech. I had the notion I might be taking on too much. I am not familiar with the area. We thought we might spend one day on the ferries, going out to Lamma Island and Lantau. But if it's not recommended, will rethink. Or maybe go out there, but eat in HK/Kowloon. Will take on Fu Sing as a dimsum rec, also Maxim's and VIctoria Seafood. Anything in particular we should order at these places?
      Our flight leaves at 23:40 hrs and we want to check out from the YMCA before noon to avoid paying extra, so have nearly 9-10 hours to kill. Would the best option be to dump our luggage in a left luggage facility at the airport and head back into town for some more sightseeing/eating? What is Airport Express?
      Thanks for the tips. I have this big wishlist but haven't really thought out the logistics! Also need to sightsee and shop!

    2. i think Maxim [for dim sum] is better in your case. i've never been there though, just can't get past Lin Heung.

      you can already check in early in the day. the same place where you take the Airport Express to the airport. one of the things i like about flying out of HKG.

      1. One of our fellow 'Master Foodie' chowhounder 'klyeoh' just finish a few days of eating spree in HK. He re-confirms my HK preference for great 'value for money' Cantonese food - ' Fu Sing'. It is one of the 'must try' dim sum/dinner place in town!! Dinner was even better than the Michelin 3* Lung King Heen!

        In general, I do agree with CHer Peech that your itinerary is too ambitious, especially with toddler in tow. I would cut down on the trips to outskirt Lamma and Lantau islands Don't forget it'll be quite hot and humid by the time you get to HK! Could be quite uncomfortable for Londoners!

        If you don't mind the 45 minutes journey time, taking the ' Air conditioned' train to Tai Po for Yat Lok's B-B-Q meat could be a fun and relaxing outing. Along the way, there's also 'Fung Lum' in Tai Wai, just across from the station. that serves up ultra delicious and moist roast pigeons and HK's best Fried live sea prawns with peppered salt. ( very addictive )

        For noodles, just stick with Mak's or Tasty. Arguably the top two won-ton noodle places in town. Tasty's Fried rice noodle ( ho fun ) with beef ( Gone Chow Ngau Ho ) is also awesome! Seconded by Peech, no doubt! Ha!

        Be warned, at lunch time, the 'old school favourites' such as Luk Yu or Lin Heung will be packed with noisy dim sum patrons. May be a more spacious and less noisy place like the Star of Canton might be a better choice for your 'toddler gang'! Sharks fin city in the food complex next to Time Square in Causeway Bay is also a good, less noisy and reliable place for dim sum lunch

        For Chiu Chow cuisine, Pak Tak in Causeway Bay near Lee Garden would be a nice choice, even though all the top notch expensive ones are located around Queen's Road West in Sheung Wan. If you are planning to try out their famous cold crab. Make sure to check the daily price. It could get pretty expensive! However, the traditional dishes like the marinated herbed soya goose, the sauteed chicken morsels with szechuen pepper corn, the oyster egg pancake etc are all reasonably priced.

        Finally, on your last day, Peech's advise of an early check-in and dinner at the Element's Mall is a great idea. Otherwise. I would pick Hang Heung's kitchen amongst all your choice. Large selection and very good quality. Surprisingly good noodle dishes too!

        Have fun and Enjoy!!!

        7 Replies
        1. re: Charles Yu

          medgirl, if you're staying at YMCA in Tsimshatsui, you can take a MTR subway train from Tsimshatsui East station (15 minutes walk away from your hotel) - it's 4 stops from Tai Wai, perhaps 15 minutes on the train. Fung Lum's definitely worth the journey - been around for decades.

          Else, a taxi ride will cost you less than HKD100 (USD12) door-to-door.

          -----
          Fung Lum
          45-47 Tsuen Nam Road Shatin Hong Kong

          1. re: klyeoh

            Ah klyeoh!! I was just wondering when you'll back me up on my Fung Lum rec.,, Ha! And lord and behold, voila! Foodies mind do think alike!
            Couldn't wait to read your side-by-side comparison of your Fu Sing vs Lung King Heen dinner!

