The Ultimate Hong Kong Food Guide II- Best Noodles

After reading Nomadic Matt’s post on his favorite Hong Kong restaurants last year, I decided to write  The Ultimate Hong Kong Food Guide Part 1 to complement what he found.  I introduced some classic  dim sum,  some delicious traditional Chinese style breakfast, and a few Hong Kong style pastries. In the coming parts, I will introduce foods and drinks you can find in tea restaurants, or cha chaan teng, street food, Siu Mei (a category of Chinese barbecued pork or meat), clay pots, seafood, and desserts!

Today, I will introduce a type of restaurant called or chaa chaan teng , which literally translated to “tea restaurant.” Don’t get mixed up with tea house, because they sound very similar. Tea House mainly serves dim sum, while tea restaurants serves a variety of dishes, noodles, drinks, sandwiches for an affordable price.  Tea restaurant originated when restaurant owners incorporated Western  eating culture such as drinking tea and eating cake into Chinese eating culture. They were also called “cheap Western food,” mainly targeted to local people.
(For more information, check out: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cha_chaan_teng)

In a tea restaurant, you can find a variety of food, including noodles, sandwiches, bakeries I introduced last time,  different rice dishes I will introduce next time,  and more! In part 2, I will focus on noodles!

Common Types of Noodles in Hong Kong

1. Thin Noodles
Typical combination: thin noodles with wanton
thin
Photo from:http://hkgalden.com/view/214671

2. Thick Noodles
thick_noodles
Photo from: http://hkgalden.com/view/214671

3. Yi Min
IMG_7425
Photo credit: 味滋廚房 http://maisie604kitchen.blogspot.com/

4. Oil Noodles
oil_noodles
Photo from: http://hkgalden.com/view/214671
This is a bowl of “cart noodles”- noodles with assorted toppings: fish balls, beef balls, wantons, beef stew, turnips, veges, etc. Traditionally, street vendors in Hong Kong sold noodles and toppings in a cart. That’s how they got their names.

5. Rice Noodles
Typical combination: rice noodles with fish balls and beef balls
HofanUpClose
Photo from:https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%B2%99%E6%B2%B3%E7%B2%89

6. Rice Vermicelli
Similar to rice noodles, but they are thin!SONY DSC

Photo from: http://animus.orgfree.com/tsl/_1406/1402312621743.htm

7. Mixian
Virtually made of similar ingredients like rice noodles and and rice vermicelli, but mixian have a very smooth texture.
mixian
Photo from: http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/168-garden-san-gabriel?select=1zo-g2g0rakV-w0-z0GtiQ

8. Laai Fun
Similar to mixian, but they feel like slightly hollowed in the middle when you bite it. Also, typical combination is Barbecued duck laai fun!
laaifun
Wow! WOW! Can you tell the skin is crispy?
Photo from: http://www.openrice.com/zh/hongkong/photo/%E5%85%83%E6%9C%97-%E8%B1%90%E7%9B%9B%E7%87%92%E9%B5%9D%E8%8C%B6%E9%A4%90%E5%BB%B3/125888/2555706

9. Instant Ramen Noodles
The best Hong Kong-Japanese instant noodles ever!
instant
Photo from: http://hkgalden.com/view/214671


 In a typical noodles place, you can (almost) always mix and match! You can pick one type of noodles of your choice, and 2-4 toppings, including but not limited to fish balls, beef balls, cuttlefish balls, beef stomach, fried fish skin (crispy!), pork knuckles, wanton, and pork blood jelly.


DSC05639Fish ball and fish slides rice noodles

DSC05636Sweet and hot sauce (grounded pork) lo mien (thin noodles)

DSC05642Braised Beef Tendon *v*

DSC05644Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh, yum!

Where to eat?

Cheung Fat Noodles (長發麵家), 1 Yiu Tung St, Sham Shui Po
Monday-Sunday 1100-0400


On the same street we were leaving Cheung Fat Noodles, I found another classic cha chaan teng. My dad told me this place looks exactly like what he used to see in his childhoods. So we decided to try out their milk tea! It can’t be wrong!  And they did not disappoint us!

DSC05662

DSC05664Left: coffee; right: milk tea
You can also order yuenyeung, which is half milk tea, half coffee. But my dad and I decided to make our own yuenyeung after we finished half of our cups:)

DSC05668At the very bottom: rice vermicelli, thin noodles, macaroni, mixian, instant noodles(+3 HKD), udon(+2HKD)

Recommendation: Pork liver noodles and grounded beef noodles!

Warning: this place isn’t the cleanest place. But the 9.5/10 milk tea definitely worths it!

Where is it?

So Kee (蘇記茶檔), 15-16 Yiu Tung St, Sham Shui Po
Monday- Sunday 24 hours (seriously?)


DSC05757

Noodles with Wanton and Beef Stew(雲吞牛坑腩麵)- Mix and match time: you can often choose among fish balls, cuttlefish balls, beef balls, and your choice of noodles: thin noodles, thick noodles, oil noodles, rice vermicelli, thick rice noodles. I took thin noodles in the above picture. Beef stew: tender boneless short rib with rich flavor.

Where to eat ?

Hop Hing Noodes Ka (合興粉麵家)
91 Shung Yan St, Kwun Tong
Monday-Sunday 0930-2300

Chiu Yuen Chiu Chau Noodle (潮苑正宗潮洲粉麵)
12 Wu Pak St, Aberdeen

Nam Kee Spring Roll Noodle Co. Ltd (南記粉麵)
208 Aberdeen Main Road, Aberdeen
Monday-Sunday 1000-2200


DSC05759
Nam Yu-Marinated Pork Knuckles (thin) Noodles– Braised and marinated with fermented  red bean curd, pork knuckles are tender, with mildly sweet taste. Served with thin noodles and some veges. They are known for their bamboo-pressed noodles! That means the noodles are supposed to be al dante, slightly chewy or in Chinese, 彈牙(teeth-bouncing).


Where is it?

Wing Wah Noodle Shop(永華麵家)
89 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai
Monday-Satuday 1200-0200

Wing Wah is a slightly older noodles shop. You may find some differences among these noodles places. They also have wanton, beef stew, traditional Chinese desserts, and more!


DSC05809

A dish that emerged in the past decade: Cheese Instant Ramen Noodles with Barbecue Pork Neck. You may not have tried pork neck: it is slightly chewy, but tender. With Hong Kong’s favorite ramen noodles and a generous amount of cheese, this dish will fill your stomach pretty quickly. (Don’t eat if you are on a diet..)

Where can I find it?

Sun Kee (新記芝士麵)
3 Burrows St, Wan Chai
Monday-Sunday 0730-2300


Cha Chaan teng is more than just about noodles! I’ll bring you to a few more cha chaan tengs with different snacks and drinks!

Exploring Hong Kong cuisine wouldn’t be complete without trying our rice dishes, clay pots, street food, seafood, and desserts, which are what I will be introducing in my next parts.


How to use OpenRice to find noodles and tea restaurant in Hong Kong?

OpenRice is YOUR GUIDE to finding Hong Kong restaurants!

Go to “Find” tab, pick Noodles/ Rice Noodles under “Dish,” and/or “Tea Restaurant” under “Restaurant Type.”

Feel free to ask me any questions in the comment below!

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