Hong Kong has lured travellers to its distinctive peninsula and densely packed shores ever since the East India Company made its first seaward journeys to China in the early 1700s. A British colony for more than 150 years, these days Hong Kong is renowned as one of Asia's most eclectic maritime cities – and it harbours an equally deserved reputation as one of the culinary capitals of the world. That's why we've put together a guide of five Hong Kong dining adventures you simply must experience in this most vibrant of destinations.
Eat dim sum in a tea house
There's no more quintessential a Hong Kong dining experience than sampling fresh dim sum straight from the service trolley. Traditionally a Cantonese dish from across the Pearl River Delta, dining out on dim sum – a meal experience known as yum cha or literally "taking tea" - is as authentic a Hong Kong food experience as you can get. And perhaps the best place to experience it is at the Lin Heung Tea House in the city's Central District, a place where time seems to have stood still and hungry diners cram into every available seat for what many regard as the best dim sum Hong Kong.
Sail away for some seafood
Not so much a small peninsula-based city as a sprawling archipelago of hundreds of islands, one of the most authentic ways to explore Hong Kong is on one of the traditional junks which leisurely make their way across Victoria Harbour to the outer islands of the city. Some of the best seafood in the city can be found well away from the heavily populated Hong Kong Island and Kowloon in the so-called Outlying Islands, so hop on the nearest seaworthy vessel to sample some of the most succulent seafood anywhere in Asia.
Chow down at a hawker stall
Like many Southeast Asian destinations, Hong Kong is a veritable haven of street-style hawker food. Forget upscale dining, some of the best food in the city is available from the ubiquitous streetside stalls where vendors hawk their wares in fierce competition with each other. From chicken feet to steamed meats and a seemingly endless array of noodle dishes, hawker food is a fixture of Hong Kong dining. Enduringly popular with the locals, a taste of some of Hong Kong's sensational street food is a must for any self-respecting culinary connoisseur.
Suit up for the Michelin stars
Hong Kong might be renowned as a great place to eat cheaply, but at the other end of the scale are some of the finest restaurants in Asia. You can ease into the Michelin-starred scene at Tim Ho Wan, back-alley specialists in dim sum which made worldwide headlines when it became the world's cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant. The wonton experts at Ho Hung Kee are similarly well patronised, but for a true taste of the upmarket, head to Lung King Heen or Caprice in the Four Seasons Hotel for bite-sized glimpse of Hong Kong's high society.
Chill out in SoHo
Not so much a dining district as the place to see and be seen, SoHo refers to an area south of Hollywood Road in the heart of Hong Kong Island. Its long history as a British colony and the many expatriates which still call it home ensure that Hong Kong enjoys one of the liveliest nightlife scenes anywhere in Asia. Sip on some cocktails at dusk as the glittering lights begin to flicker over the city, safe in the knowledge that whichever corner you turn, you'll soon find yourself immersed in the culinary culture of one of the world's 'tastiest' cities.