Now with branches all over Asia, this dim sum and dumpling diner is one of the world’s best-known, no-frills starred restaurants. It’s usually a given to find a queue snaking out the door, but it’s such a culinary powerhouse that there’s always competition for its 24 seats. Go for baskets of fluffy barbecue pork buns and steamed spinach dumplings; and return because it’ll cost you little more than US$6.
Eleven years after opening and the buzz around this Jay-Z backed gastropub still has not died down. One of the reasons is its turbo-charged celebrity clientele – Kanye West, Taylor Swift and Mrs Jay-Z, of course, are among them – but the other factor is its one-star British pub fare. Salads at US$16 and grilled cheese sandwiches at US$18 sound simple, but they’re wickedly good.
Sardines don’t pop up on many Michelin-star menus, but they’re a staple at this one-star bolthole a short walk from the busiest train station in the world. It’s third-generation, family-run, and can cost as little as US$8 for a fish-themed menu. At night, it specialises in pricier multi-course kaiseki dinners, so come for a sardine set lunch after 11.30am. Remember to arrive long beforehand or the queue will turn your stomach.
Smoked brisket of beef with mustard mash and beer-pickled onion, followed by bitter orange fool (trifle) with cardamom ice cream, confit zest and oat crumble. Not an English last supper, but a two-course set lunch for US$18 at chef Tom Kerridge’s two Michelin-starred rustic pub on the River Thames. It’s a steal.
Because it can cost as little as US$4, it’s not uncommon to wait for up to an hour for a steaming bowl of bak chor mee, an addictive blend of egg noodles, black vinegar and chilli paste, served up at this hawker stall on Crawford Lane. Add more toppings and the price will rocket to US$8. It’s more than worth it, so get in line.