The best food in Hong Kong and where to find it
You can’t help but be tempted by the delicious scent that wafts from bamboo steamers holding steamed char siu bao. The pork buns at yum cha joint Dai Wing Wah are fantastically fluffy and plump with sweet and sticky barbecue pork.
Somewhat adventurous for newcomers to Hong Kong, chicken feet are a local favourite and a must-try. The feet are deep-fried first, then steamed, then stewed and simmered in a sauce made with black fermented beans, bean paste and sugar. More luxe offerings of the claws come with abalone sauce instead. With branches all over Hong Kong, Fu Sing is a reliable and convenient place to tackle some tootsies.
This hearty, warming dish is made up of steamed rice mixed with meat and vegetables in a clay bowl that is, traditionally, slow-cooked over charcoal stoves. This process toasts the rice, giving the bowl a crunchy rice crust. For our money, Four Seasons is king of clay pot and its signature versions include eel, cured duck leg, frog, liver sausage, chicken feet and salted fish.
Egg tarts (‘dan tat’ in Cantonese) are a Hong Kong sweet staple. Creamy egg custard nestles in a crumbly, buttery pastry crust. They’re best eaten fresh and warm straight out of the oven. Find them at cha chaan tengs (local HK cafés) and local bakeries such as Tai Cheong bakery – a shop that famously served egg tarts to Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong.
Egg waffles are everywhere in Hong Kong. Fluffy on the inside and crisp on the outside, they’re the perfect grab-and-go snack. If you want to taste the king of ‘gai daan zai’, head to Lee Keung Kee North Point Egg Waffles’ original outpost in, you guessed it, North Point.
Hong Kong style French toast is a cha chaan teng must-try and an indulgence like no other. Usually filled with peanut butter, this deep fried eggy bread comes topped with a healthy knob of butter and drenched in syrup. If you’re willing to wait in line for some tip top toast, head to Wai Kee and try its kaya variety.
If Hong Kong was a drink, it’d be milk tea, seeing as how we drink 900 million cups of it a year. This combo of black tea served strong with condensed milk, either hot or iced, is a brilliant bevvie. One of our fave brews can be found at cha chaan teng Lan Fong Yuen, which is more than half a century old. The secret to its milk tea is that it’s strained through a pair of tights for an extra smooth taste.
From melt-in-your-mouth honey glazed char siu pork to crispy suckling pig to fatty pork belly to succulent goose or duck, nothing beats some barbecued meat, aka ‘siu mei’, with rice. Joy Hing is tops and its pork, in particular, comes with the perfect ratio of meat to fat. The recipient of a Bib Gourmand award in the Michelin Guide Hong Kong, the ingredients used for the sauce remain a closely guarded secret.
Scrambled eggs in Hong Kong are something special. Fluffy, creamy and perfectly seasoned, they make the perfect breakfast meal when sandwiched between thick buttered toast. Jordan’s bustling Australia Dairy Company serves some of the best scrambled egg sandwiches in the city – neither too runny or too firm and spot on with the creaminess.
Tofu pudding, or dau fu fa, is a bowl of soft beancurd that's traditionally topped with yellow sugar or syrup. Most places also offer other add-ons, such as coconut milk, sweetened ginger and black seasame paste. Kung Wo Dou Bun Chong serves up perfectly silky smooth tofu puddings in a lively, no-frills atmosphere.