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We love Hong Kong, it’s a city with a dynamic 21st Century vibe, an international city which hosts multi-national business corporations and home to the millions of people who live there.
Within this frenetic fast paced world, you will find pockets of traditional Hong Kong life. A place of vibrant bustling markets, local run restaurants and a welcoming community spirit. A way to discover this traditional side of Hong Kong is to take an Eating Adventures Hong Kong food tour.
- 1 Eating Adventures Food Tours
- 2 Kowloon food tour – Roast Goose
- 3 Happy Cake Shop – Egg Tart
- 4 Hong Kong Through Local Eyes
- 5 Trying Tofu in Mong Kok Market
- 6 Visiting a Dim Sum Restaurant
- 7 Sweet Treats in The Ladies Market (Fa Yuen Street)
- 8 Final Stop of the food tour for Chinese Tea
- 9 Last Words on Eating Adventures Hong Kong Food Tour
Eating Adventures Food Tours
To me one of the best ways to explore the heart and soul of a country is through its cuisine. People the world over are passionate about food, it’s a topic that brings people together.
Food isn’t just for sustenance, it’s for the pleasure of biting into a living history, a journey through time that connects us with our forebears and the landscapes and climates that shape the countries we live in.
Eating Adventures Food Tours have created a Hong Kong walking tour that allows you to discover this living history while enjoying the delicious tastes of Hong Kong.
Our guide for the day was William, and from the moment our tour began, we couldn’t help but be inspired by William’s enthusiasm and love for the Mong Kok area of Kowloon. After making our introductions it was time to sample the food.
Kowloon food tour – Roast Goose
I had been admiring the exotic looking ‘ducks’ hanging in shop windows since arriving in Hong Kong, so I was excited to see them in the window of our first restaurant. We were going to try roast goose, that’s right folks, my ducks turned out to be geese!
The Mong Kok roast goose restaurant we visited was a typical example of casual Hong Kong dining and a popular hangout for locals.
The goose is marinated in a secret recipe to give the goose its deep golden-brown skin and distinct flavour. Juices ooze from the geese as they hang in the window to roast.
Our roast goose came with rice, greens and plum sauce for dipping. The skin was crispy, and the marinade had imparted a rich flavour to the skin while keeping the meat tender. The plum sauce added a sweet tang that worked well with the flavours of the goose.
We were glad we finally got to try the roast goose and it was a great introduction to our tour.
Happy Cake Shop – Egg Tart
Next we headed to Happy Cake Shop in Mong Kok markets to try something sweet. While the cake shop has lots of delicious pastries and cakes, it’s the egg tart that keeps everyone coming back for more.
The egg tart had a firm custard centre which is delicately sweetened and encased in a light flaky pastry. The egg tart was the perfect sweet treat to carry us through while we explored the Mong Kok markets.
Hong Kong Through Local Eyes
Mong Kok Market is an open-air wet market. As many of you know I love local markets and have visited many throughout Asia. I am fascinated by what other cultures eat, from the downright delicious to the weird and wonderful, market shopping is a feast for the eyes.
In our home country of Australia, we do a weekly shop, freezing and refrigerating the food to last the week. In Hong Kong most people live in small apartments with minimal fridge space making a daily shop a must.
Walking through the market we were impressed by the freshness and diversity of produce on display. We were surrounded by curious and unusual ingredients that we found intriguing.
William told us how the produce is cooked and their medicinal properties. The tour really opened my eyes to the Chinese philosophy of food not just giving nourishment but used as prevention and remedy to illness.
Live animals such as frogs, fish and chicken are transported to the market daily to ensure freshness. This is very different to western culture where the origin of your food is out of the public eye and unseen.
Walking through the market we found the stall holders to be friendly, helpful and full of character.
Trying Tofu in Mong Kok Market
Next we visited a tofu shop in the Mong Kok markets. Here we got to mix with locals and watch tofu being made. I loved the charm of the shop and really felt we were having an authentic experience.
