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cheap eats in Central/ Sheung Wan (Hong Kong)

g
goldilocks76 Mar 10, 2013 09:26 PM

Looking for some area specific recommendations. Been reading previous threads, finding places that sound good, and then finding that they are quite far from where I'm staying. I know HK has great public transport, but it'd be nice to have a few options up my sleeve that are close to home.

So does anyone have recommendations for cheap (i.e. not high end) places for everyday dining in Sheung Wan and Central? I'm especially, but not exclusively, interested in Chinese cuisines.

  1. PeterL Mar 10, 2013 09:29 PM

    Cheap Chinese in Sheung Wan? Hmm. I don't know specific ones, but seems there are hundreds of little shops all over the place. HK is not lacking in cheap Chinese foods. Try checking on openrice and select Sheung Wan as your location.

    1. c
      chowmouse Mar 10, 2013 10:27 PM

      Cheap tasty Chinese food is found everywhere in Hong Kong. Just in Central alone, there're great wonton noodle houses like Mak's and Tsim Chai Kee (TCK is my go-to place, even though they seem to get crapped on a lot in this forum) and cheap cha chaan teng places like Tsui Wah. I don't know if these are the types of places you're looking for, when you say cheap. If you want a more comfortable atmosphere, both Crystal Jade and Tasty's inside IFC Mall are still pretty cheap and great.

      As PeterL said, openrice.com is a great resource.

      1. l
        Lau Mar 11, 2013 07:55 AM

        how cheap is cheap? and are you going by yourself?

        1. K K Mar 11, 2013 12:48 PM

          If cheap = not high end then there are tons and tons of choices. However a lot of them may require some knowledge of ordering, knowing some basic Cantonese and/or reading Chinese. Some of these I do not know if they have menus in English, but some are frequented by travelers so your mileage will vary. But they should be pretty safe bets. Look up openrice for the addresses/info:

          Lin Heung Tea House (Central)
          Lin Heung Kui (Sheung Wan)

          These are run by the same family but are separate businesses. The focus is affordable old style dim sum, but you can also get non dim sum items at both places.

          Sang Kee Congee Shop (Sheung Wan)

          曾記粿品 - there is no English name but they are at 1 Queen's Road Sheung Wan in the food center upstairs. They specialize in Chiu Chow style baked/fried "pastries", mostly of the savory kind.

          瑞記咖啡 in the Munipical Services building (that houses the wet market) in Sheung Wan, is great for breakfasts or snack. This is the place that popularized the cold HK milk tea in a Schwepps glass bottle and they do it so much better than everyone else (I'm talking about the taste, not the packaging). Even something like HK style French Toast is very tasty (yet calorific).

          陳勤記鹵鵝飯店 Chan Kan Kee Chiu Chow Restaurant (Sheung Wan). The Wanchai branch has a menu in English and Chinese, so I expect the flagship store to be the same. Focus on the simmered soy sauce marinated eats like goose or goose parts (wings, feet), oyster omlette, chinjiew sauce chicken etc

          永合成餐廳餅店 Wing Hap Shing Restaurant - apparently good for claypot rice where they finish the cooking by baking it in an oven (since they have no charcoal grills). Sheung Wan

          生記鮮魚湯米線 Vermicelli and fish soup specialist (Sheung Wan)

          Central:

          Sing Heung Yuen

          Kau Kee (clear broth beef brisket noodles and also try curry brisket + tendon with efu noodles)

          Wing Lok Yuen (HK style hot dog, the secret is in the tasty but somewhat unhealthy sauce)

          Ser Wong Fun - it's "cheap" if you go in and just munch on a bowl of roasties over rice. Or splurge a little and get a double boiled soup

          Won ton noodles....Mak's, Mak An Kee etc.

          Mr Bing (newish Beijing style crepe/jianbing shop opened by an American expat who lived in Beijing and wanted to recreate the jianbing experience in HK). Has good reviews by local bloggers. Light snack with various flavors.

          牛記茶室 Ngau Kee Food Café - just down the street from Kau Kee and Sing Heung Yuen. Rumored to be shuttering soon due to high rents, but it's great value for stuff like beef chow fun, claypots.

