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Feb 1, 2010 06:50 PM

Hong Kong in June - Dining suggestions?

I'll be in Hong Kong for the first time in June, actually the end of my honeymoon. I'm looking for dining suggestions as food is one of the main reasons we're ending our trip in Hong Kong. We basically have time for 2 lunches and 2 dinners. I live in NYC so I don't need to try any "international" restaurants (French, Italian, etc.), we want Chinese food - doesn't need to be Cantonese either. I like traditional or new and innovative, so I'm up for either. I know Lung King Heen is really considered over rated, but I'm wondering if I should try the world's only 3* chinese restaurant just so I can have an informed opinion as well. Maybe one dinner at LKH and one somewhere else so I can really judge for myself? I'd also love suggestions for food carts, hole in the wall spots, or anywhere else so that I can get a good sampling of what Hong Kong has to offer in a very limited amount of time. And, because its my honeymoon, I'd love a truly amazing dining experience fopr at lest one of the meals. Help and suggestions would be much appreciated.

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  1. I would suggest a dinner at Rainbow Seafood at Lamma Island. You pick you fish and lobster and shrimp from live tanks. Just be prepared to pay for your dinner. You also get a free boat ride and a scenic tour of HK harbor.

    6 Replies
    1. re: PeterL

      The seafood at Rainbow's ok, but if I were on honeymoon I wouldn't want to do a meal like that, and sit by the water and smell the funky ocean. What do you mean by "be prepared to pay for your dinner"? Rainbow's not really expensive for what you get.

      1. re: Peech

        I have gone to Rainbow a number of times and have not noticed any funky smell, no more than usual for a HK location anyway. It can get expensive depending on what you are ordering. If you go for the rare live fish the numbers do add up quickly. Sure there are other places with similar fares, but without the boat ride.

        1. re: PeterL

          Lung King Heen is overpriced, that I agree. I personally do not think it's overrated. Although they serve pretty simple dishes, they turn out very lovely. It's good to give it a try if you have the budget for it. I recommend LKH's dim sum lunch instead of dinner, unless you want to enjoy the view. But, personally, I think the view from Harbour City ( god knows what floor it is ) is much better. :) If you're going to LKH, I highly recommend some of the dishes like Japanese pork with buns ( I don't quite remember the name, but I can email the picture to you if you want ) and some vegetable dish, which I also have the picture, but I can't name it to you in English. Hehe.

          Alternatively, you can try T'ang Court at Langham, TST. Some of my friends told me that T'ang Court does not differ greatly from LKH, although I'm not too sure of it.

          A must go is Yung Kee. They serve good roast duck.

          I have been to Ting Hou ( Don't remember the English name ) at TST. I think it's on Nathan Road, not far from Mira Hotel. They serve good crab with stir fried radish cake. Not too impressed with the wonton noodles there.

          Also, remember to head down to Mongkok. I like Mongkok's Bute Street because they have good pineapple buns. And Parkes Street at Jordan for the custard egg dessert from Australia Dairy Company ( I know it's weird ).

          I also recommend you to try the Crystal Jade in Harbour City.

          My chef friend who just returned from Hong Kong seemed happy with Bo's Innovation. I have not been there. They serve fusion stuff and I'm not really a big fan of fusion.

          Okay, I'm a bit excited here. But anyway, this is my personal opinion. It may differ from others. :)

          1. re: micheniche

            Try Fu Sing Shark Fin Seafood Restaurant in Wanchai. The place is great for dim sum and has some very innovative dim sum items. But you must book for a table.

            We also love Chili Fagara in Soho for spicy Sichuan food and Xiao Nan Guo in Central for Shanghainese food.

            If you want a nice romantic place then try Hu Tong in One Peking Road for the setting and view.

            1. re: micheniche

              I like Foo Lum in the basement of Hong Kong Macau ferry terminal (上環信德店). Nice roasted pork, roasted geese, steamed fish, prawn salad, french style smoked duck, etc with very reasonable price. Reservation highly recommended. Mostly local folks.

        2. re: PeterL

          I much prefer the live seafood places out in Sai Kung, personally. There is enough competition to keep standards high and prices reasonable. You can choose your live seafood from any vendor and have it cooked at any restaurant. I think the view is nicer at Sai Kung and it's an interesting and funky little town. They used to have a great European bakery called Ali-Oli. Not sure if it's still around, but it was worth a trip out there.

