Hong Kong Trip: Part 2 – The Food

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Part 1  The Scenery   ||   Part 2 — The Food   ||   Part 3 — Weiqi

Introduction

When it comes to traveling, my number one priority is always to find the most authentic food to that area. The more special it is to the area (aka I can’t get it anywhere else in the world) the better. And for those who aren’t following me on Twitter already, you’ll notice that my Twitter consists primarily of go and food. So as you might expect, I’m quite enthusiastic about food and thus this post is a tad lengthier than normal.

With that said, I hope you prepare yourself as you set off with me to relive my food adventures through Hong Kong, and be sure to read to the end because I recount my experience with a buffet that costs $100USD per person. No that is not a typo. See you at the the bottom!

Part 2 – The Food

For starters, I’ll have to say that while we had some recommendations on places to go, my family and I were mostly on our own when it came to figuring out what we wanted to eat.
When we had finally escaped surviving on airplane food for the last 13+ hours, you can imagine our desire to find some actual food. Nothing microwaved or mushy. Just legit Hong Kong food. And even though it took us a bit before we got settled in at our hotel, we were fortune enough that there were some places open nearby. To top it off, we were incredibly lucky to pick the one place where they had excellent wonton egg noodle soup. Definitely the best I had the entire trip!

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Best wonton egg noodle soup dish I had the entire trip!

One thing I learned about Hong Kong is that all of the breakfast (at least in the restaurant I went to) they served were primarily soup. After eating a rather abysmal breakfast one time, we eventually found this number nearby our hotel which had a great pork chop that went really well with instant noodles. I know I know… instant noodles? Well after my first terrible breakfast experience, instant noodles were a huge relief.
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This dish saved a number of breakfast that trip. There just wasn’t much else to choose from.
In addition, another thing I came to like in Hong Kong was a drink that was quite common there: tea with lemon and honey! And while that might sound extremely common place, it was rather odd for me to experience that in an Asian restaurant.
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They serve it hot or cold, but after trying both I found that I prefer the cold one.
One place that was recommended by my friend Christine was this dim sum place. As you can see below, it was really crowded and hopping!
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Look at all those people! You can imagine how long the wait for a table might have been. Haha.
After waiting for a while though, we were finally seated and the dim sum feast began!
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Ha Gao – Shrimp Dumplings – Excellent!
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Xiu Mai – “Meatballs” – One of the best I’ve ever had. Very flavorful and it had great texture!
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Can’t remember the name, but these were pretty good as well.
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Sticky rice! A favorite of mine. It was pretty good, but we have comparable dishes in the US.
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Roasted Pork Buns – These were the star of the entire meal. The outside of the bun was unlike anything I had ever had before. It was soo good!
The next restaurant to be featured is a dessert place that was also near our hotel (we had gotten quite lucky to be around so many good food places within walking distance). We had passed by it a number of times walking around, but never went in because it was so crowded. One night however, it was just my dad and I and we decided to go ahead and see what the buzz was all about.
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Xiao Fang Tang – The customer base was primarily the younger generation (i.e., teens to people in their twenties), and man it was crowded! It’s a pure dessert place and we had to wait to get in around like 7:00 o’clock for a party of 2. Crazy!
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This was the dessert I ordered. It’s served in a coconut! How cool is that?
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Yum… It was full of random goodies inside accompanied by a sweet coconut milk and was just to die for. Haha. I have never had an Asian dessert like this. It was certainly a treat!
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This was the dessert my dad ordered. Durian and tapioca balls + other things. It was REALLY good. Although a fair warning, this place did smell strongly of durian, so durian haters steer clear!
On the night I went to The Peak with my brother, we decided to grab ramen for dinner!
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The famous Ippudo! Except in Hong Kong!
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We ordered a popular appetizer from the NY location: Roasted Pork Buns! They were a great way to start the meal!
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And of course, how could I not have a picture of Ippudo’s delicious ramen. Just looking at it is making me want it again… Ahh!
When we went to visit Tian Tan Buddha, we got a chance to try the temple’s vegetarian feast as well!
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Here’s the entrance into the temple’s restaurant.
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This was a vegetarian soup that kind of reminded me of shark fin soup. It was really good!
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Here’s an aerial shot of the entire feast. It was eight courses and consisted of really good vegetarian dishes. I won’t list them all, but it is suffice to say that any vegetarian (who like Asian food) would have enjoyed this feast!
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Afterwards, we went to try the temple’s famous tofu dessert.
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Here it is in all its glory. And while I know that many might wonder how tofu could be a dessert, trust me when I tell you that it totally works (think of it like jello). The sweet syrup with the tofu is just so delicious and hits just the right level of sweetness.
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Though it might seem odd that I have McDonald featured here, I wanted to comment on how McCafe’s are actually really popular in Hong Kong and about as prevalent around the city as you would expect a Starbucks to be in a city in the US.
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I didn’t actually try any of these things, but I thought that it was rather hilarious that instead of the apple pie being featured, it was totally “Asian-ified” and they were selling red bean pie (upper right corner).
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This here is a regular milk tea from the McCafe with the Chinese character for tea sprinkled over the foam with Himalayan spice. It was actually surprisingly good when you consider the fact it was from McDonalds! Haha.
Another fun thing I got to try in Hong Kong was cream soda (depicted below). I know that this might be a regular occurrence to some in the States, but my aunt told me she grew up drinking it so I decided to give it a shot. It was a new flavor and quite an interesting taste! Not something I could drink all the time, but I could see why people really enjoy it.

