When I was tallying up which type of restaurant I ate at the most on this recent trip to Hong Kong, I realized they were essentially restaurants known for their noodle soups. In retrospect, it wasn’t much of a surprise as it turned out that my visit coincided with the coldest winter in more than 40 years. There are few things more warming on a cold winter’s day than a bowl of hot noodle soup.
Here’s a few of the places I went to nourish myself with a bowl of hot soup and toothsome noodles:
一樂燒鵝 (Yat Lok)
G/F 34-38 Stanley Street
Central, Hong Kong
While I have already reviewed Yat Lok before (making this the first time I’ve reviewed a place more than once), what I did not try last time was their signature menu item: 燒鵝瀨粉(roast goose lai fun). Unfortunately, the roast goose was not as good as I had last time. However, that was likely due to the fact that I came during an off time (2PM) where the turnover of the goose was slow, and thus the skin of goose got a little soggier sitting idly by. In contrast, the broth was nice in its simplicity of flavor with just the flavor of goose and a few spices. I also like the lai fun as well, which were surprisingly al dente as I’m used to rice and tapioca starch noodles usually getting too soft, too quickly.
羅富記粥麵專家 (Law Fu Kee)
G/F 142 Queens Rd C
Central, Hong Kong
On the Sunday of my stay in Hong Kong I woke up earlier than usual so I decided to have breakfast. As I mentioned before, it was cold in Hong Kong so I just took a quick trip down the street to 羅富記粥麵專家, which seemed decent given its relatively good reviews on OpenRice (Hong Kong’s Yelp).
I ordered the 水餃麵 (Dumpling Noodle Soup) and 魚片粥 (Fish Congee). While the soup in the noodle soup was decent in its medium strong seafood flavor and use of chives, I was not much of a fan of the dumplings. The dumplings did not seem to have the freshest shrimp and folded a bit sloppily. However, the worst offense of the dumplings were the extremely heavy use of black pepper the overpowered the flavor of the dumpling.
In contrast, the fish congee was great. The fish was very fresh and the congee was seasoned well. The only downside were that the portion of congee was huge, meaning I couldn’t finish it at all.
G/F 43 Temple Street
Yau Ma Tei, Hong Kong
I confess, I wasn’t really looking to eat at this place. In fact, I was hoping to eat breakfast at the famed Mido Cafe just before I left for the airport, but it was closed for a break day. Since it was raining a little bit, I decided to go to the nearest hole in the wall restaurant instead, which happened to be 新成香港仔魚蛋王.
Given that the signage and many posters in the places pointed to fish balls, I decided to get a bowl of 魚蛋麵 (Fish Ball Noodle Soup). It took a few minutes for the fish balls to cook, but once it arrived it felt like heaven during the cold, rainy morning. The broth did seem a little too salty but the fish balls were cooked perfectly and assisted by a little dab of hot chile oil that I added. The noodles were perfectly toothsome as well. At around $28 Hong Kong Dollars, it was a bargain too.
Tasty Congee and Noodle Wantun Shop
7/F Departures East Hall, Terminal 1
Hong Kong International Airport, Chep Lap Kok
The last of my noodle soup adventures ended up at the airport when I was getting lunch before my early afternoon flight to Los Angeles. In all fairness, and looking at OpenRice, it’s probably not best to judge other branches of this chain from its location at the airport. Airport concessions tend to rely more on quantity, volume, and efficiency so some quality gets sacrificed.
Sad to say, it was pretty telling when I ordered a bowl of 雲吞麵 (Wonton noodle soup). The broth was just okay and I felt it could have used more seafood. The wontons, while wrapped perfectly well, were a bit heavy on the pork as opposed to the shrimp. I suppose pork is just easier to prep, cook, and store at an airport kitchen but it was a real downside to a city that is known for large, tasty, and fresh all-shrimp (or almost all-shrimp) wontons.
All in all, this trip has taught me that the wisdom of the crowd can lead to truly delicious discoveries like Yat Lok (and previously, Mak’s Noodle House) but also some disheartening disappointments. However, Hong Kong is a city known for it’s street food and hole in the wall places. Those hole in the wall, barely reviewed places can just be your next ticket to a whole new world of tasty bites.