|The best restaurants in Hong Kong are sometimes inside closet-like spaces...|
As this list is intended for visitors, most places are easy to get to, though not all are on an average visitor's trail. One day I will split them up into "easy/not so easy to get to", but until then...
For the hot spanking new (but not necessarily wow), you might also like to check out the Heat Maps I did for Eater in January, April and December 2012, and July 2013.
To reiterate: this is a work in progress. Am I an idiot for having left something out? Tell me - comment away!
Seventh Son - top Fook Lam Moon alumni. Cantonese perfection.
Ming Court - great Cantonese classics. Yes, it's in a hotel, but you won't be among tourists.
Kin's Kitchen - the original Tin Hau restaurant is closing, but the second one in Wanchai is just as good.
Celebrity Cuisine - quality, skillful Cantonese fare.
One Harbour Road - precisely cooked dishes, spacious, relatively quiet, great view, no complaints!
Kimberley Chinese Restaurant - that pig!
Lung King Heen - the only 3-Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant in the world etc. but the hype has real substance - food, service, ambiance, view - all tops!
Yan Toh Heen - not the most exciting, but most things are textbook good, and plus it has a great view
Tak Lung - very old school, very out of the way (not far, but just totally off track, in San Po Kong). If you don't have time to go so far out or aren't fully ready for working class HK environs, go to Manor for similar old-school cuisine.
Lei Garden - several branches, apparently Wanchai is best (I've never been). Elements and TST (Tsim Sha Tsui) East branches are quite good. IFC branch is also popular. Avoid Kowloon Bay branch. If you want soup (a Cantonese slow-cooked affair that yields a subtly-flavoured consomme-like broth - not for everyone, but is an elixir to many who grew up with it), you must reserve ahead when calling to book, and don't go too late or everything will be sold out. Get the suckling pig cubes too.
Seventh Son - see above
Duddell's - they do more than dim sum, but dim sum is the best part. Pricey but classy. Beautiful space.
Lin Heung (this links to a post from my early days of food blogging, so please excuse the other random crap on that blog...) - it's old school, and the food is rough n' ready. Some people prefer the newer carbon copy Lin Heung Kui on the corner of Queens St. Each to their own, but either way, go at breakfast-time.
Jade Garden, House of Jasmine - owned by the Maxim's group, these are slightly finer versions of what you'd get at Maxim's City Hall (which is notoriously difficult to get into and not that great, but a decent, 'tame' pushcart experience with nice big windows and a view... ish). However, I can only recommend the outlet at Star House (JG) and Harbour City (HoJ), quality at others can be inconsistent.
Victoria Seafood - learn these three words: char siu so (char siu pastries)
Fu Sing - a lot of people like this place and swear by its char siu. I'm not such a fan, but it's ok all-round. Have the baked char siu buns. One gripe - they don't (always) do steamed rice paper rolls.
West Villa - Fairly consistent, above average, very busy, great char siu.
Tim Ho Wan - ok, it's not the "best dim sum ever", but for those lower-than-low prices, it's very good, as long as you don't mind waiting for about an hour for a table. There's a branch above Hong Kong Station - nice initiation for new arrivals, or a great snack for the wait at the airport (tip: get takeaway to avoid the queue). Original in Mong Kok branch has moved to Olympic - branches in Sham Shui Po, HK station, North Point and possibly more...
Organic/Slow food/New Chinese
Yin Yang - Margaret Xu's now-famous locavore act in a four-storey heritage building. Only a few tables (considered a private kitchen, but not anymore in my books - it's ground level and open to walk-ins at lunch). The food
The Chairman - not exactly organic but back to basics - farm-to-table, locavore, no MSG, traditional ingredients and recipes (to an extent). Pre-order the gum chin gai.
Mott 32 - Sichuan, Cantonese, Pekingese and a bit of Taiwanese thrown in. It has the kind of achingly hip setting that you want to hate, except the food is legit. (And the cocktails are pretty darned good too)
Tai Fung Lau Peking Restaurant - Tsim Sha Tsui, enter on Hart Ave - traditional hot pot (shua yang rou) - i.e. pots with chimneys. They do duck here too but it's not their forte
Kowloon Tang - Elements (the mall above Kowloon Airport Express Station). The best Peking duck I've probably ever had (including in Beijing). The other dishes are Canto though.
