Things to do in Hong Kong
Dubbed the world’s food heaven, Hong Kong despite its modest size, no doubt deserves this title as there is plenty of must-eat food in this city. If you ask any local to share a list of food that they would recommend, the list would only go on and on without an end! However, there are a few dishes which are well-loved and popular with both locals and visitors. Here are the 10 top foods that a foodie must try in Hong Kong, or it may be better not to mention to other foodies that you have visited the city!
When thinking about the most iconic Cantonese food, dim sum would undoubtedly be the first thing that comes to mind. Dim sum in Cantonese refers to small bite-sized portions of delicate food that is served in small steamer baskets.
You can think of them like Chinese tapas. Whether you have a sweet tooth or prefer savoury bites, dim sum would have you covered as the wide range of dim sum available out there is sufficient to satisfy your taste buds. If you feel like something savoury and fresh, try ‘siu mai’ (pork dumplings) or ‘ha gau’ (prawn dumplings); go for a runny custard bun or Osmanthus pudding if you are craving for something sweet!
One of the locals’ all-time favourites, as a typically delicious and authentic cheap eat, Siu mei refers to roasted meats. Pork, goose, duck, chicken and even pigeon meat is bestowed an aromatic barbecue flavour and is usually brushed with rich sauce whilst roasting. There is roasted pork belly, char siu or honey roast pork, roasted goose, duck and chicken, even sausage and squid!
Although originating from Taiwan, bubble tea has become a proper trend which is almost as important as coffee in Hong Kong. The drink is a concoction of milk, different types of tea base, sweetener and various toppings including sago pearls, agar jelly, pudding, panna cotta and even cheese! When exploring the streets of Hong Kong, you will be surprised to see how many people have a cup of bubble tea in their hands.
Clay pot rice, as the name suggests is a rice dish that has been cooked in a clay pot. But what makes this dish so special is that it is typically cooked on a stove with charcoal, a layer of crispy rice forms at the bottom, which is considered as the best part of the dish. The toppings are quite diverse including chicken, pork ribs, waxed duck, salted fish, vegetables and even Chinese liver sausages.
When it comes to waffles you may think of this treat as Western rather than Asian but the Hong Kong egg waffle is every bit local. The Hong Kong-style waffle is similar to western ones as they are made with the same ingredients such as eggs, milk, sugar and flour. However, the egg waffle takes the waffle to another level by not only cooking it in an egg-shaped waffle iron but also adding in creative ingredients into it. For example, flavours include chocolate chips, salted eggs, matcha, red beans, and black sesame. There are also even more creative shops that add in even more interesting ingredients such as Chinese Sausage, kimchi and sweet potato. You will need to visit the waffle shop every day in order to try all the flavours.
If you are a bread fanatic, Hong Kong local bakery will be your heaven. But the confectionery that is most loved by the locals would be the pineapple bun. Ironically, it’s called pineapple bun but has no trace of pineapple in it. The name was given since the buttery sugar layer on top of the bun after baking resembles the skin of a pineapple. Bite into it, you can taste the crispy layer on top together with the soft warm bun itself. There are variations to this bun which originates from Mexico, with fillings such as butter, bacon or even luncheon meat.
Another cheap eats in town, cart noodles allow you to pick your favourite toppings from a wide selection on top of a noodles base of your choice. Popular toppings are curry squid, white radish, stewed chicken wings, pork balls, and beef brisket. Sometimes you also can choose your broth and condiments, making this the ultimate fully customisable build your own meal. Feel free to level it up by adding in some spiciness. Despite its name, Cart noodles are no longer sold in carts but are now sold in eateries.
Dai Pai Dong is a traditional style outdoor kitchen that provides homemade-style food. People usually go to Dai Pai Dong for two reasons, the ‘wok hei’ that most Dai Pai Dong infuses into their food, which is a smoky aroma attached to food being cooked under high heat. Most importantly, some enjoy the human connection between the chefs and customers which make them feel warm and nostalgic.
Wonton noodles are arguably one of the greatest comfort foods of Hong Kong. This dish is made up of Wontons or dumplings filled with pork and shrimp served with thin chewy noodles. The noodles are served either with or without a rich hot broth. This is definitely a dish for your Hong Kong bucket list.
Egg tarts have always played an important role in the hearts of Hongkongers. Whether it’s for breakfast or a teatime treat, locals will never turn down such enticing treats. With a crumbly outer pastry crust baked with egg custard, just one bite will make you remember it forever.
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