"Hong Kong has superb Cantonese food. I am particularly fond of the incomparable dim sum." — Mr. Harper
Hong Kong has no shortage of high-end dining options. While many restaurants remain firmly rooted in tradition, some chefs are attempting to build on the foundations of Cantonese cuisine by experimenting with Western ingredients and techniques. Here are nine of Andrew Harper's favorite places to eat in Hong Kong.
With sweeping views of Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, the 49th floor of The Upper House hotel provides a spectacular setting for Café Gray Deluxe. Directing the kitchen is chef Gray Kunz, who made his mark at Lespinasse in New York’s St. Regis hotel. Here, Kunz oversees a menu that is seasonal and market driven. The wine list is notable, especially for its selection of Champagnes.
Café Gray Deluxe
Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Central. Tel. (852) 3968-1106
If you’ve ever been intrigued by dishes such as bird’s nest soup or abalone, this is the place to try them. But you don’t have to confine yourself to exotica here: You’ll also find other marvelous dishes such as barbecued roast suckling pig, crisp-fried chicken, baked stuffed crab, and marinated chicken with spring onions and garlic. Certainly, the cuisine outshines the prosaic décor. Because of its renown, the restaurant is always full, and if you are not a regular, the service can be indifferent.
Fook Lam Moon
35-45 Johnston Road, Wanchai. Tel. 2866-0663
This spectacular restaurant has extraordinary views of Victoria Harbour. The cuisine is that of northern China adapted for modern ingredients and techniques. Start with the delicious pork belly, thinly sliced with cucumber in a chili-garlic sauce. Also consider the crispy deboned lamb chops, a house specialty; braised beef rib wrapped in lotus leaves; and soft-shell crab in a red chili sauce. Window seats are at a premium, so book through your hotel concierge.
28/F, One Peking Road, Kowloon. Tel. 3428-8342
Established in 1933, this authentic dim sum restaurant, one of the last of its kind, has wooden booths, ceiling fans and stained-glass windows. Waiters in white coats pass by with laden trolleys, or you can select from the menu in English. The service can be brusque, but the dim sum is very good.
Luk Yu Tea House
24-26 Stanley Street, Central. Tel. 2523-5464
This fine restaurant in the Kowloon Shangri-La hotel provides an elegant setting for superb food. Order from the menu of the chef’s signature dishes, which comes with optional wine pairings. Among the most memorable offerings are barbecued suckling pig with sautéed fresh milk and egg whites, plus diced scallops and chilled marinated razor clams with jellyfish; sautéed king prawn and sea conch with black truffle paste; and pan-fried wagyu beef and asparagus topped with crispy garlic.
64 Mody Road, Kowloon. Tel. 2733-8754
Although the interior of this restaurant in the Central and Western District is somewhat spare, the staff are welcoming, and the dim sum is terriffic. Try the steamed fresh shrimp dumplings, deep-fried pork dumplings with five-spice herbs, and chicken poached in dark soy sauce.
Shop A., 84-90 Bonham Strand. Tel. 2543-5919
The views of the harbor alone make this place worth a visit, but the food is exceptional as well. The executive chef, Lau Yiu Fai, has earned two Michelin stars for his renditions of Cantonese cuisine. With more than 28 years in the kitchen, he creates dishes such as lobster with spicy salt and barbecued suckling pig, and wok-fried wagyu beef with maitake mushrooms.
Yan Toh Heen
Intercontinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Kowloon. Tel. 2313- 2323
It is hard to believe that this thriving restaurant began as a little shop selling roast goose. Goose and other grilled meats are still the house specialty, but the menu now also includes dishes such as crispy pork spare ribs with a preserved bean paste, and braised crab with vermicelli. This place is completely authentic.
Yung Kee Restaurant
32-40 Wellington Street, Central. Tel. 2522-1624
The name derives from an address in New York’s Chinatown, the home of the first Chinese grocery in Manhattan, founded in 1851 by immigrants from Hong Kong. So as you might expect, this restaurant offers a menu that is a mix of traditional Chinese and Western contemporary cuisines. The one dish not to miss is the Iberico barbecue pork glazed with yellow honey. I also recommend the casserole of king prawns with black pepper and garlic in a soy sauce. The selection of wines by the glass is impressive.
4-4A Des Voeux Road, Central. Tel. 852-2885-8688.