Recently I calculated how much of my salary I was spending on food... have you done this? Well you shouldn't because it's absolutely ridiculous! Ok, not as ridiculous as rent, but still! I am a believer in the fact that eating good food should be a democratic pleasure and not reserved to the clients of some fancy restaurants. So, I decided to do both my pockets and my palate a favor: I went through the latest Michelin Guide (not Stars) and other restaurant review websites scouring for that magic combo of good value and good quality restaurants. And here is my finalised "my stingy foodie's restaurant guide for different occassions. Happy to share with our LocalHood community 😁.
1. Cafe Hunan/Chinese/SYP - HK$100-200
Tel: +852 2803 7177
Hunan has always been proud of its gastronomical heritage, and this young chef is the one carrying the baton in this busy city of ours. To ensure authenticity, all ingredients are come directly from the source: a farm in Hunan!
2. Maxim’s Palace Chinese Restaurant Central/ <200
Add: 2/F, Low Block, City Hall, Central
Tel: +852 2521 1303
Dim sum at Maxim’s Palace in City Hall on a Sunday afternoon is about as Hong Kong as it gets. It's every bit worth your money and time spent we say. No wonder, Locals and tourists alike fill the large hall, and visitors are sure to get an authentic Cantonese dim sum experience, including all the noisy chatter and parading dim sum trolleys pushed by plump and friendly servers. A table by the window for a view of the harbor and the old Queen’s Pier location would be cherry on the cake if you can get it!! You'll increase your chances if you go early on and have early lunch. Must try dishes include the the famous barbecued suckling pig, the heavenly assortment of dim-sums and the deep-fried sliced garoupa with sweetcorn sauce.
3. Cafe Siam/ Thai/Kennedy Town -HK$150
Add: G/F, 38 Forbes Street, Kennedy Town
Top Tip: -Make sure you try out the Pad thai, Grilled whole seabass and the Sago and coconut cream wrapped in pandan leaves in dessert. -Thanks to its association with LocalHood, on presentation of your LocalHood IDs you get 30% off the bill (a la carte + drinks) from Mon-Fri...So for the next dine out venue, its worth every penny we'd say!! 4. Islamic Centre Canteen ICC)/ Wanchai/<100HK$
Add: 5/F., Osman Ramju Sadick Islamic Centre, 40 Oi Kwan Rd., Wanchai,
Hidden in a mosque in Wan Chai is a culinary refuge for Muslims who love Chinese food. And if you are a foodie wanting to try local cuisine which is Halal this should probably be on top of your go to places. Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options available. The great thing is that the ICC superbly mixes the cooked food market experience with a family friendly restaurant one all in an international ambiance. We loved the assortment of dim sums, the flat rice noodles with braised beef and a lemon cha for drink.
5. Kaum/Indonesian/SYP - HK$200-400
Add: G/F, 100 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun
Well priced with generous portions, this gem is a mix of everything Indonesian, with an attractive main dining room, beautiful Toraja tiles, communal tables and even a music room!
Top tip: Make sure you try out their bamboo dishes!
6. Capital Café/ Wanchai/ 50HK$
Add: Shop B1, G/F, Kwong Sang Hong Building, 6 Heard Street
Tel: +852 2666 7766
If you want to have some tasty local eating experience in the nostalgia of old Hong Kong and amidst very unique decorations/memorabilia, Capital Cafe is the place to go. A No frills, old-school Hong Kong-style diner. It's cheap and good. And very local. You are forewarned that the management nor the servers speak English. The menu is obviously in Cantonese, so you're advised to go with Cantonese speaking friends to make the most of your trip there and avoid any frustration. Their HK-style French toast is also a must-try along with soup noodles which come in different meat.
7. Shugetsu Ramen/Japanese/Central - HK$50-100
Add: 5 Gough Street, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2850 6009
If you don’t like queues might be best to avoid this one… but they’re there with good reason: the noodles are home-made and the broth is slow cooked over 18 months in a 100 year old wooden basket which ads flavour and depth! Just, wow.