Hong Kong Street Food and Market

Have you explored Hong Kong’s street food markets? “Dai Pai Dongs” (English: small food stalls) sell different types of  famous Chinese cuisine and best of all they are available in almost every Hong Kong neighbourhood. You will experience not only the aroma of sizzling dishes, but also the crowds where you will share a table with the strangers. There are some varieties to begin with: seafood, dim sum, roasted meats, noodles, snacks, sweets and desserts.

Although there are so many food stalls in every district, there are some which are known for the varieties and the atmosphere:

  1. Yau Mau Tei: Temple Street Night Market

While Ladies Market is a popular tourist attraction, only few students know about this busiest night market in Hong Kong. There are so many stalls with outside seating close to the Temple Street. Of course, you will probably see local people enjoying their seafood with their favorite Tsing Tao beers. Daily 7-11pm

  1. Sham Sui Po: Li Kung Street

Seeking for a truly local experience might be a better idea of some foreign students. If so, head to Sham Sui Po and join the lunchtime with market workers and fabric salesmen at the wooden tables. There are some stand-out option of Dai Pai Dongs called Keung Kee. You will find the delicious boiling vats of chicken stew there. Daily 7:30am – 9pm.

  1. Central: Midlevels Escalator and Graham Street

Situated right in the heart of Central, a collection of Dai Pai Dongs offers a more decent quality of street food. However, be aware. This place gets so crowded by office workers during lunch period 12:30 – 2:00pm, and it might be better for you to avoid those times. Daily 6:30am – 8pm.

Culture and Lifestyle: Tai Chi

Have you ever seen a few older people dance in slow motion in some Hong Kong park? If you have no idea what it is, it is, surprisingly, a martial art! Tai Chi (Taiji) is a Chinese martial art practiced not only for defense training, but also for general health. The term itself refers to the philosophy of the opposed yin and yang forces. Historically, the foundation of Tai Chi could be traced back to both Taoist and Confucianism principles: “Ones are taught not to directly fight and resist an incoming force, but to meet it in softness and follow its motion while remaining in physical contact.”

To begin with, this Chinese martial art serves three purposes:

  1. It is useful for fighting or defense
  2. It is a form of art that has aesthetic values
  3. It provides a health benefit for the practitioner

Tai Chi exercise integrates all parts of the body and mind in every movement; the flowing movement of Tai Chi is often compared to water. The training emphasizes heavily on the form and abdominal breathing. With the correct form, people will be able to feel the internal energy (Qi 氣) and convert it to an internal force (Jing 勁). Though the movement may seem easy to follow, the actual process requires you to focus and meditate in each step to reach a state of perfect calmness. This will not only relieve your stress but also develop your fitness, agility, and balance. The unique feature of Tai Chi is that it is suitable for people at any age because of its emphasis on internal development, rather than any external progress.

Where to Find Tai Chi

  • Teach Tai Chi

This class is conducted by the Hong Kong Tai Chi School at the Kwai Tsing Theatre. The free classes start at 9:00-11:00 AM every Tuesday. In addition to that, the event also includes films and presentations.

  • CityU PE class

Under Student Development services, you can sign up for a regular PE course for 2-8 weeks. There are two courses offered in Tai Chi: Tai Chi Chuan (24 forms) and Tai Chi Swords (32 forms)

Where to eat: Mori Hachi Japanese Yakiniku

I will let you in on 1 tip in eating in these restaurants. Since it can get pricey, consider going on weekdays or at lunch time (it would be best if you go on weekdays at lunchtime), because they usually offer lower prices at that time interval. For this restaurant, the price is cheaper before 10 p.m. and the time limit is 2 hours (last order would be around 15-30 minutes before the time is up). I went there on Tuesday at 10 p.m. and I paid HKD 250 (for the most basic meat selection), it may sound pretty expensive, but believe me, the meat quality was amazing. For this price, they served a piece of dry-aged beef (for those who know their beef, you will know how much this thing can cost in a fancy restaurant), which was the first time in they I saw a buffet do that. II.png

All in all, it was a wonderful experience. The place was dimly lit and was spacious enough for you to have a relaxing time and a good meal with friends. The meat quality was superb for its price. This is definitely a restaurant I will come back to and recommend to my friends.

