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Tasting Hong Kong

Tasting Hong Kong

By Time Out Hong Kong

A true food paradise, Old Town Central is a melting pot of flavours with something to sate all tastes. If you’re looking for an authentic taste of Hong Kong, there’s plenty here that fits the bill, from traditional dim sum to baked treats sold at shops that have stood the test of time. Of course, the culinary landscape here is also influenced by Hong Kong’s status as a multicultural, trend-setting metropolis, and you’ll find plenty of Michelin-starred restaurants here, as well as cutting-edge fusion cuisine and cocktail bars that rank among the best in the world.


Traditional Chinese flavours

Luk Yu Teahouse
Luk Yu Teahouse

Established in 1933, this three-storey restaurant boasts plenty of old-world charm, especially with its colonial design juxtaposed with traditional Chinese furnishings. It’s also one of the best spots in town for an authentic dim sum meal, served with a wide variety of expertly brewed teas. The restaurant also offers larger dishes for dinner, such as sweet and sour pork and roasted crispy chicken.

Address: 24 Stanley Street, Central
Tel: +852 2523 5464
Lan Fong Yuen
Lan Fong Yuen

If you want a cup of authentic Hong Kong-style milk tea, Lan Fong Yuen is the place to go. The popular beverage was influenced by British culture but is made with evaporated milk and sugar. At Lan Fong Yuen, be sure to try the famous “silk stocking milk tea” which is passed through a fine mesh to give it a particularly smooth texture. While Lan Fong Yuen’s original street stall still stands today under the Central-Mid-Levels escalator, diners can also head to the sit-down restaurant right next door to enjoy dishes such as the chicken noodles with scallion oil.

Address: 2 Gage Street, Central
Tel: +852 2544 3895
Sing Heung Yuen
Sing Heung Yuen

Housed in a wide alleyway, this dai pai dong (open-air food stall) may not look particularly fancy but it’s perpetually packed with customers who come from all corners of the city for the signature tomato noodle soup and crispy buns with lemon and honey. Cheap, cheerful and immensely comforting, the food here is so popular that even local celebrities have been spotted eating here. Drop by for an afternoon bite after browsing nearby attractions such as Pak Tsz Lane Park and PMQ.

Address: 2 Mee Lun Street, Sheung Wan
Tel: +852 2544 8368
Tai Cheong
Tai Cheong

Fancy a piping hot, silky and irresistibly aromatic egg tart? Grab one from Tai Cheong Bakery. With more than 60 years of history, this time-tested shop used to be a favourite of Hong Kong’s last colonial governor, Chris Patten. Although the bakery now has branches all across the city, the original location on Lyndhurst Terrace remains the most iconic.

Address: 35 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central
Tel: +852 8300 8301
Website: www.taoheung.com.hk
Kung Lee Herbal Tea Shop
Kung Lee Herbal Tea Shop

Founded in the 1940s, Kung Lee is still loved and frequented by many locals. The store retains much of its old-school features, including its wooden fixtures, ceramic tiles and ceiling fans. On the menu, the sugarcane juice is the bestseller. Peeled and steamed using traditional methods, the sugarcane is pressed with an antique juicer to produce a refreshingly sweet beverage that supposedly boasts a host of health benefits. Also don’t miss the sugarcane pudding and various herbal teas.

Address: 60 Hollywood Road, Central
Tel: +852 2544 3571
Chan Yee Jai
Chan Yee Jai

Want to bring a traditional Hong Kong-style snack back home? Then be sure to visit Chan Yee Jai. Founded in 1927, the store offers a wide variety of traditional Chinese confections, including almond biscuits, haw flakes, preserved lemon and plum, bird’s nest cakes, sesame cakes and more.

