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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hong Kong Food Trip

I seldom spend money for food when traveling, but I'd been wanting to rid of that habit of holding back in trying out local cuisines of places I go to, since its also a part of the over-all travel experience. That is why, one of the things I was looking forward on my trip to Hong Kong last month was to satisfy my tongue's desire to commit mass gluttony.

Hong Kong is amass with a long list of iconic foods that occupies the top of the list of world class food connoisseur. Being a pantheon of galaxy away from being a food expert, I was all dressed the part of a chef coming to town and envisioning taste tests from one HK eatery to another. So while I was ready to taste the popular ones such as the chicken feet, the stinky tofu, ginger milk curd, Cantonese sausage, dimsum, beef brisket, pot roast, egg tart, Hong Kong burgers, fried ducks, snake soup, egg noodles, congee, tonkatsu and a lot more, I found out that it takes genuine effort to try these different foods at one go.

First, It's hard to order or choose from a menu written in Chinese characters. I've to rely on English translations, of which only a few restaurants have, sometimes I choose from the picture menu and fortunately, a few times the server was able to describe each even in broken English. Second, most of the servings are aplenty, coming from the "Jolli-jeep" world of Makati where I work and have most of my lunch, a single order of food fits right into my stomach like a volkswagen does in a four car garage, while in Hong Kong one bowl of egg noodles comes with tons of toppings that requires extra skill of consuming it all in a continuous motion without sacrificing my appetite's momentum.

Third, there's so much to choose from that I ended up walking more and trying to decide where to eat, I found myself just about to settle at one place only to be distracted by another food stop, deciding to go to the next one instead and then the next one and so on. It's like going to a single's club and spotting that hot girl from afar, you're on your way to approach her, with the pick up line you memorized earlier about to be recited with the swagger of George Clooney, but then you see this Diane (of Trainspotting) look-alike nearby, you drop your original plans and then go after Diane and end up talking to her in a cool, druggie infused Mark Renton voice. It was like that in Hong Kong, the places to eat are so abundant you'd go crazy choosing where to finally take a seat and commit gluttony at a large scale.

But it's a good problem. I'm sure Hugh Hefner in his heyday feels the same about food and Playboy Playmates. So, there I was in Hong Kong walking around like crazy getting hungry after an hour, forgetting about it until I skip lunch and will make up for it by ordering a massive plate of roast pork, egg tart and some dimsum in the afternoon then will cap it off with a large bowl of noodles adorned by seafood and beef toppings. 

I even tried eating using chopsticks. I ended up looking like Kimbo Slice mimicking Bruce Lee's jeet kune do wherein all I ever know was a dirty kind of street fighting. I'm no master with chopstick but I know how to easily chug foods down my throat and in a few minutes I was like burping like a madman. Uttered the word "Solb" (expression of having hearty meal) many times during my food tripping around Hong Kong.

The first morning I was there I ended up in a noodle house where the food server asked me my nationality, I told her I'm a Filipino and her face showed a sincere smile and told me I look a bit Chinese, told her my late father was of Chinese descent. She told me Filipinos are cool when it comes to food, they're the types who orders a lot and speaks good English too. I'm glad that the issue or the anger that some Hong Kong citizens felt towards Filipinos in the aftermath of the infamous hostage situation in Quirino has seemingly been forgotten already which is  a great thing.

I also went around Kowloon Food District located along Carpenter Road and Nam Kok Road which is also beside the Kowloon Walled City. The closest MTR station to this place was the Lok Fu station. Kowloon Food District comprises a row of 10 streets, where you can find more than 200 cheap and family-owned and run restaurants that serves favorite local and other Southeast Asian cuisines.

A normal meal for me is about a meal that might make someone puke for over-food consumption, but with that kind of meal, it costs about $30-$50 HK or approximately (150-250 pesos) but ordinary street foods found on little stalls are cheaper and costs from $5-15 good for a snack to bridge you from being starved to feeling alright. A bit expensive, lets say compared to local eateries here, but part of what you pay for is the new food experiences that Hong Kong brings.

