This April, The Dim Sum Diaries turned five years old! Happy birthday to us! When I started this blog, I did it out of a sheer passion for both eating and writing, combined with a little boredom and the need to have some kind of side project for myself. I never could have imagined that people would actually read it and turn to it as a resource for knowing where to eat in our fine city. Yet here we are, five years on, and still going strong!
At the end of every year, as many of you will know, I write a list of my favourite restaurants that I reviewed within that year. To mark the fifth anniversary of my little website, I thought it would be fitting to go through all of my favourites and collate a list of ‘The Best of the Best’ – i.e. restaurants (that are still in operation) that are consistently good, always reliable and places that I consider worthy of taking guests. I have only included restaurants that I have been to a number of times, as I thought it was important to show consistency, as well as affordability, although there are of course exceptional Michelin-starred restaurants that I have been lucky to go to only once that I would always recommend – maybe one day I’ll write a list of those!
For now, I give you my tried and tested list of Hong Kong’s Best of the Best. Keep this on file for the next time you need a trusty and tasty option!
This is not your average Italian restaurant. It’s a cool hangout whether you’re just going for a glass of exceptional Italian wine, or a tapas-style dinner. The menu changes frequently and always impresses. Grab a small group of friends and book the private room for a unique experience.
42-44 Peel Street, Central. +852 2395 0200
At this LKF favourite, ginormous portions of New York-Italian cuisine are perfect for sharing in an old school, pretentious yet comfortable setting with excellent service. I always leave with a full and happy belly.
9/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central. +852 2593 2593
This place is in a league of its own when it comes to Thai cuisine. Dishes such as your standard Thai green curry don’t feature on the menu here, but delicious and seriously spicy northern Thai dishes do. Order the salt-crusted seabass and the grilled chicken thighs.
206 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan. +852 2549 0020
You don’t need a fancy setting for excellent Indian food. Nestled amongst the local food stalls of the Queen Street Cooked Food Centre, Chautari offers some of the best Indian food I have ever had at a seriously low price with great service. I think I’m due a repeat visit very soon.
Shop CF6, Queen’s Street Cooked Food Centre, 1 Queen’s Street, Sheung Wan. +852 2600 4408
I have never met anyone who was not impressed by Chino. Combining Mexican and Japanese flavours may sound strange on paper, but it absolutely works. This is one trendy K-Town hangout that is guaranteed to leave you satisfied.
1B-1C New Praya, Kennedy Town. +852 2606 0588
Birthdays, hen nights, random reunions – no matter the occasion, El Loco Gringo is the place to celebrate. Not only is the Mexican food legit, but after several jugs of potent margarita and shots of tequila, you’ll be dancing on the tables in no time at all. Just wait until the piñatas come down.
49 Bonham Road, Sai Ying Pun. +852 2858 8833
This is a new one that hasn’t yet been featured on a “best of” list, but it most certainly will. I frequent this place at the very least once a week for it’s delicious and healthy salad boxes. The choice of salads is wider than anywhere else and changes daily – I would know, as I do often go there on consecutive days!
54A Hollywood Road, Central. +852 2770 2282
Whenever I have friends from out of town visiting, Ho Lee Fook is always on the list and never fails to impress. I can’t get enough of their dumplings and short ribs, plus the cocktails are pretty good too.
G/F, 1-5 Elgin Street, Central. +852 2810 0860
This is the place for seriously good French comfort food in a cool, unpretentious setting without a high price tag. They do an amazing value group menu for any occasion. Don’t go too hard on the starters, as, believe me, you want to make it through the main courses and definitely save room for dessert!
G/F, 5 Wa Lane, 227 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan. +852 2426 0880
I cannot recommend this exceptional French restaurant enough. Its new location is even better than the original and much bigger too. Go hungry and very thirsty as, naturally, the wines are quite special. Let Cristina work her magic at recommending suitable pairings and you won’t regret it.
I/F Tai Yip Building, 141 Thomson Road, Wan Chai. +852 2782 6689
Simple, homely, down-to-earth Italian food and an impressive selection of vermouth. This is just as great a place for a date night as it is for a casual dinner with friends, or even a big private party on the roof. There’s nothing fancy here, it’s just traditional Italian food done right.
29-30/F, 239 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai. +852 2887 0207
This is comfort food at its very best. Although they do use only the best organic ingredients, nothing about this place is healthy, but yet it is so worth every calorie. Chef Vinny has reinvented American food and made it super cool and utterly delicious. This is a trusty favourite that always satisfies.
69 Stone Nullah Lane, Wan Chai. +852 3182 0128
There’s a reason this place is packed every single night of the week. Don’t let their no-reservations policy, nor the fact you might have to wait two hours for a table put you off. Just order a drink and some Korean Fried Cauliflower and you’ll soon understand what all the fuss is about.
35 Bridges Street, Sheung Wan. +852 2547 9273
So there you have it – my collection of trusty favourites from the past five years of reviewing Hong Kong’s many, many restaurants. That should keep you busy for some time!