Our first meal in Hong Kong was a typical dinner at a Chinese restaurant with my grandparents and a plethora of cousins. The experience was similar to any of my family dinners in Markham; the difference was that everyone except for my grandparents had literally just arrived in Hong Kong from somewhere in North America, so we were all falling asleep!
In any case, while I had lots and lots of food in Hong Kong, I did not always find it extremely exciting because I am constantly surrounded by Hong Kong cuisine even in Canada, and thus, I will highlight only two restaurants that Dangerous Dan and I visited. However, honourable mentions go out to Café de Coral (which Dangerous Dan insisted on having breakfast at … EVERY DAY) and Pizza Express in Times Square, where we didn’t speak a lick of Cantonese, even to the waiters, and felt like we were back in North America again. (Even the people beside us were speaking in English!)
GREENHOUSE / 10/F, Times Square, 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
We passed by Greenhouse the first time when we were on our way to Pizza Express (which is in the same mall). Greenhouse looked interesting and said it was “Asian cuisine with a Western twist,” so we decided to go back to try it later on during our trip. The restaurant has a nice cozy feel and so much plant-based decor!
To start, Dangerous Dan and I shared an appetizer, a Curry Crab Bruschetta. It wasn’t really bruschetta (very few tomatoes), but it was a sort of dip at least! It tasted really good, especially with the toasted bread and shrimp crackers!
For the main event, I had Fresh Salmon Spaghetti. I asked the waiter if I could have it as mild, but I guess my spice tolerance is too low because I still had trouble tasting the food amidst the spiciness! The salmon was delicious and I love cherry tomatoes though, so I still had a good time.
I also ate some of Dangerous Dan’s dish, which was simply named Singapore Noodles. It was so much more exciting than that though! The noodles were fried along with a smooth egg in a skillet, and it was all so interesting. I think I preferred his dish more than my own.
LAN FONG YUEN (蘭芳園) / Shop 26, WK Square, 36-44 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
This cha chaan teng is famous and important and world-renowned! The original location is somewhere in Central, but we went to this second location in TST because it was right by our hotel.
The whole process of getting in to the restaurant was hilariously intense! Since this location of Lan Fong Yuen is in a mall (sports-themed, at that!), we had to wait for the mall to open at 10:30 before we could go in, and a long line started to form at around 10:15. At 10:30 exactly, the metal door slowly moved upwards, and a staff member was standing there, warning us we couldn’t go in until the door was completely raised. This woman might as well have waved a checkered flag and screamed “GO!”, because once the door was completely raised, people ran in to the mall. We snaked through walls of running shoes and racks of soccer jerseys, and I shouted to my mother, “Mom, where are we going?! Do you know where this restaurant is?!” She responded that she did not know where she was going, but we continued to blindly follow the parade of joggers through the mall. We finally arrived at the storefront and quickly sat down in the restaurant, and the people who had been at the end of the line outside even had to continue waiting inside the mall. (That’s why we all ran!)
The food tasted pretty good and was classic Hong Kong-style cafe food. I decided to try something different and had fried instant noodles with BBQ chicken wings and a fried egg. It was all very tasty, although the chicken wings were a little spicy.
And to finish things off, delicious milk tea!
This was the last meal we ate before coming back to Canada, so it was a perfect way to say goodbye to Asia!