Spring Deer - old school fatty Peking duck with ancient, grumpy waiters
Peking Garden - The Alexandra House branch is still my bet in HK for a leaner, super-crisp Peking duck
Shanghainese/Suzhou/Hangzhou/Ningbo (sorry if I've offended anyone by clumping these together - forgive me, I'm an ignorant Cantonese person. No, seriously, Chinese provincial fare has been so bastardised here, they're almost the same thing)
Zhe Jiang Heen - The story goes - some rich dudes got sick of the traffic jams in Central just to get to the Shanghai Fraternity (see above) and decided to open their own place in Wanchai with chefs they trust. The food here is consistently excellent. Pre-order the hongshao rou with squid.
Snow Garden - old school Shanghainese done well. Many of HK's Shanghainese chefs trained there.
Shanghai Fraternity Association - private kitchen/club. Best you know someone or have a good concierge to secure a table
Xiao Nan Guo - cheap and cheerful with good xiaolongbao -not quite as amazing as Din Tai Fung's but half the wait (at least). Cute desserts too.
San Xi Lou - Central/Mid-levels - mala (numbingly hot) hot pot and trad Sichuan dishes, don't order from non-Sichuan menu.
Sijie - private kitchen run by Sichuanese, near Times Square in Causeway Bay. Owner (Sijie) is a hoot - I dare you to down a (BYO) beer with her at the end of service!
Yun Yan - modern Sichuan done well
Man Jiang Hong - TST. I'm not sure if these are the same people who opened the previous MJHs, and hence San Xi Lou above, but the food at MJH is just as good. Environment is slightly rowdier than SXL.
Da Ping Huo is a private kitchen for those who want atmos and hospitality. The chef (wife) usually comes out and sings opera at the end; the husband is the maitre d' of sorts and is a painter. You're generally well looked after by jovial staff. Just don't go expecting "real" Sichuan food. It's been modernised, or (HK-ised?) but still very tasty.
Sheung Hing (or Shung Hing)
Hot Pot (aka steamboat)
There are plenty around town for every budget. The main thing for me is the quality of ingredients.
Da Hong Pao
Megan's Kitchen (they have a decent English menu, and therefore (maybe) you'll bump into a few expats)
San Xi Lou (see Sichuan)
Gaddi's - Peninsula Hotel TST - very trad, some would even say it's camp, with it's frills, gilding and all. Best for the very reasonably priced set lunch for around HK$400. As far as I know Robuchon and Caprice also do reasonably-priced lunch sets. I've personally been to Robuchon and find it to be very good, but for the price, I'd still go to Gaddi's for the whole hog (sterling service). Anyway, L'Atelier discussions shouldn't go under classic French...
Contemporary European and/or French
Amber - Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Central - I've had some truly awesome meals there. One of the first places in HK to cook contemporary European to an international level.
NUR - sort of new Nordic, well executed with a firm vision for sustainable & local ingredients.
Serge et Le Phoque - super fun, casual vibe and sophisticated food in the middle of Wanchai market. There's nothing quite like it in HK.
The Principal - young chef doing interesting things
L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon - JR needs no introduction, but I must say that his Salon de The downstairs (and now at IFC and Elements) does one of the best sandwich deals in town.
St Betty - Shane Osborn (ex-2 Michelin-starred Pied a Terre in London) is behind the stoves. Nuff said.
Mandarin Grill - a classic. Some say it's changed for the worse since molecular influences by Exec Chef Uwe Opocensky came on board, but I still quite like it - usually nothing to fault from a technical level, and the service is tops. Since the crazy inflation our city's been seeing, The Grill is actually now a good deal for fine dining.
"On a lower budget" Western
The Salted Pig - great for big groups, super low-key, comfort food type dishes. The rib rack (cutlet-esque) is always good, and I like that desserts are no afterthought.
