|▲A variety of food of Chinese and British styles in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a splendid city with beautiful attractions. When I visited the city last winter, I first felt scared of all the people busily walking on the street. But when I asked for directions, they smiled and kindly showed me the way. It was also a novel experience to hear both Chinese and English on the road. Hong Kong’s most impressive things are the nightscape as bright as the daytime, and a mixture of cuisines from China and European countries including England. The reason behind this food culture seems to be that the city was returned to China in 1997 after 156 years of British colonial rule over the region. I want to introduce the beautiful city by looking into its food of Chinese and British styles.
Hong Kong has various kinds of dim sum, which is a little dumpling made with glutinous rice flour and stuffed with a variety of ingredients inside. Since it is a symbolic food representing Hong Kong, there are many dim sum restaurants and many types of dim sum dishes. I will recommend some dishes to you based on my experience! ‘Shumai’ contains both pork and shrimp, ‘Shrimp Dimsum’ and ‘Custard Bun’ may be familiar to Korean tastes. ‘Dim Dim Sum’ is one of the cheapest dim sum restaurant chains but it is good value for its price. In the restaurant, a waiter brings a cup of puer or jasmine tea with the dishes. Customers can pay some extra for this tea and get refilled. Choi Seung-won (Freshman, Faculty of Earth System and Environmental Sciences) who travelled to Hong Kong this January said, “When I ate dim sum at the restaurant, I felt it was a little bit greasy. But after having a cup of warm jasmine tea, everything was great. So, I understand why Hongkongers enjoy tea with some greasy dim sum dishes.”
‘Hong Kong’ means ‘a fragrant harbour’ in Chinese. Like its name, there are many delicious seafood dishes and people in Hong Kong enjoy seafood such as ‘Spicy Crab’ and ‘Deep Fried Shrimps with Chili’ which are popular dishes in the city. Hong Kong people rarely eat raw seafood but instead they enjoy steamed, fried and stir-fried seafood. Although it is a harbour city, the price of seafood is quite expensive or similar to the Korean one. Another special point is the fact that they do not eat raw vegetables either. Wong Hau Fung (Senior, Dept. of English Language and Literature) from Hong Kong said, “We seldom eat raw vegetables but cook or fry them. Vegetables are usually cooked together with pork or chicken to make the food more colourful and to give it a different texture and taste.”
Desserts from the West
Afternoon tea means a small meal including a cup of black tea and food such as cakes and sandwiches in the afternoon, usually around 4 p.m. At first, it was introduced in England in 1840 and became a social event as a culture among middle and high classes in the U.K. This culture was transmitted in Honk Kong but it has evolved in two different ways. First, traditional afternoon tea can be enjoyed at a hotel restaurant or a dessert café. Second, most people have their own way of savouring afternoon tea. They drink strong milk tea or iced lemon tea after having lunch. When you enjoy afternoon tea, what about having sweet desserts like egg tarts?
Portuguese egg tarts are one of the popular desserts in Hong Kong. The outer pastry of egg tarts is piled thick with several layers and there is egg custard inside the tart. The custard cream is so soft that it melts in your mouth as soon as you eat it. Unlike Portuguese egg tarts, Hong Kong’s egg tarts have layers made of cookie, not pastry. Kim Jung-hyun (Junior, Dept. of English Language and Literature) commented, “I ate Portuguese egg tarts and they were so good. I miss the taste of that nowadays. When I travel to Hong Kong again, I want to try Hong Kong-style egg tarts, too.” The famous chain, ‘Tai Cheong Bakery’, is well-known for its delicious desserts and reasonable price. When you visit Hong Kong, you should definitely try both two kinds of egg tarts!
Fusion of Chinese and Western
The bright nightscape and various food come together to build such an amazing image of Hong Kong with cultural diversity, which makes the city interesting. Wong Hau Fung, however, said, “I think the special thing about food in Hong Kong is the mixed culture. Thus, it seems there are not many representative foods which are 100 percent authentic Hong Kong-made food. I feel sorry that there is only a transformed form of other cuisines.” Hong Kong has diverse cultures and this makes Hong Kong much more attractive. Looking at it from another point of view, the transformed versions of food are also a unique characteristic of the city and they have now it is settled as its culture. Why don’t you take a trip to Hong Kong?
1. Dim Dim Sum (15 Playing Field Road, Mong Kok) ★★★★☆
> Only cash, various dishes, cheap price, comfortable with Korean menu
2. Wong Chi Kee (Stanley Street, Central) ★★★★☆
> Crowded, kind staff, comfortable with Korean menu
1. Tai Cheung Bakery (35 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central) ★★★★☆
> Relatively cheap, famous for Egg Tart and Coconut Tart
2. Hui Lau Shan (2Q Sai Yeung Choi Street South, Mong KoK) ★★★★★
> Only cash, chain, not only beverages but various desserts
By Choi Hae-ri, Tribune Reporter