Travel: 10 Places To Eat In Hong Kong
When I was asked to write a guest feature on 5 Things to Eat in Hong Kong, I was half excited and half petrified; not that I couldn’t decide on 5 (as you can tell I have
failed to keep it to 5 made it into an even more awesome list of 10) but more importantly, I was afraid that I would not be able to string together coherent sentences that would convince people to try the food that I am recommending. Nevertheless, this is my valiant first attempt and I do hope you will be able to find something that you will like from my list!
$- Freaking cheap
$$$- Value for money
1. 百味食品- Cold Noodles
G/F, New Town Mall/Agryle Centre @ 688 Nathan Road, Mongkok.
Mongkok MTR (exit D2)
This is fun, fast food, not the likes of McDonalds or Burger King but hey, you get to pick your noodles and toppings and watch them mix in this amazing (I honestly do not know what it contains) chilli, garlic and sesame dressing in a small plastic bag. Sweet, spicy, salty, creamy, the flavours really depend on what you pick but one thing is for sure, you will be back for seconds! Each bag (after all the add-ins) will cost you no more than SGD $2.
Tip: Head upstairs for 3 levels of shopping heaven with Street Style, Korean, Japanese and Taiwanese inspired fashion pieces. Prices are extremely affordable and you can try to bargain for cheaper though it wont really be necessary. Think Bugis Street- but even better.
2. 媽咪雞蛋仔- Mammy Pancake
2A, G/F, Whampoa Street, Hung Hom
Look beyond the cheesy name and you will discover this is an addictive snack made of simple batter. They currently offer three flavours – Original, Chocolate and Sesame “pancake”. The egglet shape makes it easy to eat on-the-go and it’s advisable to eat it while it is hot and fresh off the pan. You can tell by the browning of the egglet that it is not under-cooked or over-coooked. Even if you are unable to make it to Hung Hom for this, there are probably other neighbourhoods with this. Of course, other neighbourhoods may not have pancake shops with advertisements on Public Light Buses. Heehee, yes, I spotted a Public Light Bus in Tsim Sha Tsui with a huge Mammy Pancake advertisement! It definitely says something about their reputation
3. 妹記生滾粥品- Mui Kee Congee
Shop 11-12, 4/F, Fa Yuen Street Market, Mong Kok
Singaporeans craving for hawker style breakfast at a wet market, look no further than Mui Kee Congee complete with golden hot and crispy dough fritters! Yummy items include…wait, I may have to list the whole congee menu. >< The congee here is so well done; there are no abhorrent lumps of half-cooked rice grains. Each bowl comes with generous toppings of your choice of meat/seafood/viscera. I can never have congee without fried dough fritters and the ones they serve here satisfy me well enough.
If you went without dinner the day before (of course this should never happen!), order a side of their steamed rice noodle rolls (chee cheong fan) with sesame seeds, sweet sauce and chilli sauce…reminiscent of Singapore.
4. 華姐清湯腩- Sister Wah Beef Brisket Noodles
G/F, 13A Electric Road, Tin Hau
I recently found out that this was part of the CNN Travel piece on the Top 5 beef brisket noodle shops in Hong Kong. A well-deserved spot in the top 5, I must say. The owners are very friendly and open to foreigners (which is my way of saying, they smile a lot and speak English- a rare sight in Hong Kong’s bustling F&b industry). I would like to say the flavour is all in the beef brisket soup but I can’t. I have no clue how they do it but it’s a winning formula! The flavour is so saturated in the beef, the noodles and even the side dish of Boiled Radish. Boiling the radish to an extreme state of softness like potatoes complements the Beef Brisket Noodles (which I like to order in soup version).
5. 澳洲牛奶公司- Australian Dairy Company
G/F, 47-49 Parkes Street, Jordan
Unfortunately, I am not able to recommend anything beyond the Breakfast Set because I have never tried anything else other than that. If you like milk, the Steamed/Chilled Milk “Pudding” is best-seller as well. I’m not a big fan of pure white dairy so I cannot comment but I have tried it and I can say that it is smooth as silk; it’s smoooove. So, the very un-photogenic breakfast set includes a dish of macaroni and ham strips, toast and eggs (your choice, scrambled is popular) and tea or coffee.
Warning: Do not expect Ritz service here. Their goal (in life, I think) is to serve and clear you out within 15 minutes. Singaporeans, just take it in your stride as the wait staff jostle and bump into you and give you a rude stare or two if you take too long to order; it’s the authentic Hong Kong Cha Chaan Ting (茶餐廳) experience. Consistency is key here. The macaroni is comfort food on any day and the toast is simple and simply better with the silky smooth scrambled eggs. Other may beg to differ but you won’t know until you try.
