Our first trip to Hong Kong was essentially a Disney Vacay, complete with a 3 days & 2 nights stay at Disney’s Hollywood Hotel. With one day designated for Disneyland and an early flight the following afternoon, it didn’t leave us with much time to explore Hong Kong itself. Nonetheless, having checked into our hotel around 2 pm and running on about 3 hrs of sleep we were determined to get at least a small taste of Hong Kong.
We didn’t have an actual plan, we just picked two points on a map and decided to walk from one end to the other and see what would find us.
Tai Cheong Bakery
Our first and only planned stop in Hong Kong was the Tai Cheong Bakery. I did a bit of research on the best egg tarts in Hong Kong and found that a lot of bloggers highly favored this particular bakery. We only had a few hours to explore Hong Kong outside the magical premises of Hong Kong Disneyland, so if I could have only one egg tart on this trip I wanted it to be the best!
The bakery took us to Tsim Sha Tsui where we got a spectacular view of the sun setting over Victoria Harbour as we stuffed our faces with egg tarts. We ended up getting two; one original egg tart and one caramel egg tart. Though I have nothing to compare it with, I can say without a doubt that they did not disappoint. They were lightly sweetened, so you definitely get more of that eggy taste. The custard was soft as silk which complimented the buttery flaky crust very well. What’s even better is that they were still warm, fresh out the oven! I drool just thinking about them. I liked the caramel one a bit more simply because it was a bit sweeter, otherwise they were both winners in my book.
Cheung Hing Kee Shanghai Pan-fried buns
As we explored the area a bit more, we realized there wasn’t much of a street food scene present. While there were a few street performers here and there, we were basically surrounded by high end shopping malls and luxury jewelry stores. Though it was all very pretty and shiny, it was clearly not our scene. So, we started walking and kept going until the Louis Vuitton and Gucci turned into H&M and Forever 21.
It was around this time that my husband shouted “pan-fried buns!!!” and we soon found ourselves in front of a spot called Cheung Hing Kee Shanghai Pan-fried buns. These buns have a soft and moist top with a crispy golden brown bottom. I think it’s important to say upfront that these are soup dumplings. Perhaps in all my hunger, I missed the memo… resulting in and explosion of soup all over my arm. Well maybe not an “explosion,” but it certainly made a mess… a HOT delicious mess. My own personal idiocy aside, the buns were absolutely delicious! We ordered the shrimp dumplings and the soup inside was incredibly flavorful. It’s really not surprising that they were in the 2016 Michelin Guide.
Temple Street Night Market
Continuing on our journey, we came across quite a few outdoor markets here and there, but I’d have to say that the Temple Street Night Market was the one that stood out to me the most. Stretching over a kilometer, we happened upon it somewhere in the middle and somehow made our way to the entrance.
This particular market is known for its cheap fake label clothes, knockoff watches, pirated CDs and DVDs and of course your typical souvenir trinkets and knick knacks. We didn’t get to explore all of it because it was insanely crowded, but we did come across a cute pet stall that had all sorts of pet toys, clothes and costumes. Whenever the hubby and I travel, we always try to bring back a little something for our fur baby. This time around, we ended up picking up a handmade lion dance costume. He’s going to look so cute this Lunar New Year!
It wasn’t long after we made our way out of the craziness that is Temple Street, that we came across something that caught our eye. It was an Am.Pm shaped like a Charlie Brown looking school bus with a hoard of people standing around it. Back stateside, an Am.Pm is a convenience store you can typically find by a gas station. In Hong Kong, it’s something way better!
As it turns out, it was a dessert shop that specializes in soufflé pancakes. There were a good amount of people waiting in line, but the Korean side of me knew I couldn’t pass this up. They had a couple of flavors to choose from, but we decided on the crème brûlée soufflé pancake with a side of black sesame soft serve ice cream. It was heaven! The pancakes were so fluffy I could die. They also had the famous Hong Kong Egg Waffles, but were were a bit stuffed and decided to save those for another time.
Curry Fish Balls
Before calling it a night, we decided to check out a few more food stalls on our way back to the subway station. We decided to go for some curry fish balls. They smelled amazing and despite their highlighter yellow hue, they were really tasty. They had fish balls in non-spicy and a “little” spicy. We opted for the “little” spicy ones, which actually weren’t that spicy… at first. They did gradually get a bit spicier the more I ate them, but nothing too crazy.
Finally I tried to convince the hubby to try some stinky tofu with me before we left, but there was just no overlooking or… oversmelling its powerful aroma. I guess it’s not called stinky tofu for nothing.
All in all it was a pretty fun evening in Hong Kong. We got to shop, eat and do a lot of exploring/walking which definitely made it more of an adventure. We did make the mistake of assuming it would be similar to Korea and Japan in that it would be fairly easy to stumble across street food spots and markets. This was not the case at all, partially due to its European influence and partially due to the high rental costs that people say are causing the loss of Hong Kong’s culinary street culture. Whatever the reason, I think next time we’ll take a more planned approach. As for this time… we certainly have no regrets.