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Dec 5, 2011 07:58 PM

Eating the most out of 15 hours in Hong Kong

I apologize if this is well-trod territory; I've browsed a lot on the boards, but in the limited time I have I'd like to get a sense of how to make the most out of my layover.

I arrive in HK on 31 December at 7:00 am and depart around 10:30 pm. I know I'd love some fabulous dim sum and would like to avoid any lengthy, super-expensive meals. Street food, noodles, teahouse delicacies, etc. would be great.

Any suggestions much appreciated!

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  1. From the airport, take the airport rapid transit train to the 'Hong Kong' stop. Head up to 'Tasty' inside IFC for breakfast. Afterwards, browse around the complex ( houses a number of Michelin star establishments including 3*s inside the Fourseasons ) and then walk over to the 'Star Ferry terminal ". Take the ferry across the harbour ( one of the best ferry ride on earth! ) and then walk along the promenade and enjoy the view. For lunch, walk into the 'Intercontinental Hotel' and have a Michelin 1* Dim Sum lunch at Yan Toh Heen. Afterwards, cross Salisbury road and head north along Nathan road. Tons of shops to browse at. Turn left into Jordan Road ( 3/4 houirs walk from hotel ) and head over to Parker street for Won Ton noodles at Mak Man Kee. Also Chinese Dessert at Australia Milk company next door. You can venture into side streets like Temple Street for additional street food at Hawker stalls. 'Jordan' MTR station can take you directly back to the airport!

    16 Replies
    1. re: Charles Yu

      My dear Charles, you should become a part-time tour/food guide to HK if you ever want to move back here from Toronto. Ha ha!

      1. re: M_Gomez

        Thank you for your kind words and compliments. Just trying to help!!

        1. re: Charles Yu

          You'll be kept very busy, Charles - as you can see from CH's China & SE-Asia board, there's a flurry of visitors into HK at the moment. The city's beautifully decked out for the holiday season, and the air feels Christmassy right now (13 deg C this morning).

          Restaurants are busy - on Wed this week, I asked Landmark Cafe if I can make a lunch reservation - they were fully-booked till Thu next week!

          Otto e Mezzo 81/2 is booked up till end of the year.

          This has been a rushed trip for me - I'd wanted to visit Michelin-starred Petrus in my hotel, but didn't even have the chance all week!

          1. re: klyeoh

            Looks like Mak's won-ton noodles for you instead!! Ha!!

            1. re: klyeoh

              Klyeoh - tis the season of Christmas parties, dinners and lunches. My colleague says she is really struggling the find a spot for her Christmas Day family feast as things are so booked.

              1. re: PhilD

                It seems worse this year - every good restaurant has a long wait-list - maybe the number of people wishing to eat out has increased tremendously, spurred on by food blogs, Michelin guide & its ilk, and the generally greater awareness of dining options around town these days. My busy schedule this visit also meant very little time to explore/visit places both old & new.

                As for the Chairman/Tai Pan (大班樓), they told us last week that they are booked up till the end of the year, but would we like to make reservations for January 2012?

                1. re: klyeoh

                  Don't forget every single HK resident is getting $6000 from the government!! That means everyone can afford to have at least a few meals at Michelin star restaurants!!!!!

                  1. re: Charles Yu

                    Only the males, handbag shops are also very busy.

                    1. re: PhilD

                      Guys, HK$6,000 won't buy a Bottega Veneta or Louis Vuitton, which many HK women would prefer. Charles & Keith maybe.

        2. re: Charles Yu

          Thank you so very much! This is wonderful. A question: A former colleague recommends the dim sum in City Hall, though I suspect he was focusing more on the experience than the food. What do you think? Also, I think we'd like to visit Man Mo Temple and ride the Peak Tram. How might this affect the food itinerary?

          1. re: klynn74

            Food quality of ' Maxim Palace' inside of the City Hall is acceptable and fairly traditional. Its very busy and unless one manage to get a table near the window to take in some view, the experience will be like any popular Dim Sum place in town.
            If weather is fine, I would definitely choose the peak tram ride! Do allow at least 3 hours for this detour.
            Not sure about Man Mo Temple, never been there! Sorry!!!

            1. re: Charles Yu

              I was at Man Mo Temple last Wed (the temple's popular amongst students who went there to pray and ask for good exam results) - quite near SoHo area and its numerous eateries. I'd check out Staunton St.

              1. re: klyeoh

                If heading to the temple head to the street behind it (Bridges Street) and check out Yardbird the new japanese chicken and beer bar - its next to Oolaa the sort of mod aus place which is also quite good especially for a relaxed brunch.

              2. re: Charles Yu

                I agree with Charles, the food is pretty average. It still has the old carts trundling around the restaurant which may be fun for tourists but does mean the food has hung around for a bit so not at its peak.

                1. re: Charles Yu

                  Thanks again! Since we will be there during the day on New Year's Eve, do you foresee problems get in anywhere, particularly at Yan Toh Heen?

                  1. re: klynn74

                    I would book, not only NYE but a Saturday which is big day for a family lunch.

            2. I was never a fan of steam milk custard till Yee Shun.Yee Shun Milk Company make the best steam milk custard

              1 Reply
              1. re: yoyo

                Yee Shun again? I thought I just read about it just now :)

              2. Charles, you are amazing with your recommendations! I will be back in HK in the spring and try more high-end dim sum places. Very few places in North America match up to this experience. On my last trip, I tried Tang Court at the Langham and Lung King Heen at the Four Seasons. How does Yan Toh Heen compare - is it similar in style and quality? Also, I tried to go to Mak Man Kee, but there was a line out the door at lunch hour and I couldn't wait, so will have to try that next time.

                1 Reply
                1. re: DeniseB

                  Thank you so much for your kind compliments! So glad to help our fraternity members!!

                  When it comes to Dim Sum at Michelin star establishments, I think it all boils down to personal taste and the dishes one orders!!. With competition being what it is, standard should be pretty close. ( Its almost like asking one to compare Audi, BMW and Mercedes?! ). Every ' foodie mentioned' place should have a few dishes that are their forte. It one hits the right note at time of ordering, the resulting experience can be sensational. On the other hand I've eaten certain dishes in multiple star establishments like Sun Tung Lok or Lung King Heen that are so-so or even 'meh! ". Take the dim-sum 'measuring yard-stick' - Har Gow as an example. IMHO, the best one is not in the afore-mentioned STL or LKH nor the Ming or Tang courts but the non-star ' Celestial Court' inside the Sheraton!!
                  Now, to answer your Yan Toh Heen question. Although only a 1*, personally, I loved the place because, in addition to the food, I also love the view and their ' Chinese tea' menu! Also, may be I managed to pick a few dishes that just happened to hit all my taste buds bringing a wow-factor to my dining experiences?! One such dish was the ' Turnip puff with diced and minced Chinese preserve meats, dried shrimp and Chinese mushrooms '. Just love the texture and yummy filling. LKH, IMO has 'flashier' presentation. Dishes can be hit or miss. Same applies to Tang Court. However, if its only good food you are looking for, I would actually head over to Fook Lam Moon in Wan Chai!! Very consistent!
                  Not just Mak Man Kee! Lunch hour line-ups even in fast food joint can be extremely long. Best to go 'off hours'
                  Good luck!!

                  Attached: Turnip puff of YTH