An alternative place to Australian Dairy is Capital Cafe – similar menu with more personal space and much better service.
6. 蘭芳園- Lan Fong Yuen
2 Gage St., Central
Note: Either the owners are hardcore Alan Tam fans or they just happen to be doing a side business of printing Alan Tam posters, which is plastered on every available wall space. Oddities aside, the Chicken Cutlet Noodles are the best in Hong Kong. I did think to myself how silly it sounded since I have eaten any other chicken cutlet noodle but this is seriously very well done. A bowl of not-too-springy noodles, chicken that is either well roasted or half-fried, and a small dollop of garlic, ginger and spring onion makes this a delightful dinner. Throw in a few coins and you get authentic Hong Kong Pantyhose Milk Tea (絲襪奶茶) as well. I had trouble deciding if it was the noodles, or the affordability, or the pleasant Hong Kong café’ ambiance that made me so pleased with this meal. It was probably all of the above plus my bottomless pit of a stomach groaning in hunger, oops!
7. 點點心點心專門店- Dimdimsum Dimsum Speciality Store
G/F, Man Wah Building, 23 Man Ying Street, Jordan
I tell everyone this: If you want great, normal dim sum, Royal China in Singapore is perfect and Tim Ho Wan in Hong Kong is popular. If you want to try cool dim sum, then Dimdimsum Dimsum Speciality Store in Hong Kong is where you need to be. Honestly, they do weird dim sum extremely well. Their extraordinary items include Crispy Rice Flour Rolls with Shrimp, Deep Fried Dumplings with Wasabi Filling, Pan-fried Stuffed Eggplant with Teriyaki Sauce and Pineapple Buns with Pineapple Custard Filling. Items are freshly prepared so watch out for the heat from the crisp! Unfortunately, I do not visuals on this so you are going to take my word for it.
8. Paisano’s Pizzeria
G/F, Iuki Tower, 5 O’Brian Road , Wan Chai
Who doesn’t love a good pizza now and then? I admit there are some really good Italian ones in Singapore, albeit pricey. What we lack though, are awesome casual pizza joints that you can go to satisfy your pizza craving. This is why Paisano’s is on this list. It is definitely a place to check out if you want something that smells good, looks good and tastes amazing! Whether you are a Four-Cheese lover, a Pepperoni person or anything goes, Paisano’s has a pizza for you. Caution: One slice is filling enough but staring at the enormous 24” golden crusted pie for too long will tempt you into ordering another.
33-35 Bridges Street SOHO, Sheung Wan
Vegetarians rejoice! Who needs Korean Fried Chicken when you have got Korean Fried Cauliflower on the menu? Most of the items, by name, are interesting enough to want to order but the priority order is KFC! You have got to hate these people for having this recipe and not sharing it with the world. Never in my wildest dreams have I imagined cauliflower could taste this divine. Cooked-till-it-melts-in-your-mouth cauliflower plus authentic Korean Gochujang (chilli pepper paste) is so heavenly that it is a sin if you don’t try it. Yes, I know this is cheating but I have to squeeze this in – Sweet Corn Tempura.
If you had the KFC and thought it was out-of-this-world, well this…I don’t even know what adjective to use here. This golden ball of sweetness and crunch is crazy superb.
10. Smile Yogurt & Dessert Bar
Shop G15A, K11 Art Mall, 18 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
If you are like me and love sweet endings, do visit this place for a healthy indulgence. Gee, never thought I would use ‘healthy’ and ‘indulgent’ in the same sentence but there you have it. The frozen yoghurt is utterly smooth and creamy with just the right notes of plain sour, not too icy and not too “yeasty”. The sweetness is all from the various toppings of candied fruit, fresh fruit, syrup and oat crumbles. You know they mean business when you spot a golden-glittered fresh strawberry perched atop a well-swirled froyo. If I ever do go into the froyo business, I hereby claim rights to the name: Spoonful …of joy everyday!
…and that’s all folks! I hope you enjoyed this as much I did, writing it. Have a wonderful time exploring even more places to eat in Hong Kong and do share them in the comments box below. On a closing note, I believe eating in Hong Kong is a remarkable experience because service is efficient, their menus, cooking methods and business processes are all very fuss-free, unlike locally. Table turnover rate is high and they don’t even need tips/service charge to sustain them. You are encouraged to tip though at places where they do not impose a service charge, otherwise, it is nett price – what you see is what you get.
Words by Yasmine Ng
Photography by Yasmine Ng and Gninethree
The writer is a frequent jet setter around countries in Asia whose dream is to eat her way around the world. This list is culminated from her frequent travels to Hong Kong over the past year.