A confession I had to make though, with the robust eating places in Hong Kong I still opted to western fast foods a couple of times. I ordered Chicken nuggets at Mcdonalds, but a misunderstanding occurred between me and the "order-taker slash cashier", so I was served with Hot and Spicy Chicken Fillet instead. I had breakfast on my second day at KFC where they also serve corn to go along with a soup and chicken fillet.

However, what stands out to me was the local cuisines and other Asian foods that I was able to taste. Looking back and thinking about it again just makes me starve right now. How I wish, I was back walking the streets of Kowloon or Mongkok once again. Burrrrp!

What are you waiting for? the world offers a varying list of cuisines that will make one's appetite lit up in fervor. Contact your nearest travel agency to get a chance to avail deals on cheap package holidays. Food tripping on a holiday brings an awesome experience.


Anonymous said...

These past few days i've been eating tons and tons of food. I didn't realize the correlation between my dismal state of heart and my voracious appetite. I ate to fill up a void and your delicious post did nothing to help alleviate it. Thus to the kitchen i go.....

ayan said...

ey man, you know the name of the streetfood..its a mix of innards-pig intestines, twalya etc...

Ron | fliptravels.com said...

shet, pag open ko, ginutom na agad ako! namp...

lakwatsera de primera said...

Yummy peking duck! We will feast on dumplings and Peking duck at China town this Thurs with Luna and Gay :)

Micamyx|Senyorita said...

Bakit ko in-open tong blog mo ngayon? bakit? BAKIT?!?

Hehehe when i go to HK next time, i'll make syre to bring a foodie friend with me. Kelangan ko muna ata mag-practice sa Binondo

adventurousfeet said...

im so hungry right now. i like the analogy of food and girls. ikaw na talaga!!!!

renevic | lagalag said...

halos lahat ng food eh may pagkakapareho sa singapore :D pati yung kowloon food district mejo may similary sa normal hawker center sa singapore :)

C.W. Bush said...

Oh man, you're killing me here! I'm starving and dinner is still 2.5 hours away.

Sad face.

Sounds like a fun experience. I'm the same with new foods in new places. It's too hard to choose!

Cedric said...

The scent of food being cooked is one of the things that stayed with me years after I last visited HK. Your post comes at the right time too since I'm doing my research on where to eat there on my next trip. :D

Markyramone said...

My apologies to those whose food cravings were increased upon opening this blog post.

@Ayan - forgot the street, but its all over the place.

@Ced - enjoy food tripping with Pat, better nga kng dalawa kayo sharing of orders, hirap pg mg isa lng umorder ng madami

@Ren - yeah it has similarities with Singapore, KL even Binondo...but different pa ren on other levels.

@Claire - yeah Gaye mentioned it. Have fun with baby Luna

Ed said...

wow, mas grabe ang food trip mo marky, im suddenly craving for noodleshops again! mas mura pa rin ang street food sa tsen huan.

yes, stayed at ate gemma. It was good, very homey! :D

Robbie said...

Ito yung maganda kapag nasa ibang lugar eh. Aside from the sights, i look forward to food tripping more. :D

Paturo naman ng momentum mo sa pagkain! Hahaha.

philippine real estate said...

An adventure in a place abroad usually means going loco over their local dishes and driving over to the nearest restaurants. As for Manila, that means eating balot and other strange delicacies.

Pinoy Boy Journals said...

nice! pareho tayo, i don't use chopsticks. Hassle pag gutom tapos rice kinakain. ha ha But i think we went to the same places, but i ended up eating safe food. di kasi ako ganun ka-adventurous when it comes to food. he he

Valerie Hewitt said...

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cheap flights said...

I always love to travel as a foodie. Post explain good information regarding to food travel but i have a question that will vegan also get vegetarian food at Hong Kong or not?

Markyramone said...

yeah there's lots of veggie places and noodles house that serves with pure vegetable toppings

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