Here goes the Part 8 (my second last blog post) of my recent fruitful trip to Hong Kong - Street Food 香港街头美食天堂.
When people say that Hong Kong is the mecca for food lovers in Asia, they surely were not kidding as every corner and alley is filled with eateries and restaurants serving their respective delicious specialties. Hong Kong has a lot to offer, it is one of the best cities in the world for foodies and culinary travellers, so for anyone travelling to Hong Kong should not be afraid to try unfamiliar foods.
If you don’t have time to sit down and eat at a restaurant, you may want to try some Hong Kong street food. These types of food are prepared so that you can eat them while on the go. Many of these foods are put on sticks or in bags to make it more portable. These are some of the most popular kinds of Hong Kong street food. If you’re out on the streets of Hong Kong, give one a try. You never know, you might just find your new favourite snack.
Hong Kong is known for its diverse and equally delicious cuisine and seafood.True to being a metropolitan hub in Asia, it is also home to cuisines from around the world and locals relish eating sushi, steak and spaghetti at the hundreds of restaurants in the city. But for tourists, nothing beats being able to eat at the numerous street markets and it helps to know where they are and what you can order.
There are 2 types of vendors who sell Hong Kong street food. They are called either a “Hawker” or a “Dai Pai Dong 大排档". A Hawker is a portable cart that’s used for cooking food. They can easily be moved to different streets depending on where a lot of people are. You may want to be careful when buying food from a Hawker as these are not licensed. Food inspectors will chase the owners of a Hawker on the street to arrest them because this food may not be prepared according to health guidelines.
It would be a shame to come to Hong Kong only to eat in restaurants, as you’d be missing an authentic part of Hong Kong’s culinary landscape – street foods. Street stalls called Dai Pai Dongs 大排档 are the most classic and often the least expensive way to experience outdoor dining, although fewer and fewer licensed stalls exist these days.
Dai Pai Dong 大排档 is a type of open-air food stall once very popular in Hong Kong. The government registration name in Hong Kong is "cooked-food stalls", but dai pai dong literally means "restaurant with a big license plate", referring to its size of license which is bigger than other licensed street vendors. There are only 28 such stalls remaining in Hong Kong.
Stir-fry dishes, noodle soups, congee or deep fried items such as won tons are popular Dai Pai Dong 大排档 offerings. Markets, such as the classic Temple Street Night Market, will also have a variety of street food stalls for you to try on the go. Various types of meat on skewers, 'stinky tofu', or sweets like egg puffs (or egg waffles) can be found at the stalls around Mongkok’s markets. Always check out the busiest stalls, even if the lines are longest - you’ll get the freshest food because of the high turnover.
Hong Kong is a gourmets' paradise. You can find cuisines around all the world here. The eating habit of Hong Kong people is mainly Chinese with much Western influence, for example, they love Western food such as bread, beef or pork steak, fried potato and pasta and drinks such as English style milk tea, coffee, coke, beer and brandy or whisky and so on. You can see some locals have their meal in fast-food restaurants of "cha chan ting" (literally "tea restaurant", a kind of Chinese style cafe) with a cup of milk tea or coffee whatever the dishes are Chinese or Western or mixed. But as most Chinese do, rice, vegetable and pork as well as seafood are the favourite foodstuffs for their meal while bread, butter, ham or sausages and hamburger are mainly for their breakfasts or served as snacks.
I can have wonton noodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And at tea and supper time, too. I am referring to the Hong Kong-style wonton noodles - egg noodles with shrimp wonton in a clear broth with yellow chives - the type that one would easily find in a Hong Kong noodles shop. Wonton is a kind of small dumplings that shrimp and pork with vegetable wrapped in thin flour starch skin, and cooked in soup with noodles. A bowl of wonton noodles has four to six pieces of wonton, the noodles are slightly tougher than the conventional Chinese noodles.
Portions of Wonton noodles are smaller in Hong Kong, compared to Singapore, each serving of wonton noodle soup comes in a petite and dainty rice bowl. Somehow, noodles always taste better in Hong Kong. Maybe it has something to do with the weather or maybe it is in the mind.
Hong Kong people love good food. There is a saying that the Cantonese will "eat anything with four legs except a table, and anything that flies except an aeroplane" and it's true that many of the menu items in Hong Kong (such as chicken feet, pigs ears and jellyfish) are unusual by Western tastes. But keep an open mind and you'll find some of the best food and some of the most enticing flavours anywhere in the world.
Hong Kong 香港 - Part 9 (last blog post of HK Trip) - To be continued....