Last February I went on a press trip to Hong Kong (along with Rachelle Lucas and Cynthia Drescher) sponsored by the Hong Kong Tourism Board. I meant to blog something about it sooner—perhaps, saaaay, last year—but I figured I'd wait until I was finished writing about it on Serious Eats.
And I just did. Finish writing about it. This month. Erm. Well. Better late than never? That's the delusion I buy into so I don't hate myself.
Here's a list of all the posts I wrote:
- Roast Goose Leg and Roast Pork from Yat Lok
- Egg Waffle Goodness from Lee Keung Kee North Point Egg Waffles
- Gold Coin Chicken, aka Cholesterol Sandwich, from Manor Restaurant
- A Tour of Mongkok Wet Market
- Prosperity Burger from McDonald's Hong Kong
- Snapshots from Hong Kong: Photo Tour of 7-Eleven
- Red Bean Pie from McDonald's
- Breakfast at Hokkaido Dairy Farm Milk Restaurant
- Boiled Coke with Ginger and Lemon
- Head to Ngau Kee Before It Closes on Sunday
- Vegetarian Lunch at Po Lin Monastery
- Dim Sum at Tim Ho Wan, aka the World's Cheapest Michelin-starred Restaurant
- Steamed Milk Pudding from Yee Shun Milk Company
- My 14 Favorite Sweets
- My 10 Favorite Bites
That's the greatest number of posts I've ever wrung out of a press trip, although in an ideal world it would've been more. I didn't eat as much during the trip as I would've liked—it wasn't primarily food-focused—but I did well with the schedule I was given and the limitations of the Chinese New Year holiday, thanks to the help of a handful of awesome people.
MEET THE AWESOME PEOPLE!
Michael Poon was our most excellent guide during the trip—super helpful, accommodating, and knowledgable, besides plain ol' friendly and laid back. Definitely the person you want to be with on your first trip to Hong Kong—he will do whatever he can to make your Hong Kong dreams COME TRUE. I can't believe I almost didn't try Yee Shun Milk Company until I casually told Michael on the last day of my trip I had yet to try steamed milk pudding. Gawd, that stuff is good.
- Rachel at Hokkaido Dairy Farm Milk Restaurant.
Fellow food blogger Rachel Balota was my number one eating partner, about as important as Michael in helping me get the most out of my visit. Besides enthusiastically joining me at Yat Lok, Lee Keung Kee, Hokkaido Dairy Farm Milk Restaurant, Mak's Noodle, and wherever else I could drag her, she met up with me during my "layover" back to NYC from Taipei and helped squeeze five more places in my eating itinerary. ...Including McDonald's, at my request. I wouldn't ask just anyone to go to McDonald's. Hope you feel special, Rachel. WE HAVE FORGED A BOND YOU CANNOT BREAK sorry.
Susan Jung is the food and wine editor of the South China Morning Post, and she's been reading my blog since at least 2007. Which blows my lil' mind. I was especially mindblown when in 2008 she praised my blog in an issue of South China Morning Post, which actually took up precious dead tree space and not just digital space. I was shocked when I read that at 23; now I'm 28 and I'm still shocked. I hope Susan doesn't regret what she wrote.
I was a bit nervous meeting Susan for the first time. No reason to, of course; she's 100% sweetheart. I joined her, her husband, and her friends Lambda and Peter for a pork-heavy Cantonese dinner at Manor Restaurant (now closed, FFFFFUUU) and black sesame soup at Yeun Kee Dessert. Susan knows what I like because she's thoughtful and awesome.
Susana, a sweet TGWAE reader who answered my call to meet up in HK, introduced me to the wonders of Hong Kong dessert shops at Happy Together. HAPPY TOGETHER. She ordered a dessert called Popping Golden Man. POPPING GOLDEN MAN. As for what that entails, it's mango, mango pudding, mango ice cream, mango juice, and Pop Rocks—duh. I went for the self-explanatory Deep Fried Mango Ice-Cream Pancake. God knows why I didn't go for something with a crazy name. Eating dessert with Susana was a refreshing break from my press trip itinerary. Make sure to check out her great blog about life in Hong Kong and travels around Asia!
I didn't think I'd have enough time to meet up with Kar-Yan, who's been reading my blog for years. Looking back, I should slap Past Robyn on the head. You have no idea when you're going to be back in Hong Kong! Make the time. You don't get many readers like Kar-Yan. Thankfully, we were able to meet up around midnight on my last night in Hong Kong at a Tsui Wah across the street from my hotel. We feasted on crispy buns with condensed milk and washed 'em down with Champagne milk tea (aka, milk tea in a bottle that sits in its own personal ice bucket). That's kind of a perfect last-night-in-Hong-Kong for me. Not just any night—it was Valentine's Day! (Kåre, this is all you have to do to make me happy on Valentine's Day. Milk tea + toasted buns saturated with butter and condensed milk.)
I took hundreds of photos in Hong Kong, but you'd have to wade through the bowels of my Flickr photostream to see 'em. ...Or I can just pick a bunch of my favorites and post 'em here. Alright, I'll try that.
- First egg custard tart from Tai Cheong Bakery at The Peak.
- Damn, gurl, look at those rims.
- Mr. Beef Seafood Restaurant has seen better days.
- Watch out for falling incense ashes at Wong Tai Sin Temple.
- Looking across Victoria Harbour to Hong Kong Island.
- Street vendor in Mong Kok for all your meat/feet/organ meat/etc? needs.
- Mong Kok, crowded as hell.
- Mong Kok, still crowded as hell. This photo was taken at 11:30 p.m. on a busy shopping street.
- Some of many offerings and incense for Chinese New Year at my hotel (Langham Place Hotel).
- Burning incense at the Hong Kong Well-wishing Festival.
- The wish checklist.
- Lunar New Year Fireworks over Victoria Harbour.
- The fireworks-watching crowd from behind the press area. I felt kind of bad for having a press pass even though I wasn't covering the fireworks for anything. I DIDN'T DESERVE IT. THE GUILT, IT OVERCOMES ME.
- Going up one of many long-ass escalators ("expresscalator") in Langham Place. I don't think myself as particularly afraid of heights, but my stomach definitely lurched towards my brain when I got to the top of the first set of escalators. Looking down = mistake.
- MOAR ESCALATOR.
- If it's creepy to take a photo of a random old lady napping on the sidewalk, then color me creepy.
- A floating fishmonger in Sai Kung.
- Somewhere in the Hong Kong Global Geopark of China.
- Eating street food with Rachelle and Michael in Sai Kung.
- Smoggy over Victoria Harbour as the sun says a firey good-bye.
- These Japanese strawberries cost about $20 A PACK. And someone's buying 'em.
- Waiting for the metro.
- Ngong Ping 360 cable car ride. It sure is purdy. Hong Kong may be insanely crowded, but on the upside large expanses of nature are easily accessible from the city center.
- Big Buddha in the distance.
- Breakfast of champions at Hokkaido Dairy Farm Milk Restaurant.
- Getting on the TRAVELATOR (Central-Mid-levels escalators)! Yup, outdoor escalators on the street. Otherwise getting up there would be a bitch.
- Another Travelator view.
- Homemade fish cakes at Sun King Kee Noodle.
- View from my hotel room window.
- Doorbells, how do they work?
- So much Yee Shun milk pudding...so...very much...[sobs]