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Beef tartare with cèpes and onion
Photograph: Courtesy Margo

The 50 best restaurants in Hong Kong you have to try

Our list of the city's top restaurants to eat at this month

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Written by
Fontaine Cheng
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August 2021: The government extended social distancing restrictions until August 4 which means most of the existing rules will for restaurants still apply. Restaurants (Type C) operating with vaccinated staff that have already received their first dose can open until midnight, seat up to six customers per table, and operate at 75 percent capacity. Venues (Type D) with fully vaccinated staff and customers that have received one dose or more can open until 2am, seat a maximum of 12 persons per table, and operate at full capacity.

As usual, temperature checks and hand sanitiser is given to guests upon arrival, and customers must wear masks before and after the meal, and when picking up their orders. Guests must also log into the 'Leave Home Safe' app or register their contact details. Visit this link for regular updates on social distancing regulations in Hong Kong.

In light of more restaurants opening up to more customers for longer, we felt it appropriate to give recognition and support to some of the best restaurants in Hong Kong during this time.

From new restaurants and concepts to established eateries doing what they can to stay relevant, creative and interesting, read on for our pick of the 50 best restaurants and get some inspiration for where your next meal could be.

Eaten somewhere on this list and loved it? Know of a restaurant that should be on here instead? Let us know and share it with the hashtag #TimeOutEatList

50 Best restaurants in Hong Kong

  • Restaurants
  • Sheung Wan

What is it? A restaurant helmed by Singaporean chef Barry Quek (of Beet which has since closed and Return of Lemak in Basehall) that merges European techniques and Asian flavours with superb skill and finesse.

Why we love it: The tasting menu is truly impressive with clever layers of ingredients, textures and flavours in triumphant combos as seen in dishes such as charcoal-grilled local kinmedai with diced cuttlefish in a tangy tamarind sauce accompanied by grilled petai (stinky) beans and pickled banana shallot; an insanely good Bak Kut Teh-inspired New Territories pork rib served with pork heart and cabbage; and the softest buah keluak (black nut) brioche with buah keluak emulsion. 

Time out tip: The Maoshan Wang durian ice cream with caviar may seem like too much for some, but it just works. But if it's really not for you then the brown butter ice cream is just good, if not another must-try.

  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary Global
  • Lan Kwai Fong

What is it? Argentinian chef Augustin Ferrando Balbi, formerly of Japanese restaurant Haku, set up shop on Wellington Street with a concept that fuses the chef's Spanish ancestral roots with his experiences including work in Japan – the land that shaped his skills in the kitchen.

Why we love it: The restaurant takes diners on a journey through dishes that evoke a sense of nostalgia and wonderfully strange familiarity. Signatures include the sashimi course (Partir), which represents his departure from home to Japan, and an incredibly fragrant and heartwarming Caldoso rice (Sin Lola), a tribute to Balbi’s late grandmother which we can’t-stop-won’t-stop eating.

Time out tip: The bread course is something else all on its own with Spanish bread with infused whipped butter and El Poaig extra-virgin olive oil from trees that are over 1,000 years old. You'll want to try all of them, but you'll probably want to save some room.

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  • Restaurants
  • Pan-European
  • Sai Ying Pun

What is it? With a name like Bȃtard, which stems from the old French word for bastard, you’re not wrong in assuming that this comfort food-inspired restaurant is more easy-going than other formal French cuisine and wine establishments in Hong Kong.

Why we love it: The restaurant recently brought on Singapore native and chef Aven Lau, resulting in more creative, standout dishes on its ever-changing menu. From a vibrantly flavoured Japanese fruit tomato tart with burrata cheese and fennel pollen on puff pastry to a fantastic Monkfish en croute that we want to keep returning to Bȃtard for.

Time out tip: The restaurant space also holds two of its own private karaoke rooms which can seat up to 15-20 people so you can sing while sipping the best wine.

  • Restaurants
  • Central

What is it? Margo is a brasserie-style European restaurant with German influences from chef Mario Paecke's (formerly of Somm and Amber) upbringing.

Why we love it: Aside from the gorgeous and utterly Instagrammable interior, the restaurant offers brilliantly executed bistro-style dishes inspired by the chef's European travels. Diners can expect dishes such as the delightfully delicate rainbow trout confit with potato salad, grilled leek and pickled radish, a veal meatball dish: Königsberger Klopse with Norwegian langoustine and a creamy caper sauce, and perfectly pan-seared Hokkaido scallops with cauliflower and a zing of Amalfi lemon.

Time out tip: The restaurant is new with the chef's menu still working itself out. Expect more improvements and edits as time goes on, but Margo is already showing so much to look forward to. Also, the apple vanilla tatin is seriously good.

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

What is it? As the first branch of Osaka's two-Michelin starred Japanese restaurant Sushiyoshi outside Japan, Sushiyoshi in Hong Kong has a lot to live up to. Thankfully, it does.

