Category Archives: Food

The Ultimate Hong Kong Food Guide VI- Seafood

Part six of my Hong Kong Food Guide Series features a unique category of food that reminds me of home — seafood. Unlike other cuisine which uses strong flavor and spcies for cooking seafood, the type of seafood in southern China makes use of the cooking style- steaming- bringing out the naturally flavored freshness of fish, shrimps, and more.

Seafood need not be expensive either! In Hong Kong, I have discovered hidden restaurants which offer affordable seafood. For this Food Market I am introducing today,  we are looking at USD$20- $30 per person, which is a great deal for fresh, delicious seafood!

Other food guides bring you to Lamma Island, or Sai Kung. Today, I am bringing you to Ap Lei Chau, the second most desnsely populated island in the world. Earlier this month, MTR (metro, underground transit) expands its service to Apleichau.

Take MTR to either South Horizons or Lei Tung. Ap Lei Chau Municipal Building is about 15 minutes walk from either station.  Go upstairs and check in with restaurants to see if they are willing to cook the seafood you will be getting downstairs. I recommend 陳新記, but 珠記 seems to be a decent choice for good seafood.

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Then you can go ahead and pick your favorite 🙂

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People usually come to get seafood, vegetable, and meat for dinners at home

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More seafood laying down in all baskets and plates

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Some fish and prawns (Price are in HKD: 1USD to about 8 HKD)

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Some fresh abalone. Mom trying to poke it for no reason at all …

Now you have bought all the seafood you want. You may take them upstairs and let them do the rest of the job!

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Salt and pepper prawns

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Steamed abalone with soy sauce and spring onoin

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Battered deep friend oyster with salt

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Fried Garlic 泥猛 Mottled Spinefoot

Every year I visit Hong Kong, this meal is a must-go place. This is more than just a stomach-satisfying meal. I almost have emotional attachment here. Eating seafood and drinking beer  with my parents, farewell with high school friends, family gatherings, and more.

A trip to Ap Lei Chau is not complete without taking SamPan (the classic 3-minute boat ride across the harbour between Apleichau and Aberdeen).

Before that, let’s take a stroll in Ap Lei Chau.

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When you are in Apleichau, the obligatory boat ride

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If you find something like this, you are right!

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Make sure it says to Aberdeen

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On the Aberdeen side, where Jumbo Floating Restaurant is located ( I have never tried it though)

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Apleichau bridge :’) These days, this view looks completely different with MTR (metro) going all the way to South Horizons.

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When you are in Aberdeen, don’t forget to get some dim sum 🙂

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To my favorite tea house that I introduced in Part I !

That wraps up all the most authnetic and affordable hot dishes I love in Hong Kong. After you are full, after you take a walk, what do you need? Something sweet. Part VII, the last part of my Hong Kong Food Guide Series, I will introduce some traditional, creative, Hong Kong style dessert.

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The Ultimate Hong Kong Food Guide V- Street Food

Temple Street- the signature of Hong Kong culture – you will find inexpensive products of all sort, fortune tellers and palm readers, people shouldering you when you try to squeeze in the middle isle in the above picture. And of course street food. The most authentic and everyday street snacks we love.

In this part of the food guide series, I will bring you on a trip to Mongkok, eastern Hong Kong Island, over Lion Rock to New Territories for different style of street food.

Fish ball and siu maai

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Credit: 公子飯堂
Siu Maai- chewy, ball made of a combination of flour, fish and sometimes pork

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Fish ball- what does that mean? What does meat ball mean?
Fish ball served with curry means delicious T.T

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Hong Kong style egg waffle

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Crispy on the outside, soft inside – bamb- mind blown

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Where to eat siu maai, fish ball, and egg waffle?
Tai On Building
This is my favorite go-to place for street food. I go there whenever I visit Hong Kong!

