Header image courtesy of @eiffelbistro (Instagram)
The area around Island East—or rather, Quarry Bay and Tai Koo—might only be relevant in people’s minds as a residential neighbourhood with increasing numbers of office buildings. But it is precisely because of this influx of commercial spaces that a surge in eateries has followed to match its hungry workers. In fact, the aesthetically pleasing Taikoo Place itself is home to a great array of world foods. Here are 10 lunch spots around Quarry Bay and Tai Koo where you can have a decent meal for under $150.
Keeping in line with its name, this is a camping-themed Japanese restaurant that’s decorated in all sorts of outdoorsy equipment. A cute and odd concept, but that’s fine, we’re here for the food. The menu of home-style dishes are cooked with fewer additives, more veggies, and minimal fat, so you can chow down without guilt.
From their daily lunch menu, we like the Fatty Sukiyaki Beef Curry Udon ($74), or the Roasted Chicken and Vegetables Curry Rice ($64). Vegetarians will be delighted to find that they also do a 15 Vegetables Curry Rice ($65) which contains—you guessed it—15 types of veggies. This little place is popular with the lunch crowd, so be prepared to queue.
Camper’s, Shop 13, G/F, Chung Hing Mansion, 13 Pan Hoi Street, Quarry Bay | (+852) 2668 6613
This Michelin-recommended eatery is one of our favourite tsukemen restaurants, and while we’re normally found dipping away at the Central location, the Quarry Bay branch is also worth visiting if you’re in the area. The thing that makes Shugetsu’s tsukemen stand out is that their soup base is made using fish instead of just traditional pork bone. The soup is therefore not as creamy, though equally rich, with lots of healthy oils and a unique taste.
We love the Spicy Tsukemen with Flavoured Egg ($108) but it really is rather spicy, so those who can’t take heat well should go for the classic Shugetsu Tsukemen ($93) instead. Simply tick off your choices and preferences on the sheets given and you’re good to go. Pro tip: For the same price point, you can choose to have either 100 grams, 200 grams, or 300 grams of noodles—just don’t waste food!
Shugetsu, 30 Hoi Kwong Street, Quarry Bay | (+852) 2336 7888
Mon Kee may serve up plenty of local CCT favourites, but don’t get distracted, because the stars of the show here are their scrambled egg dishes. Delightfully fluffy and silky, these are cooked with imported Japanese eggs and premium Japanese milk to achieve that coveted smooth texture.
The eggs are available in Mon Kee’s Homemade Char Siu & Scrambled Egg Rice ($55), the Prawn & Scrambled Egg Rice ($57), or a mixture of both in the Scrambled Egg, Char Siu & Prawn Rice ($59). A homemade soy sauce is then drizzled on top to finish it off.
Mon Kee Café, Shop A, G/F, Wai Fong Court, 955–957 King’s Road, Quarry Bay | (+852) 2511 2533
If you’re craving hearty and uncomplicated food, then Beijing City will hit the spot. They serve up fresh homemade northern Chinese dumplings at fantastic prices. Aside from the undying classic Leek & Pork Dumplings ($50), they also have slightly more adventurous—but equally tasty—flavours such as Pumpkin & Pork Dumplings ($50), Mushroom, Water Chestnut & Pork Dumplings ($50), and Watercress & Pork Dumplings ($50).
Diners can also choose to have them pan-fried, or have half of the standard portion of 10 dumplings replaced with a bowl of noodles instead. Service is also lightning-quick here, so there’s no chance of you missing that meeting!
Beijing City, 4A–6 Hoi Kwong Street, Quarry Bay | (+852) 2597 4182
With locations in both Quarry Bay and Tai Hang, Ask for Alonzo is a modern trattoria serving dishes that are inspired by the Mediterranean provinces of Italy. Expect family-style food made with a lot of heart, as well as homecooked cuisine. They’ve got four lunch menus that are rotated daily, so you never quite know which one is being served the day you visit.
We’d recommend going for the Roman Meatballs ($128), the Rigatoni Pasta Amatriciana ($138), or the Truffle & Mushroom Ragout Fettuccine ($148). Each lunch set also comes with soup or salad of the day or tomato bruschetta to start with, and dessert can be added on for $38. We still don’t quite know who Alonzo is, but why don’t you try asking for him when you’re there?
