Hong Kong

Hong Kong is packed with food. I just mistyped that sentence to read “Hong kong is packed with good”. Which also works. I’ve flipped in and out of Hong Kong on multi-day stopovers over the last few years, here’s what I found on my last two trips to this exceptional city.

Congee

Sang Kee Congee
G/F, 7-9 Burd Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong. Opening hours: 6:30am – 9pm
There’s no English sign and this place is hard to find. But persevere. The congee is thick and well cooked, and is eaten almost reverentially. There is an English menu, but even with it my attempt to order the fresh fish congee failed. The fish balls that arrived were bouncy and flavourful, but not quite what I was after. Fried doughnut (you tiao) slices are available, but are so tough that extended soaking is required.
Congee ~$21HK, fried doughnut $5HK

Wai Kee Congee
G/F, 8 Stanley Street, Central Hong Kong
A divey congee joint with an English menu and great you tiao. My fish congee had loads of very fresh slices of mild white fleshed fish, but the best thing about the place was the fried doughnut wrapped in rice noodle. The very fresh you tiao was dense and chewy with crisp outsides dotted here and there with drips of soy sauce, wrapped in rice noodle sheets. Easily the best you tiao I had in Hong Kong, and friendly service to boot.
You tiao $9, Fish congee $14.

Wontons

Mak’s Noodle
77 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong. Opening hours: 11am – 10pm
Springy noodles, fish-scented broth and small-ish wontons filled with crunchy prawns. People complain about the small portions, but I find them a perfect size for Hong Kong sampling. Come to this famous joint for a solid bowl of good.
Prawn wonton $32

Tsim Chai Kee
98 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong. Opening hours: 8am-10pm
For tasty prawn wontons in a slightly upmarket setting. Most people I spoke with have a preference between Tsim Chai Kee or Mak’s across the street. Why not try both?
Prawn wonton noodle soup: $21. Green vegetables with oyster sauce $12.


Prawn wonton noodle soup, Green vegetables with oyster sauce from Tsim Chai Kee

Sam tor noodle
30 Pottinger Street, Central
This joint is famous for its chilli sauce, whose spiciness overwhelmed complexity. A blot in your wonton noodle soup provides as pleasant a heat as any other. The noodles are typical, but it’s the 3-bite huge wontons that I’m here for. Different beasts than the typical delicate crystals, these are hearty and rammed with a mixture of multiple whole prawns and prawn paste.
Wonton noodle soup: $24

Dumplings

Tim Ho Wan.
It goes without saying, right? Go early, order as much as you think you can jam in and enjoy. My favourite dish was the surprising steamed dumplings in chiu chow style. Filled mostly with whole peanuts and cubed water chestnuts for a textural shock, with just enough pork and chives to keep it interesting.

I didn’t visit any yum cha/dim sum joints as I was travelling solo, though I did hear good things about Fu Sing Shark Fin Seafood Restaurant and Maxim’s City Hall.

Roasted Meat

Joy Hing’s Roasted meat.
Block C, G/F, 265-267 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai. Opening hours: 10am-10:30pm, closed Sundays.
For smoky, sweet, tender and fatty cha siu and roast duck. This is a small place, be prepared to share a table in cramped conditions. I visited around 11am and 3pm and didn’t have to wait. The service is friendly and some English is spoken. Order char siu fan, or some mix of meats. You’ll see a jug of soy sauce on the table, use it to season your rice and don’t miss out on the exemplary chilli sauce.
Cha siu fan $24, roast duck and cha siu fan $24.


Kaya French Toast and milk tea at Wai Kee Noodle Cafe (check the map, visit if you’re in the neighbourhood)

Desserts

Hui Lau Shan
This dessert chain is famous for it’s mango desserts, and rightly so. Mango puree with fresh mango, mango ice cream and rice balls is a favourite. And I recall a particularly fabulous mango, sago and pomelo concoction from a visit to Hong Kong in 2008. Just steer clear of anything with harsmar.

