Hong Kong is just 4 hours by flight from Singapore and there are many reasons why we love going to Hong Kong. Firstly, it is a shopping heaven for everyone from luxury branded goods to high street fashion or hip hop street rugged fashion and even cheap affordable daily wear, there is something for everyone. Pretty similar to Singapore as a cosmopolitan country, Hong Kong has its own charms with its traditional Cantonese culture and people. I try to visit Hong Kong once a year to stock up on certain food stuff like quality Japanese dried mushrooms, dried sea cucumber, dried scallops and dried oysters which are cheaper and of a much better quality than in Singapore. One main thing everyone goes there for is the food. Here, I will share my own top 12 list of food items I need to have whenever I am in Hong Kong.
KAM ROAST GOOSE
First on the list is roast goose. After trying multiple restaurants and shops, this is my favourite. The roast goose here is so succulent and the skin is crispy with a thin layer of melt in your mouth goose fat just under the skin. The meat is tender and well seasoned. This is a very popular restaurant for both locals and tourist. To get a seat quickly, the recommended timing will be during the afternoon off-peak timing ( after lunch time ) If you visit during peak hours , lunch or dinner time, be prepared to wait for at least 1 – 2 hours. The last round when I reached at 5.30 pm I waited for a good 1.5 hours to 2 hours. The restaurant itself is very small with tight seating capacity so if you are 1 big group, your waiting time will be even longer. The proximity of tables is very near so it is not recommended to visit with big shopping bags. The goose also runs out very fast in the evening so do not visit too near to closing hours.
When you arrive, just tell the guy in charge, the number of persons you have and you will given a waiting number. This guy speaks English, Chinese and Cantonese so no worries on missing your number as he will call out the number in different languages. The servers talk quite loudly and curtly but it is common for the Cantonese so do not mistake them for being rude.
The goose is a MUST try at approximately HKD500 for 1 goose (serves 4-5) and the soy chicken at HKD220 for a whole chicken. One of my favourite is also the century egg served with pickled ginger at HKD12. This dish is probably only liked by Asians but this is definitely different from those in Singapore as the centre is soft and liquid like a onsen egg. One tip : If you really crave for the goose during peak hours and do not want to wait in queue, you can order a takeaway as it gets processed pretty fast.
Address: Hong Kong, Wan Chai, Hennessy Rd, 226 Po Wah Commercial Centre
Operating hours: 11.30 am to 9.30 pm
Nearest MTR : Wan Chai MTR Exit A4
CHAU KEE DIM SUM
Our next stop is this small yet fabulous dim sum shop Chau Kee ( 周记 ). We first came to this shop because we read so much reviews about their golden lava toast. The reviews were not wrong and it totally did not disappoint. During our visit, we discovered that all their dim sum is pretty decent and the ingredients used were very fresh. The quality of the dim sum was quite high while the price is very affordable. This is another store where you will expect to queue as it is near Hong Kong University and there are many students coming here for the food. You can get a waiting number from the counter and wait outside the shop for your number to be called.
Some of the must have dishes are the golden lava French toast (HKD35), shrimp toast with sesame (HKD43), fried rice roll with XO sauce (HKD40) and assorted meat wrapped in bean curd skin ( HKD16). There are many items on their menu you can try as well. The golden lava toast oozes with salted egg yolk goodness and the toast is pan-fried to a slight crispy texture while the shrimp toast is stuffed with springy shrimp paste and fried till golden brown with a sesame crust. The XO sauce is very fragrant while the rice roll is smooth and silky.
Address: Tung Lee Mansion, Shop H1, Ground floor, 1C-1K Water St, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong
Operating hours: 8.00 am to 6.00 pm ( closed on Monday)
MTR: HKU MTR Station Exit B1
SUN KEE CHAAN TENG
I discovered this in my latest trip last year and I have to say it is one of my best discovery. Sun Kee offers an authentic Hong Kong Cha Chan Teng experience with its small cramp seating spaces and oily floor. The café is not easy to find as it is located in a very old building with very quiet stores. While looking for the café, I passed a KTV drinking outlet, a watch repair store and a store selling statues. Do not let this defer you from finding this gem. I heard they have another outlet at Wanchai which is more spacious and easier to locate. I have not tried that outlet before but it would be a better outlet since it is more spacious and the décor is more modern. I came for only 1 thing and it was the cheese instant noodles with grilled pork cheek ( HKD 47 ). The pork cheek is grilled to perfection with the lean meat very tender with every bite. The cheese sauce reminds me of the cream sauce in carbonara pasta but with a cheesier taste. The combination of the sauce, the springy instant noodles and tender pork cheek — voila! The perfect dish that brings you ultimate gourmet satisfaction. I will dare say this is well worth the calories.
