Hong Kong is a harbour city and water transport is everywhere. Travelling on the harbour, especially at night with the city views and lights – is truly magnificent. No trip here is complete without a ride on the Star Ferry. This is the best value tourist event in Hong Kong. Try and catch a sailing just before 8 pm. The boats stop mid-harbour for a few moments so that tourists can take pictures of the nightly Symphony of Lights Show — a magnificent son et lumière that incorporates lights and lasers from 44 waterfront buildings on both Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. Another great vantage point is on the waterfront in front of the Intercontinental Hotel, Kowloon.
My personal favourite vantage point is Aqua Spirit, at One Peking, a fabulous bar with great cocktails.
Tim Ho Wan Dim Sum Restaurant
A must on this latest visit, was to finally eat at the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant, Tim Ho Wan dim sum restaurant, in Mongkok – by all accounts, not only a mission to get there, but a mission to get a table. So armed with the address that I have had for ages, we set off early hoping to have lunch sometime in the day ! The queues are notoriously long and the venue small. Standing in the right street and looking for the queue, a passerby tells us that the restaurant is no longer there, as the landlord had upped the rent, and the restaurant had moved on. This was definitely proving to be a mission. With vague directions we set off again …. these dumplings had better be good !!
The new location in Olympia City 2, is large bright space, probably seating 100. The service is fast and remarkably efficient, remember you are not there to ‘dine’, just to eat. If you time your arrival well, we got there about 11.45 am on a Monday, there was no wait. By the time we left, the queue was forming.
Their signature baked bbq porks buns did not disappoint and were the highlight, we had two serves of three pieces each. Next were the steamed prawn dumplings, chia-chow style dumplings and vermicelli roll with bbq pork. Another signature dish which we didn’t have, is the chicken feet in black bean sauce.
Definitely a ‘must go to’ when you’re in Hong Kong.Tim Ho Wan Shop G72 A & B, G/F Olympian City 2, 18 Hoi Ting Road Mongkok Open 10.00am – 9.30pm Directions: Olympian City MTR station. Go to Olympian City 2, heading toward Olympian City 3. Look for the McDonald’s on the ground floor (right at the end of the mall), then exit the mall through the doors by McDonalds. When you are facing the main road, Hoi Wang Road, turn right, and Tim Ho Wan is around the corner on street level.
Stars ( Michelin) Again – this time in TST
Ah Yat Harbour View Restaurant
When you enter the restaurant on the 29th floor, a breathtaking view of the harbour and Hong Kong Island awaits. The restaurants original location was in Wanchai, but it moved to Tsim Sha Tsui’s iSquare Mall a couple of years ago. Ah Yat is a quiet, sophisticated space, with subdued lighting, unlike many Chinese restaurants in Hong Kong. This is traditional Cantonese cuisine, beautifully served and presented.
We chose an la carte menu, as the degustation menu listed far too many courses for our appetite. We chose a couple of their signature dishes, crispy skinned chicken and a steamed whole fish, together with some beautiful vegetables and their claypot fried rice. Although abalone is famous here, I’m not a real fan.
63 Nathan Road Tsim Sha Tsui Phone: +852 2328 0983
Nobu, InterContinental Hotel
Japanese cuisine is an absolute favourite, and this was certainly a treat.. The restaurant is small so reservations are a must. Every seat in this buzzy space has a great view of the harbour, so it really doesn’t matter where you sit. The only booking available the night we went was at the Sushi Bar, which was great as we watched all the action close up.
We probably didn’t do the menu justice in our ordering, as we had had a long ‘happy hour’ with nibbles, to keep us going till our late booking. We enjoyed an amazing mix of tastes and textures, a truly exciting cuisine, where every dish was an experience in itself.
A Not-So-Starry Dinner
Hong Kong’s famed ‘Private Kitchens’ have been on my must-do list for ages. They first started opening when amateur chefs decided to give restaurants a run for their money. Many operate out of office blocks or residential buildings and have little or no signage; you often only find the specific address when you make a booking. They are generally small places, and in most cases you can expect to enjoy high quality, home-style Chinese food in unusual surroundings, many are so popular you need to book well in advance.
Our first choice, was Fa Zu Jie. We tried three times in as many weeks to secure a reservation, but no luck.
Fa Zu Jie, is not easy to find. It’s located at the far end of a narrow alley, behind a street vender selling bags, and up a dimly lit staircase. It makes it all the more surprising then when you find the elegant, white-tablecloth dining room on the other side of the door. There is an open kitchen here where the chef fuses old-school Shanghai flavours with French haute cuisine. We found it during the day and went on in, in the hope of pleading a reservation, but again no luck.1/F, 20A D’Aguilar Street, Central Phone: 3487 1715.
Where we did end up that night was, Le Blanc, in Wanchai, it was the first time I have ever felt compelled to write a review on TripAdvisor and it was not favourable !! click on the link and read it.
Not everyones idea of an interesting walk, but I often find myself in the backstreets of Hong Kong and inevitably in a food market, they are everywhere. Here are some images of the fresh produce on display. Just love the ‘ refrigerated delivery van’ – not, with the whole pigs.
This image I love ….. so Hong Kong, just had to include it. There were several weddings every day at our hotel and always a parade of wedding cars in the driveway.
This one was special.