649 Jackson St
San Francisco, CA 94133
Dining date: 6/5/16
I’ve been to Great Eastern countless times. It’s been a staple for family gatherings on my dad’s side for decades, serving up banquet-style Chinese food. I don’t come here nearly as often since I’m no longer local, but squeezed in a meal on a recent trip.
The restaurant is best known for an impromptu takeout order by Barack Obama in 2012, which reliably brings Chinatown tourists through these doors. I’d like to think the food continues to draw locals into the restaurant too, though.
The Langham Hong Kong 1/F and 2/F
8 Peking Road
Dining date: 3/13/16
While planning meals over the last couple of days in Hong Kong, we wanted to fit one more dim sum lunch in. T’ang Court, a Michelin three star restaurant at The Langham, was just a couple of blocks down from the hotel and had a last-minute reservation available.
Like fellow three-star Lung King Heen, the menu was extensive even for lunch. We planned to go for one of the set tasting menus, but they were only offered for tables of 2 or 4. Oddly, neither could be tailored for a party of 3 so we went a la carte.
Yung Kee Building G/F – 4/F
32-40 Wellington Street
Dining date: 3/13/16
My parents and I were walking around the Central District of Hong Kong trying to figure out where to have our last meal before heading to the airport. We initially walked over to Yat Lok, a Michelin-starred roast goose specialist. Unfortunately, it closed just as we got there (it’s closed for dinner on Sundays). We quickly called an audible to this restaurant, another roast goose specialist that my parents had been to previously. Established in 1942, the restaurant’s been very popular and highly acclaimed even garnering a Michelin star in 2009 (it has since lost it).
Lung King Heen
Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong 4/F
8 Finance Street
Dining date: 3/10/16
Dim sum was one of the things my family and I really wanted to explore while in Hong Kong. How much better would it be in Hong Kong vs. California? My mother’s cousin, who is a frequent visitor to the territory, recommended Lung King Heen as his favorite. The restaurant at the Four Seasons, which is Michelin three-starred and ranked 99th best restaurant in the world, certainly promised to be a different kind of dim sum experience compared to what we were accustomed to.
Window seats provided plenty of views of the harbor.
Tim Ho Wan
Olympian City G/F
18 Hoi Ting Road
Dining date: 3/11/16
Tim Ho Wan might be the most famous Michelin-starred restaurant in Hong Kong. The “hole in a wall” dim sum restaurant gained a star in the 2010 guide, launching it to fame as the world’s cheapest Michelin star restaurant (I’m not sure if it still is, particularly after dining at Ho Hung Kee). The restaurant has leveraged its success for expansion throughout Asia in recent years with outposts currently in Singapore, the Philippines, Australia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand. This location, at Olympian City, is one of the three Tim Ho Wans that currently hold a Michelin star in Hong Kong.
Two things surprised me about the restaurant from the beginning. First, there was no line (it was a Friday); I had read many reviews talking about some lengthy waits. Maybe we just lucked out. Second, it wasn’t a hole-in-a-wall at all! Maybe this location was just nicer; the original location relocated here in 2013. No complaints though.
Ho Hung Kee
Hysan Place 12/F
500 Hennessy Road
Dining date: 3/10/16
While staying in the Causeway Bay neighborhood of Hong Kong, we were looking for casual restaurants to try on our first night in town. My dad stumbled upon this wonton shop just a few blocks from the hotel – a Michelin-starred wonton shop! With so many wonton noodle shops around town it was hard to narrow down options. I’m not exactly sure how Michelin inspectors rate these type of places, but we felt this spot was worth a try.
The price was right – the restaurant’s wonton noodles was USD $7 (for the large size). People like to call Hong Kong’s dim sum spot Tim Ho Wan the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant, but this has to be pretty darn close.