iPhone Photography: Hong Kong Food Journal

I love my DSLR. Nothing beats the feeling of clicking on a freshly-transferred file and revelling in its high-res glory.

I must admit I was a DSLR snob for quite a time, especially when I first bought it with my hard-earned tutoring money. Six out of the eight years I’ve owned it, I thought it was the only way to produce nice pictures. But after I got a smart phone, particularly the iPhone 5, I learned that the resolution is actually pretty good, not to mention the built-in filters are also surprisingly nice (my favourite are “fade” and “chrome”). Also, being that my Nikon is an older model that is not only bulky but experiences frequent CHA and FOR errors, my iPhone is slowly becoming my go-to camera.

So. On to my photographs. As you can tell by my title, all of them are food-related, and a couple have already made a debut on my instagram account. I lived in Hong Kong for three months for an internship, and like most Hong Kong-ers I opted to dine out a lot because the kitchen situation in our flat wasn’t the best (i.e. very cramped, lack of cooking supplies, expensive ingredients to name a few).

This is my Hong Kong Food Journal.

(1)
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My office was situated in Causeway Bay, Island side of Hong Kong. There is a high concentration of offices around the area, but the area is mostly known for its shopping. The Times Square building is famous for its high-end luxury brands, and all around you will recognise places like Burberry, Longines, etc. But unbeknownst to the common tourist, enter some of the alleyways between the luxury brands and you will come upon surprisingly delicious and most importantly, cheap hole-in-the-walls. Case in point, noodle street. I don’t even know the name of this place, but I heard is the most famous and you can tell by the line that snakes out of the restaurant and along the alley. Much like when you go for yum cha and mark what you want to order on a piece of paper, you choose everything from the broth, the type of noodles, and different toppings you want in your bowl. Chinese reading skills are necessary. I had tender five-spice beef, daikon, and fried bean curd. With a side of greens, of course.

(2)
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This was taken when I hopped over to Shenzhen for a few hours so I could activate my working holiday visa (which I will talk about in detail in another post). We went to a restaurant located in a very sketchy shopping mall in front of the Shenzhen side from Lowu. Clockwise from the top right: crispy fried tofu, sweet and sour fried pork ribs, sautéed spicy green beans, some kind of vegetable stir fry (memory is failing me…), and roasted fish head. All washed down with a good dose of Tsingtao beer.

(3)
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For dessert we were given black sesame paste soup, a sweet Chinese dessert that I’m afraid I don’t enjoy all that much. Makes for a really cool, sinister-looking instagram though.

(4)
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When I did eat at home, I ate a lot of oatmeal. Usually made with milk. A couple of dried blueberries thrown in, and a ripe banana on top for good measure. Filling and hearty; just the right amount of sweetness from the blueberries and banana. The trick for delicious oatmeal is taking time to simmer it on the stove. Beats microwaved oatmeal by a billion.

(5)
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Hong Kong has really great Japanese food. This beautiful rice bowl topped with salmon, tuna, and a gratuitous poached egg was quite affordable and very delicious. Eaten in the Senryo branch located in Times Square.

(6)
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This beauty is a banana foster flambé crepe in Wan chai’s La Creperie. They have delicious savoury crepes as well as a great selection of dessert crepes. The service, however, is another story. The Wan Chai branch staff will make it clear that they want you out of their establishment as soon as you finish to seat people who are waiting for a table. The place is very popular, and you will want to make a reservation beforehand.

(7)
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Spicy mala noodles with bean sprouts and tender three layer pork toppings. Delicious, in the tongue-numbing way. If you haven’t had mala anything before, it’s very spicy, but in a strange way that numbs your tongue. Look out for great hidden noodle spots all around HK.

(8)
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Japanese homestyle food located in Causeway Bay’s noodle street. They also have kick-ass hamburg steak. I tried the cold soba noodles, which came with various toppings and a light, fragrant shoyu-based  sauce.

(9)
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Brunch at Classified @ Sheung Wan. Close to being my favourite, cozy little nook in HK. Very laid back, with an excellent brunch selection. I had the yoghurt fruit bowl with homemade muesli and a english muffin with butter and jelly. They also have fresh smoothies and green juices.

(10)
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Brunch Club and Supper @ Causeway Bay. They have an excellent lunch special that changes every day, and they have all kinds of brunch menus including eggs benedict in every way possible. I had homemade muesli with yoghurt and fruit.

(11)
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The Dining Room @ Causeway Bay. Dumplings and noodles overpriced and average. We had their soup dumplings and a special dessert dumpling pictured above, filled with custard and oozy cheese. Pretty good, but not mind-blowing.

(12)
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Oatmeal… again. With strawberries and cinnamon.

(13)
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Beet and shrimp pasta @ The Coffee Academics. They have branches throughout HK. Hands down my favourite place in HK ever. Quite pricy, but I think it’s worth it.

(14)
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Black pepper coffee. Yes, black pepper. Just a latte with black pepper sprinkled over the top. Served on a small metal tray with a tiny cup of water. So hipster. Ugh, I love this place.

(15)
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When at Coffee Academics, have the churros. Served with homemade coffee gelato and chocolate sauce. So good we polished this off in five minutes flat.

(16)
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Tom yum pasta @ Brunch Club. Instead of normal flour-based pasta, they used rice noodles. The sauce had hits of lemon grass, fish sauce, lime, and chilli. Very interesting.

(17)
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Egg bread at a street food stall across from Times Square. They taste nice, but being that they are hollow I was puzzled to why nobody has stuffed them with nutella or cream or anything, for that matter.

(18)
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Brunch @ Nosh in the Sheung Wan area. Near PMQ. What can I say? Tasted just as good as it looked.

(19)
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Nosh is dog-friendly, so you can bring your doggie friends to keep you company.

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Lastly, a picture of a coworker’s mysterious Chinese tea.

Hong Kong’s food scene is vibrant and diverse. Even just a ten-minute walk around Sheung Wan will give you endless possibilities. So make sure you are well-equipped with an empty stomach and a full wallet.

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