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10 Best Hong Kong Seafood Restaurants: Nevermind the Turf, Here's the Surf



Hong Kong doesn't so much eat seafood as ingest it, pretty much like oxygen. The city is built overlooking a harbor, there are fish farms on the outer islands, and a trawler fleet based in Cheung Chau. And every day at Chek Lap Kok, aircraft land bringing jet-fresh seafood from all around the world. After all, Hong Kong is somewhere that takes its dining seriously, and true connoisseurs want the best seafood that the planet can provide.

Just as there is all manner of seafood, so there are all manner of places to eat it. One of the merriest locales is the al fresco set of restaurants in Sai Kung, on the eastern edge of Hong Kong's New Territories, which are strung out along the quay: this is casual dining par excellence. Or you might want to dine in formal surroundings, such as the Mandarin Grill, (oysters from England, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, France and Japan) where you'll be waited on hand and foot. Either way, it will be a meal whose memory will linger for a long time. 

And of course, everyone knows the old Hong Kong joke: "I'm on a seafood diet – I see food, I eat it."


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Tsim Sha Tsui
Felix
Photo courtesy of The Peninsula


The intriguing decor, magnificent views, and delectable food offered at this establishment complement one another to create an unforgettable dining experience. The sleek interior was designed by the renowned Philippe-Starck. Menu selections include a variety of fusion cuisine, which delicately blends the flavors indicative of the east and the west. Most any guest will be impressed with the wine room, the two bars, the disco, and the long table that doubles as a catwalk. This is the perfect place to impress an important business client or a significant other. It's best to wear business attire. Reservations are recommended. MTR: Tsim Sha Tsui

Recommended for Seafood because: The Pen is Hong Kong's oldest hotel – but Felix's brand of modernity brings it right up to date.

Ed's expert tip: The gentlemen's restrooms are famed as having the best view in town.

Read more about Felix →


Mandarin Grill
Photo courtesy of Mandarin Oriental


A perennial winner on Hong Kong's dining scene, the Mandarin Grill exudes sophisticated ambiance, with decor by designer Sir Terence Conran. The selection of oysters, as a single example of culinary excellence, is drawn from farms all around the world. Peruse the menu for the seafood you fancy most, and moments later, whatever you've ordered appears, done to perfection. It's not cheap, but there again, neither is a Rolls-Royce. Discreet people-watching is one of the fringe benefits of dining here. And assuming you've had enough of your iPhone or similar device, there's a comprehensive selection of newspapers and the like.

Recommended for Seafood because: This would best suit a business meeting, or some significant personal celebration.

Ed's expert tip: This is a formal dining room – tee-shirts and thongs are not going to cut it.

Read more about Mandarin Grill →


Bubba Gump Shrimp Co
Photo courtesy of Bubba Gump


Bubba Gump neatly captures the charm and American spirit that made the movie "Forrest Gump" a smash hit featuring a down-home atmosphere reminiscent of the film's setting in The South. The Bubba Gump Shrimp Company remains the first and only theme restaurant chain based on a motion picture. The casual dining seafood concept is known for its iconic locations in major cities across the world, and the Hong Kong outlet, on The Peak, the Island's highest point and a major tourist destination, is no exception. Expect excellent food and service, and an atmosphere that's dedicated to 100 per cent enjoyment.

Recommended for Seafood because: Bubba Gump is first choice for families, as its theme is just right for youngsters.

Ed's expert tip: The Peak tends to get very busy at weekends, so best to dine here during the week.

Read more about Bubba Gump Shrimp Co →


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White Beard
Photo courtesy of White Beard


Steps away from the Maritime Museum, right by Star Ferry and overlooking the harbor, it's only logical that this place should serve fish and chips. For anyone arriving by cruise ship and docking at Ocean Terminal, it's just a short ferry ride to White Beard. The fish is imported from New Zealand, and they also serve sausages, meat pies, onion rings and the like. Beverages include fresh lemonade, and there are 15 different bottled craft beers to sample. This is a takeaway, rather than a restaurant, but there's plenty of seating to choose from at the pier. The best option is to take the elevator up to the roof, where there is a small public garden with great harbor views. There's also some indoor seating if it's either pouring with rain or simply too hot. All in all this is a very reasonably priced eatery, with youthful and friendly staff.