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Details:

Price: HKD 200-400 (HKD 250 on weekdays @ 10 PM and up)

Address: 3/F, 38 Plaza, 38 Shan Tung Street, Mong Kok (Mong Kok Branch) (They have 2 more restaurant in Tsim Sha Shui and Causeway Bay)

Where to Eat: Ichiran Ramen

There is an abundance of culinary options in Hong Kong you can choose from. It’s an international melting pot for food filled with all sorts of delicacies from various cuisines. I’d like to share with you some information about where it is best to find one of my all-time favourite dishes, ramen.

Ramen is a noodle dish from Japan usually served with slices of meat (pork being the standard meat option most of the time), eggs and vegetable pieces. It is a very simple and hearty meal, but if done right, it makes for an unforgettable culinary experience.

The best ramen I have ever had (not to be close-minded to future ramen experiences) is Ichiran Ramen.  It is a tonkotsu ramen, which makes it different from other types of ramen. Its broth is based on pork bones which produce a very rich meaty taste. What separates Ichiran from other ramens is how well-developed the taste of the broth is (many ramen broths I have had in the past tasted too garlicky); you can taste the richness of the pork bones in the broth. When paired with their pork belly slices and firm noodles, you get absolute perfection.

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Ichiran also offers unique eating experiences. First, upon arrival you will be asked whether you want a group or single seating. The single seating is a very interesting restaurant experience, I personally think it is very suitable if you don’t want to be distracted in your pursuit to savour its goodness to the fullest. Second, you can customize your ramen, choosing its strength (broth taste), richness (oiliness), garlic, onion, sliced pork, Ichiran’s original spicy sauce, noodles’ texture.

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Price: HKD 89 (Without add-ons, for those who have big appetite like me, adding a Kae-Dama (noodle refill) is recommended)

How to get there:
Tsim Sha Tsui branch: Entrance Hall on G/F & Shop B, Basement Floor, 8 Minden Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui (2 minutes’ walk from Exit N4, Tsim Sha Tsui / East Tsim Sha Tsui MTR Station)

Causeway Bay branch: Shop F-I, G/F, Lockhart House, Block A, 440 Jaffe Road, Causeway Bay (3 minutes’ walk from Exit C, Causeway Bay MTR Station)

Where to Eat: Tsukemen Mitaseimenjo

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There is no shortage of Japanese food in Hong Kong, to the point when the abundance of great restaurants can become disorienting. In this article, I want to give you a little guidance and tell you about a Tsukemen spot in Causeway Bay. Tsukemen is a type of a ramen dish that is unique in the way it is eaten. The broth and the noodles are served in separate bowls and the way you eat it is by dipping the noodles into the broth. This is by far the best Tsukemen I have tasted: the thick umami broth paired with the slices of pork is definitely the way to go.

The restaurant is hard to miss from the outside considering the long line of people queuing up there by dinner time. The interior of the store is warmly lit at night time and it is spacious enough to enjoy a meal while having a quality conversation with friends.

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If you are there for the first time, I would recommend ordering the original Tsukemen. You can choose whether your noodles are served hot or cold (I personally prefer the cold noodles in summer). As for the size of the portion, you pay the same price for any size (140g (small), 200g (medium), 240g (big)) except for the 420 g (extra-large), so if you have a big appetite, you may not want to miss this opportunity to upsize your meal without paying any extra cash. The bowl of Tsukemen comes with bamboo shoot, boiled egg and slices of pork, which really compliment the firm noodles and the broth.

All in all, it is a restaurant worth checking out. For those who have never tried Tsukemen before, this restaurant will make a good first impression. Its mouth-watering bowl of noodles, wide range of choices of appetizers and add-ons for the ramen and its overall comfortable atmosphere make this place a perfect dining spot and a worthy place for a Japanese culinary experience

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Details: 

Price: HKD 78 (for the standard Tsukemen bowl)
Location: G/F, Soundwill Plaza 2 – Midtown, 1-29 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay
Opening hours:
Mon-Sun: 11:00 AM – 01:00 AM
Public Holiday: 11:00 AM – 01:00 AM
Payment method: Cash only

Hidden Gems Off the MTR Map – Part 2

Hidden gems off the MTR map
Location 1: Kowloon City (Part 2 out of 3)

Continuing on where we left off in the last article, there’s more good food waiting to be discovered in the old district of Kowloon City. Just in case you missed out on the last article, here’s a short recap:

Kowloon City is not on any of the MTR lines and not much non-locals know about the place because it is not one of those “must-go” touristy places in Hong Kong, but if you want to experience what the life of a local is like, I absolutely recommend visiting this place for its good food and to get know one of the oldest districts in town. One of the fastest ways to get to Kowloon City from the CityU Campus in Kowloon Tong would be to take the green minibus 25M and get off at the Kowloon City Municipal Building.