Why we love it: Chef-owner Nakanoue Hiroki is known for bringing modern and western techniques to his Japanese cooking and traditions, as evidenced by many of his new dishes including a uni and cheese gougère, an akagai nigiri which uses yam and egg yolk instead of rice, a uni with caviar and creamy scrambled egg, and much more. For a full taste of what chef Hiroki has designed, the new 19-course omakase menu will take you on a unique and exciting sushi journey to remember.

Time out tip: Sushiyoshi also offers lunch sets with a shorter menu and a more agreeable price tag. However, the omakase experience is definitely one worth treating yourself to.

  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary European
  • Central

What is it? Mono, helmed by Venezuelan chef Ricardo Chaneton previously of Mirazur in France and Petrus in Hong Kong, delivers contemporary French cuisine accented with refined Latin American flavours in sleek, modern surroundings. 

Why we love it: The signature dishes are all incredibly intelligent fusions of Latin American ingredients and flavours that combine the rhythm of South America with the skill and elegance of French cuisine. The tasting menu changes regularly, but our most recent highlights are Racan pigeon with a complex and layered mole, Brittany blue lobster claw, and a dessert made with their very own chocolate.

Time out tip: In a bid to help the planet, Mono has teamed up with ZeroFoodprint, an international non-profit committed to fighting climate change. In support of this initiative, they add on a 1% carbon tax to the bill to help the cause.

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  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary Global
  • Soho
  • price 4 of 4

What is it? The new Belon reopened in an elegant space on the lower side of Elgin Street, a revamp welcoming Baltimore native and chef Matthew Kirkley at the helm of the French restaurant.

Why we love it: Anyone who has been to the original Belon will always have a soft spot for it, but Belon 2.0 does something else entirely. More sophisticated in vibe and execution of cuisine, Kirkley has pushed for more in new signatures such as a delicately dressed Turbot with beurre cancalaise, Salade Gourmande, and Cervelas en Brioche made with great precision.

Time out tip: The signage is so discreet that you may find yourself walking back and forth a few times, so just remember to look up as it’s just above Ho Lee Fook.

  • Restaurants
  • Indian
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

What is it? Helmed by chef Manav Tuli, previously head chef of Michelin-starred Tamarind in London, Chaat serves up a fresh take on classic Indian street food and elevates favourites that are drawn from a variety of colourful flavours, transporting you all across India.

Why we love it: Chaat’s warm and lively atmosphere, combined with stunning cross-harbour views, make for a unique dining experience with exceptionally well-executed dishes. Highlights include a rich and spicy pork cheek vindaloo, fragrant biryanis, and a superbly flavourful Bengali prawn curry. Their new dishes are also excellent with an Alaskan king crab tandoori and Nargisi Kofta to get your hands on.

Time out tip: To cap off this meal, and when you're in need of an internal hug, enjoy a cuppa golden chai masala, or a glass of port on their balcony, which will send warmth through your body instantly. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Causeway Bay

What is it? Much like the original in London, renowned British chef Simon Rogan brings his celebrated sustainable cuisine to Hong Kong in the form of Roganic. It was awarded a Michelin green star (the first of its kind) this year.

Why we love it: A farm-to-table destination in its own right, Hong Kong's Roganic is made for urban-dwellers who are in need of a more refreshing, and less stiff, approach to dining.  The tasting menus always knock it out of the park with dishes such as sea urchin custard with caviar, 14 days aged duck with turnip and shiso, and their signature soda bread with whipped cultured brown butter is a stunner too.

Time out tip: To get a taste of everything, it's worth going for the full tasting menu, but their three-course business lunch is also great and incredible value for money at $320.

  • Restaurants
  • Central

What is it? Chef Leonard Cheung, who has worked in the likes of 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana and Bo Innovation, has debuted in Hong Kong with his own restaurant named Cultivate. The restaurant offers a fine-casual dining experience with interactive elements and an ever-changing tasting menu.

Why we love it: Cultivate's cuisine is driven by the season's best ingredients and is filled with unexpected flavours and unique combinations that you never would have thought of. Think banana bread and caviar, a ma la-spiced harissa with M5 Wagyu hanger, a ginger and thyme tofu fa (soybean pudding) and more.

Time out tip: The first menu focuses on spring, but will evolve slightly before changing completely and will include thematic menus focused on single colours and past food trends.

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  • Restaurants
  • Wan Chai

What is it? Bibi & Baba is serving up Nyonya, also known as Peranakan, food in Hong Kong. If you know the cuisine at all, you'll know that there will be plenty of vibrant flavours, spices, and colours waiting for you at the restaurant.

Why we love it: The menu offers some well-known favourites including laksa, nasi lemak, and beef rendang, along with more punchy, lesser-known flavours from stinky bean (or petai) stir-fried shrimp, and ayam (chicken) braised in curry with buah keluak nuts. Newly appointed head chef, and Malaysian native, Ho Wai-kong adds even more to the menu including an incredible tender Hainanese chicken, a Singapore-style fried carrot cake, and a rich Nyonya fish head curry that will have you coming back for more!

