We have just returned from a trip to Hong Kong. It is a bit of an understatement to say that a lot of people live there – but a LOT of people live there! Also, a lot of people visit there – it is very much a business hub not to mention it’s tourist appeal. And all these people have to eat.
The food choices are many and varied. For the (very) well heeled there are many Michelin star restaurants and these seem to occupy the most prestigious locations for Harbourside views. If the budget doesn’t stretch that far (and ours didn’t) we did enjoy just a sample of this experience by having drinks in the bar in the Peninsula Hotel. Just like Raffles in Singapore, this hotel has the history and class of bygone days and was just a lovely place to be.
Back on the crowded streets of downtown Kowloon and everyone is out there trying to persuade you to eat in their restaurant. You can choose to eat whatever cuisine you want and one night we were persuaded into a Vietnamese restaurant I’m pleased to say. It was, without doubt, the best meal of the trip. So much so, we went there again a couple of nights later. The food was served banquet style and all in all there were six courses. The flavours were fresh and we had the most amazing boneless whole chicken stuffed with rice which was served with a ginger dipping sauce. This was so wonderful I spent the next morning trawling the Internet trying to find the closest recipe! When I do finally find it and cook it, I promise I will share it with you.
The older Chinese shop daily in the markets for the food they will eat that day whilst the younger ones can be found frequenting the food courts and restaurants in the shopping malls. They love their seafood and whilst there is a lot of local seafood available, they bring in huge amounts from overseas and all their red meat appears to be imported – not really a lot of space available to raise livestock!
No trip to Hong Kong would be complete without trying their local cuisine and we were urged to try their Dim Sum. We went to a restaurant recommended by the hotel concierge and given it was full of Chinese locals we reckoned we were on to a good thing. This was very traditional cuisine and the sight of chopsticks only on the table filled my fellow diners with fear! Trying to converse with non-English speaking staff proved to be an interesting experience but we eventually managed to order a roast suckling pig dish (the house speciality so how could we resist?), a beef dish, pork and scallop dumplings and a rice dish. Again, a great and different dining experience.
If you read my previous blog, you will know how much we enjoy our coffee and we were pleasantly surprised at the quality of coffee available. However, there is definitely (from our perspective anyway) a shortage of coffee shops – we had to actively plan and seek them out!
This trip has reignited my interest in Asian cuisine, particularly those Vietnamese dishes we tried, so maybe I might try to recreate the ones we enjoyed so much.