We asked 2017 MasterChef Australia winner Diana Chan to share her top tips from bustling Hong Kong, including her favourite places to eat, drink, and stay.
TV host, podcaster and MasterChef Australia winner, Diana Chan, is no stranger to vibrant cities. In her spare time, she loves nothing more than eating her way through new and exciting destinations – not only does it provide excellent inspiration for her culinary creations, but she believes it’s the best way to truly immerse yourself in a new place.
Malaysian born, much of Diana’s work in the kitchen is inspired by the flavours she encountered in her childhood and early adult life. Given Hong Kong’s diverse food scene, we thought Diana would love an opportunity to explore this lively city, so invited her on a trip to do just that.
Having uncovered the best places to eat, drink, stay, and explore, Diana shares her top tips for Hong Kong.
How to spend your time in Hong Kong
The best way to experience everything Hong Kong has to offer is by putting on your walking shoes and exploring the streets. Absorb the sounds, sights, and smells of each neighbourhood on foot and fully immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of this unique city.
Visit the old quarters of Sham Shui Po, a buzzing neighbourhood where traditional and modern influences collide, or explore the vibrant Central and Causeway Bay areas. From here, you can take a short ride on the funicular tram to the summit of Victoria Peak for the most spectacular views of the city.
While Hong Kong is a busy metropolis, it also offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature. Green pockets are dotted throughout the city, home to hills, mountains, and parks that are perfect for walking, hiking, or simply resting.
If you’re looking to explore further afield, the best way to get around is the MTR. Hong Kong isn’t a huge city geographically, but it can be congested at times so travelling on the underground subway is often the most convenient option.
Aside from eating (more on that to come), one of my absolute favourite things to do in Hong Kong is a boat ride on Victoria Harbour. I would highly recommend the sunset cruise on the Aqua Luna, a traditional Chinese wooden junk boat, where you can soak up the city lights with a cocktail in hand. I can’t think of a better way to end a day in this world-class city!
My top picks for eating out in Hong Kong
The food in Hong Kong is second to none. The city’s culinary scene is a melting pot of flavours – from traditional Cantonese cuisine to hearty Western-style dishes, flavourful street food, and contemporary Michelin-starred delights, you’ll find it here.
A visit to Hong Kong isn’t complete without sampling traditional roast goose – think of it like roast duck’s fattier, more indulgent sister. If you can, visit Kam’s Roast Goose in Wan Chai for your first experience – you’ll probably have to queue, but I promise it’s worth the wait.
Another dish to put on your must-try list is wonton noodles. In my opinion, some of the best are at Ho Hung Kee in Causeway Bay, where you can find homemade egg noodles, wontons and fish balls, served dry or in a broth.
Street food is also very much alive in Hong Kong. At small stalls in laneways across the city, you can order anything from roast meat to noodles and bean curd. One of the best places to experience street food is Sham Shui Po, where the locals eat and shop for fresh produce. My highlights included bowls of tau foo fah (soybean pudding), freshly cut noodles, traditional dim sum, and chee cheong fun – a silky smooth rice noodle dish that I can’t wait to try and recreate at home.
Lamma Island is the spot for fresh seafood. Just a 40-minute ferry from Central Ferry station, it's home to restaurants that serve seafood fresh off the boat that morning. I had an incredible array of dishes at Lamma Rainbow restaurant, including steamed grouper, garlic shrimp and scallops with mung bean noodles.
For an amazing fine dining experience, I highly recommend The Chinese Library. With its ornate dining room and clever menu of contemporary Chinese dishes, it’s the perfect place for a special night out in Hong Kong. Some of my favourite plates from talented chef Junno Li are the laksa xiao long bao, sea cucumber, chrysanthemum thousand-cut tofu in chicken broth, and crispy skin chicken.
The best luxury stays in Hong Kong
You are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to luxury accommodation in Hong Kong. For a five-star stay beyond compare, The Peninsula in Tsim Tsa Shui is Hong Kong’s oldest and most prestigious hotel. Not only is it in a great spot for good local food and shopping, the hotel itself features eight restaurants, including the Michelin-starred Spring Moon; a shopping arcade; Roman-inspired pool; and acclaimed wellness retreat.
If you’re in town for both work and play, you may prefer a hotel like EAST Hong Kong in the business district of Tai Koo Shing. After a busy day in the city, you can enjoy the hotel’s rooftop bar, which boasts uninterrupted views of the glittering cityscape, or indulge in a culinary adventure at the onsite restaurant, FEAST. The hotel also offers a co-working space on the first floor, with coffee and pastries available to provide sustenance.
The best way to get to Hong Kong
I travelled to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific, which offers up to seven direct flights a week from Sydney and Melbourne, plus departures from Perth and Brisbane. In just over nine hours, you can find yourself amid the electrifying atmosphere of this dynamic city.
It definitely lived up to its reputation as a premium airline – the service was fantastic. From the moment I checked in to the time I landed, I was well greeted and cared for. The check-in process was seamless, and the lounge was comfortable with, most importantly, great food.
Premium Economy offers perks including extra legroom, generous reclinable seats, larger meal tables and more overhead space for luggage. You can also enjoy priority check-in the same as Business Class customers, plus lounge access.
Business class is more luxurious still, and a great way to travel in pure comfort. The seats are fully reclinable into a flat bed so you can have a good sleep and there's plenty of storage space. When it comes to dining, there's plenty of variety, including Hong Kong favourites, which are complemented by fine wines and champagne served throughout. My favourite? Noodles, fishballs and tofu in a curry broth: it was exactly what I fancied.
Ready to book your escape? Discover our collection of handpicked Hong Kong escapes here.