Linguini Fini - American Italian, homemade everything including house-cured salumi etc. to varying success, but the pastas are a great deal nonetheless. Uses as much local (organic/sustainable) produce as possible, even pork.
Stone Nullah Tavern - "New American" food on small sharing plates - from chicken fried steak to fennel salad, and beyond. Operated by the same group as Linguini Fini, not quite as cheap, but still cheerful and relatively light on the wallet. Same focus on local, organic, produce, so menu changes sseasonally. Cool vibe.
La Parole - a social enterprise well worth supporting, good food for the price too.
Le Monde d'Ulysse - Gage St, Central - foie gras & duck confit to take home (closest thing we have to a traiteur in countryside France) or eat in.
Otto e Mezzo Bombana - expensive but delicious, especially the pasta and that ribeye for two. Book well ahead, especially now that it has 3 tyres.
Giando - steer clear of the pizza, and you'll be fine. Good for business lunch, smart-casual date night and larger groups (they have a nice round table that seats about 10).
Catalunya - think elBulli-school of Spanish, with a business model like Robuchon - voila.
Tapeo - Decent classic Tapas in Central and Sai Wan HoBCN - also tapas. I've yet to go but have only heard good things
Comilonas - one-table-only private kitchen good for large groups (min 10, max 20). Operated by super-friendly couple Carrie and Lluis (Lluis is from Catalonia), who can customise a menu for you, and best of all, it's well-priced, there's no corkage, and the food is delish - exactly what a private kitchen should be.
Blue Butcher - right, so they don't exactly like to be called a steakhouse, and I guess they have a point - very good dishes all round, from pigeon to pudding.
Ta Pantry - a private kitchen. Not entirely western - Esther, the chef, has a few menus, they're all comfort/fusion-ish, with great flavour combinations.
Grand Hyatt Steakhouse
Steak House at the InterContinental Hotel - Probably the best steaks in town, but I hope you're not paying!
Gold - comfort contemporary American. Big, bold flavours, when you're in the mood for melted cheese on your veal chop and the like.
Bistecca - A decently-priced Italian steakhouse. That said, for the size and decor of the place, in any other city it would be a neighbourhood restaurant, but they sure charge above that.
Shore - they have their own dry-ageing room and everything, so if you're into that and are in finance, you'll feel right at home... Us plebs just go and eat.
If you like to drink and eat...
Ronin - even if you don't drink, the modern Japanese food is sublime. If you do drink, then all the better! Huge range of whiskies, great cocktails. Not really fair to call it a "bar" as dinner would easily run you HK$1k.
Caprice Bar - brilliant cheeses, wines and ultra-knowledgeable staff (and yes, that's Caprice, the 3* restaurant).
121BC - Italian-via-Sydney wine bar and bistro
The bar at Otto e Mezzo - walk in, have a couple of (excellent) cocktails, then ask for the menu - yes, the menu of the Michelin 3* restaurant that requires bookings months in advance. Score.
The bar at Il Milione - gin-focused drinks, but same full-bodied, citrusy style as Otto (same bar consultant), and they have a separate bar menu.
Ted's Lookout - drinks are so-so, the American bar food is pretty good if you're in the mood for sliders and the like. Be prepared to fight for seats with hipsters.
Butler - ok, the food isn't great - it's sort of Japanese western, think spaghetti with cream and mentaiko - but they also always have very good jamon.
Ronin - modern Japanese, not strictly sushi/sashimi, by the crew behind Yardbird. (see Bars with food)
Little Bao - bao-based menu, but don't think Momofuku, because LB is so much more in tune with the Asian palate.
Chachawan - The only Thai that isn't Chinese-ified and that I can heartily recommend in HK. It's Isaan food - so be prepared for lots of extremely spicy dishes.
Chachawan - The only Thai that isn't Chinese-ified and that I can heartily recommend in HK. It's Isaan food - so be prepared for lots of extremely spicy dishes.
