Named after a Chinese province, this restaurant is popular for its hot offerings of Hunanese cuisine. Most of the chicken and fish dishes are not exempt from the spiciness, but have no fear, the hot items are clearly marked on the menu. The environment is friendly, and Hunan Garden is ideally located in one of the city's main shopping plazas. While the items on the menu may not be familiar to many diners from overseas, the staff are friendly and helpful and will be glad to explain both ingredients and cooking methods. Dining here is a mini adventure. Reservations are recommended. MTR: Tai Koo.
Recommended for Chinese because: Hunan Garden provides top dining away from the center of Hong Kong.
Ed's expert tip: Stay on the safe side: you can always make your dish more spicy, but trying to take that spiciness away again is very much more difficult.
After decades in operation, Spring Deer still manages to pack in crowds of loyal locals and many overseas visitors who have eaten here previously. Spring Deer is particularly popular with groups, ratcheting the noise level up during peak meal times. Otherwise, the décor is on the non-descript side, and the tablecloths have seen better days, though this should not be a problem. The kitchen is well-run and the food is absolutely top notch! Seafood and chicken dishes, and Peking Duck, are the favored menu options, and servings are sized to share, family-style as in many Hong Kong restaurants. MTR: Tsim Sha Tsui.
Recommended for Chinese because: Senior executives who backpacked to Hong Kong in their teens return here for a taste of their youth!
Ed's expert tip: Reservations are nigh essential at weekends and holidays, as this restaurant is a long-time Hong Kong favorite and does not have that many big tables.
Wu Kong specializes in Shanghai cuisine, a style of cooking that refines dishes from neighboring provinces (primarily Jiangsu and Zhejiang), and was rated one of Hong Kong's best restaurants by the Hong Kong Tatler magazine. Foods are often cooked with wine or liquor, and tend to be mildly spiced. Standouts here include pigeon in wine sauce, braised crab with bean paste sauce, and prawn balls with garlic chili sauce. Steamed and deep fried buns stuffed with stock or ground meat are also popular in Shanghai, and Wu Kong prepares them very well indeed. Set menus are also available.
Recommended for Chinese because: Many Shanghainese visit Hong Kong on business or vacation, and this is one of their first stops.
Ed's expert tip: Beggar's Chicken (cooked for hours in a clay mold) is one of the stand-out dishes, and served at your table with a certain amount of flourish.
In search of authentic Chinese and Cantonese cuisine? Visit the Canton Room at the beautiful Luk Kwok Hotel. Located in the Wan Chai neighborhood of Hong Kong, the restaurant provides a flawless Eastern setting and menu. Catering to the health conscious but lacking nothing in taste, the menu features dim sum plates and traditional Chinese fare made with low-calorie and low-oil ingredients. Pairing wine with Chinese food is becoming a minor art form in Hong Kong – ask the staff for advice on what wine best suits your dining choices. Reservations are advised especially when major events are taking place at the nearby Convention Centre. MTR: Wan Chai.
Recommended for Chinese because: Canton Room does two things very well: authentic fare in a very refined setting.
Ed's expert tip: Be sure to make a lunch reservation – dim sum sessions are especially popular, and attended by large groups of family, friends or work colleagues.
This modern deco-style restaurant is located in Pacific Place, one of the city's most popular shopping, dining and entertainment venues. The staff is efficient, and most of their dishes are portioned large enough to share with others. The menu features items that are reasonably priced, and most bear the influence of traditional Shanghainese cuisine. On Friday nights at Ye Shanghai, you can hear live jazz while you dine, so not surprisingly, this is one of Ye Shanghai's busiest evenings. Unique to Ye Shanghai is the fusion of Shanghainese dishes with Cantonese dim sum, served during lunch hours. Reservations are suggested. MTR: Admiralty.
Recommended for Chinese because: The fusion of Cantonese and Shanghai cuisines is achieved with more than a little panache.
Ed's expert tip: Hong Kong's dim sum is some of the best in the world, particularly because it is so fresh. Ask your server for recommendations if you are unsure.