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 Another thing about Hong Kong is that the airport is HUGE. And maybe I’m just ignorant from having only really spent time in airports in the United States, but there was just so many food options (that were actually good)! For instance, this place (below) featured an entree not found in many other places.

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Roast Goose – Yup. Definitely a unique dish. It’s one I would recommend to people who like eating duck. Otherwise, probably want to steer clear.
And of course, while at the airport, I also took the chance to grab me some milk tea whenever I had the chance!

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And on the last day, I even got a chance to try the ramen at the airport. I have to say that I was a little skeptical of how good it could be. After all, it was in an airport. It can’t be that authentic right?

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Yeah I was completely wrong. For airport standards, this ramen was awesome if you needed some real food before going to the terminal!

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Another favorite of mine is the franchise known as Hui Lau San (depicted below). They serve drinks that are more fruit oriented.

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This was my favorite. It had coconut, mango, and aloe jelly. So good!
As always, I have saved the best for last. On one night, my family and I were very fortunate to be able to [partake in an incredible experience at a restaurant called Imasa. It was by reservation only (which my cousin was able to get for us on short notice) where their buffet was $100 USD per person.

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Yep… That’s right. $100 USD per person. And even though the price seemed outrageous to me at the time, what I will say is that it was worth every penny. I have never had food that was elevated to such a level I’d never experienced before. Anyhow, more on that later…

To begin, we start with the setting of the table for every person. As you can see, there’s a small thing of wasabi, a place to rest your chopsticks and soup spoon so they don’t have to touch the table, a hot towel, and a cup of tea that never went empty because they always refilled it after you drank about 30% of it.

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Here we have their menu. The art could be a bit more refined, but i wasn’t there for their design abilities. Haha.
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First page of their menu to explain what they have.
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Second page containing the main entrees and desserts.
To clarify real quick before progressing, while this was a buffet in the traditional sense, they also featured special entrees that were limited to one per person due to the extremely high quality dish they were serving you (i.e., Wagyu beef).
Now we begin the tour of the buffet bar…
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Here we have a three tier layer of different appetizers.
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A very nice salad bar with only the freshest ingredients.
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Here lay beautifully plated sashimi that never ever exhausted in quantity.
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The next section was filled with Alaskan crab legs, umami, and other sashimi.
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Here you had your sushi bar.
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And then as you can see here, a row of hot entrees ready to be served.
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And of course, how could we forget dessert!
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Dessert table from another angle.
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Just had to get a close-up of the macaroons. So colorful!
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Here was my first plate of food. As you can see, I went for variety here!
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Here’s a close-up shot of the Alaskan crab leg. It was already cracked open for you to simply eat. Might seem like a small thing, but it was a fantastic perk!
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My first plate + the crab leg
When I had that first bite of sashimi, I have to tell you that it was literally out of this world. I am a huge sushi fan and had my fair share of sashimi, but I had never had anything so incredible before. The fish just tasted so sweet and fresh while being so incredibly tender and practically melting in your mouth. In fact, even things like squid sashimi (which I despise to eat here in the US because of how rubbery it normally is) was actually enjoyable!
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My second plate with assorted sashimi and sushi!
Some of the new delicacies I got to try here was “sweet shrimp” and “scallops” sashimi. I had never had shrimp or scallop raw before, but like I mentioned earlier, the freshness of these ingredients were so incredible that I just couldn’t get enough!
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Here’s umami over a cucumber!
Even things like umami (i.e., sea urchin) which I normally don’t care for was actually quite savory and tasty!
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Dried puffer fish jerky – It was really tasty! Couldn’t get enough of it!
And to top it off, because we were with my cousin, we got to try this special dish (that wasn’t part of the buffet and had to be ordered separately) which many of you probably know about: the puffer fish! Now while it wasn’t raw (which would then run the risk of me dying from eating it), it was awesome to be able to get to try the actual fish itself.
As you’ll see over the next few photos, I go back quite a bit to keep getting different things and see what new flavors and tastes the restaurant had waiting for me. Time and time it continued to surprise me with things that I thought I wouldn’t like and ending up enjoying.

