10 Hong Kong restaurants I've loved recently
PRICE PER PERSON:
$: HK$100 or less
$$$: HK$300-500 $$$$: HK$500-1,000 $$$$$: HK$1,000+
1. Ta Vie **
Price: $$$$$ | Cuisine: French-Japanese | Vibe: Sophisticated, date night
A native Japanese chef trained in classical French techniques, Hideaki Sato serves up a truly one-of-a-kind tasting menu that fuses the best of both worlds. The highlights of our seasonal menu were the wa-fu pasta of sakura ebi fettuccine with tomato dashi, Japanese sweetcorn with kegani (horsehair crab) and a super-hearty Cajun butter sauce, and the Miyazaki mango shortcake. I was really impressed by the all-Japanese wait staff, who were highly knowledgeable about each dish and maintained a kind and attentive service throughout.
Price: $$ | Cuisine: Plant-based, ingredients-driven | Vibe: Casual
I came here to try their breakfast, and I ended up eating three whole main dishes by myself. The avocado toast, Taiyouran scrambled eggs on toast, and sweet potato pancakes were so satisfying - dishes I imagine you'd find at a top-rated seaside breakfast spot in LA or Sydney. I also think their cappuccino is one of the best I've had in Hong Kong. Don't let the swishy Landmark surroundings fool you - the breakfast prices are absolutely wallet-friendly.
3. Bo Innovation **
Price: $$$$$ | Cuisine: Innovative Chinese | Vibe: Funky, quirky
It was my first time trying the legendary Bo Innovation at its new location in H Code, and we had so much fun. It was a nice switch-up from the usual fine dining routine, and fell nicely on the four-year anniversary of our visit to The Fat Duck. The Demon Chef is renowned for introducing molecular gastronomy to Chinese cuisine, and while it's easy to sneer at smoke and popping orbs of liquid, the flavours live up to the theatrics.
Price: $$$$$ | Cuisine: Traditional Japanese Kappo | Vibe: Interactive, sophisticated
A traditional kaiseki experience that revolves around the Japanese philosophy "SHUN", or hyper-focused seasonality. This means the menu changes every single month, led by seasoned three MICHELIN-starred Kyoto native chef, Teruhiko Nagamoto. What sets this experience apart is the level of explanation provided, where guests will walk away with full knowledge of what they ate and where it came from. Nagamoto fuses education with very traditional Japanese dishes that were super refined yet made me feel right at home.
5. Haku *
Price: $$$$$ | Cuisine: Modern Japanese | Vibe: Sexy, date night
This was my first time back at HAKU after it relocated to IFC rooftop with a new chef, and it definitely had a revamped vibe. From a more serious, sushi-style setting to something more beaty, hip and sultry. It was actually such a nostalgic feeling to be dining at IFC with the view of the light show from the restaurant's floor to ceiling windows, and the food was also of high quality standard. Stand-outs were the fried chicken with caviar, yukon potatoes with truffle and of course, the signature Hokkaido uni on charcoal brioche.
6. Sushi Hisayoshi
Price: $$$$$ | Cuisine: Traditional Japanese Edomae Sushi | Vibe: Proper
Sushi Hisayoshi was a delightful find - a hidden gem in Harbour City. I actually had one of the most enjoyable sushi omakase's in Hong Kong right here! The shari was firm yet loosely packed, with just the right hit of vinegar and acidity to balance the often creamy and always fresh neta on top. Another underrated part of the omakase that I look forward to every time is the miso soup course - and this lobster-infused umami-rich miso soup here was insanely good. Highly recommend this place to sushi lovers for a nicely kept secret in TST.
Price: $$$$ | Cuisine: Modern French | Vibe: Buzzy, bright, laid-back
I remember feeling the overwhelming energy of the restaurant when the elevators opened directly into Clarence. It was just a Tuesday, but it felt like all of Hong Kong was celebrating a gorgeous sunny day with a long lunch with friends and colleagues. While definitely the more casual of Elzer's ventures, Clarence's staff are clearly well seasoned in fine dining hospitality, and their friendliness, sharp attentiveness and deep knowledge of the menu was a welcome change to the usual bistro experience. You can't leave Clarence without having the Brittany skate wing cooked with brown butter sauce, simple spices and served with roasted lemon.
8. Nam Fong at Le Meridien
Price: $$$ | Cuisine: Cantonese | Vibe: Sophisticated, modern
One of the Chinese restaurants I used to frequent with my family growing up was Nam Fong! It closed for a while and reopened recently, with a new chef at the helm. Regardless, the food is still excellent. When we go, we always order the same menu: deep fried charcoal tofu (OR the off-menu braised tofu with chicken and salty fish), deep fried crispy yellow chicken (actually my favourite iteration of the classic at the moment), Inaniwa udon in milky grouper broth, pig's lung and almond soup, and wok-fried chilli prawns with olive leaf. If stomach space allows, I will also go for a half order of crispy noodles with shredded pork.
9. Bengal Brothers
Price: $ | Cuisine: Indian | Vibe: Casual, grab-and-go
This is a really cute roadside grab-and-go restaurant that you can pop in to when you're feeling peckish on the go! I really enjoyed the refreshing Alphonso mango lassi, along with the flaky paratha flatbread wrap ('kati rolls'), which comes in various signature flavours as well as seasonally rotating specials.
10. Luk Yu Teahouse
Price: $$$$ | Cuisine: Cantonese | Vibe: Group, semi-casual
We came here for my friend Angel's (@thewanderingchopsticks) birthday dinner, and it was such a different experience than I remember having with my parents! Maybe because she was much more knowledgable about the off-menu dishes that you have to pre-order in advance. The chef showcased immaculate technique throughout the courses, which included old, even forgotten Hong Kong recipes that are hard to find in Chinese restaurants nowadays. Some of my favourite pre-order dishes included the "golden coin" which was a little sandwich of flat white bun, foie gras, barbecued pork, and chicken liver, which came together in a harmonious mouthful. Another was the sticky rice-stuffed chicken, which had the most incredible crispy skin on the outside, while the glutinous rice inside was infused with delicious chicken flavour. Also a huge fan of the century eggs here!
Happy eating! x x