Hong Kong: Where the locals dine

Hong Kong Insider
Good seafood can be found anywhere in Hong Kong. EPA/PAUL HILTON
Sure, you can take a tram to The Peak or catch the Star Ferry across Victoria Harbour, but to truly understand what makes Hong Kong tick you need to dine with the locals.

Hong Kong Island

The dim sum (yum cha) breakfast is a way of life here and at City Hall Maxim's Palace (2/F, City Hall; phone +852 2521 1303) in Central, you can chow down with 1000 or so of the locals every Sunday morning. It's fast and furious, but there is also something organic to the organised chaos of food carts, feasting families and the odd group of Westerners there. Two pieces of advice — first, you can't book, so get there early. Second, the bigger your group, the more dishes you'll get to sample.

Ten minutes away by foot is Luk Yu Tea House (24 Stanley Street, Central; phone +852 2523 5464). This is a smaller, quieter version of the traditional Chinese breakfast. Very little English is spoken here but they will give you an English menu to point at.

For high-quality goose, head to Yung Kee on Wellington Street. It's a touch pricey but the experience is worth it.

The local street-food stalls called dai pai dongs are a dying breed in Hong Kong thanks to lousy government licensing laws. However, you can still find a few if you look hard enough in the side streets, along the escalator near Hollywood Road in Central.

Fifteen minutes away in North Point, Tung Po Kitchen (Java Street Municipal Building, North Point; phone +852 2880 9399) is one dai pai dong joint that is going strong thanks to its humble offerings made well. Stir-fried noodles never tasted so delicious and the price is more than agreeable.

For plastic tables, loud conversation and some of the best fresh-cooked seafood in town, you can't beat Happy Valley Wet Market (3F, 2 Yuk Sau Street, Happy Valley; phone +852 2574 9937), just near the world-famous racecourse.

Kowloon side

Peking Garden (Star House, 3rd floor; phone +852 2735 8211) opposite the Star Ferry terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui, serves up some of the best Beijing duck in town. You'll never be able to look at your local China Town's meagre duck offerings in the same way again. A great option is to take in the nearby "A Symphony of Lights" at 8pm, before you eat.

The Four Seasons Clay Pot Restaurant (Temple Street, Jordan) is a family-run restaurant offering a tasty mix of pot rice and assorted sausages. This place was also recently featured on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations TV show.

Lei Garden Restaurant (New Town Plaza, Sha Tin; phone +852 2698 9111) in Sha Tin is a long way from anywhere, but local foodies swear by this high-quality Cantonese cooking. Go on a Sunday and you can spend the day at Sha Tin Racecourse, too.

Island life

Good seafood can be found anywhere in Hong Kong, but if you want to combine it with a day out then head to Yung Shue Wan village on Lamma Island. The first restaurant off the boat is the best. Don't worry about the Chinese name; you will recognise it by its bright-yellow awning. Avoid the red restaurant at all costs. Remember, yellow = good, red = bad. Your stomach will thank you for it later.

There are also several restaurants at Sok Kwu Wan Village on the other side of the island including Rainbow Seafood. You can get from one village to the other via a 45-minute walk along the well-signposted and paved path. Both villages are connected to Hong Kong Island by public ferry, too.

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User comments
and argably the best crispy pork bun aswell Tim Ho Wan 10am-10pm Shop 8 Kwong Wa Street, Mongkok, Kowloon (+852 2332 2896).