Hong Kong is often hailed for its amount of one, two and even three Michelin-starred restaurants, but many hidden gems are to be had within the city’s vibrant street food scene.
There’s no better part of HK to eat like the locals than the poorest district of the city – Sham Shui Po. I was tasked with putting together a DIY street food tour to take my family around this area, which heavy contrasts with the bright lights and skyscrapers typically associated with Hong Kong.
Before embarking on this tour, you’ll need to get to Sham Shui Po. Fortunately, it has it’s own MTR stop on the Tsuen Wan Line (red), so it’s easily accessible from all other parts of the city. And your first food stop is just a 3 minute walk away!
Stop 1: Sin Xiang Yuan 新香園(堅記)
Address: 38 Kweilin Street
Recommended eat: Scrambled egg and beef sandwich
This extremely busy cafe is the perfect place to experience a traditional Hong Kong breakfast. As space is limited we shared with another party, who were really surprised we sought out the eatery, generally not frequented by tourists. We ordered a couple of scrambled egg and beef sandwiches, which I have read is a common breakfast dish here. It was delicious, the beef was really soft, the eggs were creamy and the massively thick wads of bread they seem to do all over HK are amazing toasted. The perfect start to our tour!
Stop 2: Hop Yik Tai 合益泰小食
Address: 121 Kweilin Street
Recommended eat: Cheung Fun
Just up the road from our first stop is a small shop selling Cheung Fun – traditional rice rolls. There was a queue of people waiting, despite there being no seating, everyone was either standing and eating in the street or took theirs elsewhere. The lady serving ran a slick operation – she had a long strand of the rolls and would cut them to size as you ordered, before lavishing a brown-orange coloured sauce on them. This was a sweet, peanut sauce which coated the soft rice rolls perfectly, topped off with a dusting of sesame seeds. It was really delicious and fantastically cheap – we paid 8 HKD for a bowl (around 80p).
Stop 3: Tim Ho Wan 添好运
Address: 9–11 Fuk Wing Street
Recommended eats: Char Siu, pork dumpling with shrimp
Without doubt this is the stop I was most looking forward to. For this little eatery not only serves the most banging barbecue pork buns (Char Siu) in town, but is in fact the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant in the world, and the only Michelin-starred in this neighbourhood. We had to queue for a while to get in, but as it was early in the day this only took a few minutes. We ordered a few dim sum including their famed crispy pork buns, chicken feet and some pork dumplings with shrimp. The filling of the Char Siu was unexpectedly sweet but still delicious. I also loved the texture of the pork and shrimp dumplings, as well as the taste. To be honest, the chicken feet weren’t for me. I tried chicken feet a couple of times during my stay in HK and didn’t really take to them – so I think this is just a personal preference. I would still highly recommend giving them a go!
STOP 4: Fresh juice stall
Address: Corner of Fuk Wing Street and Nam Cheong Street
Recommended drinks: Pretty much anything!
We stumbled across this stall between stops and it made for a very revitalising break from all the rich food we had been eating! The lady here will simply ask you to select a couple of fruit and vegetables, then she’ll juice them right in front of you. A particularly refreshing combo was carrot, celery and apple!
Stop 5: Roast Goose King 烧鹅大皇
Address: 119 Fuk Wing Street
Recommended eats: Roast goose
This was what I looked forward to most when planned my visit to HK – some roast goose done in the traditional way! And this eatery, which proudly displays it’s speciality in it’s small shop window, did not disappoint. We paid 140HKD for half a roast goose (absolute bargain) and despite already feeling rather full my mum and I demolished the whole thing. Here it was served with a thick, sticky fruit sauce, which cut through the richness of the goose like an absolute dream. I would highly recommend anybody wanting to try an authentic goose to come here, as quite a few restaurants in HK will serve it in a refined, westernised way instead. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that – but for a taste of the real deal come to Sham Shui Po.
Stop 6: Kung Wo Dou Bun Chong 公和荳品廠
Address: 118 Pei Ho Street, Sham Shui Po
Recommended eats: Tofu pudding (hot or cold)
By our final stop we were absolutely stuffed but knew we could make room for some dessert. Kung Wo Dou Bun Chong is located close to exit B2 of Sham Shui Po station and so was an ideally situated end for our tour. On arrival the place seemed to be full, but one of the staff kindly showed us to a back room upstairs. As well as a few tables and a TV, there was also some washing hanging up and a view over the rest of the shop – it was a pretty interesting setting. This shop is renowned for its tofu dishes, so we decided to have two traditional tofu puddings – one served hot, and one cold. You get some brown sugar (it tasted different to ordinary brown sugar but I really couldn’t put my finger on what was different) to sprinkle on top, which I would highly recommend doing. I didn’t think I was a big tofu fan, but the hot pudding in particular was really tasty and quite light. I would definitely suggest this place for people who want an introduction to tofu – you won’t find anywhere better.
That brought us to the end of our DIY tour. As well as playing host to lots of delicious, authentic and traditional food, Sham Shui Po is without doubt the friendliest district I visited in Hong Kong. The people we met went out of their way to help us, whether we were struggling to order food or looking for other recommendations, and I would urge anyone who comes to HK to spend a bit of time in this very different part of the city. It is without doubt the best thing I did during my visit.
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