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Dec 13, 2011 09:20 AM

One meal only in HK and then 2 weeks in Thailand.

hey guys--

first post here. could use some help.

i've been to HK a couple times but my girlfriend has never been to Asia. We're spending half a day in Hong Kong before going on to spend 2 weeks in Thailand (Phuket, Ko Samui, Chiang Mai, and then Bangkok).

For HK, we land at 2pm and fly out early the next day. Staying at the W in Kowloon. Thinking ferry across, tram up to the peak and the possibly drinks at Cevva and Ozone.

Any recs on essentially our one meal? Don't want to spend a ton as we're kicking a 15 day vacation, but it doesn't need to be a $2 meal either... A couple have suggested Le Garden or HuTong

What does everybody think?

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  1. Lei Garden - Yes!! Very good Cantonese food. You won't go wrong with any of their Michelin star branches. There's one inside the Element shopping mall next to your hotel. However, since their Mong Kok branch just got promoted to a 2*, I would grab a taxi ride and give it a try!

    Hu Tong - View and ambiance - Yes. Food - No! IMO, very touristy and over-rated! Their so-called 'modern - twist' on some classic Cantonese dishes really screwed them up!!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Charles Yu

      Thanks Charles. Appreciate the thoughts

      Any other places jump to mind? Happy to leave Kowloon for food, but clearly Lei Garden would be easy to do since we're there already...

      Thanks again!


      1. re: DGS822

        If your girlfriend has not been to Hong Kong and you have time for only one meal, then I would suggest you make a reservation at 'Yan Toh Heen' inside the Intercontinental and be sure to ask for a 'window table'!! Great view of the harbour and skyline and great Cantonese food. A touch more expensive but worth it. Set dinner for two might run you around US$150.

    2. If your day in HK is a Sunday, beware that Sevva (which you suggest for drinks) is closed that day. Not sure why as you'd think it'd be busy on a Sunday. Go figure.

      5 Replies
      1. re: p0lst3r

        Thanks p0lst3r. I'll actually be there on Saturday afternoon and evening. I enjoyed grabbing a drink at Cevva but if we're short on time might check out Ozone -- has anybody been there?

        1. re: DGS822

          Yes, I work in the building below.

          The decor is quite ornate, almost edging on ugly. They have an open-sky terrace with big glass wall so if weather clear you get a good view - that's pretty unique especially at that height (118th floor I think). Problem is it's become a drop-in for tourists and the hotel has responded accordingly. This is what happened last time I went with my wife after a movie ~10pm on a week night:

          We walk in and head out to the terrace. I order and pay for our drinks at the bar. Fine. It's standing room only and can't even find a spot against the glass to see the view so we decide to just sit inside while we finish our drinks. The inside area is half empty so we grab a little casual table near the exit door. Waitress comes over and tells me it's a HK$1000 minimum for the table. I give her a filthy look and say I work in this building and if I can't pop in to their half empty bar to have a quick drink with my wife after work without spending $1000 then something's wrong. She kindly advised we could stay at the table but if a $1000-paying customer comes along we'll have to move. Nice. In all fairness she didn't feel comfortable asking either, she was instructed to, so nothing nasty about it. It's just their way of coping with hoards of tourists stomping in and taking over. So in 5mins we were finished our drinks and were out of there. Haven't been back.

          In contrast, I've been to Aqua Spirit in 1 Peking Rd TST many times over the years, it has an amazing view, no minimum charge and friendly staff. Saturday night might be a little busy but still worth a try.

          1. re: p0lst3r

            Great updates, p0lst3r.

            I was about to recommend Aqua to DGS822, too. The views (as are those from Hutong) are breathtaking.

            1. re: p0lst3r

              Strangely I prefer Ozone to Aqua. I have found the attitude of the staff in Aqua can be pretty bad and most of the seats don't really have a view. That said my trip to Ozone was Sunday and it was quite empty. I suspect Sevva (no C) won't be that busy Saturday either as its early crowd is office based - they to have a minimum charge per table and in comparisons I think Ozone may be a bargain!

              1. re: PhilD

                The hipsters have moved onto Armani bar in Prince building or FoFo's rooftop bar on wellington street now. Sevva is still a favorite for sunset / pre dinner drinks. Ozone's decor is too tacky for me (feels they tried to cram as much blingy shiny neon junk in there as possible).

        2. Hi DGS822,

          In the offchance you're still reading...

          Here's my 2 cents as a non-HKer who lived there for two years enthusiastically exploring the cuisine.

          #1 -- Unless you have lots of prior experience with Cantonese food and have been reading about Chinese cuisine for're not going to *get* the dinner food at upscale Cantonese restaurants, which include lots of expensive exotic dried seafood. BTW, Hutong is a tourist joint. Cevva is Western-blah and expensive. Lei Garden is hard to *get* if you haven't been in HK for a while. It kind of feels neither here nor there if you're not scoping out the seafood, etc.

          #2 -- You will never have dim sum as good as you can get in Hong Kong, probably anywhere in the world. My favorite for sheer porky bliss on ivory chopsticks was Sun Tung Lok (Michelin 3*), but you will find heated, multi-page threads on the subject if you google "chowhound dim sum hk". For glamour plus great dim sum, go to Lung King Heen at the Four Seasons (really a great value for the whole experience). Your girlfriend will be impressed.

          #3 -- You'll probably get more enjoyment at dinner time out of more middle-of-the-road joints with lots of energy like Fu Sing (Wanchai branch only), Din Tai Fung (Causeway Bay), or Spring Deer (TST). Fu Sing has cha siu unlike any you've tried, DTF's dumplings are porkier than you've ever tasted, and Spring Deer's Peking duck is blissful (if not as perfect as Beijing's top places). All of these are totally accessible to Western-oriented palates.

          Save your $$$$ for an exquisite cocktail or two at a bar at one of the Mandarin Orientals or another 5* hotel, where they do glamor on another level. And, for God's sake, if you go someplace swanky like that, look slick. Not necessarily fussy or fancy, but super elegant and polished.

          Hope this helps!

          1 Reply
          1. re: chloehk

            Thanks so much chloejk! You just made my day. I have been lurking around this forum all day planning a day in HKG. This made complete sense, and spoke to me, as I was getting lost with too much choice. got reservation at cuisine cuisine for dim sum. My western palate was for sure a concern :)