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Ching Git-kau holds a tray of Portugese tarts at Hoover Cake Shop in Kowloon City. Photo: SCMP Pictures

Best of the best Hong Kong foods list: ultimate must try local dishes

So much food, so little time. Hong Kong foods you must try

Hong Kong’s kaleidoscopic culinary heaven can be dizzying even to seasoned foodies. And the many food listicles can be equally confusing.

We’ve done the legwork for you to point you in the direction of the best of the best Hong Kong dishes over the years. Even if you only had a day’s layover here, you can squeeze these all in.

Roast goose

Yat Lok Barbecue Restaurant

Tender flavourful meat is topped with crisp skin that isn’t too fatty and a sweet plum sauce. Inheriting the restaurant from his father, Chu Kin-wah does everything to cook the perfect geese himself to ensure the highest standard. The restaurant opens anywhere between 11am to 12:30pm, but it’s worth the wait.
Freshly barbecued goose is taken out of the oven at Yat Lok Barbeque Restaurant in Tai Po. Photo: Paul Yeung

Kam’s Roast Goose

This Michelin-starred restaurant only opened in 2013, but news of the tender goose has spread quickly. Queues on the weekend are common at this casual restaurant. Owner Hardy Kam Shun-yuen is one of the grandsons of the Yung Kee Roast Goose founder. He says his focus is the meat, which is perfectly paired with a fruity plum sauce.
Hardy Kam Shun-yuen with staff of Kam's Roast Goose in Wan Chai. Photo: Nora Tam

Char Siu

Island Tang

Island Tang’s coin-shaped, bite-sized pieces of honey-glazed barbecued pork is everything – tender, full of flavour and delicately marinated. Executive chef Li Cheung removes any excess tendon and fat so that every bite has the same pleasant texture. If that’s not enough for you, try the restaurant’s popular dim sum or baked pineapple char siu bun from lunch’s leftover pork.
Char siu, barbecue pork, prepared by Chef Li Cheung at the Island Tang. Photo: David Wong

Lin Heung Kui

Prepared by a roast meat master, Lin Heung Kui’s rustic char siu is full of meaty flavour. Sourced daily, never frozen, from Guangdong daily, each slice of char siu has a nice distribution of lean meat and fat, and the burned bits add crunch.
Lin Heung Kui's popular rustic char siu being cooked. Photo: Bruce Yan

Beef Brisket Noodles

Kau Kee

The tiny famous noodle shop is accompanied by a queue at all hours of the day but it moves quickly. Patrons, especially the regulars, dive right into their noodles and are usually out the door again in 15 minutes. The brisket here is consistently tender with the broth varying from time to time.
Beef brisket noodles (left) and curry noodles (right) at Kau Kee restaurant, Central. Photo: May Tse

Sun Sin

This Yau Ma Tei landmark serves slow-cooked beef so tender it falls apart at the gentlest prodding. The noodles here are thin ribbons that are ideal for creating a delicious parcel of seasoned beef and Chinese herbs.
Beef brisket noodle at Sun Sin in Yau Ma Tei. Photo: Bruce Yan

Pineapple bun

Tai Tung Bakery

Founded in the 1940s, Tse Ching-yuen has been produced pineapple bun daily for more than 70 years now. The bun, containing no pineapple, have been listed as part of Hong Kong’s intangible cultural heritage. Crispy on top, soft on the bottom, the bun are best served with butter in the middle.
Owner of Tai Tung Bakery,Tse Ching-yuen (left) and chef Ip Kwok-chiu, demonstrate how to make pineapple buns at the bakery in Yuen Long. Photo: Edward Wong

Kam Wah Café

Kam Wah, in Mong Kok, serves a continuous queue full of people each day. Chan Tim-wo – a baker’s son – opened the cafe in 1973. Chan has improved on the original soft pastry with crispy diamond pattern top over the year, now with a crisper, sugary top.
Pineapple bun at Kam Wah Cafe, Bute Street, Prince Edward. Photo: K. Y. Cheng

Egg tart

Honolulu coffee shop

Honolulu’s signature offering is the Hong Kong-style egg tart. The classic flaky pastry uses shui pei [pastry made with egg yolks and ice] layered with yau pei [butter pastry] folded over many times and left in the fridge overnight.
Derrick Yeung Siu-yep, director of Honolulu Coffee, holds a tray of egg tarts at the Central shop. Photo: Bruce Yan

Hoover Cake Shop

The Kowloon City bakery sells around 40 trays of egg tarts every day. Serving traditional flaky crust, Hoover’s tarts uses duck eggs to give up extra fluff and richness.
Lam Chung takes out a tray of egg tarts at Hoover Cake Shop in Kowloon City. Photo: Edward Wong

Egg waffle

Lee Keung Kee in North Point

For the ultimate egg waffle lover, theres only one place to go. The Michelin-recommended stall is the gold standard of egg waffles: brittle crust on the outside, light and semi-hollow on the inside. The waffles have a light eggy taste and not overly sweet. LKK is generous with the batter, making sure each puff is whole. The egg waffles here are always fresh – the only way to eat these.


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Lee Keung Kee egg waffle shop in North Point. Photo: Jonathan Wong