Best Restaurants on Hong Kong's Outlying Islands
Nicholas Cheung hops on a ferry (or seven) to check out the best food on the outlying islands.
Travel Fa for Tofu on Lamma
If you walk along the trail from Lamma’s Yung Shue Wan to Hung Shing Yeh beach you’ll find Kin Hing Ah Por Tofu Fa, with a tiny old lady doling out bowl after bowl of sweet tofu fa ($11). The titular “ah por” makes all the tofu herself, filtering the Canadian soybeans to make it all fresh at 7am each morning. The rich, soft tofu is topped with powdered yellow sugar and ginger syrup, the perfect antidote to a hot summer.
1 Yung Shue Wan, Tai Wan To, Lamma.
Munch on Mochi in Cheung Chau
Mango mochis are prevalent in Cheung Chau, so make sure you pick the right one. The lesser-known Mango King is located on the east end of the island, and opens at 1pm. Its mango mochis ($10 each) are sweet, fresh and popular—they sell out within a few hours each day. You can witness the entire process while standing in line: the staff peels and slices the mangos before chilling them for an hour in plastic wrap. Sounds easy so far? Next you watch the sifu knead the cornstarch dough and roll it flat, before sliding in slices of mango and shaping the whole thing together. Not interested in all the toil? Call at noon and order your juicy mochi ahead of time.
G/F, Tin Hau Temple, Treasure Bay, 5-8 Kam Ho Court, Cheung Chau, 6620-3004.
The kings of mochi
Go Fishballs Deep in Tai O
Tai O village is well-known for its fishing village and stilt houses, as well as its tourist-oriented shrimp paste. But it’s also worth a visit for the homemade white Chiu Chow-style fish balls ($12 a skewer)—the bouncy texture signals freshness. Head along Kat Hing Street for a wealth of hawkers selling their wares: ask for extra curry or satay sauce.
Kat Hing St., Tai O, Lantau.
See Seafood in Po Toi
Hong Kong’s southernmost island of Po Toi may be better known for its rock formations, but it’s also home to some good eats. Ming Kee Seafood is one of the only two restaurants on the island, but it’s worth your time. Open for over 30 years, the restaurant has built up a following thanks to its seaweed soup ($28). Eggs and dried shrimps are added to this nutritious stock for a salty, refreshing broth. Deep-fried squid with salt and pepper ($68) is also must-try for seafood lovers, pulled straight from the sea. You’ll need to book a table at the restaurant—and a kai-to ferry to get you there.
Ming Kee Restaurant, Po Toi, 2849-7038.
Seaweed special at Ming Kee Seafood
Say Bonjour to Peng Chau
Located a few minutes from the ferry pier, Les Copains D’Abord is a little French restaurant on the sleepy island of Peng Chau. It’s got a great selection of French wine (from $179) and delicious cheeses, and has been known to fire up the barbecues for parties as well. Grab a seat outside overlooking Peng Chau’s main square to watch kids chasing bubbles and dogs basking in the heat. The venue can be booked for private functions.
46 Wing On St., Peng Chau, 3483-0692.
Eat the Good Life on Grass Island
Home to lush greenery and a small fishing community, Tap Mun, or Grass Island, is a hiking hotspot that lives up to its name. Sun Hon Kee is one of the rare places to eat on this scenic island. Try the signature sea urchin fried rice ($80), cooked to maintain the sea urchin’s fresh, rich flavor. Usually only lunch is available, but in the case of large groups you can book in advance for dinner. Tap Mun can be reached by ferry from Wong Shek Pier in Sai Kung, or from Ma Liu Shui Pier in Tai Po.
4 Hoi Pong Main St., Tap Mun, Sai Kung, 2328-2428.
Go Italian in Mui Wo
Como Lake might not be overlooking beautiful Italian vistas, but this restaurant in the Mui Wo Cooked Food Market still serves up Italian classics with an emphasis on seafood. Try the mixed grilled seafood platter ($118) which comes with sea bass, salmon, squid, prawns and sardines, dressed simply with lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. Value for money is high with a chilled-out atmosphere, approachable staff and good food.
Stalls 2 and 4, Mui Wo Cooked Food Market, Mui Wo, 2984-0009.
A little Italy at Como Lake