Hong Kong is renowned for its diverse and international food scene, but of course there’s also a lot of great restaurants which specialize in the traditional Cantonese cuisine of the local South China area. Perhaps the most iconic Hong Kong meal is a family dim sum brunch, with lots of small portions of delicious little goodies presented in baskets. But there’s lots more to Cantonese food than just dim sum! With an emphasis on freshness and balanced flavors, this style of food is popular with both locals and tourists as it is not too oily or spicy. If you’re looking to try out some Cantonese food, then Hong Kong is absolutely the place to be. Here are five of our favorite restaurants which serve Cantonese cuisine.
Picked as one of the 50 best restaurants in Asia, this quiet and intimate space has a simple elegance and commitment to local produce which makes it stand out from the crowd. In fact, it’s so popular that you’ll have to book far in advance to get a reservation. But if you do manage to score a table, you can try out some of the finest and most delicate Cantonese food being prepared anywhere in the city. The use of local ingredients ensures that the dishes are incredibly fresh, and the produce is acquired from small-scale suppliers and is organic wherever possible.
If you just can’t make up your mind about what to pick from the extensive menu, then the tasting menu allows you to sample a wide range of dishes. If you’re going a la carte, The Chairman is famed for their attention to detail on simple classics like the seasonal vegetables with layered bean curd, as well as more elaborate dishes like the delicate steamed fresh flowery crab with aged Shaoxing wine.
Address: G/F, 18 Kau U Fong, Central, Hong Kong
Hours: Mon – Sun, 12:00-15:00 (lunch), 18:00-22:30 (dinner)
Phone: (852) 2555 2202
If you’re looking for the city’s most renowned Cantonese fine dining experience, then you need to head to the T’ang Court restaurant located in the opulent Langham Hotel. With no less than three Michelin stars, it has consistently topped lists of the city’s best restaurants for years. Though the space is large it is by no means impersonal; the furnishings are plush and the atmosphere is relaxed and food-focused rather than the stuffy formality of some high-end restaurants.
One of the most desirable dishes is the rich, crispy roasted suckling pig, and also popular is the smoked cod fish which is a delicate, silky wonder. If you’re unsure of which dish to try, the well-trained waiting staff are knowledgeable and helpful in providing recommendations. Also noteworthy is the T’ang Court’s solid wine list. With food and wine pairings becoming more and more of an appreciated art form in Chinese restaurants, the selection here is strong. The set menus come with wine recommendations which are well-chosen and will help guide you to the perfect bottle to complement your meal.
Address: 8 Peking Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Hours: Mon – Fri, 12:00-15:00 (lunch), 18:00-23:00 (dinner). Sat, Sun & Holidays, 11:00-15:00 (lunch), 18:00-23:00 (dinner)
Phone: (852) 2132 7898
Another outstanding hotel restaurant is the Canton Room, located in the Luk Kwok Hotel. In fact, the Luk Kwok was the first hotel in Hong Kong to open its own Chinese restaurant, all the way back in 1933. Nowadays, for authentic Cantonese cuisine which is fresh and healthy, the Canton Room prepares dim sum and other Cantonese dishes using minimal oils to allow the flavors of the ingredients to shine. If you’re searching for more traditional dishes which are not always available in modern restaurants, like fish intestine casserole, then the Canton Room has you covered.
Stand out dishes here include the golden coin chicken, delicious little spicy nibbles which are actually, contrary to the name, mostly pork-based, and of course the always-popular shrimp dumplings, which have a very light and crispy case wrapped around steamy salty shrimp filling. Don’t forget to leave room to try their puddings, which include scallop Chinese radish pudding and golden water chestnut pudding, both of which are surprisingly light and delicately balanced between sweet and salty.
Address: 1/F, Luk Kwok Hotel, 72 Gloucester Road, Hong Kong
Hours: 11:30-15:00 (lunch), 18:00-23:00 (dinner). Sat, Sun & Holidays, from 10:30
Phone: 852-2866 3806
Tin Lung Heen
Located in the famous Ritz Carlton Hong Kong hotel is the beloved Tin Lung Heen restaurant. From all the way up on the 102nd floor, the restaurant offers stunning views over the city from its huge windows, in addition to Michelin-star-winning food. If you can, snap up a table near a window to gaze out over the harbor and beyond while you dine, particularly at night when the view of the city’s illuminated skyline is spectacular.
The food is traditional Cantonese, and of course the dim sum is what the restaurant is famed for. Dim sum dishes which you can’t miss include the Iberico pork rice rolls which are fresh and juicy, and the matsutake mushroom tofu which is rich and earthy, as well as crowd-pleasing favorites like barbecue pork buns and egg tarts. The a la carte dinner menu shouldn’t be underestimated though, as you’ll find specialties like a broad array of crab dishes and high-quality ingredient-focused dishes like the stir-fried Wagyu beef with Chinese kale and garlic.
Address: 102/F, Ritz-Carlton, ICC, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Hours: Mon – Fri, 12:00-14:30 (lunch), 18:00-22:30 (dinner). Sat, Sun & Holidays, 11:30-15:00 (lunch), 18:00-22:30 (dinner)
Phone: 852 2263 2270
For retro-chic styling that captures the feeling of a 1930’s Shanghai tea house, you can’t miss the quirky and charming China Club, located in the old Bank of China building. The artwork and sculptures set around the club give it a unique atmosphere, enhanced by the presence of a grand piano in the dining room as well as an extensive library of books about the history of China. The rooftop terrace is lively and is the perfect space to while away a few minutes with a cocktail or a glass of fizz before beginning your evening. It’s a members-only club, but it’s worth hunting down a connection to get the chance to visit!
The China Club isn’t just about appearances though – the food is also excellent. The duck dishes are especially good, with crispy, sumptuous Peking duck being a favorite among many diners. There are Westernized dishes like deep fried egg rolls available too, but local wisdom says to skip these and focus on the authentic dishes like the tripe in OX sauce for the best experience.
Address: 12/F, The Old Bank of China Building, Bank Street, Central, Hong Kong
Phone: (852) 2521 8888
These are just a few of the many restaurants in Hong Kong where you can eat traditional Cantonese food. Also keep an eye out for the bold and experimental Bo Innovation, the famous Luk Yu Tea House for dim sum, or the prestigious Tim’s Kitchen for fine dining.