By Johara Al Mogbel
This year, I was lucky enough to be blessed with visiting Hong Kong.
And as I normally do whenever I’m excited about a trip, I spend hours on the internet compiling a travel guide. Which ended up being 33 pages. For a seven-day trip. No, I wasn’t too excited. Thirty-three pages is completely normal. Yes. Shush.
From the 33 pages, about 10 were dedicated to food, street food at that. Pictures of street food, where to find street food, articles commending street food, and just about everything to do with streets and food in Hong Kong. (Which I had committed to memory after a ritual in which I pledged to eat everything I find and signed it in my own blood. But that’s for another article.) And so, when I finally set foot on previously-British-but-currently-Chinese-sort-of soil, I did nothing but munch my way through the territories that never slept (hi, Kowloon.). Well. Sort of.
Here is what I ended up and consuming, and how to find it:
One little interesting tidbit: the bread in Hong Kong is amazing. That’s all you need to know.
Where to Find: This particular lovely piece of brioche bread was found in The Little Mermaid, in Harbour City.
These are little pastry shells filled with an egg custard, and they have a Portugese origin. Not bad, but not the sort of thing I’d go back and eat again.
Where to Find: Wherever a street bakery opening is.
Another bakery wonder. Pineapple buns, don’t actually have pineapple in them. They’re little sweet buns that are topped with a sugary and sweet crust, which is where they got their name. They’re pretty popular in Hong Kong, and are my favorite things ever.
Where to Find: In any cha chaan teng or bakery in Hong Kong. My personal favorite was from Kai Kee restaurant on Kimberly Street, right past the nitrogen ice cream booth. Wait till you get a batch piping hot from the oven, it makes all the difference.
This one’s a little harder to find, seeing as there’s a lack of halal Cantonese eateries. But if/when you do find a place that can sell it, RUN (towards it) LIKE THE WIND. Get a side of noodles because noodles need no excuse.
Where to Find: Wai Kee in Wan Chai. Kindly keep in mind it’s a very messy, loud, down-to-earth place, so go in your most casual clothes.
I know what you’re thinking. “Pies?! In Hong Kong?! Is she crazy?” And the answer is yes, yes I am. Crazy for pie crust! Which the above pictured mini pies has an abundance of. They are so good, pictures do not do them justice.
Where to Find: Pie and Tart Specialists on Granville Road. Get the apple pie and the milk tart pie.
Ever wondered what cheesecake would taste like if someone remade it into a cloud and then cut it into small sponge cake pieces? Neither have I. But this is what the result would be, if someone actually had been curious (and magical) enough to do it.
Where to Find: Toastbox, or Breadtalk.
Huge fan of noodles? Move to Hong Kong. And live there. Forever. A vegetarian option can be found in most noodle shops, and all you need to do is park yourself and enjoy the awesomeness that is stir-fry on a side street seat. You’ll need to know how to use chopsticks, though, no namby-pamby forks here.
Where to Find: Any food district. The Temple Market street has a number of noodle and seafood shops.
You know what you get when you deep fry French toast and drizzle it with condensed milk (and possibly add a layer of peanut butter, if your heart can bear it)? Marvelousness. Pure marvelousness.
Where to Find: Any cha chaan teng, wonderful abodes of food they are.
Even chocolate milk can be considered street food, if it’s packaged as prettily as the Kowloon Dairy’s line of milk products. Best part? The bottles are old-school style recyclable, you wash and return the bottles when you’re done with them.
Where to Find: Any 7/11, which can be found in abundance in Hong Kong, especially the Tsim Sha Tsui area.