For Amber and I, our passion for food begins and ends with Hong Kong. With one or two exceptions, there is no other city in the world we’d rather travel to for food than Hong Kong. In this Hong Kong food guide, we will share some of our all-time favorite dishes and where to find them.
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The Best Food To Eat in Hong Kong
Amber and I have made countless trips to Hong Kong. It’s easily one of our favorite cities in the world for sadly. Just the thought of eating in Hong Kong makes us want to get on a long flight. Throughout this guide, we share just some of our favorite dishes we’ve discovered while eating in Hong Kong.
By no means is this comprehensive list. It’s one of the best things about Hong Kong. These’s so much great food. But these dishes are not to be missed.
One note about eating in Hong Kong. Yes, the langauge can be issue. However, between picture menus, pointing out what others are eating, and Google Translate, you’ll be fine. And as always, if you see a restaurant or tea house with a lot of people inside, odds are the food is amazing. So go.
We’ve included where to eat many of these dishes in Hong Kong. That said, our last trip to Hong Kong was just as Covid was increasing. I can’t 100% guarantee that all of these restaurants are still open.
We have to start with dim sum. Not only is dim sum one of the most popular Hong Kong dishes we simply can’t eat enough dim sum. There is nothing in the world that compares to eating dim sum in a Hong Kong tea house.
Unfortunately, the first tea house in Hong Kong we ever went to Lin Heung Tea House has closed. I only mention the restaurant because this is where our love affair, obsession, with dim sum began. Not speaking a word of Cantonese and not fully knowing what to order, we enjoyed one of the best meals of our lives.
But what is dim sum? Originally from Guangdong Provence, dim sum are small plates of food traditionally served with tea. Dim sum come in a wide variety of shapes and flavors. From steamed to fried dishes, pork, shrimp, or vegetarian, there’s something for everyone.
However, this famous Hong Kong food staple doesn’t end there. In addition to savory dim sum dishes, you’ll find sweet (dessert) dim sum including Cantonese Sponge Cake (a personal favorite) and Hong Kong Egg Tarts, Amber’s favorite and similar to Pastel de Nata Portugal.
Two of our favorite dim sum restaurants in Hong Kong are:
City Hall Maxim’s Palace in Central for “Traditional” dim sum
Dim Sum Library in Admiralty for high-end or contemporary dim sum
Beef Brisket Noodle Soup
We first discovered beef brisket noodles during a food tour in Taipei. Since then, it’s become one of our favorite dishes to eat in Asia.
If you’re looking for something a little more hearty for dinner in Hong Kong, I highly recommend trying beef brisket noodles.
This is one of the most satisfying foods from Hong Kong. Beef Brisket Noodle Soup is made using slow-cooked beef, ususally beef brisket. Hence the name. Served with egg noodles in a rich, bone broth, it’s pure heaven.
Head over to Kau Kee in Central for some of the best beef brisket noodle soup in Hong Kong.
The best thing about any Asian soup is the quality of the broth. From pho in Vietnam to laksa in Malaysia, it’s all about the broth. And the same can be said about one of Amber’s personal favorites, wonton soup.
Authentic wonton soup from Hong Kong is devine. The broth is made from chicken or pork and dried shrimp stock. This gives the broth a rich, umami flavor while light in appearance.
The wontons themselves are filled with either mince pork, prawns, or vegetables. In many case, thin egg noodles (mee) are added, giving you wonton mee soup.
Wonton soup makes for the perfect lunch or dinner in Hong Kong. You can find wonton soup almost any anywhere. If you want something special, visit Shek Kee Wonton Noodles in Tsim Sha Tsui for one of the best wonton soups in Hong Kong.
Bamboo Pole Noodles
Bamboo noodles are typically made using a bamboo pole, which they use to flatten the dough. Today, many places tend to use machines. It’s faster and easier.
But you can still find places around Hong Kong, where the tradition of handmade bamboo noodles lives on.
Once the noodles are prepared, they are usually cooked with meat and a rich broth. The broth has some similarities to the wonton soup broth I mentioned earlier. Some say, it’s also similar to Japanese ramen. Regardless, it’s truly an extraordinary dish to try when traveling in Hong Kong.
Roast goose might not be something that first springs to mind when you think about food from Hong Kong. However, it might surprise you that it is a national delicacy. Walk down nearly any street in Hong Kong and you’ll find glistening whole roasted goose hanging in restauarnt windows.
Roast goose is served similarly to Asian-style crispy duck. With golden skin and tender meat, roast goose is typically served with a sweet plum sauce.
It is usually cooked in a charcoal furnace. This gives it great depth to the gamey flavors and is cooked over extremely high heat so that skin turns super crispy.
