Eating Out in Hong Kong: Part II

It was fun compiling my last round of food adventures (if you missed it, you can find it here), so here’s round two! We are finding lots of delicious and interesting things to eat and so far have no real misadventures to report. Also…the first “home cooked meal” that I made with the arrival of our kitchen supplies….Kraft Dinner of course!

A couple Sundays ago we had a slooooooow morning and decided to go for brunch. We had walked past The Cupping Room a few times before and it always looked busy so we gave it a try. Here’s and interesting article about the owner / 2nd Runner Up in the World Barista Championships…who even knew such a thing exists! We didn’t try the coffee, but the food was delicious! Braden dove in to his plate before I had a chance to take a photo!

Cute little shop in a lane of Johnston Road in Wan Chai.
Cute little shop in a lane off Johnston Road in Wan Chai.
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Avocado on toast with a poached egg. Amazing!

Near where I work there’s a K Roll shop which I go to at least once per week. It is such a yummy lunch and is always fresh and tasty. The company was started by three local Korean moms and is quite popular in Hong Kong with a number of locations. I keep thinking I should try other things on the menu but whenever I go I can’t help but order a Korrito. Imagine a cross between a chicken veggie wrap and sushi. Basically it’s a bunch of tasty fresh veggies with a delicious sauce, some chicken, a mystery crunchy flaky layer that’s like flakes of the outside of a spring roll. This is all wrapped in some rice, which is all wrapped up in seaweed. They cut it in half for you and you eat it like a burrito. So good!

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There’s a pedestrian area one level above street level where the entire building footprint is outward facing restaurants.
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Cute little packaging.
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Quickly eating at my desk!

We live on Ship Street, a popular little lane with lots of great restaurants. I think the most popular by far is 22 Ships (the name is a play on their address, 22 Ship Street). They don’t take reservations, only serve full parties, and there’s a lineup before they open each evening. We decided to give it a try one weekday evening when it wasn’t quite as busy. We got to sit up at the bar which was so much fun. It was fascinating to watch the chefs prepare the food. Everything was done with an incredible amount of care, finesse and attention to detail and technique. The restaurant is the vision of Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton, and the tapas-style menu makes it fun to try a variety of dishes and flavours. We’ll be coming back for sure!

You can sit outside, but it's way more interesting (and cooler) to perch at the bar and watch the food being prepared.
You can sit outside, but it’s way more interesting (and cooler) to perch at the bar and watch the food being prepared.
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The sangria I ordered came with a fruity foam and freeze dried raspberries on top. Braden loved his beer stein!
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Yes, this is a strange looking dish, but neither of us could stop talking about how delicious it was. And you know when Braden is raving about cauliflower, mushrooms, parsley and walnut pesto…it must be good!
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The jamon, manchengo & truffle toastie with quail eggs was so so so tasty. A tasty toastie!
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We shared the two appetizers and ordered our own entrees (none of the servings are very large). I had the paella; it was tasty but not awesome.
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Braden surprised me and ordered the marrow, which he said was delicious.  It was served with a onion jam and some Gentlemen’s Relish (which I just googled…it’s anchovy paste).
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There’s no way this photo does the green tea cheesecake, lime and yogurt dessert justice. The combination of flavours was so impressive. Just as fun was watching the chef create  it; the sponge toffee was dipped in dry ice to make it cold, and the little scoop of yogurt was re-scooped three times until it was the perfect shape.

Recently Muji Cafe & Meal opened up just around the corner from us. The website for Hong Kong is only available in Cantonese, so the link to the Canadian website is here. Braden’s boss is from Japan and lives in our neighbourhood and has been super excited about it opening. We tried it for lunch one day after going to the gym and thought it was really good. My meal was perfect for after a workout – not too heavy. The shop also sells a limited selection of their retail products (really nice clothing basics and simply designed household items) and there’s also a deli for more grab-and-go eating.

Inside the cafe, which is at the back of the Muji shop.
Inside the cafe, which is at the back of the Muji shop.
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A little peek at what’s available on the menu.
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My meal was potato salad, veggie quiche, soup and chili-glazed chicken. Myfavourite part was the chicken.
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Braden enjoyed his Japanese curry but didn’t love his limp salad.

More than anything I am craving Mexican food. If I could go anywhere right now for a meal it would be to Bellingham for a meal at Lorenzo’s! Guacamole, sour cream, salsa, all that melted cheese….mmmmmm! The closest thing we have found is Cali-Mex, which is more fast-food style Mexican (not like Taco Bell) but similar to Chipotle. At Cali-Mex they have a burrito bowl that’s similar to Chipotle’s and is quite good. The quesadilla is also tasty (and good for us to share). This is definitely a North American style meal and you feel like you should be in California when you’re eating.

