Gallery: Snapshots from Hong Kong: My 10 Favorite Bites

  • Roast Goose Leg from Yat Lok

    This isn't just my favorite bite from my trip; it's my favorite of the year. Something about that thick layer of crisp, meltingly fatty skin coated in a sweet and salty glaze did funny things to my brain, an effect I call "valium rainbows.

    Char Siu from Yat Lok

    Another gold star for Yat Lok. Their supremely tender, moist roast pork is the best char siu I've ever had. The accompanying ginger scallion sauce makes it even better.

    3" Fried Eggs With Hokkaido 3.6 Milk Sandwich from Hokkaido Dairy Farm Milk Restaurant

    Hokkaido Dairy Milk Farm Restaurant makes the egg sandwich of my dreams. They take the standard cha chaan teng staple of an egg sandwich on white bread and hulk it up with a fat pile of fluffy, folded omelette hugged between two slices of thick white toast.

    Hokkaido Dairy Farm Milk Restaurant: Multiple locations listed at OpenRice

    Gold Coin Chicken from Manor Restaurant

    Stack slices of tender roast pork, charred roasted pork fat, chicken liver, and taro, sandwich it all between two thin, round steamed buns, and you've got gold coin chicken (or "cholesterol sandwich," as my friends like to call it). This dainty sandwich packs a sweet-n-meaty-n-fatty punch (you know, the best kind of punch).

    Unfortunately, Manor Restaurant recently closed [cue anguished wailing], so someone else will have to step up to the gold coin chicken throne.

    Salted Egg Yolk-coated Long Beans and Minced Pork from Ngau Kee

    Salted, cured egg yolk is the magic fairy dust that makes everything taste better. That's what I learned after eating this dish of stir fried long beans and chunks of minced pork coated in salty yolk flecks.

    Sadly, this restaurant also closed last year. If anyone can recommend another restaurant that serves this dish, do tell.

    Triple-Sauced Rice Noodle Rolls

    I want more of this in my life: soft and springy, tightly coiled rice noodle rolls doused in soy sauce, sesame sauce, and hoisin sauce, and sprinkled with sesame seeds. I first tried this common snack at a popular food stand in Sai Kung.

    Shrimp Wonton Noodle Soup from Mak's Noodle

    Mak's Noodle is one of Hong Kong's most famous restaurants for wonton noodle soup—hell, they have their own Wikipedia page. Whether it still deserves the fame seems to be up for debate. From the reviews I read, people complain that for being more expensive than other wonton noodle joints, it's not necessarily better, and the portion sizes are smaller than average. As someone who is a total wonton noodle soup n00b, I thought it was great (I'd say more if I had taken any notes). Another plus: it was open when I visited during Chinese New Year, a time when many restaurants are (deservedly) closed, although they do add a 10 percent service fee during the holiday.

    Mak's Noodle: Multiple locations listed at OpenRice

    Pork Chop Pineapple Bun from Tai Lei Loi Kei

    Tai Lei Loi Kei is a chain from Macau famous for their pork chop buns, a popular Macanese snack. It is what it sounds like: a pork chop on a bun. No toppings. The default pork bun sticks a thin, deep fried, bone-in pork chop in a toasted mini baguette-like roll, but I liked the pineapple bun version more. I thought the soft and sweet pineapple bun complemented the crisp pork chop better, while the bready roll overpowered it.

    According to OpenRice the location I went to in Central is now closed (seriously, am I cursing these restaurants?). They still have a location in Sha Tin.

    Deep Fried Lotus Root and Fish Cake Patties from Tim Ho Wan

    This is listed on the menu as "deep fried lotus dumpling stuffed with fish meat," which, while not inaccurate, wouldn't make me expect what it actually is: fried patties of fish cake studded with bits of mushroom, pork, and crisp lotus root and chestnut. They may not look like much, but they tasted surprisingly light, crisp, and clean in a way deep fried foods rarely achieve.

    Tim Ho Wan: Multiple locations listed at OpenRice

    Fried Fish Skin from Sun King Kee Noodle

    Deep fry cornstarch-coated fish skin and you get these gnarled, thick, robustly crunchy fish skin chips. This Teochew-style dish is like the seafood version of pork rinds, and that's a beautiful thing. Dip in the accompanying bowl of broth, pop in mouth, repeat.

    The main reason to visit Sun King Kee Noodle is for their famous handmade fish cakes and chili oil, but don't leave out the fried fish skins.

    Sun King Kee Noodle: 7 Gage St, Central, Hong Kong‎ (map); 852 2541 6647; OpenRice listing