As mentioned a couple of blog posts prior, the imminent departure from HK led to a flurry of must-eat activity. The re-visits, the ‘last times’ and the ‘oh shit, we haven’t visited there’s quickly mounted up into an overwhelming list of expense and belt-popping. Help was recruited by way of suggestions from a fuck yeah good mate, who succinctly summed up a few must-dos by way of cuisines. In true administrative fashion, H-J was then put to task creating a list of restaurants and scheduling our friends, family, accessories, bloggers and randoms into completing the eatery adventure with us.
Of course, as time went on, as H-J gifted away the entirety of our kitchen a little prematurely and as more people emerged from the woodwork wanting to catch up, the list grew. In expected Hong Kong styles though, there was little to no disappointment. For your future reference should an eating trip to Hong Kong be in order, or for the mere gratuitous pleasure of seeing exactly how we ate through our last few weeks in Hong Kong, here goes.
Last Chungking Mish…
Chungking Mansions are famous for being a hotbed of…well, these days actually just good food. A diverse immigrant community in a concentrated area means a diverse range of food in a concentrated area. Of course, we have a favourite and have not hesitated to recommend it anyone who will listen. Bismillah serves Pakistani and Turkish food and recently has branched into a few new items of Halal Fried Chicken (HFC?!) and pizza. We can’t think of somewhere we would less rather eat pizza given the delicious and more flavoursome eastern dishes such as the awesome lamb curry and chicken karahi. Oh and the sauces that come with the doner plates are worth a visit all by themselves. We’d guzzle them straight from the bottle if no one was looking. Our reliable go-to for curry cravings and a low-key but high atmosphere place to go, we’re going to miss this place 😦 Waaah.
Last Korean – Chum Chum Mi
Sgt. Noms of the controversial FYN blog had waxed lyrical about this Korean resto. Now, we’ve lived in Korea *hair flick* so are pretty damn fussy about our Korean food. Sweating with anxiousness about whether we would deign to rate her recommendation, the Sgt. led us to this quite glossy TST establishment. Her reputation is secure though (“phew”) as this place sucked us in straight away with free and bottomless banchan (HONG KONG c’mon already – you can’t call yourself a proper Korean eating place if you don’t do this!!!), the lip-schmackin fried chicken and kimchi pancake. The galbi and samgypseol were good but going at lunchtime means they cook it in the kitchen for you, denying you the fun of cooking and smelling like you’ve been sitting inside bbq-ing all day.
Last Chinese roast chicken (is that a thing?!) – Pang’s Kitchen
Sydney lifestyle blogger, Soy & Ginger, happened to be in HK for a flying post-Europe visit, and was keen to join on the chicken mish. Pang’s Kitchen holds a Michelin Star (not greatly hard to achieve in HK in all honesty), is featured in Lonely Planet but ironically is quite visitor unfriendly. Yes, they speak English and yes it’s quite easy to get a table but the owner will not so helpfully judge you by your foreign face and deem that you will not like certain dishes that might be “too Chinese” and accordingly not allow you to order them. FU Pang’s.
On the plus side, the crispy garlic chicken was indeed the bomb but surprisingly surpassed by the Cantonese brisket and the salted egg prawns…which, we might add, were served contrary to our instructions without their shells etc. Sigh. Also, no dessert because “we wouldn’t like them”. FU squared Pang’s.
Last Chinese style desserts – Lotus Garden
Following the CANNOT on dessert at Pang’s Kitchen, it was off to find somewhere that would provide us with what we wanted. Lotus Garden caters to everyone regardless of face shape, colour, size and even has menus in about a zillion different languages. Tong yuan filled with black sesame and floating in a warm, spicy soup is a local fav so we devoured this along with square mango coconutty things and beautiful osmanthus jellies, which totally hit the spot. Surprisingly, we were okay, even given our non-Chinese status. FU to the power of three Pang’s.
First post-pregnancy sushi binge and Last Excellent Value, Super-Fresh Sushi escapade – Ba Sushi
Superb quality and reasonable price for sushi/sashimi are nearly completely mutually exclusive in NZ, so it was time to get a fixin’ under the belt. Ba Sushi is a little off the radar, super boring looking restaurant with blingy Japanese dishes. Cold Asahi, mountains of raw fish and a HK bestie makes for an epic last time. Special food mentions go to the spicy tuna hand rolls, the soft shell crab sushi, the lobster roe rolls thingies and the amazingly kitsch clock. Special awesome mention goes to Suz. We’ll miss you, kid.
Last Noodles – Mak’s Noodles
This was a kinda accidental Last Noodle but circumstances dictated that there was to be no time for a proper mission making this an unplanned and, at the time, unknown Last Noodle stop. There are better noodles around but it’s reliable, has a star and Anthony Bourdain has been there so you can act all cool and pretend you hung with them there if you want.
Last Yum Cha – Jade Garden
We’ve been meaning to meet up with local HK blogger, Ruth, for a while now and it seemed like the perfect chance to try a new yum cha place for a casual lunch. However, we stupidly ignored the apparently fantastic recommendation we’d been given (if only I’d known about the lunchtime special I’d never have ignored the info, grrr) and decided to pick a random place off the HK Magazine’s Top 10 Dim Sum Restaurant list. Jade Garden promised “an authentic dim sum experience with dishes served from trolleys that are pushed from table to table.” Well, they must have fired the trolley pushers cause there were none and the place was just an average, run-of-the-mill absolutely okay yum cha resto.
Actual Last Yum Cha* – Din Tai Fung
We’re already anticipating the backlash for even calling Din Tai Fung a ‘yum cha’ restaurant given that it is Taiwanese rather than Cantonese but stuff it – we’re drinking tea, we’re eating dim sum-esque dishes so we’re gunna call it our last yum cha…and yum cha we did. Plate after plate of reliably delicious dim sum came to our VIP room for the farewell lunch we pulled together at very short notice. This particular chain has crept all over the world so if you get the chance, just do it. Order the sweet and sour chilli chicken, the preserved vegetables with soybeans and bean curd, the drunken chicken, the har gow, the deep fried pork chops, and, of course, their signature xiao long bao. Godammit, just do what we do and order practically one of everything. There aren’t really any dud dishes.
Last Stone Nullah Tavern Mission
One of our very last stops was trusty ol’ favourite, SNT. We’ve blogged about this before and every visit has been that golden trio of great service, awesome atmosphere and fantastic food. This time the menu had been unceremoniously cleft in twain but we’ll forgive them for the mere fact that pigs head nachos and fat kid cake remain. Amen.
Hong Kong is a food city and we feel we did a pretty good job of sampling its many cultural varieties, price points and hidden gems. Anyone that is looking to have an eating holiday and needs a tour guide or two, feel free to pop us on a plane and lead you around. We’re just that generous. A few last honourable mentions go to the following places that we time did not allow us to revisit and/or don’t know the names of but will hold strong in our food memories forever: Formosa – amazing Taiwanese in Quarry Bay; the Tibetan noodle shop in North Point behind the MTR; most of the ramen restaurants; Korean chicken place in Yuen Long; Stones for trusty burgers, beers and banter; Pizzetta, formerly of Tin Hau, RIP; Sister Wah in Tin Hau for great brisket noodles; Dan’s ‘offal shop’ (cart noodles) in North View Road; Nobu for bling, views and memories; R&B for grilled romaine and peanut piiiiieeeee; the dai pai dong on the corner of Fort Street, AKA Mr. Hutchinson, for dumplings, dan dan and destination; the ‘Danish’ Bakery out the back of Causeway Bay for HK hot dawgs; and last but not least, the River, forever in our hearts.