          Dai pai dongs around Stanley Street area....Sing Kee (dinner), Ball Kee (lunch). There's also Shui Kee (it's actually only a Chinese name) that specializes in beef tripe. Across from Sing Kee is Wai Kee, great for plain congee and crullers.

          There's a branch of the Macau Dai Lei Loy pork chop bun on Lyndhurst Terrace, up the street from the 2nd location of Lo Fu Gei (known for congee...but many say it's MSG enhanced).

          If you are in the area, treat yourself to an old school glass of sugar cane juice at Gung Lei, it's on Hollywood Road. If you are very lucky they might have sugar cane jello pudding.

          Dumpling Yuan on Wellington Street is supposed to be pretty decent, for Northern Chinese/Beijing style dumplings. The tomato and egg boiled dumpling is supposed to be a signature, or pork & fennel.

          Across from Lan Fong Yuen on Gage Street is Lung Kee...roasties rice plates kind of place. Should be affordable even by Central standards. Then Yat Lok where you can get roast goose leg noodles, that might be a tad bit cheaper than getting roast goose rice combo from a chain like Café De Coral.

          Down the street from The Chairman, there's a Chiu Chow style fishball noodle place where I met up with a friend for lunch in January (very affordable).

          As you can see, no shortage of affordable eats in town. But "cheap" is hard to define especially when real estate prices are soaring and the average income is low, and now the definition of middle class in HK has changed to incorporate those earning a fairly decent annual income, but not high enough to qualify as upper middle class!...

          29 Replies
          1. re: K K
            l
            Lau Mar 11, 2013 02:26 PM

            do you like lin heung? ive eaten there several times and it certainly has a nostalgia quality given how old it is, the carts, the old people, but i find the quality of dim sum to be pretty mediocre especially given what is available in HK

            1. re: Lau
              K K Mar 11, 2013 03:09 PM

              One thing about HK is that you can pay for the kind of quality you want. If you have money, you can have the best of anything. But with that said, you can still get tasty cheap food. LHT/LHK are just but alternatives for affordable lunch or breakfast eats, and especially appealing to the blue collar workers (e.g. those who push wheel carts to deliver things to the local wet markets along or near Gage Street) and retirees in the area. Delicious can be an objective thing, particularly if one is in pursuit mostly of the Michelin star dining experience....to me I am happy with a dai pai dong or a typical noodle/roasties/congee local kind of place. These older receipe "unhealthy" calorific dim sum offerings served its purpose and targeted the local blue collar hard workers who needed their morning or lunch jolts, and still continue to do so to this day to an extent, while picking up interested foodies and food historians at the same time.

              I think you have set your expectations accordingly already with this place, which is good.

              1. re: K K
                l
                Lau Mar 11, 2013 03:42 PM

                yah i know what ure saying. i mean you've seen what i blog about and it's rarely michelin star even in HK i usually eat sort of local cheap places or mid level foodie type places as find those meals extremely satisfying in a comfort food kind of way (although next trip I plan on switching it up to blog about higher end places so people in NY can see what high end chinese food is really like).

                Anyhow, LHT is certainly affordable and definitely has it's following; in like 2008 or 2009 we sat next to a very nice blue collar kind of guy who explained to us how he eats there everyday! However i'm not the biggest fan of their food.

                Anyhow, for cheap + pretty good dim sum + in central/sheung wan, I'd lean toward the Tim Ho Wan branch in Central. Quite cheap and i think they have much better dim sum

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

                1. re: Lau
                  K K Mar 11, 2013 04:03 PM

                  Also, mediocre in Hong Kong probably = above average compared to NY or SF Chinatowns.

                  1. re: K K
                    l
                    Lau Mar 11, 2013 04:12 PM

                    oh i agree on that although i think places like Sea Harbour in LA definitely make better dim sum than Lin Heung

            2. re: K K
              g
              goldilocks76 Mar 11, 2013 08:57 PM

              Thanks KK, that's fabulously helpful.