Address: 176B Queen’s Road Central, Central
Tel: +852 2543 8414
Website: www.chanyeejai.com.hk (Chinese only)


Modern delights


This Michelin-starred restaurant brings together fine art and fine dining. Boasting a spacious terrace and elegant interiors, Duddell’s offers modern takes on traditional Cantonese cuisine with signatures such as barbecued iberico pork with honey glaze and supreme lobster noodles. Guests can also enjoy exquisite dim sum as well as innovative, Asian-inspired cocktails.

Address: 3/F, Shanghai Tang Mansion, 1 Duddell Street, Central
Tel: +852 2525 9191
Website: www.duddells.co
Duddell Street Starbucks
Duddell Street Starbucks

After a meal at Duddell’s just down the street, be sure to pay a visit to the first-ever Starbucks in the world to have a section dedicated to ‘bing sutt’ – a type of traditional Hong Kong café popular in the 1950s through to 1970. The retro-inspired décor provides plenty of great photo opportunities and makes for a fun backdrop while you sip on a latte or Frappuccino.

Address: Shop M2, M/F, Baskerville House, 13 Duddell Street, Central
Tel: +852 2523 5685
Website: www.starbucks.com.hk

No visit to Hong Kong is complete without a taste of the bubble-shaped waffles known as eggettes, or ‘gai daan zai’ in Cantonese. While they’re available at a lot of street stalls in town, Oddies puts a modern, Instagram-worthy spin on this beloved local snack by serving them in playful flavours with thick swirls of gelato. Keep it simple with the original eggette, or indulge in one of the decadent parfaits with ingredients such as homemade matcha ice cream, peanut butter sauce, Nutella and more.

Address: 45 Gough Street, Sheung Wan
Tel: +852 2750 2111

Tucked away at the end of Tai Ping Shan Street, close to temples such as Kwong Fook I Tsz, this tiny café is the perfect spot to spend a lazy afternoon. As the name suggests, the brew of choice here is tea, of which there is plenty. The leaves are sourced from small plantations all across the globe, with choices ranging from Hong Kong-style milk tea to cold-brewed oolong. Be sure to also try some of Teakha’s rustic, homemade cakes, such as the popular matcha snow chiffon.

Address: Shop B, 18 Tai Ping Shan Street, Sheung Wan
Tel: +852 2858 9185
Website: www.teakha.com
Old Bailey
Old Bailey

Housed within the heritage and arts hub of Tai Kwun, this gorgeous, contemporary restaurant offers refined renditions of traditional Jiangnan cuisine. Encompassing the cooking of Shanghai, Yangzhou and Hangzhou, among other cities south of the Yangtze River, this regional cuisine favours subtle and clean flavours, as demonstrated by Old Bailey’s signature offerings such as longjing team smoked pigeon and the soothing duck soup with jinhau ham and handmade fishballs.

Address: 2/F, JC Contemporary, Tai Kwun, Old Bailey Street, Central
Tel: +852 2877 8711
Website: www.oldbailey.hk
La Petite Maison
La Petite Maison

This popular Niçoise restaurant has locations all over the world, including in London, Miami, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Like the original location in Nice, the Hong Kong branch serves delicious, French-Mediterranean cuisine with a focus on quality ingredients and authentic flavours. Signature dishes include escargots, whole roasted chicken stuffed with foie gras and, of course, the salad Niçoise.

Address: 1/F, H Queen's, 80 Queen's Road Central, Central
Tel: +852 2887 1113
Website: lpmlondon.co.uk/hongkong

This modern izakaya serves delicious sharing plates in a fun and boisterous environment. Signature dishes include jet-fresh raw seafood, crisp tempura items and various tasty morsels cooked on the robata grill. In true izakaya fashion, the tipples of choice include quality highballs and premium sakes.

Address: 1-5 Elgin Street, Central
Tel: +852 2333 8841
Website: www.fukuro.com.hk


World-class bars


Decked out in glamourous, 1950s-style fashion, this elegant watering hole has the added fun of being hidden behind the mock exterior of an umbrella shop. The bar focuses on creative takes on classic cocktails, including the Fox Martini made with sake, gin, grapefruit bitters and maraschino cherry. Aside from sipping on these carefully crafted libations, you can also enjoy live music performances on most nights. Insider’s tip: this hidden bar also boasts its own hidden bar in the form of Frank’s Library – a speakeasy that focuses on premium drinks.

