Summer 2018: Hong Kong
It’s been a while since we’ve blogged on our travels, and, due to popular demand (read: peer pressure from a few friends), we’re back. I’m not committing to a post everyday, but one round-up of highlights from each city we visit seems very do-able to me! Hope you enjoy reading them!-------
Tim Ho Wan - This dim sum shop with multiple locations has a Michelin Star. We weren’t sure veggie dishes would be an option, but we found some and we were not disappointed! We visited the location in the Hong Kong metro station, right as it opened Sunday morning. The line to sit at a table was already long, so we opted for takeaway, and only had to wait about 10 minutes for our food! We ordered the steamed egg cake and steamed dumplings in chiu chow style (these had jicama, chives, and peanuts inside). Delicious! If you are a meat eater, there are tons of options for you.
|the line for Tim Ho Wan|
Ho Lee Fook - By chance (thanks to Google Maps), Richard stumbled across Ho Lee Fook when we went to Quinary (see below). He was looking at restaurants nearby and thought the name was funny and discovered the food was unique and the vibe was pretty hip. We put our name in for a table the next evening and ended up waiting about an hour to eat. We ordered their fried corn and stir fried morning glory, along with some egg fried rice and a Japanese-style cheesecake for dessert. The food was awesome! Totally worth the wait.
|stir fried morning glory|
|egg fried rice|
Kind Kitchen by Green Common - Connected to the most well-stocked vegan grocery we’ve ever seen, Kind Kitchen is a fully vegan restaurant by the team behind Green Common, which is a chain of restaurants in HK. Kind Kitchen has Omnipork, the “pork” response to Beyond Meat. It was pretty good! We tried Omnipork two ways—on top of lotus root and in gyoza. Of the two, the gyoza definitely stood out. I wasn’t much of a pork eater in my meat-eating life, so I wasn’t super crazy about needing a substitute. That said, the gyoza were fantastic. We were also able to try HK milk tea, made with Oatly oat milk.
|Rick at Kind Kitchen (matching the decor)|
|HK-style milk tea with Oatly|
|gyoza with Omnipork (please excuse the phone shadow)|
Lock Cha - This tea house in Hong Kong park serves solely vegetarian dim sum and a large variety of teas. In our minds, it was a bit pricey but the food was good. We had a devil of a time trying to find it, but ended up exploring the park more in depth because of that!
Grassroots Pantry - Rick had found this veggie spot online before our trip, and it did not disappoint. We were there for brunch, and enjoyed a poke bowl (with tomato “poke”) and a kelp and mung bean noodle soup. We struck up a conversation with the guy making all of the juices, coffees, and smoothies and he gave us a great list of vegetarian/vegan spots to try in the city. It was also fun to compare notes on the Impossible Burger/Beyond Meat, which we’ve become familiar with at home.
|inside the restaurant (all of the hanging lights were decanters of some kind)|
|tomato poke bowl|
% Arabica - Located in the Star Ferry terminal on Kowloon, this little Japanese coffee spot was perfect for a grab and go iced Americano on our first morning. Choose single origin or a blend of beans.
Amber Coffee Brewery - Home to a barista champion (for sure the best in HK, maybe best in the world?) and Mikkeller and To Øl beers, this place was a natural fit for us (and any other hipsters looking for a good cup of coffee). We both opted for the house blend, iced.
|all of the Mikkeller beers|
Quinary - A perennial qualifier for the World’s 50 Best Bars list (#40 in 2017, Asia’s #15 in 2018), it was clear to us why everyone love Quinary so much. The cocktails are inventive and fun, and the atmosphere is great. Not too loud, and not too long of a wait! Rick’s earl gray martini was the hands down winner of the evening—delicious and fun.
|earl gray martini|
Dr. Fern’s Gin Parlour - We’ve been to speakeasies before, but I’ve never walked into one quite like this! With whimsical decor that melds science equipment (beakers and test tubes) with florals, mismatched furniture, and a Victorian-era aesthetic, you definitely feel as though you are in another world. The gin selection is immense, and you could even have afternoon tea with sandwiches and finger foods (or swap out your tea for a G&T instead!). We opted to sit at the bar, and enjoy one of the suggested gin and tonic pairings. Didn’t get any food, but the Neal’s Yard cheese board sure tugged at my heartstrings! Drinks in HK can be expensive, but the ones we had were worth it.
|entrance to the bar--the "little door" is the one that actually opens|
|lots of choices!|
|looking around as you walk in|
- Take the Star Ferry from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island at least once. Great views of the city skyline, and cheap! Only 70 cents one way for both of us. Avoid going across that direction around 8:20pm— it is super packed following the laser show that occurs every night at 8pm on the Hong Kong Island side. Everyone goes over to Kowloon to watch, then hops on the ferry to go back across the harbor.
|evening photo taken on the ferry ride|
|ferry views in the day|
- Explore Central and the Mid-Levels. Tons of restaurants, bars, and shops. This seems to be the area buzzing with people, at all times of the day. Take the mid-levels escalator, which was featured on an episode of Parts Unknown this season.
- Visit Hong Kong Park. Filled with beautiful gardens and water features, a dragonfly conservatory, and even an aviary! We really enjoyed walking around here (even though we were sort of lost on the way to lunch....).
We stayed at the Intercontinental Hotel on Kowloon, using free nights certificates (one for Rick and one for Emily) earned with our IHG credit cards.
We flew Cathay Pacific from LAX to HKG, using Alaska Airlines miles for two business class tickets (50,000 points each, for a one way ticket).
That's all for now!
We are currently in: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam
Next stop: Hoi An, Vietnam