Address: Tsim Sha Tsui across Langham Hotel (I honestly don’t know the address, follow the map)
Specialty: Beef balls
Cost: ~$20 HKD a bowl
Hong Kong people are massive germaphobes and understandably, their horrendous experience with SARS really has them overly cautious about hygiene and cleanliness. Unfortunately one of the casualties of extremely clean environments is the shutting down of dai pai dongs in HK. Once commonplace, these stalls are harder to find and much more regulated.
Again like the noodle store in Mongkok in a previous post this place comes with a caveat. If you can brave the frenetic pace and seemingly chaotic nature of these stalls, this place is a gold mine for food. The beef meat balls here are the best. You can order them with noodles or without noodles.
Now the thing is. In this particular dai pai dong area there are many stores and I have no idea if they’re interconnected or direct competitors. So when you go, look for the sign in the very first picture above and only sit near there. Or you’ll be pulled in by another store offering the same thing but just slightly different. The last picture in this post gives you a sense of how difficult that may be.
**closed on sundays!**
Address: 15 Nelson Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Specialty: Fish balls, meat balls & wontons
Cost: $22 HKD a bowl (~$3 USD)
This store has a little bit of history and it’s tucked just besides the notoriously packed streets of Sai Yeung Choi Street and the Ladies Market. I must have passed by this place so many times and never noticed it until my mom brought us here. You can order quite a lot of things here but the fish balls really stood out. They were light, almost airy, and full of taste. I didn’t realize how good they were until we had some store bought ones the next day and the difference was incredibly noticeable.
I think I ended up coming here to eat 3 separate times over the span of a few days. It was glorious on each occasion.
HUGE CAVEAT: don’t eat here if cleanliness and a relaxed atmosphere is what you’re looking for. You won’t find it. There are only a few tables and nearly everyone shares. There’s little to no customer service but if you sit down and are vocal with your order, you’ll get exactly what you want. If you do have the heart and the stomach to try it out, don’t look down. just…trust me.
As I said at the top, this store has a little bit of history relating to my family. My mom said this store’s been open since she was here in HK. Right across the store is a used book store and right underneath the large yellow sign was where my dad used to sell used books 40+ years ago! He’d buy used text books from students, carry them from their homes to their store front and resell them when the next quarter came around. My dad was quite the book worm so it was a great job while he was a kid. I have no idea if this is the same store he once worked for or if there was even a store back then, but it’s a trip to see that connection.
Address: 25 Lock Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Specialty: Portuguese Egg Custards
Cost: ~8 HKD (~$1USD)
Macau is known for it’s Portuguese cuisine and though we had just gone to Macau and sampled its food a few days earlier, there just can’t be enough of a good thing.
Now we had just finished a ginormous, banquet-worthy dinner in the area (pictures coming soon) and wanted to walk off the meal by taking a stroll. My sister was complaining how full she was but I always save a little space just in case something undeniable presents itself. This was one of those times and this is one of those places. My sister proceeded to say, “how can you still eat?! Just get 2 for yourself and Jess, I just want to sample a bite out of yours”.
So we order 2 and she takes one bite of mine, then goes, “okay 哥哥 (thats me), take a bite and I’ll finish it”.
Yah. It’s that good…and yah, my sister’s a fatty.
Stop by the front and they got a guy selling these all day. It’s a pretty popular place so you don’t have to worry about the freshness. The food inside isn’t that memorable (I had it at another location years ago) but these custards are a must stop if you’re in the area. Get a batch just as it’s coming out and enjoy!