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Monday, March 9, 2015

Hong Kong Travel Guide: Things to do in Hong Kong


I'm really excited to write about this post! Seriously, what's there not to love about the land of dim sum, the land of eat-shop-and-repeat? ^^ So far, I have nothing but love for this Pearl of the Orient. :)

This will be a simplified guide (mainly food) of my recent trip to Hong Kong. Will write a more specific one if I have the time to do so.  Anyway, I have previously blogged about my last Hong Kong trip. You can read them over here. :) 

Let's kick start now! 

*sorry, but not sorry that this post may cause serious hungriness* 
1. Eat all the Dim Sum

Hong Kong is not call "The Land of Dim Sum" without a reason. Dim Sum can't taste any better from its root, the Cantonese. 


Tim Ho Wan 添好運

Almost a must to have this "cheapest one michelin star" dim sum when you're in Hong Kong. Sadly it wan't as good as remembered. :/ But it is still worth a visit if you haven't tried it before! 

Must order: baked char siew pau, hargow, ma la gao, siew mai and pan fried carrot cake. 


One Dim Sum 一點心

Known as the biggest competitor of Tim Ho Wan in terms of food and prices. Likewise to Tim Ho Wan, One Dim Sum is a Michelin-star joint as well! I did't know about One Dim Sum until I did a thorough food hunt of Hong Kong. :P 

Must-order: chee cheong fun, steamed beef balls and hargow.


DimDimSum Dim Sum 點點心點心專門店

Another gem found from this trip. I don't think DimDimSum is michelin-starred, but this is my favourite dim sum joint of the 3 that I have tried from this trip! 

Must-try: steamed beef balls, chee cheong fun, molten custard bun, siew mai.

Comparing the menus of the three, DimDimDim definitely has more interesting items on their menu! While the other 2 serves more traditional ones. 

Taste wise, I guess all 3 have their hits and misses. But for me, DimDimSum did a better job in terms of the overall taste profiles of all the dim sum we have tried. :) 

Ambience wise, Tim Ho Wan is really messy or rather, chaotic. It can be quite uncomfortable to dine there as the space is really small and compact. Definitely not a good place for a large group dining. On the other hand, DimDimSum and One Dim Sum are much better choices if you want to enjoy a good meal without having the pressure to rush through your meal. Most importantly, there is ample space for moment! :) 

2. The Legend of the Wonton Mee Master

There is a very interesting story about who is the true master of Wonton mee in Hong Kong! Do a google if you're really interested in the story! 

This trip I managed to try the 3 big names of Wonton mee in Hong Kong and I suggest you try them all as well! 


Ho Hung Kee 何洪記

What makes this wonton joint really special is that it is Michelin-starred! We were there past 9pm, way over dinner time and yet, we still have to wait about 20min before we could grab a seat! 

This was my first bowl of authentic, Hong Kong style wonton mee. It certainly looks humble. Just the mee and a few pieces of wonton. But, it truly won me over with the springy and chewy noodles and flavourful soup broth! We loved the noodles so much that we ended up ordering another plate of noodles! Haha! 

By the way, their congee is really good too! So smooth! Nothing like the ones in Singapore. Really miss this congee. :') 


Mak Man Kee Noodle Shop 麥文記麵家 

When you're in Hong Kong, one thing you will notice is that there are a lot of different Mak's noodles in the island! There is also a story behind this (haha! again), so do google as well if you're interested! ^^ 

Anyway, we went to the Jordon's Mak's noodles, which is located just beside the famous Australia Dairy Company! 

But sadly, we didn't really like the wonton mee here. It is really small, maybe just 3 mouths and you'll finish this entire bowl. But that's not the point. The point is we really didn't enjoy this bowl of wonton mee, specifically the mee. It tasted kinda bitter. :/


Tsim Chai Kee, 沾仔记

Just look at this wonderful bowl of goodness. Need me to say more? The menu here is also the simplest. Just 3 types of wonton mee and nothing else. 

Of the 3 outlets, need not say, Tsim Chai Kee is my favourite. In terms of the ingredients (super generous), the taste of the wonton mee and soup broth. Everything was perfect and on the spot! You just have to taste a bowl of this for yourself! In fact, I could safely say this is my 2nd favourite meal throughout the trip! Really need another bowl of this now. T.T

3. Kau Kee Beef Brisket Noodles


You have have have to try this famous beef noodles ok? Whether you like beef a not. Because I'm actually not a fan of beef, but I really love this beef noodles! Super tender beef brisket which has been cooked to perfection! No weird taste of beef as well! For non-beef eaters, you'll know what I mean! Hahaha! 

