The 5 Best Hong Kong Undiscovered Restaurants
The best kept secret food spots guided by locals and not by fame
The Best Restaurants are Hidden (In Hong Kong and in General)
I’m always a sucker for the “speakeasy life”. As I define it, the “speakeasy life” is simply experiencing hospitality, dining, and drinks in inconspicuous places. Sure, I don’t mind the occasional splurge on famous Michelin-star restaurants, but there is a time and place for those. To give my readers and followers the most value, I decided to explore the best restaurants in Hong Kong driven by the locals’ recommendations. My very own grandma, uncles, aunts, and cousins grew up in Hong Kong and still live there, so what better suggestions than theirs?
So, off we go! Put the beautiful city of Hong Kong on your bucket list, and when you go, visit this post so you know where to eat great food.
Veggie Palace – Kwong Sang Hong Building Block B-d, 6 Heard Street
Ever heard of delicious vegetarian food that’s authentically Chinese? As a purebred Chinese girl, I sure have not! Every time I’m in Hong Kong, I cannot wait to come to this Buddhist restaurant to eat authentic Chinese food that’s made of solely healthy ingredients. I heard about this place from my Hong Kong family, so I knew it was going to be good from the beginning.
This place does such an amazing job of imitating all sorts of food ranging from fish to preserved duck eggs to pork dumplings – you wouldn’t even think it’s at all vegetarian. Each dinner is chef’s choice, meaning whatever the chef is in the mood for cooking and serving, that will be on your plate. And every single dang dish…is super good. There’s at least 13 dishes so make sure your tummy is empty before eating here! Also, this place is always packed, so make sure to call ahead to make your reservation weeks in advance.
Oh, and another thing. It’s extremely hard to find this Buddhist gem. It’s hidden in a building in the Wan Chai District behind Chinese characters that have nothing to do with the restaurant. Luckily, I’ve been able to track it down through some extensive research through the photos of the food – phew!
Cheung Hing Kee – Shop 6A, G/F, 48 Lock Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
If anyone is a foodie or is good friends with an Asian pal, you probably have tried soup dumplings. If you’re from the NYC area, you’ve most definitely went to Joe’s Shanghai in Chinatown. But, imagine if you could have soup buns that have been pan-fried so that the bun is both soft AND crunchy? That’s where Michelin-guide-recommended Cheung Hing Kee comes into play. These Shanghai pan-fried buns are not one to miss when visiting Hong Kong. Definitely try the original, shrimp, and truffle in their several locations.
Hong Kee Restaurant – G/F, 11A Pak She Praya Rd, Cheung Chau
If you really want to eat like a Native Hong Kong-er, make sure you pay a visit to the island of Cheung Chau. As stated in my recent Instagram post, Cheung Chau is “a tiny island southwest of Hong Kong that is home to many fishing fleets working on the harbor. There are sandy beaches, little shops, tons of street food, and amazing, fresh seafood restaurants.” You have to get there by ferry, so it almost feels like a mini-vacation within the Hong Kong area.
Upon arrival, you’ll see a lot of popular street food vendors that serve delicious treats ranging from giant fish balls on a stick with many flavors to crispy potato skins to bottles of soybean milk. Try some snacks and share with your friends because you’ll definitely want to save room for the restaurants that serve nothing but fresh seafood.
When we finished our snacks, restaurant, my family brought us to Hong Kee Restaurant. There we enjoyed local mantis shrimp, Jacknife clams and freshly-caught fish that we were able to eat sashimi-style, fried, and in soup.
* DISCLAIMER * Now, beware: this restaurant is NOT for people who can only eat at clean and pristine places. This restaurant is for die-hard seafood lovers who want to taste the freshness of the sea and the swimming creatures it has to offer. You will sit at round tables with stools that will topple over if you get up too fast. Stuck-up people must not enter this food treasure.
Everything on the menu was yummy. The only horrible thing was the Durian mochi. I tried Durian, the smelliest fruit in the world, for the first time and I nearly threw up right at the table. I spit it right out and had to eat 50 other things in order to get the taste out of my mouth. The mango mochi was BOMB though. The mango was so delicious and juicy – mangoes just rock in Hong Kong.
So for me, I’m all about the food, so the cleanliness (or rather un-cleanliness) of the restaurant did not matter to me so much. Think of the restaurant as a hole-in-the-wall-vibe gone viral.
Tai Wing Wah Village Cuisine – G/F & 1/F, 1 Stewart Road, Wan Chai
For my Grandma’s 84th birthday, we celebrated banquet-style in the Wan Chai District. Averaging about 12 courses, we ate the most scrumptious dishes like roasted suckling pig, shark fin soup, steamed fresh live fish, sticky rice, crispy chicken, duck and pigeon, etc. I could go on and on! My mouth is drooling so much writing this paragraph right now.
Now, this might sound fat (because it is), but my two favorite dishes were the rice served with pork oil and soy sauce and the sweet and fluffy sponge cake. I know, I know. They are on the complete opposite side of the savory and sweet spectrum, but to me, those were the unforgettable courses. Oh another delicious plate: the roast pork. My cousins and I tried to order more, and steal from the parents’ table, but the restaurant ran out and the parents loved it too much. No more extra roast pork for the children :-(.
There are a lot of shops in the area too, so definitely spend some time exploring the neighborhood before and after your meal here!
Tung Po – 2/F Java Road Municipal Services Building, 99 Java Road, North Point
In my last week in Hong Kong, my brother and I went to a restaurant that was well-known and all over the news, including sites such as CNN.
Tung Po Kitchen is basically a Hong Kong street vendor “dai pai dong” that had gotten so popular, they moved it to an indoor restaurant. (I will be creating a vlog about this restaurant soon so you can really see the atmosphere and vibe).
I didn’t drink much alcohol the entire trip so I could save my calories for food (we ate 5 times a day and I gained 5 pounds – seriously, I stepped on the scale). However, at Tung Po, co-owner Robby Cheung insisted we try their famous cold beer served in a chilled porcelain bowl. It was actually one of the best beers I’ve ever tasted. I wonder if it was because of the way it was being served or if it was the beer itself. Nonetheless, it was still pretty neat.
My favorite dish was the black squid ink pasta. Unlike American or Italian squid ink pasta where they just cook the it in squid ink, Tung Po actually keeps the squid ink and makes it into the sauce. So, anyone who eats it and smiles, will have a mouth full of black stained teeth and tongue! It’s pretty funny, so it’s worth it.
On top of all the food, a lot of tourists come here for Robby, who we had the fortune of serving us. He’s known to dance, pop off beer bottle caps with a chopstick, and be absolutely ridiculous. Because we wanted to get there early for a table, we didn’t get to stay long enough for his Show which was a bummer, but that was ok!
All in all, the food was good and the atmosphere was very interesting. I could see why it’s so popular.
Hong Kong is home to one of the world’s best cuisines. Make sure when you visit to check these places out. I hope ya’ll enjoyed my food recap of the most deliciously, undiscovered restaurants in Hong Kong! For any other popular restaurant you want to try, you can google ;).
Until next time!