Time out tip: The noodle dishes are great for lunch, but for dinner, we suggest you go with some friends so you can try a few more dishes, and mix and match these punchy Southeast Asian flavours with rice.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Sheung Wan

What is it? An intimate Japanese restaurant and independent venture helmed by chef Shun Sato, formerly of Fukuro, Ho Lee Fook, Belon and Armani/Aqua in Hong Kong.

Why we love it: Although the buzzy atmosphere would tell you otherwise, Censu is not an izakaya and offers a more food-focused and refined menu. Menu highlights such as the ika somen with sliced raw squid, green apple and daikon fermented white kimchi is a delicate dish that whets the appetite wonderfully, while the already popular Unigiri, which features a toasted onigiri topped with fresh sea urchin served in abalone dashi, is something to come back for.

Time out tip: The restaurant currently only takes bookings for tables of four or more. Otherwise, it's walk-ins only. As for food, it's also worth ordering the Japanese Oyster which is much bigger and meatier than oysters from Europe.

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  • Restaurants
  • Steakhouse
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

What is it? A long-standing, elegant American steakhouse that originates from Chicago and comes with spectacular harbour views at the Sheraton hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui. 

Why we love it: With sweeping vistas of Victoria Harbour, Morton’s is one of the best places in Kowloon to take in the view while you admire what’s on your plate at the same time. The menu here doesn't change very much, but the dishes, including all the steaks, mac and cheese, salads, desserts and more, are consistently high quality and executed excellently. It's no wonder that the restaurant has been loved by all for so long.

Time out tip: The onion bread that gets served with your meal is huge. So, it's worth asking to take that away as you concentrate on the rest of your meal. That way, you also go home with something to savour that Morton's taste the next day.

  • Restaurants
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

What is it? Asaya Kitchen, led by chef Fabio Nompleggio, reopened with a new direction to offer wholesome Mediterranean and pescatarian fare.

Why we love it: The culinary change has been a success and not only does the restaurant offer lighter and healthier options in the luxury Rosewood hotel, but it also offers great-tasting dishes that make the most of fresh seafood and seasonal produce. Plates are infused with raw, sprouted, pickled and fermented ingredients for lunch, while dinner takes on a more detailed and elevated approach.

Time out tip: Must orders include the Boston lobster cavatelli, king crab tart, and Spanish octopus.

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  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

What is it? The Legacy House at Rosewood Hong Kong is the hotel's Chinese restaurant offering refined Cantonese dishes that honour the classics.

Why we love it: The Legacy House offers a fine dining experience alongside a pretty splendid view of Victoria Dockside. This classy eatery celebrates Chinese cuisine with a menu rooted in tradition. Most recently, a seasonal menu by chef Li Chi-wai brought some classically inspired dishes to the spotlight including a complex and layered double-boiled eel with ham, mushroom and pepper supreme broth, and a sautéed toothfish, with spicy plum sauce.

Time out tipThe restaurant has seven private rooms which definitely add something to the dining experience. There’s also an outdoor terrace if you’re a sucker for that world-famous view.

  • Restaurants
  • Causeway Bay

What is it? Aulis is the development kitchen and chef's table inside Roganic that aims to create a more interactive dining experience with an exciting and everchanging tasting menu.

Why we love it: Driven by the seasons, thanks to relationships with local growers and suppliers as well as Simon Rogan's own farm in The Lake District, Aulis is able to tap into some incredible produce that lends fantastic flavours heightened by the skill and execution of the team. The season's highlights (as of writing) such as kohlrabi with apple, smoked eel and caviar, a pigeon and blackberry pithivier, and the most stunning coffee custard tart, are just some of the items that will send you into a satisfying well-fed stupor.

Time out tip: With only one sample menu at Aulis, you should simply trust it and enjoy it. If you love wines, the pairing offers an enhanced experience, but there is also a juice and tea pairing that works just as well.

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  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Sheung Wan

What is it? Awarded its second Michelin star this year, Tate is a refined yet relaxing restaurant that offers an avant-garde take on Chinese cuisine executed with French finesse.

Why we love it: Located in the heart of Sheung Wan, on Hollywood Road, Tate’s elegant and intimate atmosphere appeals as much to the sophisticated as it does to the adventurous eater. The tasting menu is designed by chef and owner Vicky Lau, where her 'Odes' to a pinpointed single ingredient creates some of the most impressive menus and dishes in Hong Kong.

Time out tip: Don't forget to save room for the Tate dessert cart. Trust me, you'll want to try everything.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

What is it? Named after the Japanese phrase ‘hakurai hin' – which refers to things from abroad – Haku is a restaurant that is open to influences, ingredients, and techniques from around the world to achieve something they call innovative kappo cuisine.

