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Apr 15, 2011 10:43 PM

What is good to eat at the Hong Kong Airport? Have a six hour layover

Will be stuck at the Hong Kong Airport for six hours waiting for a transfer to China. Can not believe that I have this long lay over and with only Airport food. I am not sure it would be worth the effort to go into Hong Kong itself for one meal. I know I do not need another Visa but is the food at the Airport to keep this hound happy. I fear the my last meal at the Airport was the Popeye chicken which had a long line. But I have taking a lot of grief for the meal from my family.

Hope you all can help me out. My cousin said there was a good won ton soup place at the airport but forgot it name and location.

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  1. Well the answer will be whether you are in Terminal 1 or 2

    T1 has Crystal Jade, but I'm sure $$$. I see a Chiu Chow restaurant, but have no idea about them. T2 has a jiaozi/dumplings place. Yes they say the won ton noodles at the airport outsmokes anything in San Francisco Bay Area, but why settle for less...

    The MTR/Airport Express transfer is only 30 min ride, to the IFC in Central, more choices there

    There's a Tasty Congee shop chain there, maybe Lei Gardens. And a Crystal Jade too.

    But if you're in Central, why not do a food tour...or at least you have a gazillion choices:

    - Mak's Wellington for won ton noodles, and you can compare it with Yung Kee's if you want and if at YK, try to get there for lunch to order the song lahm clear broth brisket.

    - Lan Fong Yuen HK style milk tea

    - Kau Kee clear broth beef brisket noodles

    - the various dai pai dong's on Central on Stanley Street

    - egg tart at Tai Cheong or Honolulu Cafe

    - Ser Wong Fun for classical style stewed soups and dishes (e.g. baked fish intestines), snake soup, lap mei claypot rice. My dad used to eat here regularly during the 80s.

    - cab it to Tim's Kitchen (Toh Fa Yuen) for fantastic fare (Michelin star


    - Luk Yu Tea House (if you have time for early dinner....pork lung almond creamy soup, old style sweet sour pork, sticky rice stuffed chicken) or try the old style dinner at Lin Heung Tea House

    - somewhere on Wellington street are two famous places that sell soy sauce (Pat Chun?) forgot the other one. Then there's that really old store that sells freshly grinded sugar cane juice and sugar cane juice pudding...

    I personally would not stay 6 hours at the airport. No way.

    12 Replies
    1. re: K K

      If yimster decide to take the MTR, he doesn't even have to go as far as IFC! Get off at the Kowloon stop and head up to the Element Mall! There's a Michelin 1* Lei Garden there where one can have dim sum and a number of their signature dishes like the 3 layered crispy skin roast pork...etc Plenty to look around too! For a 20 minutes train ride! Well worth it!

      1. re: Charles Yu

        Or he can go to...what's that place? Crystal Lotus, inside HK Disneyland hotel for some really cool looking Disney dim sum. Phenomenal visuals, and gets decent writeups for the dinner service that's almost Michelin quality looking.

        Or if staying on Lantau, maybe a trip to Shek O fishing village, lots of great old school stuff. Home to the original prep of shrimp paste, and salted fish (where the guts are removed by hand through hook via the mouth, the belly is never slit). I'm sure this stuff can be purchased and brought back through customs, since it is not meat. There's also one egg puff/eggette vendor there, selling the snack using charcoal grill (push cart), the last of the kind. Then a visit to the giant Buddha statue for the best feng shui around, to make it complete.

        1. re: K K

          I will be reading all you links and will make up my mind since I will have time before I go. Thanks for the tips. The only thing in my mind is going through extra customs. Not sure if I have to clear HK customs.

          1. re: yimster

            Yimster, it can be confusing with exiting and re-entering a foreign country. I know for US passport holder to visit China it matters whether you have single entry Visa or Multiple entry so that if you cross the border you might not get back in. Hong Kong though could be a different story, but better be sure to check all the exits and entries your chow hunt might involve.

            1. re: yimster

              To leave the airport you will need to clear immigration and customs, but if your bags are checked through to your final destination you don't need to clear these. I didn't think you needed a visa for HK from the US, and you will enter the PRC (visa required) only when you complete the journey. HK immigration and customs is usually quite fast so it is easy to get into town on the train.

              1. re: PhilD

                Yes, I have an US passport and have a multiple entry to PRC so it not a problem. Just do not want to miss the connection. I will be back to HK at the end of the trip so I will get a chance for the food. But the Roast Goose at the Airport is a option for me to try.

                My Cousin in Hong Kong has said the he will get me in the fourth floor private club of Yung Kee which is the king of roast goose of Hong Kong. Just a few more weeks before I am off.

