I’m starting to get a little bit concerned about how much I just LOVE food. Sometimes it can consume me for a whole day. Starting with reading cookbooks at 8am, deciding what do buy, where to buy it, how to cook it, who to invite to eat it – and then I start all over again. Or get lazy and scour websites for new restaurants to try. Having lived all over the place (Indonesia, Hong Kong, London, Beijing, Cayman Islands), I am fortunate to have been exposed to all these different cuisines in a local setting (Chinese food in Boston just ain’t Chinese food, sorry). I would also credit my mixed ethnicity for being adventurous and open minded when it comes to food.
My parents always made us sit at “The Big People Table” with the adults, to try everything at least once, and to finish everything that we put on our plates or else farmers would cry. Perhaps because of this, gathering around a table with people I care about is one of my favorite things.
Now I want to cross over to the next level. It’s not so much a want as a need to do it. I cook food, read about it, eat (lots of) it, talk about it, even dream about it…and now I shall attempt to write about it. I ain’t no writer, so please excuse me if the prose isn’t elegant. This is about one thing and one thing only – and I think we all know what that is!
Although I was not born here, I have lived in Hong Kong for 20+ years. I call it home, and will forever be bound to it. People are always a little bit puzzled, cock their heads to one side and furrow their brows a bit, when I tell them I’m from Hong Kong. “But…you don’t look Chinese…?” they say. (It’s true, I don’t). I repeat my rehearsed answer: “I’m only half Chinese, but I’ve lived here most of my life…”. Such is life in Hong Kong, we are an international pool of nationalities and cultures.
Thankfully, this means that we are exposed to a large array of restaurants and cuisines – you want it, we got it. However, Hong Kong diners are fickle and demanding – if a restaurant doesn’t tick most of the boxes, then adios amigos! I suppose this is the case in any city, but one of the unique points about Hong Kong is our crazily exorbitant rents – restaurants simply cannot afford to languish and stay empty for more than 2 months.
Two of the main boxes are (as always) location, location,location, and the ratio of quality/value. Hong Kongers have the money to spend on a great meal and good wine, but if it doesn’t meet the standards, then … well, you get the idea. I like to catagorise Hong Kong restaurants into the following categories:
1. The lifers – restaurants that have been here since our parents were children, whose decor hasn’t changed in 20 years, but you can rely on the food.
2. The fancy pants restaurants – where you go with the company credit card.
3. The hip and cool joints with good food and great atmosphere – places where you just want to see and be seen. You pay a bit more, but that’s okay.
4. The value for money restaurants – steak, burgers, fajitas and Caesar salads. Predictable (=boring), but well located and well priced.
5. The lovely local places – sit, order a bowl of noodles or a couple of baskets of dim sum for HK$30. Eat, and go.
5. The wishful thinkers – what were you thinking? You really thought that concept would work?
All of this food really inspires me, and I feel the need to share. I hope local readers will come to my blog to figure out what to eat for dinner tonight, and I hope that visitors will come to read what the good dining options are in this vast and vibrant city!
I also travel quite a bit, for work and for fun (once or twice a month isn’t uncommon). It’s always a really hectic and busy time abroad, but when possible I like to take note of the restaurants I visit. If not for you readers, then also for myself – I hate it when I go to any awesome restaurant and then promptly forget its name and location!
And finally, to my friends, thank you for your patience. I’m sorry that you always have to wait for me to take photos of ALL the food before eating it!
Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Image Credit: The ‘macaroon rainbow’ banner on my homepage is a photographic print available from Sonja Caldwell Photography. Check her out at sonjacaldwell.etsy.com
Thanks for liking my post on Singapore. I actually have family in HK and whenever I visit, they take me to the same places to eat. I will definitely be taking some of your recommendations the next time I go to HK.
Thank YOU for visiting my blog, I hope you had a good read! Feel free to hit me up if you need any restaurant recommendations when you’re next here – there are soooooooooo many that I haven’t had a chance to write about yet 🙂
I would love to get in touch with you regarding a collaborations project, is there an email I can contact?
Please let me know by emailing me at email@example.com
Love the blog!
Looking forward to hearing from you,
Hey Jen, I’m trying to find a contact email for you but can’t seem to find one. How do I get hold of you? Thanks!
Hi Ale, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers, Jen
Thanks so much for liking my post “Saigon Bento Box” on C’est la b. Love to know another food blogger who also called Hong Kong their home! 🙂
Haha! Anita and I love the photo and caption! Great intro too 🙂
Surprisingly, that is the only kiddy photo I could find of me with any reference to food – which is surprising because my mother said I’ve been an eater since I was born haha. Thanks for reading 🙂 xo
My sister has lived in Hong Kong for over 15 years, and she cannot imagine ever leaving the place. I was very fortunate to have returned in June 2012 and stayed for a month as part of my around-the-world trip. Even in a 2nd visit, I barely scratched the surface of things to do and things to eat. But looking at your entries with respect to Hong Kong/Macau foodiness/dining, I’m left with two distinct impressions: I’ll always be hungry for me reading your posts, and I’ll long for the next time I can go back to Hong Kong and eat some more.
Hello there! I hear you, I live here and I still feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface! It gives me motivation to keep eating (well, I don’t need much for that, really) and writing, to know that out-of-towners like yourself are reading my blog and finding it helpful and interesting! So thank you, and I hope you visit again soon to enjoy the fabulous foodie options that HK has to offer! Happy travels 🙂
Love this 🙂
I’ve discovered your lovely blog as I scour the internet for food recommendations for HK – we’re planning a trip later this year and already I’m planning all our meals 😊 Looking forward to reading your archive!
Marley from Sydney
Hi Marley, thanks for reading and I hope you find it useful! There are a few good restaurants/HK experiences that I haven’t managed to post yet – if you want, send me an email (on my “about me” page) and I’ll email you some tips 🙂
Thank you! I’ll take you up on the kind offer closer to our trip!
Hi Jen, nice to meet you and your blog. I am Chinese and was born in Hong Kong, but we move to New Zealand when I was 9 months old. I have no memory of living there but have visited several times throughout my childhood and adult live. There is great eating in Hong Kong! I can appreciate that your parents put you at the big people’s table, but I can’t relate. Now that I’m in my 30’s I still sit at the children’s table. I think the conversation is much better. I guess it also helps that none of us “kids” have any children so the “children’s table” are all aged 25 and over.
Hi there!! It’s nice to meet you too and thanks for taking the time to say hello! I’ve visited New Zealand before and had a really lovely time – the produce there is spectacular! Hope to see you commenting here again 🙂 Jen