On Monday 22 September 2008 I attended a Local Food Sampling Walking Tour of Hong Kong which was lots of fun. This tour was definitely for the adventurous and not for the squeamish so from my rough scribbles this is how the day went.
From Jordan Exit A we turned right, crossed Jordan Road then walked down Parkes Road. Our first stop was at the Australia Dairy Company, 47 Parkes Street, Jordan, Kowloon, Hong Kong Tel: +852 2730 1356. This establishment has a reputation for the best scrambled eggs and steamed milk pudding in Hong Kong and at certain times of the day you will see people queuing out front eager to satiate their appetite. Don’t expect a warm and fuzzy welcome however, as with many Hong Kong restaurants the waiters also have a reputation for being rude but somewhat speedy with their service. Being an aussie through and through, I personally couldn’t see any relationship with the land of oz but giving them the benefit of the doubt maybe they used Australian milk? The prices of their food however indicated otherwise and I just hope that their products aren’t tainted with melamine? Although, we didn’t sample any food here I will certainly put this one on my ‘to do’ list at some time… just hope I live to tell the tale.
We continued down Parkes Road then turned right into Bowring Street. Here there were market stalls selling food, linen and clothing. We stopped at a local ‘jook’ (congee) shop (with butcher next door) - sorry, I don’t have the name as there was nothing English about this place - and sampled some Fish Slice Congee (Yue Peen Jook), Pork Congee (Sow Jook), Thousand Year Old Egg Congee and Zah Leung (Pear & Chinese Donut wrapped in Rice Noodles). Congee is like rice porridge and is extremely popular with the Chinese at breakfast. The fish and pork congee was absolutely delicious and had shredded ginger and spring onion sprinkled on top but I passed on the Thousand Year Old Egg Congee. Although, I’ve tried Thousand year old egg before there was a bit of the ‘yuk’ factor involved. Thousand year old eggs are black, have a rubbery texture and tend to stick to your chopsticks. As far as taste goes, well I’m not even going to go there! Zah Leung however was fabulous! It seemed to be sweet, salty, crisp but also soft all at the same time and was a delight to taste. Pear and Chinese donut are wrapped in a sheet of vermicelli rice noodle and served with either soy, plum or peanut sauce – yum!
We continued down Bowring Street (which cut through Woosung and Temple Street) then turned right into Shanghai Street and headed back towards Jordan Road. When we got to Jordan Road we turned left and continued to walk until we arrived at a Vegetarian Restaurant. Here we sampled ‘Loh por beng’ (wife cake made of winter melon paste) and ‘Fah seng hap to beng' (peanut almond biscuit). We crossed Jordan Road, sampled two types of tea i.e. ‘Tie Guan Yin tea’ and ‘Jasmine flower tea’ at a tea shop on the other side of the road then continued along Shanghai Street. From here we turned left into Nanking Street then continued along Reclamation Street.
Reclamation Street is very colourful and full of little street stalls selling fruit and vegetables and the like. It was along here that we stopped to sample dim sum at the Reclamation Street Cooked Food Market. Here we had Cha Siu Bau (Steamed Pork Buns), Steamed Meat Bun (a bit of a mixture) and Beef Balls with Bean Curd Skin to mention but a few for lunch along with Hong Kong style drinks - Lemon Tea, Yin Yeung (tea and coffee mix), and Hot Ginger Coke.
After lunch, we continued along Reclamation Street past the Yau Ma Tei Wet Market complex until we ended up in Kansu Street (near the Jade market). We turned right then continued along Kansu Street where we stopped at a local food vendor stall to sample 'Yue Daan' fish balls ('laht'spicy and 'ng-laht' non-spicy). Although, I’ve tried better fish balls, the spicy fish balls were better of the two. After sampling the fish balls we continued along Kansu Street then turned right into Woosung Street. On the corner of Kansu and Woosung Street there is a large dried seafood stall with everything that you can imagine – we tend to call them ‘stinky shops’ as they are a bit on the nose. As we walked along Woosung Street we saw Dai Pai Dongs (local hawker food stalls) and more restaurants including one called ‘The Curry House’ which is home to whole head goat curry!
Our next stop was at a Herbal Tea Shop on the corner of Woosung Street and Pak Hoi Street. Here we tried two sweet teas - 'foh mah yun' and 'ng fa cha', and also one bitter tea 'ya seh mei' (24 flavour tea). Although ‘bitter’ tea is supposed to be very good for you it really wasn’t my cup of tea! Excuse the pun. Much preferred the sweet sesame tea. Whilst sitting at this Herbal tea shop there was a very large copper vat out front. When we asked what was in the vat, much to our horror, we found out it was turtle soup! Up until now my only experience with turtle soup was singing the song from ‘Alice in Wonderland’:( Of particular note though, there is the Woosung Street Food Market across the road, with English menus and although very basic they serve up delicious stir fried prawns with lots of garlic and chilli. Make sure you visit this one as it really is worth while.
After our turtle soup experience we continued along Woosung Street then turned left into Nanking Street. By this stage we were too full but if you want to try great fish balls then the Aberdeen Fish Ball Co. is the place. From Nanking Street we turned right into Parkes Street and ended back at Jordan Road and at our last food sampling shop ‘Healthy Dessert’.
I am sure that every girl has a compartment in their tummy especially for dessert so we absolutely had to fit this one in. Here we had a yummy mango pomelo dessert with coconut milk which finished the tour perfectly! Would I do the tour again and/or be more adventurous with my food choices in Hong Kong – absolutely!
p.s check out the google map in my side bar for a better idea of places visited.