                1. re: yimster

                  The slightly more exclusive Fourth floor and the 'Private Club' on the top floor are two different stand alone places in the same complex. One can make reservations on the Fourth floor fairly easly, given enough lead time. On the other hand, top floor would require membership or holder of an American Express Black Centurian card.
                  Irrespective, to ensure peak quality, order the ' WHOLE GOOSE'!!!

                  1. re: yimster

                    I've only had good goose in Sha Tin. The ones in Wanchai wasn't too good. Also, the soy sauce ones aren't as tasty as the roasted ones. While in Hong Kong I was talking to one of my assistants who lived in Sha Tin. She said the famous one near Sha Tin, in Tai Wai had gone down hill, but said the one I had gone to, "Praise House Congee and Noodle House" IS good, and is a newer one.
                    She said that she'd heard it was good (the one in Tsim Sha Tsui, but that she didn't know one opened up so close to her!


                    I think a good strategy for goose is to eat it while it's hot, which means eat it for lunch over rice, so that you're not distracted with other courses. Even within Sha Tin, within the same block, there were difference in quality. A good goose should not be greasy. The skin will be thin and light, without heavy layer of oil underneath. What fat there is, is sweet and tender. The meat is silky, tender and delicate. In this respect the Praise House in Sha Tin was fantastic. One of my assistant who had the BBQ pork rice commented that he now understands why it's special, that most other BBQ pork is too lean, too dry, unlike this one where the meat is well-marbled, and tenderly flavorful.

                    (It's nice to get goose leg rice, though they usually charge $15 HKD extra for leg request)

          2. re: K K

            OK, KK I arrive at T1 and depart at T2, more bad news it a 8 hour layover. I think we will leave the airport for sure now.

            1. re: yimster

              Yeah usually flights to mainland departs from T2. Hope you can have your luggage checked through. What time of the day are you arriving (I am assuming early in the morning?)? 8 hrs is definitely plenty of time to do some damage in town.

              1. re: PeterL

                6AM leaving at 4PM, yes hope the luggage is checked through.

                Will be meeting the other to do some planning.

                1. re: yimster

                  If you have 3 or 4 in your group sometimes you can get a taxi to the airport cheaper than using the express train. We were taking a taxi to the airport express station when the driver said he'll take us all the way to the airport for the same price. Ask first how much to the airport.

          3. The good won ton soup place is in Terminal 2. You need to be at boarding an hr before. With wifi that 6 hrs can go pretty fast.

            1. If you're from the west coast then eating Popeyes Fried Chicken is totally understandable. They're good in NY, but I can't imagine how much better they'd be in HK with Hong Kong's delicious, "real " chicken.

              The wonton place is probably this one "Wong Chi Kei" in terminal 2 (thanks to k k's link). I'm assuming you speak/read Chinese? I've not eaten here, but at another place (in Wanchai" where the "traditional bamboo method " was used for the egg noodles. If you're not going into Hong Kong, this would be appropriate.

              or it could be here at La Palace.

              My other choice based on un-availability in the east coast would be this "Healthy Dessert" place that usually has refreshing desserts made from fresh and fragrant Mango and coconut and pomelo. This is Hui Lau San in Terminal 1, though you would have to go into the unrestricted area, which may be a big hassle.

              If there's a chance of eating Roast Goose over rice, it'd be another HK experience not to be had anywhere else. maybe here?

              Lastly, if you drink coffee, McCafe (I know, I know) there in HK airport actually made decent "Long Black" (I think that's how it was on the menu) coffee, cheaper and better than most here.

              Good luck!

              10 Replies
              1. re: HLing

                I do speak Cantonese, but limited reading skills but know a few words (mainly menu Chinese). We have bamboo noodles available in the Bay Area but would think about having it in Hong Kong.

                I think that I will stay at the Airport. Since I am part of a tour I can not duck out.

                Another issue I have only a couple of Hong Kong most of my cash in RMB and US dollars. Last time I have something simple because I did not have enough HK dollars to do much. But this time I have enough for at least two meals.

                1. re: yimster

                  RMB is quite welcome in HK. I am sure at the airport RMB is more popular than USD.

                  1. re: PeterL

                    "RMB is quite welcome in HK" - is it?

                    I think the best advice is to use your credit/EFTPOS card. I am pretty certain 100% of airport places will take them and nearly all restaurants in HK apart from the obvious street food outlets. It is also simple to take cash out from ATM's.

                    1. re: PhilD

                      With the hordes of mainland tourists bringing in cash, yes RMB is quite welcome in HK, more so than USD. Esp. since RMB is now higher in value, while the HKD, tied to USD is quite depressed.

