Wednesday, March 25, 2009

not taipei: Hong Kong

Here are some notes from my trip to Hong Kong last December. I'm headed there again this week, so hopefully I'll get to find more yummy places to eat!


Whether you trust food guides or not, you gotta trust your instincts. So when we thought we'd be adventurous and try modern Vietnamese food our first night in Hong Kong, I knew it could go either way, although maybe somewhere deep inside I knew the picture in the food guide looked a little too fancy for good Asian food.

Walking in, the modern decor and lighting might make it a romantic setting for a date, especially if you can grab a window seat for the view. But decor is rarely more important than food and service.

Perhaps we should have ordered their "make your own rolls" rather than trying an their curry, fish and appetizers, but it seemed a bit overpriced and pretty rather than hearty and fulfilling. If you get the seabass, expect it to be fried and under a mysterious sweet sauce.

The curry with french bread and spring rolls were the best thing about the dinner.

The sugarcane shrimp were interesting- but the shrimp was more processed than fresh, and the foie gras summer roll did not have melt-in-your-mouth foie gras, but rather something akin to dried liver.

While most of the dishes were decent, unfortunately, the service was worse than bad (they were asked for things more than three times before responding (bowl of rice, more water, etc) and they sprayed cleaner on the table next to us while we were still eating (the restaurant was far from closed or empty) and they abruptly cleared our dishes while we were standing up getting ready to leave (they could have waited a few seconds for us to actually gather our things and exit the table).


Had a meeting here, chosen by the person I was meeting. A cute little cafe serving Western style breakfasts- I wish I had taken advantage of reading all the gossip magazines that they had available to read. I thought you couldn't read them until you bought them, until I saw a lady at another table with a stack, Barnes and Nobles style. Free wifi password upon request too!

Get the huge mix grilled combo plate over the others. I eyed the desserts too, but it was too early in the day.


Best for a quick bite to eat- Italian food on couches and low tables. The pizza topped with prosciutto was more memorable than the pastas.

Instead of eating at a restaurant patio, you're eating facing the mall and escalators. We got the lasagna for an additional HKD$7 or something crazy like that, but it tasted as if it could have been from a frozen dinner. I think they are more well known for their coffees than food.

LEI GARDENS- strongly recommend

One of the more well known and popular dim sum joints in town, luckily our local friend made a reservation. Otherwise we would have joined the masses waiting in line for over an hour or so.

Everything came by steaming hot on carts- be sure to get the siu mai, the sticky rice with sausage and stir fried greens (I think it was spinach or yam leaves?)


It's pretty amazing to see this dessert shop all over town- fancy ones like the one near Lei Garden, or to-go ones in the food courts. I don't remember them being around during my last trip to Hong Kong in 2006, but this time they were everywhere. Serving dessert soups, puddings and drinks, the huge menu should be able to please everyone. My favorite is the almond tofu with mango soup and tapioca. (If you're looking for something less local, there's also Ben and Jerry's ice cream here!)

TRIPLE O's- recommend

When my Taipei friend heard I was going to Hong Kong, she said, you HAVE to try the burger place in Pacific Place. So I did. Canada's answer to Fuddruckers, Triple O's had burgers, shakes and fries and a lot of people eating them at their food court. I devoured my Mushroom Cheese burger and thick strawberry shake.

YE SHANGHAI- recommend

A bit of last minute indecisiveness and long wait at led us to eat at Ye Shanghai. It's a elegant spacious restaurant hidden in the back of Pacific Place serving Shanghainese favorites like river shrimp and chili wontons.

I couldn't stop eating the cold appetizer dishes and the crispy rice doused with seafood sauce, but I'd probably pass on the crab xiao long bao and sticky rice dumplings next time.

Like Taipei, it's amazing how every other mall is filled with name brands like Chanel, LV or Gucci, where even in LA, you have to drive to Beverly Hills or South Coast Plaza to shop there. In Hong Kong, it feels like every other major block. But you have to appreciate that the city and stores are open late and so many of the restaurants are regularly open until 11pm.

Lastly, the menu from Curry in a Hurry- Indian food at Times Square City Super food court. I always forget that you have to turn in your order to the main cashier, pay, bring back your proof of payment to the vendor and then get your food. It seems a bit like you're always lining up for something, but I guess it's easier for the cash to be collected in one place for the big bosses!

P413-418, Podium 4
World Trade Centre
Causeway Bay,Hong Kong
(852) 2890 3975

4 Sun Wui Road
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
(852) 2890 2125
8am - 11pm

Lee Gardens, Shop 108,
33 Hysan Avenue
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
(02) 2907 3817

IFC Mall, 3rd FL
Central, Hong Kong
(852) 2295 0238
11:30 AM -3PM; 6PM -11PM

IFC Mall, 3rd FL
(852) 2868 9799

Pacific Place
Great Food Hall, Level LG1
88 Queensway, Hong Kong, China
(852) 2873 4000

Pacific Place
332, Level 3
(852) 2918-9833
11:30 AM to 3 PM; 6 PM to 12midnight

Websites and blogs to note that I will be researching on my latest trip to Hong Kong- I'm gonna see Coldplay there!!!

Any more recommendations on where to eat?

eat drink hong kong
timeout hk


Anonymous said...

What!? They have White Spot: Triple O Burgers in HK!! Thats unheard of, a true British Columiban Classic (I miss Vancouver) ..Did you enjoy it? They ought to bring White Spot or Tim hortons to Taipei

Sapuche said...

I don't even know where to start. Your food adventures in Hong Kong look amazing and make me both hungry and wanderlust. Great photos, especially at Lei Gardens. I look forward to more posts from Hong Kong or Taipei or wherever you happen to go! Thanks for sharing this.

EatTravelEat said...

Wow! So many different great restaurants! I've heard of some of the places you went to, like Lei Garden. I ate at Lei Garden at Guangzhou though. They are also famous for their soups too! Which reminds me...I need to write a post on this place soon...

Anonymous said...

Try Fatburger in WanChai. I like it much more than Fuddruckers - try the heart attack burger - fatburger with a fried egg! ;)

joanh said...

dlin: yeah, my friend made me go try it.. it was pretty good :) i don't know if tim hortons would work here! hahah!

sapuche: thanks!! i'm hopefully going to post my eating adventures in shanghai soon

eatTraveleat: lei gardens was definitely a place that came recommended to us! gotta have dim sum in HK!

cornbread_chris: thanks for the recommendation!! where we eat usually ends up depending on where we stay