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So Char, So Good: The best char siu (叉燒) in Hong Kong

A quintessential Cantonese favourite, no visit to Hong Kong is complete without tasting the local char siu (叉燒), or Chinese barbecue pork.

Char siu: crispy BBQ pork with a sweet and smoky glaze — what’s not to love?

First appearing in a book from the Chou Dynasty over 3,000 years ago, whether you’re in one of the world’s many Chinatowns or right here in Hong Kong, it’s likely that one of the first dishes you’ll be encouraged to try is some combination of char siu, hot steamed rice and a leafy green veggie. And that’s not the only way, of course. There’s char siu bao, soup noodles, the list goes on.

Like many of the foods honoured by our MMMs Awards, it’s honestly hard to find a bad version of char siu. But not all char siu are made alike, and some out there are truly spectacular, worthy of celebration. And that’s where we come in. With our MMMs Awards winners (special shoutout to our exclusive sponsor foodpanda) leading the way, these are the best spots to get your char siu barbecue pork fix in Hong Kong.

The best char siu (叉燒) restaurants in Hong Kong

Mott 32

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MMMs Awards Eaters’ Choice Winner

Your saunter down, down, down to Mott 32 is a path paved with delicious anticipation. It might be the pre-ordered applewood-roasted Peking duck you’re salivating for. Or, the Barbecue Puma Iberico Pork, succulent, smothered and shiny with a signature Yellow Mountain honey glaze over top. Trust — you’ll want seconds.

Mott 32, Standard Chartered Bank Building, 4-4A Des Voeux Rd Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2885 8688

Good BBQ

MMMs Awards Winner

It’s all in its name: Good BBQ serves, well, good barbecue. Or, in Cantonese, good siu mei, courtesy of chef Sandy Keung who had a previous life as a fund manager and CFO before diving head (and hands!) first into roasted meats. To date, Good BBQ remains the only professional siu mei shop that uses the sous vide technique on a commercial scale. No MSG, too!

Good BBQ, (various locations), Yook Ming House, 5 Li Yuen St E, Central, Hong Kong, +852 9852 1062

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Chop Chop

MMMs Awards Winner

If chef Dai Lung’s Hong Kong God of Cookery is not a credential good enough for you — yes, he created “Sorrowful Rice”! — then move along. But beyond inspiring Stephen Chow movies, Chop Chop is a Hong Kong institution; its signature char siu is roasted in five separate batches a day to preserve chef Dai’s meticulous consume-in-two-hours directives.

Chop Chop, F, Shop 3 G, 18 Wang On Rd, North Point, Hong Kong, +852 3618 7718

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Yung Kee

MMMs Awards Winner

The words ‘Cantonese Classics’ are inextricable to Yung Kee Restaurant, a multi-generational eatery with origins as a humble dai pai dong to, now, a multi-storey destination on Wellington Street. You go to Yung Kee for their roast goose, but you also go for the char siu — a tender, nostalgic bite steeped in honeyed glaze, yes, but also history. 85 years of it.

Yung Kee, Yung Kee Building, Wellington St, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2522 1624

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Tai Hing

MMMs Awards Winner

You’d expect nothing less than roast fit for royalty from Tai Hing, christened ‘King of the Roast’. But, luckily for us mere mortals, it’s not nobility Tai Hing roasts for with their 200+ strong franchise across Hong Kong, Mainland China, Macau and Taiwan. It’s classic Cantonese comforts by the people, for the people. Char siu for every meal of the week.

Tai Hing, (various locations), 12-13 Jubilee St, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2567 2200

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WOW Charsiu

MMMs Awards Winner

WOW Charsiu serves up their WOW-inducing char siu in eco-friendly cylindrical containers; a far cry from the greasy white styrofoam boxes our favourite Cantonese classics so often come in. Also WOW-inducing: their pomelo-flavoured char siu, an inspired take on the traditional honey-glazed version (which is also available!).

WOW Charsiu, (various locations), G/F, 14 Hillier Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, +852 9856 6264

order on foodpanda

More char siu favourites we love:

  • Jing Alley by Flower Drum: With a menu of modern Chinese favourites, many come here to taste the Chengdu chili or Peking duck. But don’t sleep on the crispy char siu.
  • The Chairman: This Hong Kong institution honours the local dish their own unique way — roasting the finest cuts of local pork to perfection, glazed with a special Zhongshan sugar and served fresh and hot from the oven.
  • Golden BBQ: Golden BBQ understood the assignment — siu mei as far as the eye can see. They offer a special pork belly char siu that tastes as good as it sounds.
  • Dynasty: Dynasty is known for its special Iberico char siu, made with the finest quality pork and soaked in the restaurant’s own soy marinade.
  • Joy Hing Roasted Meat: Going strong for nearly 100 years, especially in a picky food paradise like Hong Kong, is certainly proof of earning one’s stripes. Go for the signature.
  • Rùn: Chef Hung Chi-Kwong’s masterful Cantonese restaurant at The St. Regis Hong Kong earned its Michelin star with signatures that include the Iberico pork char siu. Don’t miss it.
  • Kin’s Kitchen: Kin’s has been a longtime favourite of the Lifestyle Asia team (maybe because the founders are both food writers themselves), and their homestyle char siu hits the spot every time.

The above list was compiled by Nathan Erickson, Sandra Kwong, Joey Wong and Lorria Sahmet.

For more delicious food, see all the winners of Lifestyle Asia Hong Kong’s The MMMs Awards.

(Lead and featured images: Mott 32)
So Char, So Good: The best char siu (叉燒) in Hong Kong

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