When LKF just won’t cut it
It may be true that Hong Kong’s not the easiest place to be young. Teens who want to socialise with their friends away from home have limited choices. And those who don’t want to pay the inflated prices of places like LKF need a thrifty option (and a less alcohol-fuelled place to go!). Whether they’re spending their hard-earned wages from a weekend job, or draining their parent’s bank account, it’s better for everyone that they find bargainous eateries that are fun and still hit the spot. We’ve asked some of teens to let us know the places they go that serve tasty food in a fun, casual atmosphere. Here are their top picks!
Editor’s note: Did we miss any places your teen likes to go? Email us and let us know at [email protected]
Triple O’s offers quality burgers at affordable prices all over town, with stores across the Island, Kowloon and even Macau. Occupying the space between bargain basement McDonald’s and premium choices such as Burger Circus, Honbo and Beef and Liberty, teens who head here can grab a combo meal for under a $100 and eat inside the diner-style restaurants. The quality of ingredients is good without being over the top. You’ll find Australian beef, Monterey jack cheese and the signature Triple O sauce; as long as your precocious young foodie isn’t expecting dry aged A5 Wagyu, the food here should hit the spot!
Sassy Mama Top Pick: Double Cheeseburger combo – $89.
New York style pizza parlour Paisano’s specialises in ginormous pizzas. It may not be wood-fired sourdough, but it’s big and tasty and can’t be beaten for value. Weekdays 2:30pm to 5:30pm, you can grab a slice plus a soft drink or smoothie for just $30 making this one a big favourite with penniless teens. With branches in Wan Chai, Discovery Bay, Sai Kung, Soho, TST and Mongkok, and a new opening coming in Causeway Bay, you’re never too far from a giant pizza.
Sassy Mama Top Pick: Slice of pizza and a drink – $30 (weekdays 2.30pm to 5.30pm)
Know for its speedy service, Pepper Lunch is cheap, tasty and fun. A Japanese chain with outlets all over Asia, it specialises in hot skillets of beef or chicken steaks with a range of side orders that are still bubbling away when they arrive in front of you. The meat is complemented by eggs, pasta or veggies plus there are soups and salads for side dishes. Your little darlings can easily get a good feed for under $50 and with branches in food courts and malls all over the territory, this is a real favourite among the under 20s.
Sassy Mama Top Pick: Beef Pepper Rice Meal – $46
A popular after-school hangout (and lunchtime fave for some high school kids) on Ap Lei Chau, Thai Siam serves up a decent selection of thai noodle soups, salads and seafood dishes. Authentic flavours and friendly service make this is a good spot to chill and the prices are perfect for teens on a budget.
Sassy Mama Top Pick: Soup noodle with grilled pork neck – $38
Thai Siam, Shop 7, G/F, Billion Court, 147 Ap Lei Chau Main Street, Ap Lei Chau, Hong Kong, 26513088, www.openrice.com
Genki is known for its angry face logo, conveyor and train-based service, and unbelievable value. Who knows how they do it so cheaply, maybe it’s something to do with economies of scale, with outlets seemingly around every corner. The lunch sets offer the best value: a plate of sashimi with seaweed salad and vegetable tempura come in at under $100.
Sassy Mama Top Pick: Genki Lunch Set A – $88
Great Food Hall, Pacific Place
Teens love malls and Pacific Place is their shiny temple. After checking out the latest sneakers, it’s everyone to the Great Food Hall to refuel. In the ‘food to go’ section there’s a world of choice with a deli counter, sushi, Indian, Thai and even a Calimex burrito option. At the front of the store there’s even more choice with another outlet of teen favourite Triple Os and desserts from I-Scream Gelato and Juju’s.
Sassy Mama Top Pick: Three scoops of gelato in a mini waffle at I-Scream Gelato – $52
Great Food Hall, LG 1, Two Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, 2918 9986 www.greatfoodhall.com
Central’s Wang Fu is known for serving up satisfyingly filling Beijing style dumplings at excellent prices. Steamed or pan-fried, these tasty morsels are filled with various combos of pork, chives, Chinese cabbage, sea cucumber, scallop, shrimp and mutton, plus there’s a veggie option. This popular spot tends to get packed out, especially around lunchtime, so it’s best for the teens to arrive early or go at the weekend if they don’t want to be elbow to elbow with office workers.
Sassy Mama Top Pick: Pork and Chive Dumplings (10 pieces) – $58
Wang Fu, 65 Wellington St, Central, Hong Kong, 2121 8006, www.openrice.com
Mak’s Noodle is famous for its wonton noodle soups, often cited as the best in the city. Locals get a bit miffed about the tiny portions but at $42 a bowl you can’t really complain – just order two! The delightful parcels are filled with shrimp or pork in true Guangdong style and the broth is skilfully prepared with dried shrimp, flounder and pork bones. This is a popular one with the youth – a quick after school bowl of super thin noodles with satisfying wontons goes down a treat!
Sassy Mama Top Pick: Signature wonton noodles – $42
Mak’s Noodle, 77 Wellington St, Central, Hong Kong, 2854 3810, www.maksnoodle.com
One for the discerning teen, Senryo’s five stores, all in the North of Hong Kong Island, specialise in top notch sushi. Individual pieces range from the basic tuna ($22) and salmon ($18) sushi to the more luxurious supreme fatty tuna ($56) and Hokkaido sea urchin ($56). The range of hand rolls, also a good value option, start from $22. The best value is the takeaway boxes which contain 10 pieces for $110, or if there are a bunch of them (isn’t there always?), the supreme box is good value with 36 premium pieces, serving five or six hungry kids, for $590.
Sassy Mama Top Pick: Sushi takeaway box (10 pieces) – $110
Jason’s Food Hall, Hysan Place
Another popular adolescent hangout is the food court at Jason’s in the basement of Hysan Place. They’ll be spoilt for choice with reasonably priced offerings including Baikohken Ramen, Nakajima Sushi, XTC Gelato, Starbucks and a new bakery Urban Cakes. The communal tables are the perfect place for teens to meet up and mingle while enjoying the knock off nosh.
Sassy Mama Top Pick: Gyoza from Baikohken Ramen (five pieces) – $38
Jason’s Food Hall, Floor B2, Hysan Place, 500 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 2776 1090 leegardens.com.hk/Jasons