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Comments Welcome on My Hong Kong Restaurant Selections

  • d

We will be in Hong Kong in late September (yes, I plan early!). I have been watching the board for the last few months, and have come up with the following plan. We are looking for a variety of food & experiences, willing to go to the higher end of the price scale for one or two meals, but prefer most in the US$150 range for dinners for 2. Prefer most meals at more casual than extreme high end of formality scale. Comments welcome!

Thanks to Charles and others who have already provided excellent information.

- take-out from Tim Ho Wan (arrive in HK early afternoon and going to Happy Valley Race
Course that evening, so want something before races)
- lunch - Jumbo Floating Restaurant in Aberdeen
- dinner - TBLS
- lunch - Tai O Heritage Hotel on Lantau Island (alternative: Po Lin Monastery)
- dinner - Yan Toh Heen in Intercontinental (want window table for view of light show)
- lunch - Tso Choi Koon in Kowloon (alternative: Tea at Peninsula - very different!)
- dinner - drinks at Busy Suzie then dinner at Din Tai Fung in TST for xiao long bao
- morning - dim sum at Maxim's Palace in City Hall
- lunch - Rainbow Seafood Restaurant on Lamma Island (alternative: Lambobme on Lamma)
- dinner - Spring Deer for Peking Duck

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  1. Where are you staying??! Is your hotel close to one of the THW's location?

    Dim Sum take-out from THW might not be a good idea since apart from the B-B-Q pork buns, other items will deteriorate in quality and texture from condensation inside the containers. IMO, a sacrilegious treatment of Michelin caliber food! Besides, where are you planning to eat your take-outs?
    If you are going to Happy Valley for the horse race, I would suggest taking the taxi to 'Tasty' in Happy Valley. You can have your choice of noodles, congees, dim-sums and other tapas size wok-hay dishes. Taxi from Tasty to the race course is less than 5 minutes!

    If you really wanted to savor good Michelin calibre Dim Sum, why don't you move Tso Choi Koon to Day 2 Dinner and then have a great sit down dim sum lunch at the 2* Ming Court on Day 4?!

    1. Hi DRD .. I'll comment on a few of your choices.

      Lunch at Jumbo -- are you going for the food or the experience? If the latter, and on a weekend, perhaps consider the Top Deck. It's a buffet and includes all the champers you can drink for a fixed price. Food is not bad (for a buffet) but it's a great place to chill out and soak up the sights of Aberdeen. Good music playing too. http://www.cafedecogroup.com/outlet.p...

      Dinner at TBLS -- you need to book well in advance for this, especially if a weekend (months in advance). I loved this restaurant - good choice.

      Intercontinental -- not just for the light show, it's surreal sitting there while huge boats float past. If you don't make it for dinner, the massive lobby bar has same view and serves a generous martini (they pour then leave the shaker on the table for you to top up your own glass).

      Tea at Peninsular -- I've been a few times with visitors and want to like it. They have live classical music playing and the place is steeped in history. I think what I don't like is that everyone around you is a tourist and it feels like a tourist trap. If only more locals were there, it'd have a different vibe.

      Din Tai Fung is Taiwanese and they have them around the world. Having said that, I still think it's a good choice for your trip as the quality (food and service) is so consistently good. HK'ers love it so can get quite busy and not unusual to have to wait in line.

      Maxim's Palace in City Hall -- been many times and was there just 2 weeks ago. Busy as usual, lots of atmosphere and I think the food is pretty good considering how many people they need to serve from carts. But you're going morning? Opens 9am on Sunday but all other days 11am. If you want early dim sum then there's another thread which mentions a quality place in IFC.

      Rainbow Seafood -- I feel sad for the other restaurants either side as they're always empty while Rainbow is full. Rainbow has free ferry going from Central Piers straight to restaurant or, if you need to walk off that huge Maxim's breakfast, catch the usual public ferry to Yung Shue Wan and then walk across the island (http://www.hongkongextras.com/lamma_i...).

      Cheers, Ian

      1. My comments:

        I agree with Charles regarding Tim Ho Wan why take-out? Better to eat in if the queue isn't too bad. That said it is good for its price not really the bet in HK. Happy Vally races has food but it isa long evening and if you are not being catered then eat before you go.

        I will be ruder than Ian about Jumbo....been once never again....despite the all you can eat buffett and all you can drink champagne....if you want that type of thing lots better. TBLS is great and my best meal in HK - but it is a very tricky reservation that you need to plan for - you need to ring X days in advance on the day.

        Heritage hotel is very new andi have yet to read a review, dinner at Yan To Heen will be good - the light show is meh.

