In a city inundated with grandiose skyscrapers and one of the world’s most robust economic markets Hong Kong has rapidly ascended amongst the world’s finest epicenter’s for food. As the most prestigious chef’s have developed a presence in Hong Kong, the city has dramatically closed the gap with London, Paris and New York as the finest purveyor of divine culinary artistry in the world. While prominent chef’s including Alain Ducasse, Joel Robuchon and most recently Mario Batali serve some of the finest food at their highly acclaimed restaurants, Hong Kong boasts an abundance of praiseworthy “hole in the walls” serving sumptuous epicurean delights at excessively modest prices. In fact, Hong Kong has the cheapest Michelin starred restaurant in the world, Tim Ho Wan, which costs less than $9 per person for multiple courses. Among a plethora of exquisite hole in the wall’s, Butao, Mak’s Noodle, Temple Spicy Crab, Tim Ho Wan and Dumpling Yuan serve five of the finest and most palatable, inexpensive dishes in Hong Kong.
King Ramen Noodles @ Butao:
Over the past two years, Butao has quickly emerged as not only the most sought after destination for Ramen but also one of the hottest restaurants for lunch. Serving only the first 200 bowls of succulent Ramen per day, Butao typically requires a minimal wait of at least thirty minutes. The dish embodies sumptuous noodles in a flavorful zesty broth that integrates the ideal combination of oil, onion and garlic that creates the consummate spice needed for the perfect soup. At only $78HK ($10USD), the minimal price does not accurately reflect the peerless value of one of Hong Kong’s most extraordinary dishes.
Flat C, Wo On Building, 11-12 Wo On Lane, Central, Hong Kong, China
P: +852 25300600. Hours: Daily from 11 A.M until the last bowl is sold.
Pork and Chive Dumpling @ Dumpling Yuan:
Physically, Dumpling Yuan exemplifies the term, “hole in the wall,” located on the highly recognized and busy Wellington Street, the restaurant’s inconspicuous awning can make the storefront relatively easy to overlook. Once inside, the Pork and Chive Dumplings are easily one of the most delectable Cantonese dishes in HK. Buttery, flavorful and flawless texture accurately delineates the dish. While Hong Kong is inundated with exceptional dumplings, Pork and Chive Dumplings are worth the visit.
Wellington Street 69, Central, Hong Kong, China
P: + 852 25259018 Hours: Daily 11A.M-11P.M
Wonton Noodles @ Mak’s Noodle:
Located in the heart of Lan Kwai Fong, Mak’s Noodle is known for serving one of the most succulent Wonton Noodles in Hong Kong. While the portions are minimal, the dish exemplifies some of the finest epicurean eats in Hong Kong. In addition, at only 30HK ($3.70USD) the minimal portions are mitigated as one can seamlessly enjoy up to three servings for a bargain.
麥奀記 Wellington St., Central, Hong Kong, China
P: +852 2854 3810. Hours: Monday-Sunday 11 A.M–8 P.M
Spicy Crab @ Temple Spice Crabs:
Although this may be the most ubiquitous “tourist trap” in Hong Kong, Temple Spice Crabs’ food justifies the hype that has led to several television appearances, most notably on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. Temple Spice Crabs is located in the profoundly touristic Temple Street Market in Mongkok. Considering this outdoor “hole in the wall” is named after the dish, the eponymous Spicy Crab is the preeminent dish on the menu. Spicy, savory and fresh, the Spicy Crab is exceptional. While 200 HKD ($25USD) may seem prohibitive for an outdoor “hole in the wall”, the crab remains a fraction of the price of a formal restaurant, despite being superior in taste.
Beef Balls @ Tim Ho Wan:
While palatable dim sum restaurants abound in Hong Kong, none delineate the range, depth and rewarding epicurean experience that Tim Ho Wan embodies. At less than $8USD per person (each dish averages around $19 HKD ($2.50USD), Tim Ho Wan is easily the least expensive Michelin Starred restaurant in the world. Among a plethora of mouth-watering dishes including: Shrimp and Beef Dumplings, Fried Noodles and Cheung Fun, the Beef Balls are inimitable. Sweet, savory and highly succulent, Tim Ho Wan’s Beef Balls are easily one of the most divine dishes in Hong Kong.
Shop 8, Tsui Yuen Mansion, 2-20, Kwong Wa Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong.
P: + 852 2332 2896. Hours: Daily 10A.M-10P.M