In addition to its unique touristic attractions, incredible shopping opportunities, and widely accessible location, one of the top reasons to visit Hong Kong is to eat. This dense island of seven million people is one of the world’s best culinary destinations. The cuisine in Hong Kong represents a mixture of influences from around the world, creating an explosion of flavours that’s obvious wherever you go. Should you find yourself visiting the city, make sure you try these five classic dishes.
5 Must-try Dishes in Hong Kong
Taking a bite of these small pastries filled with soft and creamy custard will be one of the most satisfying ways for you to indulge your sweet tooth craving while in Hong Kong. Egg tarts are popular snacks eaten by locals and are available at almost every establishment around the city. There are two types of egg tarts in Hong Kong. The first one has a shortbread crust that crumbles when you bite into it, and the second has a flaky base, similar to the puff pastry variety.
Noodles with beef brisket
There are hundreds of noodle dishes to try in Hong Kong, but there is one legendary bowl that people are so crazy about, they are willing to queue for hours. It’s the beef brisket noodle at Kau Kee, the long-standing and family owned noodle shop that’s famous for their beef brisket. It’s one of the best and most unique culinary reasons for visiting Hong Kong. Though the Pun family keeps the recipe closely guarded, the South China Morning Post did report that the soup only contains “all herbs, no spices.”
Another common dish eaten by locals is the roast duck. Not to be confused with Peking duck, this Cantonese version marinades the bird before roasting instead of air-drying it. After several hours in the marinade, the duck is left to roast in a charcoal oven until the meat is tender and the skin is crispy. It is served in chunks, often with rice or noodles accompanied by plum sauce for dipping.
These round yellow and white fish balls, skewered three to six pieces on a bamboo stick, are the quintessential Hong Kong street food. The yellow ones are cheaper, often mixed with flour and curry paste to give added flavours. They are deep-fried and typically served as a snack. The white ones are of higher quality, made entirely out of fish. They are generally boiled and served as a compliment to noodles.
You might find yourself wondering where the pineapple is when you take a bite out of this widely popular pastry, but traditional Hong Kong pineapple buns don’t contain any pineapple at all. It was named so after its sugar-covered top, which some say resembles the fruit itself. It’s usually eaten with a bit of butter in the middle, though variations these days include sweetened fillings that include red bean, fig, and you guessed it, pineapple.
There are plenty more must-try dishes in Hong Kong but the five listed above are a good way to start your culinary adventure.