Ask for Alonzo, 18 Hoi Kwong Street, Quarry Bay | (+852) 2856 2911
Eiffel Bistro tries to emulate the alfresco dining atmosphere of Parisian cafés with its huge folding glass doors, and the effect is one of light and airy space. Apart from the décor, this modern bistro also offers French food made with natural, healthy ingredients.
Their set lunches start with either a creamy carrot and ginger soup or a mixed bean salad and also includes a tea or filter coffee. For mains, choose from either the Fusilli Pasta with Fresh Diced Salmon & Cream Dill Sauce ($128), the Pan-fried Barramundi with Ratatouille ($158) for just a pip over budget, or other pricier options. Tack on $10 for a refreshing dessert of watermelon with strawberry and mint tartare!
Eiffel Bistro, Shop 514, G/F, Hing On Mansion, Tai Koo Shing, 5 Tai Yue Avenue, Tai Koo | (+852) 2446 1598
Okay, so we’re cheating slightly with Shiro because most of their offerings go a bit over our budget of $150, but we like this restaurant too much to not include it. With modern, stylish interiors set right along Tong Chong Street, it’s in the perfect location to become one of your dining favourites.
Diners looking for relatively affordable options on their menu can get the Sushi Set ($158) with 10 premium pieces of the chef’s selected sushi, the Salmon Hotate Don Set ($198) with salmon and scallop, or the Bara Chirashi Sushi Set ($168), which is chopped sashimi on rice. Otherwise, you can also choose to create your own Shiro Ramen Bento ($198), choosing from tonkotsu or shoyu ramen, or even curry udon, a choice of meat, and a choice of tempura, with a side of grilled mackerel.
Shiro, G/F, Lincoln House, 979 King’s Road, Taikoo Place, Quarry Bay | (+852) 2116 4969
It’s obvious from the name that this modest eatery specialises in Malaysian cuisine, and we must say at very attractive prices. Do order the Nyonya Laksa ($70), which comes filled to be brim with shrimp, cockles, fish cakes, and dried tofu puffs, the Traditional Beef Rendang with Rice ($68), or the lesser-seen Penang White Curry Soup with Vermicelli ($66).
All lunch sets are already inclusive of a homemade mangosteen tea, but diners can also order any of their special drinks for half price. If you still have room for dessert, then try the Fresh Coconut Panna Cotta ($48 for the full size, $28 for a cup), a chilled and refreshing treat perfect for summer days.
Little Nyonya, Shop D19, 18 Hoi Tai Street, Quarry Bay | (+852) 3428 2250
This noodle place tucked inside the TREATS food court area of Cityplaza aims to present the essence of Vietnamese and Thai street food. Noodle stalls are very much a ubiquitous sight in both Ho Chi Minh and Bangkok, hence the restaurant’s interesting name.
They’ve got a set menu with 11 different mains to choose from, all at $80. Both the Bun Vermicelli with Chargrilled Pork Jowl and the Rice with Spicy Minced Chicken & Fried Egg are the most promising of the bunch. Each set also comes with a drink of either fresh lime soda or calamondin lemon honey. Easy, no-frills, and tasty, what more can you ask for?
Minh & Kok, TREATS, Shop 255, 2/F, Cityplaza, 18 Tai Koo Shing Road, Tai Koo | (+852) 2832 5110
Inspired by their sister company Wheatfield Kitchen, the clunkily (and also incorrectly) named Wheatfield x Borsch & Noodles serves up Western-style Shanghainese food. While this might sound like a strange concept, Shanghai has long had a history of foreign influence. Large numbers of Russians fled the revolution which toppled the empire of the tsars in the 1910s, and settled into Shanghai—the Chinese called them loh song people (羅宋人). This name was eventually also given to the famous Russian borscht soup, known in Chinese as loh song tong (羅宋湯).
Diners can pick from four different soups—beetroot soup, chicken broth, pork borscht, or beef borscht—and then choose to have it with a range of noodles, rice, or bread with butter. The simple and warming lunch only costs $62, and there are also a variety of toppings or side dishes to embellish the meal with. A trip to WXBN will make for a satisfying lunch, particularly during winter.
Wheatfield x Borsch & Noodles, G/F, Han Kung Mansion, 26 Tai Koo Shing Road, Tai Koo | (+852) 2895 0028