There’s a dizzying array of restaurants and bars in Hong Kong, from Michelin-starred fine dining to noodles at the local dai pai dong (food stalls), guaranteed to satisfy the fussiest diners. Splurge on Italian at Isola, let the impeccable Japanese offered at Zuma delight you and make sure to stop at these foodie haunts in a city that works and plays hard against one of the most dramatic skylines in the world.
The Lobby at The Peninsula
A remnant of the city’s British heritage, a classic afternoon tea is a quintessentially Hong Kong experience and The Peninsula is one of the best spots to relish the ritual. Served daily in The Lobby – and accompanied by a string quartet – afternoon tea here includes a beautifully presented menu of finger sandwiches, delicate pastries and freshly baked scones paired with your choice of tea or perhaps even a glass of Champagne. Afternoon tea runs from 2pm to 6pm, on a first-come, first-served basis.
Salisbury Road, Kowloon; +852 2920 2888
Delicious Italian fare and expansive harbour views make Isola one of Hong Kong’s best-loved restaurants. With a menu incorporating classic grills, thin-crust pizzas and homemade pasta, it works just as well for a power lunch as it does for an intimate dinner or family night out. The set lunch menu is excellent value and there’s a good wine list with an intriguing range by the glass. If the weather permits, nab a seat outside on the terrace to enjoy the views over Kowloon.
Level 3, IFC Mall, Central; +852 2383 8765
Sultry Shanghai-inspired interiors give Mott 32 a dramatic sense of occasion. Excellent dim sum is served at lunchtime – highlights include the kurobuta pork, quail egg and black truffle, baked Wagyu beef puff and fried chicken, prawn and taro croquettes – while in the evenings, the Cantonese menu specialises in signature dishes from Sichuan and Beijing. The focus is on farm-to-table cooking using traditional recipes. The Peking duck is also good – but it must be pre-ordered. For those who aren’t in the mood to linger, there’s a chic bar area for after-work drinks and dim sum bites.
Standard Chartered Bank Building, Central; +852 2885 8688
This neighbourhood tapas bar in Wan Chai opened its doors in 2012 to plenty of fanfare and quickly become an ongoing hit with Hong Kong foodies. The brainchild of Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton (of London’s Pollen Street Social fame), the 22 Ships menu features an exciting mix of small dishes prepared in an open kitchen. Diners are invited to sit around the bar or along a communal table overlooking the street. Leave room for dessert; namely, the green tea cheesecake with lime and yoghurt. There are no bookings but put your name down on the list and enjoy an aperitif nearby; you’ll be called when your table’s ready.
22 Ship Street, Wan Chai; +852 2555 0722
David Tang’s China Club serves some of the best dim sum in town, within a glamorous, art-filled atmosphere reminiscent of 1930s Shanghai. Although the club is members only, a good concierge can usually swing a reservation. The food is excellent – but the extensive Chinese art collection alone is worth a visit.
12th Floor, Old Bank of China Building, Bank Street, Central; +852 2521 8888
This sleek Japanese restaurant (with outposts in London, Dubai, New York and Hong Kong’s prestigious Landmark) offers some of the best brunch in town. From 11am every Saturday and Sunday, the spread includes an assortment of jet-fresh sushi and sashimi, fried chicken, smoked salmon and Japanese salads, with mains from the daily menu. Combine this with irresistible desserts and free-flowing Veuve Clicquot, and it’s no wonder it’s booked out days in advance.
The Landmark, 15 Queens Road, Central; +852 3657 6388
This sweet vegetarian cafe and restaurant in up-and-coming Sai Ying Pun (just two stops from Central on the MTR) serves organic, wholesome, sustainable fare. The menu changes seasonally but expect anything from Thai vegetable curry or soba noodles to raw blueberry cheesecake. If the weather is good, sit outside on the pretty plant-filled terrace.
108 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong; +852 2873 3353
Aberdeen Street Social
This bustling space in the PMQ creative hub on Hollywood Road is renowned for its cool ambience, hip crowd and excellent contemporary British fare via Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton. Head upstairs for formal dining and a fabulous weekend brunch (11:30am-4pm); downstairs it’s a casual all-day menu and cocktails on the patio.
Ground floor, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central; +852 2866 0300
With vast floor-to-ceiling windows and picture-postcard views of the Hong Kong skyline, striking and seductive Hutong is the place to impress guests. As the name suggests, the low-lit interior is inspired by traditional Chinese hutongs (narrow alleyways dividing Beijing’s courtyard houses); think low wooden doorways, atmospheric lanterns and rustic antique tables and chairs. The menu is innovative Northern Chinese cuisine but a word of caution for those who with delicate tastebuds – some of the dishes are seriously hot.
28F, One Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui; +852 3428 8342
Café Gray Deluxe
Located in The Upper House in Admiralty, Café Gray Deluxe boasts breathtaking views of Victoria Harbour in its elegant dining room. A menu of modern Europe classics (steak tartare, lobster chowder) comes courtesy of celebrated chef Gray Kunz, which makes this a destination for foodies. The prix fixe menu is perfect for a business lunch and a private dining room for 12 is also available for exclusive dining. After dark, the space is transformed as the city lights up below.
The Upper House, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway; +852 3968 1106
This tiny restaurant and bar, tucked away in the Sheung Wan backstreets, has become one of Hong Kong’s hottest tables. Mrs Pound might be easy to miss, with its faux stamp-shop frontage, but inside it’s anything but discreet thanks to the hot pink walls and retro memorabilia. The trans-Asian menu is divided into smaller and larger plates – salads and skewers, alongside crowd-pleasers such as laksa bibimbap and rendang poutine. Make an effort, too, to sample from the diverse selection of cocktails – we particularly like the Open Sesame.
6 Pound Lane, Sheung Wan; +852 3426 3949
This rooftop bar and terrace is popular with the banker set and is the perfect place to impress clients. Sit back, cocktail in hand, on the chic rattan sofas and enjoy spectacular views over the city. There is also a smart restaurant inside but it is the outdoor terrace that really steals the show.
Prince’s Building, 25th Floor, 10 Chater Road, Central; +852 2537 1388