I can’t say I’ve had bad meals in Hong Kong. Some places might be mediocre but they are never “bad”. I think it’s because Hong Kong eaters have such a discernible taste that you cannot possibly serve bad food and stay afloat.
When I decided to go on a girls trip with my mother and my toddler girl, I researched on Yelp and online for restaurants and food places to check out. I don’t know if I ended up hitting any of the places on my list! Once I was there, we were eating on the go. Food is literally everywhere—big restaurants, little restaurants, fast food, fast but good food. If you’ve been to Hong Kong, you know what I mean. One can never go hungry.
We ended up eating at places we visited and nearby areas. My mother also knew of some places to check out from her previous trips (she pretty much goes once a year). Plus my older brother who works between mainland China and Hong Kong took us to different places to eat. Even people we met gave us recommendations on where to go. I have to say all Hong Kong people are food lovers!
When we think of chain restaurants in North America, we picture cookie cutter places that serve consistent but mediocre food. However in Hong Kong, chain restaurants could sometimes be better than the one off restaurants. They have standards to adhere to and the staff are usually friendlier than other local restaurants. Having said that, we did check out a restaurant that was famous for their roast goose but we were rather disappointed.
We had our first meal in Hong Kong at Tao Heung (稻香) near our hotel. We literally stepped outside of the hotel, looked around and saw their huge sign at a nearby local mall and headed towards it. Since we know it’s a chain restaurant, we were sure it would be decent. We were super hungry so we ate half of the food before I even took the photo.
Crispy Chicken – Standard at Cantonese restaurants. I find North American chickens to be blander. But in Asia, they are so much tastier.
Sautéed Pea Shoots in Broth – Fresh, tender and delicious. Even my 2-year old child could distinguish the taste of fresh vegetables versus not so fresh ones. She was gravitating towards them and couldn’t stop eating these yummy veggies.
Steamed Garlic Giant Grouper (龍躉) Slices – My mom said that you cannot eat it whole because it’s too big to steam on its own. Restaurants usually sell them in pieces instead of whole. They sliced them and steamed them like they would with whole fishes.
Fish Fragrant Eggplant (鱼香茄子) – This dish is a misnomer because there’s no fish in it at all. It is a seasoning mixture in Chinese Sichuan cuisine, and also refers to the resulting sauce in which meat or vegetables are cooked. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuxiang) It was very tasty with a hint of spice. Cantonese adopted this dish and made it not as spicy.
Below are the photos of the infamous roast goose restaurant. Tourists can actually buy it freshly roasted and the restaurant has a system of packaging it so that you can fly back to your home country with it (providing your flight isn’t that long and your country allows you to bring back meat items.) My brother took us there because we happened to be in the area so we gave it a try. This infamous roast goose restaurant was not as good as expected, and quite expensive for what it is. The roast goose was drowned with this brown sauce. It’s almost as if they were trying to disguise the lack of crunchiness of the goose skin. However, some might like that style of roast goose. But I prefer the crispy skin.
Roast Goose – Drowned with brown sauce. Why would they do that?
Lai Fun (瀨粉) in Broth – Usually people eat lai fun with roast goose. The lai fun’s texture was perfect and the broth was pretty tasty.
Qilin (麒麟) Tofu – The layers resemble the scales of Qilin (a Chinese mystical, mythical lucky creature). It is made up of tofu, Jinhua ham (金華火腿), and Chinese mushroom. The tofu is very soft and pairs very nicely with the salty ham and mushroom.
Century Eggs (皮蛋) with Pickled Ginger – I have to admit it was one of the best century eggs I had. Apparently it’s their house specialty (soft yolk)—paired nicely with the pickled ginger.
Sautéed Chinese Mustard Greens (芥菜) with Chinese Mushrooms – Tender and tasty cooked in oyster sauce.
There are more yummy Memorable Dishes to come as I travel through Hong Kong with my mother and daughter. Every time I come back to visit, there is always something new to discover!
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