Why we love it: Newly appointed executive chef Rob Drennan is offering a great 11-course tasting menu that features dishes inspired by global cuisines and made using seasonal ingredients from Japan. Dishes including the Japanese fish soup served with asparagus, radish, and curry leaf oil, as well as Lobster with salmon roe, smoked fennel, and tomato showcase the best of summer, while an incredibly crispy amadai fish with black garlic and celeriac, and smooth foie gras with caviar chawanmushi take on the classics with creative flair.

Time out tip: The menu comes complete with expert wine and sake pairings available which, if you ask us, is definitely worth going for.

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  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Causeway Bay

What is it? Castellana prides itself on serving up authentic Piedmont cuisine using fresh ingredients sourced from the region. Expect a range of traditional Italian dishes with decidedly pronounced and rich flavours in true Piedmont fashion.

Why we love it: Led by Italian native chef Fabiano Palombini, Castellana always has some creative dishes up its sleeve, but it's their signature carbonara au koque, made up of homemade tagliolini served with 'au koque' carbonara and Vigezzo Valley cured ham, that we come for and trust us, it's worth the calories. They also update their tasting menus regularly including the Journey Around the World which includes some fantastic homemade pasta and the luscious Norwegian langoustine with Cristal caviar and Piedmont hazelnut.

Time out tip: You can also shop for the products featured on the menu at Castellana through their e-supermarket Owl of Minerva.

  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Central

What is it? Replacing Guo Fu Lou in The Murray hotel, Mián celebrates the eight major Chinese cuisines. Named after the Chinese word for Cotton, and their Cotton Tree Drive address, the new restaurant is helmed by Sichuan-born chef Ronald Shao.

Why we love it: Thanks to the expanded cuisine, Mian benefits from more flavour profiles than before. Menu highlights include the Sichuan style poached tiger grouper with assorted chilis, seafood, cubed chicken and silky fowl in dan dan sauce, sweet and sour pork with dried pineapple and much more.

Time out tip: The a la carte menu is extensive so there is plenty to choose from, but they also have dim sum and executive business lunches available during the day. Word has it that a Chinese-inspired afternoon tea will also be introduced in the coming months.

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  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Sheung Wan

What is it? The first venture outside of Singapore for chef Julien Royer serves French dishes inspired by Royer's childhood, including some riffs on family recipes in PMQ.

Why we love it: The restaurant, designed by Andre Fu, is simply gorgeous. It replicates an old colonial home, with a tropical lounge on the ground floor and an opulent all-day dining room on the second. Dish highlights include classic angel hair pasta topped with Kristal caviar, sautéed frog legs, and the famed roasted Hong Kong yellow chicken as well as a more seasonal verbena Axuria lamb saddle with Jérôme Galis green asparagus, and perfectly cooked Pan-seared line-caught fish 'Riviera' style.

Time out tip: At the end of your meal, a treasure box of desserts is brought to the table to entice you. And entice it will so try not to fill up on the bread and save room for a sweet treat.

  • Restaurants
  • Central

What is it? Odds, in reference to the expression of ‘beating the odds’, aims to give customers a one-stop-shop Japanese dining experience. Odds categorises itself as an omakase, teppanyaki and yakitori restaurant, as well as a bar and cafe.

Why we love it: You can drink in the atmosphere at the O Bar after work, enjoy refreshments and snacks in the Yaki Room, or indulge at the sushi bar and teppanyaki counter on either side of the main ‘Sushi Kou’ dining area. The upper level also holds a multi-function private dining room with a live cooking station for omakase, teppanyaki, or kappou cuisine. Highlights and signatures include a foie gras and persimmon monaka, Kyoto-style cedarwood grilled sea perch, Wagyu and sea urchin clay pot rice, fatty tuna and Wagyu tartare with caviar and much more.

Time out tip: The O Bar hosts events with guest bartenders regularly, so it's worth following their social media channels to find out who is stirring and when something is happening.

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  • Restaurants
  • Wan Chai

What is it? Located in the St. Regis hotel, L'Envol serves up high-end French dishes in an exquisite setting. The restaurant brings Michelin firepower too, as it's helmed by Olivier Elzer, formerly of Seasons and L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon.

Why we love it: It's always an elegant affair at L'Envol with knowledgeable staff, sommeliers, and service that is always on point. The same goes for the kitchen and the culinary prowess of both Elzer and his pastry chef Mandy Siu. Expect exemplary examples of refined French cuisine and you'll end up at L'Envol. 

Time out tip: You cannot miss either the cart for cheese or petit fours. As good as the main menu, you cannot leave without having a few bites to end the meal.  

  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Sheung Wan

What is it? An ingredient-driven Cantonese restaurant that offers the true flavour of Chinese food, thanks to high-quality products, in a beautifully light and delicate cuisine.

Why we love it: Lauded as Asia's and Hong Kong's best restaurant, The Chairman, which was also awarded its first Michelin star this year, is as popular as it was when it opened over a decade ago. The restaurant uses the best seasonal produce, mostly organic, and no MSG. 

