09 April 2012

China Tour ~ A Quick Stopover in Hong Kong

A quick one day eat-over in Hong Kong as we head home.  We further indulge in our obsession with Hong Kong coffee shop food, try a couple of old favourites, and find a few new ones.

Travel is a funny thing. We've been to Hong Kong before, but on the last visit we don't remember Mong Kok being this sardine jam packed with people, though we did arrive on a public holiday this time. And on our last visit we remember folks being kurt, not rude, just busy and to the point. But this time folks seemed uber smiley, warm and friendly. Go figure.

Our digs: a matchbox sized room in an old tenement building in the midst of a frenetic shopping area. We've always been fascinated by these old buildings, they seem so full of life and mystery, like secret worlds we could never tap into. Staying in this cheap little hotel gave us some cheap little jollies.

Bags down we hunt for food and strike gold in the same building as our 'hotel'. This restaurant is little more than a counter at the end of a courtyard, separated from the world at large by a sheet of plastic. Gotta get us some of this.

Thumbs up for mystery menu items.

Eggplant with garlic - HK $15.

Mystery soup  with peanuts in a tangy broth, given a super fresh lift with coriander - HK $18. This soup was absolutely incredible, a real mind blower. Alas the language barrier stopped us from finding out what is was called or where it was from.

Grilled flat fish - HK $18.

And we just have to try this - potato chips in a cream and bacon sauce - HK $25. So wrong, but so right. We so love Asian versions of Western food.

We just love the decor here.

The view from the restaurant into the courtyard area of the tenement building we were staying in.

Random restaurant.

Random restaurant.

Mong Kok, it's the dogs bollocks.

Colourful locals.

This joint in Mong Kok looks like us all over, but no stomach room...

Takoyaki (octopus ball) joint. It's incredible how much the tiny island nation of Japan has influenced food the world over.

This Hong Kong cafe joint does bread sticks and soy milk - count us in.

Hong Kong cafe menu.

Hong Kong cafe menu.

There's nothing finer than dunking a breadstick into some fresh milk. Well there is but, you know.

Mong Kok coffee shop interior.

Rice roll production.

Street food ladies.

This Mr Whippy van looked out of place in uber busy Mong Kok.

Street food lady.

Mr Tonkatsu.

Back to our old favourite haunt, the Woosung Temporary Cooked Food Market (see the post from our first visit here).

It looks like it has expanded since then. We are so happy it is just still here.

Squid with brocolli.

Clams in black bean sauce.

Fish in black bean sauce.

The winner at Woosung this visit was the steamed shrimp with garlic - a simple yet devine dish of cooked prawns, sliced down the centre and smothered in garlic.

Dessert bar, near Temple Street markets.

Warm papaya is utterly, utterly, delicious.

Some kind of bean paste with coconut - delicious.

Another hugely popular dessert bar.

The shower block in our hotel. Just kidding...

We hit a Hong Kong style coffee shop in Mong Kok for breakfast.

Fish ball noodle soup with crispy fish skin, fish cake - simple but killer broth.

Love the coffee cups! Not so keen on the coffee. Tea is the better option in these joints.

A breakfast treat of fish schnitzel, egg, bacon and what Alison's notes describe as a 'weird side dish of mayo'.

Alison grows weary of Shawn's urban hiking obsession and drags his sulking arse out to the New Territories to do some proper hiking.

We visit our first temple of the trip, but only because we're lost. It is moving though.

We do the Lion Rock hike which is wonderful (thanks so much to Sam for the tip!). The hiking in Hongkers is excellent, we look forward to doing more on our next visit, powered by strawberry Koko Bear Biscuits.

The future.

Back in civilisation we hit this coffee shop.

This place is almost a bit fancy...

Fried pork chop with a weirdly wonderful sweet creamy salad with pineapple, apple and melon.

Oxtail curry with rice, Portuguese inspired we think.

Happy times in Hongkers.

We visit the Yee Shun Milk Company a couple of times, we fell in love with it on our previous trip to Hongkers. The steamed milk puddings are insanely good.

Random stuff on sticks shop.

As this menu shows, some of the Hong Kong cafes are heading up market... That's quite a fancy picture of a fried pork chop on instant noodles.

BBQ dude.

This place looks good. We use the old 'a busy place is a good place' rule of thumb.

BBQ shop interior.

Roast duck on rice - my god it's good.

Roast pork on rice, complete with crispy skin.

BBQ shop innards.