        3. DIM SUM:
          I like Victoria City (in Harbour City), Spring Moon (Peninsula) and Loong Yuen (Holiday Inn TST). Spring Moon is expensive for dinner, but their lunch-time dim sum is very reasonable. I consider Loong Yuen to be kind of a hidden gem. All of these places are order-off-menu.

          Tsim Chai Kee near Mid-Levels Escalator. Only a few different noodles on the menu, but it's about the best wonton noodle soup I've had... and damn cheap.

          I second the recommendation for Crystal Jade La Mian XLB in Harbour City. Everything there is good, not just XLB's.

          I realize you don't want to go to "international restaurants." But Hong Kong's international restaurants are quite different from NYC's. The best examples are the buffets at HKG hotels. I started a thread on this a while back, but I will just say that HKG's buffets are on completely different standard than anything you'll come across in America. Try the Cafe Too at Island Shangri-la... for about 300HKD, the lunch buffet consists of international offering with a definite Chinese and fusion twist... incredibly fresh salad greens, carved-to-order sushis, assortment of dim sum, noodle station with your picks of dumpling and meat and Asian greens, curry station, crab legs, oysters, some Italian stuff, amazing desserts. Although I haven't been, others have raved about Conrad's buffet.

          1. Sichuan Da Ping Huo for Sichuan food. Never mind the upscale setting, this is delicious, authentic, home-style Sichuan food, and I like the set menu bec you get to try 12 different dishes.

            1. For a truly amazing although non-oriental meal have dinner at L'Atelier du Robuchon. It's French/Nouveau. You have a choice of either sit down formal restaurant or more fun to sit at the bar of the open kitchen where you can see up close the food being prepared. The menu at the open kitchen is 'Small plates' so you can try many things. Our favourite dishes last time were the 'mini burgers with foie gras', 'veal heal' as well as the best mashed potato ever !

              If you want a special Cantonese meal with one of the best views of Hong Kong then you can try Hutong. Fantastic views, great decor/ambience and great food. Try the Soft Shell Crab in Dried Red Chilli and also the Crispy Peking mutton...

              Have fun,

              10 Replies
              1. re: RickBehl

                If the OP is from NYC, I do not see the logic of recommending L' Atelier to him especially IMO, I think New York's L'Atelier is as good if not better. For the money, I would go to Caprice instead. Better food, better service and better view!! We had a chowmeet in Caprice last year and half way through, we watched a storm rolled by! Absolutely amazing!!

                1. re: Charles Yu

                  Agreed ! I pick Caprice over L'Atelier any day especially OP is from NYC. I had that "mini burgers with foie gras" at the Las Vegas branch like 3 years ago, it is good though. If going to HK the first time with only 2 lunches and 2 dinner, stick with dim sum, wonton noodle, seafood, any kind of Cantonese food .... no point to have any "International" restaurants. BTW, just a piece of info, Hutong is considered a place for non-chinese only in HK, local rarely go there.

                  Hutong :

                  1. re: skylineR33

                    Unfortunately I have not been to Caprice so I cannot say which is better. All I know is that each time I have been to Robuchon I have not been let down at all.. which is more than I can say for a few other high end that I have been to (eg, Pierre Gagnaire at the Mandarin). As for Hutong I was suggesting it as a 'special meal' for ambience as well as food... I appreciate that some may consider it for 'non-chinese' or gweilo's but I think it suits a special occasstion probably more than a local Cantonese/noodle place (even though the food may be great for the price)... You get possibly the best restaurant view anywhere in HK and if you book for 8pm you can take in the night laser show from your table... Anyway just my 2 cents !


                    1. re: RickBehl

                      OP should stay away from Hutong and stick to dim sum, wonton noodles, seafood and Cantonese food in general - exactly the stuff that skylineR33 recommended.

                      Like someone else said already, do Lung King Heen for lunch (but make sure you go on Sunday when they have a much broader selection of dim sum) and something like Fu Sing for lunch as well so you can compare. I personally really like Fook Lam Moon for traditional dim sum, but it is as pricey as Lung King Heen.

                      For dinner, I say splurge at Fook Lam Moon for dinner. For traditional Cantonese fare it's one of the best in HK, and you won't be disappointed in the standard dishes like steamed fish and roast chicken.

