In a previous post, I wrote about the challenges of traveling alone to a different country and not being able to speak the local language.  Basically I got by through the kindness of strangers.  Well in the same spirit, this post is about sharing some of the things I’ve learnt about eating in Hong Kong.  Hope you’ll find it useful – if you have any other suggestions, leave a comment to share with everyone else.

hong kong restaurant

One thing I’ve noticed in Hong Kong is the amazing amount of signeage, advertising all sorts of things, diferrent images, colours and of course written in Chinese.  The photo above is what you’re likely to be confronted with. I picked this one because it’s a particularly large restaurant with lots of signeage, which is attractive to tourists but can also be bewildering.

Tip 1: Check for pictures of food with prices both inside and outside the restaurant.  If there is no English menu, you could always point to the pictures, the prices tells you how much you’ll need to pay and help you decide if it’s reasonable.

Tip 2: Just Walk in, you’ll be amazed how quickly the staff notice you and point you to a seat.

Tip 3: Be prepared to share a table.  Especially if you’re alone or a couple you’ll be expected to share.  It could be confronting at first, but you’ll get used to it – no one really pays attention to their neighbours.

hong kong bill

Tip 4: Ask for an English menu. I’m often surprised – even tiny places have something in English.

Tip 5: Your bill is that piece of paper which they shove next to you (see above).  For ‘fancier’ restaurants it will be printed and attached to a miniature clip board, at smaller establishments it could just be a handwritten, loose piece of paper.   It could include your table number and an itemised cost (in Chinese) and often a grand total.

Tip 6: To pay take your bill to the cashier, usually located by the entrance, just look for the cash register or see where locals go to pay.

Tip 7: Tip or not tip? Generally at smaller establishments you’re not expected to tip.

Tip 8: Don’t forget to smile and say ‘thank you’. Traveling could be stressful but remember smiling creates a positive atmosphere. You’re more likely to get helpful, patient service.  And leaving a good impression just encourages the staff to be helpful to the next bewilderd tourist.

Hope you find these 8 tips useful.

Other ideas and suggestions? Why not leave a comment and share it with everyone.

Like the photos in this post?
They were taken with a Sony NEX-5N, a supporter of noodlies.