Hong Kong: Food


Over the holiday break I spent over a week in Hong Kong visiting family and the unavoidable addictive food! Yes, Hong Kong is a city of culture, shopping, people, and high quality Asian food! I thought I’d share a bit of my break with ya’ll and figured out I’d start off with one of the best things, Food in Hong Kong! Other topics will follow of course.

I’ve always spoken about how Food is very much like designing. You have to pick out your ingredients (materials), what’s in season (material cost), cook it (assemble+manufacture), use everything (be sustainable), plate it (package), eat it (consume), brand it, get a reputation, rinse and repeat. “A week eating in Hong Kong makes ya go on a 1 year diet when you return home!”
Enjoy the collection of pictures!


This isn’t Hong Kong, but it’s my first meal traveling to Hong Kong via Asiana Airline (Korean). Every Asian airline I’ve flown serves up tasty, hot, healthy meal, but some reason, I cringe at the idea of an american airline meal or even their staff service compared to most Asian airlines (if you ever need to make a change, call the international number, not the US, otherwise you’ll get crappy service and get charged more money! This bipimbop rocked, which I had throughout my flights!

Day 1: Dinner after arriving.

Walnuts and special eggs for an appetizer!


Small Eel. Crunchy, zesty, snappy, awesome!


Pork slice with sauce, put into a little soft pastry. crunchy, soft, incredibly tasty!


Tender Duck!


Crab done Asian style!

Day 2: jetleg kicking in a bit, lets grab breakfast!

Roaming the streets of Hong Kong in the morning! Some of the best places to eat or hidden alleys.


Ah, friend dough and porridge!

This is street food breakfast of kings. 5 people, porridge, friend dough, sesame balls, noodled friend dough, and more for less than $15 US.


These butcher shops cover every corner in certain parts in Hong Kong.


Most convenient stores carry all kinds of drinks, but less sodas, mainly tea hybrids!


Quick lunch at a Thai place where they don’t speak Cantonese, only English, which I found odd. The food was pretty good, but we knew we had large meal at night at my favorite place in Hong Kong!


Ah, welcome to T’ANG court restaurant located in the Langham Hotelin Kowloon. This is their toothpick box.


Starting off the T’ANG experience with a private room and some red wine in this cool glass!


Appetizer next to the peanuts. I think this is pickled pork with the skin. I forget, but it gets your stomach going for food!


Pork Skin! Yup, they serve the whole pig, but we really only eat the crunchy skin.


Here are few slices stacked a top some puffed dough and some sauce. Some people eat the thin slice of fat on the skin, but many also scrap it off just eating the delicate snappy skin. This is one of my favorites. Just eat a few though, not too many.


Sharks Fin Soup: This is one of the traditional delicacies in Asian culture. I know it’s not the most sustainable/green/eco friendly type of food, but this is tradition and culture at it’s prime, especially served during the holidays. The sharks fin is cooked down until it breaks apart into noodle like fibers, and is served in a warming flavored soup with a slightly thickened consistency. The fibers are somewhat crunchy like an al dente pasta.


Abalone and mushroom: Another delicacy in Asian culture if not more than shark fins soup. Abalone is a deep sea snail in a clam like shell. Abalone takes many hours to cook and must be ordered days before attending a meal. They taste like a compressed scallop, with a bit more bite, but the sauce accompanying it really makes the abalone stand out. Abalone is expensive, but what it really comes down to is finding the right chef to cook it, otherwise, it’ll taste a bit rubbery. The larger the abalone, the more expensive.


Fish: I’m not sure how to explain the fish, but it is by far the most simple, clean, juicy, tender, fish you will ever taste along with some fish sauce and vegetables. Most dishes are shown at the table for a brief moment for to show the freshness and entirety of the dish before the waiter separates the fish for everyone at the table. Awesome service!


Shrimp: pan friend to perfection with some kind of sauce. The pan fry is so well done that you can eat the entire thing, head, skin and all. Amazing taste with a brittle crunch to die for.


Sweet+Sour Pork: his was an odd dish to have as we usually don’t have it, but sometimes it’s reallllly good with a crunch under the sauce, but this one was just okay.