The noodles was the highlight for sure! As it has fully absorbed the fabulous, super ultra yummy soup! Hahaha! I know I being a little crazy with my description here. But that's really because this is my best meal of the trip. So good!! *slurp* 

We tried the curry beef noodles and the clear soup noodles, and both were fantastic! I suggest you order both too! Seriously, I thought I already had the best beef brisket noodles at Yong Kang Beef Noodles in Taipei. But nope, this one in Hong Kong is the ultra love! 

This is definitely a place which I'll be looking forward to come back for. :) 

ps: do check out Sheng Heung Yuen Tomato Noodles as well! A pity that when we reached, the shop has closed for the day. 

4. Hong Kong Cha Chaan Teng 

Seriously what is Hong Kong without visiting some old school and timeless Cha Chaan Teng? 

Grab a famous Hong Kong polo bun and sip on a cup of milk tea/yuan yang/coffee. This is one thing that you can only experience in Hong Kong itself. :) 

So here's a list of some of the Hong Kong Cha Chaan Teng that are worth a visit and each of them have their very own supporters. :)


Kam Wah Cafe (金華冰廳/金华冰厅)  vs  Tsui Wah Cafe (翠華餐廳)

When asked which is the  cafe to serve the "best Hong Kong Polo Bun", there would probably be a close fight between the 2. No doubt, both cafes have very strong and loyal supporters backing them up. 

Where do I stand then? 

I'm leaning more towards Tsui Wah. The polo bun was softer and definitely fluffier as compared to the one I had from Kam Wah. Also, the crispy bun with condensed milk from Tsui Wah won us over too! Don't remind me how sinful it is, forget about calories when you're overseas! ^^


Australia Dairy Company (澳洲牛奶公司) vs Capital Cafe (華星冰室)

These two are definitely the most talk about when come to "best scrambled eggs in Hong Kong". By the way if you don't know, it's a MUST to have scrambled eggs when in Hong Kong. It is truly mind-blowing and you'll wonder why can't Singapore serve similar breakfast set like this? You probably won't skip another breakfast. Well, at least I wouldn't. :D


But seriously, it is a tough choice for me to decide who has a better scrambled egg. I like Australia Dairy Company's version because it's 'wetter' as compared to the ones from Capital Cafe. But but!! Capital Cafe serves scrambled eggs with truffle!! Zomg! Anything truffle is my weakness! I guess the best combination for me will be having Capital Cafe's truffle served on Australia Dairy Company's scrambled eggs. :P


Australia Dairy Company (澳洲牛奶公司) vs Yee Shun Milk Company (義順牛奶公司)

Well well, another yummy item that you can't leave Hong Kong without trying is the steamed milk.

Personally, I love Australia Dairy Company's version! 
Be it the cold one or hot cold, plain one or almond flavoured ones! Yes there are so many choices! :D

Not that  Yee Shun Milk Company doesn't have these choices, but their version of steamed milk
is too watery for my liking. 


Honolulu Café 檀島咖啡餅 vs Tai Cheong Bakery 

Egg tarts. Yes,you need to eat this too! While everyone is talking about Tai Cheong Bakery,
but seriously Honolulu cafe is the place to go! 

I find the shells of Tai Cheong Bakery's egg tarts to be too thick and hard. 
On the other hand, Honolulu's version is perfect for me. The right thickness and buttery crust! 

But I have to say both fillings are good. 
So if you prefer thick crust shells, then you will probably like Tai Cheong egg tarts. :)


Mido Cafe (美都餐室)

Right, of the many Cha Chaan Teng that I've been to, Mido Cafe is the one which has the best ambience for me! It is truly a timeless one! Also, if you're a fan of Hong Kong drama, you would probably find this cafe to be very similar too! 

Yup, Mido Cafe has been featured in various Hong Kong dramas. :) 

Ambience aside, the food that you need to try is their popular french toast, although I have to warn you that it will be an artery-clotting one. The menu is really wide, so take your time to try them all! So far the items that I've tired were all really good! 

5. Roasted Goose


Yung Kee vs Yat Lok

Goose duck is almost non-existent in Singapore (has been banned since decades ago), thus, it's almost mandatory to try this "rare" meat when in Hong Kong! 

Coming from a person who doesn't like duck meat, I could have goose meat anytime! Perhaps it is also due to the way they handle the meat in Hong Kong? But goose meat is less dry and more tender than duck meat! 

