Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the society.

Photo

Hong Kong Restaurant Recommendations


  • Please log in to reply
216 replies to this topic

#61 HKDave

HKDave
  • participating member
  • 739 posts
  • Location:Hong Kong

Posted 06 December 2003 - 08:22 PM

Nope, Q uses the oil-based type of sauce. There are some sesame seeds in it, but they're not crushed. They serve the noodles and sauce in one bowl, and a broth (which looks like rice water with some green onion) in another. It's not fancy but the flavour is there.

I didn't try the dan dan at Man Jiang Hong, but everything else there was good. Their prices are also very good by HK standards - more than 4 of us could eat, with 3 beer, for HK$600. Reserve a table early, they are busy.

This week I copied Q's recipe at home using Shanghai noodles, their sauce, some ground pork, garnished with crushed peanuts and scallion, and it was the real deal. Use less of that sauce than you think.... good news is now I don't have to go to Wanchai or Whampoa (or the mainland) when I need a dan dan fix.
Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

#62 Gifted Gourmet

Gifted Gourmet
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 9,587 posts
  • Location:Atlanta, Georgia

Posted 05 August 2004 - 01:25 PM

The China Standard article

The poll of 830 consumers, aged 12-54 in the past six months, found about 98 per cent visited fast-food shops. From 2001 to 2003, the number of fast-food shops rose by 14 per cent, from 520 to 593, or 10 per cent of Hong Kong's restaurants.  The survey found that frequent fast-food diners tend to be adult, male blue-collar workers, visit a fast-food outlet seven times per month, and spend an average HK$22 each time. Some 11 per cent of the respondents said they patronised fast-food outlets at least five times a week, spending an average HK$2,836 in the past six months. And Hong Kong's favourite fast foods? A hamburger or sandwich, washed down with either hot milk tea, carbonated soft drink or hot coffee.


for this one needs no chopsticks :sad: .... looks like this is the hit of the year with the people of Hong Kong ....now I need to use a currency converter to figure out the value of the HK dollar .... :rolleyes:
Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"


#63 Hest88

Hest88
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 1,243 posts
  • Location:Bay Area, California

Posted 05 August 2004 - 01:30 PM

So sad. And it's happening all around the world. What I loved about HK was how even in mall food courts you could get great noodles and other Asian fare. My sister and I wished we could import HK food courts to the U.S.!

As to currency conversion, I think the exchange rate is such that you can still get a decent approximation of U.S. dollars by dividing the HK dollars by 8.

#64 PS

PS
  • participating member
  • 210 posts

Posted 05 August 2004 - 02:53 PM

I'd agree Hest - the HK food courts are superb.
PS
Edinburgh

#65 wesza

wesza
  • participating member
  • 1,103 posts
  • Location:Seattle, Wa.

Posted 05 August 2004 - 03:24 PM

I was influential in starting the so called fast food business in Hong Kong, but please consider that it has always been customer orientated, by Quality, Price and Acceptable Criteria very different than the Generic type of Fast Foods sold in the United States.

They would never accept the type of products merchandised in the States, such as Roast Beef, Ham or Turkey Sandwiches that all taste the same in a blindfold testing done several times yearly where the testers are not able to taste any difference during the tests of each product, from a major fast food chain.

The quality available must be consistent, tasty and indicative of expected tastes and flavors particular to Hong Kong or you don't remain in business. Also take into consideration that rents are generally higher then the States per square foot.

The business that I started is slightly more up scale and now has in excess of 430 locations in Hong Kong, plus has sold off and diversified into Bakery, and Licensed Fast Food Business as well as Franchised.

Irwin
I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

#66 Gifted Gourmet

Gifted Gourmet
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 9,587 posts
  • Location:Atlanta, Georgia

Posted 05 August 2004 - 06:09 PM

So sad. And it's happening all around the world. What I loved about HK was how even in mall food courts you could get great noodles and other Asian fare.

