Australia Dairy Company
There’s usually a line out the door at this Hong Kong-style diner, and for good reason: It serves possibly the best scrambled eggs and toast in town. Don’t let the long queue deter you. The place is loud, no-frills and high-speed, so you’ll be seated before you know it. The easiest tactic is going for one of the three set menu options: breakfast, afternoon tea and all-day. For something sweet, try the egg-white-and-milk pudding, or the almond egg pudding. Both are steamed (technically, double-boiled) and can be eaten hot or cold.
BTW: Don’t be put off by the brusque service; the waiters are being efficient, not rude. It’ll be tempered if you arrive already knowing your order.
47 Parkes St., Jordan, Hong Kong
Sang Kee Congee Shop
There is nothing more soothing and nourishing than sitting down to a giant, steaming bowl of congee (rice porridge). You can have it plain or with all sorts of ingredients. My favorite add-ons are century egg and lean pork, chicken, slices of fish and fish balls made of dace, which are small freshwater fish. For the more adventurous, try pig’s heart or pig’s blood. Be sure to add soy sauce and heaping piles of fresh ginger and spring onion to your bowl of warm, wholesome goodness.
BTW: Get the fried dough sticks and dip them into your congee.
7-9 Burd St., Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
City Hall Maxim’s Palace
With great views of Victoria Harbor, this is one of the few remaining places in Hong Kong that still serves dim sum on the traditional pushcarts. Take your pick of the dishes on offer as they get wheeled around among the bustling tables. The decor here also screams Hong Kong: a vast banquet floor, bright lights and lots of red. And it’s loud. The restaurant opens at 11 a.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m. Sundays.
BTW: When you arrive, make sure to get a number from the machine.
2/F, Low Block, City Hall, 5 Edinburgh Place, Central, Hong Kong
Tak Cheong Noodle
Slurp down a great bowl of noodles at this quick and casual restaurant, one of three branches across Hong Kong. The atmosphere is pretty basic — plastic wares, waitstaff shouting orders, tables shared with other diners — but the food is anything but. The noodles come in a rich broth made from chicken, pork and fish bones, while the fish balls and fish cakes are freshly made in-house. The fish-skin dumplings are good, too, as are the deep-fried fish skins.
BTW: If you don’t feel like noodles, you can get a bowl of just fish balls or a plate of fish cakes.
75 Electric Rd., Tin Hau, Hong Kong
Located at Tai Kwun, the old Central Police Station that has been converted into a heritage and arts space, Old Bailey has a classy, bookish decor and serves cuisine from Jiangnan, the eastern coastal region of China. There’s an emphasis on fresh, organic ingredients, and tofu is featured prominently in a variety of dishes. There’s even a full vegan menu available.
BTW: If you have time, start with a drink on the terrace and take in the views.
2/F JC Contemporary, Tai Kwun, Old Bailey St., Central, Hong Kong
Sheung Wan cooked-food center
Loud and high-energy, this large, old-school food court features lots of cuisines, including Cantonese, Chiu Chow and Thai. The food comes sizzling hot and the meals are easy on the wallet. Tung Kee has classic Cantonese options, including stir-fries and casseroles, while Luen Hing Chiu Chow serves up hearty dishes from the southeastern coastal city of China. Just remember to bring cash.
BTW: The restaurants typically close after lunch at 3 p.m. and reopen for dinner about 6 p.m.
2/F Sheung Wan Municipal Services Building, 345 Queen’s Rd., Central, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
A great lineup of locally brewed craft beers. A menu of exciting Chinese-inspired pub food. Retro, Hong Kong-style decor with green tiles lining the walls, floor-to-ceiling windows and wooden seats that bring back memories of your days in school. Come to this neighborhood hangout and make sure to try the spiced fries, mapo burrata and the super indulgent HK French toast — a twist on the local classic with a slab of foie gras.
BTW: Openings hours are 4 p.m.-1 a.m. Monday to Thursday, till 2 a.m. Friday, and noon -1 a.m. on weekends.
Second Draft, G/F, 98 Tung Lo Wan Rd., Tai Hang, Hong Kong
Ching Ching Dessert
The perfect after-dinner hangout spot to satisfy that sweet tooth or round out a date or family outing. Dive in to cold options on a hot summer day, and reward yourself with a steaming bowl of hot, sweet soup on a wintry night. I’ve always loved the black sesame dumplings in gingery soup, and the glutinous rice balls rolled in crushed peanuts and sesame are dangerously addictive.
BTW: On the menu, prices are color-coded blue and red to mean cold and hot respectively.
77 Electric Rd., Tin Hau, Hong Kong