I’ve technically been to Hong Kong, but a stamp in my passport and 12 hours in a comped hotel after my flight was delayed hardly seems like it should count. Not being qualified to speak on the matter of dining in Hong Kong, I’ve enlisted my friend Rohit to share some of his favourite unusual foods from Hong Kong.
One thing I do love is trying strange or unusual eating options wherever I go. Don’t believe me? Check out my post on the Strangest Foods in the World.
Unusual Eating in Hong Kong
You’ve seen the sights of Hong Kong and it’s time to head out for a meal. It’s easy to eat like a tourist, but hidden in the maelstrom of sights and sounds, lies a deeper culinary delight – the food of the locals. Below, you’ll find seven of the most intriguing and delicious Hong Kong food hotspots.
Lab Made – Try the world’s weirdest ice cream
French toast ice cream. This incredible concoction from Hong Kong’s Lab Made uses the power of liquid nitrogen to freeze desserts into the most amazing ice cream flavours. You can enjoy this gastronomic scientific experiment made right before your eyes. While the menu does change often that’s part of the charm of this odd eatery. Common flavour bases include malted soy milk, tofu pudding and egg custard bun but the mystery adds to the experience so check it out.
Try it at: Shop G42, Miramar Shopping Centre, 132-134T Nathan Road, Hong Kong.
Shui Wah Restaurant – Roast Pigeon Delight
The humble pigeon does not usually bring to mind a flavour so mouth-watering that it must be ordered, but Hong Kong isn’t your average culinary destination. This roast pigeon, accompanied by crisp and tasty shrimp chips on the side, leads the excellent menu here at this two story eatery. Don’t be fooled by their size, these are easily shared and with a juicy and tender meat it’s a Hong Kong treat that must be tried.
Editor’s Note: I actually tried roast pigeon while in Xinjiang. It wasn’t for me, but my travel buddy said it reminded her of duck – albeit on a smaller scale.
Try it at: 51 Tsuen Nam Road, Tai Wai
Delicious Food – Sink Your Teeth into Stinky Tofu
Stinky Tofu – sounds like one of the most inedible foods on offer. The reality though is that it is a one of a kind Hong Kong experience. Left to ferment in brine long term, the tofu is then deep fried for a few minutes upon order, which significantly reduces the smell. The crisp and golden texture that result are incredible. If you love sampling local gems like durian or fish paste, then this is for you. Even if you’re not so adventurous, you should give this a go anyway – it is absolutely an unusual Hong Kong highlight.
Tip – If the scent still overpowers you then try adding either spicy, sweet or mustard sauce to mellow out the smell of your delicious golden tofu cube.
Editor’s Note: I’m actually ashamed to say that I never did try stinky tofu during my two and a half years in China. It was everywhere in Nanjing, but the smell just kept me at arm’s length.
Try it at: Delicious Food, shop 10, G/F, 30-32 Nullah Road, Prince Edward, Hong Kong.
Tung Po Kitchen – Dive Deep into Squid Ink Spaghetti
You’ll be surrounded by locals, both young and old, which is a sure fire sign of a Hong Kong hole in the wall classic. Located above a vibrant wet market full of fish and meats, this unique eatery does a squid ink dish that will blow your mind. This mildly salty meal comes with a buttery al dente pasta that bursts with flavour. It might not be the colour of your usual meal, but with flavour like this it soon might be. Try the squid ink spaghetti with cuttlefish for just $14 ($108 Hong Kong Dollars), offering great value for money.
Editor’s Note: One of my favourite dishes in Nanjing was the squid ink paella that they served at the criminally good Seleccion Espanol. The colour may be off-putting, but the new taste the ink adds is to die for.
Try it at: Java Road Municipal Services Building, 99 Java Rd, North Point, Hong Kong
Shia Wong Hip – Sip on Snake Soup
Snake soup is widely considered a gourmet dish in Hong Kong despite the confronting nature of its name. You can find snake meat delivered fresh from China but for a really unique experience seek out Shia Wong Hip where live snakes can be selected on site. You pick them, they prepare them. Confronting at first but you wouldn’t think twice about selecting a fresh lobster and this is no different. This delicious soup comes with the shredded snake in the bowl and with minimal fat on the meat you’re doing your waistline a favour. Seated in a traditional Chinese setting with a scattering of tables, this is one Hong Kong meal that you’ll remember.
Try it at: 170 Apliu Street, Hong Kong
Yung Kee – Consume a 1000-year-old Egg
It’s not official but chowing down on a thousand year egg all but makes you an honorary Hong Konger. Not for the faint of heart, these come in the form of either a quail or duck egg, which are then buried in clay, sand and a salted mixture for a few months, which causes their insides to turn to jelly. By the time it reaches your table the yolk has become a dark green and comes with a pungent smell that goes hand in hand with months underground. A delicacy to be found on Hong Kong’s many street stalls, sitting at Yung Kee’s and digging in to the restaurants signature dish is a Hong Kong dining experience to be savoured.
Try it at: 32-40 Wellington Street | Central, Hong Kong
Kei Kee Dessert Shop – Dessert Delights Done Right
These Chinese style desserts are done so right at Kei Kee’s in Hong Kong. A simple décor with wooden tables spread out over the sidewalk, but it’s the signature grass jelly dish that you’re there for. Although Kei Kee has a full menu of street side snacks and drinks, so there’s something for everyone. The nitty gritty of your dessert comes from a boiled and simmered stalk of the mint family which becomes grass jelly. The Kei Kee version adds condensed milk and a beautiful fruit salad, and it is perfect for sharing between friends. Bittersweet in the best possible way and wobbling on your plate as if its shaking with excitement, this is the ultimate Hong Kong dessert for those with a sweet tooth.
Try it at: Shop 7, Chi Fu Centre, Yuen Long
From the diplomatically different to the downright weird, Hong Kong is the king of strange but delicious cuisine. Whether you’re stopping by for a day or staying long term and looking to try something new, there is always something new and delicious to try. So get out on the streets, prepare your palate and eat Hong Kong style.
Want an Aussie in your inbox?