Time out tip: If there’s one thing you must try it’s the steamed whole flower crab in aged Shaoxing rice wine and chicken oil, served on top of flat rice noodles which soak up all the aromatics and flavours. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary European
  • Central

What is it? Since opening in 2018, Arbor has remained one of the most exciting restaurants in Hong Kong offering a distinct Nordic-Japanese cuisine lead by chef Eric Räty.

Why we love it: The restaurant serves innovative dishes in forest-themed surroundings – the perfect culinary getaway in the heart of Central. Dishes, such as a roasted Brittany pigeon had us all stunned, with a tender and flavourful pigeon breast encrusted in Okinawan sugar and accented with Sichuan peppercorns and a rich jus.

Time out tip: Arbor's soft, warm and pillowy brioche is hard to resist and comes paired with two types of whipped butter infused with mentaiko and kombu.

  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Central

What is it? Man Wah is the Cantonese restaurant of Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong which sits on the 25th floor of the hotel. Offering exquisite cuisine, including dim sum in the day, Man Wah is one of the top fine-dining Chinese restaurants in the city with a Michelin star under its belt and a stunning view of the skyline to boot.

Why we love it: Man Wah was recently given a huge makeover and the end result is absolutely gorgeous. The interior, in elegant dark azure tones, is accented with brass elements and Chinese embroidered art panels on the wall, adding a sense of refinement to the dining experience. But that's not all, the menu was also revamped with dishes that sing the song of Cantonese classics with understated elegance, all the while championing these age-old flavours and forgotten delicacies for a modern palate.

Time out tip: Seafood lovers can opt for the seemingly simple sautéed lobster cooked in a rich superior fish broth packed with flavour and umami, while those that enjoy local cuisine can try the Hakka-style braised pork belly with taro which shines a light on village cuisine in the most sophisticated manner.

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  • Restaurants
  • Admiralty

What is it? When Café Gray Deluxe closed we all wondered what would replace the dining destination on the 49th floor of the Upper House. Salisterra, a new Mediterranean restaurant named after the Latin words for salt and earth is spearheaded by London-based American born Japanese-British chef Jun Tanaka

Why we love it: The menu, which highlights the coastal cuisines of France and Italy, is fresh and vibrant which pair well with the new boldly coloured space. Highlights include the duck agnolotti mixed with rich egg yolk, pan-fried herb gnocchi, and surprising a warm rich rice pudding.

Time out tip: They also have something called crispy FOMO potatoes, which sell out quickly. So make sure to order them as soon as you get in, or else you'll experience FOMO!

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

What is it? Meat-centric Henry is located in Rosewood Hong Kong and is every carnivore’s dream come true. The restaurant uses classic American traditions to bring the best of Texas barbecue to the table. 

Why we love it: With woodfire ovens, charcoal grills, dry-aged heritage meats, and even an in-house butcher shop on display, the restaurant transparently showcases the amount of care and attention to detail they invest in elevating the diner’s experience to another level. More than just meats, there are also dishes such as the cornbread soufflé, served with ice cream, bourbon caramel and bacon bits, that take an all American tradition and switch it up superbly.

Time out tip: You can also enjoy the steaks with their selection of sauces including house-brand hot sauce, Bloody Mary ketchup, and our personal favourite, the espresso BBQ sauce that seems to go with everything.

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  • Restaurants
  • Sushi
  • Central
  • price 4 of 4

What is it? Sushi Shikon is Hong Kong's first three-Michelin-starred sushi restaurant which relocated to the seventh floor of The Landmark Mandarin Oriental in 2019.

Why we love it: The team at Sushi Shikon performs culinary magic with fresh, high-end ingredients procured from Japan. But this isn't only a stellar dining experience; it's a one-of-a-kind cultural experience as well: two-hour meals at an eight-seat Hinoki counter, putting sushi chef and guests in close proximity to interact over the exceptional sushi.

Time out tip: Sushi Shikon is also offering their much-loved Futomaki for pick up. Filled with Shikon's signature rice and top-quality fillings, wrapped in dried roasted seaweed.

  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary Asian
  • Sheung Wan

What is it? Vicky Cheng, the visionary chef that puts Chinese-French cuisine to work, is the V in VEA (while celebrated Hong Kong bartender Antonio Lai is the A). The restaurant offers a distinct cuisine that aims to shine a light on Chinese cuisine created with French technique and execution.

Why we love it: Food-wise, there are tasting menus with six or eight courses that change regularly with the seasons. Signatures that do stay on the menu include a sea cucumber with kuruma prawn and fish maw with caviar and quinoa. What seems like odd pairings, is actually extremely well thought out. All the flavours are fine-tuned with finesse, and there's a sense of Hong Kong cuisine in every offering.

Time out tip: A vegetarian version of the menu is also available upon request, but menus can change without prior notification so make sure to let your dietary requirements known beforehand.