          2. re: Charles Yu

            Am eagerly waiting for klyeoh's report on his latest HK eating! I left out Lung King Heen as it seemed expensive but not so outstanding when it comes to food. Also, taking a 2 year old to Four Seasons might not be the greatest idea! Thanks for the toddler-friendly suggestions. I think now Fu Sing, Star of Canton and Lock Cha might end up being the 3 for dimsum. Lock Cha was highly praised by Helen Yuet Ling Pang on her blog.
            Is the Tasty you mention the Tasty Congee and Noodle Shop on King Kwong Street in Wan Chai? I think we will definitely try both Mak's and Tasty's and leave out Tsui Wah.
            Will have to do some more reading to decide about delving into the Chiu Chow cuisine.
            Will post a revised a much more realistic eating plan after going through all the suggestions on this thread. Thanks so much!

            1. re: medgirl

              Tasty's is the one in either Happy Valley or Hung Hum. 'skylineR33''s favourite too!

              1. re: Charles Yu

                Yes, agree with Charles the wonton noodle at Tasty Hung Hum is good, but it is not a convinent location if going there by subway. Tasty of other locations are more easy accessible.

              2. re: medgirl

                Trust me when I tell you to skip Lung King Heen... was just discussing this topic today with friends.

                Tasty has another location in IFC just above the Airport Express HK station. Easier location to get to.

                As much as I like Fung Lum, don't think the trek is worth it for you if you only have 3 days and want to stroll around and shop. Better stick to Tsim Sha Tsui, Central, Wanchai, Causeway Bay...

                1. re: Peech

                  That's right, I have an expensive banquet style dinner at Lung King Heen, whereas the quality is nowhere bad, the dinner itself is quite forgettable. People go there for the view and service besides food with the money they spend.

            2. Yeah, I agree that your list is too way ambitious for a 3 days visit.

              For the choice listed under "Cantonese cuisine", I will definitely skip Yat Lok, there are tons of great cantonese restaurant in HK island and Kowloon. The roasted goose at Yat Lok is not much better than Yung Kee and there are places that are better than it if you are really willing to travel for a goose in New Territory. But I will just skip if you only have 3 days, you won't have enough time just to browse through HK and Kowloon.

              For noodle, I will definitely skip Tsui Wah. Wonton noodle there is mediocre at best. Tsui Wah is popular because it has a hugh menu that one can always find something there but nothing stand out.

              For char Siu, Fu Sing seems a great choice if you only have 3 days because you can "one stone kill 2 bird" by doing dim sum and cha siu there at the same time.

              Both Mak’s Noodles (Central and Causeway Bay) are good.

              7 Replies
              1. re: skylineR33

                Medgirl: totally agree with skylineR33 on FuSing = kill two birds with one stone. It's a great place for dim sum and char siu. The "abalone mushroom" is nice too but you may not like cold dishes.... Joy Hing is a rat hole and not a comfy experience, you may not want that on a 3-day visit.

                1. re: golfess

                  Thanks for seconding the recommendation for Fu Sing. And also for telling me that Joy Hing is not great for ambience. I'll have a small child with me, so it's good to know what to avoid as well !
                  Is abalone very expensive? I have never had it, sort of worried I might spend so much and not be thrilled with the experience.

                  1. re: medgirl

                    no problem, glad to be of help.

                    i was referring to abalone mushroom. which is just mushroom. this is a cold dish served at fu sing. i like it but your dislike of room temp / cold food might put your off.

                    as for abalone itself - if you end up at a seafood restaurant, you can try some small fresh abalone steamed with soy sauce. not cheap cheap but won't break the bank. texture is a bit chewy, but if done right, not rubbery at all.

                    dried abalone (slow cooked always) can be very expensive and my humble opinion is that you don't have to try it, as it seems like you've got a lot on your plate already. taste and texture is a lot more flavourful because the abalone absorbs all the goodness from the ham / chicken etc etc that accompanies the cooking process.

                    Joy Hing is located very close to Fu Sing. You can buy a take-out char siu rice there if you want.

                    Enjoy!

