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One dinner rec for Hong Kong

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On the return from our upcoming trip to Burma, we will overnight in Hong Kong. I was really happy to get a harbor view room at the Salisbury Y. I would love to get a restaurant recommendation for something close by, medium to upscale. We won't have much time in Hong Kong, only enough for dinner and a stroll, and a short sleep before heading back to the airport the next morning.

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    For the most part, IMO the only real reason to go to a restaurant on the Kowloon side is for a view; but as you already have a room with a view, you might want to go to Hong Kong Island side which will offer you more and better variety. You can stroll to the Star Ferry and take that back and forth, adding more enjoyment to the evening. From there it is a walk or a quick taxi ride to many good restaurants. Or do something like the evening sunset cruise on the Hutong junk and then go to dinner when it drops you on the Hong Kong side. Go to www.aqua.com.hk for info, the boat is called the Aqua Luna.

    Hong Kong offers very good food in virtually any cuisine (including various Chinese cuisines), so you might want to be a bit more specific as to your taste in order to get better-directed suggestions. I am guessing coming from Burma and Thailand that SE Asian is probably not going to be top of your list. If you send me an email at ciceronehongkong@live.hk, I can send you my restaurant list which might give you some ideas.

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    Cicerone is surely the expert on these matters. However, if you're looking for an excellent Chinese restaurant nearby, I can recommend the Hutong restaurant, which is literally around the corner from the Y.

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    Hutong is quite good, and is on my list (they also run the junk trip I mention above). It is Sichuan (not quite full-on), there is also Japanese and an Italian restaurant in the same location. It is more than a little bit touristy, but certainly good food. One of its main selling points is the harbour view; so bear in mind that the view is quite the same as what you will have at the Salisbury. Given than you might want to try something different.

    If you want Sichuan, I would suggest one of these:

    Dă Píng Huō
    Lower Ground Floor Hilltop Plaza
    49 Hollywood Road
    Central
    Tel: 2559-1317

    A Michelin “Bib Gourmand” recco. Private kitchen. Set meal about 15 courses (!) for HK$220, they have a limited wine list, you can also bring your own for corkage fee of HK$150. Excellent, spicy, but alternating spicy with mild. This is in the main bar/restaurant area of town, so you can go for a drink somewhere before or after.

    San Xi Lou (三希樓(滿江紅)
    Seventh Floor
    Coda Plaza
    51 Garden Road
    Tel: 2838 8811
    http://www.topstandard.com.hk/sanxilou/eng/index.html

    Spicy Sichuan food; the mandarin fish in chili oil is their specialty. Many people think this is the best Sichuan restaurant in Hong Kong. This is slightly more casual than Da Ping Huo (or less trendy in décor is probably the better description), but won't have any tourists. You need to take a taxi from the Star Ferry pier once you cross over to the Hong Kong side,

    Xi Yan Private Dining
    6th Floor
    83 Wan Chai Road
    Wan Chai

    Tel: 2575-6966 http://www.xiyan.com.hk/

    Started the "private kitchen" trend. Allegedly, they have a 2 month waiting list. Is excellent, mostly Sichuan-based, but other Chinese and even European dishes appearing on the menu. It is on a busy road in a fairly boring part of Wan Chai, in a run-down building and has absolutely no view. The restaurant itself has a nice ambience and has a nice decor. The food is wonderful. This is a BYOB

    Xi Yan Sweet (Fusion Sichuan)
    8 Wing Fung Street
    Three Pacific Place
    Wan Chai (Star Street Area)
    Tel: 2833-6299
    http://www.xiyan.com.hk/

    Same executive chef as Xi Yan Private Dining, but less expensive. They have an outlet in the Elements mall which would be a quick cab ride for you. The one above is near the Wan Chai wet markets and is a good starting or stopping point if you are seeing the markets. These are all fairly casual, so may not meet your requirement for ambience, etc

    Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao (Northern Chinese, Sichuan)
    Shop 310, Tai Yau Plaza,
    181 Johnston Road
    Wanchai
    Tel: 2573-8844
    (see website for other outlets in Hong Kong)
    http://www.crystaljade.com/hongkong.htm

    The Kowloon Bay, TST and Wan Chai outlets are “Bib Gourmand” reccos in the Michelin Guide. Shanghai dumplings are a must-have. Some outlets are more sumptuously-decorated than others. (They may have outlets in Thailand, check their website.)

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    There are tons of restaurants within a short taxi ride of the Hong Kong side of the pier. If you really want to limit this to restaurants which you can walk to, bear in mind that there is a longish elevated walkway you need to take to get to any nearby restaurant; so given that you may just want to hop a taxi at the ferry pier.

    That being said, the restaurants physically close to the Star Ferry pier on the Hong Kong side would start with the one IN the Star Ferry pier:

    Watermark
    Star Ferry, Central Pier 7
    Tel: 2167-7251
    http://www.igors.com/

    In the Star Ferry building, and has some very good views. Primarily a steak house, they have other options too. I would not put this up with the really expensive “view” restaurants like Pierre, but it has a nice ambience. Views are, surprisingly, not that good as the windows are really only at the ends of the restaurant.

    Next closest would be the IFC Mall, about a 5 minute-walk on the pedestrian overpass. See http://www.ifc.com.hk/en/mall/dining.jsp for the entire list. My recccos would include:

    Caprice
    Four Seasons Hotel
    8 Finance Street, Central
    Tel: 3196-8888
    http://www.fourseasons.com/hongkong/index.html

    Three Michelin starts. Very good French in a modern eclectic upscale French bistro type deco. Very nice views if you get a window table. If you want upscale, this is your choice.

