It’s another day at the office and you’re already looking forward to lunch. But sometimes, your go-to places just start to feel a little tired. With so many restaurants and street-side cafés in Hong Kong, there’s plenty to choose from but narrowing it down is the hard part — especially if you’re heading for lunch with your colleagues.
We’ve rounded up 10 options in Central suited to all your needs — whether you need a quick grab-and-go, have a business meeting, or are just looking for a relaxing hour away from the desk.
Already known for its stylish bar, airy terrace, and innovative cocktails, The Envoy is now (finally) looking to take their food to the next level. From the executive lunch menu, the truffle spaghetti (HK$198), blackened spring chicken (HK$228) and steamed red snapper (HK$248) were all hearty and full of flavour. But what’s really caught our attention is the new Tiffin Box special (HK$228).
Served in a four-tiered tiffin box, the food is inspired by the spices of Goa. On our visit, we uncovered a cous cous salad in a crunchy taco shell, pan seared barramundi, sea bass and scallops in a chilli garlic salsa, a side of Asian ratatouille, and fragrant basmati rice. If you quickly tire of old lunch haunts, this is for you — the tiffin box changes every fortnight.
The Envoy, 3/F, The Pottinger, 74 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2169 3311, www.theenvoy.hk
Just a few steps away from Central, this Japanese restaurant is not talked about enough (though it has no trouble filling up). It’s been around for five years, and deservedly so.
Their lunch set comes with a generous main course and assortment of sides, including a refreshing salad and silky smooth steamed egg. We love the sushi rice bowl with fatty tuna and spring onions (HK$210) and the grilled American Angus beef teriyaki (HK$228). But the sashimi platter (HK$280) steals the spotlight, bursting with the natural sweetness of fresh fish. With so many options on the menu, you’ll be keeping Shou Zen on your lunch list — just remember to book.
Shou Zen, 7/F, The Pemberton, 22-26 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, +852 2851 9883, www.shouzen.com.hk
The focus here is on French cheese, premium charcuterie and fine wines, but this newly opened deli-cum-restaurant-cum-bar also serves up food with a Mediterranean flair.
Chef Renaud Marin’s rustic cooking accentuates the natural flavours of seasonal ingredients. His specialties include the octopus carpaccio with smoked eggplant caviar (HK$220) and organic Welsh lamb pot au feu to share (HK$280). But if you’re really hungry, go for the semi-buffet lunch (HK$210). It includes a spread of appetisers, cheese and artfully-crafted desserts, with your choice of a hot main course prepared to order. Then sit back and bask in the warmth of Cochin’s friendly neighbourhood vibe.
Cochin Delicatessen, G/F, 26 Peel Street, Central, +852 2561 3336, www.cochin.hk
If you need to grab a quick sandwich, the least you can do is head to Morty’s. This New York deli ages their beef brisket in-house for 45 days, using their own spice blend and smoking it over American hickory and Cherrywood chips. The result is layers of juicy beef stacked between house rye bread, with pickles and mustard to cut through the meatiness (HK$108).
We recommend also indulging in a Montreal poutine with fries, melting cheddar cheese curds, homemade gravy and chopped pastrami (HK$88). And if you’re in a serious rush, order online for a seamless pick-up.
Morty’s Delicatessen, Shop 2-14, LG/F, Jardine House 1, Jardine House, 1 Connaught Place, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3665 0900, www.mortys.hk
HOME — Eat to Live
Veggie lovers needn’t fret, we’ve got you covered too. Within weeks of opening, HOME has already earned itself a respectable following — no surprise, given that they’re serving plant-based, sustainably-sourced, healthy food that genuinely tastes good.
Eat clean with their green turtle combo (HK$118), which comes with a flatbread, side and glass of lemonade. You can customise your own toppings, spice mix and sauce, or go for one of their tried and tested combinations if the options are overwhelming. We also love the colourful ivory-billed woodpecker earth bowl (HK$128), with purple rice, quinoa, kale, cabbage, adzuki beans and carrot, dressed with seaweed and tahini. All about saving the environment, HOME offers a five percent discount when you take your own container.
HOME — Eat to Live, Shop G01 & 101, Nexxus Building, 77 Des Voeux Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2777 4777, www.homerestauranthk.com
Dacha is bringing a taste of Eastern Europe to Hong Kong. Step in, and you’ll feel at home with the charming floral décor and family photos adorning the walls.
Try their borscht and handmade pierogi lunch combo (HK$98). The chilled beetroot broth is rich in flavour, and its sharpness helps to counter the intense summer heat. The traditional Polish pierogi filled with potatoes and onions are hearty and comforting, while the Siberian pelmeni are tasty morsels of meat wrapped in a chewy skin of dough. Finish off with some Medovik honey cake (HK$55) in true Russian style.
Dacha, G/F, Wing On Building, 38-40 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2420 3555, www.dacha.com.hk
There’s been a lot of talk this year about Mak Mak, and for good reason. We go there for the familiar flavours of central Thai cuisine, which delicately balances savoury, sweet, sour and spicy.
For a refreshing salad this summer, try the yum sum o (HK$138). It’s a mix of juicy pomelo tossed with chicken, prawns, crunchy peanuts, roasted coconut and a punchy dressing of lime, fish sauce and palm sugar. To follow, go for some red curry with roast duck (HK$168), which also comes in a vegetarian version with Thai eggplant to please everyone at the table.
Mak Mak, Shop 217A, 2/F, Landmark Atrium, 15 Queens Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2983 1003, www.facebook.com/makmakhongkong
Li Yuen Street West may not be on your radar for lunch stops, but this little noodle bar is worth the trek. It opened at the start of the year, and has already built up a strong reputation for its rich, aromatic beef broth, simmered for no less than 12 hours.
Customise your bowl (from HK$68) by ticking off your choice of noodles, meat, condiments and extra toppings on the order sheet. We love the crunch of fried garlic and freshness of chopped coriander. They also offer zucchini noodles for a low-carb option.
Pho Bar, G/F, 24 Li Yuen Street West, Central, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/pages/Pho-Bar
Impress your client with sweeping views of the harbour and two-Michelin-starred chef Fabrice Vulin’s exquisite plates. Caprice’s set menu offers the option of a two-course (HK$520) or three-course (HK$590) lunch to showcase the best of classic French cooking.
Start with a summery dish of chilled green peas velouté with crab meat salad. Then, move on to the tiger prawn cooked a la plancha, accompanied by seasonal green vegetables and mint pesto. If you’re not sure about dessert, we’ll help you decide — the chocolate biscuit with crispy hazelnut and praline may sound simple, but is a real treat.
Caprice, 6/F, Four Seasons Hotel, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3196 8860, www.fourseasons.com/hongkong/dining/restaurants/caprice
Beef & Liberty
Beef & Liberty is charging its way to the top of Hong Kong’s burger joints this summer. Their latest venture is a pop-up at PMQ, open until September. It’s an ideal lunchtime spot for sitting out in the sunshine with a juicy burger and funky live music.
Go for their classic bacon cheese hamburger (HK$122), with a tender patty of hormone-free, grass-fed beef, crispy bacon, and melting raclette. Pair that with some well-seasoned Liberty fries (HK$30) or mac n’ cheese bites with rocket pesto (HK$48). Even if only for an hour, beef, booze and beats will truly set you on your way to liberty.
Beef & Liberty, Unit 109, 1/F, Block A PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2548 9789, www.beef-liberty.com/hk