                      Like others on this board, I personally find Tsim Chai Kee to be an insult to wonton noodle establishments in general, given the golf ball size of their wontons, so I would go to Mak's Noodles across the street instead.

                      Finally I would consider a simple place like Ho Hung Kee in Causeway Bay for a mid afternoon snack or late night bite. They have a decent beef stir fried noodles and porridge.

                      1. re: hong_kong_foodie

                        You hate Tsim Chai Kee that much? I really love everything about their shrimp wonton noodle soup... the broth has perfect flavor for me, the wonton is solid, the noodle's texture is perfect. Go there everytime I'm in HKG.
                        I've been to Mak's once. It is very good indeed. I really think you can't go wrong with either. I just prefer the seating setup of Tsim Chai Kee better.

                        1. re: hong_kong_foodie

                          Hello HK Foodie! Agree with everything you said especially the TCK wonton noodle part! IMO, its like making sushi the size of a hot dog! A total travesty!
                          BTW, I heard the dim sum chef of FLM has moved to the newly opened 'Fan Tang' in Causeway Bay. Dim Sum is as good but about $10-15 less than FLM!!

                          1. re: hong_kong_foodie

                            Agree with everything EXCEPT I respectfully disagree on LKH...

                            TCK... ick!!!

                            1. re: Peech

                              Hey, hey, hey I think it's best to let them decide. I mean, LKH is not that bad.

                            2. re: hong_kong_foodie

                              No wonder it's so hard to get a rez on Sunday lunch at LKH! :(

                              1. re: hong_kong_foodie

                                I actually liked Hutong's crispy skinned boneless lamb. Also love the view and the decor. It's expensive, no doubt.

                      2. I visited HK in January. Here is my brief review on the restaurants mentioned in the guidebooks. Hope it helps you plan your trip.

                        Hutong: The view was great, but the food was awful. The Crispy boneless duck, one of their signature dishes, was described as "served with scallion sauce," and the waitress happily suggested that we order pancakes to go with the duck. It all made you think that it would be a special rendition of Peking duck. Boy, how could I be so wrong! The crispy duck was simply fried duck, and it was so dry that even KFC's chicken tastes juicier. The scallion sauce tasted exactly the same as the sauce for the crispy de-boned lamb ribs. I guess we paid for the ambience, not the food, at this Michelin one-star place.

                        Shang Palace: We had the eight-course Michelin tasting menu. The ingredients were great (fresh abalone, etc.), and the execution was solid. However, was it memorable? Hard to say. My pet peeve was, one of the eight courses was a fruit plate. Since when do some cut melons become one of the courses?

                        Chilli Fagara: It was a dreadful experience at Chilli Fagara. The waitress, Wendy, was definitely under the weather. She was sniffing when she put the food out, and you could hear her coughing and blowing her nose behind the screen. It was a tiny restaurant, and there was no way to avoid her. This was not the worst part of the meal. She gave us three tiny dishes, said these were "on the house" in English, and briefly explained what these were. At the end, we were charged with one order of "Ma-La-Tang snacks." We would have argued with her under any other circumstances, however, we really did not feel like talking to nose-running Wendy and just wanted to get out of there. It was a shame that we would NEVER, NEVER go back because they had the best dumplings with hot chili I have ever had in China or Taiwan.

                        One Harbour Road at the Grand Hyatt: We had the set menu. It was a good meal with great service. I have no idea why this place is not rated by Michelin and Shang Palace has two stars. The food was comparable. One Harbour Road at least offers a fantastic view of the harbor, and Shang Palace is in the basement. These two places both serve set menu one dish at a time ("western-style.") One Harbour Road waited for all of us to finish the food before serving the next dish. Shang Palace served the next course while one of us was still eating. I like both restaurants, but I just don't understand why one is rated better than the other.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: gigibite

                          If I were to encounter a waitress with symptoms like Wendy, I would definitely complain to management, especially when its HINI flu season!

                          Shang Palace is one of those establishment that in the opinion of us chowhounders is highly over-rated. IMO, Golden Leaf in the Conrad is a better choice!

                          1. re: gigibite

                            Oh dear, you ordered the fried duck? I also encountered a very dry version the last time I was there. I had thought it was one of the chef's off-days! I don't know what happened to Hutong - it was very good when it first opened. The Singapore owner really needs to do something if he's to keep the clientele coming back.