Header image courtesy of What to Eat (Deliveroo)
Every weekday starting from noon, office workers swarm out of their offices in search of sustenance. This phenomenon is of course next level in the busy Central district, but the problem is it’s also an expensive area, with F&B prices to match. Not to worry though, because we’ve put together a list of lunch spots in Central that are delicious and capped at $200. Just try not to fall into a food coma when you return to the office!
The newly opened BaseHall is a food hall concept that pairs the local food courts of old with the best of Hong Kong’s homegrown culinary concepts. Between the 10 stalls run by different restaurants, you’ll get to taste a wide range of global dishes as you relax under a ceiling which emits multi-coloured pulses to the music. Best of all, their prices generally range between $100 to $200—well worth it for the location and quality of the food. Here is a detailed breakdown of the restaurants in BaseHall and our favourite dishes from each.
BaseHall, LG9, Jardine House, 1 Connaught Place, Central | (+852) 3643 0865
When you’re feeling like you need to lunch healthily, TREEHOUSE is a great option for plant-based, eco-friendly offerings. Their flatbreads are the star of the show, and our favourite is the Oak ($60) which comes with omelette, roasted mushrooms, and halloumi. You can also pick your own ingredients to create your own flatbread or bowl as well. If a wrap isn’t your thing, then try their Kelp Dan Dan Noodles ($138), which is carb-free so you don’t go back to your desk feeling stuffed.
TREEHOUSE, G/F, H Code, 45 Pottinger Street, Central | (+852) 3791 2277
This unassuming joint on Wellington Street may not look like anything amazing, but is actually a Bib Gourmand restaurant in the 2020 Michelin Guide. Their dumplings are done the northern Chinese way, and are reminiscent of the rustic ones you get in Beijing. With eight kinds of filling plus a daily special flavour, you’re absolutely spoilt for choice. Call us puritans, but our favourite has got to be the classic Pork and Chive Dumplings ($58); a single portion contains 10 dumplings, but you can also choose to have noodles with five dumplings instead for a slightly lower price. Definitely also get the classic Tianjin ‘Gou Bu Li’ Bun ($36), which comes with four buns each portion.
Wang Fu, 65 Wellington Street, Central | (+852) 2121 8006
Pirata Group’s newest baby generated a lot of buzz when it opened, and for good reason. Fantastic pizza, generous portions, and decent prices? We’re here for it. During lunch time, an antipasto and a pizza will set you back by a mere $98, and adding a dessert will still only bring the bill up to $118. We’ll always go for either the Burrata or Porchetta Tonnata for starters, and the ‘Nduja Spicy Salami or Caprese pizza. Last but not yeast, there’s no service charge!
The Pizza Project, G/F, 26 Peel Street, Central | (+852) 2311 1815
Hong Kong’s answer to a New York-style deli is tucked away in the basement of Jardine House. You could say they’ve got serious beef; their meats go through a 45-day aging process that’s all done in-house. Our top choice for their smoked meat sandwiches has got to be the Reuben ($130), but for those who prefer something lighter, the California ($118) comes with more greens and allows you to choose either duck, chicken, or turkey. All sandwich sets include fries, a house salad, or a daily soup as well, making this an absolute steal.
Morty’s Delicatessen, Shop 2–14, LG/F, Jardine House, 1 Connaught Place, Central | (+852) 3665 0900
If you prefer the dense circle of satisfaction that is a bagel, then you’ll have to head to R&R. They made their sandwiches fresh to order daily, with a well-curated selection of flavours. The Smoked Salmon ($85) and Roast Beef ($85) bagels are classic failsafes, but do also try their Bacon Jam BLT ($85), made with torched cheddar, smoky bacon, and their famous bacon jam. If you want to go for something fresher in this muggy weather, The Hampton ($85) is a good choice as the sun-dried cranberries, pesto, and toasted peppercorns give the bagel a nice tangy kick.
R&R Bagels, 28 Li Yuen Street West, Central | (+852) 2178 5168
With the vast array of Japanese restaurants in Hong Kong, sushi can get a little repetitive. That’s why we’re thankful for Chotto Maki, who have very nicely curated a selection of interesting sushi roll combinations. Yes, they’ve got your bog-standard California Roll ($68) but while you’re here you’ll want to try something more interesting.
Check out their Sea Monster Roll ($72)—made with crab stick, prawn tempura, and sakura shrimp—Black Magma Roll ($72)—with scallop, negitoro, and tempura bits—or the Beef-iyaki ($72)—with teriyaki beef, tofu skin, avocado, and garlic chips. Being a little adventurous pays off here!
Chotto Maki, G/F, 3 Li Yuen Street West, (+852) 5111 6074
Floor-to-ceiling windows highlight rich textures and greenery in a space that will calm you right down for a rejuvenating lunch. VEDA serves vibrant, vegetable-forward dishes that will make you feel good. Their most interesting offering is probably the Tiffin boxes ($188), which you get to load up with hearty, homemade dishes in a nod to the city’s colonial past. Choose from four starters—we like the Himalayan Momo or the Truffled Polenta—and three mains, including Aloo Gobi, Corn Khichdi and Wild Mushroom Curry, and a Cashew Naan Pizza. Each set also includes a soba noodle salad, pani puri, and cheesecake to finish with.
VEDA, Ovolo Central, 2 Arbuthnot Road, Central | (+852) 3755 3067
This relatively new restaurant is a Taiwanese concept that is surprisingly affordable, especially for where it’s located. Their weekday lunch menu includes traditional Taiwanese favourites such as Taiwanese Braised Pork Rice ($68), Crispy Popcorn Chicken ($78), and Japanese-style Fish Fillet ($78). You can also order from their à la carte menu; we’ll likely go for the Pork Floss Egg Roll ($45) and the Braised Beef Noodles ($82). Solid, hearty fare at great prices, what more do you want?
What To Eat, Carfield Commercial Building, 75–77 Wyndham Street, Central | (+852) 2810 9278
This no-frills affair has been knocking about since 1998, and has collected a Michelin Bib Gourmand recognition along the way. Their menu isn’t extensive, but it’s well-curated and goes perfectly with their beloved chilli sauce.
Since you’re at this establishment, go old-school and order the most OG dish: the Signature King Prawn Wonton Noodle ($34). If you really are feeling quite hungry, then opt for the Three Treasures Lo Mein ($44), signifying the winning trio of wonton, fish ball, and beef. Do as the regulars do, and try not to go at the height of lunch time; the queues will likely be insane.
Tsim Chai Kee, G/F, Jade Centre, 98 Wellington Street, Central | (+852) 2850 6471