Hong Kong people, myself included, have fully embraced the Pokemon-Go craze. Even at the break of dawn, you will see hordes of people hunting down Dragonites and other uber-rare pokemons (Nothing bonds the city together like hiking up the mountain at 2am for a Snorlax, believe me). While there are all sorts of applications and live chat updates for the game, there has yet to be a guide on where to eat while you are out there flicking Pokeballs at some of the city’s ‘hot’ spots… Until now (Aren’t you guys glad I’m here).
Treat this as an itinerary of sorts. It is a one day guide on how to keep your stomach satisfied while you chase rare Pokemon across the city. All these restaurants are tried and tested by yours truly, so whether or not it is a cause for comfort is up to you.
Breakfast: Kennedy Town
Everyone who has played Pokemon Go will testify that the best vehicle for the game is the rustic, historical tram. It is slow enough so your incubated eggs hatch without you having to work up a sweat, and you will encounter boatloads of PokeStops along the way. Start at Kennedy Town terminal, but only after you have eaten the lau sa bao (Molten salted egg custard buns) at Sun Hing Restaurant. Break open the fluffy bun and experience the satisfaction of watching the gold-coloured filling slowly ooze out. Other dim sums are a bit of a hit or miss, so just order another portion of buns instead.
Pokemon hunting spot: Kennedy Town Harbour, Smithfield Road. You will encounter a more than a few squirtles and dratinis. If you are lucky, you might encounter a lapras or even a dragonite.
Sun Hing Restaurant, Shop C, G/F, 8 Smithfield Road, Kennedy Town, Western District
Lunch: Sheung Wan or Sai Ying Pun
Hop off the tram at either Sai Ying Pun or Central for lunch. It will take a bit more than half an hour to reach there, just in time for you to beat the CBD lunch hours. Lok Heung Yuen is a good choice in Central/Sheung Wan. I have raved about their char siew scrambled egg rice here, and you can’t go wrong with any of the choices on the menu. You can also go to Kau Kee, where bowls of tender beef brisket await you. For a more high-end lunch, I strongly recommend the lunch set at Chachawan (HK$118), which is tremendous value for the quality of food being served. Enjoy a tangy Larp Moo or the sumptuous Gai Yung with a side of sticky rice and flush the heat down with a milky Thai Iced Tea. In my opinion, it is by far the best Thai restaurant in the city, despite the high prices. Other good, wallet-friendly options include Lung Kee Roasted Meats (Best char siew in the city, hands down) and Viet Kitchen just down the road.
If you chose to disembark at Sai ying pun, hop up the mountain to Yuan Is Here, where you can feast on bowls of lu rou fan and other Taiwanese dishes. Prices are cheap so you can afford to be generous with your orders. Other good options include High Street Cart Noodle, a local noodle joint, or Uncle Padak, a Korean fried chicken place which does a killer HK$75 set lunch. There will also be a few bistros serving overcooked steak and soggy chips as a lunch set for HK$105, AVOID THEM LIKE THE PLAGUE. Head in the direction of The University of Hong Kong to Nyonya Coming if you want something more spicy and exotic. The friendly Malaysian couple will make you feel right at home and the homey food is heartwarmingly good. If you simply wish to stay down the hill, you can go to Wing Hop Sing for some good old claypot rice. Baked in an oven rather than coal fire, the rice is just perfectly cooked through; though it lacks the crisped base that other claypot rices have.
