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Sampling Hong Kong’s Best Restaurants

A chef at work in the Golden Valley kitchen.

Photo: Christian Kerber

From the free candy you get upon landing at immigration to the noodle-soup station at the business-class lounge dishing out shrimp wontons at dusk, a trip to Hong Kong is framed by sustenance. The relative compactness of the city, the tight embrace of its subtropical climate, the excellent subways and cheap taxis—everything conspires to move you about until you find the perfect little air-conditioned hole-in-the-wall where, at three in the morning, a small family will be slicing up mangoes. Food is personal here, bad food an insult, good food a blessing, and the best way to see Hong Kongers at their most communal and animated is to follow them directly to the table.

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Destinations: Hong Kong · Kowloon · Central · Wan Chai · Tsim Sha Tsui

Inspired by: Hong Kong's Best Restaurants — by Gary Shteyngart, Published Aug. 2009

Hotels (8)

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    Novotel Nathan Road

    Located on Kowloon’s Golden Mile, a major shopping thoroughfare, this 15-story hotel is within a five-minute walk of the Jordan railway station, as

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    Hotel Jen

    Small rooms with clean lines and pale wood furnishings.

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    The Langham, Hong Kong

    Italianate grandeur is the aesthetic of choice at this Kowloon property, set a few blocks away from the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront (with its Star Fer

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    Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong

    Brand new in 2005, this 399-room waterfront property has a gargantuan, decadent spa (try a Chinese Wellness Ritual, which begins with a tea ceremon

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    Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong

    A stem-to-stern renovation completed in 2006 (to the tune of $150 million) renewed the luster of this legendary property—a decades-long favorite of

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    The Peninsula Hong Kong

    Since 1928, this Hong Kong institution has defined the luxury hotel experience, and although certain kinds of travelers (especially lovers of sleek

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    Kowloon Shangri-La, Hong Kong

    688-room hotel on Kowloon's Tsim Sha Tsui East waterfront, with floor-to-ceiling bay windows in every room.

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    InterContinental Hong Kong

    The infinity pool on the terrace of the new $12,468-a-night Presidential Suite at the InterContinental appears to share water with Victoria Harbour

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Restaurants (11)

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    Yan Toh Heen

    The restaurant, overlooking the harbor, serves delightful sweet barbecued pork buns, steamed rice-flour cannelloni with diced scallop and crabmeat,

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    Tin Heung Lau

    The famous Longjing tea leaves from the Hangzhou region make the stir-fried freshwater shrimp taste sweet and earthy, but the star of the show is m

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    Sheung Hing Chiu Chow Restaurant

    The menu here is worth the harrowing squeeze into the tiny dining room. There’s a duck leg in lemon soup that flakes right off the bone; there’s th

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    Olala Charcuterie

    For a brief pit stop try Olala Charcuterie, where you can score a refreshing salad with extra-lean Serrano ham and an undercurrent of beets. Sturdi

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    Lei Garden

    This chain of uncomplicated Singapore-originated restaurants manages to do just about everything right. Feast on standards such as lobster with gin

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    Golden Valley

    Money, food, and gossip fuel Hong Kong, and you can find a nice combination of the three at the Golden Valley restaurant at the Emperor Hotel, in H

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    M Bar

    The M Bar at the Mandarin Oriental hotel allows you to gaze straight down onto the harbor from the 25th floor. The Earl Grey “mar-tea-ni,” rimmed w

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    Cépage, Hong Kong

    From the lightly provocative art by Mao Tong Qiang (the iconic Iwo Jima soldiers hoisting a gigantic dollar symbol instead of the Stars and Stripes

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    Lung King Heen

    This is the only restaurant in Hong Kong to get three stars from the 2009 Michelin guide, and the locals were not all pleased. Sample harangue: “Th

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    Felix

    The glowing harbor from this restaurant's 28th floor window resembles a nautical Times Square with boats beating their way across the water, framed

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    Bo Innovation

    This controversial restaurant serving molecular cuisine originated as one of Hong Kong’s storied private kitchens and then morphed into what it is

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Activities (3)

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    MingCha

    Vivian Mak, the founder of MingCha tea shop, is a walking encyclopedia of tea. We recommend the jasmine blossom ($13).

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    Salon de Ning, Hong Kong

    Salon de Ning is a pleasantly weird place to get blitzed on fruity pink Deutz champagne while lounging among the dandiest collection of antique bri

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    China Club

    To begin your Hong Kong culinary education, have your hotel wangle an invitation to Saturday brunch at the China Club, a members-only oasis taking

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