It's no secret: Hongkongers love to eat and eat – in normal times, that is. The coronavirus pandemic has been a catastrophe for restaurants , but we’re hoping that the food scene will return to its glory days before too long. Looking ahead to when we can relax and dine out again in droves, we asked five food professionals to tell us in their own words what are the dishes that define Hong Kong? We hope it doesn’t make you too hungry. David Lai, founder and executive chef, Neighbourhood “Dim sum, particularly old-school dim sum, I recommend Seventh Son and Kowloon’s Fook Lam Moon. “Char siu [barbecue pork]; I was going to say siu mei, barbecue meats in general, including suckling pig and roast goose, but they are not as ubiquitous. “I like fatty char siu with burnt edges. The Chairman has a killer smoky version, Sun Kwai Heung Barbecue Food in Chai Wan is popular and I like the marinade at Joy Hing Roasted Meat in Wan Chai. I also like Flower Drum, also in Wan Chai. I vacuum pack its char siu as souvenirs for friends when I travel. 12 new Hong Kong restaurants and menus to try now daytime dining is back “Wonton soup noodle, which I eat often. I enjoy Mak’s Noodle on Wellington Street; the secret lies in the soup. Usually the wontons are cooked in the soup and the busier the shop, the more flavourful the soup. Mak’s is usually busier than most.” Gloria Chung, food and travel journalist, food stylist “Hong Kong-style milk tea and claypot rice; they reflect the local side of the city. “Milk tea is iconic – the tea represents Chinese culture, while the evaporated milk is a hybrid of colonial influence and local culture. “One of my favourites is Moon Kee in Yuen Long. The tea master here has won milk tea competition awards. Others are Times Cafe (North Point), and Cheung Heung Tea Restaurant (Kennedy Town). The latter, an old school cha chaan teng, serves Hong Kong-style pastries and rich milk tea. “For claypot rice I like Ser Wong Fun in Central for its consistency and crispy rice layer at the bottom of the pot. My favourites include its home-made Chinese sausage.” Cook at home YouTube tutorials? How Hong Kong restaurants are getting creative Vicky Lau, chef, Tate Dining Room “When talking about Hong Kong’s cuisine signatures, we immediately think Cantonese cuisine due to proximity and history. For me, Cantonese cuisine is all about wok stir frying, roast meats and dim sum. Dim sum is symbolic to the cuisine due to the Cantonese tradition of going to a tea house with family on the weekend. What makes dim sum a tradition that is full of surprises? “I recommend Yung Kee. It’s a classic, traditional Cantonese restaurant. The dishes are authentically flavoured with well-honed culinary skills and premium ingredients. “I also recommend Ser Wong Fun. This place is best known for its old Cantonese dishes, with over 125 years of history it best represents Hong Kong cuisine.” Chan Yan-tak, executive Chinese chef, Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong “One popular signature is egg tarts. They represent a marriage of pastries from the West and a Cantonese dim sum technique. A cup of milk tea and an egg tart is traditionally what afternoon tea means to local Hong Kong people. “I recommend Tai Cheong Bakery, it’s famous for its cookie pastry egg tarts. “I would add dim sum. While it’s a category more than a dish, it reflects our lifestyle and culture.” Melissa Tse, well-known food and travel blogger “Curry fish balls. One of the city’s most representative street foods and every stall has its own curry sauce recipe. My favourite is Mong Kok’s Dan Wong. “Egg tarts, which are included in the Intangible Cultural Heritage Inventory (ICH) of Hong Kong. I recommend Violet Cake Shop in Tin Hau. The tarts feature shortcrust pastry and are especially crumbly when oven fresh. 5 Michelin-starred Hong Kong restaurant deliveries head-to-head “Two others are egg waffles and Hong Kong-style milk tea, the making of the latter is also on the ICH. “Egg waffles are a popular local snack, invented here in the 1950s. Try the freshly made to order ones at Master Low Key Food Shop in Shau Kei Wan and for milk tea, head to Chrisly Cafe in Wan Chai.” Want more stories like this? Sign up here . Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .