Tag Archives: food

Going on a Hong Kong food safari: don’t miss these dishes

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photo by CC user Morsesp3  on wikimedia

Heading to Asia’s answer to New York City anytime soon? Those that adore the food of this region owe it to themselves to go on a Hong Kong food safari. If you decide to search for the best dishes that this place has to offer on its sidewalks and in its alleys, be sure to hunt the following treats down…

1) Stinky Tofu

Out of all the foods available on the streets of Hong Kong, this pungent staple gets the most attention due to its uncompromising name. While you might be tempted to skip this smelly treat, take one for the team and buy it just once. It tastes way better than it smells, and actually going through with seeking it out and consuming it will earn much respect from native Hong Kongers.

2) Cha Siu Bao

Those looking for something far more appealing will want to snack on Cha Siu Bao, which is a pastry that is the stuff of dreams for many locals and visitors alike.

A steamed bun filled with pork tenderloin that has been slow roasted in a sweet sauce, it is a universal favorite in dim sum restaurants on this island territory, so be sure to show up early before they run out!

3) Yuk Song Bao

Another savory pastry that you should have on your radar when wandering the streets of Hong Kong is Yuk Song Bao, or the pork floss bun. A roll that is coated with extremely fine shredded pork that has been soaked in a mayonnaise batter, it is an excellent protein-filled way to begin your morning before heading out to explore this massive metropolis.

4) Ngau Lam Tong

While Hong Kong tends to be a warm place, it can get a little bit chilly during the winter months. On days where the weather is less than inviting, or if you are looking for a meal that is lighter than other available options, Ngau Lam Tong is a lovely choice that will have you going back for seconds.

A beef brisket stew that is jam packed full of seasonings and spices, the flavor filled spoonfuls you’ll enjoy will bear witness to the many hours of painstaking preparation it takes to bring a pot of this hotly sought out soup to completion.

5) Gai Daan Jai

Looking for a dessert to finish off your day in Hong Kong? Gai Daan Jai, or the egg waffle will tantalize your taste buds with a sweetness that strikes the right balance between being too bland and overdoing it.

So named for the shape they take on after sizzling in one of many street side grills located citywide, you too will find yourself impatiently waiting in line with locals for a serving that will bring your day to a successful close.

3 Dishes To Eat In Their Culinary Hometowns

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Around the world, there are many cities that have given birth to sumptuous meals that have gained fans the world over.  While restaurants abroad dedicated to foreign cuisines often do an admirable job emulating these recipes, there is no replacement for the countless years of experience in preparing these dishes that chefs in their home cities possess.

In this light, the foodie traveler is well-served by seeking out the birthplaces of the favourite food that they love best, and consuming them in the kitchens where they were likely first conceived. So that we may introduce a new wrinkle into your dual love affair with food and travel, we have highlighted three specific dishes that one will enjoy best when they are eaten in their respective hometowns.

Let us start this gastronomic journey by talking about…

1) Khao Soi, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Composed of dry crunchy noodles sat atop a sweet coconut broth, accented with a touch of lime juice, Khao Soi is the pride of the Northern Thai city of Chiang Mai.  Soft yellow noodles lie within this addictive soup, which can come with chicken, pork, or in vegetarian concoctions that contain tofu.

Fancy five star hotel restaurants, hole-in-the-wall establishments, and street stalls alike all proudly serve this dish … just don’t blame us for becoming addicted to this amazing curry after you come home and have trouble finding it in Thai restaurants there (honestly, it’s saddening!)

2) Poutine, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

While it won’t win any awards as a miracle health food any time soon, there is no doubting poutine’s place as a comfort food, a 3 AM hunger killer, and as a meal that can stop a hangover dead in its tracks. This heart attack on a paper plate starts with a French fry base, which is then covered in cheese curd (NOT grated cheese, there is a difference!), and topped with a lava hot coating of gravy.

Primarily found in Quebec (though it is increasingly found in many other urban centres across Canada), the best place to have your first run in with poutine is after a long night living the high life on Saint Catherine’s Street in Montreal, a practice that will not only sop up all the craft beer, wine and Patron shots you been drinking, but will also put you in touch with the fun-loving Quebecois that make this city one of the primo party spots in all of North America!

3) Paella, Valencia, Spain

While this rice dish is primarily associated with the type that contains seafood such as mussels and shrimp, the original Valencian version of this dish was made with vole, a rodent during the early days when people in the area were quite poor.  As fortunes improved over the years, it was made with chicken, duck, and due to its position on the Mediterranean Sea, various types of seafood.  The aspect that gives this dish its Valencian appeal is the fact that it is cooked over a flame containing the boughs of orange and pine trees, whose smoke further infuses the paella with its distinctive flavour.

Elevate Your Foodie Travel Game

While it is awesome to experience the cuisine that a particular nation is famous for, niching down and trying dishes that specific cities have birthed will further your connection to the places that you visit.  Locals will impart their passion for said foods when you seek them out, leading to a much more authentic experience!