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Deep fried pig intestines
I know what you are thinking… who on earth eats things like that? But give it a try. It has some really chewy texture. With the mustard and sweet and sour plum sauce, it is a pleasant combination.  I personally don’t love it. If you try it, you can tell what are the craziest food you have ever eaten.

Where to eat?
廟街牛什
18 Arthur Street, Yau Ma Tei

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Snake soup
Eating snake is not uncommon for older generations.  It is believed that consuming snakes is good for your health in some way. I don’t know. It was the first time I have ever tried snake soup, and I like it. It almost tastes like chicken soup.

蛇王新
36-40 Temple Street, Yau Ma Tei

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Temple street at night is full of stores!
You can also find a traditional desert Dragon Beard Candy or lung so tong! The outside are white delicate beard-like coconut coat with mashed peanuts inside. I don’t have an address for this, but if you wander long enough, you should be able to find some old man/ woman who sells this on Temple Street!

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Wandering near Temple street at night with my buddies

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Now after a short walk, your tummy is ready for more snacks! Try this house special noodles– they are udon-like, cooked with shredded mushroom and pork. You can choose how spicy you like. On your right is a roasted duck leg in shark fin soup. I liked the special noodles but was disappointed with the roasted ducks. My standard is that the skin of roasted ducks should be crispy! I recommend trying roasted duck in one of the barbacued meat restaurant I introduced in Part III.

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十八座狗仔粉
27A Ning Po Street, Jordon

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Now what, assorted sauce rice noodle rolls. is a comforting dish for me, and was introduced in the MICHELIN Guide. I grew up eating this for breakfast. This is what my mom got for me every weekend. The white ones are called rice noodles rolls, or cheung fun. This cheung fun is mixed with peanut sauce, Chinese sweet (e.g. hoi sin sauce), soy sauce, or an optional hot sauce.

On your left is a cup of hot soy bean milk. Also a classic drink for traditional Chinese style breakfast.

Where is it?

Hop Yik Tai (合益泰小食)
121 Kweilin Street, Sham Shui Po

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Now what, let’s do a hike to Lion Rock! I will bring you to more restaurants!
Tsz Wan Shan –> Lion Rock –> Tai Wai
The Lion Rock Trail is a underrated hike, with absolutely stunning night view, comparable to the night view of The Peak. But it is a lot easier to navigate to The Peak. That said, you should explore the less traveled path 🙂

Here is a great website for hiking routes information in Hong Kong. And here’s the Lion Rock trail.

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Amah Rock, which literally means
“the stone gazing out for her husband”
So apparently a long time ago, a man left his family for work and the Mom and their children waited for their Dad to come back… that’s about it about the tale

Once you hike down Lion Rock, you will be in Tai Wai. With more fish ball, siu mai, and more street food!!!

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Tofu pudding topped with brown sugar- cold tofu pudding is refreshing! You will taste the natural sweetness from some freshly steamed tofu. A whole bucket of tofu are then sliced into thin layers and served in a bowl. It has really smooth texture. Brown sugar- personal preference. Kids usually throw A LOT of sugar.

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亞婆豆腐花

Right beside the tofu pudding store, you should be able to see this! It has traditional Chinese medicine/drinks. Instead of buying water, trust me. Just pick one of these drinks.  You will love it. Examples are sunflower tea, sweet bamboo juice.

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If you are more adventurous and curious to wander  out a little bit further from downtown, try out this place for siu mai in Yuen Long. It has huge, juicy mushroom siu mai!

Yuen Long Queen of Siu Maai
Shop 11B&C, G/F, Wang Fung Building, 14 Fau Tsoi Street, Yuen Long

Visiting Hong Kong can’t be complete without exploring some islands! Tai O, Lamma Island, and Cheung Chau are some popular ones. And of course you will find a lot of the above recommended street food!!

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Dried barbecued squid in Tai O

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Preserved shrimp paste fried rice with pork!

Part VI and VII will be seafood and dessert!

