Hong Kong Foodie Tour

May 11, 2015 by

Asia, Food, Drink & Travel, Foodie Tours, Places to Go, Things to Do, Top Travel Destinations, Travel Advice & Inspiration

Typical Hong Kong street food restaurant.

Typical Hong Kong street food restaurant.

As an Asian food lover, I knew good eating would  be a pinnacle part of the plan for my visit to Hong Kong. However, it was hard to know where to start. I discovered the Hong Kong Food Tour, which combined excellent food tastings with a walking tour through some intriguing, traditional Hong Kong neighborhoods.
One of the things I liked most about this tour was the organization and attention to detail. Our affable guide, Lillian, welcomed us to the tour and gave us much-appreciated bottles of water and packs of tissues. She also provided each of us with a Foodie Tour brochure that included a map of the route, details on each foodie stop, and even some useful Cantonese phrases. This was a handy reference during the tour and ensured we could find our way back to a foodie favorite if we wanted to make a return visit. Something else that made this tour special was that every place we visited was family-owned, many for several generations, and each one provided a truly artisanal experience.

Stop #1: wonton soup at Tsim Chai Kee Noodle

Golf-ball size wontons.

Golf-ball size wontons.

Fittingly, we started our foodie adventure with a Chinese cuisine staple: wonton soup from Tsim Chai Kee Noodle, one of Hong Kong’s oldest noodle shops. However, this wonton soup was far from ordinary: plump wontons (filled with three pieces of prawn each), a good serving of noodles, and one of the most flavorful soup broths I have ever tasted. The founder explained that he started selling soup on the street years ago with the goal of providing office workers a delicious lunch with generous proportions at a reasonable price. He has continued that tradition.

Stop#2: barbeque pork at the Dragon Restaurant

Succulent pork barbeque.

Succulent pork barbeque.

The Dragon Restaurant is famous for their roasted meats, and our group unanimously swooned over their incredibly succulent Barbequed Pork. Unusual for Hong Kong where space is so limited, the meat is actually cooked in a human-sized oven in the basement. After gobbling down this piggy delight, we got a quick look at the kitchen where an entire cooked pig was hanging on a meat hook!

Stop #3: The Wet Market, Flea Market and Kung Lee’s sugar cane juice

Fresh foods for sale at the Wet Market.

Fresh foods for sale at the Wet Market.

The third stop gave our already full tummies a break with a tour of the Wet Market (wet meaning fresh). We walked beneath the world’s largest escalator to discover a street of stalls selling all kinds of fresh produce, meats, and fish. We also saw a street restaurant (basically a food truck with cheap seating), a rare sight these days since no new permits have been granted since the 1980’s because of hygiene concerns and a desire to keep the streets clear. Sadly, the atmospheric Wet Market is a dying breed as well; it is doomed to be replaced by a squeaky clean, government-managed market in another year or two.
Our walk took us down a flea market street for some souvenir shopping, and then Lillian led us to Kung Lee’s for a cup of sugar cane juice — pure sugar cane with no additives of any kind. This old-fashioned place is located in an historical building that could be sold for a small fortune, but the owners would rather continue to serve their steady stream of local customers who come here to drink and catch up on the neighborhood gossip.

Stop #4: preserved fruits at Wong Wing Kee

Wong Wing Kee sweets shop.

Wong Wing Kee sweets shop.

Wong Wing Kee, a sweets shop selling all kinds of preserved fruits, was a fun stop. Each of us received a plastic box of goodies including delectables like lemon peel, lychee nuts, and yummy dried kumquats.

Stop #5: dumplings at Dim Sum Square

Roe-topped dumpling.

Pork and shrimp dumplings topped with roe.

No Chinese food tour would be complete without dumplings, and Dim Sum Square served us dumplings so fresh that they arrived on the table steaming hot! This was a real dumpling feast with pork buns, shrimp dumplings, fried spring rolls, and my favorite, a dumpling filled with a mixture of pork and shrimp topped with bright orange roe.

Stop#6: egg tart at Hei Lee Cake Shop

We ended the eating binge at Hei Lee Cake Shop where we topped it all off with a delightful egg tart. The egg custard was good, and the buttery crust was out of this world.

To sum it up in one Cantonese phrase, this foodie tour was hok sik (delicious!).

Contributed by Anne Supsic

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