It was January 2015 when I came up with a list of 10 restaurants in Central for lunch dates – you know, for when someone is counting on you to make a decision on where to go for that team lunch or catch up. But the Hong Kong dining scene evolves quickly (i.e. restaurants frequently close) and people get bored easily – so here are some of my latest suggestions. This time, the list goes beyond Central and to the wider CBD area of Hong Kong.
Leave a comment below and share your favourite lunch spot!
For locations, check out the map at the end of the post.
1. Mercato – Italian (Central)
I first visited Mercato for dinner (see the full review here). I loved the food and vibes so much that I was eager to return for lunch, especially given the restaurant’s convenient location in California Tower. At HK$198 for two-courses, the set lunch didn’t seem like an amazing deal. But the portions were extremely generous, especially for the salmon tartare starter which I loved. Plus, the ingredients were of excellent quality. It was definitely worth it. I guess the only down side is the carb-loaded menu items.
Spend per person: HK$198 for 2 courses + service charge
2. Elephant Grounds – Cafe (Wan Chai/Admiralty)
Usually atmosphere is a secondary concern at a restaurant for me. But the laid back wooden furniture decor is so loveable that this could be my current favourite lunch spot. I always come here if I’m looking for a mini lunchtime getaway. Not all food items here are amazing but the short ribs donburi seriously is. It’s also the perfect weather to pair your lunch with a delicious cup of iced latte – which they also do very well here!
Spend per person: HK$120-180
3. Metropolitain – French (Sai Ying Pun)
Good food at good prices – that’s almost a tautology when you’re in Central, but not if you venture out a little to Sai Ying Pun. Take Exit C, turn right and walk down to High Street and you’ll be greeted with a line of wonderfully relaxed restaurants with excellent value-for-money lunch deals. Metropolitain was my favourite out of the four I sampled over the months. My two-course lunch set featuring a starter, refreshing crispy Greek salad, and a main, beef skirt with dauphinoise potatoes, cost only HK$128. Granted, the beef was a little chewy, but that’s forgivingly because of the cheaper cut used, and me insisting the beef be cooked to medium rare.
Spend per person: HK$128 for 2 courses + service charge
4. Pho Bar – Vietnamese (Central)
Vietnamese beef pho is my absolute number one favourite comfort food – see 3 Casual Spots for a Satisfying Bowl of Beef Pho. If there’s only two of you and you guys aren’t really fussed, then Pho Bar is your shop. They serve delicious noodles with an intensely flavourful beef broth. The beef slices are also very generous. They also have addictive snacks like chicken wings, karage and fries, which are perfect for sharing between two. The only downside is that you’ll have to expect slightly uncomfortable by-the-bar seating and a 15 minute wait.
Spend per person: HK$100
5. Urban Coffee Roaster – Cafe (Tsim Sha Tsui)
If you’ve read my About page, or if you work in my office, you’ll know that heading to Tsim Sha Tsui during lunch is absolutely a norm – it’s only 2 stops away and essentially zero wait time for tables (see also 5 Great Asian Spots in Tsim Sha Tsui for under HK$100). This is one of my favourite cafes with good coffee and good food (as is Espresso Alchemy). They have satisfying options like carbonara, brunchy options like eggs royale and refreshing options like chicken quinoa salad. Do go for their iced cappuccino afterwards which is included in the lunch set.
Spend per person: HK$120
6. Momojein – Korean (Wan Chai)
Tucked in the 23/F of QRE Plaza in Wan Chai, Momojein’s location is a bit of a less convenient stretch for me. But thankfully they have speedy lunch service, without compromising the quality of their traditional Korean food fare. The spicy pork belly is highly recommended. I guess the downside here is that at the coffee which comes with the set was a bit of a disappointment. See the full lunch and dinner review here.
Spend per person: HK$100-140 + service charge
7. Beefbar – Steak (Central)
If you’re going for steak, the 3-course lunch set with that option will set you back HK$400. That’s a hefty amount to dole out for any lunch. Nonetheless, if you’re feeling baller (as I was that day), or you’re looking for a proper location to conduct business meetings over good quality food, Beefbar is a good choice. The food quality was mostly excellent. I started off with the cuttlefish salad, which was a sophisticated yet refreshing starter. The wagyu beef steak in tagliata style was executed well. The ice cream bar to end with was also a delight. The chicken (main) was relatively average, however.
Spend per person: HK$260-400 + service charge depending on your choice of 2/3-course lunch set
8. Why 50 – Cafe (Sheung Wan)
If you’ve met me, you probably won’t escape me telling you that my current favourite coffee shops are Why 50 and Green Door Coffee. Why 50 is a strong contender for the “Cafe for the Best Food” title, alongside Urban Coffee Roaster. I love that Why 50 sources some of the best quality ingredients – especially their smoked salmon. They probably make one of the best avocado + egg + salmon sourdough toasts in Hong Kong, which is spiced up with a delicious mango salsa.
Spend per person: HK$100-140