This is a guest post by my blogger bud Karla Ramos of Hungry Travel Duo – former preschool teacher/figure skater turned Travel Blogger, Social Media Manager and a travel enthusiast. She was bitten by the travel bug early on and she enjoys action-packed and adrenaline filled experiences. Often, people call her an energizer bunny because of her never-ending energy. While traveling, she loves experiencing local culture, trying out local cuisine and meeting new people but most of all, she is a sucker for adventure, so if there’s something new to try, she’s definitely up for it. Searching for the best Hong Kong food tour was hence, right up her alley!
Many people are used to taking walking tours in tourist spots as a way to know the foreign place or its history. Depending on your guide and the scope of the tour, you could end up exploring a unique side of your destination that most tourists never see. But sometimes, engaging the eyes is simply not enough to understand what a place is all about. You know that adage that the best way to a person’s heart is through the stomach? That applies to tours, too! The best place to a destination’s heart is through the stomach. So if you really want to see what the locals see and live how the locals live, you gotta eat like the locals eat!
Photos by Kay Dulay
So Which is the Best Hong Kong Food Tour?
Food tours are taking over the tourist scene for this exact reason. Hopping through various food carts, hole-in-the-wall eateries, and restaurants can give you an entirely new perspective on a place that can seem pretty familiar. This is what happened to us in Honk Kong, a place that tends to be a cliche vacation spot for most Filipinos. Even the oft-visited Sham Shui Po Hong Kong food tour took on a new light when we joined the fast-rising (and plainly-named) Eating Adventures food tour!
Shakin’ up Sham Shui Po
Sham Shui Po is known for its cultural significance, but most tourist often fail to take a look beyond the surface. To them, it’s mostly the area’s “wholesale quarters”, kind of like Divisoria or Binondo in the Philippines. Fairly recently, it was spotlighted by the Hong Kong Tourism board as the flip side of the more upscale Central district. And it was rightly so, since while Sham Shui Po got the shorter end of the stick when it came to urban development and housing conditions, it nevertheless retained an interesting spirit — at least for those willing to explore.
And of course, it also offers a vibrant food scene! The idea behind Eating Adventures makes total sense. We can learn about the inner workings of this neighborhood while indulging in and learning about its food culture.
The tour began as we walked away from the Computer Arcade across the C2 exit. Our guide, Yen, gave us an overview of the place and of the things we should expect. Yen is a local of Sham Shui Po, and she knows the area in-and-out.
We first landed in a push cart noodle shop at Mankee. It appeared to be a simple food cart at first, and the beef brisket and radish noodles were truly heartwarming. We got an insight into how much the locals valued freshness and quality when we were told all ingredients were prepared on-site, at 6AM every morning! Considering these are not the simple “mami” we are used to, that’s pretty impressive.
Then there’s the simpler fare, which focused on the more pragmatic side of the local food scene. We had fried tofu paired with soy milk — the locals are pretty conscious of the sugar they take in, which is one reason why they have a generally healthy population.
We also had our introduction to the Sham Shui Po love for spices! Well, it’s actually a Taiwanese shop, but the fact that it’s part of the tour means it’s been integrated into the local fare. We had spicy beef, spicy cucumber in garlic, and spicy duck! Thankfully for those among us with less adventurous taste buds, there were also non-spicy variants.
Then we took on some traditional Chinese cuisine, such as mouthwatering xiao long bao — fried, though I’m more used to steamed. Still, it was absolutely delicious! It was the perfect stop. Later on we also had some rice rolls, hakao, barbecue, chicken feet and dumplings. Sham Shui Po had its flavors shakin’, and we had seats to the yumminess.
Food Tours Offer a Peek Into Local Culture
As we wandered through the streets in search for the next food find, we also saw more of the locality. There were some awesome street arts and a lot of Western influences that were left over from the time the British held Hong Kong. We were also treated to the fact that part of the fee we paid for Eating Adventures went to the Little Angels Community, a charity initiative that supports Sham Shui Po.
Hong Kong Food tours are always a great idea for those who really want to know the city beyond simply what they can see from the tourist sites. Visiting museums is one thing, but rubbing shoulders with the community and sharing in their daily lives is another. Food tours, generally led by locals themselves, are a step forward in the life of the curious tourist.