Now the question is Yung Kee or Yat Lok? The latter is a cheaper alternative for sure. But in terms of taste, Yung Kee still does the goose better. Well, although standard has dropped over the years. :/ 

6. Street snacks and Hong Kong style breakfast


Curry fish balls, steamed siew mai (very different from sg version!), stiny tofu, cuttlefish and what not. Street food is a must, especially to feed the hungry stomach after some mid day shopping therapy! ^^ If you're in Mongkok, street food can be easily found everywhere! Don't forget to grab a pack of cold noodles from Argyle Centre as well! 

Also, if you're staying at Cityview Hotel in Yau Ma Tei, do try this shop (just outside the hotel) that sells really awesome congee, stir fried noodles and chee cheong fun! Seriously the best chee cheong fun I've ever tried! 

7. Cafe Hopping

Or rather, I will say EAT ALL THE MATCHA FOOD! Haha!  

Cafe culture is really in Hong Kong, especially in the Hong Kong island! Places like Sheung Wan, Causeway Bay, Central and etc are packed with so many different cafes! Almost like our Tanjong Pagar and Tiong Bahru area! I wish I had more time to visit more cafes! 


Via Tokyo - best matcha soft serve if I may say (I have yet to try the ones from Japan though).


I Cremeria - another soft serve ice cream but melted a little too fast I feel.


Oddies Foodies - what's Hong Kong without trying their famed egglets? This combinations is made better with soft serve ice cream! 


Smile Yogurt - if you're a fan of llao llao, you need to try Smile Yogurt! Wish there would come to Singapore as well. T.T

Other names include, Sinmei Tea, Elephant Grounds, The Cupping Room,Cafe R&C, Cha-no-wa, Teakha and etc, 

Surely, it is impossible for me to list down everything, so I suggest you follow a Hong Kong foodies on Instagram! ^^

8. Pierre Herme


$5.20 for a mouthful macaron? Well, for the sake of the renowned pastry chef, Pierre Herme, I happily bought back 7 pieces of them. 

Did they worth the price that I've paid? Certainly! Now, you may call me a macaron-lover. <3 

In my opinion, you need to try Pierre Herme's macarons at least once! 

9. Visit Macau


With the close proximity, a day trip to Macau definitely make sense. Whether the Ruin of St Paul or the little Venice, both are so beautiful! I especially love the streets in Macau, and for a while you might think that you're in Europe! 


Now another thing to do in Macau (beside going to do casino), is eat all the Portuguese egg tarts!!

Ok, I kid. Not all. Specifically the ones from St Margaret Cafe and Lord Stow's Bakery! My personal preference is Lord Stow's bakery. 

Also, don't forget to get some Lao Po Bing and other snacks from Koi Kee Bakery! Read more about Hong Kong Lao Po Bing here


We are never shy to take welfie wherever we go! 

If not now, then when? If not here, then where? 
:D

10. Disneyland


Need me to say more? Impossible not to visit the happiest place on earth, imo. 

But, I'm just going to warn you that it's seriously freezing-ly cold here during the Dec period. >.< 
So cold that this is probably the only period in Disneyland when it won't be as crowded as usual. Haha! 

//

Other tourist attractions that you might be interested. 


Ngong Ping 360 for the crystal cable car and magnificent Hong Kong scenery!


Po Lin Monastery Plaza after taking the cable car, might as well visit this world's largest outdoor bronze statue - the Giant Buddha. 

But, 268 steps to conquer before you can meet the Buddha. ^^

If you can afford the time, I suggest you visit Tai-O fishing village as well! 

Oh! Remember to visit Citygate since you're here at Tung Chung Station! You can find all the branded or sport brands selling here at warehouse price! 


Victoria Peak 

About 396 metres above sea level, The Peak Tower is one of the most stylish architectural Hong Kong attractions. One of the must visit in this tower is The Sky Terrace which offers spectacular panoramic views of the vibrant city.


Madame Tussauds also located in the same building! So don't miss the opportunity to get up close to some of your favourite character/celebrity/politicians and etc. 

Other attractions include, ocean park, temple street (Mong Kok), ladies street (Mong Kok), star avenue (Tsim Sha Tsui) and symphony of light (Tsim Sha Tsui). 


Finally.. just take lots of photos everywhere! ^^

Read more on my 2012 Hong Kong Trip here:
//

Before I end the post, I've a good lobang to introduce to everyone! I think most of us certainly won't reject deals and discounts right? Shopback, an online food and travel deals site, knows exactly about this! Just take a look at their well organised website and everything is self-explanatory. :) I especially like the fact that they revealed how do they make money out of their page, making it really transparent to the customers. :) 

Love,
Lirong. 

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