Hong Kong boasts of an incredible variety of landscapes, and invariably, tucked in the fold of a valley or on the escarpment of a beach, one will find a bare-knuckle eatery that has, against all odds, managed to piece together a full menu—and excelled—despite the lack of creature comforts offered by their surroundings.
With these establishments, the difficulty in getting there—whether by hiking or on a rickety sampan ride—is all part of the fun; and with international travel still out of the equation, who doesn't love a day trip based on the premise of food? Here are five restaurants scattered around Hong Kong's fringes that are worth the journey.
Duen Kee Tea House, Tai Mo Shan
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Housed in an unassuming village house on the slopes of Hong Kong's tallest peak, Duen Kee serves authentic dim sum completely sans frills. Harking back to a different era, every aspect of Duen Kee is self-service: from procuring utensils and pouring tea, and snatching Duen Kee's signature steamed char siu rice rolls and wu gok (fried taro dumplings) from a gargantuan bamboo steamer, to scooping a dessert of tofu fa (tofu custard) from a large tub.
The restaurant opens from 6am to 2pm, though most customers arrive early to order the blanched watercress—grown in the surrounding fields—and a serving of siu mei (roast meats) while taking in the views and crisp mountain air. Thanks to its location, a meal at Duen Kee is often followed by a hike to Tai Mo Shan—though we recommend taking some time to digest before embarking on a post-prandial ramble.
The scenic route: From Tsuen Wan MTR Station, Chuen Lung Village is a winding 12-minute taxi ride away. Duen Kee is located just a short walk into the village proper. After your meal, continue uphill on Route Twisk and look for the Rotary Park Nature Trail, which will lead you to the beginning of Maclehose Trail Section 8.
Duen Kee Tea House, Chuen Lung Village, Tai Mo Shan, Tsuen Wan, +852 2490 5246