                    1. re: golfess

                      Right, Joy Hing is very close. Actually medgirl, if you are still full, you can get $10 or $15 (HKD) cha siu take-out (meat only) from Joy Hing ! You can specify for "thin", "half thin/half fat" etc cha siu, but mostly they don't follow exactly what you ask for ...

                      1. re: skylineR33

                        Hmmm...that is tempting!
                        Do the staff at Fu Sing and Joy Hing understand and speak English? I have no knowledge of Cantonese. Or if you tell me what the pinyin for 'lean' and 'half lean/half fat' char siu is, I can try my luck!

                        1. re: medgirl

                          At Fu Sing, someone probably can speak English, but I doubt you can use English at Joy Hing.

                          Just ask for "和哥叉燒" - "War Gor Cha Siu" at Fu Sing, their special version. No need for specification.

                          For Joy Hing :

                          Lean Cha Siu = Sau Cha Siu
                          Half Lean/Half Fat Cha Siu = Boon Fei Sau Cha Siu

                          Good luck !

                          1. re: skylineR33

                            If you are going to Fu Sing there is no need to go to Joy Hing for Cha Siu. It's a bit overrated and not the extra effort and time if you only have 3 days.

                            Just stick with Fu Sing for dim sum and cha siu (and their baked cha siu buns!)

              2. For the last day, it would be very convenient to have dinner at Lei Garden in Elements Mall after checking in at the Kowloon Airport Express, as suggested by Peech.

                But having done some reading about Lei Garden, it is a Michelin starred restaurant that looks quite fancy. Would they be ok with a 2 year old coming for dinner? He is not badly behaved but can get very excited and start exclaiming loudly if he sees prawns or roast duck. Would I need to reserve a table or would it be ok to just walk in?

                10 Replies
                1. re: medgirl

                  Do call ahead to reserve a place - Lei Garden is very popular. No self-respecting Chinese restaurant will ever turn away a small child :-D

                  1. re: klyeoh

                    Any thoughts on Pak Loh restaurant in Elements for Chiu Chow cuisine, or is Lei Garden preferable?

                    1. re: medgirl

                      Do not go to the Pak Loh in Elements! It's quite horrible! Lei Garden is much better, though the branch at Elements isn't as good as the one at Tsim Sha Tsui or Wai Chai.

                      There is a restaurant called Manor (Fu Yiu in Chinese) and their roast goose is absolutely delicious! It can beat today's Yuk Kee (which quality has declined in my opinion, particularly to tourists). Their abalone in claypot is also fantastic!

                      1. re: kobetobiko

                        OK, shall avoid Pak Loh. Where is Manor (Fu Yiu)? Is it in Elements? Do have an address handy?

                        1. re: medgirl

                          Manor (Fu Yiu) Sea Food Restaurant
                          Shop F-G, 440 Lockhart Road
                          Causeway Bay

                          Nothing in Elements is really worth eating, not even the Lei Garden there. Stick with the Lei Garden in Tsim Sha Tsui which is actually close to YMCA

                          1. re: kobetobiko

                            Hmmm....it was purely because it was near the Airport Express. Maybe we will head out to the airport and eat there. Hang Heung's Kitchen at the airport perhaps. I'm still stuck trying to decide about dinner the last day we are there (Thursday night). Our flight leaves for Australia at 23:40 hrs. We need to check out of the YMCA before noon. Maybe we should check in early at Airport Express to get rid of our luggage, then just head out till around 7pm and have dinner wherever we like, then get on the Airport Express. Any recs for a no-MSG dinner near Kowloon Airport Express that is NOT in Elements Mall?

                            1. re: medgirl

                              medgirl, you can get back to the Airport Express Kowloon station from anywhere in Tsimshatsui within 15 minutes by taxi, so you can still explore the good eating places in Tsimshatsui. My fave place to eat near the environs of YMCA is Ye Shanghai (Marco Polo HK Hotel, Harbour City). The food was absolutely DIVINE! HK-style Shanghainese food - hence lighter & more subtle than those you'd find in Shanghai itself. Not sure if it's MSG-free, but I do have a sensitive reaction to MSG & didn't remember experiencing any adverse MSG syndrome the last I dined there last year.

