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Ball Is Life: The best fish balls in Hong Kong

Everyone has their beloved go-to for the humble Hong Kong-style fish ball, but in case you don’t, here are some of the best in Hong Kong.

If you are well-acquainted in the slightest with the nuances of the Hong Kong fish ball, you’ll know that while seemingly alike, no two fish balls are created equal. Because not only are many hand-made creations of long-time recipes passed down generations, they are also differentiated by preparation styles. Some are boiled, others flash-fried, and then, there are those that come slathered in a coat of home-made chilli oil, peanuty satay mix or curry sauce.

As the humble street snack that many will have grown up with, everyone has a loyal favourite. We’re not asking you to abandon your go-tos, but our MMMs Awards winners (special shoutout to our exclusive sponsor foodpanda) are just a few we think you should make the trip for, should you be craving something new and something undiscovered when considering your search for the best fish balls in Hong Kong.

Where to get the best fish balls in Hong Kong

Kong Chai Kee (江仔記)

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MMMs Awards Eaters’ Choice Winner

As fellow fish ball-heads will tell you: Kong Chai Kee’s homemade creations are not-to-be-missed. Not if you call yourself a true fan! If not headed over for a dine-in visit at their brick-and-mortar location in Causeway Bay, take a baggie to go to sample in the comforts of your home. Just follow the quintessential steps to preparing these authentic Chiu Chow recipes: a simple blanch in boiling water.

Kong Chai Kee, G/F, 2 Canal Road East, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2893 5617

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Megan’s Kitchen

MMMs Awards Winner

The fish balls Megan’s Kitchens are not your typical snow-white spheres bobbing in a clear consummé or slathered in a thick curry sauce — they’re designed to go with a simmering broth of soupy hotpot. There’s the classic Chiu Chow make, or the Fu Zhou edition with a meaty filling of either original or spicy. And a cuttlefish ball, too, made with bite-size chewy chunks folded within the homemade paste available in an rainbow range of colours.

Megan’s Kitchen, 5/F Lucky Centre, 165-171 Wan Chai Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2866 8305

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Fishball Man (魚蛋佬)

MMMs Awards Winner

This, here, is the citywide beloved version of the humble fish ball street snack. First, simmered and soaked in a thick curry soup, then brushed with a scooping of chunky curry sauce. Fishball Man has been a favourite for decades and it’s easy to see why: his fish balls are moulded into a perfectly chewy one-biter followed by the street stall’s infamous Secret Satay Sauce that’s both sweet and spicy — the key to their popularity.

Fishball Man, 50 Tin Kwong Road, To Kwa Wan, Hong Kong, +852 6258 5417

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Pak Loh Chiu Chow (百樂潮州)

MMMs Awards Winner

Pak Loh Chiu Chow’s bread and butter is in its name: Chiu Chow cuisine. And you know what that means, Chiu Chow-style fish balls best known for its irregular appearance and loved for its satisfying chew. Labelled as a classic — with a brief stint serving Cathay Pacific’s Business Class travellers — the fish balls are handmade and served with various bits-and-bobs. The most popular: clear broth with silky strands of ho fun.

Pak Loh Chiu Chow, various locations including shop 1002, 10/F Times Square, 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2577 1163

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Tak Cheong Noodle (德昌魚蛋粉)

MMMs Awards Winner

The network of restaurants embedded within compact Kowloon City might be hard to navigate but you can always spot the entrance of Tak Cheong Noodle — distinguished by long queues. The crowd is here for the homemade fish balls, crafted from a blend of saltwater fish to be enjoyed in the accompanying pork bone broth, the deep-fried fish skin and fish cake that is produced fresh each day from their own factory.

Tak Cheong Noodle, various locations including shop B, G/F Comfort Court, 88 Fuk Lo Tsun Road, Kowloon City, Hong Kong, +852 2718 3838

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On Lee (安利)

MMMs Awards Winner

Shau Kei Wan-staple On Lee is a beloved local institution. Sure, you’ll come for fragrant dai pai dong favourites, but foodies in-the-know will also make a stop here for On Lee’s mixed dry flat noodles that come topped with the restaurant’s selection of fish cakes and fish balls that are made fresh everyday.

On Lee, 22 Shau Kei Wan Main Street East, Shau Kei Wan, Hong Kong, +852 2513 8398

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More fish ball favourites we love:

  • Tung Tat Food Shop (通達食店): Tung Tat has been around the Yau Ma Tei neighbourhood for years, touted as the best — and spiciest — fish ball you will find in the city.
  • Kam Wing Tai Fishball (甘永泰魚蛋): From the moment you step off the Cheung Chau pier, you’d spot a line that leads to the entrance of Kam Wing Tai. Follow the trail for the taste of the giant fish ball, hand-made every morning and flash-fried before serving to promise a crispy, crackly crust. Don’t dilly-dally, they close at 5pm.
  • Welcome Food Court (時來食坊): Also located at Cheung Chau, Welcome Food Court creates their version of the iconic giant fish ball with an added final dunk into a sauce of your choosing: satay, curry, tom yum, ma la and teriyaki.
  • Tai Wai Snack (大圍小食): You can’t miss Tai Wai Snack. It’s discernible by one, the crowds, and two, the bright yellow signage that’s visible once you exit the station. They’ve been around 1998 and since perfected a deadly house-made curry sauce that goes perfectly with the tangerine peel fish balls.
  • Block 18 Doggie’s Noodles. Recognised by the Michelin Recommended guide for their heaping bowls of chewy glutinous rice noodles, Block 18 Doggie’s Noodles’ has since also found fans in its accompanying side snacks, including the spicy fish balls.
  • Snack Express: Maybe you’ve spotted these at your local MTR station, or walked by the steamy food stall located before the station’s turnstile with wonder. Next time you see a Snack Express, head in for a bowl of their piping hot, satisfying fish balls. Now you know.
  • Lam Cheong Kee (林昌記): Lam Cheong Kee first found fame in 2014 when they opened in Sham Shui Po and broke records of selling over 100,000 fish balls in three days. Since that humble brick-and-mortar, they have expanded and brought their signature fish ball — impressively containing over 98% fish — to various locations across the city, including developing their own line of food products.
  • Choi Yun Kee (蔡潤記): Opening during 1950s, Choi Yun Kee is a favourite amongst Tai Po locals, as well as wider Hong Kong with loyal diners flocking to the humble eatery for a nostalgic taste of authentic fish ball noodles. Their Chiu Chow-style fish balls are home-made with premium catches depending on what’s freshest that day.
  • Ha Ming Kee Noodle Shop (夏銘記麺家): Ha Ming Kee Noodle Shop has passed through countless neighbourhood since its beginning in 1968 and even weathered through a closure in 2015, before finally reopening again in 2018. It still serves an excellent bowl of the reputed hand-made fish balls that’s been loved since the beginning, with praised from many local food critics and celebrities.
  • Tai O Jumbo Big Big Fishball: When rolling through Hong Kong’s original fishing village, don’t sleep this corner fish ball spot, right near where you come in from the bus station, with jumbo fish balls that rival their Cheung Chau counterpart.

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.

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