Won Pung Won - one of many little Korean-owned and run restaurant in TST, but I like that their food is fresh and not over-sauced, and that they have everything from BBQ to shabu-shabu (sorry I don't know what the Korean name for it is - the servers here call it that too!) to standard, hearty dishes like galbi jim.
Jun-Ko - family-style and one of my favourites. A handy pre-theatre dinner spot as it's close to the Arts Centre etc. Ask for the "raw" kimchi.
Lee's Family Chicken (also known as Chicken Hof & Soju) - three words: Korean Fried Chicken.
Kaya - Russell St, Causeway Bay - BBQ.
Myeongdong Express - looks like a student canteen, and probably is, given its relative proximity to the Polytechnic University. Cheap and cheerful.
Go Koong - [link goes to photos on FB page] fancy menu with a gazillion things, all pretty decent.
Cheong-Jin Dong - both CJD and Go Koong are decent go-tos for Korean, CJD is probably slightly cheaper.
Sushi & Sashimi
Kenjo - omakase is super pricey ($1000+ per head), but if you're not too hungry and order from the menu you can come out only $400 lighter
Sushi Sase - top of my "high end Japanese to go to" list, I've not been yet, but have only heard good things.
Sushi Kuu - "No, OMG, I cannot leave Central!" sushi place. Decently priced for the location and quality (above average).
Sushi Shota for decent sushi and kushiyaki for $200-300 per head (not incl. drinks), Causeway Bay
Great Asia in Wanchai who started off as seafood distributors so their sashimi is good value. Cooked food is less exciting. Decor is pretty weird (fluoro-lit diner meets HK-style quasi-Japanese)
Sushi Shikon (ex-Sushi Yoshitake) - I've yet to blow $3k on a meal here, but reports have been stellar.
Sapporo - it's been here way before the ramen craze, and still holds its own despite the sudden slew of new competition. Moved from Exchange Square to ground level on Connaught Rd. As the name suggests, it's northern and hearty. They have shio and shoyu tares too, but I'd suggest going with the classic Sapporo style with miso. They even have a miso one with a slice of butter on top!
Yachiyo - Moved from the location mentioned in the blog. Won't change your life, but very decent. Classic tares like shio, shoyu and miso, plus spicy miso (which isn't actually spicy...). More Tokyo-style than the now-popular Hakata style.
Daruma - a rich but very drinkable tonkotsu soup. Dogs welcome and bookings taken.
Rasupermen & Raironmen -
Ichiran - 24h, heavy Hakata-style tonkotsu ramen, perfect post-party nosh.
You may have heard about Butao and Ippudo. Well, if you're going to Japan any time soon, don't bother with any ramen place in HK, but if you're not - well, ok, knock yourself out, but please, just don't say something silly like "it's the best ramen in the world" - as you'll see from my post about Ippudo in Fukuoka, Hong Kong ramen is nothing.
Inaniwa Udon Nabe - at Elements. When you need a quickish meal of proper food (and popcorn at the cinema does not count). Very decent, silky, "al dente" udon.
Izakaya / yakiniku / yakitori / kushiyaki
Kusuya Rakuen - izakaya/sake bar. Very casual Okinawan fare, large awamori and sake selection. The bar is the reason I go - it's probably my favourite place to sit in the whole of Hong Kong. Serious. I've never put it on the blog because they're packed as hell already and to make matters worse, have recently shortened their opening hours (1am weekdays, midnight Sat - go figure). Boo.
Yardbird - yakitori (mostly chicken). House-infused sakes, etc., a neighbourhood hang turned the hottest opening of 2011, by ex-Zuma chef Matt Abergel.
Kushiyaki Beco - a casual, neighbourhood-y skewers joint with a focus on beef and other cow bits. Sweetmeat your cuppa? Bingo.
Nantei - before yakitori was hip, there was Nantei. Don't think it's not going to be crowded though, the place only sits about 20 people tops. Book.
Hoka Hoka - if you ever find yourself in a back alley of TST East (I won't judge), hungry for some Japanese bar food and sake - here you go. Full of Japanese businessmen.
