Kitchen MIshaps and Victories, Restaurant Rants and Raves and a whole lotta wanderlust!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Foodventures: The Hong Kong Files

I went to Hong Kong for a week with Abdul and two of my cousins. Although I had been there many times before, this was the first time I had to completely fend for myself from accommodations to food and transportation. Last two times I was there were for media events so everything was taken cared of (Something I REALLY miss about working in publishing is the heaps of free travel I got to do! *sigh*)When I was younger, I would be with relatives who would take care of everything also.

This time, I wanted to explore the city I had been to numerous times but never really got to know. Hong Kong to me was always about shopping and bargain finds. I noticed the older I get and more I travel though, that I enjoy travel FOR the travel. I like getting to know new places I visit and revisit now. Unlike before when going to the States just meant Disneyland and shopping, last year's New York visit had me walking tens of blocks just seeing things I never saw before. I have to agree with what Abdul said, It is very liberating to not be enslaved by the need to shop.

On this trip, we stayed at Tsim Sha Tsui. I Always feel more like I'm in China when I stay in the Kowloon side haha.

The desire for good food, on the other hand, is a completely different story. I love food. Obviously. I will pay bank for a good meal. I can honestly say I don't need to buy designer bags and expensive clothes, but man do I have an expensive palate. I don't do it intentionally, but whenever I go to restaurants I manage to zero in on the most expensive thing on the menu before I even know the price.

That of course, is not to say I don't enjoy the cheaper, but just as good food in life. I can eat at hole in the wall places and eat with as much gusto as a michelin star restaurant. As with fashion, I believe the same goes for food- you cannot buy taste. It doesn't really matter if you spent $1000 on a meal or $10, as long as it's good, then i would say it is worth it.

When in Hong Kong, eat where the locals eat, as those are the places you will find the best Chinese food. Simple, "home-cooked", no-frills and very comforting. The good thing about Chinese food is that we Filipinos are very familiar with its flavors making it easy to think of as comfort food. Congee is a lot like our arroz caldo and the roasts with rice they have are a different version of our rice toppings and silogs.

Chinese noodle soups are in every other eatery in Hong Kong. Most are chicken broth based, with some using vegetable or meat broths. There is nothing complicated about this dish as it is basically broth, egg noodles, fishballs, beef balls or dumplings ( or anything else you can think of that acts like "ulam") and sometimes bokchoy. That is it really, but aside from arroz caldo at my house, few things are more comforting to me.

Cuttlefish balls with noodles on a rainy day. Location: Mong Kok

About to dig in. Yum.

On another night in Tsim Sha Tsui-- Wanton Noodle Soup.

Servings in Hong Kong are HUGE. I wondered at first why nobody there is really overweight, but after my week-long eating binge, right when I was afraid I gained 10 lbs, I looked at myself when I got home and realized that even if I DID eat alot, I walked 6 or more hours a day. My legs, butt and lower back are all still sore. Yay!

Next post: More Hong Kong Foodventures

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