10 Best Hong Kong Homestyle Restaurants: That Sweet Familiar Taste



For many Hong Kong families, Sunday or Saturday offers a program that’s as unvarying as it is unbreakable. Go home to mom and dad, and sit down with your brothers, sisters and assorted relations for a family homestyle meal. For Hong Kongers exiled overseas,  whether for study or business, it’s one of the things they miss the most.

Hence the popularity of homestyle restaurants in Hong Kong. There’s something about sitting around a big table – and in the larger sort of Chinese restaurant you’ll see tables as big as or bigger than wagon wheels being maneuvered into position – dipping into a variety of dishes, sharing the food and the experience, as happy to be filling your tummy as enjoying a fulfilling experience.

It’s not just Chinese restaurants, such as Jumbo, which are popular. One of the longest running establishments in the city, Jimmy’s Kitchen, has made comfort food its forte, and grandparents who remember when their feet dangled beneath their seats now treat their grandchildren at those self-same tables.

Homestyle restaurants also allow full play to another great Hong Kong custom – the (mock) argument over the check, with various diners lunging for the waiter, waving their credit cards, protesting that it’s their turn to pay. It’s all part of the fun.



10
Eastern District
Mr & Mrs Fox
Photo courtesy of Mr & Mrs Fox


 

Mr & Mrs Fox is a three-level bar and restaurant in the up-and-coming district of Quarry Bay, which is a mix of new office blocks and traditional residential areas. The Fox menus is equally varied, with an emphasis on European food and a great attention to craftsmanship and attention to detail. The topmost floor is a private dining space, while the middle floor offers the best chance to people watch. The restaurant's design reflects the menu, with bespoke furniture pieces and materials including wood and brass, imports a sense of nostalgia and whimsy. Mrs Fox, on the ground floor, features a keg room dispensing craft beer designed to pair with small plates which pack hearty flavors. While Mr Fox on the next floor up offers an extensive menu focusing on dry-aged steak and seafood along with seasonal main dishes. The wine list spans an impressive 100 bottles. The Fox is packed with execs at lunch times, but is less busy at weekends. Sunday brunch is a winner.


9
Dan Ryan's Chicago Grill
Photo courtesy of Dan Ryan's


 

To call Dan Ryan's a Hong Kong institution would be a massive understatement. It's one of the most popular restaurants in the city: partly for its food, partly for its service and, perhaps most of all, for its all-American ambiance. After operating for many years in Admiralty, it moved to the new foodie district of Taikoo Shing, with a prestigious location in the Cityplaza mall. Diners are presented with a choice of sitting at the bar or in one of the comfortable booths, while there are views of the chefs strutting their stuff in the open kitchen. All the Dan Ryan's favorites are here: the super green salad with a base of fresh baby spinach, quinoa and rocket leaves, the deluxe chili burger, the US prime tomahawk steak, seared Hokkaido scallops and that absolute triumph known as the dessert sampler comprising house-made carrot cake, apple pie, cheesecake, double fudge brownie and Asian-inspired matcha truffles. There's a good selection of craft beer, non-stop sports TV, and the edifying sight of packed tables all around filled with customers getting their fill of a very American meal.


8
Eastern District
Yo Bago
Photo courtesy of Yo Bago


 

The prime attraction of Yo Bago is, naturally enough, its bagels, which are made fresh on the premises. The cafe " which is by no means large " enjoys a terrific atmosphere, partly due to its location on a workaday street one block away from the modernistic Tai Koo Place. Staff are easygoing and obliging, and there's a feeling that this is very much a regulars' joint, with customers dropping in for breakfast or to shoot the breeze several times a week, if not daily. The owners are Canadian,and there's a strong "Maple Leaf" theme to the menu. Most importantly, the bagels are complemented by the doughnuts " which are equally good. This is a great place to eat if you are in the area, and worth searching out if you've got a hankering for bagels, doughnuts, or just a friendly atmosphere.


7
Tsim Sha Tsui
Delaney's
Photo courtesy of Delaney's


 

Ireland's colonized the world with its pubs, serving up good cheer as well as good food and drink. Delaney's has been going in Hong Kong for the best part of two decades (there is another branch in Pok Fu Lam) and its popularity is as much down to its breakfasts " plates brimming with eggs, bacon and all the good things in life " as its rip-roaring evening singalongs. Another reason for the success of Delaney's is the staff: matey, sympathetic, efficient and good humored, in fact, little short of perfect. The coffee here is excellent as well.


6
Central
cafe TOO
Photo courtesy of Island Shangri-La


 

Hotel buffets have gotten a bad reputation over the years, one that is largely deserved. At the Island Shangri-La, Cafe TOO is an exception, however. Skilled chefs at seven cooking stations prepare food to order so things don't linger too long under the heat lamps, and the variety truly is amazing. This was one of the first hotels in Hong Kong to adopt the open kitchen principle, and it's something that just about everybody loves. Pace yourself " there's a lot to eat but it's all top quality. As well as the aromas wafting from the cooking stations, the cafe is flooded with light making this a very happy place to eat.


5
Classified Cheese Room
Photo courtesy of Classified


 

Classified, part of a chain that has rapidly spread across the city, is a Hong Kong success story. Founded by three friends who had studied abroad and reckoned that their native HK needed a slightly more sophisticated yet casual sort of eatery, Classified's a winner. The menu is wide-ranging and fun, the clientele pretty much the same, and both are matched by the decor. On weekdays, nobody lingers for very long, but on Saturday and Sunday this is where the neighborhood comes to chill, fill and say hi to friends and family members. Classified, if it's not too simplistic to say so, is pure class.


4
Super Star Seafood Restaurant


 

Get your seafood quota here! The tanks filled with lobsters, crabs, prawns and a plethora of fish leave no doubt " Super Star's specialty is super fresh seafood. Usually your selection will be plucked straight from the tank, quickly prepared and presented steaming hot to your table. Stone fish, a favorite with Chinese, is the exception, taking about an hour to cook. It's worth the wait, though! And if you're not a big fan of ocean-based food, there are plenty of other choices like barbecued pork and crispy chicken. This place is extremely popular, and has won numerous local awards. While it caters mainly to a local crowd, an English menu is available on request.


3
Spring Deer


 

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 decor is on the nondescript 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.


2
Jumbo Floating Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Jumbo Floating Restaurant


 

In operation for decades, the Jumbo has become something of a landmark. Renovated to create a modern and stylish interior, expansions over the years include a tea garden, banquet and party facilities and a museum exhibit of bronzeware. The restaurant offers an extensive menu and is a popular dim sum spot on Sunday morning, when it opens early. For lunch and dinner, you can choose from a la carte options, or select from one of about a half dozen set menus in varying degrees of opulence. Opinions differ on the overall quality of the experience, but one thing is for certain: the Jumbo Floating Restaurant is quintessential Hong Kong.


1
Jimmy's Kitchen


 

Jimmy's is, perhaps, Hong Kong's most famous restaurant. Located on Wyndham Street, this Continental-style restaurant has a definite Western atmosphere. Menu options span the globe from New Zealand shellfish to North American beef and Western European corned beef and cabbage. After more than 70 years, Jimmy's is still popular with Hong Kong's expatriate community, especially as a place to meet up for a good lunch. Reservations, therefore, are suggested. Jimmy's popularity is based on its consistency " you know what you're going to get, and it's not overly dressed up. Of course, there is a strong retro appeal too. MTR: Central.


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Meet Ed Peters

Ed Peters has been based in Asia for much of his life.

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