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The little Cali-Mex shopfront is cute and colourful.
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My burrito bowl with ground beef was perfect. I was SO FULL by the time I finished!
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Braden’s quesadilla was yummy but the barbacoa beef was a bit too spicy for our meek little taste buds.

Don’t worry, we haven’t just been searching out quesadillas and burritos. We went to a great little dim sum place one night for dinner. Dim sum is a style of bite-size Cantonese dumpling, traditionally served in little steamer basket or on small plates. You pre-order from a menu and then they bring you the various items in any order. It’s a great way to share food and try new things. We went to Dim Sum Square which has good reviews for its home-made dumplings and homey feeling. It was a really great place to visit and I’m sure we’ll be heading back soon. Planning to visit us in Hong Kong? We’ll probably take you here to eat a meal, so get ready! Don’t worry, though; there’s plenty of traditional fare such as chicken feet on the menu but we know what to avoid. And there’s so many tasty little options to try!

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It’s not a very large restaurant, and it feels very local and authentic.
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You order your dishes off a place mat menu with pictures and English translations. Typically they bring a receipt to your table and check things off as they are delivered, although didn’t for us this night. If you order additional items they just add that receipt to the pile.
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Tasty spring rolls.
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Shumai (pork dumplings), Xiaolongboa (meat and broth filled dumplings), and Cha Siu Bao (baked pork buns).

One weekend we were running a few errands, looked over to Kowloon and realized it was clear and getting close to sunset. We hopped on the MTR and went straight to Ozone at The Ritz Carlton. We took an elevator up to the 102nd floor, which is where the hotel lobby is. The hotel occupies all floors above, and we got on a second elevator to take us to the 118th floor, where we were 484m (1558ft) high, and visited the Highest Bar in the World. It was a perfect day and time to go because the weather was clear and we got a spectacular view of the city. We also got to witness the transition from day to dusk and watched the lights come on in the city across the water. As expected the drinks were pricey but we felt like it was totally worth it. There are lots of towers you can visit in the world that charge an admission to get up to see a view. In this case a beer was our admission and we got to stay as long as we liked. We drank those beers slooooowly and made it last as long as we could.

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A view from the sidewalk of this super tall building. I couldn’t even get it all in the photo.
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This is a pretty touristy spot to check out the view.
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The photos don’t do the view justice. We had fun spotting buildings that we recognized. “There’s my office!” “There’s your office!” “There’s where we go to the gym!” “There’s our house!” It’s nice to feel like we’re getting to know the city.

Braden is more adventurous than me when it comes to food and he’ll try pretty much anything. In saying that, I wouldn’t have thought he would try Snake Meat Soup but he sure did. A true local experience, a coworker took him to a restaurant known for its snake meat soup. Snake soup is a local delicacy and is mostly found in small little shops specializing in its preparation. You can read more about snake soup here if you’re interested. Let’s just say Braden won’t be rushing back every day for lunch but he said it was better than he expected and the meat did taste quite similar to chicken.

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Just looking at this photo makes me feel queasy.

So, there you go! A little peek at some of the fare we have been enjoyed over here.


9 thoughts on “Eating Out in Hong Kong: Part II

  1. What a fantastic post! Really enjoyed reading all bout your dining adventures! How are things cost-wise? Similar to Vancouver? More? Less? Keep up the excellent reporting 🙂

    1. Thank you Mary! Costs vary widely, but generally Western food is more expensive and more traditional food (ie dim sum costs less). The dim sum we shared came to around 100 HKD ($16 CAD), while a K-Roll Korrito is 65 HKD ($11 CAD).

  2. Very enjoyable read, Alison! HK is filled with eateries and I always go back just to eat out! After a while I think you’ll get used to the HK-style cuisine (like the snake soup) and find it quite delicious!

  3. Hi Alison

    Enjoy reading your blogs so much. Sure wish I could be there to enjoy all those wonderful foods with you. You know, one of the things I miss most about living in Canada is Mexican food! Johnny and I used to go once a week in Calif and Bellingham. In fact, Johnny bartendered at our Mexican restaurant in Walnut Creek after he retired for a short while. Last trip to Calif a year ago I went back there and oh, it was so good. Ne we have found a good Mexican restaurant in Van. Doesn’t seem to be very popular. I think it is great that you and Braden are so adventurous in eating out and making the most of it. Sandra

    1. You should come for a visit, Sandra. We’ll take you to all the tasty spot! I’m curious now – what’s the name of the Mexican restaurant you love in Vancouver?

      1. No Alison-I haven’t found a good Mexican Restaurant in Van. We always went to Ronconcito in Bellingham. It was owned and run by Mexicans so it was very good.

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