Old School HK style
Tai Ping Koon - east-meets-west, kitschy 1950s style. This was considered 'western' food to HKers in the 40's. They're most famous for their chicken wings poached in sweet soy sauce and huge souffles. several branches, I like the ones on Pak Sha Rd, Causeway Bay, and Granville Rd, TST. Decor at Granville is more interesting - timewarp 50s deco.
Australian Dairy Company - not for everyone, and nothing to do with Australia! (See my Openrice review via link)
Kung Wo - tofu paradise, if you're venturing out to Sham Shui Po.
Grassroots Pantry - one of the cutest restaurants in HK, helmed by a passionate team who use local organic produce as much as possible and are very committed to sustainability.
Lok Cha Teahouse - in Hong Kong Park (walk up from Pacific Place, Admiralty) for tea and dim sum in a quaint setting. The dim sum is passable
Three Virtues - bustling, very "local" veg dim sum place. Things get a bit oily, but pretty tasty. North Point (and branches)
Harvester - pay-by-weight lunch spot in Sheung Wan
Amy's Vegetarian - private kitchen if you can ever get a booking
Veggie Palace - also a private kitchen, less difficult to book, in Wanchai.
Vegelink - another veg private kitchen that comes highly recommended. North Point.
Cafe Causette - not a veg restaurant, but a nice selection of perfectly executed and interesting enough vegetarian food, at the Mandarin Oriental
Life Cafe - the Soho standby for your quinoa and salad fix.
Mana! - a newer "fast food" joint by the folks behind Life Cafe.
If you're looking for fine dining, call ahead and St Betty can almost definitely accommodate, as long as you don't mind people around you having steak and the like.
Some are mentioned above under their respective cuisines - just grouping them all together again...
Ta Pantry - see Miscellaneous Western
Comilonas - see Spanish
Seema's Private Kitchen
Mandy's Private Kitchen
Sijie - see Sichuan
Amy's Vegetarian - see Vegetarian
Veggie Palace - see Vegetarian
Plantation - sort of a private kitchen, but more a slow-life clubhouse. Really unique for HK, by the creator of Teakha (see Patisseries below). Get updates via their Facebook Page.
Butcher's Club - exactly the meatfest they sound like, specialising in dry-aged beef.
Brunch (this has stayed pretty empty, because honestly, I prefer dim sum for brunch with friends!)
St Betty - a proper Australian cafe-style brunch, perfectly done. On Sundays they do a delicious Sunday roast (but remember to book ahead).
Amber - I always get sick after their weekend wine lunch, but I always go back. I think that tells you something.
Linguini Fini - cocktails, free-flow Prosecco, organic/homemade focus, you can't go far wrong.
Teakha - scones, Asian teas, and the cutest terrace.
Po's Atelier - Japanese-French-ish
Sift - dessert bar, cake shop and probably Hong Kong's best cupcakes. Sit-down in Graham St original, cafe in Princes Building (both Central), and takeaway in Wan Chai.
Zoe in Causeway Bay - very light, subtly-flavoured, French-ish style cakes.Mandarin Cake shop (not Landmark Mandarin) - you can also sit in now. Gobstopping sugar art on show; great cakes, pastries and bread; rose petal jam makes a great souvenir.
Open Kitchen (ex-Simply Life) at ifc - BAD coffee, but a great place to sit for brunch/lunch, with passable salad boxes, sandwiches and danishes - pretty much the same view as Isola and Four Seasons lobby, but at 1/2 the price!
Xiao Tian Gu - Hokkaido milk puddings!!
Xi Yan Sweets - modern Chinese-ish desserts
Coffee - an expanded version here.
Knockbox - in Mong Kok, helmed by barista champs, "serious" new wave coffee.
Barista Jam - Sheung Wan
18 Grams - Mong Kok and Tsim Sha Tsui (little concession counter in CitySuper). The folks must have been trained in Oz, cause they serve flat whites! Sadly the super cute Causeway Bay location will have to shut very soon due to rent.
Coffee Assembly - Elgin St. One of HK's first boutique roasters, though I think their roasts (in general) lack a bit of depth.
