Kau Kee is far from a secret in Central Hong Kong. The restaurant draws perpetual lines and is renowned for brisket noodle soup. People pile into speckled stools at communal tables, beneath fluorescent lighting. Just choose your noodle preference, which could be yi mein (flat egg noodles) or mei fun (rice noodles). If you speak Cantonese, it’s also possible to specify cuts, or order your beef crispy. Regardless, look for fatty, savory hacks brisket in rich broth.
MUST ORDER: Brisket Noodle Soup
The Law family’s restaurant dates back 67 years and features fluorescent lighting, purple booths, and glass topped tables with wood stools. Law Fu Kee is famous for congee, which is on the thick side, and comes with a choice of toppings, which works well with Pig’s Giblets, a melange of pig liver, intestine, and kidney, plus firm beef balls. Pickled ginger proves a surprisingly effective match for runny preserved century egg. Juicy fish balls are crafted from freshwater fish called wanyu, aka carp, which dips in savory clam sauce.
MUST ORDER: Congee with Pig’s Giblets, Century Egg with Ginger, Deep Fried Fish Ball with Clam Sauce
This wonton specialist in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui features a glass front, wall mounted menu and simple seating. The choice is easy. Go for wonton, fish balls and/or beef, either served in soup or with a soup sidecar. Wan tans are surprisingly large, featuring thin wrappers and plump shrimp. Fish balls are mixed with flour and appear as chewy orbs. Soup contains oyster sauce and greens. Spoon on house-made chile sauce to improve proceedings.
MUST ORDER: Noodle in Soup, Noodle with Soup Separated, Vegetable
8. Ming Court (555 Shanghai Street, Mong Kok, 852 3552 3300)
One of Hong Kong’s most impressive Cantonese restaurants resides on the sixth floor of Mong Kok’s Langham Place hotel, where chef Mango Tsang works to uphold the reputation of the Ming Dynasty, and of his younger brother Tsang Chiu King, who preceded Mango in the kitchen and brought the restaurant two Michelin stars. The modern space features recreations of Ming pottery, which workers found during hotel construction. White cloths and frosted glass Lazy Susans top round tables. Chinese characters are etched into black walls, and decor also includes gilded pillars and lanterns. Traditional Chinese music fills the air. Chef Mango continues to elevate his family’s traditional cuisine, adding decorative gold leaf and black truffle sauce to a stack of silky tofu. He plates a giant grouper and shrimp dish like a breaching sea monster. Dry ice even lends a flair for the dramatic to dessert, a smoking Sweet Wonderland in four parts. If you’re in a group, a la carte is an option, though tasting menu ($550HK ~ $80) is a wise investment if you’re at a two-top.
MUST ORDER: Silk Tofu, Chilled: Italian Black Truffle, Gold Leaf, Eight Treasure Consomme, Giant Garoupa Enrobed in Minced Shrimp, Spiced Shrimp; Shao Xing Wine-Scented Fried Rice Sizzler, Silkie, Crispy Conpoy