The convenience store 7-Eleven is practically at every street corner in Hong Kong. With some of them gearing up to offer local popular hot food and drink, travelers to the city may find it easier to have a taste of local fare.
The 7 Cafe, as the hot food counter in 7-Eleven is called, is the idea of Dairy Farm, which owns half of the 1000 7-Eleven stores across Hong Kong (the rest is franchise).
The 7-Eleven on the busy Tong Chong Street in Quarry Bay, in the eastern part of Hong Kong Island, is among the first that have 7 Cafes, which sell such popular local snack and drink as curried fish balls, siu mai (made of dough, but in the name of a famous Cantonese dim sum), milk tea and egg tarts, as well as breafast, lunch and afternoon tea from a big food counter.
Not every 7-Eleven has, or will have a 7 Cafe, though. But count on those in high-traffic locations, such as Causeway Bay, Central, Mongkok, to have one in future.
According to Dairy Farm, future 7 Cafes would occupy 1,000 square foot of space – that is fairly big compared to the tiny hot food counter you can occasionally find at a small number of existing 7-Eleven shops.
Despite the convenience, there is no guarantee that the fare offered at 7 Cafes are just as good as those offered at some of the traditional street food vendors. But Dairy Farm said they have hired a 5 star hotel executive chef to look after the cafe business.
You may have heard of Hong Kong’s Soho area in Central which is packed with international food restaurants and bars. Another gathering place of restaurants and bars which is less talked about and is smaller in scale is in Tsim Sha Tsui east.
Take the star ferry to Tsim Sha Tsui. After getting off the boat, walk along the harbour front, until you are well past the Avenue of Stars. You will then see a flyover that takes you to the opposite side of the road. Here, you will find a row of restaurants and bars, parallel to the Salisbury Road, and with breathtaking harbour view, especially after dark.
The plus of this place is, it is not as crowded as Soho and there is a splendid harbour view to enjoy. But the minus point is its lack of choice in dining and drinking. After all, there are only about 10 restaurants in the area.
Among the restaurants there is only one Chinese restaurant – a famous Shanghainese food eatery Xiao Nan Guo (Little Southern State, No.66 Mody Road). The restaurant, based in China, is highly regarded in Shanghai and has established its presence in Hong Kong since 2000. It now has four stores in Hong Kong.
To get to the area, you can also take MTR and get off at Tsim Sha Tsui East station. Take exit P1.
If you like French Fries, and you are in HK, try New York Fries in Harbour City, an upscale shopping mall in Tsim Sha Tsui.
Despite its name, New York Fries is 100% Canadian, with franchise locations throughout the country.
Potatoes are freshly cut into French Fries and fried in sunflower oil and olive oil in the store. I’ve been to the store twice thus far and highly recommend it. The Fries feel fresh, healthy and tasty.
There is only one New York Fries store in Hong Kong. The store in Harbour City is pretty small, with about 4 to 5 tables only. But right next to the store, there is a balcony with seats and tables, commanding a nice harbour view. That should be the place to savour the fresh French Fries, especially when the weather is pleasant.
The menu is very focused – selling the French Fries from small to jumbo sizes, and hot dogs. A big cup of Fries in its jumbo size sells for HK$38. The tomato sauce comes free, but if you want the premium sauces such as sour cream or gravy, you have to pay extra.
How to get there
MTR Tsim Sha Tsui station, exit A1 (Kowloon Park). Turn right to the Haiphong Rd. Walk to the end. The shopping mall facing you is the Harbour City.
Or take the star ferry. Harbour City is right next to the star ferry pier in Tsim Sha Tsui.
New York Fries is located on the second floor of Harbour City. To see the exact location of the store, click here.
Lamma Island is one of those precious outlying islands in Hong Kong you shouldn’t miss, just for gaining a glimpse into Hong Kong’s landscape and a stroll along the beach and country paths. As the island is now inhabited by many expatriates, there are a raft of bars and cafes and international restaurants, as well as shops selling clothes, accessories and jewellery catering to visitors, who are particularly many during the weekend.
So if you want to have some peace savoring Hong Kong’s landscape, come on a weekday.
There is one cool place you can chill out on the island. Well, it is not a bar or a café. It is Han Lok Yun, a Chinese restaurant famous for pigeon food. Sounds strange, right? Pigeon restaurant for chilling out?
This is because the restaurant has a very nice ambience – a garden setting slightly tucked into the hill. You can even have some seaview from the restaurant where it is not blocked by buildings in front. Overall, very relaxing atmosphere and the roasted pigeons are just delicious. Super delicious.
How to get there:
If you walk in the direction of the Hung Shing Yeh beach, it is at your left side, when you almost approach the beach.
This, for me, is the best Japanese food court in Hong Kong. I highly recommend it.
It is on the 2nd floor of the APM shopping mall, just right at the exit A of Kwun Tong MTR station.
A wide selection of Japanese food is offered here, including the Japanese burger Mosh Burger, and Japanese rice, noodles, dumplings and pancakes. My favourite store is “fusion bowl” where you can buy all sorts of bowls of Japanese rice and noodles, come with soup or drink. They are delicious.
The average price is about HK$40-50 (US$7 -8) for a set of meal. You select the food you like, get a ticket at the food store, and make payment with the ticket at a separate cashier, and go back to the store to wait for your food.
Kwun Tong is one of the oldest urban development areas in Hong Kong, and is known as a “factory area”. But as Hong Kong’s manufacturing industry is dying out, this area has seen fewer factories and more modern buildings with shopping malls like apm being its latest landmarks.
It may be an interesting area for foreign visitors to tour around, as it is crowded with shops and restaurants, some with local flavours, while offering you a glimpse into the past of Hong Kong with traces of torn down factories hidden in the corner. Expect crowds here, as the area is very densely populated.