Hong Kong is a city that celebrates food. With a smorgasbord of influences and cuisines, there’s a culinary thrill lurking around every corner. Don’t be surprised if your waiter rushes you to your booth and slams down your drinks because Hong Kongers are all about efficiency.
Dai pai dongs (street-side restaurants) date back to World War I and are an integral part of Hong Kong’s history and culinary identity. They’re quickly disappearing, however, which is a shame because they’re the perfect spot to gorge on delicious noodles.
Most restaurants in the city are designed for a sharing experience. It’s common to have more dishes than diners, with lots of swapping, tasting and chatting. Every meal’s an adventure and every dish has a story.
Foodstagramming is very en vogue in Hong Kong. At a restaurant in Kowloon, I watch bewildered as our waiter places a plate of Phoenix Talons (chickens’ feet) on the table. Everyone in our party of five except me snaps up their phones and begins clicking in unison.
“Which filter do you think works best?” my friend Kwok asks, as the food sits there getting cold.
Discover the dishes:
Glorious steaming buns, plump dumpling packages or fusion-inspired – Hong Kong knows how to do dim sum. There are different types to be tried at every corner and for every price point. For an upscale dining experience, try Shanghai Mansion (380-390A Shanghai St, Mong Kok) or Fook Lam Moon (35-45 Johnston Rd).
This heavenly thick and starchy rice porridge with herbs, meat and vegetables is a Cantonese breakfast staple. Law Fu Kee (Queen’s Road in Central) is a big hit among locals for its fluffy congee with pork meatballs or a homemade clam sauce.
Sweet and sour pork
A delicate and delicious masterpiece of Cantonese cuisine, this dish comprises of crispy, yet tender ruby-coloured chunks of fried pork, often served with pineapple and red peppers.
Trying this Hong Kong specialty has become a tourist attraction in itself. In the New Territories, there are several restaurants that serve a whole goose, roasted with secret ingredients, carved into small pieces and served with plum sauce.