But don't you see how the importing of various Hong Kong favorites to America has increased our sense of culinary choices? There are so many more items which we have available now than when I grew up here.

And just maybe the "novelty" of American fast food will cause certain boredom in the minds of these same folks over time, at which time they may chooe to return to their more comforting, familiar cuisines and just consider it nostalgia ... :rolleyes:
Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"


#67 Pan

Pan
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 15,544 posts
  • Location:East Village, Manhattan

Posted 05 August 2004 - 06:49 PM

Lemme guess, Irwin. Was it Maxim's? :biggrin:

#68 Yuki

Yuki
  • participating member
  • 428 posts

Posted 05 August 2004 - 09:26 PM

The other fast food business of HK, they are the essential part of Hong Kong busy life style. Maxim, Cafe de Coral, and Fairwood are the three most popular fast food operators.

My parents like Fairwood if they don't feel like cooking. One portion is big enough to be shared by two people, and you could always ask for more rice. Maxim has a variety of interesting restaurants, I like the EXP in Festival Walk. It is just weird seeing all those fast food restaurants changing their interior design, menu, and sign to upgarde. :wink:

#69 herbacidal

herbacidal
  • participating member
  • 3,127 posts
  • Location:Philly, sorta

Posted 05 August 2004 - 10:30 PM

for this one needs no chopsticks :sad: .... looks like this is the hit of the year with the people of Hong Kong ....now I need to use a currency converter to figure out the value of the HK dollar .... :rolleyes:

I've always used $1 US =$7.75HK
$10HK=$1.30US

For Chinese renminbi, I use $1US=$8 yuan
Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

#70 hzrt8w

hzrt8w
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 3,855 posts
  • Location:Sacramento, CA

Posted 06 August 2004 - 12:46 AM

The fast food in Hong Kong is very different from the fast food in USA. With places like Cafe de Coral or Fairwood, they probably serve more fast Chinese food (something over rice kind of dishes) than hamburgers. The main object is "fast". Tastes are usually okay, but not as good as from the traditional restaurant. But if you are in a hurry to get a meal (and who isn't?) or want to be economical (and who doesn't), it's really a good alternative than going to traditional restaurants.

Edited by hzrt8w, 06 August 2004 - 12:47 AM.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#71 hzrt8w

hzrt8w
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 3,855 posts
  • Location:Sacramento, CA

Posted 06 August 2004 - 01:10 AM

The quality available must be consistent, tasty and indicative of expected tastes and flavors particular to Hong Kong or you don't remain in business.

I am not so sure about the consistency and the quality part.

When I used to live in Hong Kong, the experience of going to one Cafe de Coral could be very different from another. It seems that each kitchen hires its own cooks. Some are just not as good as the others. While most meals are acceptable, occassionally (well, more often than I liked) I got served overly salty dishes, burnt deep-fried chicken thigh, and bland dinner soup and so on.

Did Cafe de Coral go bankrupt? Hardly. I think convenience and low-price are the major factors that made those chained fast food places so successful... even though millions of Hong Kongers know they can get much tastier meals in local restaurants. Do I go to a Cafe de Coral because I long for their "high quality" coffee or fried chicken wings? Not a chance.

On the other hand, U.S. Franchises like McDonald's can really claim their consistency and quality marks. Not that I like hamburgers much, but I remember tasting the McDonald's in London, Paris, Cologne, Singapore, Hong Kong and Beijing and found them to be very much like the ones I had in the USA. Well... it's just hamburgers. The cooking process (and thus quality control) is much simpler.
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#72 Yuki

Yuki
  • participating member
  • 428 posts

Posted 06 August 2004 - 01:18 AM

The fast food in Hong Kong is very different from the fast food in USA. With places like Cafe de Coral or Fairwood, they probably serve more fast Chinese food (something over rice kind of dishes) than hamburgers. The main object is "fast". Tastes are usually okay, but not as good as from the traditional restaurant. But if you are in a hurry to get a meal (and who isn't?) or want to be economical (and who doesn't), it's really a good alternative than going to traditional restaurants.

I don't really know what you mean by traditional restuarant. Do you mean like where you sit down and someone comes to take the order? There are lots of restaurant in Hong Kong with the same or lower price than those fast food chain. But people like those fast food chain because they are often more reliable(chain don't want to ruin their names), quality food at a reasonable price, ever changing menu items, and clean.

Their menu are really diverse, they have bbq meat with rice, western/chinese style breakfast, Japanese style noodles/rice, hot pot, clay pot dishes, tea time, sizzling dishes, and lots more.

#73 origamicrane

origamicrane
  • participating member
  • 1,227 posts
  • Location:UK

Posted 06 August 2004 - 01:37 AM

let me stick my oar in on this one.
Theres a few reasons why HK fast food culture has become so much stronger of late.

1. Hong Kong remeber has a massive population in such a small area.
Almost everyone lives in apartment blocks where the average kitchens are tiny!!! literally a mouse swinger!!! I mean less then 3 sqm of kitchen space. This was the original reason why HK had such a strong fast food culture that, convenience and price.

2. SARS - since the outbreak last year Hong Kong has gone on a hygiene blitz the streets are a lot cleaner the back alleyways that used to be rubbish areas have been cleaned up. But when SARS was still present many people chose to stay at home rather then mingle with others at restaurants. Naturally the streethawkers and smaller family run eateries would be the first to be hit as they don't have a branding or reputation people can trust nor do they have the finances to weather the storm.
A lot of these places closed down leaving the chains.

3. Food scares - Hong Kong people are generally superstitious and also have an overly cautious attitude ie: they scare easily. There have been constant news reports this year of food poisoning scares coming from mainland China some have been due to negilgence other have been deliberate poisoning. There have also been several reports of counterfeit food!! Were cheap below grade food has been repackaged up then sold on as a branded product!!!!

With these factors and probably others you can easily understand why people are going to chains more not because they taste better but because of price, conveninece and reputation. Big chains regardless of taste are competitive and have rigorous quality standards in place that the public can trust.
"so tell me how do you bone a chicken?"

"tastes so good makes you want to slap your mamma!!"

#74 Hest88

Hest88
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 1,243 posts
  • Location:Bay Area, California

Posted 06 August 2004 - 10:31 AM

Wait a minute. We're talking about two different beasts here.

And Hong Kong's favourite fast foods? A hamburger or sandwich, washed down with either hot milk tea, carbonated soft drink or hot coffee.

This is very different from the HK-style Western dinner plates, like macaroni with ham and oxtail over rice, I think.

#75 hzrt8w

hzrt8w
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 3,855 posts
  • Location:Sacramento, CA

Posted 06 August 2004 - 06:00 PM

I don't really know what you mean by traditional restuarant. Do you mean like where you sit down and someone comes to take the order?

Traditional restaurant = you are served by a waiter/waitress; you sit down and order; dishes are made to order; you pay after you eat.

Versus

Fast Food = self serve, cafeteria style; you order and pay first then pick up your order (or they will bring it out to you); dishes are mass-produced, you have only limited choices from the menu of the day.
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#76 Susan G

Susan G
  • participating member
  • 867 posts
  • Location:New Mexico

Posted 06 August 2004 - 09:50 PM

A HK menu item that always makes me carefully evaluate the surroundings, the season, and my chances in fast food places:

"hot dog" in Chinese characters. :biggrin:
I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

#77 wesza

wesza
  • participating member
  • 1,103 posts
  • Location:Seattle, Wa.

Posted 07 August 2004 - 12:47 AM

Lemme guess, Irwin. Was it Maxim's? :biggrin:

Pam:

"Maxim's" is the most well known organization. It started with one location in the basement of the "Lane Crawford House" then opened a branch in the Arcade of the Mandarin Hotel, but originally was part of the Luk Hoi Tong Group that owned the "Luk Kwok Hotel" made famous in America featured in the movie "The World of Susie Wong", starring, "William Holden" and "Nancy Kwong"who both especially Nancy's parent's were good customers at "Lindy's". "Maxim's" is still owned by the "Wu" Family together with the "Hong Kong Land Company", apparently the World's Largest Real Estate Company.

