Congee, or juk, reminds Hongkongers of comforting bowls served by their moms when they were sick as kids. The rice porridge, usually savoury, has many iterations throughout Asia. In Hong Kong-style congee’s basic form, the dish can be served plain, or with ingredients like offals and other slow-cooked meats. Ingredients are cooked from raw in a rice porridge until their essence has been drawn into every piece of rice, making a nutrient-rich dish that’s gentle on the stomach.

Restaurants in Hong Kong exist that are dedicated to the homey dish, served alongside side dishes like stir-fried noodles, century egg, and Chinese doughnut sticks (yau za gwai, literally translating to “deep-fried ghost”) — here are our favourite places to eat the best congee in Hong Kong.

Tasty Congee & Noodle Wantun Shop — Multiple locations

congee from tasty congee and noodle wantun shop hong kong
Congee with fish balls made from common dace (© Tasty Congee & Noodle Wantun Shop)

Tasty Congee & Wantun Noodle Shop started with a young apprentice named He Zhaohong who established a popular wonton noodle shop in Guangzhou in 1946. After running a streetside noodle stall in Wan Chai for a number of years, his son took over and in 1996 opened the first Tasty Congee & Wantun Noodle Shop, expanding the original menu to include comforting congee and dim sum.

The brand now has eight locations spread all over Hong Kong, as well as branches throughout mainland China and Bangkok. While the relatively higher prices reflect their international status, their small selection of Cantonese congees, including ‘boat congee’ originally made on sampan boats occupied by Canton boat people, are fragrant, with a clean taste and zero greasy mouth feel.

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Multiple locations in Hong Kong

Sang Kee Congee Shop — Sheung Wan

fish congee and century egg side dish from sang kee congee shop
Sang Kee’s fish congee with thousand-year-old egg (© Premshree Pillai via Flickr)

Sang Kee’s praise has been sung by celebrity guests. However, it shouldn’t be attributed to the congee being a staggeringly shining star among the constellation of congee shops in Hong Kong. It’s really just down to its honest, daily freshly prepared porridge served in generous portions. With a more narrow menu than the usual local congee restaurant (they don’t serve the doughnut sticks ubiquitously served with congee in Hong Kong), the congees ranging from HK$20 to HK$60 are pumped out of the kitchen quickly and with the same high quality every time. Sang Kee’s congee slow-cooked with the ‘leftover’ parts of fish is their signature dish.

7 Burd St, Sheung Wan | +852 2541 1099

Chung Kee CongeeMultiple locations

storefront of chung kee congee in central district hong kong
Chung Kee Congee’s Central branch (© Shanhaupbo Fatda via WikiCommons)

One of the greatest things about congee is that it’s among the cheapest filling meals you can have no matter where you are in the city. Whether it’s a financial district or residential neighbourhood, the prices are friendly. This is true for Chung Kee Congee’s five branches concentrated on Hong Kong Island, where you need only shell out HK$20 to HK$30 for a hefty bowl of congee. The congee is clearly made with high-quality ingredients, but we especially appreciate the taste and range of their side dishes. Order the rice dumpling (zhong), turnip cake, or Chinese doughnut wrapped in a sheet of rice noodle and topped with a drizzle of soy sauce, called ja leung, for a perfect textural contrast with the porridge. Note that they only accept cash!

Multiple locations in Hong Kong

Master Congee — Multiple locations

sampan or boat congee with fried dumplings
One of Master Congee’s specialities is sampan congee (© DragonSamYU via WikiCommons)

Master Congee has one of the largest varieties of congees at reasonable prices starting from HK$20, with a full meal of congee and a side dish ringing in at under HK$40. This is another congee restaurant in Hong Kong that serves sampan congee (usually made from pork bones and seafood and served with a sprinkling of fried salted peanuts, coriander, green onion, and ginger slices).

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Besides the classic yau za gwai doughnut stick (called youtiao in Putonghua) they also offer ‘beef tongue’ doughnuts (ngau lei sou), slightly sweet, puffy sesame balls (jin dui), and savoury doughnuts (haam jin beng) for the quintessential deep-fried carb pairing. Master Congee’s dishes are packed with deep flavour, but those with MSG sensitivities be warned as some of the congees purportedly contain some MSG.

