Obviously, one of the main draws of Hong Kong is the food. For me, it’s always a matter of balancing good food with nostalgic food from when I was a kid that…might not be as good. Luckily we managed to do a little bit of both on this trip. I’ll just hit our culinary experiences in chronological order.
Our first night in Hong Kong, we were still recovering from a pretty tough flight with M. We were looking for some place quick to eat so I suggested one of my favorites from childhood: Spaghetti House!
Having moved to Hong Kong when I was 10, I missed Western food all the time. Spaghetti House was one of the restaurants we would go to after I complained too much.
Like many restaurants in dense Asian cities, you have to look up to find where you’re going. After taking a dinky elevator and waiting a few minutes, we were seated.
One thing I noticed, starting with Spaghetti House, is restaurants in Hong Kong don’t give you a ton of napkins. We only got one each for the two adults and had to ask for a third for M. So come prepared – hey it saves the environment!
Anyway, we didn’t have anything fancy – spaghetti and a salad. M and I enjoyed it – though it probably won’t blow anyone’s mind. Still, if you’re looking for Western food, there are worse places than Spaghetti House.
Random Restaurants in K11 Mall
Like in Taiwan, we were often confined to eating near the hotel. Unlike Taiwan, we weren’t stuck only eating at the food court. The K11 mall has a bunch of restaurants, we managed to try two.
The first restaurant we tried was Good Place. Like a lot of Hong Kong restaurants, Good Place offers all sorts of food – Western and Chinese alike (the British influence). I ordered the pork belly with rice – it was delicious.
That egg is only half cooked and you dip the pork belly in it (forget what it’s called if someone knows please enlighten me). Anyway, it’s pretty common place to find restaurants in HK that offer food from all over (I ate Japanese here, Jess had some Chinese noodles, but we also could have ordered lasagna). Just go with it.
The second restaurant we went to in was Miso Cool. This place was mostly Japanese food; besides the ridiculous/awesome name the food was pretty good. We just ate your standard Japanese dishes (udon and teriyaki with a side of sushi) – I didn’t manage to take any pictures of the food because it was one of those family meals where our hands were full the whole time. They also serve frozen yogurt which Jess would partake in at a later date.
Jess and I discovered this place way back in 2010 on our first trip to Asia together and we have visited every time in Hong Kong since. It’s located in the IFC Mall and can often have a decent wait time. Like almost every restaurant in Hong Kong, take a number and wait for it to show up on the sign.
Tasty Noodle lives up to its name: it has all manner of noodle dishes and an extensive menu that can be overwhelming. We always order at least one order of wonton noodle soup, just because it’s so classic.
Then we usually get some dish with ho fun (flat rice noodles). Often this is Beef Chow Fun (乾炒牛河) but this time I decided to mix it up. There is a standard Hong Kong dish called runny egg beef rice (滑蛋牛肉飯) – I asked for this but on ho fun instead (he fen if you’re speaking Mandarin). I love this dish – I really just seem to love semi raw eggs in general.
We also ordered some vegetables, I guess, and ma la gau (pinyin, don’t know the English translation). Overall we were super satisfied, as always!
Tim Ho Wan
After Disneyland, we made a beeline for Hong Kong Station (near the IFC) to eat at Tim Ho Wan, our second Michelin starred restaurant of the trip (there are other locations as well). This place was pretty annoying to find, it’s like on a middle level of the actual train station – we wandered around for ten minutes to look for it. Just do yourself a favor and ask first instead of being a stubborn guy like me.
Tim Ho Wan is cheap, tasty, and crowded dim sum. There was a long wait when we got there at 4:15. There is always a huge crowd of people by the podium, but all of them probably have numbers up there. Push your way up to the front and ask for a number, you’ll receive a menu with a number on it so you can mark what you want to save time. There also aren’t any high chairs for you parents out there.
We had a mix of great orders and fail orders, though that was on us not the restaurant. You have to order the steamed pork buns, they are unique here and possibly some of the best I’ve ever eaten.
The glutinous rice chicken (糯米雞) was very generous in portion and tasted amazing, much better than anything we can get at home.
We also ordered some shrimp dumplings, which were pretty standard.
Finally, we ordered this fried egg and minced beef on rice dish that was kind of a fail. I mean it tasted fine and all, but I can’t really remember why we ordered it and it just wasn’t as good as the other stuff.
All in all, I definitely believe Tim Ho Wan was worth the wait. For sure you have to try it at least once, but I’m considering it putting it on our list of must visits with Tasty Noodle and Din Tai Fung on future trips.
There are a lot of cheap eats in Hong Kong. First, I need to give a shout out to McDonald’s. I did not eat there – a shocker – but we did get a hot chocolate. Couldn’t pass this up. The also were selling a 6 piece chicken nuggets meal for $21HKD (less than $3 USD) WHAT!? If only…
Our toughest find ended up being egg waffles at Lee Keung Kee. They have a location in Tsim Sha Tsui on Nathan Road which really is basically in Jordan (just walk north). Anyway, we read online that they opened at 11 AM so we got there around 10:50 and stood around until they sadly did NOT open. Jess was incredibly disappointed.
Eventually, on one of our last days, M took a nap in the afternoon while I ran up there to get some egg waffles. There was a super long line that took me about twenty minutes to get through. The egg waffles are cheap (like less than $2 each or $3 for a pair), and they are served hot! Anyway, they are a great snack and something you should definitely try if you don’t mind waiting in line.
Though you wouldn’t believe it seeing how thin people in Hong Kong are, there are amazing food options to be had in the city. These were some of the places we hit on this trip (didn’t get to go to Cafe de Coral for my chinese fast food fix unfortunately) – it’s tough to find a restaurant in the city that’s not good. Happy eating!
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