One day, five meals and a light snack? Hungry Dan must be back. The ravenous rambler takes Hong Kong by storm, leaving nary a dumpling untouched in an extraordinary display of gluttony.
Bored with the monotony of Shanghai and its shengjian, I decide to hit Hong Kong for a much-needed gorging. Cantonese cuisine has always held a special place in my stomach; the sweet glaze of chashao and delicate, steamed skins of xiajiao are Hungry Dan favorites. Mouth already watering, I step off the plane at Hong Kong International Airport and prepare to devour.
My Hong Kong challenge begins with a light breakfast of Eggs Royal (that’s Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon in place of the classic ham) at the Mandarin Oriental's Café Causette. Although the poached eggs and hollandaise are quite tasty, I decline to order a second entrée, remembering that this is a marathon, not a sprint, and, in reality, I'm really here to eat Cantonese.
From there, I mosey through the Mid-Levels and Lan Kwai Fong en route to the Luk Yu Tea House, an historic eatery renowned for its delicious dim sum. I barely escape with my life (and stomach) intact. Dim sum can be dangerous to the hungry. You always think there's room for just one more bite, just like Mr. Creosote in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life.
The marathon continues with a brief and satisfying stop at the Golden China Restaurant (Jinhua Shaola) for their specialties, chashao (roasted pork, pictured left), shao ya (roasted duck) and shao rou (roasted pork with crispy, sesame skin), before I hop aboard the Hong Kong MTR and head to Kowloon.
At this time, I take the opportunity to digest a bit while meandering about the lanes of Mong Kok, stopping briefly at the Ladies Market on Tung Choi Street. But my insatiable hunger swiftly returns. After buying three pairs of cheap sunglasses, I find a local snack stall and scarf down some gali yudan and longxia wan, but it's not enough so, like the shark, I must move on.
In need of something more than a snack but not quite a full meal, I travel way off the radar to Tang Ji, for their famous changfen and zhou (pictured right). Although the proprietors and other patrons are a bit miffed at the presence of a guailo in local waters, I win them over with my appetite and grunts of appreciation and head back to Hong Kong Island.
Next up is Hong Kong University Alumni Association for their highly-rated babaoya (eight treasures duck), but it seems as though the Maître d' missed the memo and I'm barred from entry. It seems there's a problem at this exclusive dining room. Or perhaps they fear that I'll leave neither duck nor treasures for anyone else in my wake.
Regardless, with nowhere else to turn and a craving for some late-night eats, I do what any sane Hong Kong local would do and make a quick stop at Tsui Wah, a classic Hong Kong diner.
And this is just beginning . . . despite being denied my babaoya, there are more than eight treasures to eat in this town.
For the complete Hungry Dan's Hong Kong Challenge, including blow-by-blow coverage of our hungry hero's dining adventures at the above mentioned eateries, check out the links below:
Hungry Dan's dangerous dim sum of death at Luk Yu Tea House
Hungry Dan's Dish of the Day: Chashao
Cheap deals and Cantonese snacks at Kowloon's Ladies Market
Hungry Dan's Dish of the Day (returns): Changfen
Members Only: Hungry Dan denied at the gates
Tsui Wah, a classic Hong Kong diner: Map and store locator
Also check out these other Hong Kong-related posts:
Navigating Hong Kong's MTR: Tips and hits
The 34th Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF)
34th Hong Kong International Film Festival: Cinema Map
Best Coffee Shops in Hong Kong and how to find them