We finally get to try a treat we missed on our last Hong Kong trip - steamed cake. Shawn loves plain cake and this is so, so good. We had looked for a steamed cake lady who posed for a photo on our last trip, we felt like we owed her one, but we're pretty sure her shop was gone - sorry nice steamed cake lady!

Menu for our final breakfast in Hongkers.

Pineapple bun - a bun with a sweet crispy outer, yum.

Beef brisket soup.

Egg and ham sandwich. With the crusts cut off - yeah!

Our last bite of Hong Kong before heading off to the airport - Pineapple bun with an artery of butter.

We love Hong Kong. On to Singapore!


  1. There's a reason why I shouldn't visit HK to frequently - the good food will definitely make me fat easily! So much yum, I want to devour all these foodie shots. The mystery soup, however mysterious it was looks pretty darn good as well as the roast pork rice! Aww man. Yum.

    1. I think I know that soup, it is called Shrim La Fen in Chinese.

  2. That's the thumbs up soup right? It's "delicious sour hot noodles" - either chilli or not chilli. I'm drooling on the keyboard... keenly anticipating the Singapore post!

  3. This is such an awesome post. I am hungry looking at all the roasts...mmmmmmm roooooaassst

  4. I'm going to Shanghai and HK next week and this post has got me giddy with excitement hehe!

    The mystery soup you had is "shune lat fun"- sour spicy noodle in soup, and the prawns with garlic is commonly know as hoi bin har "open side prawns". The steamed cake you had is called Ma Lai Goh, so make sure you ask for this next time you visit HK or go for dim sum in Sydney.

    And i know exactly where that mr whippy van is in MK, it is there everytime I go MK! hehe

  5. Thanks so much for the translations and corrections - we really appreciate it folks - we'll update the text sooner or later.

  6. omg missing hui lau shan dessert
    street food
    egg waffles

  7. I'm still trying to lose the weight I put on in HK - don't tempt me to go back just yet!!

  8. Trivia for the day. The curry you had was brought over by the Brits during the colonial times from India, watered down by generations of Brits and Chinese to what you were served.


  9. just an FYI the mysterious "bean paste with coconut" is "hong dau sa" with coconut (haven't learned the full translation of coconut, but hong dau is very popular). basically red "adzuki" beans boiled with water and rock sugar. and i guess coconut cream/milk on top.

  10. I came across your blog while I was searching for cheap eats ideas in Osaka.

    I'm glad that you enjoyed Hongkong/Mongkok. You've eaten in more places than a local HKGer like me!

    I think the way you guys travel makes you know more about locals daily lives.

    I know people come work/live here but only eats in Soho, upmarket restaurants... And some Japanese I know, they only go to where other Japanese would go, or where own by Japanese. They never eat at local diners, nor real local places. Too much of a cultural shock I guess...

    Anyway, I don't know, but I'm very impressed by your blog and can't stop reading! :)

    1. Thanks for your comments and reading our blog. We feel culture shock too and really try and push ourselves to get outside what we feel comfortable with - after all, that's why we travel!

  11. Hong Kong, where the local food is so good. Hong Kong food highlights are: Pineapple Bun from Sai Kung Bakery in Sai Kung, Char Siu Bao (BBQ Pork Bun) from Tin Ho Wan (any of the 4 outlets), Egg Tart from the original Tai Cheong Bakery in Central.

    You are right about the great hiking in Hong Kong. My favourite hike is the Dragon's Back on HK Island followed by great street Thai food in Shek O.

  12. I'm posting this late. Ready to go in 2 weeks for our second visit to HK. Last time staying in Sham Shui Po and I reckon staying out of the usual hotels in HKI is better for experiencing a bit more local life.

    This time in To Kwa Wan.

    Oh, and it's with 4 kids this time. But my kids love good food and we've never let them be fussy. So lots of noodles and enjoyment for them.

  13. We went.

    I wouldn't do To Kwa Wan again - too out of the way and difficult to find our way to food (not even much local other than 7-Eleven).

    Hung Hom was a bit of a walk, but a massive suburb full of food, and a cooked food market we never got around to. Si Sun Fast Food (for HK Western burgers x Macau Pork Chop buns) and a dumpling place whose name was only in Chinese but was recommended on openrice by an Aussie.

    Next time will be Mong Kok, even if for no other reason than the accessibility of food within short walks (essential for kids) and Langham place for MosBurger. Oh, and food on a stick. Nom nom.


Thanks for your comment joy - please keep your musings happy - if you want to complain about a restaurant please do it on a restaurant review site (or your own blog) - we're all about celebrating cultural diversity and the great eats that come along with it :-)

Our ethics: We pay for all our own meals and travel (though sometimes Mum shouts us).