Fresh Food Street Markets – Hong Kong Part 3

I am super excited to be writing this entry! I remember every photo I ever took of these markets and I swear to the Food Gods that I will never be sick of capturing the ins and outs of the tiniest detail of these markets. I just love groceries and markets (any kind really) in general (I can spend hours  in a grocery store, alone). Sadly, I didn’t have a kitchen to use when I was staying in Hong Kong, but that doesn’t mean that I couldn’t try the wonderful assortment of fruits and just admire the Hong Kongers doing their jobs.

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This  kitty was wondering around the market before it was open. A professional model and posing for the camera, like he or she knew that I would be there. :P

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One of my biggest regrets is not eating durian (cries). I really wish I had a chance to eat fresh durian and we had a large enough party to finish one. NEXT TIME, I WILL!

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The meat & poultry are sold very differently compared to North America! I always thought that meats had to be in a cool environment after butchered. It is just kept out under a strong red light with tons of flies hovering around.

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These green tangerines are treated like gold. I’ve seen it everywhere. People just deskin the peel from citrus and keep the fruit’s rind. Chinese people dry them (it takes a long long time) and use it in soups and cooking. The longer the drying / aging process, the more expensive it is. It is such a shame to see the tangerines go to waste like that, especially in Hong Kong. You can spot the box (from the photo above, on the lower right corner) full of peeled tangerines. I have tasted them. They are  indeed very sour, but it is edible.

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My mom and aunt brought fruits at the markets almosts everyday. Since we were constantly eating out (3-4 meals daily), we needed to fruits to keep us hydrated and healthy.

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I don’t think I’ve seen anything like this. You can purchase already de shelled chestnuts. I think I’m in heaven!

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I don’t think I’ll ever be sick of street markets if I had one close to home. But unfortunately I don’t. The only market I can think of is St.Lawrence Market and the fruits and vegetables are very expensive.

Photos via Canon 70D.

Dim Sum at Lin Heung – Hong Kong Part 2

Who wouldn’t go to Hong Kong and not have dim sum right? On day 1, my uncle took us to grab some typical dim sum at a random fancy restaurant on the second floor (it was alright).

I probably went for dim sum about 5/6 times. But from all the restaurants I’ve been too, Lin Heung was hands down the best (I went twice within 11 days).

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The restaurant is located on the second floor, and the owner(s) have a mini store front bakery.

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Here’s the first view of the entire restaurant. There are no waiters or waitresses to bring you to your table. You really need to be quick and (literally) grab an empty table when you spot one. Or you can always share a table with strangers, it’s a common thing in Hong Kong.

My tip: be a hawk and hover over tables, you can tell when people about to leave; messy table and used napkins, unclean chopsticks means that they are going to walk out within minutes and pay the bill at the cash.

We managed to find a table, but unfortunately got a teapot instead of a lidded bowl , Chinese:三才杯 (I don’t know of any other dim sum restaurants that you can get tea in a lidded bowl). Pouring tea from lidded bowl gives me the feels, like I’m part of the living past. Wiki tells me that brewing tea from a lidded bowl came from the Ming Dynasty.

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Rolling carts are really rare in Hong Kong, especially in Central, because space is limited. We rarely have dim sum on carts back in Toronto, so we were so happy to see this again!

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I love the photo below. This picture is exactly why dim sum carts are so important. Some people don’t know or understand what the dim sum cart lady brings out, so they can see for themselves what is actually is.

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This is my second favourite photo. You know when something is popular if people are gathering at a cart with their dim sum sheets and patiently waiting for their food.

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This is what I call an open kitchen. ;)

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Be prepared to walk uphill or downhill, depending on which direction you’re coming from.  But surely, you’ll enjoy your meal when you get to Lin Heung.

Photos via Canon 70D.

Street Food / HK Fast Food – Hong Kong Part 1

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If you couldn’t already tell, I was super excited for to spend more than seven days in Hong Kong (without my dad, which makes things better (Am I a bad daughter?), hashtag sorrynotsorry!). I have NEVER been there and therefore was already thinking about all the blog entries I would be writing/posting after my visit.

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A month prior to landing in the city of great food (Chinese food right?) my parents would reminiscent about their childhood, the foods they ate and how it was prepared. Dad would remind me of how he went to the shops and got an order of steaming rice rolls (pictures below) and it would be given be in a plastic bag.

On my first day (the plane landed at 4:30 am local time (obviously it was TOO early) and so there was plenty of time to go and explore around (ever minute counts!!). My aunt and I had the opportunity to go and experience (it was mainly I) eating rice rolls from a plastic bag.. IN FACT, it was actually like my dad had described!

The rolls are cut up, placed in a dish on top of parchment paper, your choice of sauces are added (hoisin sauce and hot sauce), a sprinkling of white sesame and bagged up in a tiny plastic bag.
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There are plenty of street foods to choose from. I would almost assure you that you could probably find a vendor or two on any street (on the popular streets within HK); fishballs and animal innards are very popular.

Another Chinese staple is eating at fast food restaurants that serve Hong Kong style foods (aka cha cha teng). There is an assortment of foods ranging from instant noodles to macaroni and ham). If you’re craving a more western style dish, there is an assortment to choose from: eggs and toast, porridge and or coffee.

For this trip, I ate mostly what I wouldn’t eat back in Toronto, even if I were going to a cha cha teng.  My goal was to eat instant noodles (I’ve heard HK instant noodles are different compared to the ones at home), Chinese french toastegg tarts. Unfortunately, I didn’t have, not even a bite, of an egg tart (some cha cha tengs have a storefront bakery too).

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One of my highly recommended foods/ drinks to try is lemon tea. I was instantly in love with it and had to have it, if I weren’t drinking a red bean slush. I cannot really describe the difference in taste (mom claims HK lemon tea is not bitter), but surely 100 times better (I think the tea is less dense and the tea is not steeped for too long).

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Obviously there are PLENTY of cha cha tengs to choose from, but Cafe de Coral is pretty popular around the city centre. I really got my money’s worth. For $21 HKD, I got a red bean slush and a french toast. If I convert HKD to CAD (this is an estimation), it would be around  $4 CAD. A red bean slush is about ~$4 CAD and french toast is about ~$4. You get my point!

While roaming the street markets, we came across a random dessert/ steamed dumpling shop.

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I was sad that I didn’t have many opportunities to try egg waffles. I had a list (of five) of the most popular HK egg waffles and I only tried Mammy Pancake. I was surely disappointed as I was really looking forward to having the best egg waffles in the city. The waffles were crispy and fresh (not soggy), but there was really something missing. I thought it was too plain (no salt to balance out the sweetness). I really prefer the one at Pacific Mall instead.

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My mom would probably get mad at me if I didn’t include chestnuts in this post. When she was growing up, she would always smell roasted chestnuts from a far. She just, and still has, a sensitive nose for that. We literally had five (or more) bags of roasted chestnuts in HK. Crazy right? But not for my family. My brother, mom and I are huge fans of chestnuts. We used to cook them whenever we had our fireplace on, but not anymore.

We stopped by this couple’s random stall on the street every time they had chestnuts. $40 HKD for one pound of chestnuts. The couple also sells eggs and roasted sweet potato. They usually set up stall around Jordan Road and Nathan Road.

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There are certainly more street foods and fast foods items to mention, but I think I’ll end my post here.

Photos via Canon 70D.