Hong Kong – my home for 8 years, seven years before high school and one year after Austin. For buffets, go to the bottom of this page. I wished I live closer to HK Island because there’s nothing really special in the New Territories. Also, I’m busy with work and I’m always eating at home. I would like to experience more family-owned or non-chain restaurants. But here are some of my favorite chain restaurants:
Go to Crystal Jade for 拉面 (la mian) hand-pulled wheat noodles with chicken soup, 醉鸡 drunken chicken, and 小笼包 (xiao long bao) pork soup dumplings. You want to be careful when you eat xiao long bao because the soupy broth will be scaldingly hot and will burn your tongue.
I’ve been to the Shatin and the Causeway Bay locations. List of locations here.
din tai fung
鼎泰豐 Din Tai Fung also specializes in xiao long bao. But my favorite dumpling from DTF is 烧卖 (shao mai). It is completely different in shape and ingredients than the steamed shao mai you find in Cantonese dim sum cuisine.
Tsim Sha Tsui tel: 2730-6928 (one Michelin star)
Causeway Bay tel: 3160-8998
滿記甜品 Honeymoon Dessert is yummilicious – if you like Chinese desserts. Make sure you go to the Honeymoon Desserts in Hong Kong; do not visit them in the Mainland because even though the menu is identical, the ingredients are not. Mainland green tea ice-cream tastes like shaved ice. The first HD opened in Sai Kung (where I go eat freshly caught seafood) in 1995 and I’ve been going there ever since. Now, it’s a chain so they’re everywhere. Also, I always sit in the non-durian section because I cannot bear the stench that comes from that prickly fruit!
- Thai Black Glutinous Rice with Mango in Coconut Juice
- Mango Pomelo & Sago Sweet Soup (Honeymoon Dessert’s signature dessert)
- Mango Pomelo & Sago Sweet Soup with Green Tea Ice-Cream
- Watermelon Sago
- Mango Sago
- Mango Pancake
sai kung street restaurants
Sai Kung is a secluded area in the New Territories. There is one and only one reason why I frequently trip to Sai Kung: for the best and freshest seafood of my life! There are probably only 2-3 separately owned restaurants there but they have several locations all on a little strip of land. You walk up and down the strip, take photos of the little wooden boats that catch the seafood, play with the horseshoe crabs on the pavement, and maybe take some pictures by the pier. When you’re ready to start eating, you go to the fish tanks and pick out the seafood that you want to eat. You tell the waiters how you want your seafood to be cooked – steamed; stir-fried with garlic, ginger, and scallions; deep-fried with chilis, etc… Enjoy your scrumptious dinner and for people who have a sweet tooth, make way to the original Honeymoon Dessert.
Make sure you buy and eat:
- Steamed abalone
- Steamed scallops on shell with glass noodles
- Clams, in a spicy black bean sauce
- Mantis shrimp, deep fried with garlic and chili peppers
- Razor clams
- Spicy conch
I also used to always get steamed coral fish but now that my parents and I have perfected and surpassed the steamed fish served in restaurants, we never order that anymore. Don’t be afraid to complain if they overcooked your supposedly tender seafood!
victoria harbour seafood restaurant
Victoria Harbour has one of the best dim sum in Hong Kong and it’s cheaper too but don’t think that just because it’s cheaper, the quality decreases. It’s better than most of the places that I’ve been to. It’s always popular – weekdays and weekends – so either get there early or become a VIP. Their dim sum are not pushed around in a cart, which is the traditional form of ordering. It’s all freshly made to order. Also, the filling in the dumplings are always crisp and firm, unlike the soggy stuff you find in many other places.
Victoria Harbour also has really good Chiu Chow (潮州) dishes. I like the steamed fish over rice delicacy, their roast duck/goose, and crispy pork.
List of locations here.
My favorite buffets:
cafe @ hyatt regency sha tin
18 chak cheung street
I’ve been to several of these 5-star hotel buffets. The Cafe at Hyatt Regency Hong Kong offers international cuisines and exceptional service. A lot of them are almost identical but there are nuances in food quality. The Cafe at the Hyatt Regency always has the freshest seafood, hands down. I’m a really picky seafood eater and I never have problems with their iced crab, shrimp, conch, mussels, and sashimi. Their noodles in soup broth are also very good. I have two criticisms; 1) their crêpes need work, and 2) the sorbet and ice-cream should be DIY or self-served. I hate having to go back to the counter and ask them to scoop 1-2 balls into my bowl.
I do recommend reserving a table before you go there. It’s in a hotel and it’s exceedingly popular, especially during the weekends, you’ll need to book 1-2 weeks in advance. For holiday seasons… a month or two!!
For one of my experiences, click here.
international dinner buffet @ salisbury dining room
YMCA of Hong Kong
41 salisbury road
I used to go here all the time (1993-2000) before the Cafe at Hyatt Regency opened. Tsim Sha Tsui is much farther away from me than the 5-minute drive to the Cafe. I haven’t been since 2000 though… When I used to go, every diner who knew about the dinner buffet always went there for the crabs. I forgot exactly which types of crab were available but I have a strong memory of eating a lot of Alaskan, snow, and local crab. Besides the amazing food, the views of Victoria Harbor and HK Island were spectacular too.
Reservations are a good idea.