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Best Chinese food in Hong Kong???

  • r

I will be visiting Hong Kong for a few days this December and wanted some advice for the best Chinese restaurants. If at all possible I would prefer to avoid places that serve or overemphasize shark fin (I know this will be difficult in Hong Kong). These are the places I am thinking of eating, what do people think? Any advice from Hong Kong foodies is greatly appreciated:
For Dim Sum:
Yan Toh Heen
Tim Ho Wan Dim Sum Restaurant,
Victoria Harbour Seafood
Spring Moon.
For dinner:
Hutong,
Yung Kee (4th floor),
Yin Yang,
Fook Lam Moon,
Sheung Hing Chiu Chow,
San Xi Lou,
Da Ping Huo
Crystal Jade La Mian Xio Long Bao,
Lao Ching Hing,
Liu Yuan Pavilion
Little Southern Country

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  1. From your list, I would pick:
    Yan Toh Heen
    Yung Kee 4th floor
    Fook Lam Moon ( Food is good but the price could be astronomical! )
    Sheung Hing Chiu Chow
    Da Ping Huo
    However, I would also add Fu Sing and Lei Garden, Wan Chai
    Have a nice stay!

    14 Replies
    1. re: Charles Yu

      Ridge,

      Da Ping Huo is the way to go because all these places except it from Charles list serve and good at serving shark fin, so I think it is not for you. Especially Fook Lam Moon, it is one of the most famous place for shark fin in HK.

      Hutong is a very popular place for tourist and it got a nice view, many tourist loves it and give it good review. It is also not a place for shark fin, maybe you want to consider it.

      1. re: skylineR33

        Got mixed feeling about Hutong. Yes, the view is great and so are the lamb ribs but I have no recollection of what else was good from my meal there?!! And yes, it's very touristy! I recall seeing more foreigners there than locals!

        1. re: Charles Yu

          Hutong definitely is not for local and I don't think it is good, but looks like many tourists loves it. It is on Ridge's list and satisfy the no shark fin preference as people won't go there for shark fin. So I think Ridge will like it too.

          1. re: skylineR33

            Thanks very much or the replies and feedback, it’s very helpful for me. This morning I read about BO Innovation. It’s not a traditional place but it sounds very interesting. What do people think about BO Innovation?

            1. re: Ridge

              Michelin 2 stars. 'Funky' Chinese Fusion Molecular cuisine. Tons of 'de-constructed' Chinese dishes. Either you love it or you hate it.

              1. re: Ridge

                Yes, like Charles said, some people just hate it but some really love the idea of it.

                I do enjoy the food at BO and found it interesting. But my wife prefers a real "lap Mei" (preserved meats) rice rather than the "molecular" version, she thinks the substance is just not there, and prefer to enjoy a steaming claypot with juice dripping from a red waxed sausage on top of the crispy burnt rice.

                1. re: skylineR33

                  Now you get me salivating SLR33! Don't forget the real preserved duck and the fresh duck liver sausages! Yummmmm! And yes! those burnt rice from the bottom of the claypot is sooooo good! Cancer causing?! Ha!!!!

                  1. re: Charles Yu

                    In this case, maybe Ridge should visit Se Wong Yee - Snake King the second (蛇王二) for some real lap mei, the duck liver sausage is very good there. How about some snake soup too ?! $10USD for the whole dinner set (3 course).

                    Ridge, do you like snake soup ?

            2. re: Charles Yu

              Hutong and "best Chinese" = oxymoron

          2. re: Charles Yu

            Charles Yu: I'm going to look for the Da Ping Huo website (if they have one). Failing that, what Sichuan specialties would you recommend there?

            1. re: ulterior epicure

              Fellow chowhounder Fourseasons should be in a better position to answer your question! He's the Sichuan food master on this board!

              1. re: ulterior epicure

                UE - Da Ping Huo doesn't have a website. I'd recommend there but also San Xi Lou in Coda Plaza, Central. Take a look at both reviews from this link: http://www.causticcandy.com/archives/537. Enjoy.

