Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Hong Kong Food Hunt: Cheap Food in Hong Kong Standards

Hong Kong Street Food

We veered away from those Michelin-starred restaurants around Hong Kong and searched for those roadside dirt cheap but worthy local food. Or maybe we just don’t have enough moolah to spend in the first place.

It was a tough job to look for cheap yummy street food in Hong Kong; when I say cheap food I mean Southeast Asian standard cheap. What’s more, me and my buddies had a really hard time conversing and the signs ain’t helping too. I’m not complaining though, it was a fun challenge for us as photo menus were not usual on hawker food stalls (check here for discounted tours, transportation and activities in Hong Kong). I also failed in noting the names of our food stops as it was written in Chinese characters. But nonetheless, we had our tales of hits and misses on the road to our cheap food hunt. So here we go…

That Roadside Noodle House in Hung Hom

On our first night, we checked in at Hotel SAV and looked for a dinner place around the neighborhood of Hung Hom. It was midnight and the place was almost abandoned apart from some food stalls on a corner that sells grilled fares. We find it too pricey so we moved on and searched some more.

Hong Kong Street Food

Hong Kong Street Food

Apparently, there’s a roadside noodle house across the hotel so we checked it out. The unassuming hole-in-the wall was filled with locals who were either having their midnight noodle-fix or beer stint, it was the beer that drawn us to it.

We settled on the paved walkway with collapsible chairs and tables and were given a cheat sheet that didn’t help at all (we only recognized the numbers). We diverted on the photo menu posted in front of the eatery and pointed our choice of noodles. Luckily, the server spoke English so he guided us on our choices.

We had some noodles (HKD 18 | US$ 2.31) which was weird with te raddish but the fried balls (HKD 8 | US$ 1.03), I dunno what they put into those, were so tasty and flavorful. I savored every bite.

Hong Kong Street Food

Hong Kong Street Food

Cold Tsing Tao beers (HKD 15 | US$ 1.93) were just about the perfect match. We ha d a few rounds while chatting until the wee hours of night. 

Tsing Tao Beer

That Noodle House in Wan Chai

It was late in the evening and we’re just done with our rounds of getting lost in Hong Kong when we checked out the food options in Wan Chai.

Hong Kong Street Food

We almost got lost in this food challenge as the fast food restaurants were starting to pack away and all that’s left was a seafood restaurant that was too pricey for our budget. We waked further and saw this noodle house that seemed to be winding up. We went inside and asked if they still serve some food. And then lost in translation.

Hong Kong Street Food

We scanned for the menu and went speechless when we saw a menu written in Chinese, the numbers were the only recognizable ones.

Hong Kong Street Food

Maybe because we looked baffled that’s why we were handed an English menu that really helped a lot.

My buddies had Wonton Noodles (HKD 20 | US$ 2.57 each) and I had Minced Beef Congee (HKD 15 | US$ 1.93). The soup of the noodles was tasty, the noodles were good and the veggies were fresh. My congee was plain sans the salty roasted peanuts on top; not that remarkable.

Hong Kong Street Food

Hong Kong Street Food

Haiphong Road Temporary Cooked Food Hawker Bazaar at Tsim Sha Tsui

Tsim Sha Tsui may be an upscale area and McDonald’s can be your only option for fast and cheap food. But we differed and combed the narrow alleys to look for hawker food stalls.

Hong Kong Street Food

After an hour or so, we’re diehard like that, we saw a sign that pointed us to a food bazaar so we immediately followed a maze of what seemed to be a temporary wet market on a basement and got to the end where the manna from above was found.

Hong Kong Street Food

Different stalls that sells cheap food (again, in Hong Kong standards) were scattered. And we felt at home right away.

Rice meals and noodles start at HKD 38 (US$ 4.88). We had some fried pork and chicken with rice which was sooo good and fried noodles that was so-so.  

Hong Kong Street Food

Hong Kong Street Food

Hong Kong Street Food

Buns

While walking around I dunno where that place was, we saw a bakeshop that sells an assortment of buns at HKD 5 (US$ 0.64) each. Thinking that it was pork buns, I hurriedly bought one while imagining about the savory chunky pork filling of the good old siopao from the Philippines. And as I was doing my customary breaking of the bun, I noticed that the filling was in purple color. And then sad face. Obviously, it wasn’t pork but purple yam. It was delicious though.

Hong Kong Street Food

Hong Kong Street Food

That unassuming restaurant in Yau Ma Tei

Again, it was one of our lost moments when we saw this small restaurant that flashed their afternoon promo meal outside. We got lured by it and went inside. We were handed a photo menu which featured mostly milk teas and rice meals. We got to the promo leaf and got to choose from different rice meals for HKD 42 (US$ 5.40).

And it was superb. The fried pork and chicken cutlets on top of a huge serving of steamed rice with the unique sauce were delectable. The fried egg was a plus.

Hong Kong Street Food

Hong Kong Street Food

Our nightly boozing up sesh was realized thanks to 7-eleven stores on some areas that had promotions on beer in cans; two tall cans of Tsing Tao Beers for HKD 17 (US$ 2.19). Ain’t bad eh? Even when we were in Lan Kwai Fong, we sought the refuge of the store for our beer-fix.

Hong Kong Street Food

We maybe are cheapskates or maybe we didn’t really have that much money. But while getting lost on the gritty alleys of Hong Kong, we got to try a handful of local street food and hopefully we’ll try out those Michelin-starred restauranrs next time, or maybe not?





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