Fried Rice: A classic dish, and maybe my favorite. Very simple friend rice, with no or little oil. Leaves no oil mark on the plate…this is a sign of high quality, steaming yummy friend rice. I think this one had vegetables and salty fish in it.


Birds Next Soup: Another amazing delicacy in Asian culture. Bird’s nest soup is served towards the end of a meal, and sometimes for dessert. The nest which is made of a birds saliva is boiled down until it breaks into thin noodle like strands along with an amazing broth. It’s somewhat like Sharks Fin soup, but a lot more tender, warming, and textured with a smooth melding bite. Along with the soup, you can add a sauce, of either ginger, almond, or coconut.


Fruits: when you think it’s all over, they bring out more…fruits. okay, I can do this. ooo, mango!


One bites: “when you think it’s over” part 2. So after the fruits, some little one bite warm treats are searved. This is a bit much, but also a sign that I’m in Hong Kong visiting family! There’s the little warm egg custard tart, and some small red bean sesame balls. Okay, I’ll take a bit each, only this once…haha, not!

Day3: uhgggg, I can feel my stomach growing, but happy 😉
Th day started off with the usual breakfast, and simple lunch at grandmas house while playing Mahjong. Next came dinner at the Peninsula hotel at Veranah.



Veranah overlooks the front of Peninsula Hotel with a zesty buffet for an appetizer which is pretty awesome since it has sushi, simple meats, and lite Italian meats and fruits. I took 2 pics from the dishes I brought back.


Conssome soup: warm, lite, yum!


Salmon: hmmm, wasn’t the best, overcooked an a bit too butery, but can’t expect it all to rock!



Dessert table buffet, plus a personal dish on our table.


Souffle: ahhh, warming souffle later topped with a snappy gingery sauce!

Day 3: I’m full, but it’s only started!


Yum yum. Breakfast of champs again!

The strange part about these alleyway breakfast finds is what you sometimes see… like where they prepare their food!


Asian Bakery: After way too many large meals, I decided to resort to the bakery for breakfast for the rest of the week, a simple Pork bun with a bit of toasted honey. Less food, but more space for later.


Dim Sum: We went for dim sum at various occasion throughout the week, but not as often as you might think. Shrimp dumplings, chicken feet, pork buns, fish balls, duck, an a large assortment of other delights. so simple, so good!

IMASA: dinner brought us to yet another restaurant in the Peninsula hotel called IMASA, an delightful Japanese restaurant. We had a table for 13-15 of us.


They had a wonderful buffet table full of sushi and Japanese cooked dishes. I naturally went for the sushi!

Crab porridge…this was very good…I’ve never had porridge blended with shreds of crab meat!

Another round of sushi. I thought this was the meal, but I had no clue it was just an appetizer…my mistake!




Sushi rolls: sharks fin, salmon skin, tempura. I only had 2, saving room for the main dish.


Soba noodles in a hot soup broth! So pure, clean, filling! I love noodles!


Personal Hot Pot: Crab meat, noodles, veggies, mushrooms, oooOooOooooooo.


Ice Cream and sorbet: red bean, sesame, and the stinky durian fruit, which I don’t mind too much.

Day4: okay, belt is no use, just leaving it off now.

Luk Yu Tea House is a pretty famous restaurant on the Hong Kong side and is one of the oldest, being here since 1933 and maintaining it traditional looks. It’s famous for a bunch of things, but everyone raves about their teas.


Some appetizer starters. Some fried, baked goods, usually with some variation of meat inside, steaming hot.


Dipping sauce: used to almost dip with anything. Dip in the Hot sauce, in the mustard, or right in he middle for both.


Pigs Lun Soup: I’m not sure what to say here, but this restaurant is famous for this dish. It takes 3 days to prepare so again, you must order it days in advance. It’s suppose to be really good for your lungs. Eating lungs makes lungs better?



Pigs lung Soup with meat: So here it is. the soup is slow cooked for hours in an almond broth. I’ll admit this soup is incredibly smooth and milky. The meat was also enjoyable, but I think it has an acquired taste, which I got use to. Spongy soft, white, clean is how I’d describe the meat.


