What to Eat in Hong Kong, Food and Drink, Dishes
Hong Kong, a vibrant city with a rich culinary scene, offers a diverse range of food and drink options that cater to all tastes. As a melting pot of Eastern and Western cultures, Hong Kong’s food scene is a gastronomic paradise, with everything from traditional Cantonese dishes to innovative fusion cuisine. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the must-try dishes, popular street food, and beverages that you should experience when visiting Hong Kong.
Must-Try Dishes in Hong Kong
a) Dim Sum
Dim sum is the quintessential Hong Kong dining experience. This Cantonese tradition consists of small, bite-sized portions of various dishes, typically served in steamer baskets or on small plates. Popular dim sum dishes include har gow (shrimp dumplings), siu mai (pork and shrimp dumplings), cha siu bao (barbecue pork buns), and cheung fun (rice noodle rolls).
b) Roast Goose
Roast goose is a classic Cantonese dish that features a whole goose roasted to perfection, with crispy skin and tender, juicy meat. The goose is often marinated in a mix of spices and served with a sweet and tangy plum sauce. Some of the most famous restaurants for roast goose in Hong Kong include Yat Lok, Kam’s Roast Goose, and Yung Kee.
c) Wonton Noodles
Wonton noodles, a beloved Hong Kong dish, consists of egg noodles served in a clear, flavorful broth, topped with plump shrimp-filled wontons. The dish can be found in various eateries across the city, from humble noodle shops to high-end restaurants.
d) Claypot Rice
Claypot rice is a traditional Hong Kong dish cooked in a clay pot over an open flame, allowing the flavors to meld together. The dish often includes ingredients such as chicken, Chinese sausage, and mushrooms, cooked with rice that becomes slightly crispy at the bottom of the pot. Claypot rice is typically served with a side of soy sauce and oyster sauce for added flavor.
e) Egg Waffles
Egg waffles, also known as gai daan jai, are a popular Hong Kong street food. The waffle batter is cooked in a special honeycomb-shaped iron mold, creating a snack with a crispy exterior and soft, chewy interior. Egg waffles can be enjoyed plain or with a variety of toppings, such as fruit, ice cream, or Nutella.
Popular Street Food in Hong Kong
a) Fish Balls
Fish balls are a ubiquitous street food in Hong Kong, made from minced fish meat that is shaped into balls and deep-fried or boiled. They are often served on skewers, doused in a spicy curry sauce, and can be found at street food stalls and markets throughout the city.
b) Stinky Tofu
Stinky tofu is a fermented tofu dish with a strong, pungent odor. The tofu is typically deep-fried and served with a spicy dipping sauce. Despite its smell, stinky tofu is a popular street food snack, known for its crispy exterior and soft interior.
c) Siu Mei
Siu mei is a Cantonese style of barbecue, where meats are roasted on spits over an open flame. Common siu mei options include roast pork, roast duck, and char siu (barbecued pork), which can be found hanging in the windows of many Hong Kong restaurants and street food stalls.
d) Egg Tarts
Egg tarts are a delicious pastry with a flaky crust and a sweet, creamy egg custard filling. They are a popular treat in Hong Kong, often enjoyed as a dessert or snack. There are two main types of egg tarts in Hong Kong: the traditional Cantonese version with a buttery, crumbly crust and the Portuguese-style version with a puff pastry crust, which can be traced back to Macau’s Portuguese influence. Some of the best places to try egg tarts in Hong Kong include Tai Cheong Bakery, Honolulu Coffee Shop, and Lord Stow’s Bakery.
e) Pineapple Buns
Pineapple buns, or bo lo bao, are a popular Hong Kong pastry that consists of a soft, pillowy bun with a sweet, crumbly topping that resembles the texture of a pineapple. Despite its name, pineapple buns do not contain any pineapple. They can be enjoyed plain, or with a slice of cold butter in the middle, making for a delicious sweet and savory treat.
Beverages in Hong Kong
a) Milk Tea
Hong Kong-style milk tea, also known as “silk stocking” milk tea, is a popular local beverage made from a blend of black tea and evaporated or condensed milk. The tea is typically brewed using a cloth filter, resulting in a smooth, creamy texture. Milk tea can be enjoyed hot or cold and is often served at cha chaan tengs (Hong Kong-style diners) and street food stalls.
b) Lemon Tea
Lemon tea is a refreshing drink made from black tea, lemon slices, and sugar. It is a popular beverage at cha chaan tengs and can be enjoyed hot or cold. Lemon tea is perfect for quenching your thirst on a hot day while exploring the streets of Hong Kong.
c) Sugarcane Juice
Sugarcane juice is a sweet, refreshing drink made by pressing the juice from sugarcane stalks. It is a popular street food beverage in Hong Kong and can be found at street food stalls and markets. Sugarcane juice is often served over ice, making it the perfect drink to cool down on a hot day.
d) Hong Kong-style Iced Coffee
Hong Kong-style iced coffee is a unique beverage that combines the strong flavor of black coffee with the sweetness of condensed milk. It is often served over ice and is a popular drink at cha chaan tengs and street food stalls. The sweet and robust flavor makes it an ideal pick-me-up while exploring Hong Kong.
Unique and Fusion Dishes
Hong Kong’s culinary scene is also known for its unique and fusion dishes that combine Eastern and Western flavors. Some examples include:
a) Char Siu Pineapple Bun
A twist on the traditional pineapple bun, this version incorporates the popular Cantonese barbecued pork (char siu) as a filling, creating a delicious sweet and savory combination.
b) Hong Kong-style French Toast
Hong Kong-style French toast is a decadent dish that features thick slices of bread filled with peanut butter or kaya (coconut jam), dipped in egg batter, and deep-fried. It is served with a generous drizzle of syrup and a slab of butter, making it a sinfully delicious treat.
c) Seafood Congee
This Hong Kong-style congee is a comforting rice porridge filled with an assortment of fresh seafood, such as fish, shrimp, and squid. It is a delicious and hearty dish that showcases Hong Kong’s love for fresh seafood.
Hong Kong’s food and drink scene is a diverse and exciting culinary adventure that offers something for everyone. From traditional Cantonese dishes to innovative fusion cuisine, Hong Kong is a gastronomic paradise that should not be missed. Be sure to indulge in the wide array of dishes, street food, and beverages during your visit to this vibrant city.