31 Dec Foods to try in Hong Kong and where you can eat them
Sitting at an intersection between China and the rest of the world, Hong Kong has long been one of the world’s best food cities. On its narrow, busy streets, street carts hawking traditional Cantonese snacks sit in front of restaurants that put a modern spin on its best meals.
Uncovering the culinary secrets of Hong Kong is something that should definitely be on your list. Make sure you’ll hit all the classic dishes and we promise you won’t be disappointed. If you need some inspiration for this, here’s a list of top local eats every traveler should try while in Hong Kong.
(1) Dim sum
A morning staple of many Hong Kongers, dim sum is an experience worth waking up for. To be clear, dim sum is not a specific dish – instead, it refers to a buffet-style meal where various dishes are rolled out to the dining room on carts. As they make their way to your table, you can choose from bite-sized morsels that range from steamed pork buns to stuffed eggplant.
Lin Heung Teahouse, highlighted by CNN for its electric atmosphere, is a great place to do for dim sum in Hong Kong. Be prepared to wake up early (be there for 6 am) and be aggressive – it is a busy restaurant, so you’ll need to pipe up to attract the attention of the wait staff.
(2) Char siu
Cantonese for BBQ pork, char siu offers a mix of sweet and savoury flavours that will linger happily in your mouth long after you’ve eaten. This meat gets its addictive taste from a marinade composed of ingredients like hoisin sauce, ginger sauce, soy sauce, red bean curd, brown sugar, and rose cooking wine.
Because of its overbearing sweetness, the best versions of char siu are ones that understate this flavour. Local foodies have lauded Kwan Yu Roasted Meat for striking the proper balance between the juiciness of the pork and the flavour of the marinade that covers it.
(3) Clay pot rice
The sounds this dish makes has as much of an impact as its taste. When an order is brought out, the clay pot in which it sits (hence the name) retains much of the heat from the ovens.
This continues to cook the rice as it sits in front of you. This gives the rice along the sides a crispy texture, which combines with other ingredients (like sausage, mushrooms, pork, etc) to create a heavenly eating experience.
As a common dish, clay pot rice can be had all over Hong Kong. However, if you’re looking to get the best bang for your buck, we recommend Four Seasons Clay Pot Rice. They offer standard and exotic versions of the dish starting for as little as $20HKD (£2/$2.50USD), making them your best bet in this expensive city.
(4) Egg waffles
If you’ve spent time in your local Chinatown recently, you may already be aware that egg waffles are all the rage right now. Known as gai daan jai on the streets of Hong Kong, this dish is made from a simple batter consisting of eggs, sugar, and flour.
While the batter contains eggs, egg waffles get their name from the griddle that shapes it. Once finished, it emerges from its mould sporting a bumpy form that resembles eggs.
While plenty of traditionally prepared waffles can be picked up from street stalls at night markets around Hong Kong, those with a sweet tooth should stop by Eat With Me in Tsuen Wan. In this shop, egg waffles are placed in a paper cone, allowing ice cream and other sweet treats to be scooped into the centre. Yum!