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Hong Kong: more than just Dim Sum Delicacies

Choosing an excellent place in Hong Kong is so difficult these days as there are such a great number of superb choices! Whether you love sushi, pizza or hotpot, choosing a place to dine in is an everyday challenge for every Hong Konger. The incredibly wide range of cuisine and restaurants can trouble people who just can't make up their minds - but that's why Hong Kong is famous for being Asia's food paradise.

Enter any shopping mall or street in Hong Kong, and you can satisfy almost any desire you have for food; be it Shanghai cuisine, Japanese cuisine, Italian cuisine or any other, the diversity of food is amazing. Hong Kong is a place like no other. It is an absolute foodie's heaven! But just where are the must-eats?

I'm going to introduce you to some marvelous, mouth-watering cuisine; the unique food culture of Hong Kong that you will sell your granny for.

DIM SUM

Your trip to Hong Kong is never complete without dim sum in a traditional Hong Kong ‘tea house'.  Tiny, sophisticated dim sum is steamed in rustic, bamboo baskets; they are individual, inexpensive pieces of art.  ‘Har gao', ‘siu mai', ‘char siu bao' and many other delicacies are lifetime experiences for travellers. The combination of fresh ingredients and extraordinary cooking techniques makes Hong Kong dim sum distinctive in every way.

My recommendation for a great tasting experience has to be ‘siu mai', and steamed squid. ‘Siu mai' is a delicious dumpling made with choice minced pork and/or fresh, juicy shrimp, while steamed squid is cooked with a pungent sauce made from dried shrimp and is a scrumptious delicacy for seafood lovers.

One of the classic tea houses to go to for an authentic early morning dim sum is called Lin Heung, located on Wellington street, where you will have to hot-foot it amongst the die-hard elderly Hong Kongers to secure your plate of fresh-from-the-kitchen dim sum from the dim sum cart.

HONG KONG - A FUSION OF CUISINE

There is a huge diversity of cuisine in Hong Kong, and Japanese, Italian, Thai and Vietnamese cuisine is the most commonplace eateries outside of the local Chinese cuisine. You might think to question the quality of food in these various establishments, since the style of food does not originate in Hong Kong. However, there is nothing to worry about, because restaurants in Hong Kong are of consistently good quality, with many of the best chefs hired from all over the globe. Many of Hong Kong's most exclusive restaurants boast Michelin-starred head-kitchen chefs who oversee the preparation of some of the most sumptuous dishes.  Japanese restaurants in particular are an excellent choice and options are plentiful throughout Hong Kong. Sen-ryo in the International Financial Centre in Central is a hot-spot for those who adore sashimi dishes.  

You cannot go wrong if you look out for the Quality Tourism sign that reputable places display in their windows with most of these restaurants import ingredients from respective countries to ensure that customers can enjoy the authenticity of home cooking be it the icy surrounds of Helsinki or downtown Osaka.

EATING HABITS

One of the special cultural habits in Hong Kong is that people eat with chopsticks. For many years, Chinese people have developed the habit of eating with wooden or bamboo chopsticks. It is often difficult for foreign visitors to control the chopsticks at first, but after a one-week trip in Hong Kong many are able to get ‘the hang of it'. Just don't ask them to eat peanuts.  Another quirk that Hong Kongers have is that they put the bowl on top of a plate when they eat. One explanation is that Hong Kongers have rice with every meal and they put the rice in a bowl and add the other dishes on top of the rice so they don't actually need the plate and reserve it for leftovers. In addition, Hong Kongers also use a toothpick after a meal, but cover their mouth with their hand mainly because it's considered rude to show what you're picking out of your teeth.  Hong Kong people are also famous for scraping the bones and bits from their plates, right back onto the serving plate before a waiter comes to remove it.

SIGNBOARDS OF RESTAURANTS

It is common to see signboards hanging out from buildings all over the streets everywhere in Hong Kong; a tradition which advertises restaurants. Restaurants in particularly, usually attach blinding neon lights to their signboards to attract attention and are sometimes said to cause traffic accidents. As businesses are not willing to spend more money on removing signboards after they close down, signboards are increasing in number and making the streets in Hong Kong bright, colourful and unique.

EATING TIP

It is essential to find an ideal hotel to stay in during your visit as delightful restaurants are located in many different areas. It will be best for you to live in an area where most of these restaurants are situate. Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui are the best districts to stay in for foodies like you because they are flooded with many of the famous and tasty eateries. I hope you will enjoy your stay in Hong Kong.

Published on 11/10/11

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