Address: Champagne Court, Kimberley Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Operating hours: 12.00 pm to 1.00 am
MTR: Tsim Sha Tsui Station, Exit B1. Turn right and walk along Nathan Road for 2 blocks ( 500m ) turn right into Granville road, Champagne court is just the block next to The One shopping mall
Wanchai outlet : Kwong Sang Hong Building Block B-d, 6 Heard St, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
YEE SHUN MILK COMPANY
My next must have items will be desserts. I prefer to go to Yee Shun Milk Company for my dessert fixes compared to the Australian dairy company as the latter is usually cramped with tourist and the quality is not any better than Yee Shun. There are many branches for Yee Shun and I usually visit the Yau Ma Tei outlet as there are less crowd and I always get a table. The 2 items I always order is the double steamed milk custard and the ginger steamed egg custard. These are very traditional Cantonese desserts which originated from Guangzhou China. Dad used to make the ginger egg custard at home when we were kids and this definitely brings back memories.
The egg custard here has a very strong egg taste. Imagine chawanushi but with a rougher texture and sweet egg and ginger taste. The double steamed milk has a texture like soy bean curd but a much lighter milky taste. The store also sells many different variety of the dessert with toppings like red bean, grass jelly and coffee taste. This is always the perfect ending to a day’s meal.
Address: 513 Nathan Rd, Yau Ma Tei, Hong Kong
Operating hours: 8.00 am to 12.00 am
MTR: Yau Ma Tei Station Exit C, turn right and walk along Nathan road
YUNG KEE RESTAURANT
This is the famous roast goose restaurant Yung Kee which went into a huge lawsuit with regards to the ownership of the restaurant when the original owner died. There were so many rumours about the restaurant closing down as the case could not be settled. 2 years and the restaurant is still here, not that I am complaining. Today there are still long queues to dine in the restaurant and the food is really not bad at all. The roast goose is quite tasty and comes with a slight orange peanut gravy which makes the skin less crispy. Many still like this but I personally prefer Kam roast. Other traditional Cantonese dishes are quite good like the roast piglet, stir fry vegetable with mushroom as well as clay pot sea cucumber. I would visit here when I crave for a good quality Cantonese meal but do be prepared to pay a higher price as the dishes here are priced higher.
Something I always buy when I visit is the Chinese sausage and preserved century egg (HKD 85 for 6 in a box) . They sell these perfectly vacuum packed and is great to give away to friends and family. One of the speciality is the goose liver sausage (HKD 228 for 280g and HKD 338 for 450g ) which cannot be found in Singapore at all. The only ones we have in Singapore is duck liver sausage. Yung Kee makes their own sausages in their family factory. Although Kam roast sells the same thing at an almost similar flavour, I prefer the ones sold in Yung Kee.
Address: 32 – 40 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong
Operating hours: 11.00 am to 11.30 pm
MTR: Central station Exit D2, walk towards Lan Kwai Fong
KUNG WO DOU BUN CHONG
This next place is a perfect localised breakfast place and sells very simple but satisfying food. The few things to eat here is the soy bean curd and pan-fried Yong Tau Foo and fish cake. Kung Wo Dou Bun Chong is located in Sham Shui Po market which is a local wet and dry market where locals buy their fresh foods and necessity. The shop is a small provision store that makes handmade bean curd, tofu, soy milk and other bean products. At the same time, they have a few tables and serve their tofu products pan fried as well as their silky sweet bean curd dessert. The soy bean curd (HKD12 Large HKD10 small) is soft and silky and the sweetness can be adjusted yourself by adding yellow sugar which is placed on the table. The crunch of the sugar and the bean curd has a great partnership. The soy milk ( HKD 10 large HKD 6 small ) is sweet and great for quenching your thirst. The bean curd products ( HKD 15 per mixed plate) are very strong in the soy taste and is very flavourful. I love the simplicity of the place and food and it allows me to be a part of the local people’s daily life. In my recent trip, they opened up a 2nd level for customers to have their food. The 2nd level shop house is located just above the original store with narrow stairs and walkway and low ceilings. For the experience, you will get the impression that you are eating in someone’s living room.
One other thing I always buy when I am here is the fermented yellow bean curd. The fermented bean curd is hand-made as well and taste very different from the ones we buy in our supermarkets as the ones we have are mostly imported from China. The fragrance of the fermented bean curd has a strong sesame oil smell and taste and a strong Chinese wine favour. We eat this with plain porridge on days we feel under the weather.
Address: 118 Pei Ho Street, 地下 G/F,, 118 Pei Ho St, Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong
Operating hours: .00 am to 9.00 pm
MTR: Sham Shui Po Station Exit B2, Walk straight and after passing 1 junction, the shop is on the right side of the shops.
HOI TIN TONG
Something we never miss when we are in Hong Kong is the Gui Lin Gao ( Herbal Jelly ). Hoi Tin Tong ( 海天堂) has many outlets throughout Hong Kong. Herbal jelly is good in reducing internal heat and also toxins. We never give this a miss after all that eating we do in Hong Kong. Other than Hoi Tin Tong, there are many other brands selling herbal jelly which is equally good.
DA SHI FU CONGEE ( MASTER CONGEE)
There is no specific outlet we go for these dishes so we normally pop into any Cha Chan Teng which is near our accommodations. These items make for great breakfast and supper meals. One of my recommended place is Da Shi Fu Congee which is located in Mong Kok. They are a traditional breakfast shop that sells congee, fried noodles, fried dough fritters and steamed rice rolls. The master congee house has one of the best congee in Hong Kong with great consistency and savoury flavours. We usually order the pig’s blood congee ( yes sounds gross ) since we can’t get it in Singapore. As side dishes, we order the Zha Liang which is fried dough fritters wrapped with steamed rice roll dressed in light soy sauce and stir fried plain rice noodles. They also have soy milk for you to dunk your fried dough fritters.
Address: 69 Ivy street , Tai Kok Chui , Hong Kong
Operating hours: 8.00 am to 11.00 pm
MTR: Olympic Station Exit A1 7 mins walk
MAXIM PALACE CITY HALL
There are many places to have dim sum in Hong Kong, from the most basic café to the high-class 5 star restaurants, you name it you have it. My favourite place to have dim sum is still Maxim palace, not because it has the best quality dim sum but because the atmosphere is just wonderful. The dim sum quality is still better than what you get in Singapore and the plus point is the restaurant is extremely spacious and over looks the harbour.
The restaurant is really crowded in the morning and you have to queue to enter and get a table. Regulars will play their game right by getting the tables which are strategically placed by the corridor where the food trolleys will be passing. This restaurant still serves dim sum in the old traditional food cart method where the server aunties will push their cart passing every table to offer the items in their cart. In the beginning, everything is a mad frenzy, from getting your tables to getting dim sum on your table at all. Every customer will be racing to the food carts once they leave the kitchen to snatch up the dim sum they want. ( It totally reminds you of scenes in Hong Kong dramas where you need to fight for dim sum ) An hour into breakfast, you will be surprise at how calm and peaceful the restaurant is and food carts are on their way passing tables offering their food and new customers are shown to their tables. Some people might hate the mess but I say it is an experience not to be missed.
Address: Low Block, City Hall,, Central, Hong Kong
Operating hours: 11.00 am to 3.00 pm , 5.30 pm to 11.30 pm ( Sunday start from 9.30 am )
MTR: Central Station Exit K , Hong Kong Station Exit A. Go towards City Hall
I always love a good ramen and this popular Japanese outlet has been making waves ever since it landed in Hong Kong. The Tsim Sha Tsui outlet has 58 counter seats which as seen in my picture specially catering to customers who are alone. For customers in groups, they also have the normal table settings. You can order your ramen with customisation via the order paper. The soup base here is the typical milky Tonkotsu broth and you can add different toppings and spices to it. Each bowl cost approximately HKD 90 for a regular bowl. I wouldn’t say this is the best ramen but the quality is good enough to be comfort food at night.
Address: 8 Minden Avenue , Entrance Hall on G/F & Shop B, Basement Floor, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Operating hours: 8.00 am to 4.00 am
MTR: Tsim Sha Tsui Station Exit D2
KAM WAH BAKERY AND CAFE
This is a snack you need to try when you are in Hong Kong. The famous Bo Luo Bao ( pineapple bun ) resembles a pineapple on the outside but has nothing to do with the fruit. It is a freshly baked bun with a sweet crumbly top. There is also an option to have a slab of butter in the bun ( Bo Luo Yao). The bun with butter is HKD 10. I had this in 2 occasions and the bun is really soft and fluffy but once it was not warm and the crust was not crispy and crumbly enough while on another occasion the crust was perfect and the warm bun melted the butter to a savoury finish. You probably have to visit when the bun is freshly out from the oven to get that perfect bun. The French toast is quite forgettable as the taste is quite similar to other Cha Chan Teng. Something to note, there is a minimum spending to sit in the café per person. Minimally, each person has to order 1 drink and a bun. If you only want to try the bun, you can buy one from the takeaway counter.
Address: 47 Bute St, Prince Edward, Hong Kong
Operating hours: 6.30 am to 11.00 pm
MTR: Mongkok Station Exit B3
MAN FAI CUTTLEFISH KING
This restaurant specialises in cuttlefish rice noodles. The shop itself is pretty small and the turnover of customers is pretty fast. Many customers come alone, eat and leave within 30 mins. There are different versions of the noodle, 8 different cuttlefish toppings, 4 toppings or 2 toppings or just 1 topping. I ordered the 3 toppings which came with the cuttlefish ball , cuttlefish sliced and baby squids. ( HKD 38 ) As a side dish, I ordered the baby squid (HKD 40 ) which is called the prince cuttlefish on the menu. I love squid and cuttlefish and I over ordered for myself. I find the squid and cuttlefish very fresh and crunchy but the soup was very refreshing.
Address: 22-24 Jardine’s Bazaar, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Operating hours: 8.00 am to 2.00 am
MTR: Causeway Bay Station, Exit F1