Hong Kong is a city that demands to be eaten. Fine fare in a colourful array of forms is crafted on every street corner - at roadside stands, buzzing restaurants and unassuming little hole-the-wall food joints. From piping hot bowls of hand-made noodles to curious desserts, this culinary-fuelled city won’t break the bank either – not even at Michelin star standards.
Tim Ho Wan defied all odds when it became the cheapest Michelin starred restaurant in the world. A blink and you’ll miss it hole-in-the-wall eatery, the food quickly makes up for any lack of white linen tablecloths and shiny cutlery. Famous for its sumptuous BBQ pork buns, the menu is also lauded for its dim sum, steamed egg cake and vermicelli rolls with pig’s liver and steamed chicken feet. The only catch is that this humble gourmet stop doesn’t take bookings; the wait frequently hits the one-hour mark.
A steaming bowl of wonton noodles is a must-eat in Hong Kong. But there’s no noodle like a hand-made noodle by the traditional method of kneading with bamboo. Wing Wah Noodles has continued this tradition in over 60 years of business. Order a bowl to taste the difference for yourself. A bilingual menu displays many of the typical noodle house dishes, but this unassuming restaurant is most famous for its wanton mee, brewed to perfection using shark bones for a broth that also easy on the joints.
They say restaurateur Meter Chen tasted his way through 800 bowls of ramen in Japan before formulating the perfect recipe. Now he dishes up ramen – and ramen only – in four different ways at this unassuming diner in Central that is a favourite for locals. Dubbed the best in Hong Kong, lines frequently trail out the door. That time is best spent customising your dish on a special tick-box order form, from the flavour potency and oil content to the noodle texture and extra toppings.
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Snake meat soup is to Hong Kong is what chicken noodle soup is in many parts of the world. Adventurous eaters can relish the chance to sample this quintessential local delicacy at Ser Wong Fun, home to one of the best snake soups around. Believed by many to have healing qualities, some simply just love the taste. For those who wince at the thought, keep skimming the menu for a range of other mainstream Hong Kong mouthfuls.
For an old-school Hong Kong dessert experience that is now rare to find, Yuen Kee Dessert does sugar with a twist just as it has since 1855 – focusing on not just the flavour, but also the medicinal properties for an extra dose of nourishment. Traditional soups – like sweet walnut cream soup – arrive presented in beautiful Cantonese bowls and there’s a range of interestingly flavoured cakes and sweets. There’s also an exotic tea selection including their famous mulberry mistletoe tea – an ancient medicinal concoction said to boost kidney function and promote blood flow.
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