Hong Kong is “Asia’s World City”, and like any self-respecting metropolitan, it has a thriving food scene. Brimming with authentic multicultural options, Hong Kong is a delight for food lovers. From the humble street food on a stick option to the most luxurious culinary experiences in the world, Hong Kong has it all.
You can find any cuisine in this small dense city. Start your day with an English breakfast, then grab a bite of dim sum for lunch before indulging in some Hong Kong-style afternoon tea. The perfect day would end with a Korean BBQ dinner, washed down with an after-hours German craft beer.
Although there are some fantastic world cuisine restaurants in the city, a real foodie would want to explore the local flavors – food that is Honk Kong’s specialty, full of unique ingredients and tastes that define the culinary heritage of the city.
So, here’s my list of must-eats when you’re in Hong Kong
The Hong Kong egg tart is an international sensation. You will find egg tarts anywhere there’s a Chinese community – and there’s pretty much a Chinese community in every part of the world.
The Hong Kong-style egg tart comes in two forms; One is the classic pie crust, and another is with a flaky crust. My personal favorite is the flaky crust because it feels a lot less dense, and thus, you get to eat more!
A good egg tart should be eaten fresh, still warm from the oven, with a filling that has the perfect consistency and doesn’t harden a bit as it cools. There should be a rich egg flavor with only a slight hint of sweetness.
There’s a bakery famous for its egg tarts in Hong Kong, but to taste the real deal, any good mom-and-pop store will do the trick. Avoid the big chain stores because you only taste the sugar and no egg.
Photo: Wiki Commons
Hong Kong Style French Toast
French toast in Hong Kong will open up a whole new meaning to what it means to dip bread into whisked eggs.
HK French Toast consists of two slices of thick sandwich bread with peanut butter in the middle. Then, the whole thing gets soaked into whisked egg batter before being deep-fried.
Yup, you heard that right, French toast isn’t pan-fried. It’s deep-fried.
What you get is this golden, crispy, sweet, and fragrant-bready goodness. It’s typically served with a knob of butter and a jar of syrup or condensed milk to compliment the flavors further.
Everything about this dish is overindulgent and over the top, but you will love every bit of it, especially on cold winter days.
Hong Kong Style Milk Tea
Tea is a favorite in many cultures around the world, and it all tastes a little different depending on the region it originates from. Hong Kong-style milk tea is a vibrant and heavy mixture of concentrated tea and condensed milk.
What you get is this intense drink that is milky, indulgent, and dry. It’s not for everyone, but it’s an experience any true food lover wouldn’t want to miss out on it.
Beef Brisket Noodles
Noodles are the quintessential cheap and fast food option for the city locals. But nothing about the cooking process of beef brisket noodles in the city is fast. Like most soup noodle dishes in Asia, the key component is the broth.
Beef brisket, slowly simmered for several hours along with a soup base, is full of characteristic flavors unique to each restaurant. The broth is an integral part of the process, and many restaurants still cook it the traditional way by never entirely dumping out the soup. Instead, the new broth gets added to the leftover, resulting in genuinely mouth-watering flavors.
The beef brisket then gets cooked until it is tender and the meat is breaking apart. Most locals prefer to have the brisket with egg noodles, but there are usually different noodles on offer, so pick one that you like. Be sure to never ask for the lean part of the beef brisket, as you won’t get the same melt-in-your-mouth sensation.
Fish Siu Mai and Beef Balls
These are items that you might have seen on a restaurant dim sum menu before, but in Hong Kong, Fish Siu Mai and beef balls are a completely different experience.
The ones you get here, at the small specialty stores, have a different texture from the mass-produced machine-made ones. These are made by hand, fresh every morning. The feel is slightly rubbery. Not chewy, but the texture gives a bit of a bite instead of a standard meatball that breaks apart once bitten.
The dish is created by pounding the meat with heavy iron bars for several hours until the slab of beef becomes an elastic-like paste. Beating the meat is a unique cooking method that is especially popular in Guangdong. Only certain meats can be used, such as pork, beef, certain species of fish, and shrimp.
Since these two items are hard to find in Hong Kong, here are my recommendations for two places that serve some of the best beef balls and Fish Siu Mai:
Fish Siu Mai: Lum Kee at 21 Station Lane, Hung Hom
Beef balls: Chun Hing 47 Heung Sze Wui St, Tai Po
About the Author: Winnie MD is a location-independent entrepreneur that travels the world while creating passive income streams online. Her ultimate goal in life is to help others build their dream life just as she has. She writes about her journeys and business here.