I am originally from the Hong Kong Island side, so I was never familiar with the Kowloon side and beyond. Kowloon City is simply not a location that’s particularly convenient for me to get to. But ever since a good friend of mine introduced me to Islam Food Restaurant (清真牛肉館) in Kowloon City, I was hooked. Now on every visit back to Hong Kong, I wouldn’t leave without making a journey over to Kowloon City for this restaurant. If I can, sometimes I just want to eat at Islam Food Restaurant every single day! It’s one of the must-visit restaurants whether you are Muslim or not and I have not heard of one negative review of this restaurant, ever.
Islam Food Restaurant: Award-Wining Halal Food in Hong Kong
Islam Food Restaurant has been established in the 1950s and has since firmly won the hearts of all locals. Over the years, the restaurant has won numerous awards and certificates. It now has two shops in the city, both located within Kowloon City. My friend always takes me to their main shop by Lung Kong Road. It’s super busy there and it’s a relatively tiny space. We normally order takeaway and sit outside to eat. This time around, I decided to go to their other branch at Tak Ku Ling Road, which is the newer branch and it seems to be a bit more spacious. Moreover, there is also a slight menu difference that I was keen to try out.
The Food at Islam Food (what we ordered)
- Juicy Beef Patty Cakes 爆汁牛肉餅 (HKD$36 / 2pcs)
- Mutton Xiao Long Bao 羊肉小籠包 (HKD$40 / 4pcs)
- Pulled Bao Bun 銀絲卷 (HKD$18 / 1pc)
Juicy Beef Patty Cake 爆汁牛肉餅 (HKD$36 / 2pcs)
The most famous dish from Islam Food Restaurant is these juicy beef patty cakes, which earned them multiple awards over the years. It’s also the very dish that had me hooked on this restaurant. Essentially, it’s a meaty and ultra-juicy beef patty enveloped in a thin dough, which is then pan-fried till golden. The dough carries a light crisp on the outside, and as you bite into it, it explodes of juice & broth on the inside. It’s unbelievably tasty, with so much flavour all packed into the patty. There is a reason why this small halal restaurant can attract so much attention from both Muslims and non-Muslim locals. You are staring right at it here and no one can beat how good Islam Food makes it.
Mutton Xiao Long Bao 羊肉小籠包 (HKD$40 / 4pcs)
This is the very dish why I’d recommend visiting the Tak Ku Ling Road branch of Islam Food as the original branch doesn’t have this on its menu. I adore Xiao Long Baos to death and it’s irritating that they are all mainly made with pork. I had Xiao Long Baos at the Islamic Centre Canteen, where they substituted the pork with chicken, but they came out rather dry. It’s not easy to get Xiao Long Baos absolutely spot on and I made it my mission to find the best halal ones out there. Well, to my most joyous delight, here it is.
We opted for the Muttom Xiao Long Baos and a beef one is also available. First things first with Xiao Long Baos, there should be at least 18 folds at the top. Anything less isn’t deemed authentic. Safe to say that these ones from Islam Food have passed with flying colours. The second thing to look for is the dough, which has to be thin but not easy to break. They’ve got this done right too. The dumpling can be easily lifted off the bamboo basket without breaking and was never a point too doughy to taste.
Savouring these soup dumplings was as euphoric as foodgasm goes. From the very moment I bit down the dumpling from the top, it immediately proved to be a phenomenal dish as the flavoursome broth gushes in. The broth was absolutely flavoursome and not too oily at all. As for the meat, it was sensationally meaty and aromatic which leaves me wanting more. It seriously doesn’t get any dreamier than this and I’m still drooling all over it as I write this post.
Pulled Bao Bun 銀絲卷 (HKD$18 / 1pc)
I’m not even sure Pulled Bao Bun is the correct translation. But essentially, this is a bao within a bao. A steamed bao bun is first shredded into thin slices and then bundled up and stuffed within a large bao. You can have it either steamed or deep-fried – we went with the former for this occasion – and it is then served with a side of condensed milk for dipping.
Beautifully fluffy, the bun was a delight. Since it’s a steamed one, the flavours are relatively plain. It’s basically just like a Mantou (Chinese steamed bun). If you are looking for something less plain, definitely go for the deep-fried one where the exterior will be fried to a gorgeous golden yellow colour and a crispy texture. The crispy edges would actually suit better with the condensed milk as well.
Restaurant Review Summary
Islam Food Hong Kong is one I can’t stop raving about since day one and is very much firmly my most favourite eatery in the city. Other specialities and famous dishes at Islam Food include Sesame Sauce Chicken, Lamb Curry, Chinese Cold Cut Platter, Stir-Fried Beef with Leek, etc. It’s always worth the effort to go visit this legendary restaurant gem. Without a doubt, it’s the best halal restaurant you can find in Hong Kong and the amount of people visiting, both Muslims and non-Muslims, speaks volumes. As I said, only if I lived much closer to the area, you would definitely see me visiting this place almost every day!
Tel: +852 2382 1882
Nearest station: Sung Wong Toi 宋皇臺 (B3 Exit)