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Hong Kong in June - Dining suggestions?

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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.
              http://www.dianping.com/shop/2472700

        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.

          NOODLE:
          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.

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

          ALSO:
          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.
            __________________
            http://www.airline-booking.com/hong-k...

            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,
              Rick

              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 :
                  http://www.openrice.com/restaurant/sr...

                  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 !

                    Rgds
                    Rick

                    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.

                          2. For one lunch, I recommend that you go to Yung Kee. Ask for a table upstairs. Their roasted meats (pork, duck and especially the goose) are delicious. You can order a combination of all three.

                            I also recommend dim sum or dinner at the China Club. It's private, but a good hotel concierge, or Amex platinum or centurion card will get you in. I prefer the dim sum over dinner, both are very good. The main draw of the China Club is the atmosphere - 1930's Shanghai or HK. David Tang, who created Shanghai Tang, is the driving force behind the China Club. I think it's the most beautiful restaurant in Hong Kong.

                            And, because it's your honeymoon and you should splurge, go to Fook Lam Moon.

                            1. If you want hole in the wall I got a suggestion for a unique experience. Only open for dinner though so I don't know if you want to use 1 of 2 chances for this meal.

                              You need to take the train to Sha Tin Wai

                              http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_XULsk_L5JCM...

                              Its on the brown route. Somewhat of a ways off but there is a really good hot pot dining area across the street from the station when you get off. I use to frequent it when I was a student at the CUHK and best of all... it's cheap! About 60 HKD/ pp

                              My pics: I know the place looks ghetto but its all about the food and they got a crazy selection with fresh ingredients!

                              http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v69...
                              http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v69...

                              1. If you want to take the stress out of your dining arrangements, you might try this service:
                                http://realtravelhongkong.com/2010/02...

                                It's the blog of a Cantonese speaking American travel writer living in Hong Kong who apprenticed herself to one of the Hong Kong Chinese newspaper food critics, and now runs an "eating concierge service". She basically eliminates the stress: helps you choose restaurants, arranges menus in advance, and can even accompany you to meals to explain and give background on the food.

                                1. hndsmpt,
                                  So if you're going to Hong Kong, go Cantonese all the way. Make sure to hit up some dimsum, try some street food, have a late night meal at Tsui Wah, and DEFINITELY go to the Golden China Restaurant on Jubilee St. in Central for chashao (roasted pork). For more tips on Hong Kong dining check out this sucker, http://kl.am/8Hse , with more recommendations.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: dannyrogue

                                    I have to say that a place like Tsui Wah (at least the one in Central right by Yung Kee) just hits the spot when you're craving that type of food (especially the baked pork chop rice).

                                    1. re: hong_kong_foodie

                                      didn't try it, but I'll check it out. I'm pretty hung up on the Hainan Ji and a good donglai (dongnai) cha.

                                  2. You've gotten a lot of great advice. I actually really enjoyed Lung King Heen and think it would be great for a honeymoon meal. Be sure to call way ahead, tell them it's your honeymoon, and ask for a window table. I've had two incredible dinners there. Totally worth it. I agree with the recommendation for Da Ping Huo - to me this is a very unique Hong Kong experience- the private kitchen, the Sichuan food, and the chef and host are just outstanding personalities.
                                    I found Hutong to be overpriced and not that great.
                                    I really like lunch at Rainbow on Lamma. In fact I did that for my anniversary one year. Perfectly romantic. I recommend the lobster with cheese, the black bean clams, scallops with garlic, salt and pepper calamari, and if you feel splurgy, the steamed garoupa with ginger and scallion. Totally classic Hong Kong.
                                    Sort of in the hole in the wall category is Under Bridge Spicy Crab.
                                    I also love love Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao. There are many locations. The one in IFC near Central can get crowded. There is one in Causeway Bay that has a bit of a view of the harbour and that would be great for lunch. I love their dandan noodles, their xiao long bao, and if they have eggplant in soy sauce, I always get it.
                                    I personally always enjoy Chili Fagara even though it is a little spicy for me. I've never had a problem with the service there.
                                    You must get at least one good dim sum. If you go to Crystal Jade you will sort of get that experience, but Maxim's City Hall Palace is a classic HK dim sum experience with the rolling carts and all. I also personally like the food a lot.
                                    Other street food type things - don't miss the egg tarts at Tai Cheong at 32 Lyndhurst Terrace in Central. Again totally classic and totally delicious. You might also want to try a bowl of noodles at one of the famous noodle places - Mak's Noodle is one. Also try the "bubble waffles" for sale at the street vendors as well as the curry fish balls that are everywhere.
                                    Finally you might want to make an effort to have a drink at Sevva in the Prince's Building in Central - great rooftop bar with views.
                                    To sum it up I would recommend the following:
                                    Day one: Dim sum at Maxim's for lunch. Dinner at LKH. Snacks: egg tarts, waffle ball, fish ball.
                                    Day two: Lunch at Crystal Jade. OR Rainbow at Lamma. Dinner at Da Ping Huo. Followed by drinks at Sevva. (warning, Sevva is closed on Sunday nights.)

