“I’ll take you out for a true authentic Hong Kong experience!” says my fellow foodie comrade friend. We used to do food marathons back in London, where we set aside entire half a day hopping from one food place to another. Once, we stuffed ourselves so much (two dinners within 2 hours, pancakes at My Old Dutch, and ramen at Ippudo) that even turning sideways was extremely painful.
Anyways, I haven’t seen him for 9 months ever since he moved back to Hong Kong, and here we are again doing yet another food marathon on the other side of the world. I’ve actually just had a 3 course meal at Repulse Bay, but I’m sure I can find some more room in my tummy.
The first stop is turtle jelly.
Made from powdered bottom shell of a turtle and herbal products, it’s supposed to be good for skin complexion, reducing acne and improving circulation. People have it for dessert, but it tastes more herbal than sweet. You can also put sugar on top to make it sweeter, but I had it plain, accompanied with a tea egg and herbal tea.
Next stop is Dundas Street in Mong Kok. It’s a street food haven, filled with ranges of snacks and refreshments. Sticking with the theme of the ‘authentic Hong Kong experience’, we go for stinky tofu and curry fish balls.
Stinky tofu is fermented tofu with a very strong sour smell, but it actually tastes just like regular tofu. Curry fish balls often feature in must-try-stree-foods-in-Hong-Kong blog posts, and sure enough, they did not disappoint. The perfect combination of spicy sauce on salty fish balls is so good that I found myself craving it everyday afterwards.
For our next course we take MTR to Causeway Bay for a Michelin starred meal of wonton noodle soup at Ho Hung Kee. We had to wait for 20 minutes to get a seat in this beautifully decorated restaurant, but the meal itself was quite average.
Being too full for dessert (we were planning durian pudding), we decide to go for a walk to a place where, according to my local friend, ‘everyone hangs out in Causeway Bay’ – IKEA.
The showrooms are no different from the ones in the UK, with sections of rooms decorated like real households, except the people. FULL of people so obviously using the showrooms as a free-of-charge cafe. Young student couples chatting on a sofa here, an old man engrossed in reading a Chinese newspaper over there. Some are even taking a nap.
“Welcome to Hong Kong!” says my friend with a cheeky grin.