                1. re: ulterior epicure

                  Da Ping Huo has just one fixed menu. ( at just slightly less than HK$300 per person)

              2. Definitely go to Bo, and sit at the Chef's table to have their tasting menu. Just a really interesting experience, super tasty, and incredibly good value for money if you haven't had a deconstructed meal before - it only has elements of molecular gastronomy, most courses aren't, (HK$1080+10%)
                San Xi Lou and Da Ping Huo are my two favourite Sichuans in HK. The former is robust and unpretentious, the latter is more elegant and sophisticated (the former also serves shark's fin, but no great emphasis).
                Every dim sum place and certainly every Cantonese restaurant will serve sharks fin.
                Go to Aqua for a drink, but don't eat there or downstairs in Hutong. Tourist trap, style over substance (like Nobu in fact...)
                I don't rate Fuk Lam Moon, I'd go to Yung Kee 4th fl over that any day of the week.
                If you like Peking duck then try Peking Garden
                If you like sushi try Sushi Hiro, Kyotaki or June
                Lei Garden always gets good reviews
                If you fancy Korean bbq then try Korea Garden
                If you want something super chilled then go to HK Island south side to Cococabana (French food, Riviera feel)
                If you are gong to visit the Big Buddha on Lantau, take the cable car up, but the bus back and stop for supper at the Gallery in Tong Fuk for really good pizzas or steaks - very chilled and rural.
                If you want seafood by the sea then go to Cheung Chau over Lamma or Lei Yu Mun and eat for much cheapness along the waterfront.
                Check out my blog which is mostly reviews of HK restaurants at www.causticcandy.com Most of all enjoy HK and get out of the city and roam the countryside. The weather is perfect in December for al fresco dining and mooching about.

                1. I would 2nd (or 3rd) the recommendations for Bo, one of the best meals I've had in the past 6 months, hands down. You have to be into molecular gastronomy (or at least have an open mind), but if you are, it's an amazing experience.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: modernleifeng

                    IMO. Bo Innovation's cuisine is too fusion to be called Chinese food. Same argument can be said about El Buli's cuisine! Location might be in Spain, but the food is way too fusion and funky to be called Spanish!. Furthermore, best tasting vs best presentation/experience can be two totally separate criteria. As such, if the OP is looking for the BEST CHINESE RESTAURANT, then I would stick with the more traditional list. I would only add Bo as an aside.

                    1. re: Charles Yu

                      Update: We are about to embark on our trip to Hong Kong (we leave next week). After much agonizing and deliberation we decided on: Bo Innovation, Yan Toh Heen, Hutong, Fu Sing (for Dim sum), Victoria City (for Dim sum).

                      However we are thinking of substituting a dinner at either Xi Yan or Yin Yang for our dinner at Hutong.

                      Which do people think is the better choice:

                      Hutong
                      Xi Yan
                      Yin Yang

                      Another question, I have read some interesting things about Chui Chow cuisine. None of the restaurants we have chosen serves this cuisine. Should we substitute a Chui Chow restaurant for one of our choices?

                      1. re: Ridge

                        You have a good list of restaurant, but I am not sure if this is the "best" list (as this is what you are looking for in your title). This is just too board and really depends on if you know what to order to decide whether your meal is good or not. And some great restaurant only speak Chinese. The menu of a "chinese" restaurant is hugh and certain specialty item requires advance reservation.

                        No HK specialty food like clay pot rice, snake soup, wonton noodle ... or seafood specialty restaurant in your selection ? Just my 2 cents.

                        1. re: Ridge

                          Yan Toh Heen has always been one of my favourite. Now that it had earned a Michelin Star, it only affirms my faith and taste.
                          I am always skeptical about eating in restaurants that got down graded by Michelin. For Bo Innovation to lose a star, there must be a reason?! With a short tight schedule, I'm not sure one should risk it?! Instead, I would give Tim's Kitchen a try. They have been consistently great and now they have been recently promoted to a 2*!

                          1. re: Charles Yu

                            We are back from Hong Kong. HK reminded me a lot of Manhattan but was as expensive as London. We enjoyed the city and its people. We ate exclusively Chinese food. My overall impression was that the Chinese food in HK was more nuanced than, and less extreme than Chinese food in America. Here is a review of our food experience.

                            1st day Dim Sum at Yan Toh Heen. Excellent dim sum. Memorable dishes included a stellar stir-fried radish cake with house-made XO sauce, great version of rice noodle roll with shrimp and salty egg, incredible har gao, crab roe xio long baio and nice tea service. Good atmosphere. $$$$!!!!

