Earlier on I did a blog post on my favorite casual eateries in Hong Kong. I thought it wouldn’t be complete without telling you about some of my favourite more “dressed up” haunts where the tables are spaced far enough for some privacy. Ballgowns and tuxedos not required but please comb your hair and leave those sneakers and ripped jeans behind. Smart casual please. And please remember to wear some lipstick. Advance booking required. Some places do not allow children below a certain age. Do check to avoid disappointment.
Whenever I want to have a nice meal with family or friends, I naturally choose Spring Moon at the Peninsula. The place has a classic elegance; it’s never noisy even when it’s full. It feels serene. There is warm lighting, lovely old style Chinese décor. Service is professional and discreet. The food is fine and consistently good. Try the peking duck, roasted meats, seafood, double boiled soups. Good for the dim sum in the day or an elegant dinner. They are also famous for their custard mooncakes during mid-autumn festival. Those have a long wait list and sell out quick. They are quite addictive – one of my best friends can finish one box in a sitting.
Cantonese. 1/F, The Peninsula Hong Kong, 19-21 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui . Tel +852 2696 6760
Photos from HK Tatler
Dubbed the “tycoons canteen”, you sometimes spot the HK paparazzi camping at the entrance ready to photograph the wives/girlfriends/etc of tycoons and celebrities arriving. Private rooms house the tycoons dropping by for meals. The food is refined and high standard. The dim sum is very fine and has a good selection while the main menu has staples like fried rice with eggwhite and crabmeat / abalone / Chinese soups. Don’t miss the crispy pork belly. They have all the best seafood and specialties on the menu. What makes it even better is the very attentive and warm service. They make everyone feel like a “tycoon”. Can be exorbitant at dinner, depending on what you order.
Cantonese, Shop 3, G/F, Newman House, 35-45 Johnston Road, Wan Chai. Tel: +852 2866 0663
Photos from Fook Lum Moon
Two Michelin stars and rightfully so. Dining at Caprice is an experience – Expect a visual feast, excellent food, spectacular views, stunning chandeliers, superb service, elegant ambience. Book in advance, it gets full quickly especially for lunch. Lovely views of the Victoria Harbour. A favourite French restaurant of the business set and ladies who lunch during the day and romantic dinners in the evenings. Each dish is artfully presented and made with “heart”. The staff make you feel like royalty while discreetly taking care of your needs. Note that only children above three are allowed. Wine list for every budget. You will leave the place happier. I always do.
French. Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, 8 Finance Street, Central Tel: +852 3196 8860
Three Michelin stars and a classic. I have been to his restaurants in Paris and Tokyo but I still prefer the L’Atelier and Le Jardin in Hong Kong and also Le Salon De The for casual dining. The food is delicious and rich. Even their bread basket is so yummy, sometimes I am half full before the meal just eating the bread! Simple things are made to perfection; the mashed potato is a creamy pot of heaven that is painstakingly sieved repeatedly till so fine and smooth that it melts in your mouth. I love the pigeon stuffed with foie gras as a starter and one of my favourite main dishes is the Sea Urchin spaghetti with poached egg. The portion is generous, the dish extremely rich and creamy, you will be stuffed after that course. I feel hungry just writing about it.
If you have a smaller appetite, L’Atelier offers smaller tasting portions of some of their dishes. Note that children under age four are not allowed. If you wish to check out the kitchen at work, sit at the red bar at L’Atelier. For formal dining, request a table at the Le Jardin. Extensive wine list, even some difficult to find wines.
French. Shop 401, The Landmark, 16 Des Voeux Road, Central. Tel: +852 2166 9000
Nicholini’s is considered one of the best Italian restaurants in Hong Kong. On weekday lunches, it’s suit central. You may spot CEOs emerging from the private rooms after an investor luncheon. Dining in the cozy booths or at an intimate table for two, you will get quality food and good service. Order from the alacarte menu or have the lunch set which includes a delicious antipasti buffet followed by a main dish chosen from the menu and dessert. It’s quieter at dinnertime, great for a romantic dinner. Extensive wine list.
Classic Northern Italian. Level 8, Conrad Hong Kong, 88 Queensway, Admiralty. Tel: +852 2521 3838
Photos from Nicholini’s
This place is filled with socialites, ladies who lunch and businessmen in the day, tai tais for teatime, the stylish set for post work drinks and dinner. The menu is quite varied, with Asian and International fare available – you could have Chinese dumplings in soup as well as a steak sandwich or salad.
Set on the 25th Floor of Princes Building in Central, enjoy a lovely view of the city. In the evenings, hang out at the terrace for the lovely breeze and skylines of HK. The décor is modern chic with light filled dining rooms containing modern art pieces.
Stop to admire the pretty cake display near the entrance and try the Signature Caramel crunch cake that’s a fluffy vanilla sponge cake with honeycomb. Owned by Bonnie Gokson, (sister of Joyce Ma of luxury retailer Joyce Boutique), you can be sure it will be a stylish experience.
International. Prince’s Building 25th Floor,10 Chater Road Central. Tel: +852 2537 1388
Photos from Sevva