Eating Out in Hong Kong

I certainly don’t intend for this to be a food blog, but lots of people have been asking me questions like, “What have you been eating?” and “How is the food?”. I’m happy to report that the food is great and I’m enjoying trying new places. Admittedly, I’m not great at being adventurous, so when I find a place I like I tend to return, and I am starting to become tired of eating out and I’m excited for our kitchen supplies to arrive (which will create a necessity of a whole new experience: Grocery Shopping in Hong Kong). But it’s a fun experience to try new things. That being said, I haven’t tried any truly local restaurants (if there’s not english on the menu I’m not venturing in) but I’m sure we’ll try some of those places when we find a friend to help us and/or we become braver.

A place Braden pointed out to me the night I arrived as a suggestion for a great lunch spot is Passion by Gerard Dubois. It’s just a 2 block walk from our flat and the french bakery cuisine (pastries, soups, salads, etc) all look appetizing. I have gone there a few times for soup and sandwiches, and dinner salads. I like it because it’s fresh and tasty, and there is a lot of communal seating where I have chatted with people and even met a neighbour from our building.  

There's a corner entry at Passion, and a bit of seating inside.
There’s a corner entry at Passion, and a bit of seating inside.
Grilled panini and corn chowder for lunch
Grilled panini and corn chowder for lunch

One night after work I met Braden and one of his coworkers for dinner and drinks at Yardbird. It’s a super trendy spot in Central, and we ordered a bunch of little dishes to share. One of the hosts is a friend of another coworker, and treated us to shots of sake (if I remember correctly). After two shots of that my memories are a bit blurry; I do know, though, that the food was very tasty.

The little chicken skewers came with a little bowl soy sauce and egg yolk that we mixed with our chop sticks and then dipped.
The little chicken skewers came with a little bowl soy sauce and egg yolk that we mixed with our chop sticks and then dipped.

Two of my favourite meals so far have been at Cafe y Taberna, a Thai restaurant. It’s a 5min walk from our place and has tasty food and quick service. We ordered a pad thai and yellow curry; both were delicious. Another night we went to The Spice House (many restaurants are closed on Sundays, so this was our backup plan). We didn’t like it as much as Cafe y Taberna, but it was still tasty. Once our furniture arrives we’re looking forward to getting take-out from these places.

Cafe y Taberna shopfront.
Cafe y Taberna shopfront.
The Spice House is easier to notice.
The Spice House is easier to notice.
This was a great dish from The Spice House with pork, beans and rice. We avoided the spicy red pieces!
This was a great dish from The Spice House with pork, beans, basil and rice. We avoided the spicy red pieces!
My
My “I Finished my First Day of my New Job” celebratory dinner at Cafe y Taberna: yellow curry with chicken, rice, and Chang beer.

One night after work I took the MTR to Causeway Bay to meet Braden for dinner. He took me to a Japanese spot called Ootoya. What I find fascinating about Hong Kong is that the density forces everything upward. Tall towers abound, and they’re not just or offices or living. Many restaurants are located in upper floors of building towers; in fact, there are many towers filled with only restaurants. In this case we traveled up an elevator to Ootoya, where Braden had been before with a coworker, and I enjoyed a dish of chicken, rice and udon soup. It was better than I expected and I really enjoyed the meal.  

Such a nice Japanese meal and fun to try something different.
Such a nice Japanese meal and fun to try something different.

A couple blocks from our place I found a little soup spot that is very popular with the working crowd, as they seem to do a booming take-away business. I sat at Tallore Soup and enjoyed a bowl of roasted red pepper and tomato soup, which came with cheese to sprinkle on top and a slice of bread. Especially since I’m fighting a cold, I loved the meal. 

Tallore Soup busy with their lunch crowd.
Tallore Soup busy with their lunch crowd.
The tomato and red pepper soup, one of the standing items on the menu.
The tomato and red pepper soup, one of the standing items on the menu.

I have been spending a lot of time in coffee houses in Hong Kong, partly to get myself out of the flat discovering new places, partly because we have no furniture and I have nowhere to sit and eat in our place, and primarily so I have a few insights to the coffee culture here in Hong Kong as I join Starbucks. The coffee scene has never been my thing, so I don’t have a lot to compare the places I visited to. I didn’t take a photo of my blueberry muffin or frappuccino from Starbucks; it certainly seems to be a universal product that they deliver.  

The other day I went to The Coffee Academics in the afternoon. It was very busy and I noticed before I even entered that there was a “Minimum $70 purchase sign on the door” which I didn’t love. I understand the reason, but the whole thing seemed a bit pretentious. They were all about their fancy coffee machine (which I don’t remember and meant nothing to me). This is more like a little restaurant that focuses on coffee; they have a small kitchen in the back. The coffee was quite expensive so I ordered a lemonade and some nachos. I believe they were called “Blue Corn Nachos” with beans, cheese, beef, sour cream and guacamole. What arrived seemed to be a small pile of Cool Ranch Dorritos, topped with a very small amount of cheese, 1/3 can Stagg Chilli, and a dollop each of sour cream and guac. Not exactly what I was expecting and SO SALTY! Definitely not worth the money and probably my most disappointing and funniest food experience so far.  

The Coffee Academic shopfront.
The Coffee Academics’ shopfront.
Street-facing seating area at the Coffee Academics.
Street-facing seating area at the Coffee Academics.
“Nachos” from The Coffee Academics – not worth it!

The neighbour I met recommended I check out Rabbithole Coffee and Roaster when I explained my coffee house mission. It, too, is just a couple blocks away from our place so I went there for lunch. Wow, they are big on coffee! They had working cold drip coffee contraptions on display in the window and limited coffee offerings on their menu (they are purists). I ordered an iced latte, and soup with bread, which was $10 off because I ordered a coffee. I actually thought it was a decent deal for what I got, though the quality of the coffee was certainly lost on me. I supersaturated it with brown sugar and then enjoyed it.  

The Rabbithole is tucked away, like its name suggests.
The Rabbithole is tucked away, like its name suggests.
Whoa, this iced coffee intimidated me. But how cool is that ice cube?
Whoa, this iced coffee intimidated me. But how cool is that ice cube?
Yummy bread and tomato soup comfort food. So far the soups in Hong Kong have been more veggie-based and less cream-based.
Yummy bread and tomato soup comfort food. So far the soups in Hong Kong have been more veggie-based and less cream-based.

Yesterday morning I was looking for a quick bite of breakfast on the way to work that included some protein so I popped in to a little bakery (no idea what the name is) on my route to the office. They offer all kinds of interesting buns, like a pineapple bun, bean bun, pork bun, etc. I tried the meat and cheese bun and ate it as I walked to work. I really liked it, especially since it cost less than $1 CAD.  This is a very typical breakfast in Hong Kong from what I have seen.

I payed with my pre-loaded Octopus (transit) card here, so it was super fast.
I payed with my pre-loaded Octopus (transit) card here, so it was super fast.
Look at that cute little bun!
Look at that cute little bun!

2 thoughts on “Eating Out in Hong Kong

Leave a Reply