HONG KONG: You don’t have to compromise on taste to uphold your values. Here’s our pick of the best restaurants in Hong Kong with halal meat options.
The word “halal” just means “permissible” in Arabic, but it’s often used when referring to something you can consume. Muslims (of all and various sects) have specific dietary restrictions that forbid them from consuming alcohol, all pig-related products and meat that has not been slaughtered in an Islamic method (“zabiha”). And, depending on your school of thought, other food and beverages may also be forbidden.
There is a misconception that “halal food” is restricted to Muslim-majority countries (namely South Asian or Middle Eastern cuisines), and the long history of lard (pig fat) and pork in Chinese food can scare off practising Muslims in Hong Kong from venturing out of familiar-to-them cuisines.
Hong Kong only has around 40 restaurants that are certified by the Islamic Board of Trustees, but the city boasts authentic halal local food and is home to the only Disneyland with halal options (Ocean Park also has halal-certified options, as well).
To save you the trouble of continuously visiting the few heavily-touted options (hello Bombay Dreams) or going vegetarian and calling it a day, I — a walking, talking, breathing Muslim — have rounded up my new-ish favourite restaurants that offer halal meat.
375 Chicken ‘n Fries HK (American)
Originally from New York, this fast-food joint opened early summer and came ready to tick all the halal boxes. 375 Chicken ‘n Fries promises hormone- and antibiotic-free chicken fried in vegetable oil, having consulted its restaurants in Qatar on halal standards and practices. There is one item with bacon on the menu, but it’s stored and cooked in a completely separate area to ensure no cross-contamination. A personal favourite sandwich is the buttermilk fried chicken, coated in a buffalo-honey glaze and topped with cheddar, sriracha mayo and Hot Cheetos.
375 Chicken ‘n Fries HK, 79-83 Queen’s Road Central, Man Hing Commercial Building, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3751 5181
Bengal Brothers (Bengali and Regional Indian)
Located in Wan Chai, this colourful eatery serves up Bangla-style wraps (ah, the heavenly Kolkata kati roll!), rice and chaat bowls, and lassi — we’re talking char-grilled meats and veggies, flaky flatbreads and all kinds of sauces and spices. The chicken and lamb are halal, and you’re free to inquire if any other meat in-store is halal on the day.
Bengal Brothers, G/F, 6 Johnston Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Located in the luxurious Rosewood Hotel on the Kowloon side, CHAAT promises a refined and modern take on Indian food. Led by Chef Manav Tuli, the restaurant takes pride in its carefully designed dishes that draw inspiration from all over the subcontinent — with an ever-evolving menu that features elevated street food (like a sweet potato chaat samosa and jackfruit samosa) and slow-cooked classics (such as an old Delhi butter chicken and a lamb dum biryani).
CHAAT, 5/F, Rosewood Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 3891 8732
Claiming to be the first Persian restaurant in Hong Kong, LOVEAT serves up authentic Iranian food featuring everything from kebabs to slow-cooked stews, various flatbreads and so much rice, combined with the finest of ingredients (saffron, rosewater, sumac and more). The lamb, beef and chicken are all halal. This is a halal-certified establishment.
LOVEAT, Shop E, G/F, Garley Building, 47-53 Graham Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2595 9900
Momoz (Nepalese and Asian Fusion)
Who doesn’t love dumplings? This highly Instagrammable joint serves not only its namesake (authentic Nepali chicken and veg momos) but also fun takes on other favourites, with everything from a Korean-inspired kimchi special to a Malaysian achari and even a Hainanese chicken momo paired with a pitch-perfect ginger and spring onion oil-sauce on its menu.
Momoz LKF, 6 Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong
Momoz TST, Shop No 3, Lee Wai Commercial Building 1&3, Hart Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Islamic Centre Canteen (Cantonese)
The Wan Chai Islamic Centre’s canteen is home to the best halal Cantonese food in Hong Kong — I promise. With everything you’d ever want — dim sum, noodle and rice dishes, lamb, mutton, beef, chicken and more — on its menu, there’s something for everyone. Make sure to come here with a large group and tuck in for a feast. This is a halal-certified establishment.
Islamic Centre Canteen, 5/F, Masjid Ammar and Osman Ramju Sadick Islamic Centre, 40 Oi Kwan Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2834 8211
Warung Malang Club (Indonesian)
This halal-certified establishment is a hidden gem in Causeway Bay. Warung Malang Club has an extensive menu full of Indonesian favourites, featuring everything from nasi goreng to rendang and chicken and lamb sate. It’s quite full on the weekends, so try a weeknight.
© Lifestyle Asia