Your insider’s guide to Hong Kong

10 Hong Kong foods and dishes to try

No visit to Hong Kong is complete without a taste of its local delicacies. Below is our list of 10 of the best, the stories behind them, how they have come to be enduring symbols of Hong Kong cuisine, and where to try them in Central and beyond.

Words: Andrea Lo

Photo: Jason Jacobs

Dim sum
This Cantonese classic comes in the form of delicious, bite-sized morsels in steamer baskets. There’s something for everyone, from crowd favourites har gow and siu mai – varieties of prawn dumplings – to lo bak goh turnip cake and bor choi gao spinach dumplings, and just about everything in between.
Try it here: Maxim’s Palace, 2/F, City Hall, 5-7 Edinburgh Place, Central, 2521 1303


Egg tarts
Nothing beats a freshly baked egg tart at a local eatery. These tasty treats feature an egg custard filling in a pastry crust, which can be either hard or soft. Derived from Macau’s popular Portuguese tarts, Hong Kong has put its own spin on it and made it the city’s own.
Try it here: Tai Cheong Bakery, 35 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, 8300 8301,


Cart noodle
Cart noodles became popular in the 1950s as a cheap and cheerful snack offered by hawkers. Ingredients as varied as wonton, pig’s skin and chicken wings were traditionally prepared in mobile carts. Those carts are long gone – but you can still savour this classic dish in eateries across town.
Try it here: Chopsticks Kee, Shop A1, Khuan Ying Commercial Building, 85-89 Wellington Street, Central

Milk tea
Head to a cha chaan teng local diner for this Hong Kong-style drink, a sweet concoction made with black tea and a hearty dose of condensed milk. The old-school way dictates that the tea is strained through a pair of pantyhose for maximum smoothness, earning it the nickname “stockings milk tea”.
Try it here: 2 Gage Street, 2544 3895


Hong Kong French toast
Hong Kong French toast is different to the European variety. Here bread is egg- and milk-soaked, then deep-fried. The result? A glorious golden creation, drizzled in maple syrup. This dish is popular any time of day, whether for afternoon tea, as a dessert or even a midnight snack.
Try it here: Hing Kee, 182 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, 2549 3419


Poon choi
Served during Chinese New Year, poon choi is a real treat. Literally “bowl feast”, this traditional dish originated from China and adopted by the historic walled villages in the New Territories. It’s stacked with all manner of ingredients – chicken, pork, beef and lamb as well as delicacies like abalone and fish maw.
Try it here: Man Lee Yuen Poon Choi, G/F, 11 On Ning Road, Yuen Long, 2477 5724


Photo: TummyRumble

Photo: Mickey Liaw

Soy sauce western
Much like the cultural melting pot that Hong Kong is, its unique culinary offerings reflect its east-meets-west heritage. Soy sauce western is a prime example: the distinct cuisine mixes Chinese methods of cooking with western-style dishes. Think steak served with rice, or Swiss chicken wings marinated in soy sauce – dishes that are made to cater to the local palate.
Try it here: Tai Ping Koon, G/F, 60 Stanley Street, Central, 2899 2780


Roast goose
Sample a plate of roast goose, one of Cantonese cuisine’s marquee dishes. It’s all about crisp, crackling skin and tender, flavoursome meat.
Try it here: Kam’s Roast Goose, G/F, Po Wah Commercial Center, 226 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, 2520 1110

24 herbs
Only the brave need apply. Twenty-four herbs is a traditional tea comprising of herbs that are believed to have medicinal properties. It’s intensely bitter with a strong aftertaste, and not recommended for less adventurous palates.
Try it here: G/F, 60 Hollywood Road, Central, 2544 3571


Street food
Our traditional street eats boast plenty of moreish treats. Try egg waffles, a sweet creation that’s crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, and bouncy fish balls drenched in curry sauce.
Try them here: Master Low-key Food Shop, Shop B3, 76A Shau Kei Wan Main Street East, Shau Kei Wan


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