                                    1. OK, here are some suggestions to top notch HK food (based on food quality, nothing to do with decor, service, location, or price)

                                      1) Hing Kee Seafood on Nathan Road in between TST and Jordon. They were originally from "Bay Phong Tong" where people would eat seafood out in small boats decades ago. Due to environmental issues, these boats were banned and some of the more famous boat families started restaurants on land. This style of cuisine is usually strong in flavor. salty and/or spicy but it doesn't mean the seafood is not fresh. I think they make the best salt and pepper squilla in HK. (Squillas are very tasty and usually sells at the same price as lobsters but I personally think squillas taste much better. ) Other recommended dish is soy sauce mid size prawns, garlic and fan si steamed over giant razor clams, duck in noodle soup, and their soup du jour. Their ancient style fried crab is also famous but it's not my personal thing. spending is about usd 100-200 for 2 people.

                                      2) As for general cantonese seafood cuisine, I recommend Dragon Inn Seafood on Castle Peak Road. It's pretty out of the way but taxi in HK is so cheap that usd 25 gets you anywhere (if your hotel is on kowloon side) Dragon Inn is quite a bit more expensive than other seafood places like sai kung or lay yu moon but they cook much better than these other places. Sai Kung and Lay yu moon places sometimes just waste the perfectly fresh and good seafood by their mediocre cooking techniques. (Our family dine out at seafood restaurants in HK almost every single weekend for all my life, so I can say I've been to all the ones that are worth trying. ) Before arriving at restaurant, take taxi to sam sing chuen seafood market (near Tuen Mun NW of HK), pick the seafood and tell them you are going to Yung Lung (Dragon Inn's chinese name). I usually take a short taxi ride to the restaurant which cost like usd2. (the walk is actually only 5min) Recommended dishes are small lobsters gratin, crab and garlic steamed over sticky rice, oyster in port wine, tiger cod (2 style). Spending about usd 2-300 for 2 people depend on how big the tiger cod is. Note: just pick the smallest "go hai" crab which would cost less than usd10, the purpose is the rice, not the crab.

                                      And if you do go to Dragon Inn, you can stop over at Shum Cheng for a mango dessert at Fat Kee. Recommended dish: Yeung Chi Gum Lo Spending: USD 7

                                      3) Dim Sum - Lei Garden has pretty consistent quality dim sum. Recommended dishes:
                                      roast pork, egg tart, abalone sauce chicken feet (if you eat that), soup du jour, almond tea with extra egg white. Spending: about 50-80 for 2 for lunch. Actually, Lei garden makes very good dinner dishes as well but it's hard to order for 2 people.

                                      4) Chiu Chow - Pak Lok in Causeway bay. They are one of the most consistent in quality of the cold crab. Recommended dishes: LARGE cold crab, sugar and vinegar noodle, mini oyster congee. Spending: usd 150-200 for 2

                                      Congratulations and hope you have a great time in hk.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: yanyan123

                                        IMO. Pak Lok has become overpriced, too busy and inconsistent food quality in general. Suggest Lippo Heen instead. Better ambiance as well!