Hong Kong Cuisine
The residents of Hong Kong say that the city is the food capital of Asia. Despite the fact that Hong Kong does not have its own distinctive cooking style, it is still a paradise for gourmets from all over the world. Alongside extremely delicious local dishes, hundreds of Hong Kong's restaurants offer a unique blend of culinary traditions of the East and the West. Moreover, this exotic combination features a great variety of tasty, refined and flavored dishes.
Naturally, Chinese cuisine, as well as its regional variations, is the most popular one in the city. Among the dishes offered in Hong Kong are traditional Cantonese ones, which are well-known for a very original combination of ingredients, including fresh seafoods from the South China Sea, vegetables and poultry. All the dishes are either steamed or deep-fried in woks (stir frying pans). Besides, contrary to the classic Chinese cuisine, the Cantonese one is not that hot and spicy, which makes it a good choice for Europeans. However, practically every dish is served with a delicious sauce. There are hundreds of them are all are very tasty.
There is no denying the fact that Hong Kong's cuisine embraced many other cooking traditions alongside the Cantonese ones. Among them are culinary techniques and methods from Shanghai, Sichuan, Shandong and Guangdong provinces of the People's Republic of China. Naturally, rice is traditionally featured in many dishes. However, noodles, pancakes, cakes and dumplings are also popular. Meat dishes, by the way, include pork, beef and chicken. This choice is quite typical for Chinese cuisine in general.
Among the most popular dishes found in Hong Kong are dim sums, small dumplings made of thin dough which are served in traditional steamer bamboo baskets and stuffed with meat, vegetables, shrimps, rice or tofu. One more delicious specialty here is Ting zai zhou (Sampan porridge) that is served with pork, fish, peanuts and squids. Moreover, fried noodles with vegetables, meat or seafoods is an absolute must-try. Among other dishes are shrimps with hot chili sauce, crabs with black bean sauce, steamed fish, stewed broccoli with clams, pork barbecue and famous shark fin soup.
Naturally, it is always a good idea to savor an original dessert after a few hours of touring the city. Well, the chefs and confectioners in Hong Kong know a few things about making extremely delicious treats which are much loved by the locals and tourists alike. Among the ingredients which are commonly used for the desserts are sweet beans, sticky rice, tofu and tropical fruit. Popular treats include poppy pancakes, mango jelly, ice-cream with sago palm seeds and tremendously tasty "pineapple" pies. By the way, the latter got this original name thanks to a pineapple-like shape, although the "pies" are stuffed sweet buns in fact.
Therefore, people having a sweet tooth or those who want to taste original and delicious desserts will be pleased. The desserts could be accompanied by green tea or the so-called "coffee with tea" (Yuanyang in Cantonese) which is a mix of tea leaves and ground coffee. Alcoholic beverages include hot rice wine (which is similar to sake), plum brandy and whiskey, as well as Chinese and imported beer from Australia and Europe.
There are more than 8000 cafes and restaurants in Hong Kong where visitors could enjoy fine food and drinks. Alongside popular and haute cuisine establishments, there are food stands scattered all over the city, near to busy markets and bazaars. Traditional Chinese dishes are served here. Besides, there are many Asian restaurants (excluding the Chinese ones, naturally) that offer Japanese, Vietnamese, Philippine, Indian and Malaysian dishes. People who prefer European cuisine could come and have a good time at Italian trattorias, French bistros and English pubs.
After visiting Hong Kong many travelers get a bit nostalgic and wax emotional about its cuisine. It becomes a pleasant surprise, a revelation of some sort, that helps feel the very essence of this charming city. And for many it is the reason for coming to the Fragrant Harbor (Hong Kong) again.