The Best Hong Kong Restaurants to Impress
Visiting with someone who’s hard to please… Or are you picky with food to no end? Lucky for you, Hong Kong’s restaurant scene has something for everybody: from French fine-dines and organic eateries to grand colonial hangouts and hipster Chinese. Read on to find out where to take your high-maintenance client, stuck-up organic food preacher friend, and scary in-laws.
A date: Gaddi’s
Iconic fine-dine Gaddi’s has been standing at The Peninsula for more than six decades. Serving up modern French classics, it’s a romantic spot that comes complete with elegant chandeliers, fresh flowers at every turn, and discreet waiters speaking in hushed tones – in other words, everything that would impress a date (a high-maintenance one, no less). You can expect top-quality European fare, like Brittany crab on lobster jelly, dressed with cauliflower cream and topped with Kristal caviar; and slow-cooked Challans duck breast with braised endive and Gruyère sauce. No kids are allowed, except during public holidays – perfect for whispering sweet nothings into your loved one’s ear.
A business associate: Lung King Heen
When it comes to baller Cantonese dining, Lung King Heen takes the cake. The Four Seasons restaurant, the name of which translates to “view of the dragon”, features heavyweight dim sum chefs serving up exquisite creations that would impress any boss/client. Think classic Cantonese fare created using fresh ingredients, with a strong emphasis on presentation. If you’re trying to get a raise or win that contract, this is the place to be. Just make sure you can expense it…
A picky eater: Sohofama
Got a picky eater in tow? Have dietary restrictions? PMQ’s modern Chinese eatery Sohofama offers chemical-free food made with organic ingredients sourced locally – a rarity in Hong Kong, where the majority of produce are flown in from abroad. Fusion-style Chinese dishes take centre stage: there’s everything from 24-hour drunken prawns and steamed whole crab in organic egg whites to more out-there creations like organic Spanish chicken breast with cauliflower and quinoa rice. Perfect for the basic picky eater in your life.
A socialite: Sevva
Love dressing up? Enjoy people-watching as much as you love people watching you? Sevva is the place to be. This iconic bar perched on the penthouse of Prince’s Building has long been known for its celebrity-packed floors and views of Central’s bright lights, though you pretty much have to be a solid 8 or 9 to gain entry (it helps if you’re somebody, of course). The service is very hit-or-miss – at times snooty, in fact – but it’s all part of the Sevva experience, really. Skip the very mediocre food – a true socialite doesn’t eat, anyway – and perch on the terrace while sipping on a cocktail instead. But you’re starving, you say? Sevva is known for its legendary cakes.
The in-laws: The Verandah
Classy alfresco restaurant The Verandah offers continental classics in colonial-style oceanfront digs at the heart of Repulse Bay – guaranteed to wow any in-laws you’re scared of/annoyed by. Go for sumptuous a la carte offerings like steak tartare and baked Alaska flambe, or the famous afternoon tea option featuring scones and dainty finger sandwiches. With good food against an amazing view, chances of engaging in passive aggressive family arguments fall to (almost) zero.
An exhausted parent and their hyperactive kids: Butcher & Baker Cafe
One of a new wave of family-friendly restaurants to have opened up in Kennedy Town over the last year or so, Butcher & Baker Cafe takes up a massive space on Cadogan Street boasting a butcher shop and a bakery as well as a florist and finally, a play area where kids can run free while mum and dad kick back with some much-needed caffeine. Staff are friendly and unlike you, seem to genuinely like children – great for totally fed-up parents who just need a tiny break.
A food snob: Amber
Amber frequently lands top spots in prestigious best-of restaurant lists globally and also holds two Michelin stars. Combined with five-star service and a beautiful ambience, there’s no reason why it wouldn’t impress any food snob. Signatures at the fine-dine include the famed Hokkaido sea urchin served with lobster jelly, cauliflower puree and caviar, alongside crispy seaweed waffles. On a budget? You’ll probably have to skip Amber altogether. Still tempted? Go for the relatively more affordable set lunch option.
A health freak: Mana! Fast Slow Food
Mana! Fast Slow Food has gained cult status among the increasing number of health-conscious Hongkongers who are after a tasty quick fix that doesn’t compromise strict dietary regimes. Here you’ll find a selection of organic, vegetarian and vegan options. Top picks include wraps made with zaatar, a Lebanese recipe with mixed herbs blended with olive oil. Grab a seat in its rustic, alfresco dining area and go to town on these healthful creations.
A Chinese food noob: Ho Lee Fook
Attention-seeking name aside, modern Chinese concept Ho Lee Fook serves up some pretty delectable Asian favourites with a twist. With food inspired by 1960s New York City Chinatown staples, the dishes here are good for those intimidated by a traditional Hong Kong Chinese restaurant – yet have a palate for delicious fare with partial influences from the SAR. Signatures include roast meats, “Mom’s mostly cabbage, a little bit of pork” dumplings, or prawn lo mein.
A wine connoisseur: MyHouse
MyHouse is an organic wine bar, restaurant and live music venue all in one, complete with your very own vinyl deck installed on most tables. The real star of the show is the selection of top-quality natural and biodynamic wines, paired with European dishes – think bone-in iberico beef strip loin and truffle buttered asparagus. They say natural wines don’t give you hangovers, so take the wine connoisseur in your life to this restaurant for a spin.
Andrea Lo is a freelance journalist and translator based in Hong Kong. After cutting her teeth in the industry as a staff writer at a lifestyle magazine, she embraced the freelance life in 2015 and hasn’t looked back. She spends her time exploring the best of Hong Kong’s dining and nightlife scene, trialling new fitness trends, and travelling to exotic locales – all in the name of “research”.