Thursday, September 4, 2008

5 Food You Must Eat In Hong Kong: No 5, Part 1

I have a list of food you must not leave Hong Kong without eating. I will list them in ascending order, meaning No 1 will be the top on the list. Let's start with No. 5 today.

5. Street Food.

I really want to put this ahead of No. 4 but most people will rate No. 4 higher than No. 5 ,so.

I have been denied street food so often by my friend H ("It's unhygenic!!") everytime I visited HK, I have forgotten how good it tastes and have pushed it to the back of my mind. This visit, H is not around to hold me back because she's in Vancouver.

There are so many types of street food I think I've only covered a small percentage. Most street food are deep-fried, as in most countries now--it's a fast way to cook and fried food is tastier. Street food is eaten standing on the street, eating as you walk (and I don't mean ice-cream, but food food). In the past, street food was sold from carts, and a special kind of noodles called cheh jai meen/cart noodles are still sold but unfortunately I didn't get to eat it because I was just too full by the time we found it (I'd been looking for cheh jai meen since I arrived; never eaten it before).

When you are in HK, especially in the areas where people walk in the open (ie not in the malls) such as Causeway Bay in HK island and Mongkok in Kowloon, you'll see these stalls crowded with people:


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Dim sum and fish balls bubbling in curry sauce.

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While the cuttlefish tentacles (one of my fav) were good (but not as good as others that I've tried), the fishballs were so bad that Hub actually refused a second ball (unusual for him). because it was "so artificial and floury!".

In Mongkok last Saturday, right after a back-to-back dim sum breakfast and lunch, Hub's cousin Jungjung brought us to these shops where we surprised ourselves with our eating capacity. It is always better when you have a local with you, telling you what's good and bad. The only unpleasant thing about eating street food is that at this time of the year, it really is too hot out.

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I bought a portion of grilled cuttlefish tentacles, battered and fried tentacles and fried smelts (shishamo), full of caviar (sounds better than eggs). Greasy. Sinful. Yummy. Just what the doctor didn't order. Each portion was HK$8/RM3.60/US$1.10.

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Voon jai chee (little bowl sharks' fins) is poor man's sharks' fins (no real fins, just cloud ears fungus, tofu strips, chicken shreds and fun see or mung bean noodles), which, according to Jungjung is super-delicious and he used to spend his school lunch money on it. But we were truly too full to eat even the best food in the world, so we passed. The next day, my friend A, when she heard I'm checking out HK's street food, agreed that voon jai chee is excellent and informed me that the stall near her office in Wanchai sells super yummy voon jai chee plus the best cart noodles. You have an idea how devastated I felt to know that I'd missed the chance to try something so highly recommended.

6 comments:

Precious Pea said...

I don't like their fishball too. Barely any taste of fish. And usually the curry sauce taste like curry powder mix with water. Big thumbs up for the tentacles though!! Can't wait for the 4 more parts and sniff sniff..will only be able to read when am back next week.

Lily Anette said...

I agree... MUST TRY food! Nice pics.

Linda said...

OMG.. best post LOL
I absolutely love HK street food, especially in the evening in Mongkok. My favourite item is the tentacles of the squid with chilli sauce.

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

pea: bet u having fun, can hardly wait to see ur posts :)

lily: thanks dear :)

linda: high 5!

Johnathan said...

When you say Cart Noodles, are you referring to "chair-jai-mien"?

Cathey said...

I think these food are all very cheap and very very tasty. The plus point is that dishes are served family style and it is a good idea to pick a few items to share. I tried the fried tofu which is considered a classic of the street food and enjoyed the late night shopping.

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