An Asian Holiday: Part 12 – The Best Gnocchi Emily’s Had in Her Entire Life and Other Meals in Hong Kong

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Emily Jablon: Daraius and I celebrated Christmas in Macau and Hong Kong with his family for ~8 days.  It was our 1st time to Macau and Hong Kong and we were very excited to visit!

Eating In Hong Kong

Family Dinner at Nicholini’s in Hong Kong

An Asian Holiday – Trip Report Index:

This posts will cover a few restaurants in Hong Kong, including:

Hong Kong is filled with great food in its many restaurants, but I have to be very careful because of my fish allergy.  So I stick to places where I know there won’t serve fish.

Breakfast at the Conrad Hong Kong Executive Lounge

Our 1st morning at the Conrad, we tried the Executive Lounge for breakfast.  Daraius is a Diamond member, so we got access to the lounge for breakfast.  We could have breakfast in either the Executive Lounge or in the main restaurant for free.

We tried both and the breakfast in the main restaurant was much better than the breakfast served in the Executive Lounge.  That’s because it wasn’t so cramped as the lounge and there were more choices in the buffet.

Eating In Hong Kong

Breakfast at the Executive Lounge With a Spectacular View of Victoria Harbour

The executive lounge is on the 59th floor.

Eating In Hong Kong

Executive Lounges Are a Great Way to Save Money on Food When You Travel!

The seating is close together.

Eating In Hong Kong

Good Thing It Was Practically Empty Because There Wasn’t Much Space

Eating In Hong Kong

There Was an Assortment of Cheese, Bread, Juice, and Yogurt

There were 8 different kinds of cheese.

Eating In Hong Kong

Some of the Cheeses Were Gorgonzola, Brie, Goat Cheese, and Edam

There was a fruit and juice bar…

Eating In Hong Kong

Everything Was Neatly Displayed

…with an assortment of fresh fruit, juice, and smoothies.

Eating In Hong Kong

The Fresh Juice Was Fantastic

There was also a meat and salad bar.

Eating In Hong Kong

Daraius Faced a Dilemma! Meat Gives Him Super Strength but Leafy Greens Are His Kryptonite!

You could get tea…

Eating In Hong Kong

There Were 8 Types of Tea to Choose From

…or coffee.

Eating In Hong Kong

I Wish I Had This Coffee Maker at Home!

One side of the lounge had a cold buffet and the other side had a hot buffet.  The hot buffet had both Chinese and Continental food.

Neither of the buffets were particularly large and the lounge felt cramped.

Eating In Hong Kong

The Buffet Also Had Hot Food

It was still nice to get free breakfast in the hotel, which saved a lot of time and money!  That said, we preferred the breakfast in the main restaurant.

Great Food Hall (located in Pacific Place)

For lunch we went to the Great Food Hall supermarket in the Pacific Place mall.  It is ~5 minute walk from the Conrad.

Eating In Hong Kong

The Food Was Great! Errr…It Was OK

Eating In Hong Kong

The Great Food Hall Is on the Bottom Level of Pacific Place Tower

The supermarket had a lot of food, from prepared pizza…

Eating In Hong Kong

Pizza With Many Different Toppings

…lasagna…

Eating In Hong Kong

Lasagna Looked Too Filling for Lunch

…prepared salads…

Eating In Hong Kong

There Was Thai Fried Rice, Pomelo Salad, Chicken Salad, and Fried Noodles

…Indian food…

Eating In Hong Kong

Not as Good as Daraius’ Mother Makes

…chicken…

Eating In Hong Kong

Chicken Cooked in a Variety of Herbs and Spices

…Thai food, sushi…

Eating In Hong Kong

There Was Food From Almost Every Country

…more sushi…

Eating In Hong Kong

You Can Find Much Better Sushi at Local Restaurants

…baked goods…

Eating In Hong Kong

Hong Kong Junk Food

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They Even Have Hello Kitty on Their Snack Foods

Eating In Hong Kong

Shopping for My Food for the Next Few Days

Eating In Hong Kong

There Was Also a Large Selection of Pot Pies

…dessert…

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I Wanted to Try Them All!

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Asparagus Biscuits

…fresh juice…

Eating In Hong Kong

Every Type of Fruit Juice You Can Think of

…wine…

Eating In Hong Kong

Watson’s Wine Also Offers Wine Tastings

…and even a hamburger restaurant called Triple O’s.