              I already discovered that lots of the well-regarded noodle places are in Central and Sheung Wan. Have already tried Mak's, and looking forwards to joinging the debate on which place is best. We did need three bowls between two at Mak's, which may be overpriced by HK standards, but by London standards it was a steal.

              Also tried to get the milk tea from Shui Kee, but was stumped by the lack of English in the Sheung Wan food market. In Singapore, knowing the stand number is always helpful, and I found out they are at ship 17. With that and your Chinese characters, I hope to be able to find it next time!

              Am slightly dubious about openrice, as places like starbucks and western fast food places come up when I order results by ratings, and I know that, e.g., I would never trust reviews on tripadvisor.

              Am currently deliberating about whether Tim Ho Wan in Mongkok is worth the wait, or whether the less well regarded Central IFC branch wins once you factor in the lower wait time. Even if it only rates as "above average" by HK standards, I'm expecting it to be way above anything I can find in London.

              1. re: goldilocks76
                K K Mar 11, 2013 09:38 PM

                Here are pictures of Shui Kee menu, the French toast I had, and the glass bottle milk tea during my visit on January 3. Unfortunately it doesn't not say "cold milk tea in bottle", but does list a milk tea price of $10 (hot) and all sorts of cold drinks at $13. Other than various drinks found in all HK cafes, the food menu is mostly sandwiches and toasts.

                 
                 
                 
                1. re: K K
                  g
                  goldilocks76 Mar 11, 2013 10:02 PM

                  Thanks! I'm sure some pointing and gesturing will do the trick (not to mention that, with modern mobile devices, we can just carry the Chinese characters for what we want to order with us).

                  It sounds like you're not in HK at the moment. But, in case I'm wrong, I'd be very happy to meet up with you and other HK hounds for a chowdown.

                  1. re: goldilocks76
                    l
                    Lau Mar 12, 2013 04:48 AM

                    you will have a bit of problems at this place with english, but write down the characters i have or copy and paste them from openrice, but this place is cheap and amazing. its one of my new favorite places in HK
                    https://www.lauhound.com/2012/09/kwan-kee-claypot-rice-one-claypot-rice-to-rule-them-allone-of-the-best-meals-ive-had-in-a-long-time/

                    this chiu chow place in sheung wan / western is very good. when i went they gave me a chinese menu, but i know a guy who can't speak or read any chinese and they accommodated, i believe they have an english menu, but you have to ask for it. this restaurant is very good
                    https://www.lauhound.com/2012/09/tak-...

                    btw re: openrice. Openrice is very much like yelp in the US, it depends on how many people have voted on it. when you see alot of votes and people consistently saying its good then its usually on point.

                    also pay close attention to what people are consistently ordering. since most of the reviews on in chinese (sometimes no english reviews), just go look at the pics, see the pics everyone keeps ordering and putting thumbs up, copy those characters and you'll be good to go

                    1. re: Lau
                      K K Mar 12, 2013 12:31 PM

                      I haven't been to Kwun Kee but it's definitely recommended for some good local Cantonese in Sheung Wan. I would definitely try their claypot rice offerings if I am in the area again.

                      Btw: Salt and Pepper Fish and Squid in your writeup, (Jiao Yen Jiu Du Yu Xian You 椒鹽九肚魚鮮魷). 九肚魚 is Bombay Duck, a pretty fugly and hideous looking fish that looked like it came from a horror movie (I've only seen ones on ice at a market during my trip couple months ago), and is available / caught off the southern island of Hong Kong. Others may call it 狗母魚 (mother dog fish...or ahem..."bitch" fish), and some Teochewers call it 豆腐魚 (tofu fish, no idea why).

                      Maybe that's why it gets the deep fried treatment. I don't doubt that this prep tastes great. If very fresh it can be good with soups, and apparently an ingredient for hot pots.

                      1. re: K K
                        l
                        Lau Mar 12, 2013 02:15 PM

                        K K - definitely go to kwun kee next time you're in HK, its by far the best bo zai fan i've ever had. I was so happy with this place. it's super old school cantonese, i barely could understand the guys, luckily my cantonese speaking friends were there to save the day.