Pokemon Hunting Spot: Li Sing Street Park, Star Ferry Pier. Both spots are extremely crowded, and lure modules are constantly activated. You can catch an array of rare pokemons at any of the two locations (I had a dragonite run away from me at Star Ferry Pier)
Lok Heung Yuen Coffee House, 8 – 12 Gilman’s Bazaar, Central
Kau Kee Beef Brisket Restaurant, 21 Gough Street, Sheung Wan
Chachawan, 206 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan
Lung Kee Roasted Meats, 12 Queen Victoria Street, Central
Yuan is Here, 79 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun
High Street Cart Noodle, 39 High Street, Sai Ying Pun
Uncle Padak, 59 High Street, Sai Ying Pun
Wing Hop Sing, 360 Des Voeux Road West, Sai Wan
Nyonya Coming, 29C – 29D Pok Fu Lam Road, Sai Wan
Afternoon Tea: Wanchai
After lunch, hop back on the reliable tram and head straight to Wanchai. If you had the presence of mind to set a 5km egg into your incubator at Kennedy Town, give yourselves a pat on the back as your egg would have hatched by now. Alight the tram when you reach the bridge separating Wanchai and Causeway Bay. Walk around the vicinity and, depending on your luck, you will encounter some rare and super rare pokemon (Snorlax, Dragonite, Venusaur).
Once you had your fill of Pokemon Go, take a break for tea. You can’t go wrong with a simple egg tart (HK$7) at the renowned Tai Cheong Bakery. The buttery biscuit base is to die for, and you will understand why Chris Patten devoured them by the dozen during his term in the city. You can also have some of the best breads in the city at Le Pain Quotidien (HK$20 – 40 for bread, HK$40+ for cakes). Prices will be high, but you pay for what you get. If you want something special, head down Lee Tung Avenue to Okashiland Galleria, where you can snack on freshly made Calbee potato chips (HK$28). Choose the spicy crab flavour and thank me later.
Alternatively, if you are still hungry, pop over to Wing’s Catering, where they serve up a kick ass grilled chicken with rice set (HK$48). The chicken is grilled using a customized machine, ensuring that the skin is paper thin and crispy while the meat remains juicy. The rice is accompanied by an assortment of pickles and condiments, making it one heck of a tasty meal (abit too tasty in my opinion). Another good choice is Wing Wah Noodle Restaurant, where the noodle is kneaded with a bamboo pole. Everything is good there, but the pig’s trotter lo mein is the clear winner.
Pokemon Hunting Spot: The area under the bridge and near Wanchai Pier. Once again, plenty of lure modules, especially in the areas near Times Square.
Tai Cheong Bakery, 106 Wanchai Road, Wanchai
Le Pain Quotidien, G 40 – 41, Lee Tung Avenue, 200 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai
Okashiland Galleria, Shop G14-15, G/F, Lee Tung Avenue, 200 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai
Wing’s Catering, 2 Landale Street, Wanchai
Wing Wah Noodle Shop, 89 Hennessey Road, Wanchai
Dinner: Tsim Sha Tsui
Tsim Sha Tsui is the mecca of all Pokemon Go players in Hong Kong. This bustling area hosts some of the most sought after Pokemon, and at night, plenty of ultra-rares will pop up along the harbour or in one of the area’s many parks. So take the ferry from Wanchai Pier to get there, but be warned, it will be crowded. For dinner, if you are in a group, go the Seorae roast meats at Kimberley Road for some of the best Korean fares in the city. Chicken HOF & Soju is also worth checking out if you did not go to Uncle Padak’s for lunch. Get the spicy chicken with the spicy sauce coating and enjoy licking your fingers afterwards.
If you are travelling alone, head to Lan Heung Noodles. The store is renowned for its chicken intestine noodles (HK$38) (tastes a lot better than it sounds), where the intestines are cooked until tender and soft.
Stay away from the tourist trap restaurants near Harbour City. Who in their right mind would pay more than a hundred bucks for a flipping fried rice. After you have eaten, head home if you are tired, or continue to hunt Pokemon in the area. The later it is, the more good stuff pops out.
Pokemon Hunting Spots: Harbour City, Kowloon Park, Austin Road, Granville Road, Signal Hill Garden. Tsim Sha Tsui is arguably the best and certainly the most popular Pokemon Go location in Hong Kong. Dragonite, Snorlax and Arcanines regularly appear here. It is also a good hunting ground for lesser tier Pokemons like Magikarp and Dratinis (for evolution purposes).
Seorae, 79 – 81 Kimberley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Chicken HOF & SOJU, 82 – 84 Kimberley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Lan Heung Noodle, 15 Austin Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui