The culinary capital of Asia undergoes an exciting transformation.
Oct 03, 2023 12:45am
The Pearl of the Orient has always been an enticing food destination, showcasing a delicious mix of Eastern and Western cuisine in everything from unassuming street snacks to world class venues.
Now, perhaps it’s even more exciting as a new generation of chefs tilt the dining landscape toward hyper-local ingredients, traditional techniques, and fusion fare.
Below, bookmark these quintessential culinary experiences to raise your next Hong Kong visit to new, umami-rich heights.
1. Modern Cantonese fusion
Hong Kong chefs who have recently returned to homegrown flavours and produce, like the city’s high-quality dried and fresh seafood, help ensure new dishes are flagrantly Cantonese in taste and tradition — even when delivered with an East-meets-West sensibility.
Chefs ensure the city keeps its multicultural status by fusing traditional dishes with every cuisine from British to French, Korean to Sichuan. At two-Michelin-star Tate Dining Room by chef Vicky Lau, the menu blends Cantonese flavours with French cooking techniques, while Mono by chef Ricardo Chaneton combines Chinese and Latin American cuisine.
“If you’re looking for Cantonese food, I always find the best thing to do is go over to Kowloon-side and just walk the streets and take a punt … There are all these little places that will just do one thing and do it really well,” says Australian chef, Shane Osborn of Hong Kong’s Arcane Collective.
2. World class restaurants
The sheer list of stars in Hong Kong proves the city’s rank as the culinary capital of Asia. From affordable venues to high-end dining, the 78 Michelin restaurants are worth the flight alone.
This year, six Hong Kong restaurants make their Michelin debut — including Japanese omakase venue Godenya and Italian seafood restaurant, Noi. Japanese-French fine dining restaurant Ta Vie received a third star for its experimental, season-driven menu stacked with quality ingredients from Japan, and paired with Asian wine vintages and sake.
3. Street food favourites
Alongside its starry restaurant scene, Hong Kong is equally acclaimed for its affordable street snacks. Whether peddled from push carts or a street-side stall, Hong Kongers’ street food favourites capture the essence of the city in just one bite.
Try stinky tofu, spicy fishballs, roasted sweet potatoes, siu mai, and bite-sized cheung fun slathered in peanut, soy, or chilli sauce. For something sweet, crunchy gai daan zai (egg waffle) are a welcome treat, made by cooking egg batter on a griddle pan.
As the city reopens, chefs aren’t the only ones returning to homegrown culture. The bar industry is shining a spotlight on Hong Kong ingredients and flavours with an ambitious farm-to-glass approach.
Speakeasy 25:00 (Twenty Fifth Hour) delivers a seasonal cocktail tasting menu. Shochu and awamori bars like Kuromaru are dialling back the drama in favour of subtle, unique sips — culminating in boozy city-specific beverages.