The Ultimate Hong Kong Food Guide IV- Classic Dishes

I introduced snacks and drinks in a typical tea restaurant in part III. In part IV, I will introduce a few of my favorite yet economical dishes! There are a lot more awesome dishes  than I will include today, but I eat every single dish here whenever I visit Hong Kong!

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Deep fried rice noodles with beef (beef chow fun)
or gon chau ngau hor (干炒牛河)

Beef chow fun is definitely my all-time Cantonese dish that I grow up eating.  Rice noodles are stir-fried with beef, bean sprout, onion and green onion. Tender beef, crunchy veggies and chewy rice noodles create a perfect blend of beef chow fun. It is, however, a typically  pretty heavy and oily dish. Beef chow fun can easily be found in any Hong Kong-style tea restaurant (cha chaan teng) or tea house.


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Fried fish fillet creamy corn with rice
or sook mai ban nam fan (粟米班腩飯)

The picture has said enough! Old-school lunch box options. Also easy to make at home. But why eat out? Tea restaurants have stoves that are hotter than those we use at home. That makes the frying easier and the fish better. Be sure to eat a lot of rice with this dish!


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Sweet and sour pork
or gu lo yuk (咕嚕肉)

Deep fried pork with typically green bell pepper, onion and pineapple and a tomato-vinegar sauce. The best sweet and sour pork should be crunchy in the outside, while soft and tender in the inside.


Where can you find these three dishes:

Openrice.com –> Advanced search –> Dish/restaurant type –> Hong Kong style –> Tea Restaurant/ Dai Pai Dong

Fai Wong Good Food (輝煌美食店)
Shop 420, G/F, Lok Hin Terrance, 350 Chai Wan Road, Chai Wan
柴灣柴灣道350號樂軒台地下420號舖
Mon-Sat: 0700-1700
Sunday: closed

Chau Kee Tea Restaurant (周記茶餐廳)
154 Aberdeen Main Road, Aberdeen.
香港仔香港仔大道154號
Breakfast and lunch only.
USD 2-3/ basket dim sum. 


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Baked pork chop with tomato sauce and rice (焗豬扒飯)

Nostalgia is the best word to describe my love to 焗豬扒飯. My dad used to bring me to Cafe de Coral, a mediocre franchise Hong Kong-style fast food restaurant. This is also a dish that is always sold out during lunch hours. Baked pork chop rice must be hot,  usually with toppings of brocoli, carrots, tomato, and pineapple. Fried rice with eggs: eggs are used in fried rice and if done perfectly, eggs are blended smoothly with rice, and should still be visible.

Where to eat?
Not a single blog on Hong Kong food will recommend this franchise. I am doing it because their baked pork chop rice is something about our generation in Hong Kong. It is what we eat growing up.

Cafe de Coral
Cafe de Coral has hundreds of branches in Hong Kong. Attached above is a list of branches.


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Chaa Siu (Chinese barbecued pork) with rice

Chaa Siu in Hong Kong is irreplaceable. Crunchy and honey-coated on the outside, soft and tender in the inside is the best chaa siu you can eat! With a place of rice and some soy sauce, it always make my day if I eat it. That’s how good it is. Chaa siu rice is also a very typical lunchboxes for students.

Where to eat and why
There are hundreds, if not thousands, restaurants that serve chaa siu rice. But this place I am going to introduce have absolutely the best price you can find in the city. As of June 2016, a plate is HKD$30, which is less than USD $4!

(Joy Hing Roasted Meat) 再興燒臘飯店
Block C, G/F, 265-267 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai
灣仔軒尼詩道265-267號地下C座
Mon-Sat: 1000-2200
Sun: closed
Chinese holidays: 1000-1800


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Fried Oyster cake

the origin of oyster cake is from Chiu Chau (also known as Chaozhou or Teochow), China. Oyster cake is made by mixing oyster, eggs, flour, green onion. It was then fried to become a “cake.” Like many Chinese dishes, good oyster cakes  should be hot, crunchy on the outside and tender inside! I usually eat them by dipping them into a tiny little bit of fish (salty) sauce. Ask for some fish sauce, or they should already be sitting on the tables!

