Fodor’s Choice Hong Kong: Dining

070306_Hutong_Hong_Kong_DingingF.jpg3.06.07

Hutong is one of the hottest tables in Hong Kong. The kitchen produces some of the most imaginative food in town, and its location at the top of the dramatic One Peking Road tower, overlooking the city lights, doesn’t hurt. Best among a sensational selection of northern Chinese creations are crispy de-boned lamb ribs. More subtle but equally special are Chinese spinach in an herbal ginseng broth and delicate scallops with fresh pomelo. If you have just one meal in Hong Kong, make certain it’s here. Reserve well in advance. 28/F, 1 Peking Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui. www.aqua.com.hk. Reservations essential. AE, DC, MC, V. No lunch. $$-$$$

Shui Hu Ju
It’s hard to characterize the cuisine of this evocative, romantic restaurant. You’ll find Cantonese and Sichuan dishes on the menu, including deep-fried chicken with hot chilies. Ultimately, though, Shui Hu Ju’s atmosphere is an even greater draw than the food: heavy antique doors welcome you into an intimate, lacquered-wood space that makes you feel as though you’ve just walked into a Zhang Yimou movie. It’s expensive, but it’s a Hong Kong experience not to be missed. 68 Peel St., SoHo, Western. www.aqua.com.hk. AE, DC, MC, V. No lunch. $$-$$$

Yellow Door Kitchen
A sunny, casual Sichuan private kitchen (unlicensed restaurant), the Yellow Door is one of the most talked-about places to eat in SoHo. The space is down-home and personal, with good food and good feelings. Many of the spices and ingredients are shipped in from Sichuan province to create such wonders as bean curd and meat cooked in spicy Sichuan sauce and a memorable stuffed Hangzhou-style “8-treasure duck.” The HK$250 set dinner, including eight starters, six mains, and dessert, is a great value. 6/F, 37 Cochrane St., SoHo, Western. www.yellowdoorkitchen.com.hk. AE, DC, MC, V. Closed Sun. No lunch Sat. $-$$

070306_LungKingHeen_Hong_Kong_DiningF.jpgLung King Heen
Quite possibly the best Cantonese restaurant in Hong Kong. Where other contenders tend to get caught up in prestige dishes, and hotel restaurants in name-brand chefs, here there’s a complete focus on taste. When you try a little lobster-and-scallop dumpling, or a dish of house-made XO sauce, you will be forced to re-evaluate your entire idea of Chinese cuisine. Four Seasons Hotel, 8 Finance St., Central. www.fourseasons.com AE, DC, MC, V. Reservations essential. $$$$

Yan Toh Heen
This Cantonese restaurant is at the top of its class in town. Exquisite is hardly the word for the place settings, all handcrafted with green jade. Equally successful are dim sum, sauteéd Wagyu beef with mushrooms and shishito pepper, and exemplary braised whole abalone in oyster sauce. The vast selection of seafood transcends the usual tank stuff to offer such exotic fishes as maori and green wrasse and shellfish like red coral crab, cherrystone clam, and sea whelk. The Hotel Intercontinental, Lower Level, 18 Salisbury Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. www.ichotelsgroup.com. Reservations essential. AE, DC, MC, V. $$-$$$$

Toscana
Toscana is not content to serve just the classics, as many Hong Kong Italian joints are wont to do. Rather, Umberto Bombana’s cuisine is more artistic. He begins by flying just about every ingredient in from Italy, right down to the eggs. Delicately seared foie gras might meet up with Sicilian lemon, or a dish of pasta that distills the sweetest essence from scampi (a sweet Adriatic shellfish) yet seamlessly marries it to tomato. All this is served up in a room that is sumptuous and elegant without being stuffy. Ritz-Carlton, 3 Connaught Rd., Central. www.ritzcarlton.com. AE, DC, MC, V. Closed Sun. $$$$

070306_VEDA_Hong_Kong_DiningF.jpgVEDA
Hong Kong’s only “new wave” Indian restaurant is a culinary journey to the best of India’s regional cuisines. Chef Rajiv Singh Gulshan is a master of his craft, from his spectacular breads to the groundbreaking main courses like venison with Himalayan berry chutney, tandoori lobster, and Anjou pigeon with caramelized onion and mango puree. At the same time, traditional dishes like rogan josh (stewed lamb) are handled with an expert touch. The lunch buffet is a great value. Reservations are necessary on weekends. 8 Arbuthnot Rd., Central. www.veda.com.hk. AE, DC, MC, V. $$-$$$