T'ang Court has won a stack of local and international awards, most recently three stars from the world-famous Michelin. The food certainly warrants a wealth of praise, from exquisite soups to sauteed prawns and crab roe. In keeping with the Langham Hotel's approach, the service is impeccable, and the decor is simply beautiful – traditional Chinese without being overbearing. In addition, there is a respectable wine list, with selections that go particularly well with the dishes on the menu. A fine choice for sampling the best that Cantonese cuisine has to offer in the heart of Kowloon. MTR: Tsim Sha Tsui.
Recommended for Chinese because: Never mind the three Michelin stars, take a gander at the Hong Kongers concentrating on their food.
Ed's expert tip: If you haven't heard already, the braised garoupa head is sensational – some regular fans come here week after week and dine on nothing else.
One of Hong Kong's most successful "cha chaan teng" (a traditional but unpretentious eatery) chains serves iconic bites that are yummy and quick. The food here is an eye-opening mix of Asian and European cuisines given a local twist, extremely popular with all classes of Hong Kong diners: Chinese buns are fried and topped with cream and peanut butter. A classic meal costing less than US$10 includes a bowl of rice noodles in fish soup, fish balls and fish cakes, and a glass of silky milk tea. You can ask for plain water as the tea is definitely an "acquired taste". MTR: Central
Recommended for Chinese because: This is a real Hong Kong dining experience, packed with locals enjoying traditional eats.
Ed's expert tip: Tsui Wah has 24 chains throughout Hong Kong. Seven of them open around the clock, including the branches at Wellington, Jaffe Road and Mong Kok.
One of the city's most notable restaurants, the House of Tang in the Metro Park Hotel has long been regarded as one of Hong Kong's Best Restaurants. The chefs specialize in fabulous dim sum and other traditional Chinese delicacies. The restaurant also proudly boasts the first "half portion" menu on Hong Kong's hotel restaurant scene, so patrons can sample a significant number of their magnificent dishes (just in smaller portions). Overall, it's a great, casual place for an authentic Chinese dining experience. The staff are used to overseas visitors, and most helpful with recommendations and advice. MTR: Jordan or Yau Ma Tei.
Recommended for Chinese because: House of Tang lays on superb food with great style and service to match.
Ed's expert tip: Don't hesitate to ask your server if there are any special items on the day you dine, which may not be listed on the menu.
The Cantonese restaurant at Hong Kong's finest and most elegant hotel, The Peninsula Hong Kong, is a haven for fans of Chinese dim sum. Situated in a 1930s' Shanghai art deco style (think dark rosewood furniture, oriental rugs on the floor and faded black-and-white pictures decorated the walls), this grand dining landmark serves adorable bite-size steamed purses. A tea master can pair with your meal a brew from more than 25 varieties. Head chef Henry Fong Li Hing, who himself is a dim sum aficionado, puts a unique modern touch on traditional recipes while keeping the essence of Chinese cooking, one example is the simple, hearty and iconic steamed buns stuffed with Wagyu beef. Note that Spring Moon has a smart casual dress code.
Recommended for Chinese because: The elegant and nostalgic dining space at Hong Kong's landmark hotel offers a premium dim sum experience for fans of China's bite-size food pieces.
Ed's expert tip: Try the crystal dumplings with crab legs, carrots and pumpkin and steamed vegetarian dumplings with imperial fungus. Both are Spring Moon's signature dishes. The restaurant also roasts some of Hong Kong's best Peking Duck.
Hutong's stunning space is a clever play of faux rustic decor against the backdrop of uber-modern Hong Kong seen from floor to ceiling windows. Much of the food, traditional northern Chinese with a modern bent, may not appeal to meat-and-potatoes types. That said, there are still a few dishes that even the most Western of palates will appreciate, such as crispy de-boned lamb ribs, wok-fried beef tenderloin with scallions and pan-fried sole. Otherwise, expect to find unusual but wonderful dishes such as shark's lips marinated with ginger and black fungi, stewed fish head, sea cucumber salad or poached frog legs with sponge cucumber. MTR: Tsim Sha Tsui.
Recommended for Chinese because: Hutong is a perfect marriage of design, location and menu – and the staff and cellar are excellent too.
Ed's expert tip: Book a private room if you are with a group and want some extra exclusivity; it will cost a little more, but you gain more space and better service.