Best-of Guides Hong Kong

Best Char Siu in Hong Kong

10 Restaurants
The honey-glazed, succulent char siu is a local dish that Hong Kongers cannot live without. Follow along our MICHELIN inspectors to different MICHELIN-starred and Bib Gourmand restaurants and discover their unique—but equally scrumptious—Chinese barbecued pork.
Updated on 15 September 2023

There is so much to love about char siu: its outer layer a delightful red hue, with exquisite caramelised crispy edges, glistening from being glazed with honey; the meat is ultra-tender, with an irresistible sweet and savoury aroma. Not only is char siu a quintessential Hong Kong meal and comfort food, it is also a well-known dish in Cantonese cuisine.

Today, rows of char siu hanging in siu mei (Cantonese roasted meats) shop windows are a common sight, but in ancient times, roasted meat was a fancy imperial court dish. Folklore has it that a gourmand skewered pieces of pork loin and roasted them over fire, giving char siu its name, which literally means “fork roasted”. The cuts of pork used to make char siu have evolved over the years: in the 1950s, “floor scraping” char siu, made from pigs that were so fat their bellies scraped the floor, was the most popular; in the 90s, people had become more particular about their food, and pork collar butt with a more even fat-to-lean-meat ratio was preferred; in recently years, many high-end Chinese restaurants make premium char siu with Iberico pork. Whether you like your char siu glazed in honey or marinated with maltose, we can all agree that the best barbecued pork is the slightly charred one with nice, crispy edges.

What does exceptional char siu look like for MICHELIN inspectors? Here are 10 MICHELIN restaurants and their highly-regarded Chinese barbecued pork:

Tai Wai Dining Room (Tai Wai)
98 Chik Fuk Street, Hong Kong
$$ · Cantonese

The restaurant is located in a residential area in the New Territories. Its signature thick-cut No. 1 Char Siu is made with premium pork collar butt and brushed with maltose before roasting. The thick cut of pork is tender with a tasty, crispy outer layer. No doubt a gourmet’s favourite.

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Man Ho (Admiralty)
3F, JW Marriott Hotel, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Hong Kong
$$$ · Cantonese

This Chinese restaurant inside JW Marriott serves Cantonese cuisine that marries tradition with innovation. Its signature char siu is a must-try. Spanish Iberico pork loin is roasted until the outer layer is slightly charred with a caramel aroma; the meat is just fatty enough without being oily and is rich in flavour.

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Tin Lung Heen
102F, The Ritz-Carlton, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Hong Kong
$$$ · Cantonese

Situated on Level 102 of The Ritz-Carlton, Tin Lung Heen offers an elegant dining environment. Its signature barbecued Spanish Iberico pork with honey is made with only the two prime cuts of the pig’s collar. The fat-to-meat ratio is just right; the char siu—meaty with an appetising sheen—is succulent and richly flavourful, leaving a pleasant aftertaste in the mouth. As only two portions of char siu can be made from each pig, be sure to order in advance.

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1F, Sino Plaza, 255-257 Gloucester Road, Hong Kong
$$$$ · Cantonese

Established in 1977, Forum is a well-known eatery in Hong Kong that offers high-end traditional Cantonese cuisine. Apart from its signature Ah Yat Abalone, the restaurant’s char siu is also not to be missed. Striking a great balance between fat and lean meat, the succulent char siu is mildly charred with the perfect amount of honey to satisfy all your senses.

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Cuisine Cuisine at The Mira
3F, The Mira Hotel, 118 Nathan Road, Hong Kong
$$$ · Cantonese

At The Mira’s Cantonese restaurant, the culinary team uses modern techniques and premium imported ingredients to craft their dishes. One of the restaurant’s signatures is the honey-glazed barbecued pork. With meticulous attention to detail, the chef prepares two styles of char siu with different textures: one that is leaner and lighter on the palate, and another that is fattier but more tender, so diners can enjoy both styles on the same plate.

Summer Palace
5F, Island Shangri-La Hotel, Pacific Place, Supreme Court Road, Hong Kong
$$$ · Cantonese

Located at Island Shangri-La, Summer Palace is best known for its traditional Cantonese fare. A visit to this restaurant is not complete without ordering its thick-cut barbecued pork with honey sauce. Made from well-marbled premium pork, the char siu is fatty but not greasy, and has an intense meat flavour with an enticing caramel aroma.

3F, Shanghai Tang Mansion, 1 Duddell Street, Hong Kong
$$$ · Cantonese

Situated on the historic Duddell Street, Duddell’s is a restaurant of style and elegance. You can find high-quality Cantonese dishes here, with a spotlight on its signature honey-glazed barbecued pork: its char siu is made with the Boston butt of local pork, which is marbled with a succulent texture. It is then marinated to give it just the right amount of sweetness and roasted until the surface is nicely charred and caramelised.

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One Harbour Road
7-8F, Grand Hyatt Hotel, 1 Harbour Road, Hong Kong
$$$ · Cantonese

The restaurant offers spectacular views of Victoria Harbour with phenomenal food to match. Don’t miss out on its honey barbecued pork: chunky cuts of marbled pork is sufficiently charred for a caramelised crisp, while the meat is flavoursome, tender and has been glazed with honey and a special sauce for an unforgettable char siu dish.

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2F, The St. Regis Hotel, 1 Harbour Drive, Hong Kong
$$$ · Cantonese

Housed inside the three-year-old St. Regis, the restaurant with modern décor offers a comprehensive menu of refined Cantonese fare. The kitchen team has done its fair share of experimentation before landing on its current char siu recipe: the char siu is made with Spanish Iberico pork with a balanced fat-to-meat ratio, tender texture, robust flavour, and barbecued until the surface is slightly charred. A tasty sauce and honey make this dish all the more satisfying.

Spring Moon
1F, The Peninsula Hotel, Salisbury Road, Hong Kong
$$$ · Cantonese

The experienced culinary team at The Peninsula’s fine Cantonese restaurant is very strict when it comes to selecting ingredients. A must-try at Spring Moon is their signature Hungarian Mangalica char siu, made by smoking the pork collar with fruitwood and glazed with a thin layer of maltose. The delectable thick-cut char siu offers a rich mouthfeel and a unique, enticing smoky flavour.

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Article written by MICHELIN Guide Hong Kong Macau, translated by Iris Wong. Read original article here.