The Quickest Way To A Foodie’s Heart Is In Hong Kong
Written by Metro.Style
Experience the best of what Hong Kong has to offer through the eyes of lifestyle journalist Cheryl Tiu. She shares her favorite Michelin-starred restaurants in the capital of dining in Asia Pacific
Dine with a view in Michelin-starred Tosca di Angelo at The Ritz-Carlton | Photo: Tosca di Angelo
Traveling and exploring a city on foot is but the tip of the iceberg. There is nothing more immersive, sensual, and multisensory than getting a taste of a destination’s local and international flavors. Dining on its gastronomic offerings is the highest and most sublime travel experience one can have.
With its location just an hour’s flight away from Manila, Hong Kong is a veritable hotspot for travelers with a discerning palate who want a quick getaway—and it’s not a wonder certified foodies like lifestyle journalist Cheryl Tiu has Hong Kong at the top of their list one of the best places to enjoy great food.
Cheryl Tiu against the Hong Kong skyline
“Hong Kong has one of the most diverse culinary landscapes in the world,” she says. “You can dress up for a multi-course tasting menu, or also dress down to visit a dai pai dong, and you can rest assured you are going to have an excellent meal. There are not a lot of places in the world that can guarantee a satisfying meal at various price points.”
Hong Kong may be just over a thousand square kilometers-but this Asian metropolis has 69 Michelin-rated restaurants. It boasts of 48 1-Michelin star restaurants, 11 2-Michelin star restaurants, and seven 3-Michelin star restaurants, representing not only Chinese cooking, but also some of the world’s well-loved cuisines like French and Italian among others. These, and more, have made Hong Kong –the capital of dining in Asia Pacific.
Don’t know where to start? Here’s a quick guide to get you started:
Chef Vicky Cheng takes diners on a trip down memory lane, walking them through the familiar flavors of his childhood amidst Hong Kong’s colorful history, a story beautifully illustrated through his French culinary training.
Food and travel journalist Cheryl Tiu recalls trying out Chef Vicky’s signature sea cucumber dish—a must, she says.
“It’s a delicacy that’s prevalent in traditional Chinese restaurants, and at VEA, it’s roasted, stuffed with king prawn—or during my last visit, flowery crab, depending on what’s in season—and finished with 22-year-old Shaoxing wine,” she says.
Each delicately crafted plate fuses Chinese and French culinary sensibilities into what the Michelin guide perfectly sums up as “innovative” cuisine. Every plate that comes out of this 1-Michelin star restaurant’s kitchen is designed to tell a story and create a multisensory memory.
Chef Vicky Cheng created an elevated version by grilling the beef short rib using lychee wood, seasoning top-quality Japanese rice with charcoal grilled pearl onions and chive oil, and topped it off with Taiyouran egg and slivers of Chinese black truffle. Also, don’t miss the cocktails by Antonio Lai, an award-winning mixologist who does a lot of cocktail pairings as well. He is known to practice “multisensory mixology,” and is arguably one of Hong Kong’s top bartenders.
No trip to Hong Kong would be complete without having Peking duck—and the best place to have it, recommends Cheryl, is Xin Rong Ji. “The crispiest skin coupled with tender, flavorful meat,” she points out, “but another standout dish is their braised sea anemone with sweet potato noodles.”
She adds, “For many, Xin Rong Ji may be their first introduction to Taizhou cuisine, and I love how they are putting this on the map.” Not as well-known as other Chinese regional cooking styles like Cantonese and Szechuan, Taizhou cuisine highlights the delicate flavors of freshly-caught seafood and fish.
Another notable recommendation from Cheryl is the 2-Michelin star Tate Dining Room. “Chef Vicky Lau’s unique tasting menus are odes to the different foundations of Chinese cuisine,” she says. “She painstakingly transforms singular ingredients, while highlighting their history and significance, into delicious, photogenic dishes.” And stunning they are! Pictured here is a dish called, “Miéral Pigeon Breast with Fermented Mustard Green, Tofu Skin and Grape Confit.”