Honeymoon Dessert
Cheaper than Hui Lau Shan, and with a much larger menu. I actually prefer this place for its herbal jelly and sticky rice desserts.

Kung Wo Dou Bun Chong
G/F, 118 Pei Ho Street, Sham Shui Po
Tofu everything, no English menu (as far as I could see). I ate a smooth, supple tofu fa, topped with red sugar at the table. Cold and comforting. A neighbour was eating fried soft tofu stuffed with meat, which looked delicious alongside a glass of chilled soy milk. Like I said, tofu everything.
Tofu fa $7

Yee Shun Dairy Company
506 Lockhart Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. Also in Jordan.
Order ginger milk curd, an enormous bowl of shimmering velvet pudding, powerfully ginger. It’s served hot or cold, your choice, just come with an appetite.
Ginger milk curd $24

Coffee

Knockbox Coffee
21 Hak Po Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon. http://www.knockboxcoffee.hk/
For a nice coffee in kind of uncomfortable/industrial surrounds.
Long Black: $20

Rabbithole Coffee
2/F, 26 Cochrane St., Central, Hong Kong. http://www.rabbitholecoffee.com/
A communal table surrounded by coffee machines, and a menu listing locations of single origin beans, lets you know this place is serious about coffee. Espresso variations and different brewing methods are available. Pour overs are prepared at the table by friendly staff.
Some fancy coffee $58

Crema Coffee
Shop LG17 Lower Ground Floor Hilton Tower, 96 Granville Road Tsim Sha Tusi East.
For a good old-school espresso based coffee in a room that reeks of small-town Australia in the 90s. Naff latte art, but free wifi.
Latte: $25

Travel tips

- Get an octopus card. If you’re not going to be returning anytime soon, get your refund at the train service desks at the airport.
- Wifi is pretty limited, so buy a sim card. But don’t buy them from convenience stores, who know nothing of the plans. I’d recommend buying your sim from the actual 3 shop.
- Check openrice, download the app, but don’t feel constrained. There are incredible meals to be had all over the place.
- If you want to visit the peak and don’t want to wait in line or pay up big, catch the number 15 bus
- Visit the markets, they’re fabulous.

Here’s a google map with all the above places and more: Hong Kong Map.

Big thanks to Tom from TomEats, yygall and indiaonmyplate for hints, itineraries and eating tips.

*All prices are in Hong Kong Dollars.

This work, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

3 Comments

  1. Posted December 20, 2012 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Hong Kong looks way too delicious and way too expensive – I think it would bankrupt me and make it hard to fit into my jeans, but OH, what a way to go! (this would be my guide to blissful debauche of course, too, and that’s totally a good thing) :) seriously, ginger milk curd big enough to swim in? yum!

    kinda makes me appreciate the 2$ bowls of My Van Than even more, though – there’s a place on xuan dieu that does a mean version)
    elizabethranger (bub´s last [type] ..Weekly Photo Challenge – Delicate

  2. Posted December 20, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Arrghh sorry, I forgot the most important thing: all the prices are in Hong Kong dollars! This makes it infinitely more affordable, but exactly the same amount of fattening.
    I’m kind of against that Xuan Dieu My Van Than for purely silly reasons. They used to be on the lakeside and their washing water ran across the lake road, making it moldy and slippery and one day I almost came off my bicycle because of it. I really should give their soup another try though! But I’m sure nothing can beat the version at 86 Pho Hue. Delicious.

  3. Posted December 28, 2012 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    that’s so much better to know! a little quick google convert searching later and I’m happier knowing that a bowl of soup is still around 3 dollars, most of the time.

    And, totally taking your heads up on the my van than – I walk by that street a lot during dinner time! or at least I did, hopefully I can find someone to take my teaching job on the other side of town and bring my hours down to an easier 48 a week…. for Vietnamese pay (you know, I really feel you when you post about your work in Korea).
    elizabethranger (bub´s last [type] ..Do Nuong Sapa – Mountains of DIY Barbecue, Mountain-village Style

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