I’m ping-ponging the labyrinth of streets in Hong Kong’s Central District with my friend, Jason Collins, a gay, former professional athlete. More than seven-feet tall and African American, Jason quite literally stands out in China, though his extra height doesn’t help us find the restaurant where we have a reservation—and neither does Google Maps. On most of our dinner quests, we’ve been confused with directions (GPS isn’t exactly resourceful with laneways and alleys), and frequently hit dead ends and felt like tourists with question-mark faces. It shouldn’t be this difficult finding a handful of Hong Kong’s newest restaurants, though they haven’t exactly been on the beaten path. They’re located on second, third, and even eighth floors of nondescript buildings, hidden in alleyways or tucked away inside shopping malls.
But we never give up. Not only are we constantly famished; these restaurants have reached a level of prestige in the short time they’ve been open. In fact, they’ve been known to exceed expectations for new restaurants, creating major hype. They’re worth the hunt, especially since Hong Kong’s dining scene is already outstanding. With Jason as a moving natural wonder to the eyes of hundreds of pedestrians, and the off-the-radar restaurant locations that take significant effort to find, we eventually and always make it to our destinations. And, once we arrive, Jason is no longer the main attraction.