She has a very cerebral lunch menu, a series called “Ode To,” wherein she creates six interpretations of a singular ingredient that touches on the ideology of texture, aroma, flavor, and presentation. For this season, she has “Ode to –Forest” that covers everything from Oyster Mushrooms, to Black Truffle, Matsutake and Bamboo Fungus, Ganba Fungus, Shiitake Mushroom, among others. In this photo is Grilled Black Cod with Bamboo Fungus and Matsutake-infused Supreme Broth.
Apart from these, she also celebrates women—for International Women’s Day, she usually holds a collaborative event with peers in the industry; at the same time, she’s done dinners with female chefs in the region, including one with the Philippines’ own Margarita Fores.
Trivia: Did you know the pastel-hued restaurant was designed by Filipino architect JJ Acuna? | Photo: James John Jetel
This one-star restaurant offers authentic Chinese fare, as well as home-made dim sun, live seafood, among others. Man Ho has dishes with traditional yet contemporary approaches to classic Chinese cuisine, by way of translating original flavors and fresh ingredients into modern interpretations of favorites. It received its inaugural Michelin star this year, after their refurbishment on their interiors, inspired by a Chinese garden.
At the helm is Executive Chef Jayson Tang whose experience in his parent’s street food stall helped him refine his selection of ingredients—something that Man Ho is known for.
Must try: Honey-glazed barbecued Iberico pork loin and pan-fried fish maw in almond milk chicken broth.
This small, unassuming shop on Stanley boasts of roast geese and char siu pork marinated in a well-guarded secret recipe and a 20-step prep before grilling.
This 1-Michelin star restaurant owned and run by the Chu family since 1957 is usually packed with locals and traveling foodies, but always well worth the wait and proves that Hong Kong, indeed, has gourmet quality, casual dining options.
A visit to Hong Kong isn’t complete without roast goose, and this is really one of the best! Our editors prefer avoiding lunch time to visit because of the long lines and wait times, but it’s definitely worth it!
The Landmark, 15 Queen's Road Central, Hong Kong
A gastronomic celebration of nature’s seasonal bounties inspire the menu at Amber. With food sustainability as one of its core values, ingredients are thoughtfully sourced from “responsible farms” as an effort to reduce carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions.
Its elegantly sleek dining room reflects Amber’s no-nonsense approach to French contemporary cuisine that values specific dietary preferences (such as: gluten-free, dairy-free, plant-based). This is plant-based dining at its finest.
Through the leadership and commitment of its Dutch chef and culinary director Richard Ekkebus, Amber bagged 2-Michelin stars and has been included in the World’s Best Restaurants list.
In one of his interviews, he stressed that he wanted to refrain from becoming a “museum restaurant” and instead makes sure that his food always evolves by way of new recipes.
Another casual dining option with one Michelin star is Yardbird, a hip, yakitori that gives new meaning to the words “street food” and “head-to-tail dining.” the Metro editors recommend going for the rare cuts like thyroid and ventricle, just some of Yardbird’s 20+ skewers on offer.
Apart from its tasty yakitori offerings, Yardbird also has small appetizer plates, rice and noodle bowls, and other flavorful bites that pair well with its extensive cocktails, whisky, and sake selection. Drinks and eats at the bar—can’t get any more casual than that.
The Ritz-Carlton, 1 Austin Road West, Hong Kong
Food is best enjoyed when shared with friends, and a culinary culture that embodies this is Italian cuisine. Of course Hong Kong can also boast of having a Michelin-star Italian restaurant – Tosca di Angelo – that goes beyond everyone’s favorite pasta and pizza fare.
Tosca’s claim to fame of having kept its Michelin star for eight years is evidenced by its refined dishes that highlight the best ingredients of the region combined with fresh flavors of the Mediterranean. Where else can you find Hong Kong grouper harmoniously mingling with tomatoes, olives, and capers, but Tosca?
Did this list whet your appetite for Hong Kong’s culinary delights? Do include these recommendations in your itinerary when travel to Hong Kong resumes.