Hong Kong Food Chronicles

I was on a strict diet before flying to Hong Kong, I needed to tone done from what could be the world's favorite past time, eating. Not that I wanted to maintain some cuts on my figure but I knew too well that I was coming near a gustatory adventure so I had to empty the space inside and brace myself for a food blast, this was Hong Kong after all.

If you are well-researched, finding the best food places in Hong Kong shouldn't be very difficult, though it would help big time to have a local friend with you. Hong Kong might overwhelm you with countless restaurants offering a sumptuous set of menu from a hole in the wall to a fancy dine atop the skyscrapers overlooking Victoria Harbor. But let me tell you that some of the best authentic dining experiences in Hong Kong doesn't have to cost you a grand.

Tim Ho Wan

The world's cheapest Michelin Star acclaimed restaurant is right in the heart of Hong Kong with multiple branches spreading out in the city. For a set of delicacies comparable to a five-star dining experience, I think Tim Ho Wan is a must try, plus it is affordable that you can enjoy them every day. You just have to endure the queue outside since this restaurant has gained so much attention from both locals and tourist.

When I learned that Tim Ho Wan was opening a branch in Manila, I think I was the happiest. 

Asado rolls. This is one of the most famous dish the restaurant offers. The soft pastry bun is filled with sweet savory pork.

Pork in Vermicelli. I was hesitant to try this at first but the moment I took a bite, I couldn't resist getting some more. The chewy pork bits inside is wrapped in a thick vermicelli sheet with herbs and spices and is soaked in a special soy sauce.

 Steamed Egg Cake. I was assuming that this was for dessert but it complimented the savory dishes  well that I found myself partnering all other dishes with this caramel-tasting cake.

Pork and Shrimp Siomai. Although siomai are common in the Philippines, I think nothing beats an authentic Chinese Siomai, from where else but China itself.

Steamed Rice in Lotus Leaf. This one was really interesting since it was cooked inside a lotus leaf with herbs, spices and meat inside the rice. The lotus leaf's aroma and taste gets in the rice so it has this distinct taste.

Dimsum. Tim Ho Wan offers a variety of dimsum and you might just have to randomly pick one with the assurance that each one is definitely good.

Hing Kee Restaurant

We were enjoying our walks at the Temple Street Night Market when we were starting to hear our tummies growling. It was nearing 8 in the evening and we haven't had a decent meal yet that day. We swerved our way to a humble facade of this restaurant within the area. It is not really a hole in the wall but its nothing fancy either. Getting inside, they were nearly full-house, the customers were mostly local youngsters who must have been exhausted from shopping at the streets.

The set up was nothing common to my eyes, exactly why I was more interested to try dining at this restaurant. They say if a restaurant in Hong Kong is queued outside, it must be really famous. Though I think this is universal, I still drew to this idea since Hing Kee indeed was queued. And yes, I discovered for myself why it was worth it to dine in!

Mussels Omelette.  I really enjoyed the mussels fried in egg batter and some herbs at Hing Kee. It was somewhat salty but did not overwhelm the sea food. I would pair this with rice along side their local sauce which was available at the table.

Spareribs Claypot. I am not quite sure how they prepare the clay pot dishes but as the term is coined, the dish is cooked in a clay pot with rice which is cooked not the steamy soft way. You have to add soy sauce to your dish to bring out the taste of the spareribs. Two thumbs up!

Tomato Soup. Ken has found comfort in Hing Kee with his fascination for tomato-based dishes.

Chicken, Mushroom and Sausage Claypot. Like the rest of the claypots, soy sauce is a traditional compliment to the dish, the mushroom and chicken were two good combination. Tom enjoyed his claypot upto the last spoon (or however you call the last chopstick bite).

 Egg and Ground Meat Claypot. While everything inside is still steamy and hot, pour the soy sauce on top of the egg and rice then mix altogether. Cover it up for 10 minutes until the egg gets fully cooked and you have a really tasty ground meat claypot.

Tsui Wah Restaurant

About fifteen-minute walk from the center of Tsim Tsa Tsui and you will reach Tsui Wah Restaurant. This is a mid-scale restaurant which isn't really cheap but is not too expensive either. Single dish will cost about 50-70HKD. Tsui Wah is famous as it boast a really good location plus good food so tourist are drawn to go dine in. 

Chicken Rice. Chicken Rice is my favorite dish in the Chinese cuisine. Back in Singapore, this is what I would always crave for and I am just so glad to find this in Tsui Wah's menu. It comes with a tomato soup. It is also paired with the traditional soy and ginger sauce.

Chicken in Oyster Sauce and Taosi. The chicken was cooked to perfection, it was soft and tender but wasn't over cooked. The taosi, onions and green chili added a twist to the oyster sauce. It was really good. 

Citrus Sprite.  I'm not quite certain what the fruit was at the bottom of the glass I had but the moment I poured the can of sprite on the glass and squeezed the fruit from down the glass, I found myself unstoppable in sipping. It was very refreshing and the fruit gave a tang to the sprite which surprisingly gave a salty kick as well. 

Soy Chicken Wings. These wings were well marinated though I am not quite sure if they were roasted or stir fried.                                                                                                        The wings were very tender and you can taste the marinade until the bones. It is a bit salty and sweet so I assume they cooked it in soy and added honey. Though as a Chinese cuisine, I think they have something else instead of the honey.

Wanton Soup (Photo below). I am not really a fan of soups because I don't enjoy eating hot food, and soups should be eaten while they are hot. But this soup had me more spoons than I normally would have. The taste of fresh shrimps just stands out.

Toasted Bread Glazed with Condensed Milk. I was surprised that a simple dish such as a toasted bread could gain so much hype. This dessert is among the popular dishes in Tsui Wah and true to that, this was the first time I discovered how simply good it tastes!

Po Lin Monastery Vegetarian Restaurant

The heat of the sun drained our energies as we hiked our way to the Giant Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery. We haven't eaten much that day and there weren't a lot of restaurants up the mountains (or maybe none that we know of). However there's this vegetarian restaurant-slash-pastry shop that offers mouth watering pastries, breads and sweets. I have a great fascination for pastries and the soonest I saw these goodies, then I knew my lunch was saved.

The Mango Pudding is a must try together with the red bean dimsum. Pair it with a bottle of milk tea and we certainly had refueled our lost energy.

The Wander Dan Notes:

It really pays to spare a little of your time and try to do the research on where to eat in Hong Kong. It is famous not just because it has a spectacular variety of shopping sprees but Hong Kong is home to one of the best chances to splurge on modern and traditional Chinese cuisine. If there's one thing I wish I had done more in Hong Kong, it should have been to eat 'til I drop. On my next trip to Hong Kong, I shall scavenge every culinary street and try dining from the al fresco street restaurants to the finest dining.

Tim Ho Wan has a lot of braches in the city, to avoid long lines, try to visit their branch in Sham Shui Po.

Po Lin Monastery Restaurant is just to the left of the monastery.

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