                              Chao Inn at One Peking Rd is another spot very popular with the locals. I don't have first-hand experience there.

                              However, if you do decide to dine at the airport, I think the 2 best restaurants there are in the Regal Airport Hotel: Rouge (Cantonese cuisine) which is superb, and Dragon Inn (Shanghainese, Yangzhou) whidh is also very, very good. I was once stuck at the HK airport for 2 weeks (staying at the Regal) doing an airport cargo operations review. Lunches & dinners were at all the different outlets there. Maxim's was good for some dishes (loved their seafood on crispy noodles) & some dim sum dishes. Hang Heung fared the worse in the couple of times I dined there.

                              You can forget about the other stuff in there, including in the vast food court located in the Transit Area inside. The Pak Loh outlet was simply awful!!

                              At the popular King's Palace Congee & Noodles - avoid their wanton noodles!! HKD50 for a bowl of flat-tasting noodles in soup. Their roast meats with rice looked more decent (one of my colleagues rather enjoyed it).

                              1. re: klyeoh

                                There's a direct linkway from the airport main terminal building (on the arrival level) to Regal Airport Hotel - very convenient. Both Rouge & Dragon Inn may require advance booking though - they are very popular amongst residents/airport workers since the food's quite good.

                                1. re: klyeoh

                                  I have tried Ye Shanghai and Chao Inn and Ye Shanghai is a few notches better than Chao Inn, albeit much nore expensive. Chao Inn is very mediocre.

                                  I guess it may be easier to eat at the Regal Hotel at the airport if you want to avoid missing the flight. However, just be aware that everything at the airport will be overpriced...

                                  1. re: kobetobiko

                                    klyeoh, kobetobiko, thanks for those tips!

                  2. OK, after reading through all the useful advice on my original post, and having thought out a 3 day sightseeing itinerary, I have come up with the following plan. We are staying at the Salisbury YMCA in Kowloon.

                    Dinner (Monday night): Mak's Noodles in TST

                    Dimsum (Tuesday morning): Star of Canton

                    Dinner (Tuesday evening): Fung Lum in New Territories (Tai Wai)

                    Dimsum (Wednesday morning): Lock Cha tea shop in Admiralty

                    Dinner (Wednesday evening): Tasty Noodle and Congee in IFC centre Mall (is this branch as good as Hung Hom?)

                    Dimsum (Thursday morning): Fu Sing in Wan Chai

                    Dinner (Thursday evening): Hmmmm, still deciding. Maybe a HK McDonald's or KFC to check out a 'local' offering, then a proper meal at the airport once we have completed the hassle of security check etc.

                    25 Replies
                    1. re: medgirl

                      Please don't go to the Mak's Noodles in TST. This is horrible. The only Mak's noodle branch you should visit is the original store in Central.

                      If you want to stay close to your hotel in TST on Monday night, go to Mak Man Kee Noodle Shop at No. 51 Parkes St., Jordan.

                      I am not sure if there is any specific reason that you want to go to Star of Canton and Lock Cha Tea Shop. There are much better choices in Hong Kong if you are looking for dim sum.

                      Tasty Noodle in IFC is not as good as Hung Hom branch, but it's close enough if IFC happens to be more convenient to you.

                      Ugh, really no need to try McDonald's or KFC in Hong Kong. Perhaps MOS burger or Triple O's which are at least better of the fast food chains, if you really really want to try out fast food.

                      1. re: kobetobiko

                        Thank for the tips of Maks TST, kobetobiko.

                        1. re: kobetobiko

                          Oh dear, is the Mak's in TST really that bad? We were looking for a place near our hotel for the first night. I thought of Spring Deer for Peking Duck but the reviews were wildly varying.
                          Star of Canton was recommended to me by Charles Yu on this thread, because I thought of Luk Yu or Lin Heung, but I have hubby and toddler in tow and we don't speak or read any Cantonese and would probably not cope. Lock Cha got an extremely good write-up in Helen Yuet Pang's foodie blog, and starting off there would be convenient for that particular day's itinerary. We are not vegetarian, but I would love to try out some outstanding vegetarian dimsum if it is available. My whole vacation is going to be pretty meat heavy, and we get pretty good non-veg dimsum in London, so would like to try out something a bit different.
                          We'll try the Hung Hom branch of Tasty. I gather it is in some sort of massive shopping centre called Whampoa.
                          A lot of our choice is restricted by the fact we have to cart our 2 year old everywhere.

