Hong Kong Island across from Kowloon is much smaller than you might expect. The city centre is built up against a steep hillside, with escalators and stairways between the various street ‘levels’ from which giant skyscrapers loom. Everything is built up towards the sky. Concrete residential blocks look into shiny metallic buildings that light up every night for the Victoria Harbour Light Show.
As a general rule, the price of food tends to rise in tandem with what floor it’s on. Naturally, the most exclusive bars and restaurants occupy the city’s top rooftop locations. While you can find cheaper eats and hidden gems in between the alleyways on street level. After eating up, down, in and around the different restaurants on my list, here is my top five!
The best Peking duck and contemporary Chinese cuisine at Mott 32
If you ask me to name just one place to eat in Hong Kong my answer will instantly be Mott 32. Frequently named among Hong Kong’s best restaurants, it absolutely blew me away. I’ve been eating Peking duck ever since I was a little girl but this was like tasting it for the very first time. Their signature Applewood-smoked Peking duck is made in their “custom duck oven and special air-drying duck fridge.” That’s right, no place takes their duck more seriously. Prepared over 48 hours and available by pre-order only with 24 hours notice, the first thing I said to the staff when I walked in was, you can start my duck! As for the rest of the menu, each dish came prepared and presented to perfection. I particularly enjoyed the crab fried rice, dim sum and frog legs.
The most insta-famous dim sum at Yum Cha
There is no dim sum shortage in Hong Kong. Available pretty much everywhere, you’ll soon discover your local favourite. But in the name of Doing It For The Gram, a visit to the highly Instagrammable Yum Cha is an absolute must. First of all, the restaurant is adorable, even if located inside a mall. While having your char siu bao come in the shape of a little piglet is an experience in itself. I love the creativity of the chefs in turning classic dim sum into the most adorable bite-sized characters.
Japanese-Brazilian casual dining in Soho at Uma Nota
Uma Nota will take you on a heavenly journey through South American and Asian inspired dishes. Super fresh Peruvian ceviche, Brazilian style pastries and Japanese yakitori skewers are just some of the mouth-watering dishes on the menu. We tried a bit of everything, although my favourite dish was the grilled flank steak with farofa and feijão salad. The combination of grilled meat and farofa is one of my all-time favourites and reminded me just how much I’ve missed Brazilian food! Did I mention the incredible street art just outside this place?
Vietnamese Vibes and Phunky Pho at Chom Chom
The buzzing atmosphere of Chom Chom on a warm May evening, as people sip beers inside and on the street while munching down pho rolls and slow-cooked short rib lettuce wraps, was incredible! I felt transported to Hanoi as spicy nutty smells poured from the open kitchen. Friendly staff and people radiated positive energy as students, businessmen, locals and expats mingle together for the food and the vibes, making it a definite top five recommendation from me.
Egg Bubble Waffle Ice Cream at Oddies Foodies
Last but not least, Hong Kong is also incredibly famous for their desserts. If you have a sweet tooth, there are many local sweets to try. Such as mooncake, tofu pudding, mango pomelo sago, and egg waffles! Also known as eggettes, the waffles are a popular street food made from eggs, sugar, milk and flour pressed to become crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Have it plain or served with your choice of soft gelato and toppings. Oddies Foodies is a super slick egg waffle and gelato shop with unique flavours and names, such as Rabbit Foot, Mad Max and Loner, making it a top choice for something sweet in Hong Kong.
Visiting Hong Kong was a bucket list item in my recent post 40 Before 40! That’s 1 down, 39 to go! Subscribe to my newsletter or find me on social media to follow my upcoming posts on Hong Kong.