I strongly believe that mere twenty-four hours in a new city is never enough, even though sometimes that’s all the time we have. Moreover, I end up taking the departing flight feeling slightly empty owing to the fact that I did not get to do and see it all. Blame it on a travel blogger and a wanderer’s notorious soul, one has to not only cover all the tourist attraction but go deeper, experience things that the locals do, eat, believe and strive to feel like we belong there within a time frame. The fact is, no time less that six months is ever enough to experience a city throughly, but we now make do with few days or if lucky then weeks after months of in-depth research.
Such was Hong Kong for us. With only a day there and way too many things to fit in, the foodies within us prioritised trying local cult food preferences over things to do and see. Though, we did manage to sneak in a few touristy attractions while acquiring the things to eat, all cramped within 12 hours before we caught our flight back to Dubai. And, you wont believe how much we ate in those 12 hours!
Hong Kong, being a mere transit stop from Auckland, we decided to spend a night in the city that my husband called home for a year. The next day we had over 12 hours before our flight and went on an eating spree with an early breakfast and walked a lot or took the metro to all the places we had to be at for food within our list. Hong Kong is a foodies heaven, challenging palette and soul at every food stop and restaurant. Thanks to the husband who knew the city really well, we wasted no time figuring our way around and me, with a list of mouth watering and trendy HK food to try; we were on a mission.
Disclaimer: This is not a post on their authentic Cantonese cuisine, but, the trendy ones that have been viral on the internet and more. Few of these were originated in Hong Kong and have been in their culture for a long time before the world was made aware of their existence, much thanks to the internet. And, my husband and I are a sucker for trying new flavours and trendy food. We are saving our Cantonese and Chinese food trail for later when we visit Hong Kong for a longer period of time. So, till then read on further for the Instagram-able food trail everyone can indulge in to get your HK fix on.
Our 12 hour food crawl in Hong Kong
1. Eggs Benny for Breakfast
The husband’s favourite restaurant to get breakfast at had to be on our list and highly recommended were their Eggs Benedict. An entire section on the menu dedicated to them, we had hard time settling on just one, EACH. We finally resolved our battle to not starve any longer and placed an order for one with chorizo and caramelised onions and another with avocado. Not to mention it was worth the wait, might have been the best egg bennys we have ever tried. I really like old, ruined victorian set up of the restaurant with a contrasting well stocked bar. Even popular for their brunches this hidden restaurant can be a little hard to find.
At: Brunch Club & Supper
2. Hot chocolate Ice cream
This was a random pick while we were in Sogo; a departmental store in Hong Kong. The store is huge, talk, 6 floors and in the basement they have their gourmet food section. While eyeing all the cute cakes and rather intriguing Chinese pantry items there, we found ourselves at an ice cream counter. And, couldn’t leave without trying what they called ‘Hot chocolate ice cream’. Curious, we watched the lady at the counter mix some chocolate powder in hot water, swirled ice cream on the top of that hot chocolate and finished it off by drizzling more chocolate sauce over it. That’s all? Unfortunately, yes. But, somehow that was delicious. It was the best quality mini ice cream sundae we have had in a long time. The ice cream was very flavoursome and the hot chocolate was just right amount of creamy and smooth. I’d highly recommend this magical combination if you just love ice cream and hot chocolate. They also had a matcha (green tea) flavour in these which I would have loved to try, but, we took the safe way, after all it was “gourmet” and chocolate is always safe.
At: I Cremeria
3. Warm Egg Tarts
This humble Chinese dessert is a staple on the streets of hong kong. Many small bakeries and stores are found baking them fresh in the oven inside and selling them by the window. The place is always crowded around breakfast time. It is just a little pie crust shaped pastry filled with egg custard and baked that sells like hot cakes on the street, literally. We got one piping hot and that little pastry was quite a treat before we moved on to got getting something to down all the food we demolished so far.
At: Tai Cheong Bakery
4. Bubble Tea
After all the breakfast and sweets we needed something to keep them down before we got to devour the next on our list. And, how destined we were to have stumbled upon this cute little tea shop close to the place serving egg tarts. Bubble tea, by far is my favourite sugar infused drink ever and they did the most amazing mix here. Their bubble milk tea with boba and jellies are delightful. Try the matcha milk tea with their classic black tapioca pearls or the taro sweet-potato milk tea which has a lovely lavender hue to it, both extremely Instagram friendly. I got myself a straight up peach green tea (sans milk) with white tapiocas and we headed to the main city with it for some touring and shopping.
At: Koi Thé Cafè
5. Egg Waffles
These waffles are a complete game changer. Instead of pockets they have bubbles which are always a lot more fun. Known as egg waffles, these can be enjoyed just by itself or be had with ice cream and toppings. We had a long list of things to try so decided to let go off the ice cream and enjoyed the classic waffle just by itself from a very popular street vendor who, till date still uses traditional charcoal stove to make these. They are a takeaway place with no seating arrangement and the place is still always very crowded. There we could choose from chocolate, matcha and the classic or a mix of any two flavours. We could smell the aroma of the sweet waffles cooking before we even dived into ours which, was just as we imagined; sweet, warm, crispy and oh so delicious.
At: Master Low-Key Food shop
6. Pooping Dim Sums
Just like it sounds, you can make your dumplings poop and eat it at the same time. We visited this place for all the curiosity surrounding the concept and my, the place was packed. Packed with locals and tourists alike. Not to our surprise almost everyone had their cameras out, clicking away at the food on their table. A fun restaurant themed around the infamous cartoon character Shin-Chan. This beloved notorious little character adorns most dishes exposing his “private parts”. There are also other characters painted on the dim sums like famous Japanese character Kobito and the very popular Gudetama icon buns with prominently shaped rear and stuffed with chocolate sauce. Upon piercing these buns brown liquid gushes out and you can only picture it further from here on.
There are other Chinese dishes and much loved savoury dim sums in their very elaborate menu. Though, to get a table one has to queue for a while and spend upto minimum fifty HKD. Here you are expected to play with your food and that’s just what we did, only, we did not grow fond of the pooping chocolate and puking custard buns taste wise, but, their other dishes like chilly crabs and pork-crab dim sums were delicious.
At: Dim Sum Icon
7. Bouncy Cheesecakes
These Japanese cakes are as delicious as they are a delight to look at. Soft, creamy and bouncy. Nothing like the cheesecake we are familiar with but quite a palette experience. The store we found these at are a very famous chain selling these bouncy numbers all over the globe. We got ourselves a mini cake to try and it was light and nothing cheesy that we knew off.
At: Uncle Tetsu’s Cheesecake
8. Katsu Curry
Another one of my husband’s favourite place to frequent. Katsu curries are one of our best loved dishes, we have devoured them in china and have lost count of how many, then devoured them here and maybe someday will get to have these in the land where the dish was originated, in Japan. The combination of crispy chicken with rice, silken Japanese omelet and that curry is everything. We finally settled for some real meal at the famous chain know only for their delicious and a wide assortment of katsu curry goodness.
At: Izumi Curry.
9. Raindrop Cake
You must have seen this one making rounds on the internet because this Japanese food trend gathered immediate popularity for it’s rather not so cake like appearance. It is basically jelly dessert that has almost no taste unless sweetened is a fun experience as it immediately melts in your mouth. This delicate cake is paired well with a side of sweetness from the molasses (a thick, dark sugar syrup) and sesame seed powder that gives it a nutty flavour. This water like cake did not impress us a great deal by flavour, but, the experience of this unusual cult food, got us to take two trains and hunt down the store serving this in the city, worth it.
At: Hana Soft Cream
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