                          1. re: medgirl

                            medgirl, I'd recommend that you try a good dim sum restaurant in HK (NOT a vegetarian one - what's the point?) - the shrimp hargow, the pork-shrimp siew mai, the char siew pao - they are so much better than the ones you'll get in the UK.

                            Taxis in Hk generally costs less than half of what you'll pay in London. A 20-25 minute taxi ride from YMCA in TST to Fung Lum restaurant in Tai Wai door-to-door would cost you less than HKD100 (GBP8). I paid that much when I took a taxi from Peninsula Hotel (next to YMCA) to Shatin New Town Centre (which is further than Tai Wai) 3 weeks ago.

                          2. re: kobetobiko

                            Hi kobetobiko! Long time no chat!

                            Second skylineR33 comment on TST Mak's! Thanks from me too! Most interesting! Guess I have to cross the harbour to Wellington then?!

                            I too was a bit apprehensive when my friend took me to Star of Canton for Dim Sum. However, I was sold when I digged into the unique 'garlic dusted crispy skin Har-Gow' One of the best dim sum creation I ever had! . Really something!

                            Again, depending on ones itinerary and locale, I agree with you, there are other great places for Dim Sum. No need for medgirl to make special trip with toddler in tow to Causeway bay. Actually Tan'g Court in the Langham around the corner or Yang Tou Heen in the Intercontinental just down the road are both excellent too. Though a touch more expensive.

                            Lastly, when mentioning about Mak's, Mak Man Kee or Tasty. So often the focus seems to be on the won-ton noodle. However, during my trip last year, I tried the 'Chui Hau Braised beef brisket and tendons' in both Mak's and Mak Man Kee. Wow! they made me realize what I'm missing in Toronto every time I have noodles there!

                            BTW, did you noticed Hong Kong Foodie's question about whether pastas in HK's Da Domenico is better than NYC's Babbo? Both fourseasons and I were interested in your feed back! Ha!!

                            1. re: Charles Yu

                              Hi Charles and skyliner33,

                              Among the 3 Mak's, only the one at Central is really worth going. The one at Causeway Bay is already a notch down from the Central branch, and the one at TST (yes, inside a food court) was down right horrendous! The broth there was salty (MSG) without any depth. Most importantly the staff there were like a bunch of part-time amateur high school students without any skills in cooking the wonton and noodles to the right texture. It was a total disgrace to the Mak's brand!

                              At Mak Man, the wontons are only made with shrimps without pork (unlike Mak's and Tasty), and some purists seem to have problem with that. I, on the other hand, don't mind at all and I thought their wontons are just delicious little gems! Another famous item at Mak Man is their pork trotters!

                              I am a BIG fan of Babbo (which I know you two didn't quite enjoy) and IMO there is no way Da Domenico is better than Babbo. NO WAY! :P

                              1. re: kobetobiko

                                I also found the Maks at Causeway Bay not as good as Wellington, but in general, it is a good choice for me if I am in that area.

                                Yes, that why's I prefer Tasty's wonton to Mak Man, I always like a small portion of pork in my wonton. But I know Charles prefer Mak Man, haha, it is intereseting that we all have our own preferences in wonton noodle.

