The Best Hong Kong Comfort Foods to Indulge in This Winter
Forget mac and cheese or spaghetti bolognese – Hong Kong comfort foods are something to write home about. From a bowl of flavoursome soup noodles to rice cooked and served a claypot, check out Hong Kong’s best comfort foods to indulge in on a cold winter’s day.
Beef Brisket Noodles
Nothing beats wintery chills quite like slurping on a piping hot bowl of beef brisket noodles. Soft, tender beef brisket sits atop an al dente bunch of noodles in a juicy broth, usually cooked for hours from bones – the old Chinese way. You can have it with noodles of any kind – like the popular thin Chinese egg variety – but our favourites are flat rice vermicelli.
Where to find it: Kau Kee, the venerable Gough Street noodle shop that’s a Central institution.
Still having regular hot pot? You’re so late noughties. Chicken pot is the next-level version of the popular fondue-style meal, where raw ingredients are cooked in a hot pan of broth boiling right on the table. Chicken pot has the same idea, except that before hot pot begins, a pan of spicy chicken is first presented to you. Polish off the chicken, and staff will then pour in the broth – which soaks up all the flavour of the meats previously cooked in there, meaning extra intense flavours. Raw ingredients to order include everything from veg to beef and even udon noodles.
Where to find it: Tucked in an unassuming building in Causeway Bay, Supreme Restaurant offers all-you-can-eat chicken pot, soft drinks and beer (yes, beer) for some HK$200 per person.
We love congee year-round, but it’s really best had on a cold winter morning. One of the most versatile dishes in Chinese cuisine, congee – or rice porridge – can be cooked with anything from the classic pork and thousand-year-old-egg combo to fish or crab. There’s even a regional variety, “sampan congee”: cooked with roasted duck and seafood, it was once a staple of fishing communities on China’s southern coast.
Where to find it: Congee is served at most dim sum restaurants, but the best can be found at Wai Kee Congee Shop, which specialises in the dish.
Red Bean Soup
A dessert soup that consists of lotus seeds and sweet broth made with rock sugar, red bean soup is probably the most popular post-dinner treat in Cantonese cuisine. Chewy, tasty beans juxtaposed against a thick, sweet soup makes for an unusual texture, but it’s also instantly comforting.
Where to find it: Yuen Kee Dessert, which has been around for over 100 years – it’s practically a dinosaur in Hong Kong’s fast-moving dining scene.
Beef and Tomato Macaroni
This Hong Kong-style take on the dish is a bright-red bowl of goodness filled to the brim with tomato soup (made using fresh ones) and packed with umami flavours. With generous helpings of beef and macaroni within, this dish will fill you up until day’s end.
Where to find it: Sing Heung Yuen is one of the city’s only surviving dai pai dong, an outdoor stall offering Hong Kong street foods.
Hongkongers love claypot rice, a winter classic that’s all about that crunchy base. The dish is traditionally cooked in a claypot, which gives the grains a unique flavour and oh-so-satisfying crunchy texture. A popular variety of the dish features chicken, Chinese sausage and a healthy helping of dark soy sauce – but another especially comforting combo is minced beef and egg. For the very brave, try frog legs.
Where to find it: Wing Hop Sing, an eatery that does claypot rice the old school way.
Andrea Lo is a freelance journalist and translator based in Hong Kong. After cutting her teeth in the industry as a staff writer at a lifestyle magazine, she embraced the freelance life in 2015 and hasn’t looked back. She spends her time exploring the best of Hong Kong’s dining and nightlife scene, trialling new fitness trends, and travelling to exotic locales – all in the name of “research”.