During my trip to Hong Kong earlier in August, the agenda was set right from the start, and it was to stuff my face with dim sum. At least that’s what I kept announcing to all my friends and colleagues back in India. So when the time came, my husband and I did live up to it and surprising garnered a big appetite too. Hong Kong, for me, was like Christmas Day, where there were innumerable foods to indulge in and be happily stuffed. While swanky Michelin-starred restaurants and upscale bars were tempting, and we did go to a few, we soon realised that the quaint local eateries were in fact the best way to get a glimpse of the rich cultural diversity of the region that everyone talks about.
Being a former British colony, the English influences are still evident – be it the love for lavish afternoon tea sessions or the English breads and muffins available in numerous bakeries that dot nook and cranny of the region. Due to its proximity to Macau, which was a Portuguese colony back in the days, you get to sample Portuguese delicacies too. And then there’s Cantonese, Mandarin, French, Japanese and even Indian. What’s more commonly available though is Cantonese dishes.
So there’s a throwback to what we ate at Hong Kong:
1. Egg Tarts
Before we even got to dim sum, we treated ourselves to hot and crispy egg tarts. Standing by the streat, we felt like little kids as we held the tart case that contained the wobbly sweet custard in a crisp and delicate filo base. It melted in our mouth in all of five seconds, leaving behind that craving for more. Through the course of our trip we came across different variations of egg tarts – with filo base, shortcrust pastry, cake base or different textures of custard. The Macanese egg tart was undoubtedly our favourite, which came with a caramelised topping.
Where: Maria’s Bakery, Central; Catherine Bakery in Sheung Wan; and Margaret’s Cafe e Nata in Macau.
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May have eaten a bit too many egg tarts in Hong Kong 😋 But they do come in so many varieties! Some with a filo base, some with a short crust and then those with a cake base; and the custard varies too. My favourite was definitely the Macanese egg tarts we had at the famous Margaret's Bakery. With a crisp filo base and not so sweet but incredibly smooth custard with a caramelised top, it just melted in the mouth. #eggtart #eggtartshongkong #hongkong #sweettooth #desserts #tarts #wednesday
2. Pineapple Bun
No, it contains no pineapple although it is a sweet bun. It’s named so because its sugar crusted top layer resembles a pineapple. One of my most memorable breakfast dishes was this burger made with pineapple bun and fish fillet.
Where: Congteakafe, Sheung Wan
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Much like egg tarts, the pineapple bun is a must-have in Hong Kong, and it's really got nothing to do with pineapple except for the top crispy surface that resembles the fruit and hence the name. The sweet bun has a sugar cookie-like topping and goes well with savoury fillings. I had it with a fish fillet with cheese and veggies. Yumm! #pineapplebun #hongkong #discoverhongkong #tuesday #tuesdaymotivation #holiday #instafood #buns #burger
3. Dim Sum
From pork char siu bao and shrimp jiaozi to steamed beancurd skin with beef and rice rolls, Hong Kong is a dim sum heaven. In most tea houses, you will notice a trolley full of dim sum doing the rounds from where customers can pick (Lin Heung Tea House). Among numerous dim sum places, one of our most memorable meals was in Michelin-starred Tim Ho Wan. This little eatery is packed all throughout but it’s definitely worth the wait because it provides top quality dim sum for very affordable prices.
Where: Tim Ho Wan, Luk Yu Tea House and Restaurant
4. Pork chop
Pork lovers are surely in for a treat in Hong Kong. Pork chops are a favourite treat and you must try the pork chop bun. A juicy piece of pork chop stuffed in a fresh bun along with some veggies and mayo, what’s not to love? This turned out to be my favourite fix for anytime craving, and the best part is that it’s available readily. Then of course you can have crumb coated pork chops and pork chops with noodles.
5. Eggettes/ Egg Waffles
Love waffles? You need to try the hot and crisp egg waffles or eggettes that come in different flavours too. Walk around the streets, as we did, and munch on this breakfast specialty.
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My new favourite breakfast munchie – the Hong Kong eggettes or egg waffles, which is hot, crisp and comes in chocolate flavour too. What's not to love? #eggwaffle #hongkong #eggettes #breakfast #waffles #breakie #sundayfunday #discoverhongkong #instatravel #instafood #travelandchow
6. Beef Noodle Soup
When in Hong Kong, a must-try is beef brisket in noodle soup. Some make the broth light while other makes it like a curry.
Where: Kam Kee Cafe
7. Seafood and Seafood
A little away from central Hong Kong is a locality called Sai Kung, where you will come across a seafood street that offers delicious crabs, lobsters, shrimps and the likes while you laze around in one of their many sea facing eateries. It is a must-visit on a Sunday afternoon as the area comes alive with flea markets and musical events. We had a meal at the Michelin-starred Loaf On, where we tried steamed abalone and seafood rice. But I would recommend Sing Kee Seafood Restaurant, another Michelin-starred restaurant, which serves better food and comes with a great view.
8. Cartoon dim sum
You may find them too cute to eat, but cartoon dim sum surely adds all the more to the whole Hong Kong food experience. One of the most popular places is Yum Cha that not just offers an interesting menu, but also a vibrant ambience and heady cocktails.
So go on and indulge while in Hong Kong!