A North Point Tour of Hong Kong Eating Styles – Street Food Edition


Once upon a time in a rural village of Korea, we decided to escape the everyday grind and embark on an epic task to find the Best Burger in Busan (our nearest decent city).  We attacked this challenge with relish but were perhaps a little over-enthusiastic, given that we attempted to try all the burgers on our list in a single outing.  Ouch.

The meat sweats...

Now if one was to attempt to try a similar feat  in Hong Kong, we’re pretty sure that one’s stomach would physically rip apart by day end, making it hard to (a) write and (b) carry on eating.  That would suck.  So we’re dividing this series up into mere morsels (see what we did there?!) that will leave you salivating for more.  All in all should add up to a somewhat comprehensive guide to the HK food scene and let’s be honest here folks, a huge influencing factor in our decision to move to Hong Kong was, food.  Hong Kong is rightly famous for its amazing variety and quality of food.  Every country is represented in some way, shape or form but, of course, the local is always the best, the cheapest and the quickest way to understand what makes a country tick.

Now, keep in mind also that while Hong Kong geographically actually isn’t that big, you could still spend a looooong time travelling between destinations, again impinging on the all important eating time.  Being of the genius persuasion, and, more the point, living in what we consider is a serious contender for Amazing Food Neighbourhoods of Hong Kong, we have decided to tackle this challenge by exploring the wider HK food scene by way of our local digs.  Rolling home sans binge-fest is just the icing on the cake.

On that note, the best place to start is the furthest place from home – being a whole three blocks from our house down the main road.  It means we’ll be starting with a sweet course first but we don’t actually see a problem with that, especially as this particular treat works perfectly at breakfast time!
IMG_9197 This little spot is famous all over Hong Kong for its gai daan tsai, or HK style waffles.  At any given time of day there is a queue as people wait for the delicious, freshly-cooked spherical delights and copious pictures and articles adorn the street front.

IMG_9210IMG_9204 The shop itself is fairly tiny, just a service window and a half dozen or so oozing waffle makers. IMG_9207 IMG_9208Somewhat bubble-wrap like in appearance, a good gai daan tsai consists of a standard 30 balls or ‘eggs’.They tend to range in flavour a bit from a little sweet to more coconuty in flavour, depending on where you buy them from but our local celebrity gai daan tsai joint, Lee Keung Kee, definitely does the best ones we’ve tasted.

IMG_9215 The ideal consistency is feather light with semi-hollow balls, that have a little bit of a soft/chewy centre,.  The balls are bound by a thin layer of crispy batter, meaning you can break them off piece by piece and pop ’em in your mouth and making them the perfect snack to eat while meandering Hong Kong pace along the busy streets.IMG_9217 For something more substantial, its off to our next favourite hole-in-the-wall vendor in North Point, the lady we’ve affectionately dubbed the ‘steamed bun chick’.  Located on Tong Shui Road (translates to Sugar Water Road – how appropriate for our foodie hearts!), this shop has tray after tray of differing types of steamy goodness.  IMG_9219 IMG_9221 Another quite small street-front operation, these women seem to crank out a never ending supply of food, all day long.  We’ll never get around to trying everything they have, mainly because a couple of the items in particular see us coming back for repeat orders each time.  IMG_9224 IMG_9227 IMG_9228 That innocuous pile of triangles sitting on the bench is one of our favourite local carbs.  No idea what its called but its basically a fried-ish wedge of bread flavoured with spring onions and joy.  Well, that’s what we think the ingredients are anyway.  The point is, they rock.IMG_9230 IMG_9236Of course, it would be utterly wrong to shop here without trying the buns.  Our two favourites (to date – we have tried a number and while all are good these are our top for honourable mention for now) are the pork and beef buns.  
IMG_9241 The pork is moist and packed with seasoning.  These buns are so damn juicy and satisfying its hard to take a photo so apologies for the rushed crapness of the following.IMG_9244 The beef is much the same in appearance though beefier and darker, obviously.  YUM.  The thing with these though, and believe us we HAVE found out the hard way, is that its difficult to eat too many in one sitting as they’re extremely filling.  Don’t be tempted to order one of everything as have been known to do.  Pace yourself and come back often.IMG_9246

