Hong Kong Food and Dining
What to Eat in Hong Kong
In the spring, seafood is given special emphasis in Hong Kong. Fresh and dried delicacies, such as oysters, shark's fin, shrimp and seaweed are prepared in a wide array of mouth-watering dishes. Numerous restaurants offer live fish and lobster, too, to be selected by you and cooked to your specifications. One bite and you'll be back for more!
In the summertime, Hong Kong diners get to choose from a remarkable range of fruit, in addition to the usual vegetables. Fresh melons — winter melon, bitter melon, honeydew and watermelon — are not only welcome on hot sunny days, but they are also ingeniously prepared as soup and served in other unique ways as pleasing to the eye as to the tongue.
Crab — green, soft-shell, hairy, and giant — is the top choice each autumn in Hong Kong. Featured in everything from soups and salads, appetisers and entrées, the delicate flavour of crab meat adds a touch of luxury and a hint of richness to every dish. Both Eastern and Western dishes use crab meat, so you'll get to enjoy this tasty crustacean either way.
In winter, the ever-popular hot pot is the key to keeping friends and family groups comfortably warm and well-fed. Many other soups, especially double-boiled ones with meat and herbs are favoured to enhance one's energy and to improve blood circulation during winter's chill.
Cha Cha Cha
What could be more synonymous with Chinese tradition than tea drinking? Historically, teapots and tiny cups were specially made to bring out the best flavour and aroma of the various teas. Sipping Chinese tea, whether it is Oolong, Jasmine, or Pu Erh, tea is a wonderful way to conclude a satisfying meal.
Tea drinking is an important aspect of the culture of Hong Kong, where some kind of tea is almost always served. A resounding favourite is Hong-Kong-style milk tea, stemming from the days of British colonial rule: black tea mixed with evaporated or sweetened condensed milk. High Tea at The Lobby in The Peninsula Hotel is another of Hong Kong's famous afternoon delights.
Congee (a thick rice soup/porridge) is one of Hong Kong's most well-known dishes. Served with your choice of a variety of ingredients, including sliced chicken, fishballs, minced pork, salted eggs or mushrooms, and garnished with chopped spring onions, this is a satisfying way to start the day. The Tasty Congee and Noodle Wantun Shop located in Happy Valley, but within walking distance of the South Pacific Hotel, serves it up piping hot. Try a bowl!
Who would visit Hong Kong and not sample its famousdim sum? Bite-sized portions of ha gao (steamed shrimp dumplings) are among the most popular Sunday treats. Au yok (lightly seasoned, minced beef balls) and cha siu bau (soft buns filled with barbecued pork) are among the favoured indulgences. Simply select what you want from the trolleys that are slowly rolled around the dining area.
Reasonably priced, and always delectable, some of the best dim sum can be found at Maxim's Palace on the second floor of the City Hall, close to the Star Ferry Terminal and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Hong Kong. Served in little bamboo steamers or on small plates, dim sum is best savoured with a pot of Chinese tea.
Hong Kong cuisine features a sweet pastry with a buttery aroma known as daan taat (egg tarts). The egg tart has a flaky crust filled with baked egg custard. These were a favourite of the last British Governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten, who bought them regularly from the Tai Cheong Bakery, a pleasant walk from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Hong Kong in Central. Egg tarts can be found at most Chinese bakeries and cha chaan teng (small, local restaurants that serve hot, weak, brown tea in which customers rinse their chopsticks before eating).
The Chinese really love to eat, drink and be merry. What better way to do this than with friends or family over a cook-it-yourself hot pot? Place thinly sliced pieces of beef, chicken, fish, and pork and vegetables into a gently bubbling broth of your choice. The broth can be herb-based or meat-based and other ingredients, such as shellfish, meatballs, noodles, and certain vegetables can be added to the stock. When everything is cooked, simply ladle out the items you want to eat and enjoy them either as-is, or dipped in a sauce. The restaurant at the Ramada Hong Kong, not too far from Sheung Wan Station on Hong Kong Island, is a popular spot for hot-pot lovers.
Hong Kong's doubled-boiled soups with herbs are the perfect example of food feng shui. Soups are believed to be able to help the body regain its proper balance, especially after a serious illness, as well as to promote overall good health. Snake soup and shark's fin soup have long been considered integral to Chinese culture. In Hong Kong, the premier soup is, arguably, wonton soup, which can be savoured at one of Hong Kong's best-known restaurants: Yung Kee in Central. More on food & dining in Hong Kong.