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10 best Thai boat noodles in Hong Kong

By Catharina Cheung 24 January 2021

Header image courtesy of Samsen

Thai boat noodles have been around since the 1940s and definitely aren’t a new culinary import to Hong Kong, having sat innocuously in no-frills Thai restaurant menus across the city. Traditionally a casual street food, the defining point of this dish is in its broth; braised for hours with meat, bones, and pig’s blood, a proper boat noodle soup should be rich, hearty, and full of spices. Thanks to new Thai food concepts that have injected the cuisine with a fresh appeal, boat noodles have gained a lot more prominence over the recent years. Here are 10 of the best restaurants in Hong Kong to slurp up some amazing Thai boat noodles!

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Photo credit: @missnomnomz @foodie_gump (via Instagram)
1

Samsen

Ask any Hong Kong foodie for their favourite modern Thai joint and Samsen will undoubtedly crop up. It made waves in the city’s F&B circuit a few years ago when former Chachawan chef Adam Cliff came up with his own street food concept, which has remained hugely popular since its opening. While most of their menu is mouth-wateringly delicious and more than worthy of return trips, it is really their Wagyu beef soup noodle ($138) that is the crowning jewel. Portions are massive, the soup is rich and aromatic, and the whole thing is topped with crispy pork rinds and lots of Thai watercress. If beef is not to your liking, there is a pork version ($128) on offer as well, and both are truly the stuff of culinary dreams, worth every bit of the queuing time. Do note that this signature dish is only available at Samsen’s Wan Chai location.

Samsen, 68 Stone Nullah Lane, Wan Chai | (+852) 2234 0001

Photo credit: @mindy_wong (via Instagram)
2

666 Boat Noodle

We’re not entirely sure why the owner of this vibrant little joint has named their restaurant after the number of the anti-Christ, but by the devil, are their noodles tasty. The pork Thai noodles ($45) come highly recommended, served with pork slices, meatballs, and pig stomach, while the beef Thai noodles ($46) come with fatty beef slices, beef brisket, and beef balls. Its whimsical décor and no-frills interiors, reminiscent of the bing sutt (冰室; “ice room”) and food stalls of yore, are balms for lovers of retro styles.

666 Boat Noodle, G/F, Chung Ah Mansion, 366 Des Voeux Road West, Shek Tong Tsui | (+852) 3618 4544

Photo credit: @keithleefitness (via Instagram)
3

Cheong Fat Thai Noodles

Of course Kowloon City—also known as Little Thailand—cannot be left out when it comes to Thai food, and Cheong Fat Thai Noodles has been around for more than two decades, first as a popular grocery store and then expanding into a restaurant as well. Their signature boat noodles ($48) come in a satisfyingly flavourful broth with meatballs, meat slices, and lots of bean sprouts on top.

Cheong Fat Thai Noodles, 25–27 South Wall Road, Kowloon City | (+852) 2382 0280

Keep scrolling for the rest of the list 👇

Photo credit: @jacky_photo_food (via Instagram)
4

泰國路邊街美食

Pretty much right across the road from Cheong Fat Thai Noodles (the above restaurant) is the establishment called “Thai Roadside Food,” which does not have an English name to be identified by. We like that the locals describe this eatery as having the flavours and prices of yesteryear, and with a portion of their house Thai soup flat noodles going for as low as $35, there are truly dining bargains to be had here.

泰國路邊街美食, 26 South Wall Road, Kowloon City | (+852) 2716 3868

5

Ruam

Tucked away just enough to be chill but still in the thick of it all, Ruam is an upstairs garden bar and restaurant has a terrace area that we like hanging out in, especially during lazy brunches over the weekend. Don’t miss out on their kuay tiew rua ($148), boat noodles that feature beef tenderloin in a fragrant pig’s blood broth. You can offset the savoury meal with their coconut ice cream ($58) for finishers.

Ruam, 1/F, J Residence, 60 Johnston Road, Wan Chai | (+852) 3160 8535

6

Kok Kok

Considering its far-flung location in the village of Kam Tin, this cheap and cheerful restaurant offers Thai cuisine at affordable prices—if you’re willing to make the journey out for it. Their Thai style boat noodles ($68) come in an irresistibly aromatic soup topped with crispy pork crackling pieces and remains one of our firm favourites. If the shopowners and menus look somewhat familiar, that’s because Kok Kok is owned and operated by the grandson of the family who used to run Kowloon City icon Chaophraya.

Kok Kok, G/F, 90 Shing Mun San Tsuen, Kam Tin, Yuen Long | (+852) 9889 8579

Keep scrolling for the rest of the list 👇

Photo credit: @thaipei.co (via Instagram)
7

Thaipei Noodle Bar

Just across the road from Lee Tung Avenue sits Thaipei, a restaurant that serves up an interesting mix of Thai and Taiwanese dishes. While their Taiwanese food is apparently average at best, their USDA prime beef boat noodle ($88) consists of fresh rice noodles or vermicelli, tender beef slices, and a hearty broth, making for a pretty unbeatable combination. Full-size dishes are available during the day, with mostly skewers, snacks, and beer at night—though their boat noodles are also on the dinner menu by popular demand.

Thaipei, Shop B, Hundred City Centre, 7–17 Amoy Street, Wan Chai | (+852) 6013 8445

Photo credit: @trealfoodie (via Instagram)
8

Kin Kao

While the direct translation of this rustic restaurant’s name means to “eat rice,” Kin Kao’s noodle offerings are nothing to scoff at. All of their soup noodles come at a flat rate of $78, including the boat noodle soup, which is served with pork meatballs and sliced pork. Diners can also choose to have either flat noodles, Thai rice noodles, rice vermicelli, or egg noodles according to personal preference.

Kin Kao, Tai Wong Building, 3 Tai Wong Street East, Wan Chai | (+852) 2529 3806

Photo credit: @a.ballofudon (via Instagram)
9

Dow EE Boat Noodles (豆姨姨泰國招牌船河)

This low-key restaurant has two branches in Kowloon City and Jordan, but while their social media seems to have an English name, it’s not on their signage anywhere, so diners will simply have to recognise them from their Chinese name. It’s said that the proprietor of Dow EE uses an old family recipe from northern Thailand to create the broth of their Thai boat noodle ($48), which is made from both pork and beef bones.

Dow EE Boat Noodles, G/F, Jade Court, 81–87 Wai Ching Street, Jordan | (+852) 6746 7568

Keep scrolling for the rest of the list 👇

Photo credit: @siam.noodles (via Instagram)
10

Siam Noodles 泰濃麵

Their Cantonese name that plays on what sounds like “noodles [that are] too rich” is a tad misleading because these noodles are nothing short of delicious. Siam Noodles has two signatures: tom yum goong soup noodles and boat soup noodles. Diners get to choose their preferred soup base and a range of 10 different main toppings, ranging from Kurobuta pork ($68) to Boston lobster & seafood ($188).

Siam Noodles, Kar Lock Building, 7 Lock Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2350 4808

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Catharina Cheung

Former senior editor

Catharina has recently returned to her hometown of Hong Kong after spending her formative years in Singapore and the UK. She enjoys scouring the city for under-the-radar things to do, see, and eat, and is committed to finding the perfect foundation that will withstand Hong Kong’s heat. She is also an aspiring polyglot, a firm advocate for feminist and LGBTQIA+ issues, and a huge lover of animals. You can find her belting out show-tunes in karaoke, or in bookstores adding new tomes to her ever-growing collection.

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