Multiple locations in Hong Kong

Law Fu Kee — Central

congee from law fu kee hong kong
Law Fu Kee’s Hong Kong-style porridge with pork offals (© Chaw Chun Wa via WikiCommons)

Law Fu Kee is the congee specialist of Central, with two locations just six minutes’ walk from each other. The one on Des Voeux Road is the newer branch, but the one on Lyndhurst Terrace serves a wider variety of dishes. Every morning, they start with a plain congee with an especially smooth texture that’s been prepared overnight and cook ingredients from raw as they’re ordered, for an unmatched homemade taste. It’s a very popular destination for breakfast among the locals, so go in the morning if you can! First-timers have to try the fish congee with thin slices of just-cooked, juicy fish.

Central #1: G/F, 50 Lyndhurst Terrace | +852 2850 6756

Central #2: 140 Des Voeux Rd Central | +852 2541 3080

Chan Kan Kee Chiu Chow Restaurant — Tseung Kwan O

chiu chow congee from chan kan kee restaurant hong kong
Smooth Chiu Chow-style congee (© Chan Kan Kee)

This Chiu Chow restaurant with 70 years of history mainly serves up coveted marinated meats (made in a distinct Chiu Chow-style marinade called lo sui). Besides that, the comforting Chiu Chow style congee is thicker than the Hong Kong iteration, cooking the rice until it breaks down into a paste-like texture. Chan Kan Kee has been awarded a Bib Gourmand label by the Michelin Guide every year since 2011 for its cost-effective gourmet offering.

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The restaurant was once housed in Chiu Chow Lane (which was demolished and converted into today’s Heung Hing Lane in 1997. It moved to its current home in a shopping centre in 2020.

Shop 353B, 3/F, The LOHAS, 1 Lohas Park Rd, Tseung Kwan O | +852 2858 0033

Fat Kee Congee Shop — Multiple locations

rice noodles and congee from fat kee congee shop hong kong
Pork liver and kidney congee with soy sauce-enveloped rice noodles (© Fat Kee Congee Shop)

With locations in Yuen Long, Tai Po, Wan Chai, and Sham Shui Po, Fat Kee Congee Shop caters to the local uncles that want an economical and yummy Hong Kong-style congee, with prices ranging from HK$20 to within HK$50. Served in clay bowls, the congee with pork offal for example is prepared well so there’s no lingering ‘off’ taste that can sometimes accompany offal dishes. On top of Guangdong congee, Fat Kee also serves a selection of other dishes, such as stir-fried beef or steamed yellow chicken with a heap of garlic and scallion oil.

Multiple locations in Hong Kong

Mui Kee Congee — Mong Kok

fish mouth and fish fin congee, three generations of Mui Kee owner's relatives
Fish congee and three generations of Mui Kee Congee’s overseers (© Mui Kee Congee)

Mui Kee started as a small congee stall in Mong Kok manned by just one lady, named Mak Mui, in 1979. Now led by Ms. Mak’s grandson (pictured far left above), it’s made its permanent home on Fa Yuen Street, also known as the home of Ladies’ Market. Only open until 3pm, their congee is unique among congee establishments for its unmatched creaminess and depth of flavour, cooked with fish stock and century eggs which are broken up to imbue their umami essence into the porridge. The signature dish is porridge made with the mouth and fins of fish. The congee shop’s success has led to the opening of a Singapore branch!

Shop 11-12, 3/F, Fa Yuen Street Municipal Services Building, 123A Fa Yuen St, Mong Kok | +852 2789 0198

Header image credits: Connie Ma via WikiCommons

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Born in Canada, Danielle is deep diving into the things that make Hong Kong a city of intermingling identities, and bridging the information gap as someone trying to navigate the city herself as a cultural inbetweener. Sometimes this means examining culture and local people’s stories, and other times it means drinking all the milk tea and doing walking explorations of peripheral districts.

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