                        re: 九肚魚 - ahhhh thanks, i know what bombay duck is, but i had no idea what 九肚魚 was; now i know they're the same thing. I see 九肚魚 all the time in HK actually and you're right its usually fried. I find it delicious

                        definitely get the 貴妃雞 and the 枝竹羊腩煲, both were very good and my friends said the 貴妃雞 was off (used a different chicken), but i had never had it there before and i thought it was so good, so i can imagine its ridiculous when its on

                    2. re: goldilocks76
                      K K Mar 12, 2013 09:23 AM

                      Shui Kee is run and owned by an 80 ish year old man. Other than the drinks, all the food is cooked to order and can take some time to prepare. During my visit, he had an assistant who handled waitstaff duties, and there was another younger retiree sitting at the table helping to keep an eye on things. I do not know what the owner's plans are for the future or if he actually trained anyone to make what he sells, but if not I suggest you go there soon before he decides to retire, and this style of food, even if downscale and unappetizing to high end gourmets yet is executed with a lot of care, is forever lost.

                2. re: K K
                  g
                  goldilocks76 Mar 17, 2013 09:09 AM

                  Lack of Chinese isn't proving to be a problem. Even in places where we have been the only westerners, there has been no English script on the outside, and the waitstaff haven't spoken English (e.g. Sang Kee, Sing Kee dai pai dong, Kwan Kee claypot), we've been handed menus with English translations. The only place so far that hasn't had a menu in English was Joy Hing, but they spoke a little English and it wasn't hard to navigate since there aren't very many things on the menu. (NB. They say they tend to run out of things like pork belly and jellyfish by about 8pm, but they seem to have cha sui all night and, although everything we had was nice, that was clearly head and shoulders the best thing we ate.)

                  For those who blog: having pictures of the outside of restaurants has been invaluable, otherwise we would have struggled to find some of the places without English signage. So please carry on posting these!

                  Also, I feel like I should mention we had a lovely meal at Luk Yu Tea House. We were apprehensive about the place, given reports of rude waitstaff and so-so cooking. But our waiter couldn't have been more charming, and we stuck to dishes they are famous for, which were marvelous, especially the pig lung soup and the sweet and sour pork. I found the fish rolls a bit msg-heavy and the Chinese broccoli they were served on top of a little oily, but my other half thought they were up there with the pork. Sliced pigeon and ham was also a great combination, but not quite up there with the pork.

                  1. re: goldilocks76
                    l
                    Lau Mar 17, 2013 11:04 AM

                    i can imagine the language barrier can be kind of daunting as you've gone to some more local style places, so i'm glad it's been working for you so far

                    have you enjoyed all the food so far?

                    1. re: Lau
                      g
                      goldilocks76 Mar 17, 2013 04:44 PM

                      Loving it. Favourite places so far: Sang Kee, Joy Hing, Kwan Kee, Luk Yu, all of which might get repeat visits. We liked Tim Ho Wan Central, and are planning to go to the Mong Kok branch, probably mid-afternoon on a weekday, in order to minimize queuing time. But if you can take a number and then come back, some waiting would suit me fine. I want to check out Knockbox coffee, and also just to wander round Mong Kok a bit as it sounds like it is quite unique, even if I don't want to buy the things in the shops!

                      Other places on our to eat list: Ser Wong Fun, Kau Kee, Nam Kee,Wing Wah Noodle Shop, Hing's delicacies, Tai Cheong egg tart, Tim's Kitchen, Tso Choi Koon (wok hay stir fry), Lei Garden, Fuk Lam Moon, Fu Sing Shark Fin Restaurant, Tien Heung Lau or Hong Zhou, leaf dessert dai pa dong, milk tea and Chinese pastries from the food courts, maybe some high end dimsum at Man Wah - can't decide if it's worth it. Tim Ho Wan central already blows all London places out of the water. How much does quality increase with price?

                      A few specific questions:
                      - Is one of the Lei Garden group better than others?

                      - how do Lei Garden and Fuk Lam Moon compare to Tim Ho Wan with respect to quality and price point?

