One country, two objectives
December 30, 2009 2:16 PM   Subscribe

Help us shop and eat well in Hong Kong.

My wife and I are soon visiting Hong Kong for eight days and are looking to spend some of that time improving our wardrobes and eating well.

- Beyond getting suits and shirts tailored, is there a place we can go to have existing items reproduced? Specifically, my wife has some jersey knit and non-"structured" garments that she loves and would like to get made in different colors. Price is not necessarily a prohibitive factor but we'd like to pay less than it would cost at home in London.

- Besides tailors, what are some ready-made clothing shops you would recommend visiting that can't be found in the US or UK? Think more Anthropologie/Muji and less Abercrombie/Gucci.

- We love good food and would appreciate any recommendations for unmissable meals. One of our favorite cuisines is Korean Food, specifically Korean BBQ. How should we go about fulfilling this urge?

All advice is greatly appreciated, thank you!
posted by timshel to Travel & Transportation around Hong Kong (14 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Yue Hwa Chinese Emporium was our favorite place to shop when we were in HK last year. More traditional housewares and clothing than most other places we visited, and an entire floor of tea merchants. Most of the shopping malls were like any you'd find in the States, so not as interesting.
posted by electroboy at 2:34 PM on December 30, 2009

8 days is a bit tight for tailoring...I would be a bit careful. After the first session of measurements, you should go back for at least one session of fitting & adjustments before you take delivery of your new bespoke garments, and you definitely want to pick them up in person to ensure the final product is as desired.
posted by randomstriker at 2:43 PM on December 30, 2009

Although you specifically mention clothing and food, you might stop by Chinese Arts and Crafts. It has really nice stuff, and is fascinating to look, even if you aren't looking to buy.

You seriously can't swing a cat in HK without hitting an excellent shop or restaurant.
posted by Houstonian at 2:49 PM on December 30, 2009

I can't tell you about suits, but turnaround time on shirts from Jantzen Tailors was about 2 days.
posted by electroboy at 2:49 PM on December 30, 2009

For work clothes, I really liked G2000 - it was super cheap, and as a skinnier guy, asian sizes rock my world because the actually fit. Your wife may really like Zara (and so might you) - I'm not sure they have it in the UK?

For tea shops, go along Hollywood Rd. There's also tonnes of antique stores - but be a bit careful, most of it is fake, even in the expensive stores.

Catch the train over to Mongkok if you're not staying there. Langham Place is a fun mall with lots of stores, and the neighbourhood in general is great fun, much cheaper than the island, and filled with little restuarants. English speakers are harder to come by, but on the bright side, there's not touts everywhere.

Be sure to get some BBQ goose when in Honkers. You'll be able to guess which restaurants serve it - they will have chinese barbecue stuff in the window, or pictures of roast goose. Delicious. Also be sure to have some congee (gowgee, jook) for breakfast, yum! Go to places where you see regular people eating is my advice. Avoid expat bars/areas in my opinion. Overpriced, and that whole expat scene is a bit tired, imho.

As somewhat of a connoisseur of Korean food, and living in a suburb that's 90% Korean, trust me when I tell you: DO NOT EAT KOREAN IN HONG KONG. Last time we were there, we went to like, three korean restaurants and they were all _terrible_. God, so bad. Korean food in Hong Kong is all honkified, and thus made kind of sweet and weird. You might like it, but it has almost nothing in common with real Korean food. You will have better luck going with Japanese and Shabu Shabu (not the same, I know).

This sounds funny, but check out McDonalds - the menu is almost totally different. It was fun (though not tasty!). Hvae a great time. I love Hong Kong, it's like a big city with all the filler taken out, leaving nothing but pure awesome.
posted by smoke at 3:04 PM on December 30, 2009

Following on that, it can be interesting to see what the Hong Kong take on your favorite foods from home are. You may not like it, but it's definitely interesting.
posted by electroboy at 3:06 PM on December 30, 2009

8 days is plenty to get something tailored; we did it in 5 days. I used Irene Fashions in Kowloon to get a custom piece made and was really pleased with the professionalism and the quality. They do more structured, tailored garments like gowns and coats, and are not cheap, but they specialize in women's fashions and might be able to refer you somewhere else for your knit garments.

Kowloon has lots of original clothing shops and at least one Muji and a big Uniqlo. There is also a Hong Kong branch of Seibu department stores with some good stuff. I'll need to look it up in my journal, but there was an awesome cashmere shop inside a hotel that had splendid pieces for half off. Really, you can't go wrong in that neighborhood, especially just a few blocks from the water.

For fun we really enjoyed the bird market and the pet market on Victory street. So many tiny baby turtles! Sooo cute!