                                1. re: kobetobiko

                                  Hi Kobe, Charles:

                                  Long time no chat. Hope Kobe is doing well in NYC. Just to share my perspective on this issue on DD vs Babbo's and hope not to incur any wrath from both of you. I have visited Babbo's only once and DD 3 times over the past 2 years. For me, Babbo's is good but not spectacular. Maybe I don't have the taste bud of an American, but quite frankly, after a year, I have really forgotten what I ate there. Just not so memorable for me. Now back to DD, out of that 3 trip there, I was really impressed only on my first visit. The next two trips were below average and quite frankly nothing worthwhile to write about. But I think what DD is really good based on my first visit is the seafood: the calamari, vongole, and scampi, which in my opinion, would surpass what I ate in Babbo's. Perhaps Babbo's is simply too American for me, too overwhelming but lack refined and lack of focus on natural fresh ingredients. But again, for what DD charges, it requires deep pocket and not value for money, so I do have second thought of going back. Now, just to steer off topic slightly, since then, my favorites Italian, of all places, are in Tokyo. Aroma Fresco, Argento ASO and Ristorante ASO simply outclass both DD and Babbo's!!!

                                  1. re: kobetobiko

                                    LOL! kobetobiko, Mak's at TST must have really rubbed you the wrong way!

                                    I last went to Mak's TST exactly a year ago today. I just flew into HK from San Francisco that morning (having just dined at Michael Mina's the evening before I boarded my plane). I didn't have time to go to Mak's Central (my all-time fave noodle joint in the whole world) as I was going to Macau after lunch. So I grabbed a quick bowl of wanton noodles from Mak's TST since it's nearby. You know what - at the time, I thought it was the BEST wanton noodles I've eaten in a long, long time! In fact, I'd have traded my Michael Mina 2-Michelin star experience for another previous bowl of Mak's noodles then ;-)

                              2. re: medgirl

                                Is this your first time to HK ? Just wondering.

                                If I were you on a 3 day visit to HK, I will not spend 2 nights on wonton noodle places. Not that I don't like the food at Fung Lum, but I will not spend a night going to New Territories for dinner. I will spend time in Causeway Bay, Central, Wanchai, TST and Mongkok area and maybe going to the peak and Stanley (if I have not been to) in my 3 days. There are tons of great chinese restaurants of all sort in these areas. But to each their own, it is just what I will do if it is me (especially if it is my first visit to HK).

                                BTW, I have been to Maks in Central and Causeway Bay, but does anyone been to this one at TST ? It is located in a Food court, is it as good ?

                                1. re: skylineR33

                                  Yes, this is our first time to HK. We will have our toddler with us, so we generally choose places for quick and easy meals as he can be a bit unpredictable in his behaviour. I had a look at the MTR map and it looked like Tai Wai was 4 stops away from East TST stop on the light blue line. In London terms, that would mean about 15 minutes. But in HK terms is that like really far away? Would leave Fung Lum out then. Any toddler-friendly, public transport-friendly Cantonese recommendations for dinner would be appreciated. Once toddler is asleep, we plan to wander the TST/Mong Kok area till late and would probably just get whatever snacks we like the look of from stalls. Again, any recommendations on what to look out for in terms of late night snacking would be greatly appreciated. We will definitely be going to Victoria Peak one evening for sunset/night view if the visibility allows!

                                  1. re: medgirl

                                    I agree with skylineR33 on the variety of restaurants on your itinerary. I think another problem is that we don't know where you will be going in between the meals (if we have that info we can pick good restaurants convenient to you, rather than having meals everywhere in the city).

                                    I can tell you that having a troller is not going to be convenient to travel by subway no matter what, so the easiest way is to travel by cab. Of course with that you want restaurants that are close by, which is not hard to find as long as we know where you will be.

                                    And other than dim sum and wonton, are there anything else that you would like to try? Also, is there any budget concern for you? Cuz price can vary greatly in Hong Kong. A dim sum in a hotel can be 3x more expensive than a small dim sum eatery!

                                    1. re: kobetobiko

                                      Hmmmm, you've caught me out, kobetobiko!