                      - We haven't seen any fishballs on street stands. Is there somewhere that is recommended for this?

                      - Temple Street night market - worth eating there or waste of a meal?

                      - Can you eat at Tien Heung Lau or Hong Zhou with only two?
                      We don't mind over ordering and boxing the rest for dinner the next night, as we did at Tak Kee Chiu Chou and will do if we go back to Luk Yu for the chicken with glutinous rice, but there is a limit to how much we will take out. We will not be ordering half a suckling pig!

                      - How dressy are Loaf On and Fong Lum, and do you need to reserve?
                      I ask because both are near places where we might go hiking, so we could eat there afterwards, but would be in shorts and T-shirts. You can never tell if a place in HK is up-market or not just because it has a michelin star!

                      - private kitchens: seem expensive. How much of an HK experience are these and are there any you recommend (looking for Chinese food, not other cuisines)?

                      - Macau: sounds like the restaurants are Portuguese or Cantonese, not fusion Portuguese and Cantonese, is that right?

                      - is there anywhere that is particularly recommended for bird's nest dishes?
                      Preferably somewhere not too expensive.

                      Sorry, that turned into a long list of questions.

                      Before coming here, I had the impression that most of the good eating was on Kowloon, but now I am thinking we don't need to go off Hong Kong Island much.

                      1. re: goldilocks76
                        l
                        Lau Mar 17, 2013 07:49 PM

                        ok so alot of questions here, I'll try to answer what i can (Charles Yu and some of the others who are in HK much more often than me are probably better suited to answer alot of these):

                        "Other places on our to eat list: Ser Wong Fun, Kau Kee, Nam Kee,Wing Wah Noodle Shop, Hing's delicacies, Tai Cheong egg tart, Tim's Kitchen, Tso Choi Koon (wok hay stir fry), Lei Garden, Fuk Lam Moon, Fu Sing Shark Fin Restaurant, Tien Heung Lau or Hong Zhou, leaf dessert dai pa dong, milk tea and Chinese pastries from the food courts" --> some comments below

                        Ser Wong Fun: I reported on this, but you might want to go to Se Wong Yee (I've eaten there but it was so long ago that I barely remember it), some people commented that the sausages are alot better at Se Wong Yee
                        https://www.lauhound.com/2013/01/ser-wong-fun-chinese-sausagesand-snake-soup-in-central/
                        http://www.openrice.com/english/restaurant/sr2.htm?shopid=13855

                        wing wah: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/893361

                        Hung's Delicacies: https://www.lauhound.com/2012/08/hungs-delicacies-one-michelin-starred-chiu-chow-braised-meat-specialist-in-north-point-hong-kong/

                        Kau Kee: kau kee is good, but I think sister wah is better
                        http://www.openrice.com/english/restaurant/sr2.htm?shopid=12152

                        Fu sing: https://www.lauhound.com/2010/10/fu-sing-shark-fin-restaurant-%E5%AF%8C%E8%81%B2%E9%AD%9A%E7%BF%85%E6%B5%B7%E9%AE%AE%E9%85%92%E5%AE%B6-one-of-my-favorite-restaurants-in-hk/

                        "maybe some high end dimsum at Man Wah - can't decide if it's worth it. Tim Ho Wan central already blows all London places out of the water. How much does quality increase with price?" --> go high end, its worth it

                        - "Is one of the Lei Garden group better than others?" I've only eaten at a couple of them (central and wan chai), so i'm probably not the best person to ask, I thought they were similar, but i haven't been to enough of them enough times

                        - "how do Lei Garden and Fuk Lam Moon compare to Tim Ho Wan with respect to quality and price point?" --> Lei Garden and Fook Lam Moon are more expensive and better than THW, THW is good and very well priced though

                        - "We haven't seen any fishballs on street stands. Is there somewhere that is recommended for this?" --> you need to be in the right areas. In causeway bay there is an area that has a bunch of these places, i like this one called 凝香園 (it now has an English sign that says Ying Heong Yuen). I like the get the curry fish balls or the fish balls in the yellow siu mai type wrappers with curry sauce on them. Also, if you wonder around Mong Kok you will find a decent # of street stall kind of guys that look similar to Ying Heong Yuen.
                        http://www.openrice.com/english/restaurant/sr2.htm?shopid=22228

                        - "Temple Street night market - worth eating there or waste of a meal?" --> I'm not really sure like i've eaten around there before, but its been a while; i find the area kind of annoying, just lots of useless trinkets nothing i ever want to buy. Jordan and Yau Ma Tei certainly have good food, i'm just not sure about like right at Temple Street night market

                        - "Can you eat at Tien Heung Lau or Hong Zhou with only two?" --> well i've never eaten at either although i know about both of them. Tin Heung Lau is pretty famous for their hairy crab, but generally i think you'd be fine like you'd probably have to pack some stuff or whatever, but the type of food it serves isn't like some massive portion

                        - "How dressy are Loaf On and Fong Lum, and do you need to reserve?" ---> I haven't eaten in sai kung in like 10 years, I would assume it'd be fine, but someone else is probably more qualified to answer than me

                        - "private kitchens: seem expensive. How much of an HK experience are these and are there any you recommend (looking for Chinese food, not other cuisines)?" --> varies pretty heavily in terms of price, I think they are awesome. I like 渝川菜館 (Yu Chuan - no english name) and Si Jie for sichuan food, both are reasonably priced. I think some others might have some good recs for you. there is a really good cantonese one, but I'm totally blanking on what it's called right now, let me ask someone.
                        https://www.lauhound.com/2010/11/yu-chuan%E6%B8%9D%E5%B7%9D%E8%8F%9C%E9%A4%A8-great-sichuan-private-kitchen-in-hong-kong/
                        http://www.openrice.com/english/restaurant/sr2.htm?shopid=121710
                        http://www.openrice.com/english/resta...

                        - "Macau: sounds like the restaurants are Portuguese or Cantonese, not fusion Portuguese and Cantonese, is that right?" --> generally yes from my very limited experience (i've only been there twice, i dont care for gambling so there is little reason for me to go there

                        )

                        - "is there anywhere that is particularly recommended for bird's nest dishes?" --> not the right person to ask, I'll eat it if you put it in front of me, but I never go out of my way for it

                        sorry i can only answer some of this

                        i would say both sides have great food, I've been to some absolutely amazing places further out on the kowloon side with some of my friend's families, but alot of it was before i really started documenting and making it a point to remember where i was eating

                        1. re: goldilocks76
                          K K Mar 17, 2013 09:45 PM

                          Lei Garden, some say that the North Point and Mongkok locations are generally better than the others, but this tidbit was a few years ago.

                          Tim Ho Wan is cheaper than Lei Garden, which is cheaper than FLM, but with this scale, you are getting quality as you progress in pricepoint (but not always the case, this is however true with these examples).

                          Fishballs...are you looking for curry fishball skewers? If you venture into Mongkok, within 5 minutes walking from most of the MTR stations towards the busier sections (e.g. Dundas Street) you should be able to find snack shops that sell all sorts of HK street food snacks, fishballs included (which you can pair with other things). I didn't eat any during this trip, but just go with the ones that have the most crowds. The exception is if it is on the weekends, you see Indonesian, SE Asian, or Filipino maids on their day off hanging around the food stalls, it may not be an indication of deliciousness, but rather convenience and pricepoint.

                          I was very close to trying Tien Heung Lau couple months back, even dining solo....if only to have a plate of hairy crab roe stir fry with a side of noodles to eat like lo mein (or pasta with sauce). The caveat is you'll be plunking down over HK$1000 for this, as they do not give you any meat from the legs...everything from the carapace. Is the season already over for hairy/mitten crab?

                          I recall walking through Temple Street, but this was around noon time, nothing much to see (and certainly nothing remarkable food-wise). There was this one eatery that looked a bit out of place, locals go there for stir fry, and had a Tung Po kind of approach (indoor/covered dai pai dong). Forgot the name, but nothing on the menu grabbed me when I glanced at it. The only interesting eatery around Temple Street would be the ultra old style HK cafe called Mido Cafe. Baked tomato sauce pork spareribs rice is commonly ordered, and others like the red bean shaved iced with lotus seeds drink. Other items like fried noodles, are good, but the best item amongst foodies there is the "gum lo wonton", which are fried pork wontons, with a dipping sauce of a sweet and sour nature containing a myriad of ingredients, including pineapple, bell peppers, calamari ? shrimp? and pork innard(s)...think it was liver....supposedly a classical version from the 1950s when Mido Cafe was even once a banquet hall. The inside and decor (including the restrooms which is not for the faint of heart) is stuck in time, and if you are so lucky to score a booth seat upstairs you get a great view of the temple and the streets (the best place to be).

                          Wing Wah is really not bad at all. I'd say stick with beef brisket noodles or the ja jeung noodles. Try the pickled daikon in the jars (self help), very appetizing. Maybe a red bean dessert or if you are adventurous, their herbal tea sweet dessert soup with lotus seed and egg. One of the draws of Wing Wah is that it closes at 4 am (x2 check the hours before you go just to be safe).

                          Do try both Kau Kee and Sister Wah. Their styles differ...and even the approach to how they do the broth. Sister Wah for sure, has English (and Japanese) on their menu, so no issues with ordering. Stick with beef brisket noodles (ho fun works great), or a bowl of plain brisket.

                          1. re: K K
                            g
                            goldilocks76 Mar 17, 2013 09:57 PM

                            Wow, huge replies, v. helpful. I am indebted to you! If any of you are in HK, I'd love to meet for a chowdown and thank you in person.

                            I meant to say, re speaking no Cantonese, that sometimes it seems to work in our favour. For example, in hindsight, I think we arrived at Kwan Kee after they had stopped taking orders for claypot rice. (The rice takes over 45mins to come, so stands to reason they stop making these before other food.) But it was easier for them to serve us than to try to explain.

                            1. re: goldilocks76
                              l
                              Lau Mar 18, 2013 04:41 AM

                              btw i forgot definitely go to tai cheong, i love that place
                              https://www.lauhound.com/2012/09/tai-cheong-a-hong-kong-dan-ta-egg-custard-institution-that-lives-up-to-its-reputation/

                              also, get the 糖不甩 at Leaf Dessert, its really good and bring the characters with you b/c that place is not english friendly if i remember right
                              https://www.lauhound.com/2012/09/leaf...

                          2. re: goldilocks76
                            Charles Yu Mar 18, 2013 04:57 AM

                            This is my third week in Hong Kong, eating out almost every day ( and putting on weight, big time!! ).
                            Anyways, just wanted to let you know, the worse thing I have eaten during this period was the Noodle and Mango sago dessert at Wing Wah!! Overpriced ( even more than Mak's ) and really sucked!!

                            1. re: Charles Yu
                              j
                              Jon914 Mar 18, 2013 10:56 PM

                              Interesting to hear about the weight, perhaps in jest, but every time I've gone to Hong Kong, I've lost weight by the time I returned (and the same for my parents). With all the walking you have to do (assuming you're taking the MTR most of the time rather than taxi), it burns off whatever you might have eaten.

                            2. re: goldilocks76
                              PhilD Mar 18, 2013 06:07 AM

                              Lots of Lei Gardens so I wonder if anyone has tried them all...! The two I have eaten in are similar (and I have not returned - plenty similar).

                              Tim Ho Wan has a tiny menu and its main selling point is its price point - as you go up-stream Dim Sum gets better, and its worth it. So yes definately worth going for a blow out at a top place once in a while.

                              Fish balls are pretty common - but maybe easily found in Causeway Bay.

                              If there are only two of you try "The Chairman" very good high end Cantonese served in western portin sizes (they do half serves).

                              Nothing in Sai Kung is dressy - including Loaf-On

                              Macau is good for really high end French (L'Ambroisie is opening soon) and slightly quirky Portugese influenced food. So IMO can easily be missed.