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The first place I would love to recommend going this time, would be the Yee Heung Bean Products Company, which is located right across the Kowloon City Municipal Building. They serve one of the best tofu pudding desserts in town, and I personally love their unsweetened soymilk – it’s the perfect beverage for breakfast. It is always packed with people no matter what time of the day as it serves all types of meals throughout the day, ranging from soya bean milk and side dishes for main courses as well as bean curd puddings for desserts.

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Address: No. 74 Nga Tsin Long Road, Kowloon,

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Kowloon City is also known as “Little Thailand” due to its large amount of Thai residents in the area, and there are also a lot of Thai grocery shops as well as restaurants in the area. A large array of ingredients and spices are also available at the stores here and you’ll definitely find all the necessities you need to add that hint of authenticity to your Thai dish.

Address: Shing Nam Road, Kowloon

Thai restaurants could also be found right across the street to the grocery stores if you don’t fancy cooking your own, and the cuisine they serve there are just as authentic as the ones you get in Thailand.

As a huge snacker myself, I am always on the hunt for the buried treasures within the realms of a supermarket, but no matter how much I love trying new food, nothing beats the old-fashioned snacks that Hong Kongers love eating back in the 1970s-1980s. There is this tuck shop near the cluster of Thai stores and they sell a huge variety of local snacks that definitely brings back nostalgic childhood memories of most Hong Kong locals. Some personal favourites include the peanut candy and these colourful-looking bite-size biscuits –each colour represents a different taste and they all taste equally good and are absolutely heavenly.

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Address: Carpenter Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong

More restaurants and destinations would be mentioned in Part 3 of the Kowloon City series so please stay tuned!

*Extra tips (how to get back to the MTR stations from Kowloon City:

Bus: 1, 1A (Prince Edward/Mong Kok MTR Stations)

Green minibuses: 25M (Kowloon Tong MTR Station

Hidden Gems Off the MTR Map – Part 1

Location 1: Kowloon City (Part 1 out of 3)
Author: CHU Wing Yan Emily

Kowloon City is a relatively old part of Hong Kong and there are unknown treasures hidden in different parts of this neighbourhood.

To get there, you would need to take the green minibus 25M from the Kowloon Tong MTR Station (Exit G1 or Exit B) and get off at Fuk Lo Tsun Road. The journey takes approximately 15 minutes.

Kowloon City is famous for its authentic Thai cuisine, but other than Thai, there is also pretty decent Chiu Chow food available as there was a lot of the residents there were originally from the Chiu Chow province in the Mainland China and immigrated in to Hong Kong in the 1970s.

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This restaurant is pretty famous for is soy braised geese and chickens, and in Cantonese, we call them “Lo Sui”, which literally means “Braised in Soya Sauce”. They also have soy braised eggs and tofu, which is also another choice for vegans. Seafood and Stir-fry dishes are also must-tries at the restaurant. There are also takeaway Lo Sui dishes such as soy braised geese wings and tofu slices which both taste amazing when served hot or chilled.

Address: G/F, No. 37-39 Lung Kong Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong

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Another restaurant the locals love would be Islam Food. They have this amazing Veal Goulash, which has a crispy bread crust and moist, steamy hot inner veal filling, and the best part about this dish is that they are completely affordable, at only 17HKD each. I also recommend their Pot Pan with Scallions, which is another must-eat item when you visit this restaurant.

Address: 1 Lung Kong Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong

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Chiu Chow Hop Shing Dessert has one of the best Cantonese desserts in Kowloon City. There are often extremely long queues outside the store after dinnertime and I can ensure you that the food is definitely worth the wait. Locals’ favourites include Lotus Seed Sweet Potato Sweet Glutinous Rice Balls Soup, which is served hot, and Green Bean Soup, which can be served chilled or hot.

Address: Lung Kong Road, No.9, Kowloon, Hong Kong

More restaurants and destinations would be mentioned in Part 2 of the Kowloon City series so please stay tuned!

*Extra tips (how to get back to the MTR stations from Kowloon City:

Bus: 1, 1A (Prince Edward/Mong Kok MTR Stations)

Green minibuses: 25M (Kowloon Tong MTR Station)