                      1. re: PeterL

                        I understand the forex changes as I am in HK, I just wondered how they would put it through the tills as it would be a nightmare to reconcile and most shops/restaurants are not independent here but parts of groups. My one time I tried to use RMB by mistake the restaurant laughed and didn't take it. Have you spent much RMB in HK yourself?

                        1. re: PhilD

                          My limited time in China and HK I was not able to use anything but the correct money in each place. I tried to use HK and US dollars in a shop in Mainland China and was not able to do a couple of years ago. The only place I was able to use US dollars was a hotel in Beijing. But then again they also money exchange.

                          1. re: yimster

                            It only works the other way around. Mainland don't take HKD or USD, except at limited places very close to HK. The only place I've ever use USD in mainland was as tips, but then they asked for RMB because it's impossible to convert $1 USD.

                          2. re: PhilD

                            Yes I have and have seen it used. Have you not seen the mainland tourists at the gold shops and discount outlet malls? They take RMB. The tourists don't come with HKD.

                            1. re: PhilD

                              Also I don't know why it would be difficult to "put it thru the tills." You can maintain bank accts in several different currencies, including USD and RMB.

                      2. re: yimster

                        Good move, Additionally if you take the MTR/Express train to Kowloon/HK, It's $90.00 HK dollars (12-13 US) each way. The restaurants at HK International are pretty good. It's not like your typical domestic airport fast food junk places. Albeit, I'm sure they have it at HKI.

                    2. Actually from reading a little more online, Terminal 2's Wong Chi Kei, is a Macau chain, where the founder learned the Guangzhou craft of bamboo pole noodles making from 64 years ago and the business is now handed down to 3rd generation. Not much in the way of reviews but whatever I was able to find so far (blogs etc) are very positive, some even saying that Hong Kong's best won ton noodles and shrimp roe noodles cannot even measure up to this Macau import, that keeps the tradition and taste alive.

                      So if you end up being able to make it there, try it out and let us know.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: K K

                        Yes that's exactly the place we tried, a couple of times. We lived very close to the airport and actually went there specifically to eat (free airport shuttle).

                        1. re: PeterL

                          Yeah if only SFO had something like this in all the terminals...or heck even outside...

                          Here's the openrice page of WCK airport.


                          You can see the photos and reviews (mostly in Chinese).

                      2. Whilst I'd not hesitate to jump onto the Airport Express to go to HK if I have an 8-hour layover like you, there is also an alternative in case you decide to take it easy & relax at the airport after a long flight from SFO - the Regal Hotel at the airport has some pretty good restaurants - Rouge (Cantonese), Dragon Inn (Shanghainese) & Airport Izakaya (Japanese) are all of a very high standard culinary-wise.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: klyeoh

                          For a stop-over that long, I'd go into town. The Airport Express is fantastic and the food is so much better. The wonton noodles at the airport are okay but has alot of MSG . If you're used to it, I'm sure there'd be no reaction but I found myself really thirsty on the flight after. Also, once you eat the noodles, there's still 7 hours to wait. The Crystal Jade at the airport is passable but honestly, was the worst of the chain that I've eaten at.

                          If possible, I would agree with KK and take the train in, sample the wonton noodles on Wellington Street or the goose at Yung Kee. They're easy to get to and some of the best eating I can remember.

                          A note about currency, I find that if you have HK dollars, it makes life easier. Also, if you eat at Luk Yu, they will not appreciate RMB. Just go to the ATM at the airport and withdraw some money and go and eat. You'll be much happier after. And that's what it's all about, no?

                          1. re: foodbunny

                            When was the last time you have won-ton noodles at Wellington's Mak's?! I tried it last month together with about 10 other places. Found the quality gone down hill and stunned by their raising the price from $26 to $30 in two years!! Currently, IMHO, best is at Mak An Kee ( Wing Kut Street ). As for roast goose at Yung Kee. Forget it!! Unless one orders a whole one on the 4th floor, quality is only so-so! Instead, I'll head down one block to 'Yat Lok' on 28 Stanley Street. IMO, cheaper and better tasting!!
                            Central, with all its inter-connecting walkways and skywalk bridges is a great way to walk around and kill off some time!! BTW, you can head over to Tasty's inside IFC2 and try their won-ton noodle as well!

                            1. re: Charles Yu

                              Interesting. Thanks for your on-the-ground info. Will note down your recommendations for next visit to HK.

                              1. re: foodbunny

                                When it comes to wanton noodles - just follow Charles, our NoodleMeister nonpareil :-)