Monday, May 13, 2013

Group dining in - HK

Chinese cuisine is designed for communal sharing and is excellent for group dining. By group dining, I mean parties of 3 and above. Most Chinese restaurants in Hong Kong have standard table settings for 6 adults per table comfortably and usually will be able to dig up bigger tables if your party is more than 6. 

Dim Sum is an excellent breakfast/brunch/lunch option for group dining in Hong Kong
Places to go include:
- Lei Garden, Time Square, Causeway Bay
- Yung Kee, 32-40 Wellington Street, Central
- Lin Heung, 160-164 Wellington Street, Central
- Maxim City Hall, City Hall Low Block, Central 
- Island Tang, the Galleria, Central*
- Jasmine Place, Jardine House, Central
-Chiuchow Garden Restaurant, Jardine House, Central

If you're thinking of having dim sum on a Friday/Sat/Sunday/public holiday in HK, get there early. As early as you can, after they open for business. 

Island Tang, Central

Mini cut glass 'brandy decanters' for sauces 

appetizer of soy (firm tofu) and lard in a mildy spicy sauce

The restaurants in Central typically sees a business crow for lunch and it is usually difficult to get a table during peak lunch time without reservations. 

* For small groups (4-6 adults), the atmosphere at Island Tang is excellent. Affiliated to the Shanghai Tang clothing line, Island Tang serves high quality predominantly Cantonese food. On my trip there, our party of 4 ordered a wagyu beef puff that had no roots in Cantonese cuisine. It was wagyu beef (Japanese) encased in a puff pastry envelope (French). Cantonese dim sum like har kow (steamed prawn dumplings) and chong fan (long rice noodle rolls) are also on the menu.

Island Tang itself exudes British colonial roots, similar to the vibe given by Long Bar in Singapore. Comfy leather gentlemen club chairs, overhead fans silently whirring (accompanied by air-conditioners tucked away) and mini heavy glass 'brandy decanters' holding sauces are a blogger's dream. Do note to make reservations if you want a table at lunch time, I believe they don't hold any tables for walk-ins.

All the restaurants stated above are excellent choices for dinner as well. I would add 2 more places for group dining for dinner 
- Under Bridge Spicy Crab, Shop 6-9, G/F 405-419 Lockhart Road, Wanchai
There is a row of seafood restaurants at the above address which serve the famous typhoon crab dish of Hong Kong. I would also recommend ordering the 'alien' prawn dish, you can find the fresh 'alien' prawns swimming in tanks near the entrance of the restaurants (can't remember the exact Cantonese/Mandarin term for them). 
- Amaroni's Little Italy, Hysen Place, Causeway Bay
This Italian restaurant serves big portions for serving and it is recommended you check with the servers before ordering a pasta/pizza for every adult there as you would normally do in Italian restaurants. I've ordered one meatball pasta and one salad to share between 2 adults and 1 toddler and we couldn't finish the food! 

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