When it comes to traveling, my number one priority is always to find the most authentic food to that area. The more special it is to the area (aka I can’t get it anywhere else in the world) the better. And for those who aren’t following me on Twitter already, you’ll notice that my Twitter consists primarily of go and food. So as you might expect, I’m quite enthusiastic about food and thus this post is a tad lengthier than normal.
With that said, I hope you prepare yourself as you set off with me to relive my food adventures through Hong Kong, and be sure to read to the end because I recount my experience with a buffet that costs $100USD per person. No that is not a typo. See you at the the bottom!
For starters, I’ll have to say that while we had some recommendations on places to go, my family and I were mostly on our own when it came to figuring out what we wanted to eat.
When we had finally escaped surviving on airplane food for the last 13+ hours, you can imagine our desire to find some actual food. Nothing microwaved or mushy. Just legit Hong Kong food. And even though it took us a bit before we got settled in at our hotel, we were fortune enough that there were some places open nearby. To top it off, we were incredibly lucky to pick the one place where they had excellent wonton egg noodle soup. Definitely the best I had the entire trip!
One thing I learned about Hong Kong is that all of the breakfast (at least in the restaurant I went to) they served were primarily soup. After eating a rather abysmal breakfast one time, we eventually found this number nearby our hotel which had a great pork chop that went really well with instant noodles. I know I know… instant noodles? Well after my first terrible breakfast experience, instant noodles were a huge relief.
In addition, another thing I came to like in Hong Kong was a drink that was quite common there: tea with lemon and honey! And while that might sound extremely common place, it was rather odd for me to experience that in an Asian restaurant.
One place that was recommended by my friend Christine was this dim sum place. As you can see below, it was really crowded and hopping!
After waiting for a while though, we were finally seated and the dim sum feast began!
The next restaurant to be featured is a dessert place that was also near our hotel (we had gotten quite lucky to be around so many good food places within walking distance). We had passed by it a number of times walking around, but never went in because it was so crowded. One night however, it was just my dad and I and we decided to go ahead and see what the buzz was all about.
On the night I went to The Peak with my brother, we decided to grab ramen for dinner!
When we went to visit Tian Tan Buddha, we got a chance to try the temple’s vegetarian feast as well!
Another fun thing I got to try in Hong Kong was cream soda (depicted below). I know that this might be a regular occurrence to some in the States, but my aunt told me she grew up drinking it so I decided to give it a shot. It was a new flavor and quite an interesting taste! Not something I could drink all the time, but I could see why people really enjoy it.
Another thing about Hong Kong is that the airport is HUGE. And maybe I’m just ignorant from having only really spent time in airports in the United States, but there was just so many food options (that were actually good)! For instance, this place (below) featured an entree not found in many other places.
And of course, while at the airport, I also took the chance to grab me some milk tea whenever I had the chance!
And on the last day, I even got a chance to try the ramen at the airport. I have to say that I was a little skeptical of how good it could be. After all, it was in an airport. It can’t be that authentic right?
Yeah I was completely wrong. For airport standards, this ramen was awesome if you needed some real food before going to the terminal!
Another favorite of mine is the franchise known as Hui Lau San (depicted below). They serve drinks that are more fruit oriented.
As always, I have saved the best for last. On one night, my family and I were very fortunate to be able to [partake in an incredible experience at a restaurant called Imasa. It was by reservation only (which my cousin was able to get for us on short notice) where their buffet was $100 USD per person.
Yep… That’s right. $100 USD per person. And even though the price seemed outrageous to me at the time, what I will say is that it was worth every penny. I have never had food that was elevated to such a level I’d never experienced before. Anyhow, more on that later…
To begin, we start with the setting of the table for every person. As you can see, there’s a small thing of wasabi, a place to rest your chopsticks and soup spoon so they don’t have to touch the table, a hot towel, and a cup of tea that never went empty because they always refilled it after you drank about 30% of it.
To clarify real quick before progressing, while this was a buffet in the traditional sense, they also featured special entrees that were limited to one per person due to the extremely high quality dish they were serving you (i.e., Wagyu beef).
Now we begin the tour of the buffet bar…
When I had that first bite of sashimi, I have to tell you that it was literally out of this world. I am a huge sushi fan and had my fair share of sashimi, but I had never had anything so incredible before. The fish just tasted so sweet and fresh while being so incredibly tender and practically melting in your mouth. In fact, even things like squid sashimi (which I despise to eat here in the US because of how rubbery it normally is) was actually enjoyable!
Some of the new delicacies I got to try here was “sweet shrimp” and “scallops” sashimi. I had never had shrimp or scallop raw before, but like I mentioned earlier, the freshness of these ingredients were so incredible that I just couldn’t get enough!
Even things like umami (i.e., sea urchin) which I normally don’t care for was actually quite savory and tasty!
And to top it off, because we were with my cousin, we got to try this special dish (that wasn’t part of the buffet and had to be ordered separately) which many of you probably know about: the puffer fish! Now while it wasn’t raw (which would then run the risk of me dying from eating it), it was awesome to be able to get to try the actual fish itself.
As you’ll see over the next few photos, I go back quite a bit to keep getting different things and see what new flavors and tastes the restaurant had waiting for me. Time and time it continued to surprise me with things that I thought I wouldn’t like and ending up enjoying.
Now we enter into the main entrees that was featured on the second page of the menu. You’ll notice I have shots of every single entree (even though it’s limit to one per person), but because my cousin was a frequent visitor there, we were able to get as many as we wanted.
When I had that first bite of Wagyu beef, all I will say is that this was another one of those out of the world experiences. I have enjoyed my fair share of beef, steak and so forth, but the tenderness and flavor of the meat was simply mind blowing. I was practically speechless…
Now that we’ve started the dessert section, I have to also pay another tribute to the ice cream above. While ice cream is one of those common place desserts, I will have to say that red bean is just one of those things I have never liked growing up. Yet, to my surprise, I LOVED what they did with this ice cream and just couldn’t get enough (I even ordered a second one later on). Hahaha.
To be honest, I always thought that 5 star restaurants and such were just hyper-inflated prices of what people normally eat; but this restaurant certainly opened my eyes (and taste buds) to just how vastly deep the world of food can be. Sure, sometimes “5 star restaurants” are simply overpriced, but if you can find a gem like the one I got to try here, you might see (and taste) what I mean one day.
Well, I hope that you enjoyed the small glimpse of my food adventures in Hong Kong. I was originally going to post everything that I had eaten, but it was something like 150+ photos and I knew it wasn’t realistic for me to try to fit that all in one post. So what you got to read above were the highlights of my adventure that I felt was worth your time.
And tomorrow, the long wait is finally over, we conclude my Hong Kong trip series with my visit to the Hong Kong Go Association!