Eating In Hong Kong

The Cure for Your Hamburger Fix

The grocery section had a lot of juices.

Eating In Hong Kong

Hong Kong Imports Over 90% of Its Food

There was also frozen food, and I was surprised to find macaroni and cheese!

Eating In Hong Kong

Microwavable Mac & Cheese If You Need Some Comfort Food

I had a cheap meal and had pizza for ~$6 that I really enjoyed.  There were a few barstools located near the burger joint where we were able to sit.

Eating In Hong Kong

All of This Is Just for Daraius

Daraius got Thai food which was ~$30 that he split with his dad.  They have bigger appetites than I do and finished green curry, Thai salad, chicken satay, and crab rangoon.  

That said, the food was’t great for the price and you could get better meals for $30 outside the mall on the streets.

Nicholini’s

For dinner we went to Nicholini’s, the Italian restaurant in the hotel.  It is considered one of the best Italian restaurants in Hong Kong.  This was the only restaurant we splurged on.  It was also my only fancy meal in Hong Kong because of my fish allergy (I had been eating McDonald’s, pizza, and energy bars for almost every other meal.)  Here’s a link to the Nicholini’s menu.

Eating In Hong Kong

My Only Real Meal in Hong Kong!

We ordered Carpaccio as a starter…

Eating In Hong Kong

Beef, Arugula, and Aged Parmesan

…followed by raspberry gelato.  Ice cream is the best palette cleanser.

Eating In Hong Kong

The Gelato Was a Refreshing Break Between Courses

I then had potato gnocchi with Fontina cream cheese and white truffles.

Eating In Hong Kong

Food Tastes So Good When You Haven’t Had a Real Meal in Days

The gnocchi was actually the best I’ve ever had in my whole life!  It tasted so fresh, like it was made from scratch after I ordered it.

The truffles were so delicate and subtle, but full of flavor.  Unfortunately, the portion was small but I still enjoyed my dinner immensely!

Daraius and his dad had the tasting menu.

Eating In Hong Kong

Daraius’ Meal Didn’t Look as Delicious as My Gnocchi

Daraius’ sister Sharon got seafood risotto.  The gnocchi was so good that before the meal was over I was plotting ways to have another meal before I left Hong Kong.  I was the first one to finish my dinner this time, and I’m usually the last!

Eating In Hong Kong

I Was Tempted to Order a Second Plate

Before we left, the server gave us complimentary dessert which included chocolates and cookies.

Eating In Hong Kong

Yum!

Serenade

For a dim sum lunch we went to Serenade restaurant in Kowloon.  It’s located in the Hong Kong cultural center.  It’s a bit hard to find, but we asked around and were pointed in the right direction.

Eating In Hong Kong

We Found It!

They had a menu with dim sum and snacks.

Eating In Hong Kong

Just Place a Check Next to the Items You Want to Order

They also had snake soup.

Eating In Hong Kong

Snake Soup Is Made With Snake and Chicken Broth.  It’s a Winter Dish to Keep Away Illness or Fight a Fever

The food looked tasty.

Eating In Hong Kong

Each Item Had a Interesting Presentation

He received a wire basket which came with a variety of dim sum.

Eating In Hong Kong

Dim Sum in the Cage

It all looked delicious!

Eating In Hong Kong

Egg Tart and Baked Pork Buns

There was 2 of everything.

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The Dumplings Filled With Shrimp Paste Had Eyes

I had honey ginger tea and a Bobo’s Oat Bar.

Eating In Hong Kong

I Couldn’t Eat With Everyone Else, But I Didn’t Miss Out on Much

The dim sum was good, but not great.  It was the last time he trusted the Fodor’s Hong Kong food recommendations.  The writer also recommended California Pizza Kitchen, which is good but not something we want to try in Hong Kong, with its many culinary delights.

Eating In Hong Kong

Daraius Is Not Impressed

Paisano’s Pizzeria

For dinner, we went to Paisano’s Pizzeria for New York style pizza.  We noticed several Paisano’s restaurants around Hong Kong.  I am very allergic to fish, so I eat food which I can be 100% sure doesn’t have fish!

Eating In Hong Kong

Paisano’s Is a New York Style Restaurant

All of the regular pizza toppings were there, including pepperoni and supreme.

Eating In Hong Kong

It Costs ~$3 to ~$6 per Slice Depending Upon Which Toppings You Choose

You could grab a slice to go or sit down.