                              1. re: PhilD
                                g
                                goldilocks76 Mar 18, 2013 06:44 AM

                                PhilD - I agree with that. I didn't come all the way to Asia to eat cuisine that is (relatively speaking) available on my own doorstep! Also, in my experience, Portuguese food is far more simple and less refined than Cantonese.

                                BTW, the Tim Ho Wan that was near Mong Kok MRT is no more. It has moved to Olympian Park, near Olympian City MRT. I was slightly disappointed, as the hole in the wall experience has been replaced by a clean, bright, plastic-y, cheap chain ambiance round the back of a shopping centre. However, the tourists do not seem to have found the new branch yet. We walked straight in and were the only non-Hong Kong natives there. Couldn't compare to the IFC branch as we ordered different things, apart from the buns. Staff were all very nice and helpful, despite no English. Still waiting to find all those gruff waitstaff that people complain about on the net.

                                I think we are about ready to move up the dim sum quality ladder. Next step is either Fu Sing or Fook Lam Moon.

                                1. re: goldilocks76
                                  l
                                  Lau Mar 18, 2013 07:11 AM

                                  i really like the dim sum and food at fu sing, im not the expert at HK dim sum since i dont live there and i havent eaten at the high end places in a while, but if you go 100% get the cha siu (better than joy hing), steamed cha siu bao, lo bat go (pan fried turnip cake) and i'm not sure if hairy crab is still available, but if it is get their xiao long bao (soup dumplings) with hairy crab roe, i still think its the best filling i've ever had in an XLB

                                  https://www.lauhound.com/2010/10/fu-s...

                              2. re: goldilocks76
                                g
                                greedyb Mar 18, 2013 08:52 PM

                                Guess I'm late to the party but glad you're enjoying the food in HK. Looks like most of your questions have already been addressed but I'll just put in a few alternative places for you to try out should your schedule permits.

                                HK Desserts : Cong sao http://www.openrice.com/english/restaurant/sr2.htm?shopid=112507

                                Dim sum : dim sum square at jervois road, sheung wan( this is closer to the tim ho wan price and quality
                                )http://www.openrice.com/english/restaurant/sr2.htm?shopid=43811

                                Chiu chow food : Chiu Chow Chuen in Tin hau
                                http://www.openrice.com/english/restaurant/sr2.htm?a=1&shopid=47518&region=0

                                Claypot Rice : Choi's kitchen
                                http://www.openrice.com/english/resta...

                                Australia Dairy Company for scrambled egg breakfast.

                                Hope this helps.

                                1. re: greedyb
                                  g
                                  goldilocks76 Mar 18, 2013 09:00 PM

                                  Extremely helpful. Planning to go to Wing Wah this evening. (I know Hong Kong folk will think we're mad, but we consider this to be just within walking distance.) So we'll check out Cong Sao for dessert.

                                  1. re: goldilocks76
                                    K K Mar 18, 2013 09:48 PM

                                    As far as HK style desserts, Chung Kee is also very good. This is a small successful chain with a flagship location in Sham Shui Po, but there is one in Causeway Bay. Lots of variety and it even gets packed at 11 pm on weeknights. The fruit based stuff is always good, can't go wrong with anything made with mangoes from the Philippines. And even the Macau "sawdust" coffee pudding is great (it has the texture of an ice cream cookie sandwich but not quite).

                                    A guy I met at Sushi Mori Causeway Bay highly recommended Choi's Kitchen to me also for claypot rice. I didn't have time to go but he said it runs around HK$200 ish an order... but the quality is unmatched.

                                  2. re: greedyb
                                    l
                                    Lau Mar 19, 2013 05:44 AM

                                    ahh i ate at cong sao when i was there as well
                                    https://www.lauhound.com/2012/12/cong...

                                    btw pay attention to the address b/c they moved, they're not inside the holiday inn anymore

                              3. re: goldilocks76
                                PhilD Mar 18, 2013 11:55 PM

                                Forgot to mention Wang Fu on Wellington street, very cheap and good Beijing dumplings - get the special of the day. They also often have a great Chicken dish with chestnuts.....really good.

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