Needless to say, exploring and eating all the food that I possibly could was at the top of my agenda when I headed east recently to visit my sister.
Skipping past the in-flight meal, my first taste of Hong Kong, as it turned out, was neither traditional nor challenging, but it was delicious! Having been delayed a fair few hours, my sister wanted us to enjoy a comforting meal and to show us one of her favourite spots in the city. So we loaded into a cab and headed to up and coming neighbourhood, Kennedy Town. Our destination was Alvy’s, a New York-style pizza joint!
We ordered four pizzas, all of them excellent, including one with a white sauce base and, in a nod to our location, a topping of cha sui, the popular bbq pork dish which can be found almost everywhere in the city. We also ordered fries and some amazing spicy chicken wings. It was the perfect first meal and as we walked out into the humid evening I was ready for bed and excited about the new day ahead.
I woke up ready to hit the city. We walked through the little markets that run alongside my sister’s flat in the beautiful district of Wang Chai before catching a Ding Ding (as Hong Kong’s trams are affectionately known) towards Central. We were headed to one of the most popular dim sum restaurants in Mong Kok.
The restaurant was jam-packed and a queue was snaking around the outside of the building. But this establishment is accustomed to the breakfast rush and has a great ordering system. We made our selection whilst standing in line and by the time we were seated at a communal style bench table well-stocked with fresh tea and condiments our food was already on its way out of the bustling kitchen.
We tried a few things during our breakfast: steamed shrimp dumplings, poached seasonal vegetables, pan-fried turnip cake, but my favourite was the baked bbq bun with pork.
Fuelled up, we spent the rest of the day exploring the city, taking in the sights and ticking off some touristy attractions. I made sure to document some of the weird and wonderful treats on offer around the city as I went!
We went up to the Peak for a beautiful view of the whole city and its impressive skyline. It was also the moment to sample my first bubble tea!
We stopped by the Mandarin Oriental Hotel bakery in Central to purchase some of their famous rose jam. It was all so beautifully presented, I had to take a few pictures there too!
Snaking our way back through smaller streets we hit upon one of my sister’s favourite pit stops, Oddies. This is a small gelato and egg waffle shop on a picturesque street where we enjoyed a much-needed ice-cream.
We tried so many great places, big and small, in Hong Kong, but one of the standout meals of my trip was the Feng Wei Sunday brunch at Hutong. My sister had booked in advance as Hutong fills up fast. I would recommend this to anyone. The menu is inspired by the dining traditions of northern China with Sichuan influences. Over 18 sharing dishes are served paired with unlimited champagne and tea-infused cocktails! They also have one of the best views in Hong Kong. It is a lovely setting in which to enjoy some incredible food. What’s not to like!
Our feast included such delicacies as smoked eggs with caviar, smacked cucumber, mushroom buns, kimchi spring rolls, beef shin and Sichuan soft shell crab.
Diners are also entertained with traditional dramatic acts such as the ‘Sichuan face-changing astonishment’.
I also recommend having a drink in the highest bar in the world way up on the 118th floor of the International Commerce Centre (ICC).
When we were sated with all the treats Hong Kong had to offer, it was time to head to Vietnam and the coastal city of Nha Trang. For a professional foodie like me, the highlight of our visit was a guided tour of the local markets and a traditional breakfast of Pho & iced coffee. Never has a 4 am start been more worthwhile!
Bobbing and weaving between mopeds, it was fascinating to see the local suppliers out in force, butchering meat, preparing fruit and selling the freshest fish I’ve ever seen. If anyone gets the chance to see the markets here, please take it!
The heady mix of Pho, exotic fruits, iced coffee and coconuts, make Nha Trang an enticing destination and not just for foodies.
Returning to my sister’s little home in Wang Chai for the rest of the trip we indulged ourselves at the local eateries.
Hong Kong is fast becoming a very trendy food destination and with good reason. As I discovered, the city caters to every possible taste from the most authentic dim sum to New York deli sandwiches. With so much food on offer and so many flavours to explore, dining in Hong Kong is never dull.