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Here is the Japanese appetizer with the boiled egg and hidden food treasures amongst the boiled egg. Let’s just say it was probably the best one I’ve ever had thus far.
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We even got to try the hand rolls, but overall it was just the amazing sashimi just wrapped in the rice and seaweed. So in other words, just get the sashimi and skip the rice. Haha.
Now we enter into the main entrees that was featured on the second page of the menu. You’ll notice I have shots of every single entree (even though it’s limit to one per person), but because my cousin was a frequent visitor there, we were able to get as many as we wanted.
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Tuban shell teppanyaki
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Grilled kinki fish with salt
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Wagyu beef noodle soup

When I had that first bite of Wagyu beef, all I will say is that this was another one of those out of the world experiences. I have enjoyed my fair share of beef, steak and so forth, but the tenderness and flavor of the meat was simply mind blowing. I was practically speechless…

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Red bean ice cream and hokkaido ice cream
Now that we’ve started the dessert section, I have to also pay another tribute to the ice cream above. While ice cream is one of those common place desserts, I will have to say that red bean is just one of those things I have never liked growing up. Yet, to my surprise, I LOVED what they did with this ice cream and just couldn’t get enough (I even ordered a second one later on). Hahaha.
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As you can see here, I tried to jam my entire plate with everything I could grab from the dessert table. I don’t think there was anything I ate that was disappointing.
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Finally, we had this pudding/jello dessert. And if you’re wondering what that gold leaf is on top, that isn’t just decoration. That’s actual gold! Talk about decadent!
To be honest, I always thought that 5 star restaurants and such were just hyper-inflated prices of what people normally eat; but this restaurant certainly opened my eyes (and taste buds) to just how vastly deep the world of food can be. Sure, sometimes “5 star restaurants” are simply overpriced, but if you can find a gem like the one I got to try here, you might see (and taste) what I mean one day.
Well, I hope that you enjoyed the small glimpse of my food adventures in Hong Kong. I was originally going to post everything that I had eaten, but it was something like 150+ photos and I knew it wasn’t realistic for me to try to fit that all in one post. So what you got to read above were the highlights of my adventure that I felt was worth your time.
And tomorrow, the long wait is finally over, we conclude my Hong Kong trip series with my visit to the Hong Kong Go Association!

About the author

BenGoZen

<span class="dsq-postid" data-dsqidentifier="4953 http://bengozen.com//?p=4953">12 comments</span>

  • Wow! That sure is a lot different to the food that I had when I went to china. We pretty much only ate in tiny hole in the wall type places. It was super duper cheap (like 1 dollar per person lol). But the food was super good and super unique.
    Hong Kong looks like a lot of fun though.

    • I love hole in the wall type places though! Those are sometimes the best places you can go. It’s just that you usually need someone to recommend it in order to know where to go, otherwise the risk of food poisoning is just way too high. Hahahaha.
      It was a lot of fun! Definitely should visit sometime!

      • Yeah, fortunately my sister has been living in Xi’an for quite a while before we visited there. So we knew all the cool places to eat.

        • Oh nice! My Chinese teacher lives in Xi’an. Haha. But that is totally what I would prefer when traveling. It’s definitely great to have someone who lives in the area. Did you get to do any go related activities when you went to visit her?

          • Unfortunately not. Go wasn’t really that high of a priority on that trip, and with my nonexistent Chinese language skills it would have been very difficult to do anything related to that. It also seemed like it was not part of the culture there. I saw plenty of people playing Chinese chess, but never once a go board.

          • Yeah I’ve heard that as well. And while go may be popular in certain areas, it seems that Chinese chess is more commonly seen as opposed to go even though you’re in Asia. Might be different in Korea though. Haha.

  • I am soooo hungry now. I try to stick to vegetarian food, but I’d have to be off my diet if I got a shot at some of that sashimi. Or even some of that good looking ramen! Or pretty much anything you took a picture of…:)

    • Hey Todd! Long time no talk! I also stick to vegetarian food most of the time, but as you can see I just had to make an exception this trip. There were just too many opportunities I couldn’t pass up! Haha. Hope you’re doing well!

    • Haha. It was certainly a delicious adventure for sure. Definitely let me know if you go to Hong Kong and I’ll be sure to let you know where we went!

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