Before I start this article, I want to put a disclaimer: I am not a professional food critic. This is not a sponsored post. I am not and have never been associated or affiliated with any of these restaurants, bakeries, dessert shops, food places in any way, shape or form. Everything you read here is purely based on my personal opinion and 100% my own view point. This list is in no particular order. Hong Kong will hereafter be written as HK (cos I’m too lazy to write in full ha.. ha..) Ok, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get our stomachs rumbling!
- Curry Fish Balls
Curry fish balls were my late night guilty pleasure when I was in HK. Whenever I was pulling an all-nighter and hunger strikes, I’d go to the small canteen near my residence and buy two portions of these curry fish balls. I know they’re not particularly healthy and are super greasy, but I just can’t resist biting into them; and of course, one is never enough. You can find these in almost any street food stalls all over HK, but I haven’t been able to find anything like this outside of HK. Fish balls are abundant all over South East Asia of course, but I’ve never seen them cooked in curry sauce the way they do in HK. It’s one of the street foods that I really miss.
- Mango Snowballs
The mango snowballs from Honeymoon Dessert are exactly that: little balls of soft, mango goodness that will have you coming back for more. Now, Honeymoon Dessert is not exclusive to HK; they have several branches all over Asia and even a few here in Indonesia. You cannot imagine my excitement when I first discovered one of their branches in Mall Kelapa Gading, but unfortunately that excitement turned sour pretty fast. When I tasted their mango snowballs, it was nothing like the pillowy sweetness that the HK ones offered. Instead, they were rather hard and left an unsavoury texture in my mouth; what’s more, there wasn’t enough mango fruit in the centre to balance the sweet taste of the glutinous rice coating. I was so disappointed I couldn’t even finish the dish. Of course, I can’t really say the same for any of the other branches in Asia, not having tasted them all. But for me, the mango snowballs from HK’s Honeymoon Dessert shops are always worth those extra calories. If you’re as much of a mango lover as I am, you won’t want to miss this dessert.
- Egg Waffles
The other street food I dearly miss is the egg waffle. Whenever I go wandering in Mong Kok, I can never resist buying these egg waffles. They’re the perfect thing to munch on while walking through the crowd, window shopping, and watching those quirky street performers. I’ve managed to find a similar thing here in Indonesia, but somehow they lack the ‘it’ factor that I got from the HK ones. Maybe because the atmosphere is different, they sell these egg waffles in malls here instead of on the side of the street. Also, they’ve adapted the egg waffles to suit Indonesian tongue, which means they have way more option to flavours and toppings such as green tea, strawberry, Oreo, cheese, and even Black Forest. Now you might think this is a good thing right, having more flavour choices? Not for me; I definitely prefer the simple, original egg waffles from those HK street food stalls.
- Snowy Mooncakes
Snowy mooncakes! Where to start? This is probably the one that I miss the most. These are different from normal mooncakes in that they have a snow skin, tons of different flavours and, most importantly, no egg yolk in the middle! I’ve never been a fan of the yolks in the original mooncakes, I always eat around them. I’ve tried many different kinds of snowy mooncakes throughout my time in HK, and the best ones by far are from Saint Honore Cake Shop. They have a choice of individual snowy mooncakes or a box of assorted ones. I’ve tried almost every single flavour and I’ve liked them all (they do add new flavours and change existing ones every year though). The last time I had these beauties was over a year ago when my friend came to Indonesia for vacation and he was kind enough to buy them and bring them back for me. I asked him to buy 2 boxes of 8 assorted flavours and all 16 were devoured within two weeks, even my brother got addicted to them! I’ve never seen snowy mooncakes anywhere outside of HK and the fact that they’re only available during the mid-autumn festival makes them all the more desirable.
- Portuguese Egg Tarts
They say the best things in life may come from the most unexpected places. Well, that’s certainly true for this particular delicacy: the Portuguese egg tart. Now everyone knows that the best Portuguese egg tarts originated from, and therefore exist in, Macau. But if you’re craving for these golden bowls of heaven in HK, I’ve found that the place that sells the best ones is KFC. Yep, you read that right: KFC! Now you might be a little skeptical; I mean, their slogan is “we do chicken right” – not exactly a great ad for sweet desserts. But trust me on this, KFC does egg tarts right too. I’ve tried Portuguese egg tarts here in Indonesia, but they’re just not the same; they don’t really have that nice, hot, creamy custard filling and crumbly golden crust that the HK (or Macau) ones have. There is a famous bakery in Central that supposedly sells the best tasting egg tarts in HK. I’ve heard several of my friends say that if you’re craving for an egg tart, you need not look any further than Tai Cheong Bakery; but I beg to differ. Granted, I might be a little biased here; I’ve heard that this bakery specializes in egg tarts with the short pastry crust while I undoubtedly prefer the ones with the puff pastry crust. But seriously though, go try one of HK KFC’s egg tarts; you won’t look back!
- Snow Ice
Snow ice is similar to shaved ice but softer, finer, drier and more snow-like (it’s a little difficult to describe the texture). My favourite place to go to get my fill of snow ice is Tong Pak Fu. They have several branches in HK, but the one I frequented the most was the one on Hak Po Street in Mong Kok (which happens to be their flagship store) simply because it was the closest one from my place of residence. The place is not particularly big; in fact, it’s pretty small and doesn’t really fit a lot of people. This means that there will most probably be a long queue for tables, especially as the night progresses. However, their snow ice are the best in town. They have various different flavours and toppings to choose from and their serving is plenty generous. In fact, I suggest sharing one with a friend; I know I have a hard time finishing one off all by myself. So, even though their place might not be the most lavish or luxurious, and you might have to stand around waiting for your number to be called, their snow ice is definitely worth the wait.
- Chicken and Lamb Kebabs
Ebeneezer’s chicken and lamb kebabs are hands down the best I’ve had so far. Their wrap is crispy, their meat is tender, their vegetables are fresh, and their sauce is minty and spicy. Their kebab rolls are not the only thing worth trying on the menu either. Their biryanis are also just as delectable; I recommend the chicken tikka biryani.
They have several branches in HK, but the one I ate at the most was the one on Ashley Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, again because it was the closest one to my res. But I have also tried their Ngong Ping branch in Lantau Island when I went up to see the Big Buddha, and I’m happy to say that the quality of their food is consistent. If you’re ever in HK, this Middle Eastern restaurant is a must-try!
So there you have it, the top 7 food that will always be on my ‘to-eat’ list whenever I get to visit HK again. This list turned out to be more comprehensive than I first thought, sorry for the long read! Like I said before, these are all based on my personal preference. Obviously everyone has different taste buds so don’t just take my word for it, go and taste these HK staples for yourself!
Also, you can probably tell from the fact that 5 out of the 7 dishes on this list are desserts, that I have the biggest sweet tooth – a dessert lover through and through. As the saying goes:
“There’s always room for dessert because dessert doesn’t go to your stomach, it goes straight to your heart.”
p.s. writing this blog post made me super-duper hungry >_<”