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Diwali Indian dishes from New Punjab Club in Central, Hong Kong. Photo: New Punjab Club

Diwali in Hong Kong: what to eat and where to get it – from Michelin-star restaurant feasts to boxes of traditional Indian sweets

  • Diwali falls on October 24 in 2022. Although known as a festival of lights, food is also a big part of it. Luckily, Hong Kong is full of stellar Indian cuisine
  • From sweet hampers to traditional Indian feasts to be enjoyed dining in or delivered, here are some of our top picks for how to ring in the occasion through food

Diwali – the festival of lights that celebrates the start of the Hindu New year – is also a feast for the senses.

This year the festival runs for five days from October 22, with the actual day of Diwali falling on October 24.

If you don’t have time to prepare food for the celebration, don’t despair. Whether you’re in the mood for a sit-down feast or simply a sweet box delivered to your door, we’ve got you covered. Here are the places to look for.

Jashan

Those with a sweet tooth are well catered for at Jashan.

“We’ve been specialising in Diwali sweets since 2003 when I moved to Hong Kong from Dubai,” says the restaurant’s director, Tariq Mahmood. “Our signature – and most popular – sweet is anjeer and date barfi [a dense, milk-based fudge] made with figs and dates.”

But you’ll have to act fast, as Mahmood reveals that many banks in the city order Jashan’s sweet boxes for their clients, so they sell out fast.

1/F, Amber Lodge, 23 Hollywood Road, Central. Tel: 9201 4775

A Diwali sweet box from Jashan. Photo: Jashan

New Punjab Club

Palash Mitra, the culinary director of South Asian cuisines at Hong Kong restaurant group Black Sheep and leader of one-Michelin-star New Punjab Club, has created the Mithai Box of Sweet Dreams (HK$298 per box) for Diwali.

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The pink boxes comprise six handmade mithai (sweets), including a kaju katli (a fudge made with cashews), motichoor laddu (tiny balls made from gram flour that are fried in ghee clarified butter and mixed with a sugar syrup) and a malai sandwich with rich pistachio and soft cream cheese.

The sweet boxes are available for delivery until October 24 and can be ordered through Black Sheep’s website.

Also available through Black Sheep’s website are dinner deliveries that include a vegetarian dhanalakshmi (HK$488 per person) with signature dishes including spiced potato-stuffed flaky pastry, aloo samosa, and the chickpea-based onion pakora.

 

Chaiwala

On October 22, Chaiwala is hosting a festival dinner menu prepared by executive chef Prabir Banerjee, showcasing Chaiwala classics – with both vegetarian and meat options for HK$548 per person. A DJ will also be dishing out a mix of Bollywood and Western tunes.

For daytime celebrations, Diwali brunch parties – featuring six small plates and tandoori bites for sharing, followed by a choice of rice, a side dish, curry and an Indian dessert box to finish - are available on October 22 and 23, for HK$398 per person.

Basement 43, 55 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong. Tel: 2362 8988

Uma Nota X Bengal Brothers

Wan Chai hotspot Bengal Brothers – known for its tasty Indian street food – has joined culinary forces with hip Brazilian-Japanese fusion joint Uma Nota for a one-night-only Diwali dinner on October 23, from 6pm until late.

The dinner will take place at Uma Nota, and will include a specially curated set menu, playlist and cocktails.

Uma Nota and Bengal Brothers are teaming up for a unique, one-night-only, Diwali celebration. Photo: Uma Nota X Bengal Brothers

Billed as an evening of whisky and grills, the menu features Indian delicacies such as lamb seekh kebab and mango phirni (mango rice pudding with saffron, cardamom and nuts) as well as a selection of Indian sweets.

The menu starts at HK$490 per person with an optional free-flow drinks package at HK$245 per person for two hours, made up of specially curated cocktails and whiskeys to help wash down the spices.

Upper G/F, 38 Peel Street, Central. Tel: 2889 7576

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Bombay Dreams

This Hong Kong institution has been serving quality Indian cuisine since 2002. For Diwali, it is offering a selection of freshly crafted sweets in beautifully decorated boxes.

The Deluxe Assorted Gift Box (HK$388, large/HK$218, small) comprises boondi laddu made from fried, sugary batter; cham cham – a traditional Bengali sweet made of curdled milk; coconut chocolate barfi; and dry gulab jamun dough balls in an aromatic syrup.

1/F Winning Centre, 46 Wyndham Street, Central. Tel: 2811 9888

Bombay Dreams’ Deluxe Assorted Gift Box. Photo: Bombay Dreams

Chaat

Chef Manav Tuli of Chaat at the Rosewood Hong Kong has created a tempting tasting menu for the festival of lights, to be held on October 24 from 6pm-10pm.

The Diwali menu costs HK$1,588 per person, and starts with dhokla ki chaat (wheat crisps, pomegranate and tangy home-made chutneys) followed by lobster rasam – a South Indian-style clear and spicy soup infused with black pepper.

Chaat’s tandoori platter as part of its Diwali feast. Photo: Chaat

Sharing is caring during Diwali, which makes the tandoori kebab platter – think lamb boti kebab with mint chutney and tamarind-glazed tandoori pork ribs with fennel and onion seeds – a family dinner winner.

Another stand-outs include the halibut pollichathu, a Kerala-style pan-fried halibut wrapped in banana leaves.

L5, Rosewood Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. Tel: 3891 8732

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And there’s more …

Rajasthan Rifles on The Peak is hosting a sharing menu titled Chef Palash Dreams of Diwali (HK$628 per person) which includes dahi vada (a popular Indian street food with fritters in yogurt) and crispy methi puri.

The vegetarian menu – Field Marshall (HK$628 per person) includes tasty offerings such as tandoori soya shashlik skewers, vegetable pantheras and paneer pasanda korma.

Shop G01 G/F, The Peak Galleria, 118 Peak Road, The Peak. Tel: 2388 8874

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Let’s toast to delivery-only Biryani 101, which is getting in the Diwali mood for October by giving away four bottles of India’s very own Kingfisher beer with orders above HK$1,000.

WhatsApp: +852 6271 9860

Also tempting diners this Diwali is Curry Leaf, a popular Indian restaurant serving hearty food in the heart of Jordan. On October 24, it’s offering diners a special 20 per cent Diwali discount on the entire bill.

G/F and M/F, Mau Lam Commercial Building, 16-18 Mau Lam Street, Jordan. Tel: 8100 0911

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