I’ve been here for a year and a half now, here’s my picks for the best places to eat under $100hkd per head. You don’t have to spend a lot to have a great meal and here’s the proof. Click on the restaurant names to go to the open rice page and see for yourself.
I think it’s impossible to spend $100 in here and be able to eat it all. I usually get take away as the line at peak times can get pretty long. Luckily I live only 10 minute walk from the location in Prince Edward. If you want to dine in there’s one very friendly and helpful waiter who has a book of the different foods in English. I started going there before the book was made so the thing just confuses me as I know the names on the regular paper menu that also doubles up as a place setting.
Has the best har gau (prawn steamed dumplings) I have ever tasted, I’ve tried fancier places and they never compare. Also the Char Sui Bao (BBQ Pork Buns), I prefer the steamed ones but try the baked ones too. Other recs: the deep fried rolls with prawn and leeks, rice noodle rolls (you can get plain, bbq pork, beef, chicken and two types of prawn ones, I like beef best) and steam pork dumpling.
Eating healthily is hard in Hong Kong. Everywhere you look is a bakery. Everything seems to be fried or doused in sauces with god knows what in. This chain of restaurants has salads, sandwiches, paninis and pastas, along with a selection of smoothies. There’s a great selection of healthy salads (along with a few unhealthy ones too) and if you don’t fancy a pre designed one, you can change the ingredients or make your own from scratch.
My personal favourite is the Steakhouse, which seems like it would also have the highest calorie content but actually comes in at 377 calories including dressing. Chicken Souvlaki, Shrimp Scampi and Five Star are also amazing. I almost always change an ingredient on the salad, maybe the type of cheese or dressing or even swap vegetables. I have never not felt full after one of these huge salads either and I have a big appetite.
This place is cheap, quick and has a bunch of locations. If there’s a queue it will move faster than you would expect. The concept is a sizzling plate that cooks your food for you. Usually beef, but there’s chicken and salmon options too. You can add great extras like eggs and veggies and cheese along with your meat, rice and one veg option.
My favourite is the beef bowl with curry and cheese. A combination I never would have tried before coming to Hong Kong. Make sure you mix it all up so the cheese melts into the sweetcorn and beef on top of the rice and don’t forget to add the sauces you pour yourself from the counter.
Living in Mong Kok usually English language blogs only cover island side treats that cost about three times as much as I believe they are worth. Over here on ‘the dark side’ of Kowloon is a bakery that is cheaper and better than anything I have tasted in Hong Kong. You have to walk away from the main shopping area just past Mong Kok East on Argyle Street to get to this gem. This french bakery has a really interesting selection of treats and breads.
The chocolate truffle bun is addictive. The french baguette is divine. There’s loads of cute and delicious cookies too and even profiteroles (possibly my favourite dessert) in the glass counter.
Last but not least…
If there’s one thing Hong Kong can’t seem to get right it’s pizza. Paisano’s is the closest to good pizza you are going to get in HK. The base isn’t perfect but the cheese is great and I’m a fan of the sauce. People who have been to Italy and New York and Chicago will always complain that nothing tastes as good as… But this place is head and shoulders above anything else. The only other place I like is Pizza Express which is a chain I would go to in the UK as well. I mean, Hong Kong doesn’t even have a good substitute for Dominoes (I heard they used to have Dominoes here though) and to me that’s guilty pleasure pizza. The Pizza Huts in this town are expensive and awful. I will always go to Paisano’s for my pizza fix, the big slices are satisfying and yummy. Sure, it’s not world class pizza, but it’s what Hong Kong has. And none of it has thousand island sauce instead of tomato *shudder*.
I would say the best pizzas are the four cheese and the cheeseburger. The margarita is also solid, as is pepperoni. I haven’t tried the vegetable one but I’ve heard that’s great too.
So that’s the top five, if you’re in a rush and there’s a choice between the major fast food chains here, I would usually go for MX (the illegible red and white signed choice) over Cafe de Coral. There are even MX2’s popping up all over the place which have a great selection usually. Do you have any other good choices? I tried to keep with the easy to find and easy to order in English choices. Everyone should also try the cha chaan teng’s (tea restaurants) that are everywhere and there’s great bbq choices everywhere (personal favourite is the pork belly in any of those types of restaurant) with the cooked chickens and pork and ducks hanging outside.