It is not easy to find a place to eat in Hong Kong.
I’m sure there are numerous excellent restaurants but most restaurants are not open to the sidewalks. By that I mean that the entrance is not visible. Often there is just a sign on a placard and an arrow leading up a few flights of stairs or down a narrow alley way. I don’t like to wander off the main drag when I am alone, so that makes finding a place difficult. On my first night in Hong Kong, I had dinner at one of the hotel specialty restaurants: the Chinese dining room. It was noodles with nuts and mixed mushrooms. Simple and simply delicious. This plate, with Perrier water and dessert cost me 183.60 HK$. That is approximately 26 US$,(divide by 7) which I consider reasonable for this healthy meal.
Whenever I was going out later in the day, I would have a simple soup, sandwich and tea ”special” in the hotel lounge. The price was 96.80HK$.
I always travel with breakfast included and this is a great way to ensure starting the day off with a good, hearty meal. The breakfast at the Kimberley Hotel was varied and included eggs, ham, breads and pastries and fruit as well as Asian dishes. I tried congee,(cooked rice ceral) and liked it well enough. A hotel buffet is also a free and easy way to try new dishes.
Luckily, several of my meals were included in group day trips I took. One tour was to Lantau island and lunch was at the Po Lin monastery. It was vegetarian, of course, and full of flavour. The group at my table went at the food so quickly that by the time I took a picture, half was gone. This is a good sign.
I also don’t like to go out alone at night so I will often have my larger meal at lunch time. It is also cheaper to eat in nicer places at midday. One day I went walking in downtown Hong Kong Island and had lunch at the Renaissance Harbour View Hotel: crab soup, pasta Bolognese, bread and tea. The decor was sleek and modern, a contrast with the traditional Asian decors often seen.
Another wonderful midday treat I had was High Tea at the Peninsula Hotel. Yes, there is always a lineup because they only take reservations for the overnight guests, but you are serenaded by a string quartet and there is lots to look at. It is a stunning lobby, very Victorian looking. It is not cheap at 400HK$ but it is a meal and an event all rolled into one. On the tray are delicious little cucumber sandwiches, smoked salmon on cream cheese, prosciutto and a mini vol au vent. Then, the second layer on the tray has the wonderful scones, with cream and jam. If you have room for more food, there are 4 delightful little cakes on the top tier. Eat slowly, sip slowly and savour the food, the moment and the tea.
On my guided visit to Happy Valley and the Hong Kong Jockey Club, dinner was included in the price. It was a huge buffet with food choices ranging from roast beef to fresh fish delicacies. The dining rooms are for small groups with sliding glass doors opening onto the private balconies overlooking the track. It was magical, with the high rises in the background and the lights shining on the race. If you go to Hong Kong, don’t miss it.
Another of my favourite meals was at the Dim Sum Restaurant at the Golden Mile Holiday Inn. I had read a good review and the hotel was within walking distance, so I decided to have a look. Again, the restaurant is not visible from the street. Walk into the entrance of the Holiday Inn, go down the escalators to the basement and walk to the end of the corridor. There it is. I thought is would be deserted but it was bustling with the noon hour crowd of well heeled ladies and lots of businessmen. I was lucky to have a nice table off to the side. The waiter suggested the combo plate and I took his advice and sipped tea and ate peanuts while I waited. I soon had a plate with four beautiful, fresh dim sum. The fillings were abalone, shrimp, lobster and vegetarian. One dim sum had gold shavings on top. .This is supposed to bring me good fortune for the New Year. The price was 168HK$.