It's a very different World of Fast Food, where Old Wifes Tales are mixed with Rumors and Traditions. A good example would be that in Cool Weather you can sell all beef "Hot Dogs" but in warm weather you can only sell all pork "Hot Dogs" because your Customers are convinced that beef makes your blood warm, good for the winter, but pork is suitable for hot weather. A popular Breakfast Treat is Canned Beans on White Bread with Marmite.

Coffee is best when sweetened with Sugar and Sweetened Condensed Milk. Iced Tea should only be sweetened with Sugar Syrup. The most popular "Hot Dogs" are from Denmark packed in cans then grilled that are almost the same size and shape as Vienna Canned Sausages.

The best and busiest Hong Kong fast food places are the Street side "Tai Pi Tong's" Food Stalls that often do more business then the largest Chain Restaurants. Some of these places serve really delicious quick, nutritious and healthy food amazingly fast prepared mostly prepared to order at low prices.

There are more rental unit's occupied by families and single people that don't bother with kitchens or prepare their own food as it cheaper, available almost 24/7 for quick delivery/pick up the dishes service or almost outside your door, even catered that eating out conveniently is a way of life for much of the population.

Irwin :unsure:
I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

#78 wesza

wesza
  • participating member
  • 1,103 posts
  • Location:Seattle, Wa.

Posted 10 August 2004 - 04:18 PM

I was thinking about something that is unusual, interesting and particular to the Hong Kong Fast Food Marketing.

During the period that I lived in Hong Kong many Fast Food Chain Operations from all over the World attempted to enter the market.

What was interesting about this situation was that as consultants we were often called upon to offer advice and recommendations. Very often this was ignored by clients who proceeded without any consideration of our suggestions.

What resulted more often then not was that the operations failed after their initial attempt. Some that were persistent finally were able to succeed by being adaptable to the local market, others by investing large amounts of capitol and by persistent advertising, again with adaptations have succeeded.

My query is I'm wondering about how many attempts that has succeeded are still in business. and how many READERS, REMEMBER ALL THE CHAINS THAT FAILED.

Such as . "Wimpy's". "Spudnuts", "Angus Steak House", "Chicken Delight" and others.

Irwin
I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

#79 Sartain

Sartain
  • participating member
  • 150 posts

Posted 10 January 2005 - 01:11 PM

I'm heading to Hong Kong next week for nine days. I've looked at recommendations to restaurants in other threads, but I think I've missed Vietnamese recommendations. Anyone want to weigh in on the subject?

While you're at it, any recs on what foodstuffs or spices, kitchen tools to bring back?

Thanks for your help!
Cognito ergo consume - Satchel Pooch, Get Fuzzy

#80 naf

naf
  • participating member
  • 45 posts
  • Location:Paris

Posted 14 January 2005 - 09:03 AM

I am not sure if the Vietnamese food is very authentic in HK. I think Japanese food worths a try though, as HK ppl loves Japanese food, there are many restaurants hiring Japanese chef, and there is lots of competition, there can be some interesting places to go.

some Chinese place that worth trying:
- Modern China (Specialized in Sichuan/Beijing/Shanghai region food)
10 floor, Times Square, 1 Mantheson Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong (underground train station - MTR: Causewaybay, exit Times Square) tel: 2506 2525
It is quite a hot place for the locals, you need to book or at peak hour, wait in line to get into the restaurant. The food is more of modern Chinese style. Food is good. Price is average, total is less than HK$600 for 6 person.

- Eryi Tower (Specialized in Hakka food, Hakka is a southern China province)
1st floor Allied Kajima Building, 138 Gloucester Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong (MTR: Wanchai)
tel: 2511 1228
Since in HK, it is mostly specialized in Cantonese food, it is quite rare to find a Hakka restaurant. We found the food quite inspiring and interesting. Price is good too, around HK$60 per person.