    Betty's Kitchen/ ST BETTY
    Shop 2075, Podium Level Two IFC Mall
    Tel: 2979-2100
    http://www.stbetty.com/

    Executive chef is Alan Yau, who has several Chinese/Japanese restaurants in London. European rather than Chinese, but quite good.

    ISOLA bar and grill
    Shop 3071-75 IFC Mall
    8 Finance Street Central
    Tel: 2383 8765
    http://www.isolabarandgrill.com/

    Huge double-height windows, great outdoor terrace with nice harbor and city views. Expensive but good Italian. Pizzas are about HK$130 (US$16), so would be doable for lunch, their entrees start at about US$25. Great deserts. Nice bar. Personally if I were going to spend a lot of money for dinner, I would go elsewhere, but lunch here would be a nice idea, or a drink at sunset.

    Cuisine Cuisine (Cantonese)
    3107, IFC Mall
    8 Finance Street Central
    Tel: 2393-3933
    http://www.cuisinecuisine.hk/eng/
    (Also in the Mira hotel)

    One Michelin star. Nice ambience and décor, good service, very good food. Good choice for dim sum, they have unusual items and many good vegetable/vegetarian selections beyond the dull bok choy. The one issue currently is the view, which used to be harbour and is now mostly a view of the huge reclamation project going on next door. Food makes up for the lack of view, but don’t worry about having a window table.

    Red
    2 IFC Mall
    8 Finance Street
    Central
    Tel: 8129-8882
    http://www.pure-red.com/

    This is run by the Pure Fitness gym which is next door, so there is an emphasis on health foods, salads, etc. It's a mix of cuisines from around the world. They have some really good smoothies. I like it because they have a wonderful outdoor terrace with a view of the harbor.

    Then next in terms of distance would be the Mandarin Hotel, which probably would be my choice if you want Chinese, because it's impossible to go wrong with:

    Man Wah Restaurant
    Mandarin Hotel
    5 Connaught Road, Central
    Tel: 2522 0111
    mandarin-oriental.com

    I think this is the most beautiful Chinese restaurant I have ever been in. Not glitzy with chandeliers and lots of gold, just nice clean-lined wooden furniture and soft colors. It is primarily Shanghai cuisine (sorry!) with some Cantonese. The tables along the eastern wall (Chater Garden side) would have the best view, so try to book those. Very quiet and romantic, not for a noisy party, but good for a small celebration or quiet dinner. Very good food.

    Pierre
    Mandarin Hotel
    5 Connaught Road, Central
    Tel: 2522 0111
    mandarin-oriental.com

    French, modern clean decor. Endless wine list. Very expensive. I am a bit on the fence about this one. I think the service is fussy and the food presented in sort of endless mini courses is too much. Also, many of the tables are set too far back from the windows to enjoy the view.

    The Mandarin Grill is also excellent if you want steak and other Western fare. Elegant modern setting. Have a drink in the Chinnery Bar afterwards or go upstairs to the M Bar or downstairs to the Clipper Lounge.

    There also is SEVVA on the top floor of the Prince's Building across the street, but IMO this better for pre or post dinner drinks rather than dinner:

    Sevva Restaurant
    25th Floor Prince’s Building
    10 Chater Road Central
    Tel: 2537-1388
    http://www.sevvahk.com/

    They have a very nice large out door terrace area with sofas, the indoor dining areas have high ceiling and striking artwork. Nice mix of Western and Chinese food. There are two restaurants, a more casual “harbor side” restaurant and a more expensive “bank side” restaurant.

    For upscale Japanese, just a bit further walk would be:

    Zuma
    Levels 5 & 6 The Landmark
    15 Queen’s Road
    Central
    Tel: 3657-6388
    http://www.zumarestaurant.com/

    In this same complex (part of the Mandarin Landmark Hotel) would be the Amber restaurant, quite upscale with 2 Michelin stars and prices to match. (I have never been. There is only so much time in life.) See http://www.mandarinoriental.com/landmark/

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    I actually just had dinner at Amber last weekend. Very memorable meal for me, but since I'm not a foodie, I can't say if it's better than other top French places in town, like Robuchon's L'Atelier, which I also enjoyed earlier this year. That's also in the Landmark.

    But if you're looking for more moderately priced Chinese, Maxim's Group has several restaurants in Central that are quite solid, like Peking Garden in Alexander House or Chiu Chow Garden in Jardine House. Maxim's belong to the same conglomerate that owns many of the buildings in Central, along with the Mandadrin Oriental hotels. That's why they can offer reasonably priced meals at these ultra-pricey real estate.

    Central is quiet at night and eateries cater more to wealthy locals than tourists, and service most likely better. Peking Garden in Central is better reviewed than the one in Tsim Sha Tsui next to the OP's hotel.

    But, back to TST. There are so many choices for dinner. If you're looking at high-end stuff, you can't go wrong with most restaurants at the Peninsula, InterContinental, Langham or Kowloon Shangri-La. I don't eat at TST often, but there are two places I tend to go back often, and both short walk from the OP's hotel:

    One is Sun Tung Kee on Hanoi Road (across from the new Hyatt Regency) for Chinese hotpot. About HK$350/person, which is pricey compared to all the all-you-can-eat hotpots in town, but much better quality.

    Another is Delicatessen Corner in the Holiday Inn Golden Mile, for German/Austrian sausages and knuckles. Few things last 40+ years in Hong Kong, but this places has been in the same location, having the same menu, same decor since at least the early 70's and probably before that.

    Reservations is needed at most places for dinner if you want a nice table and don't want to wait.

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