Like Asian duck dishes, the goose is typically served with pancakes, sliced scallions, cucumber, and sweet sauce.
Char Siu – Cantonese Roast Pork
Cantonese roast pork, or char siu, is a popular dish, and a must-try in Hong Kong. An all-time favorite of mine, char siu can be found at almost any Cantonese restaurant and street market
Char siu gets its unique, sweet, and smoky flavor from the marinating process. This process consists of soy sauce, rice wine, star anise, and hoisin sauce. Once marinated, the pork loin is roasted over an open fire until the marinade has caramelized. It pairs perfectly with a fresh, dressed cabbage salad and bao buns.
This is a traditional Asian dish found in various parts of the continent, such as Singapore, and Malaysia. In fact, we’ve eaten a lot of clay pot rice in Penang, Malaysia. It is also an extremely popular Hong Kong food.
Depending on where you get clay pot rice from, it can vary quite a lot depending on the chef, but the process should always be pretty much the same.
Clay pot rice can be made with any ingredients, but things such as mushrooms, chicken, ginger, shallots, sausage meat, and rice are most commonly used, as well as fresh cilantro and sambal.
After the rice has been soaked, it’s cooked in a clay pot with the rest of the ingredients, making it somewhat of a one-pot dish. Clay pot rice is cooked over charcoal, which gives it an extra boost of flavor, and after cooking, it is usually served with soy sauce and chili.
If you want amazing claypot rice, head over to Hing Kee Claypot Rice Restaurant off Nathan Road.
If you’re looking for something more suited to a vegetarian diet, I highly recommend you hunt down somewhere in Hong Kong that serves braised eggplant. Chom-Chom on Peel Street in the Western District is awesome if you’re looking for suggestions.
Many of the best restaurants in Hong Kong serve this dish with pork broth, but of course, you can ask for vegetarian options in some places.
This simple dish can be accompanied by almost any other dish. Whether it’s made spicy, drenched in a sweet and savory sauce, or fried with other vegetables. The main idea is to end up with a soft, tender dish packed full of flavor.
Szechuan cuisine, also sometimes spelled Sichuan, is a style of Chinese cooking that originates from Sichuan Province. Sichuan cuisines featurs a wide range of unique flavors and of course its signature tongue-numbing spice.
Unlike Cantonese cooking which is more mild, Szechuan cooking is pure fire. It’s based around the Sichuan peppercorn. This heavy and warming spice leaves a numbing feeling on your lips and tongue after eating.
We had the pleasure of visiting Chengdu, China, the main city in Sichuan Province years ago. Never have we were eaten such amazing and spicy food.
One of our favorite Sichuan restaurants in Hong Kong is SiJie Sichuan Restaurant in Wan Chai.
Cantonese cuisine is the name given to the general cooking style of Guangdong in China, and although it is very close in techniques and flavors to other Chinese cuisines, it does have its own unique style.
The key to Cantonese food is its reliance on the use of sugar, rice wine, vinegar, corn starch, sesame oil, soy sauce, and plenty of salt. They certainly don’t hold back on their flavor profiles, and everything you eat is sweet, saucy, salty, and tangy, the perfect balance when describing Asian food.
Other ingredients, such as five spice, ginger, garlic, and star anise, are used occasionally but not as frequently as in other Chinese food.
Gai Dan Jai – Hong Kong Egg Waffles
Egg waffles, or Gai Dan Jai, as they are known in Hong Kong, were apparently the successful outcome of a chef who threw a load of ingredients into a bowl so as not to let them go to waste. He then baked the mixture; the outcome was the now much-loved egg waffle.
Today, the recipe has been improved, and the mold used to cook the waffles is actually egg-shaped. They are crispy on the outside and cakey on the inside, often with a gooey, sweet-flavored center.
You’re likely to find this doughy snack served by street food vendors in the markets, as it has now become one of the most popular and traditional street foods in Hong Kong.
Bolo Bao – Pineapple Bun
This sweet pineapple bread treat from Hong Kong actually doesn’t contain any pineapple at all. I believe it was given this name because it is golden yellow once cooked.
It is also sweet in flavor, crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside. The pineapple buns are best eaten when fresh out of the oven, so if you happen to be passing anywhere that has these on hot display, grab one while you can, they sell out fast, and you don’t want to miss out on this beautiful sweet bread.
FAQs – Hong Kong Food Guide – What To Eat In Hong Kong
Depending on who you ask, Hong Kong might just be the best food city in the world. Defining what is the national dish of Hong Kong is no easy task. But, there is at least one dish many people agree could be the national dish of Hong Kong. And that dish is roast goose.
No, not really. The food in Hong Kong is based on Cantonese cuisine. Unlike its counterpart Sichuan cuisine, Cantonese is not spicy. Its flavors are subtle yet rich.