As a compact city with more than 14,000 restaurants, Hong Kong could be described as a dining district in itself. Where to go? Culinary discoveries can be made just about anywhere in the city. However, check out these foodie neighbourhoods, where the business of cooking and eating really does take precedence to everything else.
In Aberdeen, modernity meets tradition with skyscrapers overlooking a community living on traditional junks. The typhoon shelter on the south side of Hong Kong Island is also a popular seafood dining spot and home to Jumbo Kingdom, one of the world’s largest floating restaurants.
Designed like a Chinese palace, the restaurant can seat up to 2,300 diners in a multi-faceted complex, which includes a tea garden and a gourmet restaurant serving high-quality traditional Chinese and modern fusion dishes.
No.2: Lan Kwai Fong
Lan Kwai Fong is one of Hong Kong’s most popular nightlife hot spots and home to over 90 restaurants and bars. The atmosphere ranges from stylish wine pairings to raucous jelly shots and the food on offer is as diverse as the clientele.
Thanks to Hong Kong’s dominance in Asian cinema, this centre of late-night revelry is so renowned that its official street sign is more photographed than many of the celebrities who haunt its clubs. Mostly, the area is crowded with people from the surrounding offices of Central, eager to shake off the working day or week. Get in the thick of it with a street side perch, or watch the antics on the road below from one of the upper floors.
Lan Kwai Fong usually hosts carnivals and other celebrations during major festivals, such as Halloween, Christmas and New Year and has its own beer festival.
No.3: Lei Yue Mun
The fishing village of Lei Yue Mun is a slice of old Hong Kong alive and well in the modern metropolis. About 150 years ago, this village was dominated by fishing, farming and mining. From the 1960s, it began to gain a reputation as a good spot for alfresco seafood dining. The ordering method is quite unusual: first you buy your fish from a tank in a market stall; then you take it to one of the nearby restaurants, which will prepare it for a fee. Overall, the price is reasonable and the seafood is very fresh. While experience the city’s living culture first-hand, drop by the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Lei Yue Mun Plus, an abandoned school that has been converted into educational, heritage and arts centre where you learn more about its culture and history.
Take a taxi from MTR Yau Tong Station or a ferry from MTR Sai Wan Ho Station.
No.4: Murray House
Among the more interesting sites in the fishing village of Stanley is Murray House, a 160-year-old restored three-storey colonial building that was dismantled in 1982 and transplanted from its original site in Central to be rebuilt on the Stanley waterfront. The picturesque village on the south side of Hong Kong Island is gaining a reputation as a gourmet hot spot and foodies are drawn to the restaurants on the first floor of Murray House, some of which have great sea views.
No.5: Stanley Main Street
A visit to Stanley Market usually goes well with some alfresco seaside dining along the main street of this small fishing village. The food is international, the restaurants are laid-back and the South China Sea views are pleasant. There are even more alfresco dining options at the nearby Murray House.
No.6: Sai Kung Seafood Street
Sai Kung is known as ‘Hong Kong’s back garden’ because of the beautiful hiking trails and beaches in this area. The village of Sai Kung is also noted locally for its seafood restaurants, many of which congregate on the seafront, known as ‘Seafood Street’.
These laid-back eateries are a great way to recover from a day walking the hills, though the freshness of the seafood and the charm of Sai Kung village are enough to justify coming here to eat without hiking the hills.
MTR Choi Hung Station Exit C2, then take the minibus route 1A. MTR Hang Hau Station, then take the minibus route 101M.
Referring to the area south of Hollywood Road, SoHo is the multicultural wine, dine and swanky nightlife side of Central. The upmarket bars and exotic restaurants of SoHo’s historic and narrow streets are chic to the extreme.
Come during the day to explore the neighbourhoods attractive fashion boutiques, art galleries and antiques shops. Indulge in lunch and a glass of vino or hang around for sundown, when SoHo really comes into its own.
MTR Central Station, Exit D2, walk along Queen's Road Central towards The Center. Then take the Central–Mid-Levels Escalator and get off at Staunton, Shelley or Elgin streets.
No.8: Kowloon City
This erstwhile industrial district is now a gourmet neighbourhood of international cuisines, with Asian specialties very much in the spotlight. Southeast Asian, Thai, Chiu Chow and Cantonese food and local desserts are available in inexpensive and unpretentious family-run eateries.