                            1st night dinner at Bo Innovation. Overall a mixed experience. We were confirmed by e-mail to sit at the Chef’s table, but they said that there was a mix up with our reservation. For about two thirds of our dinner the Chef’s Table was empty. We were turned off by the atmosphere of the place (too bright and techno music soundtrack of a trendy 1990s LA hangout), the way they handled the reservation mix up and the somewhat unwelcoming attitude of the servers. When it came time to order, we were leery of ordering the Chef’s tasting menu and instead ordered the less expensive and smaller menu. The appetizers ranged from very good to excellent. Standouts were the deconstructed xio long baio, which exploded in our mouth with the pure pork essence of xio long baio, and scallops with peas (awesome peas for winter, and a great sauce!). For the main courses, we ordered the Iberco pork and the duck. I am a huge fan of Iberco ham and was anxiously looking forward to the dish. Unfortunately, it was a huge disappointment. The meat was kind of rare, tough and the sauce was unbalanced with too sweet and not enough sour; it was not particularly satisfying. The duck was overly rare and also tough, but the sauce was nice. Dessert was not memorable, except for the ice cream, which was nice. I would suggest the Chef’s Menu if you go, since the smaller dishes were far superior to the mains.

                            2nd night dinner at Yan Toh Heen. We arrived late, and ordered 3 dishes. The Wok-fried Prawns in Sweet Vinegar and Chili Sauce with Crispy Yunnan Ham was saved by the very high quality of the prawns, but the Braised Garoupa and Roasted Pork Belly with Garlic served in Casserole was seriously good eating (one of the best fish dishes ever, with some killer tofu to boot) and the Fried Rice with Seafood and Fungus XO Chili Sauce Served in Hot Stone Casserole was also memorable.

                            3rd day Dim Sum at Victoria Seafood in Citic Tower. Really great dumplings “Chiu Chow” style, with many contrasting textures and flavors. Standouts also included the Superior Soup with wanton and kyannpaku (noodle knots) served with fried fish skin(!!!), subtle siu mai and steamed meat dumplings with mustard greens and spicy sauce. Very tasty meal.

                            3rd day dinner at Hutong. All I can say is WOW. Everything about the dinner was stellar. It was one of the most memorable dining experiences of my life. First of all the view is stupendous, and the decoration, architecture and atmosphere were completely relaxing and beautiful. We ordered the Michelin star tasting menu. The dishes were somewhat in the same vein as Bo Innovation in that they were modern takes on Chinese cuisine. The execution of the dishes was stronger than Bo Innovation. Every single dish was absolutely delicious and satisfying. Starters included scallops with pomelo (subtle yet balanced), green asparagus with white sesame (surprisingly spicy and sweet as well as nutty) and, best of all, a salad of perfect abalone with coriander. The fish dishes included the boneless cod with crispy yellow beans (perfectly cooked fish with good textural contrast and umami added by the fried bean bits) and “ma la” prawns (spicy as hell but really tasty—worth the burn). The meat course was the signature deboned lamb ribs—nice lamb flavor, very rich meat and crispy skin served with a nice salty sauce, yellow chives and steamed pancakes. Veggies were spicy minced pork with green beans, a nice version made unique by tasty dried shrimp. Dessert was apple spring rolls with fantastic ginger coconut ice cream. Nice wine pairing included Veuve Cliquot, a Puilly Fuissé, and Aussie Cab and homemade peach wine or dessert.

                            3rd day Dim Sum at Fu Sing. Excellent dim sum. The char siu was one of the most delicious pork dishes pork dishes I remember eating ever—I can’t fathom eating this in the Bay Area again as I’ve been spoiled. Thanks to Chowhounders for recommending the pomelo skin with shrimp “seeds”—really unique and very tasty. Small plates of note included great xiao long biao, chicken’s feet, and the “pineapple” pork buns (holy pig!).

                            Finally, loaded up on fried fish skin for munching back home!

                            1. re: Ridge

                              Hong Kong food can also be non expensive but great with personality, really depends on where you go. Just wondering what do you mean by HK food less extreme than those of America ? Would you elaborate a bit more on this ? Thanks.

                              1. re: skylineR33

                                By extreme I meant that in America Chinese food tends to be more heavily seasoned, more salty and more rich. It can sometimes have a tendency to be overwhelming. My sense was that the Chinese food in Hong Kong tasted more nuanced, wholesome and less overwhelming than Chinese food in America. I can’t imagine eating American Chinese food on a daily basis. But I could easily eat Hong Kong Chinese food on a daily basis.

                    2. This modern deco-style restaurant is located in Pacific Place. The staff is efficient, and most of their dishes are portioned large enough to share with others. The menu features items that are reasonably priced, and most bear the influence of traditional Shanghainese cuisine.
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