Cafe Corridor - sister store of Assembly, on Russell St, Causeway Bay, opp. Times Square
RabbitHole Coffee - looks like a warehouse/lab, siphon, espresso, drip and more. [link goes to FB photo album] next to the escalators in Central, and now also in Wanchai (a few snacks available in Wanchai)
Unar Coffee - hipsters unite! Tai Hang
Cafe Loisl - Vienna in Sheung Wan/Mid-levels
Coco Espresso - Queen's Rd, Sheung Wan, and new shop in Wanchai
Crema - one of HK's first 'real' coffee places, but due to hidden/inconvenient location in TST East, lack of PR and coffee knowledge of the public, has never had as much great press as the likes of Fuel Espresso. They only use 1 blend.
Xen - specialises in siphon coffee, a bit out of the way in Quarry Bay (bad rhyme unintentional).
Espresso Alchemy - also in Quarry Bay, and the only place for a proper espresso-based drink out there at the moment.
Afternoon TeaClipper Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental
InterContinental Lobby Lounge - the view! The view! And good food too.
Antique - very girly salon. Great macarons, silly prepaid coupon system (but no-one seems to really mind except me!)
Jean-Paul Hevin - the Lyndhurst branch is cuter. Bring me a Guayaquil and I will just about do anything.
Teakha (see Patisseries)
Probably not as much of a concern to visitors, but we are definitely seeing the rise of artisanal breads here and it's worth noting. I don't know about you, but I rely very much on bakeries when I'm travelling alone for a quick carby snack.
Levain - one of the only homegrown, independent bakeries in town (another is Tufei Pain Pain but their selection is too small).
Salon de The de Joel Robuchon - as mentioned above, best sandwich deal in town, but also great cakes and baguettes
Mandarin Cake Shop - if you need a large loaf, like a sourdough rye, call ahead so they can hold one for you because by the afternoon they're sold out. I like their wholewheat croissants too. They have seats if you want to stop for a coffee (but go regular/brewed, not espresso-based)
Bread Elements - ex-Four Seasons pastry chefs, dedicated to their craft. Buy retail from Chez Patrick Deli.
Misc local eats
Mak's on Wing Kut St, Sheung Wan (nb. this is different to the Mak's that most people go to and that you may already be familiar with, which is on Wellington St). This Mak's is the "original" Mak's son; the famous Mak's is his son-in-law and grandson.
Chi Kee - a very decent chain, opened by the Mak's mentioned above.
Cha Chaan Teng - ie. local-style cafes
Kam Fung - the quintessential HKer's afternoon tea is a flaky egg tart and a HK-style milk tea, and one of the best places to get it is here. Wanchai.
Capital Cafe - for a less gritty CCT experience, full of Cantopop posters, also in Wanchai
Australia Dairy Company - see Old School HK
Lan Fong Yuen - junky (but SO tasty) instant noodles with pan-fried chicken, also famed for HK-style milk tea, but it isn't as good as For Kee's, imo. Whatever weird stuff they do with chicken thigh, I love.
For Kee - (old: Part I / Part II [n.b. Part I links to an old, short round-up, in which I say the Sheung Wan ain't worth the good rep it's got for good, cheap food. Okay, so SW's not the best, but I take the "not so great" comment back. I've now grown to love SW, especially For Kee - evident in Part II, in which I call For Kee a "gem". Sheesh, inconsistent bloggers.]) For Kee shouldn't really go under the CCT section, but then again, they do a great milk tea. Their claim to fame is pork chop - it's simply marinated in soy sauce, sugar etc., home style, and pan-fried. Have it on rice, soup noodles or soup macaroni, with choi sum (vegetables), eggs, tomato (and/or - you're the boss!). After about 2pm, they also do pork chop burgers (chop, tomato and mayo - I usually tell them not to put mayo in - personal pref).
Honolulu - best egg tarts at their Wanchai branch.
Dai Pai Dong - eating at sit-down street stalls (read more about the evolution of dai pai dong here)
Ball Kee -'Western' fried rice and other fried rice and noodles. Excellent 'wok hei' (breath of the wok). In a tiny alley off Hollywood Rd, diagonally opposite Lin Heung. Woks right next to you, barking waitress lady, brilliant.