Yes, we’re getting full but we’ve saved the best for last here.  Its not only our favourite snack place in all of Hong Kong, its conveniently on the corner of the block we live!  The food is superb, the service friendly and the prices cheeeap.  We have no idea what its called but for those Chinese reading of you, its 麥記美食.  Maybe someone can shed some light on it for us, though if not, it really doesn’t matter as it won’t stop us being regulars there.  IMG_0156 Yip, its another hole-in-the-wall vendor but this one has the added addition of a few tables out on the street, creating an almost old school dai pai dong (open air stall) atmosphere.  IMG_0157 It has the usual Hong Kong array of food on a stick – fish cakes and fish balls, sausages, various intestinal parts, squid etc.  which can be purchased to go in a paper bag, or, as most choose to do, dipped in the sauces you see and eaten right in front of the stall with the efficient lean slightly forward so the sauce doesn’t drip onto your clothes/shoes stance.  IMG_0150IMG_0148 Stuff on a stick, while awesome, is not the reason we frequent this place so much.  Remember our obsession with all things dumpling?  Well this is where dumpling heaven may just be.  IMG_0144 First up, their most famous dish (yes, every place here is famous in some way, shape or form!) – the xiao long bao, or soup dumplings.  These deceptively simple looking parcels hide a soupy inside, with a perfectly seasoned blob of juicy pork.  Bite a small hole to let some of the steam out, suck out the soup, then devour the rest.  There is a dipping sauce but we seldom bother, often having shoved the dumpling in our face before even registering.  We’ve had soup dumplings at many a more fancy establishment but these, as far we are concerned, are the best.  $20 for six doesn’t hurt either.IMG_0160 But wait – that’s not even our favourite dish!  The pan fried dumplings are also amazing, crispy and slightly greasy (in a totally good way) on one side and gorgeously steamed on the other, these little guys have staved off many a pre-dinner rampage at their ridiculously affordable 5 for $10.  Every person who comes through our house gets forced to indulge in these at some point during their trip.  Be warned.

IMG_0149One more dish cannot escape mention here and in fact, really stands out as a winner in the street food stakes, H-J in particular having dubbed them her ‘favourite noodles in all of Asia’.  That is not a title given lightly. IMG_0153 Bouncy, slightly stretchy, perfectly cooked noodles swimming in a sauce of delicately spicy, nutty sauce…we’ve no idea what these are called but have learned to ask for “noodles, no soup, just the sauce stuff” which seems to cross the language barrier successfully enough.  $15 and your happiness is complete.  IMG_0158 There’s other stuff on the menu too.  We’ve worked out a couple by sheer luck of ordering the wrong stuff from time to time, wonton soup, noodle soup and the like but we know there’s more we’re missing.  Feel free to let us know what, should you be so inclined, otherwise we’re happy to just keep fudging our way through and seeing what surprises we can come up with.  IMG_0163 And with that, its time to do as we set out to at the beginning of this post and roll home.  Luckily, our house is a mere 50 metres from the end point so off we go into the night. IMG_0164Stay tuned for the forthcoming editions of other ways to get your bellies-worth in North Point, Hong Kong styles!

Categories: Food, HK Food Tour, Hong Kong, TravelTags: , , , , , , , , , ,

22 comments

  1. You are really lucky who get to taste all that interesting food, and travel!

  2. Can I come to your house? Right now?

  3. Num, num, num. Drooooool!!!! I love soup dumplings! And that noodle soup looks to die for! I’d like to see a post about your high rise apartment! I’m so curious about what the inside of one of those places looks like!

  4. Aahhh….Hong Kong offers a plethora of buffets at every corner. You will be spoilt for choice! 🙂

  5. Lol, at last I can be of some use to you both!
    Love the Gai darn baing and (xia long bao, I could eat a whole pot!) Literally! Wouldn’t have room for anything else, but it’d be tasty.

    The dumplings which are crispy one side & steamed on the other are called (war-tip) that’s the phonetic pronouniciation! As for the noodles, very spicy, with pork mince and a slightly peanut/sesame type sauce they’re called Darn-Darn mein (phonetic again.) There’s a super famous darn-darn noodle place on Kowloon side, near Whampoa (shopping centre which looks like an ocean liner!)

    Google it, I think you’ll be mighty pleased!

    • Lol, you’re ALWAYS of use to us! Am making your satay sauce (hehe) for dinner tonight, yum…

      I was trying to figure out if they were dan dan noodles but these ones don’t have any meat content, literally just runny sauce, but admittedly do taste the same. Does that count?! We’ll definitely check out your recommendation at Whampoa! The ferry from North Point goes straight there 🙂

  6. Looks very yummy – I think I had a few of the buns before, but I’m really intrigued by the triangle with spring onions. I’ll need to give this a try. North Point, here I come 🙂

  7. I love that your open to trying new foods, a lot of my western friends are scared of everything. Have you tried the cheapest Michelin star restaurant in HK? It’s a dumpling place somewhere in Kowloon I believe.

    • We are scared of nothing! Tim Ho Wan (the cheapest Michelin starred restaurant in the world) has a branch two blocks from our house – very convenient. And delicious 😉 If you have any more recommendations, let us know – we’ll try!

  8. Great finds! Hole in the wall places are always the best with Asian food, aren’t they? This post is bringing back a lot of childhood memories :’) At the dumpling house, the fourth thing on the menu is xiaolongbao (Shanghai soup dumplings), which will probably be really, really tasty. First item on the third menu is ‘dandan mian’, also really nice – but I think they’re the same as the spicy noodles you had. Last thing on the menu is cold ‘doujiang’, or soy milk – awesome with dumplings.

    • I think we might actually be psychically Chinese as we always manage to guess/point/mime getting the right items, haha. The only one we didn’t know about was the soy milk – being a huge soy fan, that’s great news 🙂 The xiaolongbao are epically good at this place as are the dan dan noodles. Mmm….

  9. ERMAGERD DEM GAO GEE

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