My love for local food developed shortly after I moved to Hong Kong six years ago. From dim sum to noodles to dumplings, I’m always up for a visit to a local cha chaan teng or dai pai dong to satisfy my cravings. I’ve had a long list of local shops I’ve wanted to visit for ages now, but I just haven’t had the time to go, so when given an opportunity to join Hello Hong Kong’s local Hong Kong food tour, I jumped on it. Whether you’re living in HK but have felt a bit anxious about heading to a local restaurant, or if you’re visiting and want to have a local food experience, I would highly recommend going on a local Hong Kong food tour with Hello Hong Kong.
Our tour started at 9:30 am at a popular tea house in Sheung Wan called Lin Heung Kui Tea House for a dim sum breakfast. I’ve been to the branch in Central before and loved it, so I was excited to see they had a sister branch next door. I love love love dim sum, and our fantastic tour guide Mel chose a handful of classic dim sum dishes for us to try. I had tried almost everything before except for these pork buns with a sweet pineapple bun topping, which were absolutely delicious.
We then walked down the streets of Sheung Wan where many local dry food shops took over the ground floors of buildings. Along the way, we went into a ginseng shop and a Chinese medicinal shop where Mel talked about the health benefits of these products as well as the history of the shops. Despite having lived in this area for four years, I learned quite a few interesting facts about these shops and the history behind them.
Next, we went to a local candy and tea shop where we were able to try a variety of treats and dried fruits, and buy any that you fancied. After we were done browsing, we went to the back of the store where the tea selection was and sat down for a traditional tea pouring. We tried dragon pearl jasmine tea and it was honestly the best jasmine tea I have had. After we each had a small glass, we left and popped our heads into a local snake soup shop where live snakes are kept in wooden boxes at the back. We weren’t able to see any that day, but locals believe snake soup has many healing and health benefits.
For our next stop, we made our way to Central to Mak’s Chung Noodles for some wonton noodle soup. I had originally thought we were going to the ‘fancy’ new-ish Mak’s Noodles on Wellington Street, but I was surprised to find out that the shop we went to is actually owned by his son. The story goes, there was a family dispute between the two, which is why they now own two different Mak’s Noodle shops in Central, Hong Kong.
To quench our thirst we paid a visit to Lan Fong Yuen, a popular local cha chaan teng in Central (one of the places I had been wanting to visit for awhile). We tried the milk tea – I ordered the half coffee, half milk tea drink called yuanyang. The drink was good, but it seemed as though I should have opted for the traditional milk tea, so I’ll have to go back to try it.
Egg Tarts and Roast Meat
Our next stop was right around the corner at Tai Cheong Bakery to pick up some of their famous egg tarts. Every time I walk by this shop there’s always a queue, but we were able to grab these egg tarts fairly quickly since our tour was on a weekday. We then walked to an area where we could sit down and properly enjoy them before moving on to our final stop of the tour.
Finally, we hopped on a tram and made our way to Wan Chai for our last stop at Joy Hing to try char siu (bbq pork). The restaurant was absolutely packed, so we were all squished at a tiny table which wasn’t the most comfortable experience, although it was certainly an authentic one. We tried a heaping plate of char siu, and another plate with rice and char siu – both fatty and lean pieces. After we quickly finished up, we ended our tour just across the street and all parted ways.
About Hello Hong Kong Tours
Hello Hong Kong specializes in private and small group tours around Hong Kong. They offer a variety of tours based around the sightseeing, culture/history, and food of Hong Kong. Going on a tour with Hello Hong Kong is a great way to explore the city and learn a bit more about what makes Hong Kong so unique with their knowledgeable tour guides (my tour guide Mel was great!). As someone who has lived in Hong Kong for six years, I really did love their local food tour and would recommend it to anyone with an adventurous and/or curious palate. They have also recently launched in Singapore and I can’t wait to try their food tour on my next visit.
Visit Hello Hong Kong for more information about their tours and to book yours today!