Art Basel

2018 Art Basel Hong Kong food: the best restaurants to check out while you’re enjoying the sights

Looking at artwork in the city is hungry business, so from Joël Robuchon Salon de Thé in the IFC to New Shanghai at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, we’ve got you covered on where you should go for a bite

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 March, 2018, 1:30pm
UPDATED : Monday, 26 March, 2018, 5:44pm

Oohing and aahing over art all day is hard work and unless you have deep pockets, it can be very depressing to look at beautiful things you can’t afford. If you want to take a break from the Art Basel/Hong Kong Art Week crowds though, here are a few restaurants to try that won’t break the bank.

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You’ll have to hike a bit to get from the Central harbourfront to any restaurants. In the IFC, you can get a quick breakfast (or a light meal at any time) at the Joël Robuchon Salon de Thé (Shop 2045A, L2/F, tel: 2234 7422) – a bracing cup of coffee (or tea) and a pain au chocolat will prepare you for a day of pushing your way through the crowds to get a close look at the artwork.

If you’re in the mood for Chinese, there are restaurants in the IFC to fit every budget. Tasty Congee & Noodle Wantun Shop (Shop 3016-3018, 3/F, tel: 2295 0101) is good for, well, congee and noodles, and I’m sure you can also guess the specialities served at Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao (Shop 2018-2020, 2/F, tel: 2295 3811). For higher-end Chinese, visit Lei Garden (Shop 3008, 3/F, tel: 2295 0238) or Cuisine Cuisine (Shop 3101, 3/F, tel: 2393 3933).

To wind down the evening, go for drinks and nibbles at La Rambla (Shop 3071-3073, 3/F, tel: 2661 1161) or the newly opened Dear Lilly (Shop 4010, 4/F, tel: 2771 6060).

If you want something more upscale, try hotel dining. The Four Seasons offers Caprice for French (Podium 6, tel: 3196 8860) or Lung King Heen for Chinese (Podium 4, tel: 3196 8880). The Mandarin Oriental has everything from casual Cafe Causette (M/F, tel: 2825 4005) to Chinese, Man Wah (25/F, tel: 2825 4003) to European fine dining Mandarin Grill (1/F, tel: 2825 4004; The Krug Room, 1/F, tel: 2825 4014); and Pierre (25/F, tel: 2825 4001).

It might be too late to get a booking at Amber restaurant at the nearby Landmark Mandarin (7/F, tel: 2132 0066) but stop in for a drink at the hotel’s MO Bar (tel: 2132 0077), or even better, a cocktail and hotdog at its speakeasy, PDT (tel: 2132 0110).

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If you’re art viewing at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, you don’t even need to leave the building for a good meal. My favourite is New Shanghai (1/F, tel: 2582 7332). A few steps away are the restaurants at the Grand Hyatt (tel: 2584 7722). At the Grand Cafe (lobby level), most people go for the international buffet, but I like the Hainan chicken rice and the wonton soup. The Chinese restaurant, One Harbour Road (7/F-8/F) is elegant and discreet, and I also love the Italian food at Grissini (2/F).

For cheaper Wan Chai dining, some perennial favourites include Peking Shui Jiao Wong (118 Jaffe Road, tel: 2527 0289) for boiled or fried dumplings; Kam’s Roast Goose (Po Wah Commercial Centre, 226 Hennessy Road, tel: 5408 7740) and char siu and other siu mei at Joy Hing (265-267 Hennessy Road, tel: 2519 6639). If you feel like eating Korean, try Joon Go (209 Jaffe Road, tel: 2827 9287).

If you’re visiting the South Island Cultural District as part of Hong Kong Art Week, finding a meal might be a little more challenging. Komune (4/F Ovolo Southside, 64 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, tel: 3460 8157) has been creating a buzz for its inventive menu.

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If you want to hold a private event, book The Secret Kitchen by The Butchers Club (tel: 2884 0768). And if you’re with out-of-towners, you can always take them to Jumbo Kingdom (Shum Wan Pier Drive, tel: 2553 9111) – it’s terribly touristy, but it’s something unique to Hong Kong.