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.
Kam’s Roast Goose
G/F Po Wah Commercial Center
226 Hennessy Rd
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Dining date: 3/9/16
There are many foods Hong Kong is known for – dim sum, wonton noodles, and Chinese BBQ meats are just a few. Roast goose falls into that latter category, somewhat unique outside of America. I’ve come across roasted (Peking) duck many times but don’t think I’ve had roast goose.
Located in the Causeway Bay neighborhood, Kam’s is one of the most notable roast goose shops in town. It looks like a pretty typical Chinese BBQ meat shop, but it did garner a star in the latest Michelin guide.
631 Kearny St
San Francisco, CA 94108
Dining date: 12/24/14
One of the most popular (if not the most) restaurants in San Francisco’s Chinatown is R&G Lounge. It’s been around for almost 30 years, but has gained more widespread fame/popularity in recent years as it’s been featured on TV (most notably by Anthony Bourdain on No Reservations).
R&G Lounge frequently draws a line for dinner service, but it was a madhouse on Christmas Eve. It was totally a cluster as the entire lobby was literally shoulder-to-shoulder, spilling out onto the street. Luckily I had made a 7:30 reservation, but our table still wasn’t ready until 8:30. I heard walk-ins quoted at 1.5-2hr waits, so the reservation did help a little.
Hakkasan Beverly Hills
233 N. Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Dining date: 9/28/13
Hakkasan’s Beverly Hills location opened last week, the latest of three West Coast openings in the past 10 months. This location didn’t open with nearly the splash as the last one (club/lounge/restaurant in Las Vegas), but with the same standards in food that’s awarded the chain Michelin stars in New York and London. I dined at the Las Vegas location in May and thoroughly enjoyed it; I’ve been awaiting this outpost’s opening in order to try more.
Hakkasan’s always sought a fine balance between serious dining and a hip, trendy culture. Its Beverly Hills location, across from Scarpetta and Bouchon, promises to be fairly scene-y already attracting the attention of celebrities around town. Even on this evening, paparazzi were hanging out outside the restaurant awaiting glimpses of anyone worth taking pictures of. I’m always skeptical of the see-and-be-seen restaurants, but Hakkasan seems to have the pedigree to meet the needs of those who are there for the atmosphere and those that just want a delicious meal.