I have been to Hong Kong maybe 5 times in the last 10 years. However, it had been a while since I’ve been, and things change a lot there. I emailed my buddy to give me tips on where to eat in HK since really, after the Big Buddha and Victoria’s Peak (I hear Disneyland sucks), there is NOTHING to do in Hong Kong but eat and shop. Therefore, here’s my quick guide for Hong Kong. By the way, use the web site openrice.com. It’s like the HK version of Yelp, but since Asians love taking pictures of food, there’s 1,000X more photos than Yelp.
This should be self-explanatory, but if not, DO NOT RENT A CAR IN HONG KONG. You wouldn’t rent a car in NYC would you? Exactly. If you are traveling by yourself, the train is your cheapest route to your hotel. You’ll probably have to transfer, but it’s not as bad as it sounds. The metro system in HK is pretty advanced. If you are with 2 people, I would just pay the ~$250 HKD to rent a taxi. To get around on a daily basis, just use the metro, walk, or get a taxi as a last resort. I’ve never tried Uber in HK, so can’t help you there.
Where to stay
On my last recent trip, we stayed at the Hyatt Regency on the Kowloon side of HK. We found ourselves eating around the Central MTR on the HK side almost every day. If I would do it again, I’d stay on the HK side just for convenience. I stayed at the Grand Hyatt a couple of years ago, and it was pretty nice. The reason why I chose the Hyatt Regency Kowloon is because it was a lot cheaper in points than the Grand Hyatt; plus, Hyatt’s 20% promo is still going on through July 31, 2015, so the extra 20% back tipped my decision to Hyatt instead of any other chain.
Law Fu Kee (3 locations) – I ate at the one on Queen’s Road. Take Central MTR stop, exit D2, walk down Queen’s Road and it’ll be on left. Wife got the fish congee and I got the preserved pork and salty egg. Just the perfect consistency on the congee. This was agreed upon by 3 of my friends from HK as the best congee in HK. Don’t get a 2nd bowl or fill up here because this should be your breakfast appetizer because 5 minutes away is…
Best shrimp wonton noodle soup
Skip Mak’s Noodle (Bourdain stop.) Go to the one across the street called Tsim Chai Kee noodles. Biggest and fattest shrimp wontons I’ve ever had.
Best dim sum
“Best” is so subjective here. I think 95% of dim sum falls into 2 categories – a) bad and b) “it was okay.” If you want truly top 5% dim sum, then expect to pay 2-3X more than “okay” dim sum. Case in point, the dim sum I had at the Ritz Carlton Singapore was one of the best dim sum I’ve ever had, and it was 4X as much (I think the wife and I paid ~$80 USD just for the 2 of us.) I’ve even been to the fancy expensive one in SFO (forgot the name) already too that costs something like $6 for a slice of peking duck. My point here is if you want the best valued dim sum, go to one of the 3 Tim Ho Wan locations in Hong Kong since they are all rated 1 Michelin star (cheapest Michelin star restaurant on the list.) I hear the Ritz Carlton HK is also really good; I’m assuming it’ll fall into the top 5% category.
Hui Lau Shan (multiple locations.) If you love mangos, then try their mango desserts. They also have a watermelon juice with aloe and aloe jelly. I don’t even like aloe, but that drink is my all time favorite. I ordered it by accident once and was like, “What the hell is this?” By the time I finished it, I ordered a 2nd one. A pic of it is below.
Honeymoon Dessert is also good. The mango pomelo sago with tofu was delicious.
The Starbucks over in HK had a new ‘triple coffee jelly frappuccino.’ Imagine a regular mocha frappuccino, but not as sweet and with coffee jelly at the bottom. Can’t get it in the States, and I had to have it twice on my trip.
For expensive Michelin star fine dining, all of my friends recommended Amber. I instead chose to go to Nur since the head chef there worked at Noma. Is Michael Jordan’s kids playing in the NBA today? Exactly.
Hello Kitty Cafe and Restaurant
These are 2 different locations. The cafe requires a minimum of 60 HKD per person. There’s only 4-5 tables so very small and quaint. It was overpriced, but at least their drinks were pretty good. The mango custard was also delicious.
The Hello Kitty restaurant on the other hand basically sells dim sim with Hello Kitty faces on it. Very overpriced and not worth the price, but you’ll make every Asian girl you know jealous. And that’s just priceless.
The IFC is one of the most expensive shopping centers with your usual LV, Chanel, Dior, Prada, etc stores. There is another one on the Kowloon side; I mean, you can’t miss them. As for night market, you can take the MTR to Mongkok Street at the night market, where you can negotiate for cheap and/or fake goods (think fake LV purses.)
More tips will be added either by reader input or myself if I can remember.