Researching trip to Hong Kong next month
I know how much local knowledge there is on this forum, so I wanted to pick your collective brains (so to speak).
I'm going to be in Hong Kong for three days in November - I haven't been for a long time, my husband's never been, so I want to visit some great restaurants while we're in town. The need to find really good examples of type is made more urgent by the fact that I may end up with a commission to write about HK and its food (writing about wine and food is my day job - tough, but someone has to do it ;-) )
I want to make sure that we get to eat -
1. Terrific dim sum (doesn't have to be upmarket, just needs to be the real deal)
2. Noodles - I understand that noodles can be a real art form in HK, and we want to find out what all the fuss is about
3. Cantonese roast meats
The remaining meals are open to suggestion!
We're staying in Central, but are willing to travel (a bit, at least). Sadly, I don't read Chinese, but I'm happy to look at pictures or what other people are eating and point.
Three days is a really short time to try to get to grips with HK food so you do need to focus if you are writing something. I think the HK Tourist Board has been pretty active on food promotion recently (see links) and Amber is obviously on a PR campaign (it's very good). Some of these articles are pretty good and give some interesting and well written insights into the HK food scene.
Your question about Dim Sum - "Terrific dim sum (doesn't have to be upmarket, just needs to be the real deal)" - reflects a really common misconception. There are often posts that equate Dim Sum with cheap food , and the "real deal" should be cheap or else it's not real. Its almost that authenticity is inversely related to price, if its expensive its not authentic.
Good Dim Sum relies on highly skilled chefs, good ingredients and a broad range of small dishes cooked to order. To do this really well costs money and that is why the best Dim Sum restaurants are expensive. The cheap ones with carts, or the simple Beijing dumpling houses, maybe fun, and great to fill up on cheap food at, but its not the highest quality.
Tim Ho Wan gets lots of plaudits for being the cheapest Michelin star, and at its price point it is very good value for some pretty good food (I eat it once a week) but its far from the great quality and delicate quality of the top flight places.
Lots of good advice for Dim Sum already on the board so I won't rehash it. Hope you enjoy the kings:
I am not certain we have tourist places! With 7 million people in a very small area the dim sum places are catering for the locals who need a fast lunch.
OK Maxims City hall is one of few the places that still has carts (I can think of one other) and is a bit touristy. But really all the good places cook to order as dim sum should be fresh. Carts are really not a sign of authenticity and I don't think any with aspirations of quality have them.
Search the board - no toursisty recommendations.
Yes three days is tough to try many things, but I'd also recommend looking into trying the following style of cantonese food:
Chiu Chow- plenty of choices in nearby Sheung Wan- Chan Kan Kee, Shung Hing, Tak Kee
Live seafood. HKers love eating the freshest seafood and the quality on average is much higher than chinese seafood place outside asia.
dessert/ pastry- Yuen Kee (Sheung Wan), Tai Cheong (egg tarts)
some high end new style cantonese like The Chairman, if you can get a reservation
its easy to go to e.g. Wanchai, Causeway Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui and pretty much anywhere you'd want to eat from Central on the subway (MTR), or if you want to try, the tram. don't confine to just Central!
To help you kick start your research, here's some of my choices in the 'Central District' area:
Dim Sum $ - Tim Ho Wan (IFC)
Dim Sum $$ - Lei Garden, Luk Yu Tea House, The Square
Dim Sum $$$ - Lung King Heen, Man Wah
Dim Sum / Dumplings ( Northern Style ) - Wang Fu
Won Ton Noodles - Tasty's , Mak's, Mak An Kee
Braised Beef Brisket Noodles - Kau Kee
Cantonese Roasted/BBQ Meat - Yat Lok
( Actually almost ALL chowhounder acceptable Cantonese restaurants have decent roasted meats nowadays. So, unlike in the past, one really does not have to go to Yung Kee for roasted goose, for example! )
Lastly, if you are willing to venture further afield to say Wan Chai, Causeway Bay or across the harbour to Kowloon by MTR, choices can be 'infinite'!! eg., 'War Gor Char Siu - bbq pork' from Fu Sing. Roasted meats from the Manor, Shanghainese Dim Sum from Din Tai Fung......etc
Most places highlight above have bilingual menus and/or staffs. So relax!!!
For latest recommendations, just do a search on the upper right hand corner of the board, Type in the major topic title like 'Best Dim Sum in HK', 'Best Noodles'......etc and take a read.
Once you have narrowed down your choices, use www.openrice.com for addresses and additional detail.
If needed, post your final selection and we will chip in our 2 cents worth!