Now that I’m working in Wanchai every day, I’m certainly spoiled for choice when it comes to lunch. I don’t find the variety as interesting as it was in my year in Sheung Wan, but anything is better than that miserable year I spent out at Cyberport. Here’s my rundown of lunch spots – keeping in mind that my office is on the corner of Lockhart & Fleming and I don’t want to walk more than a couple of blocks at lunchtime. The order of places listed is the order in which they are listed on Open Rice, which lists almost 1,800 places in the district.
I should also mention that while I enjoy cha chaan teng places, I don’t frequent them that often. The reason is pretty simple. At lunch time I want a real chair, not a plastic stool, and I want to sit and take my time and read. I don’t want to be made to feel that I have 10 minutes to eat and get the hell out. (As a friend of mine has said, in these places at lunch time, all the waitress are bat por – bitches (excuse me if I didn’t get the pinyin correct, you know what I mean))
For some reason, Open Rice is only displaying the first 500 restaurants and won’t let me browse beyond that. Well, this wasn’t meant to be comprehensive anyway.
But one reason I’m posting this is because I’d like to get your recommendations. What places in the area that I haven’t listed are ones I should be trying?
Joy Hing – As most people know, they do some of the best roasted meats in Hong Kong.
Sabah – I like this place at dinner time but their lunch set menus bear little relation to their regular menu and aren’t worth the price.
The Pawn – Very good lunch sets but really too expensive for me and too long a walk.
Paisano – When I am in the mood for a quick, cheap lunch, pizza hits the spot.
Oh Food Arabic Halal Cuisine – A cramped place on the 11th floor of an office building. Once was enough.
Canny Man – In the basement of the Wharney Hotel, their $88 set lunches are consistently good. The place is comfortable and quiet – but it’s a long walk if you wanna grab a smoke.
Delaney’s – They do a “Sunday roast” every day. Quality is consistently good. Friday, when I was super hungry, the roast that day was turkey and it really hit the spot. Expensive but good quality and a lot of food for the money.
Queen Victoria – $58 for a set lunch makes them the cheapest of the western pubs along Lockhart.
Coyote – I know people who swear by this place. The set lunches are all over $100 and I’ve never really enjoyed it.
Ebeneezers – With 2 locations and open all night, this place used to be great – 10 years ago. Now I can’t bring myself to eat there.
Agave – I actually prefer the fake Mexican here to the fake Mexican at Coyote. Much cheaper, too. But as a friend noted, their lunch menu hasn’t changed in years.
Triple O’s – I’m a burger fan and consider this place quite okay, though it’s just slightly too long a walk for me at lunch time.
Flame – A rotisserie chicken place from the owners of Thai Hut. A bit shaky when they opened but pretty good these days.
Tack Hsin – Large chain cantonese sea food place that does fairly average dim sum at lunch time.
New Star Seafood Restaurant – Another huge chain cantonese seafood place. I think it’s slightly better than Tack Hsin.
Dog House – When they first opened I thought the food was quite okay. But I don’t think it’s been as good in recent years.
Carnegie’s – Been here once at lunch time, fish & chips set lunch, wasn’t bad.
Old China Hand – The food has actually improved slightly in the past year. My gf swears by their “fried chicken in a basket” – which isn’t served in a basket.
White Stag – Of all the British style pubs along Lockhart, I’d say their $80 set lunch is the best.
Thai Hut – Some of the most authentic Thai food you’ll find in Wanchai. But this is primarily a take-away place and just has 3 small tables.
Spicy Fingers – I’ve been here a lot. It’s a terrific bar. And I’m a friend of one of the owners. But the food leaves a lot to be desired.
Hop House – At Brim 28, from the folks who own Hong Kong Brew House and Inside Out (and Grappas). Good burger. No free refill on ice tea.
Other notable places – but haven’t had lunch at these:
Passion – The pastries and bread here are fabulous.
Flying Pan – I’ve done weekend brunch here and think it’s quite okay, just never been in the mood for pancakes at lunch time (and, dark confession, I don’t eat eggs).
BO Innovation – I’ve only had dinner here once – and it was free. I know the place is controversial but I enjoyed it.
Yuyu Sushi – prices are in the middle range for sushi places in HK, quality in the middle range as well.
American Restaurant – This place is so old school the sign reads “Peking Food.” The food ain’t so great, the service can be slow, yet I love this place.
Katong Laksa Prawn Mee – I went to their Sheung Wan branch once and never returned. Is the Wanchai branch any better?
3 6 9 – Old school Shanghainese food.
Himalaya – Pretty decent Nepalese and Indian food
Crystal Jade – I’m a Crystal Jade fan but I assume this place is too busy at lunch time.
Chili Club – Awful fake Thai food.
California Vintage – 90 wines by the glass and pretty decent tacos and sliders. 50% off wine and oysters from 3 PM to 8 PM. But Brim 28 is depressingly dead at night.
Peking Dumpling Wong – I always enjoy this place.
Istanbul Express – Very inconsistent. Some times it’s been quite good, other times the opposite.
Cinta J – Stick with the Filipino food and it’s quite okay. They’ve opened a “Cinta Express” take-out only spot that oddly isn’t open at lunch time.
Spice House – Cheap & cheerful Thai food.
Curry Pot – I keep meaning to try their lunch buffet but haven’t gotten around to it yet.
Gold Coast – Above Spicy Fingers, been here a few times for late night hot pot. The tables are jammed too close together and it’s not great but it’s not bad either.
Thai Farmer – Authentic Thai food just steps away from the crappy Chili Club. Always a line for their set lunch, one of these days ….