Hidden local eateries around Hong Kong
As much as Hong Kong is all about it’s fancy schmancy restaurants in Central or Tsim Sha Tsui, sometimes a local bowl of beef ball noodles is the only thing that’ll hit the spot. And when I say local, I don’t mean Tsui Wah (overrateddddd unless you’ve just finished a night of drinking) and franchised cha chaan ting restaurants – I’m talking about half-dilapidated food stalls hidden away in some sketchy alleyway somewhere in Hong Kong (exaggeration at its finest once again).
But really, don’t be afraid to explore! Hong Kong’s pretty safe, so wandering down back alleys might have you unearthing hidden epicurean gems throughout the city.
Here’s some of my favorite:
THE BOUNCY BEEF BALL PLACE
As you’re making your way down Haiphong Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, you’ve probably realized a lot of people turning into the market. Let me tell you – they’re not there to buy veggies and fruits. Deep in the center of the market lies a food stall that serves beef ball soup noodles in vibrant orange bowls. Tak Fat Beef Ball claims to have the bounciest beef balls of all time! And their use of dried tangerine peel gives their broth an extra kick.
Tak Fat Beef Ball
Haiphong Road Temporary Market
390 Haiphong Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
8:30 am – 8:30 pm
THE SKETCHY NOODLE PLACE
Someone’s asked you to lunch. You ask where – they say “no questions asked”. You’re approaching a rundown building in LKF in broad daylight. The light’s flickering, the elevator is making unnatural noises. You’re breathing is picking up…and you’re having second thoughts. “Where are we going!?” you’re thinking. Elevator door opens…you’ve got a bad feeling. But you risk it. Because that’s what life’s about. Welcome to the Manchurian Candidate. Previously called Mum Chau’s Sichuan Kitchen, this local gem serves up an array of dishes (at great prices) – from Sichuan chilli-infused chicken and crisp cucumbers to spicy beef submerged in chilli oil. Its cafeteria-like, modest setting makes it a the perfect place for a casual lunch date. Drooling yet?
The Manchurian Candidate
Room B, 5/F – Winner Building
37 D’Aguilar Street, Central
M – S, Lunch, Dinner
THE VILLAGE FOOD MARKET PLACE
You’re craving some Wet Market food (egg-yolk fried shrimp, “wind-sand-chicken”) but your wallet is on the verge of a meltdown and you just can’t afford another extravagant night out at Tung Po. Head on over to Shek Kip Mei’s Ban Heung Lau. A fusion of eastern and western delicacies from pork knuckle to stir-fry kale, this local eatery is located in Nam Shan Village (or Estate), just around the Nam Shan public housing estate. Its sumptuous-yet-super-affordable dishes make it a favorite among locals, in particular, me : )
Ban Heung Lau
Nam Fung House, Nan Shan Estate, Shek Kip Mei
06:45 – 00:00
THE GANGSTER SKEWER PLACE
Kowloon City. A fascinating district with a grim backdrop (hence, the gangster reference). Aside from its history, Kowloon City is also known for its Thai food! As you strut up and down the tiny streets arranged in a grid plan, you’ll realize the overabundance of Thai food options. My favorite – succulent Thai skewers! Whether you’re in for authentic Pad Thai or craving some small bites, Thai-E-San Ram Mis will do your hunger justice – especially when hunger calls in the dead of night.
Thai-E-San Ram Mis
G/F 11-13 Lung Kung Road
17:00 – 04:00
Karen Chan is a local English copywriter who churns out social posts and taglines for a living. Inspired by her fellow copywriter, she has discovered the joy of working out, and is currently on a quest to live as healthily as her sweet tooth allows. In her spare time, she also loves trying new cafés and restaurants around the city.