- Tung's House
2nd floor, Pearl Oriental House, 60 Stanley Street, Central, Hong Kong 2571 5168
http://www.tungshouse.com
It is a 'private home restaurant'. It is a food trend started a few years ago in HK, some talented and passionate chefs who got fed up with the industry and start cooking for friends or for food lovers in their home, they never do any promotion or put any signage. But after a while, their good reputation spread, and people start coming despite they might not have license for operating restaurants. Usually, these type of restaurants aren't cheap, but they cook more refine and rare product. Tung's House have dinner menus for 4 starting from $6xxHKD - $9XX HKD.

As for things to take back, I think if you like Chinese cakes or pastries, you can try Kee Wah, shop address in their website. (http://www.kee-wah.com.hk). If you like cooking, maybe it is interesting to bring back some high quality dried food, like dried black mushroom (the better ones are coming from Japan) from some dried food stores in Sheung Wan. (but check your custom's rules before, countries like US are very strict with food import) Run into the local supermarket, Welcome or ParknShop, you can find some sauce that is interesting for cooking, like XO sauce. As for cooking utensils, maybe clay pot can be interesting to bring home. It gives a subtile different taste to food.

Hope this helps...

Edited by naf, 14 January 2005 - 09:07 AM.


#81 HKDave

HKDave
  • participating member
  • 739 posts
  • Location:Hong Kong

Posted 16 January 2005 - 11:55 AM

I am not sure if the Vietnamese food is very authentic in HK.

View Post


It isn't. Most Vietnamese restaurants in HK don't come up to the standards of a basic Vietnamese restaurant in the US, and aren't remotely in the same league as Saigon. There's one new Maxim's outlet called Rice Paper in Gateway Mall that's sort of modern/fusionish Vietnamese. It's at least stylish and not too expensive, but as is too often the case, the food is blanded down to suit Cantonese tastes.

Things to buy:
Kowloon Soy Sauce (mentioned in earlier threads) - I think it's safe to import to USA.

For tools and kitchen equipment, head to Shanghai St., where there's a cluster of kitchen equipment shops that cater to the trade but will sell to anyone. A good place to start is Chan Chi Kee http://www.chanchikee.com/ , and then just walk one block north or south for several more shops. Also more on parallel Reclamation St, 1 blk west. Anything from a Chinese style knife for $10 to a char siu roaster that will fit a whole pig is available. Try getting that into your carry-on....
Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

#82 Ben Hong

Ben Hong
  • participating member
  • 1,383 posts

Posted 16 January 2005 - 06:38 PM

Hakka is NOT a southern Chinese province. The term literally means "guest people", indicative of a certain huge group of people who were dispossessed by one or another civil upheaval in Northern China and were doomed to migrate from their northern homelands into the south where, understandably they were not always welcomed. I repeat, the term Hakka is NOT a province.

Edited by Ben Hong, 16 January 2005 - 06:39 PM.


#83 hzrt8w

hzrt8w
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 3,855 posts
  • Location:Sacramento, CA

Posted 16 January 2005 - 09:59 PM

If you like cooking, maybe it is interesting to bring back some high quality dried food, like dried black mushroom (the better ones are coming from Japan) from some dried food stores in Sheung Wan. (but check your custom's rules before, countries like US are very strict with food import)

View Post

I used to buy bags and bags of dried black mushrooms every time I went back to Hong Kong. But... prices of black mushrooms (dried Shiitake mushrooms) came down in prices and up in quality quite a bit in recent years. In the U.S. Asian grocery markets, a big bag of black mushrooms is priced at only about US $3.99 (the same item used to be over US $12.00). Therefore, I concluded that it would not worth my luggage space (and the energy to shop them in HK) to bring back black mushrooms.

