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A week in HK ~ Please critique my dining plans [1st draft]

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It's been a while, but we're heading back to HK this Chinese New Year. I've gleaned some helpful pointers from this forum, but am also including some old favourites in the mix.

We are mainly looking for fabulous (can be either traditional or innovative) dimsum, one non Chinese dinner (Amber seems to fit the bill), and restaurants that are worth the plane ticket (mixture of $-$$$$).

Sidenotes:
-- Having traveled Italy extensively, I'm not all that interested in any Italian (eg 8 1/2)
-- Have done Yung Kee many times in the past, so am omitting for this itinerary
-- Used to also visit Sun Tung Lok frequently, but saw they dropped a star, so also omitting this time

So far it looks like

Lunches:
* Lung King Heen
* Tin Lung Heen (the room alone looks amazing)
* Cuisine Cuisine at the Mira - is the ayce dimsum in a different league than the dinner? (unless it's a beautiful Asian hotel buffet, we're not normally ayce ppl, but this sounds like fun.. and very cheap @ $198pp) - Would you recommend dinner vs lunch @ Cuisine Cuisine?
* Tim Ho Wan (no reservations?) - Mong Kok - Crispy buns, 正!!!
* Mak's Noodles - (which one though?)
* Australia Dairy (salivating at the thought of cold butter bor lor bao and milk tea)
* Yan Toh Heen @ the Intercon? (Not decided.. perused on openrice, and it looks good)

Dinners:
* DTF - TST branch
* Amber
* Arirang (love Korean bbq)
* Tasty .. IFC, Hung Hom, or Kln Bay? Reservations accepted?

At a standstill at the moment.. still have a few days and a few dinners to fill in.

Some questions Im hoping someone could please help:

* Looking for a good hotel dinner buffet. Can anyone recommend a good one? Used to enjoy the Sheraton, New World Hotel (yes, it's been that long, even the name has changed), Kimberly Hotel, Spice Market etc

* Is Ming Court (Langham) better for lunch or dinner?

* Tim's Kitchen for dinner - I couldn't find on Openrice (maybe I wasn't looking hard enough)..has anyone been recently, and is the clientele mainly locals or tourists?

* Lei Garden for dinner - which one is the most highly recommended location?

* I like what I've read about Yan Toh Heen and Cuisine Cuisine - any other similar recommendations?

* Any recs for tong sui, bakeries (for classics such as bor lor bau, gai may bau, daahn taht), desserts, hole in the walls, etc?

Much thanks in advance for any help/hints/pointers!

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  1. ETA:

    AYCE dimsum lunch @ Cuisine Cuisine at the Mira is not on offer for the time we are there. They said it would start up again in February 2012.

    1. Tim's Kitchen remains mainly rich locals.

      I'ld swap the Chairman in for DTF for dinner as it is a far more interesting and Cantonese (rather than Shanghainese/ Taiwanese) experience. Maybe DTF for a brunch.

      Amber does a good weekend wine matching brunch. If you are familiar with European food, it is good, and cheap for the price but won't change your world etc.

      Arirang is ok... but Korean isn't really HK's strength. Maybe do something a bit more local like a dai pai dong or soy western.

      Tasty IFC = no reservations, queue can get bad but if you are flexible on times is fine.

      Hotel Dinner Buffets are generally meh.

      Lei Garden Wan Chai is the most reckoned. Despite the recent dumping of Michelin stars on them, they are not the best there is.

      Tim Ho Wan - get there early or late. Mongkok branch is best.

      I've not been to TLH but it looks like the interior of the deathstar. Friends who have been there say it is by no means the best high level Canto but is good. Although overpriced.

      Agreed on 8 1/2, if you've been to Italy, an utter waste of time.

      Sorry for the disjointed mutterings, hope it helps. I would suggest something more local - i.e. fresh wok breath dining but then I am currently in Seoul and missing classic Canto food.

      3 Replies
      1. re: TomEatsHK

        @TomEats: Thanks for your detailed response! No disjointed mutterings at all! Appreciate your input.

        Does Tasty IFC have a line up as soon as lunch service starts? We are early risers, and are ok with getting there before the place opens (hate lining up!).

        Good to know about Lei Garden. Cuisine Cuisine may fill that slot instead.

        Will add the Chairman to the list. Going to make reservations for these.. assuming there are still spots left for the CNY Day 1, 2, or 3 days.

        Re TLH - agreed that it looks a bit spacey in there. Reminds me of something from Firefly..

        Cheers!

        db

        1. re: DistendedBelly

          Good luck with getting a spot at the Chairman!!

          1. re: DistendedBelly

            Tom's advice is pretty spot on.

            Get to tasty before 11:30 and there won't be a long line if any. The wait may be 20 to 30 mins at peak time 12:30 to 1:30 but shorter if you share a table. It isn't a tricky place to get into and turns tables fast - get a number when you arrive.

            I would check CNY openings the first day will see lots of places closed with more open on subsequent days.

        2. Agree with the others:

          - drop Tin Lung Heen, food only so-so and if you want the view, go to the bar up stop for a drink around sunset
          - DTF is a better spot for lunch instead of wasting a precious dinner
          - Lei Garden Wanchai is the best
          - instead of Yan Toh Heen, you can try Hoi King Heen at the other Intercon. Make sure to try the Cha (tea) Guo (fruit)
          - definitely Chairman but are they open during CNY?

          One suggestion you might want to think about is doing a day trip to Macau and do Robuchon + Tao Tao Gui. Amber is good but Robuchon will be better. I would not try to do this over CNY though as Macau would be packed.

          1. For bakeries and tea restaurants serving the classics, here are two places

            Kam Fung 金鳳茶餐廳 (be warned, service is curt and seats not too comfortable, but food is good and HK milk tea is a best seller here)

            http://www.openrice.com/english/resta...

            Kam Wah Cafe 金華冰廳 - get there very early, fresh out of the ovens bor lo bao, chicken pie, and Mexican buns

            http://www.openrice.com/english/resta...

            If you are in Central, ABC Bakery (1 Gage Street) makes some very nice old style peanut nougat candies. The baked stuff is also decent.

            For Cantonese dessert soup (old style

            )

            Yuen Kee 源記甜品專家 in the Western district is pretty good, they have been around at least 30 to 40 years (or more).

            http://www.openrice.com/english/resta...

            The caveat is that you need to order 桑寄生蓮子蛋茶 which is the best item there, a type of herbal tea with lotus seed and marinated hard boiled egg. If you try black sesame paste soup or almond or walnut, you may get mixed results. I used to love the eggy sponge cake 全蛋雞蛋糕 there when I was a kid, but heard recent writeups on the blogosphere that it is not so good these days.