Recommended for Seafood because: This is one of the best dining bargains in Hong Kong – and you can't complain about the location, right next to Star Ferry.

Ed's expert tip: All fish and chips come with a dip – the fresh garlic is the most toothsome.

Read more about White Beard →


Yan Toh Heen


Despite a couple of name changes and some rather extensive renovations, this respected restaurant has stayed remarkably focused, offering exceptional Cantonese cuisine for over 20 years. Absolute freshness is paramount, of course, and the menu changes frequently to take advantage of seasonal produce. Dim sum is de rigueur at midday, and set lunch and dinner menus are quite a bargain. The a la carte menu is lengthy and features time-honored and difficult-to-do-well dishes like "Braised Fish Maw and Goose Web." Essentially, this is a restaurant that takes pride in its reputation, especially when it comes to seafood. MTR: East Tsim Sha Tsui.

Recommended for Seafood because: Yan Toh Heen has been in business for a long time, and check-paying Hong Kong diners have no higher accolade.

Ed's expert tip: Book a window table to get the best harbor views.

Read more about Yan Toh Heen →


Shang Palace


The Shangri-La Hotel's signature restaurant, Shang Palace specializes in Cantonese cooking, Hong Kong's signature cuisine. The food is very well prepared, and the choices are varied and include both traditional dishes and more contemporary preparations, so even folks accustomed to Westernized Chinese fare should be pleased. Old World decor in vivid red with accents of black and gold is punctuated with picturesque Chinese lanterns suspended from the ceiling. As in all of Shangri-La's hotels, the staff are endlessly efficient and appear to relish their role guiding diners along the road to a really superlative Cantonese meal. MTR: Tsim Sha Tsui.

Recommended for Seafood because: The sauteed king prawn and sliced sea conch is beyond superb.

Ed's expert tip: Chef Mok Kit Keung has cooked for royalty, heads of state, and picked up numerous awards.

Read more about Shang Palace →


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.

Recommended for Seafood because: This is Hong Kong's veteran seafood restaurant, a feast for the tummy and the eyes too.

Ed's expert tip: Bring your camera as Jumbo Floating Restaurant is moored in one of the most scenic parts of Hong Kong.

Read more about Jumbo Floating Restaurant →


Victoria City Seafood
Photo courtesy of Victoria City Seafood


A pleasant dining experience awaits you at this lovely establishment. The efficient waitstaff will greet you upon entrance. The bright, tastefully decorated interior evokes a comfortable atmosphere. An extensive list of items is provided on the menu including such specialties as lobster and deep fried milkfish. One of the stars of the show is hairy crab, a Shanghai specialty that Hong Kong has taken to its heart (and stomach). An extensive wine list is also available, as is advice on pairing wine with Chinese style seafood. Business casual attire and reservations are recommended, although the former is not compulsory.

Recommended for Seafood because: This is a typical city seafood restaurant – and take a look at the packed tables!

Ed's expert tip: Ask if the Shanghai hairy crab is in season – it's well worth trying.

Read more about Victoria City Seafood →




A truly hidden gem of all Hong Kong attractions, this fishing town is where Hong Kongers retreat for swimming, kayaking and some of the city's best seafood. The center of the town is a 1,000-meter street lined with seafood stalls. Each of them looks like a mini aquarium as the boss displays an amazing array of freshly-caught seafood for diners to order from. Simply wander along till you see somewhere you like the look of. Across the street, fishermen sell their catch right off the boat at the pier. Many of them also offer trips around the surrounding islands for around US$20. Some six kilometers south of the Seafood Street is Trio Beach, a nice soft-sand stretch with calm and clean water, relaxed atmosphere and opportunities for seaside barbecue.

Recommended for Seafood because: If you reckon seafood is best enjoyed right by the sea, this is the place to dine.

Ed's expert tip: Weekends are exceptionally busy – Monday to Thursday are a lot less frenetic.

Read more about Sai Kung Seafood Street →


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.

Recommended for Seafood because: This is perhaps the ultimate Hong Kong seafood restaurant, with clattering cutlery and everyone slurping noisily enjoying themselves.

Ed's expert tip: Like many Hong Kong restaurants, the noise levels can be fairly high.

Read more about Super Star Seafood Restaurant →


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Meet Ed Peters

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

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