Explore Hong Kong like a local, with a local on a Hong Kong food tour and eat Hong Kong’s most beloved dishes at foodie hot spots.
Put your walking shoes on and the Hong Kong Foodie Tasting Tours foodie team will take you to uncover the food that has made this city famous. I’m talking egg tarts, wonton noodles, delicious roast meat, local seafood and Chinese desserts.
My tour started at a meeting point inside the underground railway station at Sham Shui Po. From there it was never a dull moment as tour leader Silvana shared the culinary culture of the surrounding streets.
Hong Kong food tour of Sham Shui Po
Sham Shui Po is a hidden heaven filled with local foodie hotspots serving some of Hong Kong’s most beloved dishes. It is also a working-class community where you can still see echoes the Hong Kong of yesteryear.
The streets are full of food that has fed hungry locals for generations but rarely appears on the culinary scene, the stuff that visitors are unlikely to stumble across. Silvana says its dishes hold memories of a grandmother’s love and hundred-year-old traditions.
The tour takes you through busy streets to eat at restaurants where everyday foods are prepared according to family traditions. We wandered through wet markets, stopped to purchase walnut cookies and admired rows of shiny, sharp cleavers while watching more made right in front of us.
Starts with breakfast
Do not eat before you come on this tour! Even though it might be later than your usual breakfast hour, come hungry with stretchy pants.
The first stop is a Hong Kong style café for a traditional breakfast with a deliciously light bun and milky tea made with evaporated milk— bor lo bao and nai cha. These are called pineapple buns because of the textured top however there’s not a skerrick of fruit in them.
Silvana tells us these are the biggest and best buns she has ever seen.
Next, it’s another traditional breakfast of steamed rice rolls with mix your own sauces – ju cheun fun. The only way to eat them is with a giant slurp. Silvana advises us to throw on plenty of hoisin sauce, then add some sesame seeds and a touch of chilli if you like. It certainly doesn’t look attractive, but the glutinous mess tastes heavenly.
Add in a bit of history
As the group walks in single file along the crowded streets, I hear about the area’s history. The pawn shops are disappearing while old and new apartment buildings meld in with the best place in Hong Kong to buy all your computer and tech hardware.
There’s only one shop left in the district still hand making noodles, and the muscly shoulders on the noodle maker prove this is hard work.
Rodent control is handled by a very capable cat, and you can see him in action if you look closely in the photograph.
There’s a large vat of snake soup with free tastings available in the shop next door. Yes, I do try it and it is okay, but I’m not lining up for seconds.
The tour finishes with a two-course lunch in two different stores. There is braised goose and pork knuckle followed by egg noodles with shrimp roe. This is where I am really wishing I had not had any breakfast at all.
Keep on eating
The Hong Kong eating experience doesn’t need to end when you leave for the airport if you are travelling business or first class with Cathay Pacific. Their architect-designed airport lounges offer everything from freshly baked bread and pizzas to Asian soups and light and leafy salads.
Where ever you dine in Hong Kong, you are bound to leave with a smile and a Ho Bau (very full) stomach.
The tour runs on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays starting at 9:15 am. Additional tours may be available on selected days so check the calendar.
Each tour includes eight people and food and drinks tastings at six locations. The tour takes about three and a half hours. Find out more about the tour here.
The cost for adults is $770 HK.
Recommended for those who like to explore destinations beyond the ordinary and love food.
What else can you do in Hong Kong?
Here’s a list of my top five things to do in this fabulous city.
Disclaimer: Ed+bK was a guest of Hong Kong Tourist Board.