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  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Central

What is it? Écriture is a contemporary French fine-dining restaurant, helmed by chef Maxime Gilbert, with two Michelin stars under its belt. 

Why we love it: With the restaurant’s open kitchen in the centre and floor-to-ceiling windows, diners can experience stunning views to go with the French culinary art. The menu, or Library of Flavours, change with the seasons but signature highlights include the likes of a showstopping caviar and uni tart, and akamutsu, wrapped in kombu from Brittany with verbena and fresh lemon that is steamed with sake over a hot stone.

Time out tip: The degustation menu at Ècriture is a full-on experience, so come hungry and expect to leave fairly full.

  • Restaurants
  • Fusion
  • Sai Ying Pun

What is it? Brut, which means raw in French, refers to the raw talent, passion and materials that go into making the wine bar and restaurant. Think funky and surprising wines paired with an international menu that blends old and new with East meets West creations.

Why we love it: This contemporary restaurant serves a curated menu filled with creative pan-Asian style dishes. Think Haw Flakes candy-inspired char siu with grilled pineapple, and creamy clams in a sake-infused clam chowder-style sauce with pickled kumquat and jalapeno. The space is intimate and highlights a modest menu with interesting wines that are mostly served by the glass and will almost always leave you pleasantly surprised. It's a comfortable space with none of the frills but plenty of friends to makeover good food and wine.

Time out tip: Head chef Gavin Chin is always cooking up a storm at Brut! and he's often got something in the making which means new dishes to return for. One of which, the miso and yuzu chicken wings, originated from the team's dishwasher.

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  • Restaurants
  • Central

What is it? Shane Osborn, of Michelin-starred Arcane, is behind the casual bistro Cornerstone headed by chef Neal Ledesma. The restaurant offers a modest Australian-style cuisine that features high-quality produce.

Why we love it: Cornerstone is a solid neighbourhood-style venue with a menu that always allows the produce to shine –much like its sister restaurant Arcane. Dishes are never over complicated and deliver on taste consistently. Our current highlights include a super tender Wagyu Angus steak, handmade cavatelli, and a perfectly grilled Spanish octopus.

Time out tip: The 24-seat dining room is not the biggest space and fills up quickly, so make sure you book in advance to secure your spot.

  • Bars and pubs
  • Wine bars
  • Central

What is it? Somm, short for sommelier, is a casual restaurant and wine bar with a huge selection of over 1,600 Champagnes, wines, and sakes.

Why we love it: The restaurant is filled out with walnut wood which evokes a wine barrel in its design and is laid out so that the team of sommeliers – including a sake somm – can easily give you the attention you deserve. The seasonal menus are made to enhance the wine you're drinking, too. Highlights include a rather sumptuous aka uni french toast and a rich and satisfying dish of Japanese pork belly with BBQ sauce and Hakata cabbage.

Time out tip: On the weekend, try out 'Somm kind of brunch' which includes 90 minutes of free-flow from the sommelier's selection of sparkling wine and wine-based cocktails.

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  • Restaurants
  • Soho

What is it? Chefs Chris Grare (Lily & Bloom) and Arron Rhodes (Gough's on Gough) teamed up to open their first joint venture, Kinship. The two serve up rustic and soulful cuisine with a New World edge in a relaxed atmosphere centred on family and relationships. 

Why we love it: The restaurant recently appointed new head chef Nelson Gonzalez, a Venezuelan-born and New York-trained talent that brings fresh ideas and dishes to the table. We're talking about a red snapper “ceviche", crispy soft shell crab, homemade cavatelli with Hokkaido scallops, and duck "char siu".

Time out tip: Weekday lunch here is a mega-deal with two or three courses for the price of $198 and $238 respectively. The meal ends with their own in-house made Hong Kong milk tea Mr Whippy ice cream. 

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Central

What is it? Headed by Kinship’s Chris Grare and Arron Rhodes, together with Christopher Tuthill (an Albuquerque native and chef), the three aim to bring old-school American BBQ to Hong Kong with Smoke & Barrel.

Why we love it: Thanks to their imported wood-fired smoker from Missouri, diners can expect smoky meats prepared in true slow-and-low style. There is also a bourbon table to wash it all down the Southern way. Menu highlights include the deeply flavoured all American brisket, Carolina pulled pork, seafood broil, jalapeño cornbread (a must order!), loaded tater tots, Mississippi mud pie and much more.

Time out tip: The restaurant also hosts regular meat smoking classes to master the southern American way of BBQ. Learn how to butcher, marinate, smoke, and cook before you taste, it's a lesson worth learning.

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  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Central

What is it? Best known for its soul-warming dishes, especially those made with snake, Ser Wong Fun is a renowned Chinese restaurant which is now managed by Gigi Paulina Ng, whose great-grandparents originally opened Ser Wong Fun in 1895 in Guangdong Province. 

