18 May 2010
Hong Kong Street Food Tour ~ Day 1 - Woosung Street Temporary Cooked Food Hawker Bazaar
We find street food nirvana just two blocks from our hotel on our first night in Hong Kong.
Arriving in Hong Kong for the first time is a near trouser-wettingly exciting experience for a pair of travel food nerds obsessed with Chinese food and asian street life.
We arrive in Kowloon in the early evening, check into our hotel and hit the streets in search of lager and street food. We are tired and don't want to wander far. Miss Chicken switches on her food-sniffing-beak and I follow.
We hit paydirt just a couple of blocks from our hotel. This is going to be a good trip...
The Woosung Street Temporary Cooked Food Hawker Bazaar was our first find and our favourite.
There's a couple of sections. We choose the most ramshackle section. It was a slapped together structure of tarps and sheets of plastic, it was like eating in a circus tent. The place was packed with happy locals chowing down and swilling beer.
Our motto when it comes to good street food is 'dodginess is next to godliness'. We have found heaven. The kitchen is like something from the 16th century: dark, old blokes with no shirts, huge flames, lots of yelling. It is separated from the public by a sheet of clear plastic.
One bloke was cooking veggies on this contraption all night. I'm sure Nigella Lawson has one of these in her kitchen.
We try our first of many Chinese beers, Blue Girl Lager, about $2 Aussie for a longneck. It's love at first sip. Chinese beer is light and easy to drink, the perfect complement to Chinese food.
The menu is in Chinese so we scan the plates of our fellow diners and order by pointing out the ones we want. This ordering method seemed to result in the best food and the locals were always chuffed when we chose what they were eating. The lucky dip pays off. This dish is stir fried water spinach with enough beef to give the dish body but not overpowering the veggies. It is flavoured with lots of garlic. So simple, fresh and delicious.
We get lucky again with this whole steamed fish with black beans, chili, dark soy and coriander. Once again this is so simple, fresh and delicious. At this point we decide we want to live in Hong Kong.
The locals eat and drink with gusto, it takes three people to clean up after a group of about 6 blokes.
We finish our feed and have a couple of beers while we soak in the gloriously dodgey ambience...
On our way home we find amazing desserts but we are just too full, such are the dilemnas of gourmet travelling. We raid the 7-Eleven instead.
Woosung Street Temporary Cooked Food Hawker Bazaar is in Jordan on the Kowloon side of town, near the Temple Street Markets. This was our favourite spot in Hong Kong. Next time we visit it will probably be a block of highrise apartments.