Like most cities, we have a never-ending list of menus and food trends here in Hong Kong. But what makes Asia and Hong Kong so unique is this craze for cute food and food art. From Hello Kitty dim sum to cigar-shaped spring rolls and penguin fish balls, Hong Kong has taken this ‘Kawaii’ food trend from Japan and truly just run with it.
In fact, there are plenty of established places such as Mandarin Grill + Bar and The Royal Garden Hotel’s Fine Foods, who have long been creating artsy and delicious masterpieces that look just as good as they taste.
Looking for something a bit different for your next meal? We’ve picked out 10 dishes in Hong Kong to add some serious #foodporn to your Instagram feed:
The Drunken Pot
New at Hong Kong’s hippest hotpot restaurant, The Drunken Pot, are these adorable penguin-shaped fish balls. We recommend dipping them in the new creamy seafood laska broth or the tongue-numbing Sichuan soup for those who are looking for an extra kick.
The Drunken Pot, 2/F, 8 Observatory Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2321 9038, www.thedrunkenpot.com
East meets West in basement bar Bao Bei on Hollywood Road with a Asian fusion menu inspired by Hong Kong. Aside from the mapo tofu fries, we highly recommend trying the moreish shrimp roe cigars.
Bao Bei, UG/F, 77 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2801 7779, www.baobeihk.com
Yan Toh Heen
One of the most luxurious places to indulge in dim sum, InterContinental Hong Kong’s Yan Toh Heen offers the most beautifully-presented Chinese dishes with a view looking out at the waterfront. Their signature steamed garoupa and pork dumplings with gold leaf are the prettiest fish-shaped dumplings in town.
Yan Toh Heen, Lower Level, InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2313 2323, www.hongkong-ic.intercontinental.com
Fine Foods (Royal Garden Hotel)
One of the most popular items at Hong Kong’s legendary cake shop, Fine Foods, is their green apple cheesecake. Presented as an apple, the white chocolate outer shell opens to reveal a deconstructed cheesecake.
Fine Foods, Lobby Level, The Royal Garden, 69 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2733 2045, www.rghk.com.hk
Photo credit: Yoni
One of the most popular ‘cute’ dim sum spots in town, Yum Cha serves up Percy Pig lookalike char siu baos, cartoon hot custard buns and green tea custard buns and bird-shaped pineapple puffs — definitely one to take your friends or family to the next time they’re in town.
Central: 2/F, Nan Fung Tower, 88 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong +852 3708 8081, yumchahk.com
TST: 3/F, 20-22 Granville Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2751 1666, yumchahk.com
Mandarin Cake Shop
The stunning cakes at Mandarin Cake Shop always has us whipping our phones out as soon as we arrive. The pastry team comes up with beautiful and creative seasonal creations for all sorts of occasions. If you’re looking to impress with dessert, this is the place to go.
Mandarin Cake Shop, Lobby Level, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, 5 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2825 4008, www.mandarinoriental.com
Dim Sum Icon
So trendy that famous Italian blogger and fashionista Chiara Ferragni made sure to stop by on her last trip to Hong Kong, Dim Sum Icon was one of the first to start the cartoon custard bun craze. They serve up everything from chicken dumplings shaped as carrots, Gudetama chocolate and egg-yolk buns, steamed siu mai topped with a Gudetama scallop face and several Little Twin Stars varities. The restaurant changes their character themes every quarter so expect to see something different every time you go.
Dim Sum Icon, Shop L308, 3/F, The ONE, 100 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, +852 2885 1345
Inspired by The Moomins (a Finnish comic and TV series), Moomin’ Rivers is a themed bakery and café located in Harbour City. The cafe serves European-style dishes such as pan-fried salmon, Finnish-style beef and their signature Moomin pancakes.
Moomin Café, Shop 32, 3/F, LCX, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, 17 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, +852 2730 0963
This cute Japanese cafe has been around for quite a while now and is serves artistic bento boxes inspired by those that Japanese mothers make for their family. Aside from the bentos, J-Point Cafe also serves up bear-faced burgers, stir-fried cartoon noodles and more.
J-Point Cafe, 4/F, Prosper Commercial Building, 9 Yin Chong Street, Mong Kok, Hong Kong, +852 2374 2375
Mandarin Grill + Bar
Executive chef, Uwe Opocensky, is known for being incredibly innovative and artistic in the presentation of his dishes. One of our favourites is his ‘Ham and Cheese’ dessert, which is really an ice-cream shaped ham served with a warm-baked cheesecake hidden in what looks like a cheese box.
Mandarin Grill + Bar, 1/F, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, 5 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2825 4004, www.mandarinoriental.com