Hong Kong is heaven for gourmands and boasts a huge assortment of scintillating restaurants to satisfy all taste buds. Archetypal Hong Kong and Cantonese staples are the best introduction to a food odyssey for international visitors. Dim sum is Hong Kong’s most famous export, yet trying varieties such as har gau shrimp dumplings, hom sui gok sticky rice cakes and char siu soh grilled pork puffs on their home soil is especially edifying.
Another famous export is wonton soup. The local version was the original, but has been adapted to suit local tastes in other parts of the world. Wonton Hong Kong style comes with an aromatic soup, noodles and dumplings fashioned out of sheet noodles and stuffed with diced pork and shrimp. Wonton soup restaurants are all over Hong Kong.
Congee porridge is another delight and found everywhere. The best congee has a silk-like texture and takes around 10 hours of cooking to create. Spiced doughnuts or a filled rice bun are the perfect accompaniment to congee. Siu Mei is roasted meat which can be chicken, pork or duck. Honey sauce adds to the meat’s matchless smoky flavour.
There are literally thousands of small restaurants in Hong Kong that serve up these kinds of dishes at prices that definitely will not break the holiday budget. Chain restaurants such as Maxim's MX or Café de Coral are easily found and serve up this genre of dish in air-conditioned establishments. Temple Street and other markets also have eateries serving tasty fare with claypot rice often an added menu enticement.
Hong Kong is also a great place to splurge on a meal to mark a milestone occasion. Gourmet guides claim that five per cent of the globe’s finest restaurants are here. Jumbo Kingdom is a palatial floating restaurant in Aberdeen harbour that has made guest appearances in countless films and welcomed celebrities including Queen Elizabeth II and Tom Cruise. The restaurant’s Dragon Court section serves Cantonese haute cuisine.
Hong Kong is not lacking in choices for international visitors craving a taste of home. Pizza Hut, McDonald’s and all the other global purveyors of fast food have multiple outlets dotted around the territories. Among its collection of outlets, Tsim Sha Tsui’s Harbour City complex contains 50 restaurants, with many offering international menus.
Japanese, Indian, Malaysian and Thai are among the other national cuisines served in Hong Kong. Thai food in particular has taken off in recent decades as it combines a pleasing mix of flavours with Chinese ingredients. Those who long for an Indian curry will find plenty of choice in the infamous Chungking Mansions, while Lan Kwai Fong has a number of Western deli-cafés and restaurants.