We also enjoyed the restaurant barges out in the bay. They're more fun for the experience than the cuisine (though it was pretty good). You'll hop on a boat in Aberdeen harbor and it will whisk you out to the big boat. On the first floor was a mini-aquarium where customers can pick out their victims. We ate higher up with a good view of the city. I had a nice lobster.
posted by Alison at 4:55 PM on December 30, 2009

Best answer: Go to a nice hotel and enjoy a buffet. It's a Hong Kong tradition and you will leave full. The very nice hotels are going to be more lavish and expensive. Personally, I think the Holiday Inn in Kowloon is fine if you want to spend a little less.

Also, check out Lantau Island. The monastery there has famously good vegetarian food, and it's an overall cool experience if you have time. A different world from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong.
posted by j1950 at 5:10 PM on December 30, 2009

Best answer: I just spent a bunch of time over in Hong Kong and I have some suggestions for food:

Dim Sum -- HK is home of Dim Sum. Best in the world. The hotel where you are staying ask the concierge where the best Dim Sum restaurant is around and go to it.

Hot Pot -- Hot Pot isn't necessarily specialized to HK, but you must try it. Little Sheep Hot Pot has a few locations around and they are all top notch. Your waiter will help you pick out an awesome pot. Very fun.

Lantau Island has the Po Lin Monastery/Giant Buddha that has fabulous vegetarian food in their restaurant. Also the views are nice.

For shopping:

Skip over to Hong Kong Island and go to the IFC mall for spendy shopping, go to the other side of the Island, and visit Stanley Market for better deals.

In Kowloon go to Mongkok and visit the street market. Can't miss it. Even more fun at night! I found some beautiful stuff there. Learn how to bargain though!
posted by OrangeSoda at 5:41 PM on December 30, 2009

I haven't been in a while, but I did get a couple suits there. I got one, moderately expensive suit from a Chinese tailor, and one cheap suit from an Indian tailor. Later I was told that the Chinese tailors usually have traditional tailors in HK that put the suit together, hence the cost ($400, roughly), whereas the Indian tailors ship the patterns to Shenzen and the suits are put together by regular garment workers. The quality difference between the two is noticeable, and I rarely wear/wore the Indian tailored suit. Either way, I would recommend Charms tailor if they are still around. Very professional, and I still wear the suit several years later.

Do make sure you get over to the islands. Cheng Chau was very beautiful, easily explorable in a day. Lantau has some things worth seeing as well. Take the Star Ferry rather than the Metro to cross the harbor whenever possible. It's slower, but it's much nicer.

As for food, if you like Indian food, I really enjoyed Gaylords in Kowloon. It should be in most guidebooks. Really good aloo gobi.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:07 PM on December 30, 2009

Best answer: Seconding the Star Ferry across the harbor. It is an absolute must.
posted by OrangeSoda at 6:17 PM on December 30, 2009

8 days is plenty to get something tailored's plenty of time if everything goes as expected. Sometimes (in my experience) it doesn't. Go as soon as possible after you arrive, so that you have time to spare for adjustments if mistakes are made or if you're picky about fit.
posted by randomstriker at 6:23 PM on December 30, 2009

- Besides tailors, what are some ready-made clothing shops you would recommend visiting that can't be found in the US or UK? Think more Anthropologie/Muji and less Abercrombie/Gucci.

I always make it a point to stop by G.O.D. (Goods of Desire) whenever I'm in Hong Kong - it's a little like the Anthropologie of HK, with knick knacks, home furnishings, apparel and accessories, all with a quirky, modern Chinese touch.

Moustache is a new menswear ready-to-wear shop by the guys behind J.A. Daye, who started out with made-to-measure. (Check out their fantastic Guide to Hong Kong on their website too.)

Kapok stocks a variety of items, though I'm not sure how local the range is.

We love good food and would appreciate any recommendations for unmissable meals.

Can't help with the Korean food, but why would you eat Korean food in Hong Kong? Make a reservation at Xi Yan Private Dining, try roast goose at Yung Kee, egg tarts at Tai Cheung, HK-style thick toast and milk tea at Tsui Wah, pork chop burgers at Lan Fong Yuen, and just for kicks, pretend to be Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung at Cafe de Goldfinch (where In The Mood For Love was filmed).
posted by hellopanda at 1:05 PM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Alright, for Korean food in Hong Kong, I hit up the dining reviews on HK Magazine - I've not tried any of these nor actively searched for corroborating reviews, but the following are among the top rated: Sue Korean, Sorabol, Jin Luo Bao, Miga and Myung Ga. Here's a brief Chowhound thread on Korean BBQ in Hong Kong, which mentions a few of the same establishments.
posted by hellopanda at 11:38 PM on December 31, 2009

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