Hong Kong has a reputation as a food lover’s destination and with good reason – the fusion of Asian and Western cultures in the city has created some truly remarkable dishes, many of which are famous internationally.
1. Dim Sum
A must-try on any visit to Hong Kong, Dim Sim involves steamed or fried bite-size portions of food which can include everything from fish balls to barbecue pork buns. Typically enjoyed as part of a Yum Cha brunch experience, many restaurants serve Dim Sum from trolleys which are wheeled to diners, who select whichever treats appeal most to their tastebuds at the time; typically Dim Sum dishes are shared among family or friends when dining.
A form of rice porridge, Congee is an extremely popular dish in Hong Kong and served in a variety of different styles with a range of different ingredients including everything from seafood to meat and vegetables. Numerous restaurants and food vendors specialise in the dish, which can be enjoyed at any time of the day but is particularly popular in the evening.
Often found in the same eateries as Congee, noodle dishes are another mainstay of Hong Kong cuisine and commonly served in soups or stir fries. Wonton noodle soup is a popular dish, as are stir-fried rice noodles and an a la carte ingredient dish known as Cart Noodles.
4. Hot Pot
As the name suggests, in hot pot dishes diners have a pot of a stock or soup sitting on a table element to which they add a variety of ingredients including vegetables, seafood, wontons and meat. Popular in the winter, the dish is often enjoyed as a communal dining experience, with an incredible variety of sizes, dishes, condiments and ingredients to choose from at a range of eateries across Hong Kong.
A winter favourite, Claypot dishes are, as the name suggests, cooked in a clay pot, typically on a bed of rice which should ideally be soft in the middle and crispier towards the edge. Ingredients including juicy meats and vegetables feature prominently and the dish is traditionally cooked over a charcoal fire. A range of styles are available across Hong Kong, covering everything from street food to upmarket dining.
6. Fish Balls
A popular street food dish, fish balls are made from fish paste, placed on a skewer then fried, sometimes in a spicy oil to add to the taste. Other dishes, typically served in restaurants and cafes, can involve the fish balls being incorporated into soups, stir fries, noodle dishes and more, with a variety of accompaniments including curry sauce available as well.
There’s far more to a Hong Kong dessert than ice cream with topping; the city is famous for its range of Asian and Western-inspired after-dinner treats. Some of its more popular elements include tofu pudding, egg tarts, Tongyuen sweet rice dumplings, and the popular mango pudding, featuring mangoes, evaporated milk, agar and sugar.
8. Wife Cakes
These are a popular treat comprising flaky pastry with a filling of winter melon, almond paste, and sesame and spice powder. There are several stories about how the treat got its name, including one that a baker, upon being complimented on the delicious nature of the food, loudly proclaimed they were made by his wife.
9. Milk Tea
Any good meal needs a drink to accompany it and one of the Hong Kong beverage favourites is milk tea, involving special blend of black tea combined with either evaporated or condensed milk. Readily available all over the territory, it’s a hugely popular drink with locals and visitors alike, typically enjoyed around lunchtime or in the afternoon.
10. Stir Fry
Well-known to Western visitors due to the global popularity of Asian cooking, Hong Kong is famous for its stir-fry dishes covering everything from popular favourites such as beef, chicken, vegetarian and seafood combinations through to Asian-Western fusion styles, with rice or noodles typically featuring. There’s an endless array of flavours and combinations to discover!