Header photo: School Food
雙城吧 DICKENS BAR
Named after the famous Victorian novelist, the Dickens Bar is almost as traditional as the author himself. It has been in the basement of the Excelsior since 1973, and has been a regular stomping ground for avid sports fans. Its walls are adorned with autographed memorabilia, such as Boris Becker’s tennis racket. With its rare UK pints and hearty curry lunches, this place is a must-go.
Web or Tel: 2837 6782
UG, The Excelsior Hong Kong, 281 Gloucester Road
This light Korean eatery is heavily influenced by K-pop culture. The shop owner has mixed and matched traditional Korean cuisine with K-pop music and interior design. His use of both traditional and fusion recipes (try the Carbonara Tteokbokki) has meant that this trendy joint has become a popular dining place for the hip and the fashionable.
Facebook Page or Tel: 2480 3666
Shop 1302, 13/F, Times Square, 1 Matheson Street
香巴拉 THE HERBIVORES
Great oaks from little acorns grow, goes the saying, which couldn’t be more applicable to this little homegrown restaurant. This kitchen’s thoughtful and innovative grasp on vegetarian and vegan cooking is unparalleled. With Chef Wendy Leung at its helm, you must try the Portobello mushroom steak and their zucchini rolls.
Web or Tel: 2613 2920
9/F, Hysan Place, 500 Hennessy Road
四姐川菜 SIJIE SICHUAN RESTAURANT
A former private kitchen, Sijie’s authentic Sichuan flavours pack a bite, even if the basic décor is nothing to write home about. The portions are quite generous, so it’s best to go with a group and order family style so that you can taste a selection of classic mouth-watering (and numbing) dishes, such as twice-cooked pork, fish poached in chilli oil, and Chongqing fried chicken.
Sijie Sichuan Restaurant
Facebook Page or Tel: 2802 2250
10/F, Bartlock Centre, 3 Yiu Wa Street
南小館 THE DINING ROOM
A bright and airy modern Shanghainese spot with quirky décor (bicycles are one of the key design elements). Pull up a chair at one of the restaurant’s communal tables and get ready for a feast that’s easy on both the eyes and the pocketbook. The pork soup dumplings and pan-fried buns are must orders, and you can’t go wrong with the well-seasoned wok-fried string beans with minced pork: wok hei to the max.
The Dining Room
Facebook Page or Tel: 2648 2299
Shop 1201, 12/F, Hysan Place, 500 Hennessy Road, 2648 2299
LE CAFÉ HABITAT
There is a certain je ne sais quoi that makes this Parisian café, located inside the Habitat furniture store so memorable. Have a taste of classic French staples with a twist, and it will dispel all notions that unspecialised café-type restaurants don’t serve good food. But are there sweeping views over Victoria Harbour, I hear you ask? Mais oui!
Le Café Habitat
Tel: 2310 1964
15/F, Windsor House, 311 Gloucester Road
Sure, it’s another ramen branch. But the food is simply delicious. You only have a choice of three types of ramen – normal, lite, and supreme – immersed in a pork broth that takes 15 hours to prepare. The pork shoulder gives you that melt-in-your-mouth experience that is, frankly, quite hard to get anywhere else.
Web or Tel: 2889 3355
34 Tang Lung Street
FRITES: BELGIUM ON TAP
With the widest variety of Belgium draught and bottled beers (more than 80!) on offer in Hong Kong, FRITES transports you right into the heart of Europe, with its brasserie-style décor and high ceilings. If you’re ever guessing how many ways you can cook mussels, FRITES will always one-up you with its impressive range of methods.
FRITES Belgium on Tap
Web or Tel: 2142 5233
Shop 1, Park Haven, 38 Haven Street
You’ll see lots of restaurants in Causeway Bay with yakiniku as part of their name – meaning “grilled meat” in Japanese. In our not-so-humble opinion, Japanese chain Futago is the best of the bunch. It’s tiny, so book in advance for the opportunity to grill yourself some excellent Japanese beef. The ventilation isn’t that great, so ditch the gladrags.
Facebook Page or Tel: 2898 7707
Shop B, 1–5 Irving Street
Jamie Oliver, the UK’s favourite cheeky-chappy chef, opened his first HK branch of this global casual Italian restaurant chain with a bang in 2014, and it’s been packing in the punters ever since. Some of our favourite dishes – all plentiful in portion and reasonably priced – include the planks (cured meat and fish or seasonal veggies served on wooden boards), garlicky prawn linguini, and juicy grilled lamb lollipops. It’s a great spot for a low-key night out with friends or dining with little ones in tow.
