You can see most of Hong Kong’s tourist attractions in 2-3 days without feeling like you missed anything significant, however, you can spend weeks exploring Hong Kong’s restaurants!
Here are some of my favorites to date:
Dim Sum at Tim Ho Wan – Tim Ho Wan is famous being the cheapest Michelin Starred restaurant in the world. The cash-only restaurant always has lines of diners waiting for their amazing dumplings. There’s nothing fancy about Tim Ho Wan and you can expect to share a table with strangers when you are seated (though there are some smaller two-tops along the wall.) The menu is limited, but you’ll be thrilled with whatever you select. I was with a local who did the ordering for us and everything was amazing.
Peking Duck at The Monogamous Chinese – This small and hidden gem was one of my favorite meals I had in Hong Kong. Obscured by the famous never ending escalators, The Monogamous Chinese is a treat. It’s apparently hard to get reservations unless you’re willing to go early, so we did, and it was worth eating like an early-bird. The best dish, and the one I had been looking forward to most was the Peking Duck. Oh, man, I would go back just for that dish. The duck was served with traditional sides of leeks, cucumbers, plum sauce and pancakes. We also enjoyed the spicy minced pork with onions served with lettuce cups – we asked for mild, but it was still spicy. We shared some Xiao Long Bao, Steamed Pork Dumplings -my favorite, and steamed shrimp and spinach dumplings and both were great. I highly recommend you check out The Monogamous Chinese if you’re in Hong Kong.
Dumplings at The Queen Street Food Market – I learned that not all dumplings are created equal while in Hong Kong. There are different styles of dumplings and one style is called the Bejing-style dumpling. We were taken to the Queen Street Cooked Food Market where you won’t find an English menu but you will find stall after stall serving amazing local cuisine. I loved the pumpkin dumplings and potato and chive dumplings. Wow, were they good.
Lunch at a Traditional Tea House – I have no idea why they call it a traditional Tea House because the focus absolutely was on the amazing food. My hosts took me to one that was located on the 3rd floor of the Shun Tak center (the home to the Macau Ferry Terminal, offices and many shops.) Lan Fong Yuen is a crowded little restaurant with small tables packed with hungry lunch crowds. I took the suggestion of the people I was with and had a combo of duck and chicken over rice. It came with an absolutely delicious ginger and green onion paste meant to be used on the rice. I loved that paste and wish I could have gotten the recipe.
Thai at Greyhound Cafe – Another meal that I greatly enjoyed was at Greyhound Cafe in IFC Centre. Greyhound Cafe is a Thai restaurant that started in Bangkok. They serve absolutely traditional Thai food with a modern flare. A friend and I enjoyed the Pad Thai and Minced Chicken with Sweet Basil, Hot Chilies and Rice. The minced chicken was amazing and in fact, I’ve ordered it now several times at the original Greyhound Cafe in Bangkok.
A taste of Vientnam at Nha Trang – Another great meal, and perhaps one of my single favorite dishes in Hong Kong, came from a Vietnamese restaurant called Nha Trang . No matter what time of day you go to the original location of Nha Trang, you should expect to stand in line. It’s well worth the wait. My favorite dish was the La Dua Bo Nuong – grilled beef marinated in pineapple and lemongrass and wrapped in Pandan Leaves. The flavor was absolutely amazing and the dish was worth having multiple times (which I did.)
I suspect I could go on and on about the great food, but there are other things to do in the harbour city. A great way to explore Hong Kong is on one of the city tours. I always try to take a tour on an open-top Double-Decker hop-on hop-off bus. The tour in Hong Kong was great because it went to all the major attractions, was good for two days and included a ferry ride.
Top three things you shouldn’t miss:
1. Victoria Peak – the most spectacular views day or night (I went twice) and it’s worth the trip on a clear day.
2. A Junk Boat Tour- make sure you take an iconic Junk Boat tour of the Harbour, it’s a great way to see the city from the bay.
3. The Tian Tan Buddha on Lantau island – it is 34 metres high, making it the world’s largest outdoor seated bronze Buddha. There are 268 steps to the Buddha, so you will get a workout if you want to make it to the top.
I loved the architecture – especially the tall skyscrapers. They were just stunning and and so unique and awe-inspiring, though you can get a cricked neck from looking up all the time!
Have fun in Hong Kong and make sure you save room for dessert!