Top 5 spots to eat and drink in Hong Kong

By Shandelle Battersby

Budaoweng hot pot restaurant in Hong Kong. Photo / Shandelle Battersby
Budaoweng hot pot restaurant in Hong Kong. Photo / Shandelle Battersby

1: The best salads in Hong Kong," hooted a local about the selection at Beautifood (60 Johnston Rd, Ship St entrance, Wan Chai), the tiny salad bar owned by Michelin-starred chef Alvin Leung, whose nickname is the Demon Chef. It's not surprising there's a queue out the door and down the street - for just HK$60 ($9.60) you can choose salad combos such as salty lemon and seared salmon, or opt for a "sushi burrito" with flavours such as Cantonese steamed sea bream or hot Sichuan pulled chicken.

2: If you don't mind DIY cooking, head to a hotpot restaurant for a fun dining experience. Budaoweng is a vast Japanese and Chinese restaurant on the 23rd floor of the iSquare building at 63 Nathan Rd, Kowloon. This is a few streets back from the Kowloon waterfront so if you get a table near the window you'll have prime views of Victoria Harbour. It's good to go with someone who knows what they're doing, but the basic drill is to mix a dipping sauce from the tray of condiments (red chilli, crushed garlic, XO sauce, satay, and so on), then choose a soup base, which simmers on the element in the centre of your table.

Next, you choose what you want to cook in the soup, such as raw meat (Budaoweng's specialty is thin and tender slices of marbled beef), fish, shellfish and vegetables. Then using a small sieve you dunk in the raw food until it's cooked how you want it, then scoop it out and eat with rice. Delicious, though be prepared for trial and error.

3: It's not so long ago that Hong Kong was an English colony, and some traditions still hold strong - one of them being a fondness for high tea. The Langham hotel in Peking Rd, Kowloon hosts a daily tiffin afternoon tea in the luxurious surrounds of its Palm Court. Guests can choose from Sleeping Beauty, a traditional tea with fruit-inspired treats, or the chocolate-fuelled Beauty and the Beast. There are also options for your princes and princesses. Or for high tea with more of a local feel, catch a double-decker tram to The Pawn, a renovated former pawn shop in a fantastic colonial-era building at 62 Johnston St, Wan Chai.

4: Swiss-born chef Gerard Dubois' patisserie, boulangerie and confiserie Passion (80 Johnston St, Wan Chai) is a feast for the eyes, let alone the tummy. There are baskets of fresh bread including fougasse and panettone that make your mouth water just to look at; and cabinets of beautiful sandwiches, salads, macarons, cakes, scones, danishes, elaborate cupcakes and French pastries. Think raspberry ganache tarts or milles feuilles with vanilla and salted caramel presented like works of art. And if you get some to take away, they come prettily presented in lovely carry-boxes which carefully protect the treasures within.

5: Tea is a huge part of Asian culture and a tea demonstration is a lovely way to get more of an understanding why. At the Li-Nong Tea House (Ngong Ping Village, Lantau Island), tea specialist Tina Zheng holds three free demonstrations a day (11.30am, 2pm and 4pm) on how to prepare their famous blooming tea. The tea starts off as a small, handmade green nugget about the size of a knucklebone, then magically transforms into a beautiful flower once hot water is added. Zheng then explains the various medicinal and traditional benefits of the resulting brew.

• Shandelle Battersby travelled to Hong Kong with assistance from Cathay Pacific and the Hong Kong Tourism Board

- NZ Herald

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