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Paisano’s Also Serves Subs, Salads, and Calzones

The pizza was very good and I felt safe eating because there wasn’t even fish on the menu!  It was much better than the pizza at Great Food Hall.

Don’t Know Restaurant’s Name!

We were looking a quick bite after visiting the bird market, preferably at place serving Chinese food.  So we just walked into a nearby restaurant!

Eating In Hong Kong

Our Trips Have Given Me Great Patience for Foreign Tourists Back Home Because I Can Sympathize With Their Difficulties!

The food was good, but not great, though the portions were large.

Eating In Hong Kong

I Ordered My Meal With a Hill of Rice but Instead It Came With a Mountain

When choosing restaurants, we enjoy a mix of relying on researched reviews and being spontaneous.

Eating In Hong Kong

Daraius Said it Was a Flavorful Medley of Tangy Spice and Cholesterol.

Bottom Line

If you’re on a budget or have a food allergy like me, the Great Food Hall offers a lot of options, but it isn’t particularly cheap or tasty.

Paisano’s is a good place to go for New York style pizza if you’re craving some American food.  But my favorite restaurant in Hong Kong was Nicholini’s.  The gnocchi is to die for!

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22 responses to “An Asian Holiday: Part 12 – The Best Gnocchi Emily’s Had in Her Entire Life and Other Meals in Hong Kong

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  6. As a foodie with no allergies, this post made me feel very sad for you, Emily. One of my favorite things about traveling is trying new foods. It’s seems a shame to be so paranoid, but I’m sure if I had an allergy that could kill me, I wouldn’t want to be in the same building with it either!

  7. @ Lisa- Sometimes it is a pain, but I’m thankful that I don’t have a terminal illness. Luckily, I can control my reactions based on what I eat (or not eat). Traveling makes it riskier, but I’d rather travel and eat granola bars than not travel at all! 🙂

  8. I’m sure it’s hard to deal with such a food allergy while travelling. If you happen to be in a city with kosher restaurants you can be assured that if there’s chicken or beef in the dish there will be absolutely no fish of any kind. Kosher doesn’t allow for the mixing of fish with animal meats.

  9. Hong Kong is a mecca for Chinese foods, especially Cantonese cuisine. I haven’t been to HK but am an avid Cantonese food lover. Following any recommendation from bloggers, sites, or magazines won’t do justice. You have to take the locals’ suggestions, sometimes not even from locals who work in contact with foreigners, and watch if a Chinese restaurant has lots of Chinese patrons, then it offers authentic cuisine: Works anywhere you go to Chinese restaurant. I never quite understand anyone visiting a Chinese speaking country and want to eat any other foods, except they have allergy or no appetite for it. Isn’t it a main goal of travelling is to learn about a foreign country’s history, culture and cuisine? Chain hotel restaurants mostly do not offer authentic local cuisine.

  10. Ditto what globetrotter wrote.

    I’m not sure why you’d blog about eating in Hong Kong and emphasize a place called “Paisano’s” or Italian food. I understand it’s what you like and you have allergies, but in that case, I would’ve just scrapped this blog altogether. Hong Kong has tons of Michelin restaurants, and the majority are Chinese food restaurants. To me, Hong Kong is about dim sum. I don’t eat fish either, and I was able to enjoy lots of cuisine more typical of the region.

  11. Darius, Just curious if you are from India?

  12. I really enjoy reading from Emily’s perspective and I thought this was a great post! I also respect the challenge of traveling with a food allergy. My wife fights the same battle. It’s difficult to appreciate until you’ve either experienced it yourself or lived with someone who has to manage it while traveling. I enjoyed all of the pictures. Again, nice post.

    PS I’ve experienced the remaining Hilton executive lounges are spartan and even not worth going to, compared to how they once were. After going through the dramatic HHonors devaluations and dismantling of the executive lounges I stopped chasing Hilton shillings.

    • @ Josue – That’s very good to know because we’ve thought about ordering Kosher meals on flights.

      @ dave – Cross contamination is as big an issue as avoiding fish.

      @JC – You’re absolutely right. Reading about it and living through the allergy are completely different issues.

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  19. @Dave @Globetrotter I actually like the fact she mentioned the pizza and Italian restaurants. There are 100’s or 1000’s of Asian restaurants in HK so finding them is easy. But some of us don’t want to eat Asian food every meal and if we are going to eat western food we don’t want it to be crap imitation. I’m sure many Asian visitors to the USA feel the same way about some of the USA versions of their cuisine.

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