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Jan 2, 2013 05:18 PM

Three Nights in Hong Kong

We are a family of 4 (the "kids" are 29 & 25) visiting Hong Kong for the first time beginning January 23rd. We're celebrating my 60th birthday and would like a few different dining experiences. Plus, one night we would like to splurge a little and maybe have something with a view, (but since Dad, meaning me, is paying, I can't go completely crazy in the spending department). We're staying at the Langham Place in Mongkok -- Not sure if that matters or not. I guess we can catch the subway anywhere. And non-smoking sections are important and would be a definite plus.

With that in mind, any help would be appreciated -- definitely Cantonese, but wouldn't mind other Chinese cuisines that we may not be as familiar with in the U.S. Plus, Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Australian(if there is such a thing) would be great. No need for European -- have plenty of that where we come from. Also wouldn't mind places that have an interesting cool design.

Thanks in advance

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  1. Ming Court inside the Langham is a Michelin 2* Cantonese restaurant! One of Hong Kong's best! It also has Hong Kong's first 'Chinese restaurant' wine room that provides food and wine pairing if one so desires!! Personal Director Eva Lo is well familiar with chowhounders!

    A very good 'value for money' place would be Tasty's inside the IFC building. Great 'Chinese Tapas' comfort food including yummy noodle dishes.

    For good Shanghainese cuisine at a fair price, give Hong Kong Cuisine ( 11flr, 2-4 Tsoi Tak Street Happy Valley ) a try. It also received one of Openrice's highest rating.

    For Indian, Bombay Dreams on Wyndham Street is my go to place. Just follow the aroma!!!

    Lastly, take in a great Dim Sum lunch! If you want a great view to go with the meal, choose either Lung King Heen inside the Fourseason, Yan Toh Heen inside the Intercontinental or Tin Lung Heen inside the Ritz Carlton. A bit expensive but for first timers, well worth the money!! Be sure to make reservations ahead of time and ask for a window table!

    Choices are limitless!! You might need to do some more research!! Another great info source is!!

    Have fun and good luck!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Charles Yu

      As usual, Dr. Yu is spot on. The only one I would disagree with is the Tasty at IFC. Dr. Yu has a love of this place, and I don't find it all that. In that vein, I'd prefer the Crystal Jade one floor below or best of all the Tin Ho Wan in the basement. But I would only go out of my way to eat at the Tin Ho Wan. Be prepared to wait unless you go at really odd hours, like 4 PM or 10:30 AM.

      Adding to the list, the dim sum places Dr. Yu mention also do dinner, but I wouldn't have dinner at LKH, although it makes some of the finest dim sum ever, you're likely to be disappointed. The YTH is a much better choice for dinner, and one of the most satisfying and under-rated restaurants in Hong Kong. Their Peking Duck is mighty killer. The Tang Court at the Langham in TST is also excellent.

      Bombay Dreams is fine, but nothing that stands out from the best New York has to offer. If you want to get down low, there are a couple of pure vegetarian South Indian places in Kowloon, the Branto and the Woodlands, which are as amazing in their deliciousness as they are abysmal in their service and the setting. But part of the experience. Nothing like that in NY, that I can think of. The closest is an East Coast chain of down home Indian restaurants called the Udupi Bhavan, which open near Hindu temples and do killer business, but the places in Hong Kong are better.

    2. I highly recommend yuet wah hui seafood restaurant in wan chai. The prawns are enormous! And delicious. Also highly recommend tak kee chiu chow restaurant in western district. Legendary goose and cold smoked vinegar fish.

      1. We stayed at the Langham Place in Mongkok on our recent visit to HK, and ate one night at Ming Court in the hotel, and another at Nan Hai No. 1. As between the 2, we enjoyed Nan Hai No. 1 better in terms of the food, although the food at Ming Court was certainly good. Also, NH has a great view right on the harbor (within about 3 stops on the subway from the LP hotel). We are not nearly as knowledgeable about HK cuisine compare to others who have commented on your post, but I offer my opinion for what it's worth.

        13 Replies
        1. re: masha

          If possible, can anyone please provide your thoughts on the following:

          Ye Shanghai
          Above & Beyond
          Chom Chom

          1. re: class act

            Where do you come up with these places? You can do quite a bit better for Shanghainese food than Ye Shanghai.

            The other two I've never heard of, and I live here. I see that Above & Beyond is the Cantonese restaurant at the ICON. What attracts you to that place? The view? The food? It's probably OK, but if you're looking for a combination of view and food, the Yan Toh Heen puts them all to shame.

            Yes, the view at Hutong is better, and NH1 also has a good view, but the YTH has the better combo of both.

            1. re: Uncle Yabai

              I'm just taking a guess!!
              'class act' most probably pick Ye Shanghai because it just got promoted to a 2* by Michelin. Uncle Yabai is correct about Shanghainese place. Liu Yuan Pavillion is a good alternative!
              As for Above & Beyond, its becoming a fav place for 'locals' since its getting rave reviews from 'openrice'.
              Chom Chom, that, I have not heard of!

              1. re: Uncle Yabai

                I'm reading too many websites and guide books and it's becoming a blur to me. I can't see straight anymore. Above & Beyond I actually got from a Conde Nast Traveller magazine as being a hot table for 2011 or 2012. In any event -- I will listen to you and seriously check out YTH. Is it going to break the bank?

                And here goes with a few more that were touted by a friend who lived in Hong Kong for a while -- (Don't scream too loud)


                In case we need an Italian fix --
                Solo MIo

                1. re: class act

                  YTH has the best food with a view, but for spectacle NanHai #1 is very good and the food is good - that said it was a banquet which makes it tricky to judge the normal menu.

                  Is Indochine still going? It's a real blast from the past and was OK but LKF Tower is being redeveloped and it has moved and tended to fade out of favour. I haven't tried those two Italians - there are lots of restaurants here so that isn't surprising - they are both in Soho and I have walked past them without being tempted. My go to Italian is "Giando" in Fenwick Pier - the view will be better when they finish tunneling the bypass but the food is simple and IMO very good.

                  I went to a wedding at the Hotel Icon on New Year's Day and was very impressed by the food, it was a big wedding with about 400 guests and the banquet food was some of the best I have had. Every dish was really good especicially the giant whelk stuffed with abalone and meats. The hotel is run by HK Polytechnic and is really ther school of hospitality and if the wedding I anything to go by it attracts high calibre students. "Above & Beyond" is now definately on my list to try now.

                  For dim sum I am with uncle yabai whilst Tasty and Crystal Jade are good day to day places I wouldn't put them on a visitors itinerary. My new recommendation is "Island Tang" (and its sister Kowloon Tang) which are very good at the top of the mid-tier i.e. cheaper than the starred hotel places (which are very good).

                  I will defend Bombay Dreams as it has become our only regular haunt for Indian and is very good and justifiably popular with the Indian expat banker community - that said I must get out and explore a few other options to confirm its still the best,

                  A good Sichuan is Chilli Fagara - and I know I will be lambasted for that - its small and trendy and can turn the tables. But after a recent trip to Chengdu it put the food into perspective for me and it is pretty good, very accessible Sichuan.

                  There are lots of Australian chefs in HK but Australian food tends to be. Melting pot of lots of styles, "Oolaa" is good for breakfast or brunch (but not dinner), I love Shane Osbourn's food (but tolerate the service and venue) at St Betty, and have a soft spot for the mad men style of the brand new Laris, where Sydney boy David Laris is delivery some very good food (although still with a few new opening glitches).

                  1. re: PhilD

                    Yea, i wonder about Indochine, It wasn't worth a damn even back in its heyday, so if it is still around, I wouldn't bother. I haven't been to LKF since I was FOB, it gets tiring pretty quickly.

                    Sounds like this Above & Beyond may have some traction. May try it some day if I'm ever in Hung Hom, but unless I'm taking the East Rail, don't see why. I take that back, Gangster Kazuo Okada opened up three stunning restaurants in all places, at the Harbourfront Landmark. I don't know what kind of laundry that place helps out with, but they are way over the top and excellent. Location doesn't help, so doubt they'll be around for long, check them out before they vanish in a puff of cigar smoke.

                    Island Tang and Kowloon Tang are fine, but if you're going all Tang, might as well and have your hotel book you the China Club, which is the grandma of this style at the intersection of edible and foreigner-friendly, and as a plus you get the floor show with the naked noodle lady. The art on the walls is worth the trip alone, and if you're lucky you'll run into "Agony Uncle" Sir David flatulating at the bar about some injustice or another.

                    I'm with PhilD on the Italians you mention, have passed them countless times and never once felt the urge to try them out. Sounds like they are part of the meh brigade that is the bulk of Italian food in Hong Kong. For good italian, Otto e Mezzo is the bees knees, Nicolini at the Conrad is quite good. Neither is cheap, but both are top flight. Da Domenico is really good but mega expensive. Chairman Okada's Messina is fabulous, and completely under the radar.

                    I also have a soft spot for Chili Fagara, the combo of the mega-spicy with the lemon chicken is pretty good. However, it is the kind of w@nker service that won't serve you a glass of tap water, they only sell the bottled stuff. And you'll need water, lots of it. I would assume this is against the law in Hong Kong, but don't know. They can go f themselves for all I care, but I do fold and bring my own water which I then make a big show of drinking it.

                    As for Australian food, don't know. Oolaa is lame, Wooloomooloo is lame. Maybe it's just Australian food, what do I know, I've never been there, so maybe I'm missing something.

                    1. re: Uncle Yabai

                      I am going to disagree on China Club, I seem to end up here on quite a regular basis, either being entertained or entertaining and I always find the food a bit sub-par. I had held off going to Island Tang for this reason, but was very pleasantly surprised with the quality of the dim sum.

                      Agree on Chilli Fagara - but what is this water stuff - don't you just drink Harbin out of bowls?

                      Heading to Nanhai on Tuesday of a dinner so will report back.

                      1. re: PhilD

                        Harbin out of bowls! Now we are talking!

              2. re: class act

                Don't waste money on Ye Shanghai. My grandma's Shanghainese so I'm particularly picky on this cuisine. I haven't spent any money there for the last… I can't remember how many years.

                I've had 2 very enjoyable meals at Above & Beyond. They do have a view, and the food is pretty good. I'd go back again.

                Chom Chom I believe is Vietnamese? Why would you do it in HK?

                I've always had a big thumbs-down for China Club, unless you arrange something special with the place. Much better to go to Island/Kowloon Tang, or even Chiu Tang for Chiuchow.

                1. re: class act

                  I actually enjoyed the lighter, subtler take on Shanghainese cuisine at Ye Shanghai, as compared to the "real thing" in Shanghai (e.g. spots like Fu1088/福1088, Jesse/吉士酒家, Shanghai Uncle/海上阿叔, etc).

                  Service at Ye Shanghai (HK standards, of course) is also a class above what I'd experienced in Shanghai.

                  1. re: klyeoh

                    You're right abt the service in Shanghai… and of course everyone has different palates. I enjoy the more traditional flavors since I grew up with them.

                    The other thing that used to turn me off about Ye Shanghai was the singing. I don't care to listen to someone singing songs during my meal, as if we were in a club back in the 50s or 60s. But that may be appealing to some

                2. re: masha

                  Thanks Masha -- Nan Hai No. 1 looks interesting plus it has the view we would like to have for one of the nights.

                  1. re: class act

                    We had the concierge (club level) at the hotel place the reservation with NH1, requesting a window table, which was secured. Biggest negative that we had is that the lighting is incredibly low for middle-age eyes, but they in fact supplied us with a flashlight when they noted us struggling to read the menu by holding the votive candle that was on the table.