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Q&A: what do people in hong kong eat ?

Question by D@ Hye K: what do people in hong kong eat ?

Best answer:

Answer by BLUE ORCHID
Anything & everything! HK is a food lover’s paradise!

The cuisine in Hong Kong can best be described as a Chinese, specifically Cantonese, style cuisine with extensive influences from Western cuisine, due to Hong Kong’s long history of being a melting pot of eastern and western cultures. An alternative view towards Hong Kong cuisine puts it as a branch of Cantonese cuisine that has diverged from its origin in Guangzhou. From the roadside stalls to the most upscale restaurants, Hong Kong provides an unlimited variety in every class. Complex combinations and international gourmet expertise have given Hong Kong the reputable label of “Gourmet’s Paradise”.

In a city where the common greeting is “Sik tzo fan may?” (“Have you eaten?”), it’s obvious that food is viewed as more than just sustenance. Eating out is a communal affair in Hong Kong; apartments are too small to entertain guests, so friends and family gather in restaurants to talk over elaborate meals of several courses. And with more than 6,000 restaurants in the city, there’s always a new eatery to discover.

Cuisine is also an art form, and few places take food as seriously as Hong Kong. Chefs painstakingly create a balance of flavors and textures in their dishes, combining sweet with sour, sharp with bland, hot with cool, and crunchy with smooth. Naturally, seafood is popular in this island city, and restaurant patrons demand the freshest fish possible. This often means choosing their dinner not from a menu, but from the restaurant’s fish tank. The fish is usually steamed whole, topped with ginger and onions, and savored in its entirety.

The dish to end all dishes in Hong Kong is not fish, but Peking Duck. Ordering this dish in a restaurant is a culinary odyssey in three courses. First, the chef roasts the duck over a charcoal fire and bastes it with dark syrup. The chef then creates a big demonstration of bringing the duck to the table and carving it up in front of the patrons. The first course is the skin, which the chef deftly cuts from the bird with a razor-sharp knife. Next, the tender meat is covered in a sweet sauce and presented in a crepe-like wrap. A delicious duck soup with cabbage and mushrooms is the third and final course in this decadent meal.

Going to Hong Kong without trying dim sum should be a punishable offense. Served at around brunch time, dim sum is an adventure in eating that is purely Chinese. As soon as you sit down, a pot of tea is promptly placed on your table. Soon you notice servers walking around with trolleys stacked high with bamboo canisters full of steaming hot food. Simply point at what you want as the carts pass by and it will be delivered to your table. Typical dim sum dishes include spare ribs in black pepper sauce, steamed barbeque pork buns, deep-fried spring rolls, and steamed shrimp dumplings. Be sure to save room for desserts like mango pudding and hot egg tarts.

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7 thoughts on “Q&A: what do people in hong kong eat ?”

  1. Chinese food…

    I believe there’s a saying, “If it flys, walks, swims and crawls with its back to heaven, it’s edible”.

  2. I would assume, primarily Chinese foods. I know, also they are noted for very unusual “exotic” dishes that we would most likely not want to eat, here in the USA.

  3. Agree largely with Blue Orchid but some points beg to differ. The place to go for Peking Duck is Beijing in China, not HK. 1st course is crisp duck skin with some meat lightly dipped (not covered with) in sweet sauce & wrapped inside a thin flour pancake with a section of spring onion. Next the remaining duck meat is used in stir-fried noodles. The last dish is duck soup using roasted duck carcasses for the stock which gives intense flavour to the soup.

  4. Although many Westerners would have tried dim sum in their own countries, the range & quality of dim sum in HK is amazing. Dim sum is available all day, usually from dawn to mid-afternoon & some places even serve dim sum at night, and with a few hundred items you can eat it 3 meals daily for a week & not get tired. Don’t miss the BBQ pork buns, egg tarts, chee cheong fun (steamed rice flour rolls with prawns or BBQ pork), Cantonese congee, siew mai dumplings, har gow or shrimp dumplings, spring rolls etc.

    IMO, the best stuff to eat are: the roasted meats, wife’s pastry (lor por peng), mango desserts, wonton noodles that are amazingly springy, claypot rice, steamed fish, ultra-fresh seafood you select from tanks filled with amazing array of almost any kind of live seafood you can think of (except whales & sharks!), Cantonese braised beef brisket (ngau lam), Cantonese tong sui or sweet soupy desserts, smoother than silk sweetened soyabean curd…mouth is salivating already!

    A major icon of the HK food scene is the ubiquitous ‘cha chan teng’, literally tea restaurant but more like a bistro for casual dining. Unique creations include lemon coffee, hot Coke with lemon, pantyhose tea (milk tea brewed using pantyhose-like filter bag), bo-lo or pineapple buns (pineapple refers to the bun’s appearance), yuan yang (mix of tea & coffee), thick slices of French toast topped with butter & syrup, instant noodles with luncheon meat & other ingredients, baked pork chop rice etc.

    Other interesting F&B (food & beverage) places include tidbit shops (whole shops filled with bewildering kaleidoscope of Chinese tidbits & snacks, especially traditional preserved fruits), teahouses to sample dozens of different Chinese teas, dessert specialist shops like Hui Lau San with to-die-for mango desserts, Chinese medicinal shops with huge dispensers of healthy cooling tea & also ‘gui ling gao’ (literally tortoise jelly but don’t think real tortoises are used now, said to work wonders for the skin). For the more adventurous gourmets, try smelly beancurd (deepfried fermented beancurd sold as street food), snake meat & snake gallbladder juice (snake is super popular in HK & nearby Guangzhou in China).

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