Need an insider’s guide to the best street and fine dining eats in the sprawling cities of Asia? Look no further than our Honk Kong-based, resident connoisseur and Contiki Insider Emilie Sullivan. It gives us great pleasure to present the second of four courses in Emilie’s Guide To Chowing Down On The Best Asian Eats: Part Two – Big Experiences On A Budget In Hong Kong.
We travel for experience. The opportunity to add stories to our dinner party repertoires, to see, taste and live moments that are otherwise unavailable in the place we call home. In general, these experiences come at a cost, forcing us to pick and choose between all the fabulous places where we’d planned to ‘check in’. With budget in mind, this month I offer you a few great ways to get the most bang for your buck with quintessential Hong Kong experiences and access to bragging rights that won’t cost you the world.
THE MICHELIN EXPERIENCE: DIM SUM
A visit to Hong Kong is incomplete without experiencing an all out Dim Sum degustation. This traditional Cantonese cuisine is historically a lunch time affair, wherein from a dizzying selection of dishes you select numerous smaller dishes to devour. So legendary is Dim Sum’s greatness on the global gastronomic scale that two select venues in Hong Kong have received the much lauded Michelin stamp of approval. In other cities, the opportunity to say you ate Michelin endorsed grub requires hundreds of dollars and plenty of forethought to book in advance. Not so in HK, where each restaurant listed here will set you back around $25 AUD per person – an absolute steal considering you’ll need to roll right on out of there. Think BBQ pork buns, plump glistening shumais ‘dumplings’, deep fried taro and almond dumplings with mayonnaise and, if you’re feeling adventurous, steamed chicken feet with black bean sauce.
Photo via Another Header
Where: G/F, 9-11 Fuk Wing Street, Sham Shui Po, and several other locations
ONE DIM SUM
Where: Shop 1-2, G/F, Kenwood Mansion, 15 Playing Field Road, Prince Edward
APLIU STREET FLEA MARKET
THE WORLD FAMOUS RESTAURANT EXPERIENCE: ZUMA BRUNCH
There are few things more bougie-lush than contemporary Japanese restaurants. All that streamlined interior design, Zen lighting, raw fish and a dainty saki cocktail brings out the smug Carrie Bradshaw in all of us. However, $20 for a piece of sashimi means that this cosmopolitan experience is generally left to those of more lavish means or much smaller appetites.
If you find this so depressing, never fear; I have a lovely little life-hack up my sleeve. World-renowned Zuma is the brainchild of British restaurateur Rainer Becker. It’s an Izakaya inspired luxury restaurant with outposts in London, Istanbul, Dubai, Miami, BKK and Abu Dhabi. Basically, it’s the final word in Chi-Chi jet set. Every weekend Zuma offer a famous brunch experience: all you can eat DELICIOUS sashimi buffet, a choice of sensational entrées and mains and free-flow (yes, that’s right) Veuve Clicquot. Compared to the other choices on this list, it’s still reasonably expensive at $90 AUD per head (half of what you would pay for dinner here), but if you soak up Champagne like I do, they’re basically losing money – so it seems only fair.
ZUMA HONG KONG
Where: Landmark Level 5-6, 15 Queen’s Road, Central Hong Kong
Phone: +852 3657 6388
Monday – Thursday 18:00 – 23:00, Friday & Saturday 18:00 – 23:00, Sunday 18:30 – 23:00; Brunch
Saturday 12:00 – 15:00, Sunday 11:00 – 13:00 & 14:00 – 16:00.
Phone: +852 3695 3388
Hours: Monday – Saturday: 10.00 – 21.00;
Sunday: 10.00 – 19.00
Photo via Lifestyle Asia
Photo: Tom Spender via Flickr
THE IN-THE-KNOW FINE DINING EXPERIENCE: LUNCH AT ON LOT 10
On Lot 10 is a hidden gem just off Sheung Wan’s Gough Street. It’s impeccable French fair of the highest caliber by David Lai, the chef and owner who has worked in Alain Ducasse’s top kitchens in America and Monaco. Dinner is typically $100 AUD, but come by for lunch and you can score an entrée and main for approximately $15 AUD! Choices will vary between pâté Provençale, grilled salmon, oven-roasted Cornish hen, a very creative spin on Caesar Salad and slow roasted lamb. This is a local haunt, so it’s a great opportunity to brag about your newly-acquired insider knowledge.
ON LOT 10
Where: 34 Gough Street, Central, Hong Kong
Hours: Monday – Saturday: 11:30 – 21:30;
Sunday: 12:00 – 19:00
Photo via Oriental Daily
Photo via Open Rice
Photo via Big City Small Apartment
Photo via bdeblanch
Hong Kong’s best-kept secret is its abundance of natural beauty. Less than one hour drive from the buzzing metropolis you can find a slower pace of life reminiscent of Hong Kong’s South East Asian neighbours. One of the best spots for a day trip is Sai Kung, an age-old fishing village where locals and expats live side by side on the beautiful bay. Don’t be daunted by the distance, Sai Kung is located in the eastern new territories and easily reached by MTR and mini bus – just take the MTR from Central to Choi Hung station, then take exit C2 and minibus 1A to the very last stop.
Get all up in the latest local knowledge from our troupe of Contiki Insiders:
The Epicurean Guide To Chowing Down On Asia’s Best Eats (Part One)
The Skateboarder’s Guide To Australia’s Best Skate Spots (Sydney Edition)
The Clubber’s Guide To Paris (Parts One and Two)