Hong Kong – The Food Hunt

Starting off the week dedicated to exploring Hong Kong was what I thought I would’ve been doing throughout my time here: food hunting. So in Hong Kong, there is a website known as open rice where restaurants are reviewed by the general population. What makes this site useful is you can search up a particular cuisine, district, dish etc. Using that as my base, the expedition began.

My first stop was at Lin Heung Tea House, a local dim sum restaurant which at the time of writing, had almost 450 likes (the most in the category). Prior to this, I had dim sum a couple of times and each time I felt that Toronto’s dim sum was very similar, if not better, AND quite a bit cheaper. However, I didn’t want to make that call until I tried what the locals pride themselves in having. According to reviews Lin Heung Tea House was a place that was always packed and waiting around lunch time is inevitable. Luckily for us (I was with two other friends from Canada), we went around 11am. The place was already packed. What made this place nice was that they only use the push carts here (instead of the modern order from paper) so people were rushing to carts to find out what they had.

We ordered sticky rice in banana leaf, siu mai, and pork balls. Unfortunately, I didn’t really take any pictures of the food (though I’m sure you can imagine each of those). I wanted to make my final call after I tasted the har gow but because the carts coming out didn’t have it, we decided that it wasn’t worth the wait (people were hovering over us to get our seats) so we got our bill. I was very surprised to see that our bill came out to 106HKD (approx $13.50) for three dishes! Given the food (which was similar to the place I usually go to in Toronto with family) and the price, I would like to conclude that I prefer Toronto’s dim sum over Hong Kong’s. Now I know that there will be an added appreciation once I’m back in Toronto.

A big place that's always full
If I remember correctly, this place seats about 120 people. To have it full at all times is quite astonishing.

I wonder if fights break out during this process
People mobbing around the cart with their papers.

Continuing on our journey, I was interested in seeing what kind of malaysian food they had in Hong Kong, which led us to a place called Good Satay. Although they had a variety of dishes, I was only interested in my two favourite dishes: Hainan chicken rice and laksa. The chicken rice wasn’t anything special (hard to compete after having the best chicken rice in Singapore) but the laksa caught me off guard.

For me, what defines a good bowl of laksa (along with almost any other soup and noodle dish) is the soup base. Usually when I think of good laksa, I’m thinking of a curry base with coconut milk. This place however, had the curry, the coconut and also added a peanut sauce. The soup became a bit more viscous but man, it was definitely the best laksa I had this trip!

I didn’t get myself any satay as I’m usually indifferent about them (don’t tell my dad), but when I saw them deliver it to others, I noticed the meat was usually larger than most other places and they were not cheap with the sauce.

On our way out of the mall (the shop is inside), I noticed that Good Satay actually took over the whole area, buying out most of the shops in that lane. I’m glad these guys aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, especially since each dish costed about 45hkd ($6) which, if compared to the dim sum, is ultra cheap!

Good Satay Menu
Good Satay’s menu

Laksa
Laksa. As we were sharing the dishes, this was approximately 1/3 of the total amount.

Hainan Chicken Rice
Hainan chicken rice. From my observation, what most people ordered. The soup and rice both had a chicken taste which is good, but the chicken itself wasn’t as tender as some other places.

As my friends had to go meet with some relatives for dinner, I decided to continue the expedition by myself. According to a lot of my local friends, Kowloon City is good food central so doing a quick search through open rice, I picked out a couple of places that I would try. The first place that I went to was Islam Food, which was known for their beef patties and their curry briskets.

Islam Food
Ordering one of each, I was ready to chow down.

Beef Patty
The beef patty was so good that I couldn’t help getting another one. The outer layer tasted like a thicker version of a pan fried dumpling. Each one of these cost 14hkd.

The curry was alright, nothing too special so if you were to go to Islam Food, I would recommend going for the beef patties (especially if you are also on a food hunt.

After my dinner, I was ready for some dessert and so I went off to Chiu Chow Hop Shing Dessert, also located in Kowloon City. Prior to this, I didn’t really think about desserts in Hong Kong being segmented into HK-Western and HK-Traditional. This goes without saying that I stumbled into a traditional shop. This also goes without saying that I can’t really comment on it as it’s not exactly to my taste (in fact, I didn’t even really know what I was eating) but I did finish the whole thing!

No idea
The unknown “dessert” costing 41hkd. Quite expensive…

After this I stumbled upon another place that was listed on the site. It was suppose to be known for Chinese food and desserts and stuff, but the actual shop was only selling chicken rice. Giving a what the heck sigh (I was quite full after Islam Food), I went in anyway and tried the chicken rice. This place wasn’t as good as Good Satay (the rice didn’t have a chicken taste and they didn’t give me soup) so I didn’t bother attaching a picture.

All in all, this day was quite fun, but now that I’ve tried most of the places people suggested, I think I’m done with food hunting in Hong Kong. Of course, if you have any recommendations for other people, feel free to leave a comment!

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