Bean curd I think?


I forget what this is, but I ate it. i tend to try anything before actually figuring out what it is. I think it’s some vegetable, maybe a root of some sort.


Braised Pork strips with puffs buns.


Classic steamed dim sum.


Fried Rice: yum, no oil, just pure yum!


Just like a pork bun, but instead of pork it’s filled with a steaming hot paste of some sort.


Hot Egg custard tart in an oval shape.


Lunch was rather large, so we decided to hit the streets for real local food for dinner. This place is really crowded and bustling with locals eating, drinking, roaming.


Steaming hot snails: Grab a stick, rip it out, dip th meat into hot sauce, and it was damn good!


With the snails, comes beer, and your vegetables, which got eaten up before I could snap a picture.



I’m not sure what to call this. A small skinny lobster, or a large shrimp with thick skin. I’ve seen theses in tanks before, but I’ve never eaten them. I think this ones pan friend. Not a ton of meat to eat, but pretty tasty if you can find the meat.


Crab: ahh, this is the good stuff. See h orange stuff in the crab head, that’s what I like to eat! The crab meat is tasty too, but the orange stuff is what makes the sauce taste so great!

Day 5: What did I tell myself about not eating too much this visit! yar!


Lunch as some exclusive restaurant club on the Hong Kong side. Yup, they have restaurant memberships, where you can’t eat unless you part of the club, just a restaurant, no gym, tennis courts, etc. Meal starts of with cold snappy crunchy jelly fish, and veggies.


Chopped veggies with some kind of root. Very very refreshing and delightful!


Hot egg, with that brown boiled side, which I think is know as a 100 year egg or something…though it’s just soaked in a sauce for a few hours.


Fried Lobster! I had a claw. yummm!


Sharks Fin Soup: What a blessing o be treat to this again. This was a much higher quality version. When you can see the white muscle tissues, and the fibers cling onto each other, you know it a much nicer quality, tasting, pricey version. we also added some strips of pork into these bowls whihc gave the soup a really nice flavor!


I’m not sure how to describe this, but it’s a crispy bean curd skin filled with mushroom or eggplant along with some sauce. Very common dish in Dim Sum.


Vegetables and bamboo shoot I think. Very Delicious!


Sliced large eel along with noodles, vegetables, and other goodies.


Veggies, maybe some meat, wrapped with a baked flake like skin. zesty!


Some kind of sweet red bean rice dessert pancake. It’s a bit like sticky rice, but sweeter.

Day 6: Need exercise. I’ll walk and shop more now to get some exercise before each meal. I walk from Jordan, to Monkok, back down to Tsim Sha Tsu multiple times.


At this point, we’ve merged breakfast with a simple lite lunch fo the constant madness in dinners. Simple tasty hot wontons with noodles does the trick, and it’s everywhere.


With a light lunch comes a dessert lunch. Sweet almond, coconut, and walnut soup. also, dark black sesame paste dumplings.


Roasted pork strips! This is amazing tasting! You can find this in most asian stores, but to get it fresh from the grill and served pipin hot! Wow, firm, crisp, tender, strips of pork with some kind of honey glaze!
Bought from the streets of Hong Kong!

New years dinner at a new place somewhere in the basement of a random building near us. The part was our random journey finding this place because we first went down to some wedding banquet hallway going through backwards. As we went through the reception and entrance, we were greeted with odd eyes. Anyhow, when we finally found our restaurant, I was fascinated by th tea kettle being warmed by a candle.



Steamed Live Shrimp. O so good!


An assortment of small bites to eat. Tofu, pickled veggies, lotus slices, and bean curd.



Lamb chops! This was the first time I’ve had lamb prepared in an Asian way. It was reallly really juicy, tender, just so delicious!


Dowe Mui. Gotta have the veggies!


Steamed Fish: Fish is always good, fresh, and cleansing. The sauce is to die for…wheres the rice!


Friend Rice: Ah, throw in a few bits of fish and sauce in here, and your in heaven… seriously, rice with fresh fish and sauce is incredible!


