Travel Expert Patty Pineda’s Hong Kong Holiday
In her Instagram account @eattraveldrinkph Patty Pineda travels the world. When she’s not busy working for her family business or promoting volunteerism as a trustee for Hands on Manila, she’s planning, researching and discovering new places to visit. While she likes trying fine dining and Michelin-starred restaurants once in a while, what she really loves to do is explore new places to eat that only the locals know. Here, she shares the fruits of her research into the hidden corners of Hong Kong.
Holidays in HK
Christmas isn’t a big holiday in Hong Kong. They only declare the 25th and no other dates as a holiday. There’s a Christmas Carnival that you can go to. For New Year’s, there is a countdown with fireworks which you can witness if you’re facing the bay.
My top 3 things to do in HK
1. Take a hike. Best to do it when the weather is cold. I’ve tried Lion Rock, but Dragon’s Back is the most popular. Check out The Serious Hiker’s Guide to Hong Kong (available on Amazon) for a list of hikes to try.
2. Take a sunset cruise on a junk for the best view of the HK skyline—most beautiful during the holidays because the buildings are all colorfully lit up. You can rent a junk for just 200 HK dollars. The cruise starts around 5:30 pm just before sunset so you can catch the skyline with and without lights.
3. Go up to Victoria Peak for a spectacular view of the city from high up. You can take a taxi, ride the famous Peak Tram, or if you’re up to it, hike 1 1/2 hours to the top from Central.
- PMQ used to be a police dormitory called Police Married Quarters, which was then converted into a hub for artsy boutiques and local independent stores. From there, you can walk towards Man Mo Temple which will eventually lead you to Sai Ying Pun (http://www.pmq.org.hk/)
- Sai Ying Pun near Central is the new place to be, filled with cool, hip restaurants like Potato Head from Bali. If you’re into that old-school vinyl sound, Potato Head has a small hidden bar that plays old vinyl records using a state-of-the-art vintage sound system (https://www.ptthead.com/restaurants-and-bars-in-hong-kong/)
- Ping Pong Gintoneria is great for gin lovers, with a big selection of gin and an equally unique selection of tonics. (http://pingpong129.com/)
- For the best rooftop bars with a view, there’s Aqua, Sevva, Cé La Vi, and Sugar. (http://aqua.com.hk/ | https://www.sevva.hk/ | http://hk.celavi.com/ | http://www.east-hongkong.com/en/restaurants-and-bars/sugar)
My 9 quintessential HK eats
- Ah Yat Harbour View Restaurant, a one Michelin-starred restaurant with much better roast goose than at Yun Kee:12A Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
- Dim Sum Square: Fu Fai Commercial Centre: 27 Hillier Street, Sheung Wan
Dim Sum Square
- Mammy Pancake for egg waffles, recommended by the Michelin Guide, no less: 8-12E Carnarvon Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
- Hei Lee Cake Shop for egg tarts, mung bean buns: 13 Wing Wo Street, Sheung Wan
- Dragon State Kitchen Restaurant for roasted suckling pig and char siew almost as good as at Mott 32 (minus the Iberico and half the cost): 38 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan
Hei Lee Cake Shop
- Lei Yue Mun for seafood, seafood, seafood where you can have it cooked any way you want (http://www.discoverhongkong.com/seasia/dine-drink/where-to-eat/lei-yue-mun.jsp)
Dragon State Kitchen Restaurant
- Tai Cheong Bakery, famous for its egg tarts but be prepared to line up for a bit (www.taoheung.com.hk/en/)
Tai Cheong Bakery
- Employees Only Bar in Lan Kwai Fong where, if you’re too lazy to dress up on a Sunday, so are the bartenders. You can wear what you wore to sleep! (http://www.employeesonlyhk.com/)
- La Vache! for their version of steak frites which is all they serve (http://lavache.com.hk/)
My hidden spots only the locals know
- Lin Heung Tea House for a very traditional Chinese breakfast for locals. When you enter, sit down at a table shared with other people, then go to the dim sum carts and choose what you want. They also serve traditional Chinese tea: 162 Wellington Street, Sheung Wan
- Wing Hop Sing Restaurant for stir-fried eel and minced pork with egg. I prefer the eel which comes in stone bowls good for two people to share: 113-115 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan and 360 Des Voeux Road West, Western District
Follow Patty Pineda on Instagram @eattraveldrinkph