Why we love it: Hailed as one of the oldest and greatest Cantonese restaurants in the city (by some), Ser Wong Fun not only impresses food lovers with its exquisite selection of traditional cuisine and snake soup, but its clay pot rice is equally delicious. The pig liver sausage and chicken clay pot rice is definitely a must-try during the cold winter months.

Time out tip: The classic dishes are said to be exactly the same as the ones that were served years ago, and now, those flavours are also available via delivery and takeaway.

  • Bars and pubs
  • Hotel bars
  • Admiralty

What is it? What the food menu at this restaurant and lounge offers is in the name, and there is indeed a fine seafood menu with top grill items to try.

Why we love it: The quality of food is consistent due to the excellent execution from chefs Kenny Chan and Cary Docherty who bring their collective experience across Hong Kong and London to the forefront. In particular, the Sunday roast brunch is fantastic, but be prepared to book in advance as it's popular, to say the least.

Time out tip: A recent creation, in the form of a fish burger with panko-crusted sole fillet, has been the centre of attention as of late on social media. The burger is now (finally) on their Saturday three-course brunch menu, otherwise, you'll need to preorder two days in advance.

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  • Restaurants
  • Korean
  • Sheung Wan

What is it? Chef Mingoo Kang, the chef behind two Michelin-starred Mingles in Seoul, opened his first venture outside of his native Korea, with a restaurant that brings the essence of refined Korean cuisine to Hong Kong.

Why we love it: Hansik Goo offers a well-designed tasting menu that includes traditional Korean dishes like bugak – a temple cuisine favourite with deep-fried seaweed, fish, chilli, and perilla leaf – dubu wanja Korean meatballs, Korean-style Australian wagyu beef tartare, and a rather special samgye risotto, which combines samgyetang or ginseng chicken soup with fried chicken.

Time out tip: Although the K-food here goes far beyond the normal Korean fried chicken, their version of KFC is still worth trying with its sweet and crisp yuzu-glazed exterior wrapped around juicy chicken.

  • Restaurants
  • Central

What is it? Merging Japanese izakaya ideals with Italian traditions, Pazzi Isshokenmei is a fine dining restaurant that offers a unique take on a cuisine that bridges these two worlds. 

Why we love it: The dishes, albeit on the expensive side, are tasty and in particular, the pasta dishes are a great combination of the cuisines. Miso crab with tagliolini is full of umami while a red prawn udon and uni tagliatelle, also delight seafood lovers. Pazzi also offers something they call the Treasure Chest, a vintage-style wooden chest on wheels that is brought to the table to make fresh handrolls with your choice of ingredients. 

Time out tip: The Tanoshii Cake ($1,500) is a layered rice cake with premium Japanese ingredients from Hokkaido such as uni, toro, and caviar among other items, making it a stunning, but pricy, celebration centrepiece.

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  • Restaurants
  • Sheung Wan

What is it? Popular Thai restaurant Chachawan brings the Northeastern regional cuisine of Isaan to Hong Kong in a casual and relaxed setting.

Why we love it: Led by culinary couple Rungroj Chang and Narisara Somboon, Chachawan offers crowd-pleasing dishes including Gai Yang, a juicy grilled chicken thigh, and Pla Phao Glua, a whole salt-crusted seabass. Meanwhile, other signature dishes such as Goong Golae, made with tiger prawn in a dry red coconut curry and Sam Chan Tort Glua, a seriously indulgent deep-fried crispy pork belly dish served with tangy and spicy tamarind sauce, add a slight kick and even more flavour to the menu.

Time out tip: They also offer Chacha Lunch on weekdays with a selection of signature dishes like Phad Thai, Khao Pad, Gai Yung, and more, paired with a choice of Thai milk tea, Thai milk coffee, or ice lemon tea.

  • Restaurants
  • Middle Eastern
  • Sheung Wan

What is it? The team behind Brazilian-Japanese restaurant Uma Nota launched this Middle Eastern concept inspired by the nomadic Bedouin tribes of the Middle Eastern deserts.

Why we love it: The menu features plenty of spice-centric sharing plates as well as cocktails and mocktails crafted from seasonal produce and botanicals. The rack of lamb in za'atar oil and garlic labneh topped with pomegranate is a must-try.

Time out tip: You can also do a multi-restaurant order with Meraki for both Bedu and Uma Nota, available for local delivery or self pick-up. They also do junk and private catering.

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  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary European
  • Central

What is it? Modern European restaurant Arcane, with the owner and chef Shane Osborn behind it, is a cosy place, where friends, family, and business associates can be wined and dined. 

Why we love it: The offerings on the menu are solid, and Osborn does create some fab dishes that are worthy of praise. It's a space for those who understand the chef’s approach – and love it.

Time out tip: Thanks to its discreet location, Arcane enjoy a bit of peace and quiet away from the bustle of the city centre. Perfect for business lunches or even private events

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Sheung Wan

What is it? Yardbird attracts diners by the hordes, thanks to being the kind of super hip izakaya/yakitori (Japanese style skewered chicken) venue that not even Tokyo denizens would roll their eyes at. 