Doh Fu Fah: Tofu Dessert. Add some ginger sauce and your set for divine dessert.


5,4,3,2,1, happy new years!!!!! The fireworks are not that flamboyant, but they save up the good stuff for Chinese new years in about a month!



Some waffle places get huge lines much like this famous on on Nathan road. They stayed up for the new years crowd and a line formed using tokens to buy. It took about 20 minutes for my token to get it’s order, but for $1.50-$2, this hot spanking waffle ball thing is good! Basically waffle batter formed into a ball shaped waffle pan.

Day 7: So good, but how much more can I take. Stop putting food on my plate!

Simple lunch. Pork, jellyfish, and something I always eat, but not sure what it is…but it has bones.


Siew Ling Bow: Soup meat Dumplings, served steaming hot, and burn in your mouth, but that’s what we like.


Fish Head Stew. Might seem a bit scary, especially in a hidden alleyway restaurant where no one is besides the waiters who smoke and watch horse racing on the TV inside all day, but the stews good.



After shopping around with my mom all day, a nice fresh mango aloe jelly drink sounds just right!


Ah, candle warming tea.. I’ve been here!


Chamomile tea! I love this tea!

LEI Garden
Steamed Shrimp!


Pork Skin! yum yum yum as always!


More steamed fish!


The fish head, which probably has the best tasting parts from th whole fish. Its rather odd having fish back in the states without the head on the fish. Fish is served one way in Hong Kong, an that’s with the head.


Here’s that awesome combo of rice, fish, and fish sauce! Unbelievably tasty!


Roast duck! The meat is just incredibly tender and juicy. I don’t usually eat the oily skin,but it’s nice to have every so often.


Scallops, vegetables atop some sea vegetables I’ve always had, but never knew what they were…crunchy brown flower like things…kind of like jelly fish.


Hot Almond Soup Dessert.

Day 8: 2 more days!

Some place called cheers for a quick lunch.


Scallion shrimp pancake.


Noodles with vegetable wontons.


Pigs feet braised in ginger garlic, soy sauce, and more ginger. My first tinme having. I liked the ginger, but the pigs feet were a bit much with the skin and all.


A special rice, that’s been steamed with pork, sausage, and vegetables.

Final meal before my flight the next morning!


Lei Garden in Wan Chai.


This is what sharks fin looks lik before it’s cooked.


This is what abalone looks like before it’s cooked. Yup, its’ like a hard piece of rubber and again is useless unless you know how to cook it. Lei Garden shows off a few pieces in the front. This piece cost nearly $100$1000 US dollars a each!!! I’m guessing we did not order this costly version, but damn, it’s like eating a laptop.


A very simple beef chicken brother soup to start this meal off!


Here’s the meat from the soup, but it doesn’t have as much taste since all the flavor is in the soup now.


Geo Duck Soup. I love geo duck, but I usually make is sashimi style, so having it cooked this was was different, but very good!


Double Delicacy: So each person a the table either had an abalone or a goose leg as their main delicacy. I’d had abalone already, so I got the leg, but my grandmother who was sitting next to me insisted that I had her abalone hence the slight splatter of sauce as she forced her portion onto my plate. So I had two amazing pieces of Asian culture in front of me now. I did manage to give her half the abalone to eat, but still, this was an amazing combination of meats. Also on the side was a conch meat! Incredibly tasty. Again, I think it comes down to the sauce here!


Tiger Shrimp: I’ve never had this before, but it was really good! I did not eat the shell since this shrimp intimidated me to some degree.


Gotta love the veggies!


Steamed Fish after it’s been partitioned by the waiter.


Rice +Fish+Fish sauce= happiness!


A specially steamed rice using a ceramic bowl seen on the table.

The special rice is steamed with chicken, scallops, sausage, shrimp, and some herbs in the ceramic bowl leaving the surface rice nice an crispy. Highly suggested to try.


Special rice bowl with meats! Chicken, shrimp, blood sausage, sausage.

Herbal dessert soup: This is a sweeter soup filled with herbs, and probably rock sugar.


Almond dessert soup! yum yum.

That’s its! 9 days in Hong Kong eating equals 9 months dieting back in the states.

