Da Pai Dong aka 大 牌 檔 – Hong Kong Part 5

It’s seriously 2am right now but I’ve decided I can’t sleep so I’m writing this week’s blog post. Maybe I shouldn’t be, since I’m hungry AF and making an entry about food (drools!).

Still on the theme of Hong Kong . . . are you bored yet? Because I could go on for days, months (years maybe) and never get sick of revisiting my HK photos. One of the biggest elements of Hong Kong is eating at a dai pai dong.  According to Wikipedia, it is a stall/ restaurant that isn’t enclosed. There are tons of them on most popular streets, blocking some roadways with chairs and tables. Some dai pai dongs are even together, meaning a few of them share the same space and tables, just like a food court. It can get crazy, depending on where you end up. Some people lure you by showing (forcing) their menus into your face. . . I would just walk away. 

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If you’re a picky eater, I’m sure there will be something for you. There are tons of stuff on the menus and if it’s not, just ask to see if the kitchen can cook it for you.

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The atmosphere differs, depending on where you go. Some are filled with 99% men, that smoke and drink for hours. I’ve seen a lot of tourists at other places.

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I have a lot of respect for these cooks. They cook in the hottest kitchens, wearing regular clothing, never mind safety shoes.

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I think this was the first time during this trip that we had a meal at a dai pai dong stall. My aunt (below) is happily rinsing the dishes with hot tea.

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椒鹽九肚魚 aka Bombay Duck. It’s slimy and melts in the mouth.

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Eggplant with mince pork.

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Water spinach with bean curd.

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Chiu Chow congee aka a mixture of rice and water.

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This was a special place for my mom and aunt. While we ate at the noodle stall, my mom was reminiscing the old times, telling me that she used to go after school to eat a bowl of noodles with the shops famous hand made beef balls. She was also telling the owner that when she used to eat here she paid 3 HKD for a bowl. It’s about 8-9 times that now (you can see in the photo below). 

You can find a wide assortment of people to eat here. There are men and women in business suits to touristy people like my mom and I.

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The three of us had quite a number of meals at these restaurants. We literally ordered more than we could eat (obviously, I finished what they couldn’t eat).

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Some of my favourite things about eating at these unique places
– You can’t cook some of the dishes at home. It’s just not the same, the favour and the smell of the wok, you can actually taste it in the food.
– Eat for the atmosphere. I know that sounds cliche but it’s a really vibrant and welcoming feeling. I promise you that you won’t regret.

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HK Montage Videos – Hong Kong Part 4

I have to admit that I really regret not taking videos of my time in Asia (besides the take off from the planes). I was too focused on my pictures for my blog (weeps!). But I have some footage from my brother and his GoPro. I will be sharing more short montages in the coming weeks! Please enjoy and I’d love any feedback!

This stall sells basically everything, from innards to curry fish balls. I think the lady wasn’t too pleased when she caught sight of the camera staring at her.

Every street is a busy one in HK. There are tons of grocery stores and dried goods stores.

Videos shot with GoPro Hero4.

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.