        Tea at the peninsula is not great. Better to head up to the Ritz Carlton for the view - and you can book rather than queue. Have not been to Busy Suzie so can't help.

        Maxims is fun but don't go for the food. Rainbow is OK but the journey is better than the destination.

        1. Thanks for the info Charles, Ian & Phil, very helpful. I am staying at a friend's apartment, just south of Hong Kong Park. Good comments about THW take-out. Will either go with eat-in (HK Station) or will go to Happy Valley Tasty. Also, am going to take the Ming Court dim sum suggestion.

          Jumbo is about the experience for me. Spending that day at Aberdeen, Ocean Park & Stanley.

          I'll ask my friend to do the TBLS reservation. Looking forward to that evening! The Maxim's plan is for a Sunday morning. Monday is a holiday on the mainland, so I am figuring it will be a busy weekend at the popular restaurants so am trying to plan timing around that.

          1 Reply
          1. re: DRD

            THW at the station probably won't have a long queue for a table in the afternoon.

          2. I did take-out at Tim Ho Wan and loved it but hated myself for having to run to the airport... really try your best to eat in-house, IMO.

            1 Reply
            1. re: celstrial

              True, dim sum are usually steamed a la minute upon order, and should be consumed as soon as they are served up hot.

            2. If you do Po Lin Monastery, do not buy the lunch coupon offered by the cable car ticket booth as that would be to restaurants at the Disneyesque part of Po Lin. When you get off the cable car just walk thru the Disneyesque part towards the temple itself. The authentic Po Lin vegan lunch place is just to the side of the temple.

              3 Replies
              1. re: poggibonzzi

                Thanks to all for very helpful suggestions

                1. re: DRD

                  This is my very delayed report (3+ months after trip), so my memory is a bit foggy on the details. Please excuse the lack of them.
                  1. TBLS - excellent - loved every aspect: service was professional and friendly, enjoyed the atmosphere (not formal) and food was very, very good (dessert and soup were outstanding). Had a thoroughly enjoyable evening, clearly the highlight of the several HK dinners. My #1 recommendation.
                  2. Tim Ho Wan (HK station) - ate here twice, for a breakfast and an afternoon snack. Thanks to all commenters above for convincing me not to go the take-out route. Bit hard to find (near foot of escalator descending from near the airline check-in counters). No English sign, but not necessary - only busy spot. Seated promptly (overlooked the very surly, rude service from the woman at the front check-in desk; she actually managed a slight smile and thanked us as we tipped when we were leaving). Incredible value. Very good dim sum - particularly pork buns. Not my typical breakfast, but would definitely have it again!
                  3. Ming Court for dim sum - a close 3rd - excellent service and very good dim sum. Thanks Charles for the recommendation. More formal setting, very nice.
                  4. [remainder in no order] - Tai O Heritage Hotel on Lantau - sounded like it would be nice, but didn't enjoy any aspect of it. Not terrible, but definitely not worth the fairly long walk from centre of Tai O. Should have ate at the Po Lin Monastery.
                  5. Yan Toh Heen (Intercontinental) - unfortunately experience was coloured by the two loud, misbehaving children at the neighbouring table, for which adults were too busy talking to try to control. Leaving this minor issue aside, still wasn't that impressed. It is fine, nothing more. And service was a bit overbearing - insisted on giving way too much information and no real opportunity to control the amount of info. Also, there isn't much of a view from this restaurant - others in Intercontinental likely offer a much better view.
                  6. Rainbow Seafood Restaurant (Lamma) - very busy spot on a Sunday (National Day weekend, so everywhere was very busy). Enjoyed it. As we had made a reservation, we had a table right on the water. Food was very good. Service is rushed, but otherwise fine.
                  7. Da Ping Huo - definitely good value (reasonably priced). Food was good, not amazing - need to be a bit adventurous (tasting menu). Service (owner?) was good. Not much atmosphere. Overall, disappointed that used up one of our 5 meals here - not that it was bad, but we could have done much better.
                  8. Chicha - enjoyed it. Here is a link to my post in another chain: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/878783
                  9. The Boathouse, Stanley - somewhat surprisingly good lunch. Based on the introduction to the restaurant (looked better from outside than inside and greeting/service were somewhat disinterested), wasn't expecting much. But I very much enjoyed my fish dish.

                  1. re: DRD

                    Thanks for the report back, agree on much you say - very surprised by the food at the Boathouse on all my visits is has been barely tolerable - but I so get the "looked better from outside than inside: comment - I don't think it has been painted since they opened ten years ago.

                    For Stanley my new go to place is the tiny "Vern's Beach Bar" the beer list is spectacular with many US craft beers, the welcome is friendly and the food passable.