Jenny's Blog

HK: food!

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Okay guys! Here we go again back to Hong Kong! IMG_0840

This post I am writing with the most pleasure because it’s about my favorite topic – food! I will try my best to keep it short but you know me, I could talk about food for hours!

In Hong Kong it is…diverse. I am not a fan of the Chinese food Europeans and Americans are used to which would be some fat crispy duck and noodles boiled in oil. The actual Chinese cuisine is much more elegant and various. And what I absolutely loved about HK: with all their western image they still worship to the real Chinese meals and protect all those tiny cheap china-town-like places where they serve the original dishes. And it doesn’t matter how many Starbucks or five-star hotels with excellent properly-western restaurants surround those small and sometimes not extremely attractive cafes with no wi-fi, old furniture and only sticks as a cutlery option – you gotta try them out! I stayed in Kowloon and exactly in that part of the district where you find all the most original Chinese places to eat. It was so weird at first to enter, sit down, know nothing there and then order some noodles soup with dumplings in there (have never seen it in any non-Chinese Chinese restaurant, and it turned out to be the most classical thing to have for lunch!) that costs like 30cents. But I so much enjoyed it!
Some general observations before I dare to recommend several places to visit:
  • you will be served hot water. Just hot water. Sometimes there is a slight scent of some herbs being present if the place is a bit more expensive, but most of the times it is just water. Always boiled. And it is okay to share a bigger kettle with the whole table of people you don’t know
  • you will be seated with the people you don’t know, it’s normal. If you visit one of the most well-known dim sum places (there are not just tourists there; I was so surprised that the locals go to the most advertised in touristic guides restaurants, too), there will be a long line of people there waiting, they give you a small sheet of paper with all the dishes they have so that you can choose while waiting, and when something gets free they just ask, how many people you are, and seat you at someone’s table
  • the common way of ordering food is marking it with a provided pencil on a small sheet of paper and giving that sheet to the waiter; at the end it will be your bill as well
  • eating with their sticks is more of a challenge than with the light ones we got used to with our asian food delivery services. There sticks are a part of tableware, they are not disposable and they turned out to be quite slippery and heavy. So even if you are very good at eating with them as we were, you might still suffer big times
  • i don’t know how they don’t get all those endless sauces and bouillon all over themselves. I was a quite embarrassing eater to sit next to
  • here I am probably not discovering America for anyone: if they mark it as spicy, it IS spicy. And the asian spicy is not the european spicy
  • no napkins. Carry some with you
  • broth is often served separately. You are then supposed to pour it in your dish
  • order more. Snacks, desserts and things like dim sum are in quite small portions. So try everything! Shared meals are very diverse and interesting. I would even recommend to choose those over big main dishes.
  • buy stuff and bring as much of it as you with you. Buy it anywhere from local food shops to 7eleven, everything is cool! And look for the Japanese things, too – they are usually impossible to find, and HK has a lot of them
  • tipping is unnecessary. Some fixed service fee pro person is usually already included in the bill and they so much don’t expect extra tip that will run after you on the street thinking you had forgotten to grab change
  • follow Instagram accounts with food for a lot of useful info! I, for example, checked discoverhongkong, hongkongfoodie, hkfoodpost and several more out; just finding people through such locations as hotel W helps,too

And now – my short list of must-eats when you come to Hong Kong:

As I already mentioned, try as many of small street cafes run by Chinese people as possible! And the dim sum places! The most popular would be Tim Ho Wan, Dim Sum Icon or Lung King Heen. The first two are exactly those where you wait in a long line to be seated, order on a small sheet of paper and share hot water with unknown people at your table. But the food experience (well, and the cultural one, too) is just incredible! The last one is more of a fancy restaurant, I would also recommend to visit Din Tai Fung:

they even give you instruction how to eat dim sums properly, isn’t that adorable?! And try sesame balls as a dessert, you will love them!

A lot of cool places with spectacular views find themselves at malls. Check any big mall’s food corner and you will for sure find some decent restaurant with pleasant atmosphere, it’s really different from crazy packed malls’ food corners we are used to. I don’t remember the name of the place unfortunately, but I fell in love with spicy beef noodle soup on the last floor of the IFC shopping center. 5

Hello Kitty Chinese Cuisine is definitely a place to visit! It’s just so much fun! The whole meal experience turns into something so childish and cute! And the owners are just the best!

Apart from restaurants, there is a lot of foodporn happening just on the streets of Hong Kong. They sell anything from proper French desserts to the weirdest jellylike unknown things all around you. Try it all! And as many things as you find with matcha and black sesame!

Another famous attraction would be the Jumbo floating restaurant. You have to go to the Aberdeen district for it, but it’s worth it! And the district itself is pretty cool – an old fishermen village where you can enjoy the freshest fish and seafood.13
If going even further away from the center – there are a lot of attractive places around Stanley Market. Less touristic, not crowded and very appealing being situated along the ocean marina that grants most of them a spectacular view. I tried Pinot Duck restaurant at Stanley Bay and absolutely loved it!14
Talking about bays, my next post that I hope is gonna happen someday is gonna be about beaches and hidden peaceful corners of Hong Kong Island that allow one to forget he is in a megapolis and enjoy pure nature and the ocean.
And now, being inspired to order some O.M.K. after having written this post, I wish you all to eat tasty and exciting (yes, I believe, that meals should be a thrilling experience)!

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