                                      My sightseeing itinerary is much more vague than the eating one. The first evening I presume we are going to be thoroughly tired after the long flight from London, so will just want to get something near the hotel and then retire to our (hopefully) harbour-view room and just enjoy the views and rest. Next day I guess we just want to wander around Causeway Bay (Star of Canton for dimsum), make our way to Central, Sheung Wan to just wander around, Victoria Peak if visibility ok, then back to Kowloon in the evening and perhaps late night wandering in TST/Mong Kok to check out the markets, etc. Wednesday we were going to head out to Central/Admiralty and go to HK Park, the Zoo and the Botanical Gardens. Again, heading back through Central to Kowloon in the evening. Thursday we need to check out of the YMCA by noon. We might check out early, check in at Airport Express to get rid of our luggage before heading out to Fu Sing. Then might get some last minute shopping and eating done before heading to the airport at about 7:30pm.

                                      What is the deal with taxicabs in HK? The guidebooks seem to suggest they are really expensive, whereas advice from some chowhounds suggests otherwise. Stroller issues: we travelled in NYC with it and didn't run into major problems, is HK very anti-stroller?
                                      Other than dimsum and wonton, I have had good advice on cha siu on this thread. I am a cha siu fanatic. I am not an incredibly adventurous eater. We like roast meats a lot. We are also big on rice and noodles. I love pea shoots, but don't know if I could get them in December in HK. Don't even know what they are called in Cantonese. We don't have to stick to a budget but generally do not want to spend more than the equivalent of HK $180 on a main course. Having the toddler around sort of kills any attempt at fine dining.

                                      Thanks for all the expert advice! Much appreciated.

                                      1. re: medgirl

                                        Medgirl,

                                        HK subway is MUCH MORE crowded than the one in Manhattan. During rush hours there are actually people stationed at the platform just to push people into the trains. It's THAT crowded. I would strongly advise not to take subway with the trolley during rush hours. You are not going to be able to get on the trains at all.

                                        Cab is relatively cheap when compared to NYC and London. As long as you don't go to New Territories then cab should not be too expensive within the cities (meaning between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island)

                                        I would also suggest staying away from Mong Kok (unless you have a specific plans for something) as it is mostly for youngsters and VERY CROWDED.

                                        Lastly, the price of all the dishes will be listed on the menu, so there isn't anything to worry about. Also, service charge (usually 10%) is already added at the final bill, so you don't have to give any tips (or just very little is fine).

                                        If you are sticking with Chinese cuisine, then "fine dining" won't be a problem with a trolley as it really isn't anything as formal as french fine dining. In fact it is probably better for you because there will be a space for your trolley. Chairs at most restaurants are so closely spaced that it will be hard for a trolley be get by (definitely not at dai pai dong!)

                                    2. re: medgirl

                                      It really depends on where you are when you are about to go to Tai Wai. For example, It is quite a walk from the MTR TST to TST East (East Trail line). In my opinion, with a toddler, Lei Garden may be a good choice with great food, they also serve pigeon (probably not as good as Fung Lam) in their extensive menu. But of course, food at Fung Lum is also great, it is just not as convenient .

                                      There are tons of snack things at night time Mongkok/TST. You may want to stop by those dai pai dong 大牌檔 (outdoor cheap HK style eatery) when wandering Temple street of Mongkok to have a claypot rice (a kind of HK local food) with a wok hay stirred fry veggie, etc at late night ! And/Or go to Fat Kee (發記 Lucky Dessert) on Soy street MongKok for a chinese style dessert, the mango sago dessert with pomelo there is outstanding !!

                                      1. re: skylineR33

                                        Yes, I was told TST East is a good 15 min walk from the Salisbury YMCA. OK, we might do TST Lei Garden one night. I thought it would be quite fancy and expensive, given that one of the branches got a Michelin star.
                                        How do I order at a dai pai dong, just point and say 'please'? And how do I understand what the price is? I once had a bad experience in Paris where I simply could not understand the price in a bakery and I think they grossly overcharged me when they wrote it down!

                                        1. re: medgirl

                                          The dai pai dong at Mongkok usually comes with a menu with pictures and price, so there should be no problem to order, actually you will find quite a few foreigner in there. A clay pot rice is around $40 HKD there. I think it is a good try if you are in that area. In my opinion, Mongkok is a place worths checking out, to experience one side of HK, but keep in mind of Kobetobiko's comment, it is VERY crowded and be careful, hey but isn't this HK ?

