We recently visited Hong Kong & Thailand on our (very belated) Honeymoon & Asia was the foodie delight I’d hoped for! Our first stop was Hong Kong where we spent 3 nights & 4 days, staying on Hong Kong Island. When I stayed in America, I totally fell in love with Dim Sum so knew I had to seek some out when we arrived.
On our first night, we got to know our surroundings & ended up a Times Square (not a patch on NY). We’d passed lots of restaurants on the way but at Time Square there is a massive shopping centre with 3 floors dedicated to food outlets. As it was our first night, and first time in Asia, we thought we would play it safe & eat there.
We ended up in a restaurant Shanghai Min which had a bustling but civilised tea room feel to it. Traditional tea rooms involve a fight for your food at trolleys whereas this restaurant had table service. The menu was extensive with dishes from shark fin soup to stir fry to dim sum (yay!). We ordered a selection of dishes between us – Dan Dan Noodles, two types of Pork dim sum, spicy chilli chicken & beef spare ribs.
It was a bit hit & miss the dishes. The dan dan noodles & dim sum were fantastic! The noodles were really spicy yet full of flavour from the pork & sauce. The dim sum were not slimy, you could taste the pork & had really nice traditional style Chinese dipping sauces with them. The beef spare ribs appeared but it was more like deep fried bits of meat that didn’t have much flavour to them. I actually think it was pork we were given, not beef. And the chicken, well that was an experience. There were 2 types of chicken, what looked like breast then smaller bits. The “breast” was actually really fatty bits of chicken & the smaller bits were mainly bone. It was pretty much inedible.
One thing that did disappoint me about Hong Kong was the lack of street food. I was expecting to see stalls lined up & down the streets bit this wasn’t the case. We did find one stall near the hotel & it served some weird items but the chicken & squid we got were pretty tasty. It turns out that street food in HK is in fact small restaurants dotted down lanes off the main drag. On our second night, we found such a place & it was so good we ate there both nights.
The staff only spoke minimal English so it was a case of pointing at the menu & using sign language. These places contained some of your traditional black bean & salt/pepper type sauces as well as some unusual cuts of meat (tongue & different types of fish we don’t get). Some of the dishes we tasted were prawns with cashew nuts & squid & cuttlefish black bean sauce. The food was cooked to order so was really fresh & there’s something quite cool about sitting amongst the locals at their normal eatery that most tourists wouldn’t know about.
In Hong Kong, breakfast isn’t usually served at hotels so we were staying room only. On our first morning, I had a quick Google for breakfast places & found an American style diner-esque place that was opened 24 hours. It was famed for its breakfast so we ventured there. I opted for an omlette filled with various green veg & you got to choose 2 sides (at breakfast?!) as well as toast & fruit juice. It was a lot of food for breakfast but definitely kept us going all day!
The other breakfast we had, we went to a chain restaurant around the corner from the hotel & they have a self service option, serving more traditional Chinese dishes such as fish, noodles & chicken dishes. I opted for the haddock with scrambled eggs which cost around £2 and tasted really good!
On our last day, we took the ferry to another island, Sok Kwu Wan, to go to the Rainbow Seafood Restaurant I had read about. The restaurant has many tanks filled with all different types of food from lobster to grippa to clams. As it’s on an island, if you book with them for an evening meal, they have a free ferry service from Hong Kong Island & Kowloon which saves a bit of money. As it was our last day & we had money to burn, we had a bit of a feast. We opted for garlic prawns, clams with glass noodles & garlic, special fried rice and salt & pepper shrippa (I think that’s what they’re called but I can’t find them on the internet). All of the food was exceptionally cooked & the portions were fantastic. We got 10 prawns, halved & filled with garlic for under a fiver. A dish like that would cost a fortune in the UK, especially for so many prawns! The shrippas (or whatever they’re called) were pretty tasteless though, especially as they were the priciest dish we received!
I wish we had had more time in Hong Kong as I’m sure there are 100 other restaurants that are worth trying but given our few days, I’m glad we experience the restaurants we did. I also doubt I’m going to find dim sum better anywhere else!!