Having been working in Hong Kong for 6 months, I thought I would share my top lunch spots around Central, Hong Kong. The infamous two foodie streets of Wellington street and Stanley street are full of top spots for breakfast to dinner; the nearby Gough Street and Gage Street makes it such a good place to explore around for your quality and affordable lunches!
Lok Heung Yuen Coffee Shop 樂香園咖啡室 蛇竇 – 中環機利文新街8-12號地下
The photo above is the infamous place for rice with scrambled eggs and cha siu. To make it even better, you order it with an iced HK milk tea. Everyday this place gets a super long queue at lunch, ideally is the place to go for one or two as this get you into the restaurant faster. Take out is not the same as eating it straight after its cooked. Not to forget to grab the Chinese version of chicken pie which is so gorgeously baked!
The famous Law Fu Kee is the place to be for the best affordable smooth congee. A classic match is to have a bowl of plain congee with some fried soy chow mien, yet I went for their beef congee with a small plate of deep fried fish balls … what a lunch!
Gyotaku 魚作 – 12/F, 11 Stanley Street, Central, Hong Kong
I never get to understand why restaurants are opened in some hidden building blocks, how could you get customers if no one sees this place!? Gyotaku is the same, I found this place on Openrice after loads of positive review of their foods quality. I went a good few times and their set menu for lunch is pretty reasonable with a main and dessert. Tea is in house. The sashimi don is my top choice but their beef stew rice is equally popular!
How can I not mention this famous beef brisket place, said by this name, this is the famous place with a long queue waiting for its famous beef brisket noodle. I have tried both plain beef brisket and curry beef tendon brisket with noodles or flat noodle. My perfect bowl is curry beef tendon brisket with flat noodle. 咖喱牛筋腩粗麺. Done! Don’t be surprised when you give your order and the waitresses have no responses, they are taking your order without any expressions… ah! and when you ordered an ice milk tea, they will call out their shorthand 涼茶 (Bitter tea!) and this is what makes Hong Kong culture totally different to anywhere else!
My favourite place for my bowl of wonton noodle… you know the traditional way to serve a bowl of wonton noodle is where the noodle goes above the wonton. When you see your bowl arrived but without any wontons, don’t panic just dig under your noodles. I had many return visits at this Wellington branch and later on my favourite combo becomes wonton noodle with beef brisket plus a plate of Chinese broccoli, less oyster sauce. Viola!
Its such a dilemma, good to see Sheung wan redeveloping but yet its so sad to see good old traditional shops and restaurants closed down. Sun King Kee is a prime example that got closed down by this cycle… It still deserves a mention! I went to visit a lot at its final month of business. The good old place for a hot bowl of fishballs ho fun with a bottle of vita milk… Hope it will reopen one day!
Lan Fang Yuen 蘭芳園 – 中環結志街2號
A lot of people says this place went downhill as it got famous, I think it can be a hit and miss on the days you dine in this place. The must have is their famous milk tea, I often orders mine in iced milk tea, less sugar and ice! And the next thing is their famous dried instant noodle served with pan fried chicken thigh/pork chop…. there are loads of other choices on their menu and I have had the best deep fried french kaya toast to date in this place!!! Oh and not to forget their pork chop bun are pretty famous too!
You have the luxury choice to visit Tasty in IFC for expensive congee lunch, but if you want affordable and reasonable congee and deep fried dough then this Wai Kee would not disappoint you. A bowl of plain congee and deep fried dough in rice roll comes less than 30 dollars. Additionally speaking, the only place that I managed to get 牛俐酥 (a sweet fried dough) in around Central which are made freshly everyday at their shop.
This place is located in Gough Street, the hipster street in Sheung wan. A small restaurant and again a long queue at lunch. By the window there is a noodle machine to demonstrate their freshly made ramen noodle. I decided to go for the famous Abura ramen instead of their signature plus soy sauce egg; you mix a raw egg in with the meat, bean spouts and the sauce at the base of the bowl. Some people might dislike the al dente texture of the ramen but who likes soft noodles?? A must on Gough Street.
You might have walked past this place so many times and see this place. Its next to a shop that sells DIY items.This place is famous for rice noodles with mixture of toppings of your choice at its reasonable price; you also get to choose your spicy level for your soup base. I went for enoki mushroom, beef and bean curds, my favourite! Just a word of warning, this place is quite small so be prepared to share table with others during lunch hours after queuing.
This place located in the weirdest place in Soho area, at the end a steep road! Even the table and stool are sitting at an angle so when your bowl of noodle arrives, make sure its not rolling down the table. It has pretty much of basic choices of noodles with beef, wonton, trotters etc and what they are also famous for is their bowl of sweet soup and rice ball dumplings with sugar nuts mixture. The location wins more than the food, personally I think this is a good place to absorb the local culture.
If you had the Kau Kee beef brisket then you will have seen this place too, its diagonally opposite it. The famous place for tomato base noodle, personal top pick is beef macaroni in tomato base with an added egg then order a toasted bun with condensed milk on side…the perfect lunch! The UPS of this place of this place is there’s no queue, how do you fight for a space? Stand next to the potential leavers and sit on their seats as soon as they have left…. and yell at the ladies for your order. The local HK culture is amazingly unique!
The list above may not hold all the top quality spots around Central Hong Kong but consist of places that I find special and worth giving a try if you’re in town. Love every single bits of Hong Kong eat out scene!