Hong Kong is world famous not only for its communal love of food, but of producing some of the best dishes anywhere on the planet. Thanks to its long and multicultural history, you can find almost anything in this modern city, but there are a few classics I always make sure to enjoy when I visit this fun and vibrant city. It was tough to narrow down, but here are my picks for some of the best bites to enjoy in Hong Kong.
Classic dim sum is perhaps what Hong Kong is best known for, and locals all swear by the quality found at Tim Ho Wan. Known as the cheapest Michelin star restaurant in the world, the hour long lines are normal for the king of dim sum. It’s worth it too; the choice and quality of the food was exceptional and all served at normal dim sum prices. It’s not often you can say you got Michelin rated food for $10 or less, but Hong Kong is full of culinary surprises like this one.
This delicious drink has been a Hong Kong staple for generations and is as much a part of its cultural identity as anything else. Simplicity at its best, the Hong Kong-style milk tea is made from black tea and milk, usually condensed, and can be served hot or cold, the latter my style to enjoy in the normally humid Hong Kong afternoons. The drink is a throwback to the British era when locals coopted the practice of afternoon tea and putting their own unique twist on it. When served with some classic Hong Kong snacks, there’s no better afternoon pick me up.
BBQ Pork Buns
This could easily fall under the dim sum category, but I love them so much I decided to list them as a stand-alone bite. If Hong Kong had a national dish, it would be the BBQ pork bun. Steamed to porky perfection, the Cha Siu Bao is a simple but delicious meal. The dough is slightly dense, but incredibly soft with a hint of sweetness that only complements the prize inside – slow-roasted pork tenderloin.
In a city that loves its pastries, there’s no doubt that the egg tart is king. They’re commonly found not only in Hong Kong and Macau, but throughout Mainland China as well. The Hong Kong version is a little different though, influenced by British custard tarts instead of a scorched, cartelized exterior the Hong Kong style is smooth and glassy on top. It’s also delicious and thousands are made every day for customers anticipating their sweet fix for the day.
While there’s plenty of comfort food found throughout the city, Hong Kong also excels when it comes to expertly crafted fine dining. It’s hard to go more than a few steps without stumbling on a Michelin starred restaurant of some kind and they range in tastes, styles and price. I recently discovered one though that seems to encapsulate the best of Hong Kong cuisine, with a modern twist of course. Located on the 102nd floor of the beautiful Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, the 2-Michelin star Tin Lung Heen prides itself on a modern interpretation of classic Cantonese food. In the evenings the restaurant offers a perfectly crafted tasting menu, but if you’re looking for great Hong Kong influenced dim sum then be sure to stop by for lunch. With delicious choices ranging from barbecued Iberian pork buns to steamed rice roll with Wagyu beef to a deep-fried glutinous rice roll with foie gras, it’s hard to know where to start, but one thing is for certain – you’re always guaranteed an amazing and refined dining experience.
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