hong kong food john anthony

Some of these are less than a Big Mac…

When it comes to experiencing new foreign food in bustling countries, it’s not always easy to know what you’re getting into. But if it has a Michelin star next to its name, you can pretty much always trust it’s worth trying – at least once. These Michelin starred restaurants across Asia are tantalizing not only to the taste buds – but to your wallet as well. And the cities aren’t too bad themselves, either…

a plate of food on a tableTim Ho Wan, Hong Kong

People flock from all over the world to try this famous Dim Sum joint. It may not look anything special from the outside, but people queue for hours for a reason – and that’s simply to try some of the best steamed fresh dumplings or pork buns that you may ever eat. They now have locations all over the world, but these buns alone are worth the trip to Hong Kong.

Price: From ~ HK$14 ($1.8)

Link: Tim Ho Wan

Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle, Singapore

It really exists. A food stall with a Michelin Star, famous for its chicken and rice – for SGD$2. And yes, that’s about $1.50 USD. Any restaurant would be worth trying for this price, let alone a world renowned joint like this. Due to such popularity, another quick-service restaurant has opened up nearby, serving the same famous dish for SGD$3.80, but to enjoy eating it in air conditioning is worth the mark up. In Singapore: if there’s a line, it’s good. if there’s not – it’s probably not.

Price: From S$2 ($1.50)

Link: Chicken Rice & Noodle

a plate of desserts on a black surfacePaste, Bangkok

Serving an enticing menu of modern Thai food, Paste is a must visit when in Bangkok. The inventive and elegant dishes are bursting with flavor, color and fragrance that will have you dreaming the next day, or perhaps even considering a return visit. They offer both tasting and a la carte menus, allowing you to go as big or small as you like, and thanks to a generous conversion rate – you can go pretty big.

Price: From ~ 390THB ($12.30)

Link: Paste

Tsuta Japanese Soba Noodles, Tokyo

Like most of Asia, Tokyo is a foodie paradise. And in Japan, it’s hard to get more famous than the craze that swept the world: ramen. Ramen is everywhere in Japan, but this was the first shop to be awarded a prestigious Michelin star. The small, nine-seater restaurant offers up arguably the best ramen around, with mouth watering broth that packs a serious umami punch. The expert care and quality control make this an affordable no brainer in Tokyo. A ticket system is in place where you will pay a deposit to secure your reservation at the restaurant. Worth it!

Price: From ~ 1250JPY ($11.50)

Link: Tsuta Japanese Soba Noodles

a plate of food on a white surfaceJoo-OK, Seoul

This modern Korean style bistro stands out for many reasons, but mostly for the innovative use of ingredients. House made vinegars and pickling liquids elevate even the simplest ingredients to new heights and virtually anything you eat will offer big, bold flavor. And since the best part of food is sharing, the intricate dish platings will work a treat for your Instagram feed.

Price: From ~ 29000KRW ($27)

Link: Joo-OK

a plate of food with chopsticksJay Fai, Bangkok

It may be incredibly expensive for Bangkok street food, but for Michelin star food, $12 for a hearty meal is pretty damn great. With the most famous crab omelette on the planet, the grandmother of Bangkok street food, Jay Fai brings Thai tradition to the world. The drunken noodles are insanely delicious, but you’d be hard pressed to go wrong here. Many would say there’s equally good and cheaper options nearby and as long as there’s a long line of locals, that could be true. But Jay Fai is a meal you’ll never forget.

Price: From ~ 400THB ($12.60)

Link: Jay Fai

Lei Garden, Hong Kong

With multiple locations throughout Asia, and six holding a Michelin star, it’s not hard to fathom the high quality and standards you’ll find at Lei Garden. Getting one Michelin star can be a lifes work but securing six – is just incredible. The menu has a large variation of dishes, but you should stick traditional. You must absolutely try the dim sum and be sure to reserve ahead. This popular spot fills up fast.

Price: From ~ HK$80 ($10.20)

Link: Lei Garden

Have you sampled any of these affordable Michelin starred gems?

Featured image courtesy of Paste – Bangkok. 

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. I’ve tried both Tim Ho Wan and the Singapore chicken rice hawker stall. First off, Tim Ho Wan (in Hong Kong) was once a budget Dim Sum place that was a good value but it’s gone up in price with it’s massive expansion. There are much, much better Dim Sum places in Hong Kong. Now, the chicken rice place, how it got a star, I have no idea. A plate of the stuff is OK but nothing special and certainly not worth the wait in line. Maybe it might be better in a nicer environment (very hot and steamy seating and hygiene is not great). Neither of these are really worth the effort unless you already happen to be there.

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