13 Responses to “Hong Kong: Food”

  1. Sarah Says:

    wow… impressive nine days! looks like u had a great trip.

    i think i spent more of my time there shopping than eating though 😛

  2. _tango! Says:

    Ooo, I shopped for sure… I just didnt doument that as much, but I’ll post pictures later!

  3. audrey Says:

    correction–that abalone was nearly $1000 each!

  4. Tiffany Says:

    This gets me even more excited for my own trip to HK for CNY!

  5. Christina Rodriguez Says:

    I’m amazed by the sheer quantity of what you ate, Tango. Who wouldn’t go all out? You’d give Michael Phelps a run for his money in the consumption of Asian food, I’d bet.

  6. eddric Says:

    Jealous! Love the photos though! So much good food…

  7. Ben Green Says:

    Wow. I think you spent more on food in 9 days than I make in a year. The food looks great, but really?

    I really don’t mean to be a grinch or anything, but at what point does opulent celebration become intolerably wasteful? Is it unfair of me to wonder if the line has been crossed when the cost of one dish from a ten plus dish dinner could feed an entire village for a year? If the post that puts that abalone dish at a thousand dollars a plate is correct, than that one dish would easily feed my entire household (three adults plus two babies) for a month, and I live in the most expensive city in the United States.

  8. tango! Says:

    ben,

    hehe, I can assure you the abalone we had was not the one they trophied in front of the restaurant. It’ much like a prized dish that shows off a restaurants quality, but people rarely order that exact one, but there are various versions in that one dish that vary in price for sure. It’s just like a huge prized fish they had in a tank, but really did not let anyone order it. Think of it like a kobe steak with gold flakes and foe gra for $100 in the USA.. not everyone orders it, but the restaurant is known for it.

    Asian culture makes ya eat, especially when seeing family every day that you have not seen for years, so it’s their right to want to feed you. Most of these meals were with large tables of people, it’s hard to order most of these dishes with just 3-4 people.

    and as for waste, I agree on some dishes costing much, but that’s normal in any society, but one thing in asian culture I’ll say about waste is we dont waste anything from an animal, dish, etc. We actually eat everything… fish heads, the innards, the feet, skin, etc. If you really think about what is thrown away in American society from an animal, then I’d say, that is a larger waste that could feed hundreds of families.

  9. Emily Says:

    The pictures are gorgeous, and the descriptions add to my appreciation. I’m pretty familiar with dim sum, but didn’t know that fish is always served with the head. Wow. I’m really hungry now. When Chris and I get to Hong Kong one of these days, we’ll be sure to ask for your recommendations!

  10. BenGreen Says:

    Tango,

    Thanks for the clarification on the prized abalone situation. I just went to what I think of as an upscale dim sum place for the first time (Yank Sing in SF), and I think that maybe I have a better understanding of how you could have ordered such a staggering array of dishes. They just come around with the endless carts of little yummies.

    Also, I wasn’t trying to say that Chinese eating habits are more wasteful than American at all. I agree that the opposite is certainly true. I mean, Americans eat way more red meat, and the US is still the biggest single source of CO2 emissions in the world despite having a much smaller population than China. I guess the point I was trying to make had more to do with comparing the eating habits of across economic classes.

  11. Chef Bosco Pereira Says:

    This is a beautiful, wonderful compilation of pictures depicting a cross section of Hong Kong’s culinary delights.

    As a professional chef who trained and cooked for years in Hong Kong, I can tell you the pictures provide the readers a real clue about the level of detail and sophistication delivered by the chefs in the Hong Kong back kitchens.

    I trained in a number of famous establishments, King of Kings (Mongkok), Ruby’s, The White House (in Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, where I was a senior line cook at the wok range at age 19), Cherikoff and Chanteclair bakeries, The Peninsula, to name a few.

    My father was also a prominent chef in Hong Kong. My family owned restaurants in Hong Kong, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Djakarta.

