There’s no doubt about it: Hong Kong is foodie heaven. You can indulge any whim, with restaurants all over the city featuring cuisines from around the world. Hong Kong also has a number of classic dishes and street food snacks for which it is famous. Here’s a quick guide to some of the must-try HK foods.
1. Dim Sum
A Hong Kong version of dining with small dishes, dim sum includes classics such as har gao (steamed shrimp dumplings wrapped in a thin, translucent skin), char siu bao (barbecued pork bun) and siu mai (Chinese dumpling).
2. Fish Balls
A classic Hong Kong snack, these are balls of deliciousness made with fish meat, often cooked in a piping hot curry and commonly sold at street food stalls.
3. Egg Waffles
Affectionately called gai daan zai (“mini chicken egg”), this is Hong Kong’s version of a waffle. A crispy exterior hides the soft, sweet sponge inside. Can be served plain or with toppings such as chocolate.
4. Pineapple Bun
A pineapple bun (bo lo bao) is a soft sweet bun topped with a crumbly cookie style crust of sugar, eggs, flour and lard. When cooked, the crust cracks open, giving a pineapple-like appearance on top. There’s no actual pineapple in the bun!
5. Egg Tart
Two types of egg tarts have emerged since they first became popular, one with a flaky, pastry shell, the other with sweet shortbread. Whichever you pick, it encases a soft, creamy custard.
6. Milk Tea
Hong Kong milk tea is a creamy drink traditionally made with Ceylon black tea and evaporated or condensed milk.
7. Chinese Barbecue
Known as siu mei, Chinese barbecued meats are very more-ish. Our faves include char siu (barbecued pork), barbecued goose and roast pork.
8. Wonton Noodles
A succulent meat and shrimp filling is encased in a silky smooth dumpling wrapper before being served in a clear, light broth swimming with chewy egg noodles. What’s not to love!?
9. Fresh Seafood
Hong Kong is surrounded by water, so you can bet there’s some great seafood to be had, from stir-fried clams in black bean sauce to whole steamed fish. Even better if you can dine beside the lapping waves; try Lamma or Sai Kung for starters.
10. Tofu Pudding
If the only tofu you’ve tried is the leathery version in a burger or salad back home, a Hong Kong tofu pudding should be a sweet surprise. This warm pudding is served with syrup or sugar, and often eaten to top off a dim sum feast
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This article first appeared in the City Guide 2021/22 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.