Hong Kong began as a small fishing village, and there is nothing more iconic in this story than boat noodles, an authentic fisherman’s food. Flat rice noodles served with pieces of char siu pork, bok choy, fish balls, crispy fried fish skin and other catches of the day, all in a large bowl of flounder broth.
The flounder broth is the soul of the noodles. Flounder is hardly tasty in these parts, but it is excellent for making broth if dried in the sun (without excess salt). They live on a diet of shellfish and other crustaceans, which gives them a naturally rich, savory flavor. Many fishermen consider it sacrilege to eat these noodles with soy sauce or other seasonings – you should taste the sea in this dish.
The reason why noodles are called “boat noodles” is because they used to be prepared and sold from small wooden boats called sampans.
Sampans selling freshly prepared noodles on boats used to be common in local fishing harbors, but these days the dish is mostly sold in restaurants on land. I know of only one sampan in all of Hong Kong that still does it the old fashioned way, in good Aberdeen – the birthplace of Hong Kong.
The restaurant is called Liu Kee , in case you were wondering. The guy who runs it has a very erratic schedule, so consider yourself lucky if you catch him doing things.
Even though it is a staple dish in Cantonese cuisine, preparing beef chow fan is not that easy.
I’ve eaten everywhere, in mainland China, in the US… The best I’ve had was at a hole-in-the-wall place in Hong Kong. It was dirty, the service was terrible, and I had to share a table with a bunch of strangers to save space. The middle-aged waitress looked at me sideways when I was almost finished and couldn’t wait for me to leave to make room for future guests.
Don’t worry, you won’t recognize the snake’s white meat when it’s served. In fact, up to five different species of snakes, including poisonous ones, are used to prepare medicinal and therapeutic soup. It’s delicious and nutritious. And it’s easy to eat.
Siu Mei (fried meat)
You must try this! There is no other place in the distant Cantonese world where fried meat is cooked to perfection.
Roast pork (siu yuk) is a whole pork roasted on a spit over an open fire, with a plump, crispy skin that you can hear crunching with every bite.
Beef brisket noodles
Tender pieces of braised brisket and springy egg noodles are served in a flavorful beef bone broth and topped with a handful of spring onions.
Along with the noodles, I recommend eating dim sum (of course!), fresh seafood, especially steamed whole grouper, ordering tea and teatime treats such as pineapple bun, French toast and egg tart.
When I’m with Hong Kong friends, dining at open dai pai dong is a favorite pastime. No matter what stall or where they are located, you can be confident in the food cooked on the wok hei
(Bonus) Egg tartlets from Tai Chong Bakery
There may be better egg tarts out there, but the egg tarts from Tai Cheong Bakery (there are bakeries in many areas of Hong Kong) were very memorable and the best I’ve tried. Besides the crispy crust and creamy filling (not too sweet), I was impressed by the perfect ratio of crust to filling. They blend perfectly harmoniously in the mouth, highlighting every bite. Eat them while they’re hot!
Dim sum dish
There is an ancient Chinese tradition of eating small dishes with yum cha tea, known as dim sum. Dim sum can be braised chicken feet, or pork siu mai, or shrimp-filled har gao, all washed down with hot tea. Dim sum is not only one of the most famous foods in Hong Kong, but also one of the most interesting and delicious dishes you can try.
Restaurant: Lin Heung Tea House
Lin Heung Tea House is renowned for its traditional style and is rated by CNN for having the best dim sum atmosphere in Central Hong Kong. This dim sum tea house is always full of people, so you may not always get the dim sum you wanted to try, but the atmosphere, interior, noise and chatter is something that will bring you joy. Price: depending on portion, around HK$50 – HK$100 per person
Restaurant: Sam Hui Yat
This is a restaurant that is located in a classic area. Thanks to my friends at FoodieHub.tv for this recommendation. This is a small place, which is decorated with bamboo inside. Price: depending on portion, HK$100 per person
Restaurant “Duen Kee”
This is a family owned tea house located on Churn Lung Mountain in Hong Kong, just off the main outskirts of Hong Kong. And although it takes some effort to get to this place, every bite of the delicious dish makes up for it. Price: depending on portion, around HK$50 – HK$100 per person