    In Hong Kong, we owned “The Cosmo” Indo-Malaysian Restaurant in Ashley Road (a street where dining options are still abundant). We served the best Satay in Hong Kong and now, after many years in the United States, I can tell you I have not seen a satay recipe that rivals ours. The original satay recipe in my family is over 130 years old. In 1967, when I was only 13, I was sent to Singapore to re-learn and re-discover the satay process. I learned from an elderly (78 years old) satay man from The Satay Club in the Padang, in Singapore. And you know what? The recipe he passed on to me was almost identical to what my family had taught me. The sad thing today is that many of the original satay people have passed on and I am beginning to see (in Singapore) shortcuts in both ingredients and process that are really unacceptable. I thought you would enjoy this little insight.

    In a year, when my cookbook is completed (on South East Asian cuisine), I will open an outstanding SE Asian Restaurant in Los Angeles. And many signature dishes from Hong Kong will be on the menu. My chefs will be from Asia.

    There are a few great chefs in the United States. Some, like Emeril Lagasse, come from true kitchen blood — mainline, classic background. Then you also ave a field of clown entertainers and self-professed gurus. The so called big names in Chinese in the United States don’t impress me the least. I recently picked up a newly published Asian cookbook that was authored by someone who never had any professional kitchen background. Good food is good food, and, while there is absolutely nothing wrong with an amateur writing a cookbook, one could tell from the content that the book was hastily slapped together and a fusion style of delivery was employed to mask shallow depth of the dishes. To make matters worse, this author attempted to negate the very character of Cantonese cuisine, which is cooking under very high heat (the example this author used was to slow sautee the veges which, in my training, tells me the veges will have lost its freshness as well as nutrients). In Cantonese, we refer to wok range heat and its effects as “Wok Hei” (literally, “wok air”).

    I was in Hong Kong just recently and these (USA Chines Chef) names were discussed around a table with some of my prominent chef friends; they weren’t impresesd. These so called USA Chinese chefs certainly would not make it in a Hong Kong kitchen. In professional circles, here in the United States, when we speak among chefs we are always cognizant and respectful of those who have come out of a Hong Kong kitchen — the ultimate brutal training ground. When I was in high school I was already cookiing; one finished school at 3.00 PM in the afternoon and by 4.30 PM I was at the wok range. As I was young, I was released from kitchen duties at 11.00 PM and THEN go home to do three hours or more of homework. What sleep?

    Even fusion, in Hong Kong, is held to an incredibly higher standard.

    My honest opinion about much of the so called chef material in the Unitedd States is that entertaining has over-trumped substance. I guess it is good if one is selling cookware. Sounds like a harsh assessment; however, as a backdrop, nearly all the masters we trained under in Asia were gifted, disciplined and, above all, very low key. When I trained in India, in places like Lucknow, Hyderabad, Kerala, Goa, Mysore, New Delhi and the Kashmir Valley, all the chefs I worked under were specialists in just a few items. Look at the proliferation of the food websites in the United States — a lot of junk recipes (we all know there are good ones as well, but relatively few). If you really want to learn Asian cuisine, stay away from authored sites in this country — flashy and shallow. Instead, follow the Asian sites.

    One of the reasons I chose not to emerge on the US culinary scene is to do right by the masters who taught me. I will pass on their wisdom in my cookbbok, deliver a portfolio of outstanding recipes, THEN open my restaurant (for fun … I’ve made my money already).

    I commend you on the excellent job on the pictures and the narrative. Many of the wonderful dishes I learned over the years came from amateurs, and I can tell you they surpassed the standards of many of so called chefs I know.

    When my cookbook is done, I will track you down and get a copy to you. Meanwhile, please send me your email address to chefboscopereira@aol.com and I will send you recipes as I am working on my cookbook this coming year.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences. I am sure many will absolutely enjoy this.

    Kindest Wishes,
    Bosco Pereira / @chef_bosco on Twitter

  12. DesignVerb! – Hong Kong for the Holidays Says:

    […] any must visit tips, let me know. Otherwise, take a look at my previous post from 2 years ago on Food and brief  Shopping. Will have a few fun updates on the Facebook […]

  13. Jen Says:

    I gotta say, theses pictures really make me want to go to Hong Kong just for the food. Btw, the orange thing inside the crab head is it’s eggs.

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