                                          Not that I recommend you to do this, and probably you don't want to do this, but I do see umbrella Stroller in Mongkok area moving around at late night.

                                          Regarding Lei Garden, it is a loud restaurant anyway, going with baby should be no problem. The pricing should be fine as long as you stay away from Abalone or shark fin. Ask for recommendation from the server, it helps.

                                          1. re: skylineR33

                                            Hi skylineR33,

                                            Normally I won't tell others to stay away from Mongkok as I do believe it is a good way to experience the other side of Hong Kong. However, I am less worried about being crowded as to being dangerous for someone with young kids and not being guided by a local. There are definitely more crimes in those areas. I am not sure if you have heard about the recent news that someone threw some corrosive liquid from a building and hurt 20 pesdetrians. Police hasn't found the criminal yet.

                                            That's the kind of things that I worry when someone is with a young kid!

                                            1. re: kobetobiko

                                              skylineR33 and kobetobiko, interesting debate regarding going out in Mong Kok at night. My parents live in Calcutta, India which is generally terribly hectic and crowded and when we were there last year, we never ventured out with the baby in stroller because it would just be impossible. And that was in a place where I speak the local language and can fend for myself very well. We might check it out one evening and if too overhwhelming, just scoot back to TST and hang out near our hotel at night. I guess TST has its fair share of late night snack stalls?

                                              1. re: medgirl

                                                You can head up one subway stop to 'Jordan'. Equally bustling and tons of great food inside side streets the few blocks west side of Nathan Road. and north of Jordan Road. You'll also find Temple Street night market and hawker food stalls in that vicinity. Lots of seafood with focus on bi-valves and crustaceans.

                                                1. re: Charles Yu

                                                  Agree, just want to add that Jordan and Mongkok are next to each other, Temple street extends from Jordan to Mongkok. The dai pai dong I mentioned are actually in Jordan to be precise.

                                              2. re: kobetobiko

                                                Good point kobetobiko. Yes, I heard about the news, and I heard the suspect move to throw the corrosive liquid in another district, pretty scary. Kind of remaining me the incident at Akihabara of Tokyo last year, because both happen in a busy district.

                                                medgirl, the streets of Mongkok are quite different from TST. Mongkok has quite a few area to explore. If you decide to go, you may want to check out the map and do some research in advance. There are much less snack stalls (such as fish ball, stinky tofu....) in TST.

                                        2. re: medgirl

                                          medgirl, if this is your first time in Hk, I think you'll have a grand time. BTW, Mongkok has been very much gentrified in the past few years (especially with the opening of Langham Place, which reminds me of Tokyo's Roppongi Hills) in 2004. In place of noisy, narrow streets teeming with shoppers, steamy noodle joints & noisy hawkers, you have an ultra-modern mall covering 2 city blocks, pristine spaces, ultra-long escalators & with cool quiet air-conditioned environs (very important as HK edges towards its oppressive sauna-like summer months).

                                          Do take time to trawl Mongkok & take in the atmosphere. It's fast-changing though, so go before it's gone altogether.

                                          1. re: klyeoh

                                            Hi klyeoh! Langham Place - Great recommendations! Almost forgot about the place since all the talk was focusing on Hawker style food. Actually, for Dim Sum, the Michelin 1* Ming Court inside of the Langham Hotel is pretty damn good too! Have you ventured past the complex and visit the market next to it? There are a few Chinese bbq place with some pretty mouth watering offerings! I once bought just a roast duck leg and munch on it as snack! Better than your western hot-dog or pretzels! Ha!

                                            1. re: Charles Yu

                                              Hi Charles, no - I didn't have time to explore much of Mongkok during my very short trip to HK a few weeks back. Only went up to a dessert place in Yaumatei (forgot the name!) which makes very smooth soy beancurd (It's round the corner from the Hang Heung bakery, off Nathan Rd).

                                              I just mentioned Langham Place to medgirl so she won't have the impression that Mongkok is just this vast labyrinth of narrow, crowded streets. Langham Place has really transformed the landscape around it in Mongkok, the way Pacific Place had breathed new life into previously "dead zone" Admiralty back in 1989.