Address: G/F, 18 Ice House Street or
6 Duddell Street, Central
Tel: +852 2116 8949
Website: mingfathouse.com/restaurants/foxglove
Room 309
Room 309

Opened by Hong Kong’s leading mixologist, Antonio Lai, Room 309 is a discreet bar hidden within The Pottinger hotel off the steps of Pottinger Street. Guests must request for a key card from its sister bar, The Envoy, before they are granted access. Once inside, you’ll find an intimate space that plays on one’s imagination with features such as an invisible menu and expertly crafted cocktails that are crystal clear in appearance.

Address: 3/F, The Pottinger Hong Kong, 74 Queen's Road Central, Central
Tel: +852 2308 3188
Website: www.room309.hk
The Old Man
The Old Man

Ranked tenth by the World 50 Best Bars awards, The Old Man is undoubtedly one of the finest places for a drink in the whole of Hong Kong. There’s impeccable attention to detail here, as demonstrated by the L-shaped bar, which has a cooling strip running down the middle to keep drinks chilled. Expect excellent and elegant cocktails – many of which take inspiration from the words and stories of esteemed American novelist, Ernest Hemingway.

Address: 37 Aberdeen Street, Central
Tel: +852 2703 1899
Website: www.theoldmanhk.com

This rooftop terrace is one of the coolest places in town to wine, dine and be merry. Complementing the stunning views, the space is decorated with one of the iconic polka-dot pumpkins by world-renowned Japanese artist Yayoi Kasuma. In this stylish and whimsical space, chill out on one of the comfy beanbags and enjoy wines, cocktails and a variety of ‘piqniq’ baskets filled with international dishes ranging from charcuterie and cheese to spicy tuna maki and the thick-cut ‘Wagyu Sando’.

Address: R/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queens Road Central
Tel: +852 5200 1683
Website: www.lecomptoir.hk/piqniq
The Iron Fairies
The Iron Fairies

With sumptuous interiors by renowned designer Ashley Sutton, The Iron Fairies feels like it belongs in the pages of a fairy tale. The most stunning features here are the 10,000 butterflies that dangle elegantly from the ceiling, as well as the miniature, iron-wrought fairy figures that adorn the tables. It’s a wonderfully whimsical place to enjoy exquisite craft cocktails and comfort food such as mini grilled cheese sandwiches and handcrafted burgers.

Address: LG/F, Chinachem Hollywood Centre, 1-13 Hollywood Road, Central
Tel: +852 2603 6992
Website: www.diningconcepts.com/restaurants/Iron-Fairies


This is one of five self-guided walks in Old Town Central, Hong Kong’s most quintessential neighbourhood. Be sure to check out the others here.

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Quality Tourism Service

Taste more culinary treats at these eateries in Old Town Central

  • Bari-Uma Ramen
    Handmade Japanese noodles are on the menu at this restaurant originating from Hiroshima, with delicious soup that makes the restaurant very popular.
  • Mak's Noodle
    Serving authentic and affordable wonton noodles.
  • Uncle Pizza, Pasta And Grill
    The kitchen is helmed by the avuncular Jimmy (the “uncle” in question) who applies his talent for comforting flavours to his menu of American-Italian-style pastas, salads and pizzas.
  • Fumi
    FUMI, an original modern-authentic Japanese cuisine, focusing on the cultural experience of tradition, combines culinary creativity with affordable fine dining.
  • S2
    S2 Kitchen brings fusion elements into the new breed of traditional Japanese cuisine creating a unique flavour!
  • Cafe Crepe
    Cafe Crepe offers delightful Parisian crêpe recipes unique to Hong Kong.

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