We spent a couple of days in Hong Kong last weekend. It was my birthday gift to Edgar: food, travel and the Hong Kong half marathon. The funny thing is that Edgar had to find the tickets and the hotel.. so theoretically he gave himself a nice birthday gift :).
The Half marathon: was good! We both didn’t train at all (you either go hardcore or you just don’t do anything at all.. we chose the latter). Overworked the calfs by walking two entire days through the city, had too much greasy food the day before (you lose some, you dim sum – we dim summed. a lot.), didn’t go to sleep in time and got up at 4 AM. BUT considering these circumstances I had a great race. Amazing views – the sun coming up, the views overlooking the city when going uphill, the city views in general, shops opening up and just the crowd running. The crowd.. the Cantonese ran in outfits as if we were racing in Siberia (hats, gloves, plastic bags, pullovers, you name it, they wore it x3) but it was 18 degrees Celcius (!!). The only “bad” part was the friggin tunnel – we ran for 2 KM through a tunnel and it was too humid, dark and never-ending, a treadmill on steroids. I finished at 1 H and 54 M according to Nike+, Edgar at a-slow-for-him-impossible-for-me 1H 37M. Good enough for the amounts of dim sum we were carrying along.
About Hong Kong: the food scene is crazy, queues are common and a good credibility indication of good food. Street food is amazing, but there’s no lack of Laowai/foreign restaurants either. We didn’t do too much touristy stuff (read: we only visited the Tsim Tsha Tsui promenade), and just strolled around, had good food, and enjoyed watching people.
I asked, stalked, Googled and followed random person into places and here’s my list of recommendations.
- Tim ho wan: a Michelin star dim sum restaurant. Their fresh pork buns are the star item, I can only concur. I do wonder how every restaurant seems to have a star or a Michelin recommendation.
- Mammy Pancake: Yes to their egg puffs. No to their queues. If you don’t mind 30 minute waits for your egg puff: go for it. Good texture, nice variety of flavours, puffy and crunchy. Yas, egg puff at its best.
- 12000Francs: Not a Cantonese restaurant but nevertheless really good. It was packed with foreigners – local foreigners though. Although the name is French, they had really good Jamons as starters, their fresh bread, big pieces of cote de boeuf and full bodied red wines. Another yas.
- Hing Kee on Temple street: for their clay pot rice. Queues, queues, queues everywhere. Hing Kee has 5 locations on Temple street, but they all have queues. They don’t take long though 15-20 minute waits for some fulfilling clay pot rice.
- Oddies Foodies: I was on an egg puff mission. Oddies Foodies had red velvet egg puffs filled with cream cheese. Cream cheese! And Red Velvet! In an Egg puff…!!!!! They got nice flavours of ice cream too (you know those with the long funky hip names, I forgot the names.. I can only remember salted caramel). Go for egg puffs and ice cream apart. Don’t take the combo.
- Via Tokyo: Hoijicha soft ice cream with red bean and Shiratama. They’ve delish Japanese Matcha desserts and ice creams here. First timer going for the Hoijicha and definitely a recommendation.
TO EAT ON MY WISH LIST – that I unfortunately didn’t have time to visit
- Yardbird and/or Ronin – apparently THE place to be. Hipsters. Good food. etc. etc.
- Ho Lee Fook
- Master Low – Key Food shop – more egg puff
- On lee – for their fish ball noodles
- Cong sau – for Hong Kong dessert
- Kau Kee – for their beef brisket noodles (not open on Sunday’s :(:()
- Fu Sing – dim sum restaurant
- Kwan dee – more claypot rice
- Sun Dee Cheese noodles – CHEESE NOODLES!! still regret I didn’t go there
- Lil Bao – baos. If you’re a NRC runner you get them for free/for a discount. Motivational running I’d say. Hip place.
- Kam Wah cafe & bakery – supposedly the best pineapple buns
- Elephant grounds: we went to the one in the back of concept store Woaw. Good coffee, they’re famous for their ice cream cakes. The cakes were made of macarons. There were 2 Cantonese girls next to me who came in, ordered the cakes, took pictures (and a lot of selfies) and threw away the macaron part. They seriously only ate the vanilla ice filling. I still cry from the inside.
We actually didn’t shop that much because the prices are higher than in the Netherlands, China and Japan. They’ve got a good amount of malls and enough to shop tho.
- PMQ Showcase: this is a nice gallery type of warehouse that houses individual little shops with owners offering their own designs and handicrafts. At the moment we were visiting there was an exhibition going on the centre part.. something with Anime and AR. If you’re around definitely worth a visit.
- Popcorn streetwear: When I entered the store I was amazed with the broad collection of Supreme stuff they had. Then when I took a look at the price tag I understood why – they sold the goods at 3 times the normal price. I think they’ve got a couple of locations. Nice to browse through. Total rip off to buy from.
- Kapok: good Nordic design stuff. They’ve also got one in PMQ.
- NikeLab: of course this one has to be in it.
YOU DON’T NEED TO GO TO
- West villa – in my eyes overpriced dim sum
- Mana! – probably not on your list anyway. On this day Edgar and I started our 3 week Vegan adventure and Mana! offered a decent Vegan menu. Not my type of food (too healthy.. too dry.. no cutlery.. too hip..) BUT they had Acai bowls though.
- Ms B’s cakery in Prince’s building – Google and some sites recommended it for coffee and cake. But instead it was some kind of poshy cake shop. Nah.