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Hong Kong: The Foodie Experience
The article is guest-contributed by Shiyin Chan, travel Writer at coupon-cashback site ShopBack.sg. Shiyin has a penchant for all things art and travel. A lover of languages, different types of food and world cultures, she keeps a journal in attempt to translate the beauty of travel into permanence.
If one were to ask me why I love Hong Kong with all my heart, my reply would be oddly ruminative – I’d say it’ll be because of the flawless interweaving of modernity together vis-a-vis the strange notion of the duskiness of a time long gone. Picture rows upon rows of cobbled streets stuffed to the brim with delicious dim sum places, and antiquated-looking back alleys reminiscent of a provincial 1940’s Shanghai Tang flavour rolled up in an uniquely Canto package.
Even with all these things, there’s one thing that stays constant. And you guys know what I’m talking about – Hong Kong food!
Even if you visit Hong Kong a lot, there’s always more Hong Kong dishes to try again and again! Other than the classic cha chaang tengs – crucial for the ever ubiquitous Hong Kong experience – or alternatively, take a gander at their roadside stalls selling the most unassumingly delicious street food.
So, let’s begin with that!
This street food stall in particular sold the most tantalising curry fishballs – which were deliciously soft yet springy. Drenched with flavourful curry sauce that left a poignant (and unforgettable!) aftertaste, it was the perfect on the go snack as we trawled the wintry streets of Wan Chai.
At the same food stall was 卤水墨鱼 – also known as braised squid. Though not as widely known as the former curry fish balls, this one in particular was special, because it’s bigger than your average and run of the mill braised squid. Texture-wise it was delectably juicy and chewy – everything squid should be. Add the fragrant sauce to the mix and we have a winner! We walked around in bliss attempting not to polish this off on the spot.
And of course, here’s the pinnacle of all Hong Kong street food. Never forget the ever-ubiquitous Hong Kong egg waffle (also known as egg puffs!)! For those interested in the history of the humble yet oh-so-tasty egg waffle, it apparently was born in the ‘50s after a street-side food stall owner wanted to garner some use out of cracked eggs – so a new batter made out of these eggs, evaporated milk, sugar and flour was born! Splash the batter into a hot iron pan molded into separate circles and the deliciously sweet egg waffle is born.
After cooking, you will then get a warm, sweet-tasting waffle with crispy edges and soft centers which you can pull out individually – perfect for eating and shopping at the same time. I find that it goes down particularly well with a cup of iced Hong Kong milk tea – the warmth of the waffle served as a heavenly contrast to the refreshing coldness of the tea.
Next, we headed over to the popular Lian Xiang Lou (Lin Heung) at Sheung Wan to try their delectable dim sum. Anyway, here’s the backstory. Lian Xiang Lou used to be a popular dim sum and morning tea place for the Hong Kongers – and they’re pretty famous for their dim sum.
In the bustling restaurant, you’ll have food carts groaning under the weight of plates and plates of dim sum being pushed around – and you can order whatever you like from the carts, on the go! However, because it was incredibly busy the time we went, we had to physically walk to the carts. Not a big issue, though.
We had the tofu skin, vegetables, duck and mushrooms and shrimp dumplings – my personal favourite being the latter. Most of the dishes were cooked incredibly well and was flavourful enough to leave us wanting more. Worth the hype, we have to say!
Lian Xiang Lou
#160-164 Wellington Street, Sheung Wan
On our last day, we chanced upon a gem of a restaurant – Tea Wood at Tsim Sha Tsui. Tea Wood is an eatery serving up Taiwanese food – including Taiwanese noodles and their famous gorgeously thick honey toasts. The menu was honestly massive, and it took quite awhile for us to decide on our food. We had the famous stewed beef noodles, and ordered a creamy mocha to share!
The noodles were thick and chewy, and the beef was tender – so tender such that it literally melted in my mouth! In my opinion, the broth was the best – deliciously flavourful and light at the same time. None of that horrible jelat feeling one gets after a heavy meal.
The mocha was average, but still pretty great!
2 Carnarvon Plaza, 20 Granville Road (2nd floor) Tsim Sha Tsui
I guess what they say is true indeed: There’s really no bad food in Hong Kong. Have fun, eat well and try not to get too plump!