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Clay pot with chicken and Chinese sausage

Clay pot rice is mainly what this restaurant serves. There are a variety of combination you could choose from. I picked chicken and Chinese sausage. You may love or hate Chinese sausage, because it has a very distinctive smell and taste. The sauce, and the slightly burned bottom is the best part! When the clay pot arrives, pour some sauce in, cover the lid and let it sit for a minute or so. (By doing that the cold sauce will heat up by itself as well!)


Where to eat?

四季煲仔飯
 46-58 Arthur Street, Yau Ma Tei
油麻地鴉打街46-58號


If you are planning to eat some clay pot rice, also visit Temple Street! I will also introduce more street food and dessert in the district for part V and VI!

The Ultimate Hong Kong Food Guide III- HK Style Restaurant

Last time, I introduced some typical food you can find in tea restaurants! Part three has more on classic tea restaurant food and drinks! I introduce three districts today for you to explore: Sham Hui Po, Kowloon City, and Tai Hang. (MTR will conveniently take you close to these places.)

District: Sham Shui Po

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Left: red bean ice (coconut milk); top: marinated pork knuckles noodles

DSC05588Grounded beef eggs sandwich

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Where to eat them?

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Sun Heung Yuen (新香園-堅記)
G/F, 38 Kweilin Street, Sham Shui Po


District: Kowloon City

Left: ginger lemon coke; right: red bean deep fried toast

Photos credit: openrice
http://www.openrice.com/en/hongkong/restaurant/kowloon-city-lok-yuen/photos/1894

Left: tomato fried eggs;
top:satay beef deep fried toast; middle: milk tea with red beans; bottom: satay beef noodles

Photos credit: openrice
http://www.openrice.com/en/hongkong/restaurant/kowloon-city-lok-yuen/photos/1894

3C491803A45C7C9F701DB3lRed bean ice!

Photos credit: openrice
http://www.openrice.com/en/hongkong/restaurant/kowloon-city-lok-yuen/photos/1894

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Fried chicken, tomato soup instant noodles, deep friend toast,
and Chinese mustard greens with pork vermicelli

Photo credit: Fabi Tang

Where to eat them?

Lok Yuen (樂園)
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Shop 6, 3/F, Kowloon City Municipal Services Building
Nga Tsin Wai Road, Kowloon City
九龍城九龍城市政大廈3樓6號舖
Mon-Fri: 0730-1600
Sat & Holidays: 0730-1430
Sunday: closed


District: Tai Hang

Milk tea; chicken wings with instant noodles


Where to eat?

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Ping Kee (炳記茶檔)
5 Shepherd Street, Tai Hang
Tue- Sun: 0730-1530
Mon: closed


DSC05627Smooth Scrambled Eggs with Prawns & Rice

Where to eat?
Shun Hing (順興車仔麵大牌檔)
First Lane, King Street, Tai Hang
Tue-Sun: 0600-1600
Mon: closed


Drinks

In a typical tea restaurant or noodles place from part II, drinks come with a combo. For example, if you order a fish ball rice noodles, you get a drink for +3 to 5 HKD. If you order a drink separately, it costs about HKD 10.

Typical drinks include: milk tea, coffee, yuan yeung (mix of milk tea and coffee), lemon water, lemon water with honey, lemon tea, Horlicks, and Ovaltine. You can have them hot or cold. Cold drinks usually charge +2 to 4 HKD more.

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Left: coffee; right: milk tea

Milk tea, lemon tea, lemon water, and red bean ice.


What do you think? Can’t wait to see Hong Kong already?

The best food and restaurants are yet to come. Stay tuned for Part IV!

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
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Photo from:http://hkgalden.com/view/214671

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

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

4. Oil Noodles
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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
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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.
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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!
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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!
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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!

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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?)


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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


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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!


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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!