Web or Tel: 3958 2222
2/F, Soundview Plaza 2 – Midtown, 1-29 Tang Lung Street
BRUNCH CLUB & SUPPER
No one is going to tell you off for having breakfast for supper here. Serving breakfast all day err’day, their Eggs Benedict is to die for. Their chilled, laid-back vibe makes them the perfect refuge for any time of day. What’s more, get on those croissants, muffins, and Angel’s Food cakes like there’s no tomorrow; we won’t tell.
brunch club & supper
Web or Tel: 2890 2125
1/F, 13 Leighton Road
四季禅 SHIKI ZEN
Move over, ramen – this light and modern Japanese restaurant puts a spotlight on an often underrated, but equally delicious, noodle from the Land of the Rising Sun: udon. Both Sanuki-style (traditional thick-cut, bouncy-textured noodles) and Kyoto-style (softer and thinner noodles, served cold) udon are on the menu; they are made in-house daily using Japanese flour, salt, and water – that’s dedication! – and are served with a variety of ingredients and soup bases. Although Shiki Zen’s sushi and teppanyaki are also noteworthy, for us it’s all about the silky, chewy udon.
Web or Tel: 2970 3218
29/F, Soundview Plaza 2 – Midtown, 1-29 Tang Lung Street
韓雅林 HAN AH RUM
We first found out about this restaurant from a Korean friend who works for the Association of Korean Restaurants in Hong Kong, so we knew it had to be good. Now it’s become our go-to spot for Korean barbecue. The various cuts of meat are all high quality, but it’s the super-sized galbi (beef ribs) that bring on the meat sweats – not that we’re complaining. The complimentary banchan are not mere afterthoughts either, but tasty little dishes in their own right.
Han Ah Rum
Web or Tel: 2877 7716
6/F, Causeway Bay Plaza 1, 489 Hennessy Road
南記粉麵 NAM KEE SPRING ROLL NOODLE COMPANY
With a number of outlets around the 852, affordably-priced Nam Kee began selling its famous spring rolls from a cart in 1980. We like to choose our own toppings depending on what we’re craving on the day, but we always go for the sour and spicy soup base with thick and chewy flat rice noodles.
Nam Kee Spring Roll Noodle Company
Web or Tel: 2576 3721
1–3/F, San Kei Tower, 56–58 Yee Wo Street
NO. 5 ITALIAN
Expanding from its cosy spot in Tai Hang, this charming pizzeria’s popularity is still on the rise. The thin-crust pizzas and homemade pastas never disappoint; we’re especially fond of the Ernest’s style pizza, No. 5’s take on a margherita with fresh basil and mozzarella. Simple ingredients done right will never go out of style.
No. 5 Italian
Facebook Page or Tel: 2554 2228
Shop 311, Level 3, World Trade Centre, 280 Gloucester Road
鼎泰豐 DIN TAI FUNG
We’re never too impatient to queue up for this Taiwanese chain’s signature xiao long bao in all their soupy, porky glory. Their reasonably priced dumplings and noodles are a big hit with kids, too.
Din Tai Fung
Web or Tel: 3160 8998
68 Yee Wo Street
何洪記 HO HUNG KEE
Now with a coveted Michelin star to its name and glitzy décor befitting its prime Hysan location, this congee and wonton noodle shop has come a long way from its humble beginnings in the 1940s. Ho Hung Kee hasn’t got too big for its britches, though – the prices are still fairly easy on the pockets.
Ho Hung Kee
Facebook Page or Tel: 2577 6060
Shop 1204–1205, 12/F, Hysan Place, 500 Hennessy Road
FLEUR DE SEL
This little hidden gem serves up some of the finest sweet and savoury crêpes in town, so you have the option of having crêpes for dinner and dessert. The savoury pancakes, with fillings from the traditional ham, cheese, and egg to the more exotic duck confit or pan-fried foie gras, are thinner and crispier than their sugary counterparts. In the sweet category, nothing beats the match-made-in-heaven pairing of chocolate sauce with caramelised banana.
