Where to Eat/Drink Where to Visit

Yuen Long restaurant

I’ve recommended Yum Cha in the countryside. How about trying Yum Cha in the New Territories? I had Dim Sum in the Yuen Long Family Restaurant (元朗人家) in Yuen Long weeks ago and it was a delightful experience. The dim sum and dishes were good and the price was unbelievably low, compared to the restaurants in the city. We had six adults and two kids for Yum Cha and the bill was only about HK$350. My favorite dim sum/dishes are steamed rice roll (腸粉), steamed fish balls(蒸鯪魚球) and fried rice (炒飯).

There are two Yuen Long Family Restaurants near the Yuen Long MTR station. The one I went to is a branch, at Hung Wan Centre, No. 19 Fung Kum Street. (updated on 20 Aug 2011: this branch has been closed.) The other has a lmuch onger history, at Transport Plaza, 2-6 Fung Cheung Road, and is also more popular as it is closer to the centre of Yuen Long.

Yuen Long these days still retains some characteristics and tradition of it old days as a market town. There are few luxury stores and more local shops here. You should come here to see more of Hong Kong.

Where to Eat/Drink

Drinking trend

Hong kong people like following trends. A recent trend they have been in is Taiwanese drink. You won’t miss it. On the main streets in the busy area there must be a Taiwanese drink shop like this, and this is the most popular chain so far – Gong Cha, meaning tea for the royal court and the emperor.

There is a wide variety of drinks offered by these shops ,among which pearl milk tea or bubble tea, as some may call it, is the most well known.

My favorite is not pearl milk tea, but green milk tea and barley milk tea. Try them if you have a chance. But note that although these teas are tasty, they  are not healthy. The likes of pearl milk tea contain diary cream whose main ingredient is a type of trans fat. Don’t indulge them.

Where to Eat/Drink Where to Visit

Touring Chinese University

I posted an entry before about The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Recently I went to the University, with the impression that though it has built many new buildings over the years, crowding the hillside, its campus is still the most beautiful of Hong Kong’s universities.The Pavilion of Harmony in the University’s New Asia College is impressive. The water of the Pavilion “merges” with the water of the Tolo Harbour beyond.

intersection of the pavilion water and the water of the harbour

In Shaw College, the student canteen and the staff restaurant offer some breathtaking views. Yet, they are so pleasantly quiet over the weekend, just like the college campus. My friends and I went to the staff restaurant on a Sunday for lunch – it was nearly empty. Only one table was occupied. The food (Chinese dishes and dim sum) was not outstanding but good enough, and the price was very reasonable. I wish to come back.

The view from the student canteen terrace
the student canteen at Shaw College
Hiking Where to Eat/Drink

Yum Cha in the countryside

You want to try the very traditional Dim Sum restaurants in Hong Kong? Here’s the place that you definitely should not miss out.

Chuen Lung is a small settlement at the mountainside of Tai Mo Shan, Hong Kong’s highest mountain (957 meter). It has two traditional restaurants, where you have to help yourself cleaning the cups and bowls, setting the table and ordering and bringing the food and dim sum you want from the kitchen. They are probably the only restaurants in Hong Kong still operating this way.

The restaurants’ vegetable dishes are particularly good as the vegetables come from the fields in Chuen Lung. Their bean curd pudding dishes are also famous.

You can sit outdoor in the restaurants, enjoying the sun and the countryside air. That is one reason people like going to Chuen Lung for Yum Cha. But some people may not like it as they may find the restaurants a bit dirty. But I personally like the experience. Going to their kitchen and ordering the food you want are just awesome. Even more awesome is that you can Yum Cha in the countryside.

After Yum Cha, you can walk up the mountain to the top of Tai Mo Shan for an amazing bird’s eye view of the city. Or you cross the second restaurant (called Duan Kei) and follow a path passing by the fields, leading to a track along a long drainage channel. Follow the sign pointing to Shing Mun Reservoir and Lung Mun Country Trail. After about 1.5-2 hours of walk, you will come to the Shing Mun Management Centre, where you can take mini bus No.82 to Tsuen Wan, or continue walking to the Reservoir.

How to get to Chuen Lung:

Take mini bus No 80 (less than HK$5) at Chuen Long Street, near the Tsuen Wan MTR station. The final stop of the bus is Chuen Long. Where the mini bus stops, you will see the first restaurant (Choi Long, meaning colorful dragon) right away.

Where to Eat/Drink

Megabox and IKEA restaurant

I like the IKEA restaurant in Megabox shopping mall located in Kowloon Bay, because the food is both cheap and good, and the restaurant is big. Since the IKEA is the biggest in Hong Kong, so is its restaurant, which has about 100 seats. For an almond cake which tastes rich and good, you pay HK$10 (US$1.3) only. It would have costed you three times the price if you eat at a Starbucks coffee shop. And for a piece of bread, however small, a price tag of HK$2 is surely cheap.

The menu selection is not wide, but if you have a tight budget and look for something decent to eat, this IKEA restaurant is for you.

Now you probably know that my suggestions on eateries in Hong Kong are not for picky eaters, none of whom, I would imagine, would have considered IKEA food.

One more small tip. The small IKEA food shop at the exit of IKEA sells a big bar of delicious chocolate made in Sweden for HK$10. It is a bargain.

Megabox which houses IKEA is a rather new shopping mall in HK, opened in 2007. I don’t find it having “a revolutionary shopping, dining and entertainment concept” as its website claims – Hong Kong’s shopping malls are all more or less the same, with similar shops anyway. But it does have some of the biggest in Hong Kong, such as the biggest IKEA and the biggest ice rink. It is 8-minute walk from Kowloon Bay MTR station, or you can take a free shuttle bus from the station. To find out how, check out its webpage for direction.