We tried fried bean curd and bean curd pudding. Tofu or bean curd as it is also known is low in calories and high in protein, making it a popular ingredient in a vegetarian or vegan diet.
The fried bean curd was firm, nicely browned and took on the flavours of the sauce. The bean curd pudding was served cold. On its own the pudding didn’t have a lot of flavour but once sugar was added it was delicious! The bean curd pudding had a silky texture and tasted a little like old fashioned junket or egg custard.
I hadn’t tried tofu before and it wasn’t what I expected, now that I have, it’s a healthy alternative that I will be trying more often.
Visiting a Dim Sum Restaurant
Once upon a time, going to a Yum Cha restaurant for a dim sum brunch was a semi-formal family affair. Trolley’s laden with dim sum in bamboo steamer baskets were pushed around stylish restaurants for meals that would often last for hours.
While Hong Kong still has the traditional Yum Cha restaurant, a newer more casual style of Dim Sum restaurant is becoming popular. These restaurants are the place for a get together with friends over tea and dim sum before hitting the streets.
We visited one of these casual dining dim sum restaurants and found a popular restaurant with a steady stream of customers. The menu had a large selection of dim sum dishes.
- Here are the nine dishes we chose
- Pork and Shrimp Wontons in Hot Chili Oil
- Steamed Spareribs with Taro
- Shrimp and Pork Dumplings with Crab Roe
- Rice Flour Rolls with BBQ Pork and Zucchini
- Steamed Squid with Garlic
- Steamed Shrimp Dumplings
- Mini Glutinous Wraps with Chicken
- Spring Rolls with Shrimp and Thousand Island Dressing
- Pineapple Buns with Custard Filling
We enjoyed a leisurely meal with great conversation over jasmine tea and dim sum. We sampled all the dim sum dishes; the most unusual flavour being the spring rolls with shrimp and Thousand Island Dressing.
Favourites were the pork and shrimp wontons in hot chili oil, steamed squid with garlic, steamed spareribs with taro, steamed shrimp dumpling and pineapple buns with custard filling.
Sweet Treats in The Ladies Market (Fa Yuen Street)
Many people have been to the Hong Kong Ladies Market on Tung Choi Street but what many don’t know is that the Hong Kong Ladies Market continues along Fa Yuen Street.
This part of the Ladies Market is frequented by the locals, the streets are wider, and it has a calmer, less touristy atmosphere than the Ladies Market on Tung Choi Street.
Here we got to sample two sweets, the coconut tart and the red bean pancakes. Alan enjoyed the coconut tart while I fell in love with the red bean pancake.
Unlike traditional pancakes, the red bean pancake is made of glutenous rice flour and has a translucent spongy texture which is stuffed with red bean paste and is simply scrumptious!
Final Stop of the food tour for Chinese Tea
The Chinese believe that tea has digestive properties and each meal is concluded with a special cup of tea. William took us to a small airy tea shop and suggested we try bitter and sweet tea.
Our cold tea was served in a tea bowl. Alan had the bitter tea while I had the sweet tea. My tea had a delicate sweetness which was refreshing on such a hot afternoon.
Alan’s tea was extremely bitter, I tried it a few times hoping I would get used to the flavour, but the bitterness was overpowering and an acquired taste.
Last Words on Eating Adventures Hong Kong Food Tour
We had a wonderful time on our Eating Adventures Hong Kong food tour of Kowloon. William was a wealth of knowledge and we learnt so much about local food, Chinese medicine and life in Hong Kong.
The stall holders at Mong Kok markets were welcoming and ready with a smile. I am so happy that we took this tour, the memories will stay with us forever. A big thank you to William for making our tour such a memorable experience!
If you would like to take an Eating Adventures Hong Kong Food Tour Click Here.
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Disclaimer: We were guests of Eating Adventures Food Tours and as always, all opinions are our own.