Fleur de Sel
Web or Tel: 2805 6678
Shop 2J, Po Foo Building, 1 Foo Ming Street
You know the feeling – you’ve finished a bang-up meal, but are still craving just that bit more, either a pud or a post-prandial drink. This classy new cocktail bar has both options covered, serving up innovative cocktails that make for mighty sweet sipping, as well as gorgeous desserts that are literally edible works of art. There’s also a small but tasty selection of tapas for something more savoury. Jerry Maguire, you complete us.
Web or Tel: 2881 5008
23 Lan Fong Road
Not your ordinary Chinese restaurant, this Singapore-based eatery offers dishes from Putien, a coastal town in China’s Fujian province. From the caramelised stir-fried yams, to the seaweed tossed with shrimp, to the yellow croaker stewed with ginger, Putien will take your palate on a journey of discovery. And if you’re feeling particularly brave, order the restaurant’s signature braised pig intestine – if nothing else, at least you’ll have something to brag about.
Web or Tel: 2111 8080
Shop A, 7/F, Lee Theatre Plaza, 99 Percival Street
Fun fact: also known as the “Kill Bill” restaurant, Gonpachi’s sister restaurant in Tokyo was Quentin Tarantino’s inspiration for the setting of the film’s infamous fight scene. Here in HK, Gonpachi’s traditional décor is just as inspirational. The menu is an enticing mix of the best of the best of Japanese cuisine, from sushi and sashimi, to charcoal-grilled meat and seafood, to tempura and soba noodles.
Web or Tel: 2787 3688
4/F, Lee Gardens One, 33 Hysan Avenue
HMV BAR & RESTAURANT
Craving some spaghetti carbonara with your tunes? Located within this leading entertainment brand’s huge flagship store, hmv Bar & Restaurant has recently unveiled an authentic Italian menu, so there’s homemade pizza and pasta on offer, as well as a whimsical tiramisu cone for afters. We recommend hitting up the eatery even if you’re not in the market for a DVD; we’re fans of the cool, relaxed setting (go for the booths) and the retro posters on the walls.
hmv Bar & Restaurant
Facebook Page or Tel: 2504 1538
4/F, Pearl City, 22-36 Paterson Street
It’s Japan’s number-one tonkotsu ramen chain for a reason – the rich, cloudy pork-bone broth has a depth of flavour that hits the spot every time. We also love that we can customise our noodle consistency and flavour strength (extra firm and strong, baby). It’s perfect for quick solo dining (the ramen booths are all individual), but be prepared to queue.
Web or Tel: 2152 4040
Shop F-I, Lockhart House, 440 Jaffe Road
悠蔬食 LEISURELY VEGGIE
Leisurely Veggie shows us that you can be no-nonsense about environmental issues, but have a great meal at the same time. Everything is meat-free, but their ‘fake-flesh’ probably isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. However, the smells of their monkey head mushroom red curry is more than enough to draw you in all the way from down the block.
Facebook Page or Tel: 3565 6393
25/F, Jardine Centre, 50 Jardine’s Bazaar
Popular with families around the world, we head to Ruby Tuesday when we’re in need of a little comfort, both from the American-style grub and the familiar surroundings. It’s perfect for groups who are keen to order a bunch of dishes to share, from nachos, to ribs, to quesadillas. If you have kids, pay only $88 to join Ruby’s Tomato Kids Club and get 12 kids’ meals.
Web or Tel: 2895 1628
Shop 1002, 10/F, World Trade Centre, 280 Gloucester Road
北方餃子源 NORTHERN DUMPLING YUAN
We dare you to eat just one of this modest eatery’s pillowy homemade steamed dumplings. Filled with a variety of ingredients (take your pick from the likes of classic pork and cabbage to the more experimental asparagus and abalone), these bite-sized delights are full of flavour. We prefer them au naturel, but you can also opt to have them fried or floating in spicy soup.
Northern Dumpling Yuan
Facebook Page or Tel: 3488 6110
Shop B, 401-403 Lockhart Road
MEKIKI NO GINJI
A great option for Japanese food lovers who want a little bit of everything, this stylish import from Okinawa offers a menu that won’t break the bank. From the sushi, to the grilled and steamed dishes, to the udon noodles, it’s all prepared to a high standard in a buzzy atmosphere.
Mekiki No Ginji
Web or Tel: 2895 0885
Shop P502, 5/F, World Trade Centre, 280 Gloucester Road
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