Ken Hom, the celebrity chef, recommends the best places to eat in Hong Kong in five courses
A typical brunch
At Din Tai Fung I had one of the best xiaolongbao – little soup dumplings filled with broth and served in a bamboo steamer – that I have ever had. There are lots of things from Taiwan and it’s popular because it’s cheap. You have to queue because they don’t take reservations, but it’s worth it. Go with friends, so you can try a nice assortment of dishes. The restaurant is part of the Din Tai Fung group, whose outlets have maintained great consistency. This one is on the Hong Kong Island side.
Din Tai Fung, Shop G3-11, 68 Yee Woo Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong (00852 3160 8998, dintaifung.com.tw/en). Three courses £12-£15, without drinks.
A really nice place to go for dim sum is Island Tang. It’s decorated in the old Hong Kong style of 30 years ago, so it has atmosphere. Lots of Chinese in the know go there. It’s the usual cast of characters – barbecued pork buns, steamed dumplings, stuffed peppers – but presented in an unusual way.
There’s also Nha Trang, which does Vietnamese food but in the spirit of Cantonese: very light, full of flavour, fresh. The pho noodles and the Vietnamese spring rolls are especially good. Finally I would go to Yung Kee, an old restaurant that’s still very good and famous for its roast goose. They also make wind-dried pork and liver sausages which are slightly fatty and made with wine, so they’re very rich. All the fat goes into the rice, making it taste unbelievable.
Island Tang, Shop 222, The Galleria, 9 Queen’s Road Central, Central (2526 8798; islandtang.com). Dim sum lunch £23-£39. £ Nha Trang, 88-90 Wellington Street, Central (2581 9992; nhatrang.com.hk). Three courses £15-£27.
Yung Kee, 32-40 Wellington Street, Central (2522 1624; yungkee.com.hk). Set menus, all including roast goose, £29-£49; à la carte, takeaway and “deluxe” set meals (seven to 11 lavish courses) also available .
My favourite place is Yan Toh Heen, which has a Michelin star. You get an incredible view of the harbour, all the fittings are jade, and the chef, Lau [Yiu Fai], deserves two stars for the refinement of his cooking. I had Peking duck with pears and grapefruit. The pears were slightly sweet so you didn’t need a sauce; the grapefruit was acidic, which cut through the richness of the duck skin. Genius.
Yan Toh Heen, InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Kowloon (2313 2323; hongkong-ic.intercontinental.com). Three courses £22-£229; signature menus £162-£255.
Amber, The Landmark Oriental Hong Kong, 15 Queen’s Rd Central (2132 0066; amberhongkong.com). Tasting menus £146-£224; three courses £101-£181.
The most popular place in the city is the Lobby Lounge at the InterContinental hotel, which has a panoramic view of Hong Kong island. It’s all glass, so people just sit and stare. Sometimes you don’t even talk to the people you’re there with because you’re gog-eyed, especially at night. The Chinese like it because it has good feng shui; I like to go for a dry gin Martini or a glass of champagne.
Lobby Lounge, InterContinental Hong Kong (details above). Cocktails £11.
What I like about Kin’s Kitchen is that the owner is a food critic who opened a restaurant – and it’s good. He’s taken traditional, home-cooked Cantonese recipes which I haven’t seen in 30 years and made them popular again. The crispy chicken is the best you’ll eat. At the last minute they ladle hot oil over it, so the skin is super-crispy, the meat is moist and melting, and you dip it in a Szechuan pepper and salt mix.
Kin’s Kitchen, 5/F, W Square, 314-324 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai (2571 0913; kinskitchen.com.hk). Dim sum £1.90-£3.70 each; three courses £17-£34; set menus £49 and £99 for two and four people.
Wu Kong, Basement, Alpha House, 27 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon (2366 7244; wukong.com. hk). Three courses about £12, four-course hairy crab meal £31.