Sing Heung Yuen - macaroni in tinned tomato soup and beef omelet? Yep. It's not for everyone. Australia Dairy (see Old School, above) does macaroni in clear soup with processed ham. It's a HK thing.
Chan Sei Gei - classic DPD experience, better at dinner when they cook individual family-style dishes (usually at lunch it's just spam and eggs on rice)
Yat Lok - roast goose!
Joy Hing - char siu and siu yuk (crispy roast pork) are my faves here. Ask for fatty char siu ("fei cha") if you like it, otherwise the default is lean.
Beef brisket noodles
Sister Wah - clear soup brisket. Better than the famous Kau Kee in my opinion. KK's too fatty and their powdery curry makes me choke.
Law Fu Kee - several outlets in Central
Wai Kee - down n' dirty street market feel kinda place. Go early otherwise the yau zha guai (crullers) will be cold and soggy.
Gai daan zai - I don't really like street food at the stalls on street corners in HK, except for this waffle thing that has protruding oval/egg shapes instead of the standard square/checks. Called 'gai daan zai' and it's a dying art - they just don't make them like they used to. But there are a couple of places that are decent. Note that the Granville guy has moved a little across the street, down towards Chatham Rd - (do check the comments too for more suggestions from more gai daan zai lovers!). And this one, if you're heading to the eastern part of the island, is a must.
Honolulu - my pick for best egg tarts in HK is the Wanchai branch.
Tai Cheong - shortcrust egg tarts. Also try their version of donuts - "sa yoong"
Saint Honore - a chain Chinese bakery. Shops with ovens in-house will have warmed tarts all day. So easy, so good.
Bars - I put together a map of some of my current favourites here.
Wyndham the 4th - creative and meticulous drinks by Hong Kong's World Class Bartender of the Year 2012 Winner Tom Wood. Check out the one that incorporates roasted goose fat from Yung Kee.
L'etage - Another Japanese bar in Causeway Bay, to replace Yu-zen (gone downhill since Butler - see below) and Executive Bar (so serious it can be scary). Could have a larger (a higher quality) selection of pours though.
Butler - Japanese bar - precision cocktails like the well-known Executive Bar but a slightly younger, less scary atmos. You'll still pay through your nose for a drink, but it's the only place to get a proper cocktail on Kowloon side and for that alone it deserves triple-choc-brownie points.
8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo - sure, I love the restaurant, but the bar deserves an entry of its own. I have yet to have a cocktail there that I don't like. The Dandy, in particular, is so comforting, it's my alcohol equivalent of the restaurant's pasta.
Il Milione - They specialise in negronis and other forgotten or old fashioned drinks. Swanky bar with a small food menu.
The Roger Room - boy, do they know how to do a pisco sour. Opened by the same crew as the people behind hot Peruvian spot Chicha, you can also get their food at the Roger Room.
Mandarin Grill + Bar - don't mistake the lounge outside the restaurant for a mere waiting room. Their dry martinis are spot-on, and the warmed, spiced nuts don't hurt either. Usually has space when other Central spots are full.
001 - speakeasy owned by a liquor store. Love their whisky sour and grilled cheese sandwiches. No photos, and increasingly, an attitude, sigh.
Socialito - lethal, delicious cocktails.
Lobby Lounge at the InterContinental - if you don't mind the lobby atmos (it's recently been renovated and has a more demure tone) and live band - it's one of the best places for a eye-level, front-row harbour view (like being on a ferry without the wind, humidity and sea sickness) and the food & drink ain't too shabby either.
Duddell's - a short but sweet cocktail list, but pretty pricey. Beautiful space.
The Globe - a proper pub and the place to go for craft beers.
The Chinnery - a true classic at the (original) Mandarin Oriental. Think pub crossed with cigar room in a fancy private club, with brilliant, hearty food (think Brit curry) as well as an awesome single malt collection.
Mott 32 - see 'New Chinese".