Happy new year! I’m still getting my head around the fact that it’s now 2017 and yet another year has whizzed past! Wasn’t it 1999 just the other day?! 2016 wasn’t just any old year though – it was a pretty special year with a number of important life events.
2016 was a big year for The Dim Sum Diaries too, as we celebrated the blog’s fifth birthday! It’s hard to believe I’ve been reviewing restaurants for almost six years now! To mark this milestone, I put together a list of what I think are the best restaurants in Hong Kong that I had reviewed during the five years since I started the blog. Of course it’s very difficult to narrow down the countless restaurants this city has to offer though, especially with such a high turnover and new players joining the mix.
Last year, I actually reviewed less restaurants than previous years, partly due to a new job that meant more hours in the office and less hours eating and writing, and partly due to my pretty strict pre-wedding eating plan. You may have noticed that most of my restaurant reviews last year happened after May, once I had already fitted into my wedding dress!
Before Christmas, I posted my shortlist for the best restaurants in Hong Kong of 2016 and asked you all to vote for your favourite. Thank you to all of you who took the time to place your votes. I will announce the winner at the end of this post.
As always, cutting down the shortlist to only 10 restaurants was a very challenging task, but one that had to be done. And so, here you are – below is a list of the top 10 restaurants in Hong Kong that I reviewed in 2016, in the order in which I visited them. I’ve decided to make a little addition this year and list each restaurant’s stand out dish, just in case you’re undecided about what to order!
This was one of the first restaurants I reviewed in 2016 and I immediately knew it would make it to the top 10. Everything about this place is complete perfection – from the quality and creativity of the food, to the impeccable service – and I have not stopped recommending it to everyone who asks.
Stand out dish: roast suckling pig
3/F, 18 On Lan Street, Central +852 2728 0178
I didn’t think Le Bistro Winebeast could possibly get any better, until I visited it at its new home on Thomson Road. This is easily my favourite French restaurant in Hong Kong and one that I cannot recommend enough. I love the fact that it is run by a husband and wife team who are just so passionate about what they do. The food is exquisite, without the ridiculous prices usually associated with high end French cuisine.
Stand out dish: stuffed cabbage with quail and foie gras
G/F & 1/F Tai Yip Building, 141 Thomson Road, Wan Chai +852 2782 6689
Where can you find the best steak in Hong Kong? Definitely at Buenos Aires Polo Club. I think we must have eaten a whole cow worth of steak at this place last year and we now even have our own steak knives with our names on them!
Stand out dish: obviously the steaks! Particularly the bone-in ones. Oh, and that bacon…!
7/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central +852 2321 8681
I have to force myself to stay away from this place, or I’d be in danger of eating there every single day! Who knew vegetarian food could be so addictive?! This is my absolute favourite place to go for lunch during the week and I’ve even managed to get a number of carnivores hooked!
Stand out dish: the flatbreads – one of my go-to combinations is the red base with halloumi, rocket, adzuki beans, roasted red onions and chipotle sauce. I am also obsessed with the Chris Crunch Cookies…
G01 & 101 Nexxus Building, 77 Des Voeux Road Central +852 2777 4777
If you’re looking for the best pizza in Hong Kong, I’d say this place is definitely up there. The only thing is, it’s pretty dangerous – once you start on the aperol spritzes, it’s really hard to stop, especially as there are so many varieties, that you kind of have to try every one on the menu! It’s easy to spend a long, leisurely evening here, sipping aperol and gorging on pizza.
Stand out dish: salsiccia e porcini pizza
Shop 105, G/F, The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay +852 2388 7787
This was without a doubt one of the best restaurant openings of 2016. When I go out for dinner, I look for somewhere with great food, a fun vibe and good service, and Rhoda more than ticks all of those boxes. The annoying thing is that it’s so good, it’s often hard to get a booking!
Stand out dish: the chocolate with mint and marshmallow dessert
G/F, The Upton, 345 Des Voeux Road West, Sai Wan +852 2177 5050
With three Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s name behind it, I expected Mercato to be super fancy, fussy and expensive, but it wasn’t at all. It is actually very down to earth, comfortable, with simple yet delicious Italian food.
Stand out dish: the crispy beef short rib and also the sundae with salted caramel ice cream, candied peanuts and popcorn.
8/F, California Tower, 32 D’Aguilar Street, Central +852 3706 8567
If there’s one reason to face my fear of Causeway Bay, it’s ALTO. The food is exceptional and affordable and the views over the city are incredible. I’ve been following (not stalking, I promise!) Chef Mike Boyle since he was at AVA all those years ago and his cooking has never disappointed me.
Stand out dish: the black truffle pappardelle
31/F, V Point, 18 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay +852 2603 7181
With a famous chef who specialises in Lebanese cuisine for an uncle, Alex Malouf kind of knows his stuff! If you’re looking for seriously good Lebanese cuisine in a comfortable setting, Mama Malouf in Kennedy Town is a good bet, whether for a hearty dinner or a yummy brunch.
Stand out dish: slow-cooked lamb shoulder, or the shakshuka for brunch
93 Catchick Street, Kennedy Town +852 2817 3828
A meal at Fish School is not only delicious, but educational too, as its name would suggest. I love that the seafood is locally sourced and that the menu is kept nice and simple. When you’ve good produce this good, simple is all you need.
Stand out dish: pan-fried dover sole
100 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun +852 2361 2966
People’s Choice Award
Thanks once again to all of you who took the time to cast your votes for your favourite restaurant. There was a lot of love coming through and some really nice comments.
There were some clear favourites, including Fish School, Mama Malouf, and Mercato.
But there can only be one winner! So, with 26% of the vote, the winner of the People’s Choice Award goes to……HOME EAT TO LIVE!
I’m excited about another delicious year ahead in which to explore more and more of our fine city’s tasty restaurants. Let’s see if I manage to even make a dent on the ridiculous amount of restaurants on offer!
As always, if anyone has any recommendations, please do send them my way. Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org – it’s always great to hear from you!
Here’s to an excellent 2017 filled with lots of love, happiness and all your favourite foods!