Family-style: The Best-Value Chinese Restaurants For Group Dining
It’s often hard to pick out a good Chinese restaurant for dinner – and that’s why we’re here to help. If you want to go to a Chinese eatery that’s not a hole-in-the-wall diner or open-air noodle stall, yet don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for five-star fine dining – give these mid-range options a spin. Serving up delicious, filling Chinese classics starting at just $100 per head in a group setting, these restaurants stay true to family-style dining that’s de rigeur in Chinese cuisine. So if you’re among a horde of hungry diners, check out these restaurants below. Make sure one of them is Chinese-speaking, though – many of these don’t have English menus.
Lin Heung Kui
Sheung Wan’s Lin Heung Kui (not to be confused with an older branch on Wellington Street) serves breakfast, lunch and dinner usually to a full house – and it’s not hard to understand why. A delicious, filling dim sum meal – served during the day until about 2pm – won’t at all hurt the wallet: expect to pay from $22 to $30 per dish for siu mai (pork and mushroom dumpling), har gow (shrimp dumpling) and cheung fun (meats wrapped in rice rolls); and $48 for heartier rice dishes like egg and beef rice. Dinner will only set you back around $100-150 per head: choose from a whole range of classic Cantonese dishes (most of which are between the $68-85 mark): think white cut chicken (marinated with salt and boiled in water or broth), stewed pork belly with lotus roots, and fried prawns with a choice of salt and pepper, premium soy sauce, or ketchup (very Hong Kong).
Tak Kee Chiu Chow Restaurant
We love Tak Kee Chiu Chow Restaurant for its timeless southern Chinese classics, uber-efficient service and best of all, an affordable price tag. True to Chinese dining, Chiu Chow dishes – originating from the Chaoshan region – are made for family-style sharing, and between five or six people you can expect to spend around $100-$150 per head, so bring friends. Here you can’t go wrong with Chiu Chow cuisine’s greatest hit, the oyster omelette ($78); braised meats from duck and goose to pork, a specialty of the cuisine ($78 and up); and Tak Kee’s signature crispy chicken ($98/half, $188/whole). Oh, and the quick service thing? Don’t expect to lounge around for ages after your meal wraps up – the queues here are long, and staff are quick to place your bill on the table once they spot empty dishes.
Chuen Cheung Kui
Specialising in Hakka cuisine, a regional variety that features marinated meats and vegetables, Chuen Cheung Kui is all about dishes with heavy flavours. Again, sharing portions reign supreme, so expect to pay around $200-250 per head for dinner between a group of half a dozen. The famous winter melon soup, cooked with cooked ham, dried scallops and mushrooms and served in a real melon, is a top pick ($208 serves three; for more diners, supplements are between $48-98). Then move on to mains like the famous salt-baked chicken, and save some room for Hakka-style tea cakes.
New school Chinese restaurant Social Place puts a modern spin on dim sum, with a spread made with healthy ingredients served in airy, contemporary interiors. Dim sum and small dishes are served all day and priced from $30-$60 – you should aim to order around two items per person and that should mean everyone is comfortably full for no more than $250 per head (before drinks, which are slightly pricer at $30 and up per soft drink bottle). There are light portions of the dim sum dishes we all know and love, and then some – like scallion ginger chicken, shrimp with ginger wine, or spiced ginger pork knuckle (all $69/$129).
Din Tai Fung
Affectionately known as DTF, Din Tai Fung is the big-daddy of xiaolongbao eateries, dominating Asia and beyond. You’ve no doubt heard of these tasty morsels, which originated just outside of Shanghai, served up by the Taiwanese restaurant chain: they’re steamed dumplings bursting with tasty, hot soup within (that you might just burn the roof of your mouth with if you’re not careful). DTF’s take on them is so popular, the Tsim Sha Tsui branch has been awarded one star by the Michelin Guide, no less. Elsewhere on the menu, order drunken chicken cooked with Shaoxing rice wine ($74) and string bean with minced pork ($48). Unlike many of the other restaurants on this list, DTF is good for dining between a smaller group without breaking the bank. English menu available.
It might not be Shanghainese dining at its fanciest – but definitely one of the tastiest around. Crystal Jade, a chain restaurant that has roots in Singapore. Expect to spend around $150-$200 per head on dishes best shared: northern classics like Sichuan dan dan noodles ($59), braised minced pork ball with vegetables ($79). Like DTF, the xiaolongbao is also a signature here. English menu available.
Andrea Lo is a freelance journalist and translator based in Hong Kong. After cutting her teeth in the industry as a staff writer at a lifestyle magazine, she embraced the freelance life in 2015 and hasn’t looked back. She spends her time exploring the best of Hong Kong’s dining and nightlife scene, trialling new fitness trends, and travelling to exotic locales – all in the name of “research”.