On the other hand, I found what's worth buying and bringing back are those pickled/dried fruit snacks (e.g. pickled/dried plums, pickled/dried olives, pickled/dried lemons). I have shopped all over California's Asian markets and haven't discovered any that carries quality pickled/dried fruit snacks.

Not sure which country you are from, if it is the U.S., you are not allowed to bring in meat products. Dry squids are okay. (In general, dry seafood are okay). Or else I would buy and bring back some beef/pork jerkey.
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#84 helenas

helenas
  • participating member
  • 1,410 posts

Posted 17 January 2005 - 06:33 PM

I'm looking for bamboo wooden (not the usual bamboo plywood steamer) rice pots/boxes that are used by some resturants here in US for a baked rice preparation.
Does somebody know anything about them?
Thank you , helena

#85 naf

naf
  • participating member
  • 45 posts
  • Location:Paris

Posted 22 January 2005 - 08:19 PM

Hakka is NOT a southern Chinese province. The term literally means "guest people", indicative of a certain huge group of people who were dispossessed by one or another civil upheaval in Northern China and were doomed to migrate from their northern homelands into the south where, understandably they were not always welcomed. I repeat, the term Hakka is NOT a province.

View Post


Ben, you are probably right about the origin of Hakka people, what I was saying was just repeating what was printed and translated on their name card. Probably that restaurant just specialized in Hakka food (in Chinese), the term "southern province food" (in English) is actually introduced by them.

#86 Piers

Piers
  • participating member
  • 17 posts
  • Location:London

Posted 12 March 2005 - 09:58 AM

If anyone has any favourite eating experiences they'd like to share, I'm going to Hong Kong for a week, I eat anything that's not endangered, I prefer cafes to fine dining and I'm staying in Tsim Sha Tsui (Miramar). I'm always up for something hot and pungent - any places out there like to fool with the fu yu? :wink:

#87 Pan

Pan
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 15,544 posts
  • Location:East Village, Manhattan

Posted 12 March 2005 - 04:20 PM

Look here, here, and if you like, surf your way through these results of searching for threads with "Hong Kong" in the title in this forum. You'll also want to look at the Melkors' foodblog, starting here.

#88 Piers

Piers
  • participating member
  • 17 posts
  • Location:London

Posted 12 March 2005 - 04:44 PM

Look here, here, and if you like, surf your way through these results of searching for threads with "Hong Kong" in the title in this forum. You'll also want to look at the Melkors' foodblog, starting here.

View Post




Wow. Thanks.

#89 Pan

Pan
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 15,544 posts
  • Location:East Village, Manhattan

Posted 12 March 2005 - 10:03 PM

Glad to help.

#90 anil

anil
  • participating member
  • 1,492 posts

Posted 14 March 2005 - 02:51 PM

If anyone has any favourite eating experiences they'd like to share, I'm going to Hong Kong for a week, I eat anything that's not endangered, I prefer cafes to fine dining and I'm staying in Tsim Sha Tsui (Miramar). I'm always up for something hot and pungent -  any places out there like to fool with the fu yu?  :wink:

View Post


Miramar ?? OK, its on Nathan Rd. Right across from Miramar on the 4th floor are a few really good restaurants - Specially the Yunyan Szechuan Restaurant.

In the basement by Miramar should be a couple of restaurant. Nearby, also in the basement is a very inexpensive dim-sum place for breakfast and good congee.

Go to Temple St., Night market to eat in hot pot cafes. In and around TST you'll find many small cafes/diner/dim sum places.

Since you are going to be there for a week; take a trip to the Lamma island and have a good seafood meal - If you go in a large group; order a set meal.
Really inexpensive meal can be had at Cheung Isl. too.

Sheraton,Intercontinental,Hyatt regency,Peninsula,Langham (in Kowloon) all have top notch restaurants.

A few blocks off Nathan Rd. on Peking Rd you'll find some inexpensive but excellent restaurants.

I was in HKG/MAC in January for a week or so -
anil