Why we love it: It only took ten years, but Yardbird finally received a Michelin star this year. Not that it needed it, as even after a decade in the business, the restaurant is just as popular. The chicken here is treated no differently than the finest piece of toro, that is, with love and care. And it returns the favour by donating literally every part of its body including the thigh, wing, neck, liver, tail or skin.

Time out tip: To celebrate ten years of business, Yardbird is releasing ten different collaborations over the course of ten months. So watch out on Time Out for news on the events.

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  • Restaurants
  • Spanish
  • Wan Chai

What is it? After a couple of months of renovation in 2020, popular Wan Chai tapas bar 22 Ships reopened and unveiled a revamped restaurant featuring a range of traditional yet modern multi-regional tapas dishes by chef Antonio Oviedo. 

Why we love it: Their u-shaped bar set against the buzzing atmosphere is perfect for devouring their light bites, with our favourites being the marinated heirloom tomatoes ($98) and the rusa and sea urchin on toast ($180). They also have a dynamic drink menu focusing on Spanish wines, sangrias, and cocktails, making this spot perfect for casual meals to remember.

Time out tip: Save room for their creamy burnt Basque cheesecake, or for a limited time only, get a full-sized one and enjoy the intense cheesy (from the Idiazabal cheese) and charcoal burnt flavours in every bite.

  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Mong Kok

What is it? A Chinese restaurant that holds a consistent quality for all their Cantonese dishes, some of which they have become known to pair some great wines with too, thanks to their Ming Cellar, which carries over 400 wines from over 100 regions.

Why we love it: Besides the delectable dim sum, this elegant restaurant in bustling Mong Kok is known for its twist on a perennial classic: yeung chow fried rice with sea cucumber, which apparently was the way Chinese emperors preferred it.

Time out tip: Go classic Cantonese and try the nostalgically braised pomelo peel which not only is high in fibre and nutritional but is spongey soft and soaks up all the flavour of the supreme sauce.

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  • Restaurants
  • Malaysian
  • Shek Tong Tsui
  • price 2 of 4

What is it? Located in Hotel Jen, Café Malacca has made quite a name for itself as one of the most authentic Malaysian and Singaporean kitchens in town, with refined yet homely comfort dishes that never fail to impress. 

Why we love it: Highlights from the menu include the aromatic Penang char koay teow, rich and flavourful satay, and the beef rendang which is a standout item. Thanks to Café Malacca, we can enjoy this dish which is too laborious for some of us to make at home.

Time out tip: They also have a cake version of the traditional ondeh ondeh sweet snack which will change your mind about Asian desserts altogether.

  • Restaurants
  • Scandinavian
  • Sheung Wan
  • price 3 of 4

What is it? Frantzén’s Kitchen is celebrated Swedish chef and restaurateur Björn Frantzén's first venture outside of his native land. The restaurant sits on Upper Station Street in a sleepy nook of Sheung Wan and triumphantly melds Nordic and Asian cuisines into a niche Scando concept. A simple and sleek interior has all the benefits of Scandinavian-chic without any DIY furniture.

Why we love itMenu highlights include French toast with truffles, balsamic vinegar and aged cheese, as well as a fresh green asparagus dish made with split pea purée and fermented white asparagus sauce, morels and pistachio.

Time out tip: The restaurant is closed on Mondays but opens for both lunch and dinner from Tuesday to Sunday.

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  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Soho
  • price 2 of 4

What is it? Happy Paradise is the brainchild of Asia's Best Female Chef 2017, May Chow, who also brought us Little Bao Diner and Second Draft in Hong Kong. 

Why we love it: In this funky, neon-punctuated space, sip on Chinese-influenced cocktails, while dining on modern takes of Canto classics, such as sourdough egg waffle with bottarga whip, Australian wagyu skirt steak on thick-cut rice noodles, and a delightful mochi apple pie. 

Time out tip: Chow always rustles up dishes based on the seasons including some that require preorder such as the lobster noodles with either Boston or southern Australian lobster.

  • Restaurants
  • Wan Chai

What is it? After garnering plenty of praise for her catering concept, banker-turned-chef Stephanie Wong opened a brick-and-mortar incarnation of that in form of Roots Eatery.

Why we love it: Inspired by her late grandmother, Wong plates up home-style Cantonese dishes, which are informed by her French culinary training at institutions such as Alain Ducasse’s Hostellerie De Plaisance in France and Amber in Hong Kong. Dishes are playful renditions of Cantonese classics or Chinese twists on French dishes; shrimp toast, for example, is enhanced with pickled onions, salmon roe and mint, while beef tartare gets yu kwan yick treatment with xo sauce.

Time out tip: The restaurant is fairly small so make sure you reserve a table in advance to avoid disappointment. You can do that by calling, email, or just shoot them a message on WhatsApp.

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