Hong Kong Restaurants: Bargains
Hong Kong's food culture is just as vibrant as its cinema, business and nightlife. In previous instalments we looked at the haute-cuisine and the fast food. Now we turn out attention to the best bargain food to be bought on the streets and in the eateries of HK.
Lin Heung (160 Wellington Street, Central) For any Westerners looking for a culture shock, Lin Heung at lunch time is a good place to be. A permanently packed eatery, specialising in Dim Sum, this place does not take reservation and neither will you be shown to a table. Instead waiting patrons stand behind seated patrons while they gobble down their lunch, ready to grab the chairs as soon as they stand up. Those raised with British table manners may need to get over their hang-ups to get a seat but the food is well worth it: some of the best Dim Sum you will eat anywhere on the planet and each serving costs just HK$15.
The Street Vendors at Monk Kok (Central) Mong Kok is one of the main shopping areas in Hong Kong but, even better than that for foodies is the abundance of brilliant stalls on the streets catering to hungry shoppers. Everything is on offer, from fried calamari to fish balls, tofu to octopus. Prices vary from spot to spot but expect to pay around HK$10 per portion of anything you buy.
Po Lin Yuen (69 Jervois Street, Central) China is a vegetarian's dream. Thanks to the influence of Buddhism, high quality grub for herbivores is all over the place and, often, much cheaper than the meaty fare. At this simple, unpretentious little gem, veggies can dine on a hearty plate of radish pudding, crisp golden mushroom dumpling and bean curd tripe (actually delicious, despite what you might think). The whole meal will come in at less than HK$50.
Ho Hung Kee Congee and Noodle Wonton Shop (2 Sharp Street East, Causeway Bay) One of China's greatest comfort foods is Congee, a porridge made from rice that is flavoured with fish, crab, eggs, pork and just about anything else you might name. It can be eaten at morning, noon or night but the best place to get it is this tiny little restaurant in the centre of Causeway Bay. A bowl will set you back about HK$25.