Hong Kong’s Most Instagrammable Eats
I had a lengthy list of food to eat in Hong Kong and only 24 hours to do it. But thankfully my husband and his never-ending appetite for Asian food was up to the task. Hong Kong is perhaps most known for food that not only tastes incredible, but is immensely photogenic. Only here can your bao bun look like whoa, your dim sum be genuinely cuter than you are, and desserts from street vendors be complete works of art.
With just a short amount of time, I was off to eat some classic Hong Kong foods that I've never had before, and seeking the most Instagrammable dishes out there.
My first stop of the day was at Little Bao
This tiny bao-bun kitchen is on top of a hill so steep you’ll more than earn your lunch walking to it. Right by PMQ and Hollywood Road, this neighborhood is the place to go for cool shopping and awesome foodie finds. We ducked into Little Bao around 12, right before a big rush and scored a teeny table on the wall.
We started off with the sesame caesar: Indian lettuce, fried dace, black beans, and panko crumbs eaten the Asian way: with chopsticks.
Disclaimer: we did not plan to get this. I am not the girl who, with one day in Hong Kong, orders a salad! But when the person next to me got their order, I eyed our waiter and said, "I'll have what he's having!"
It arrived as a pile of tasty greens with just the right ratio of lettuce to toppings. The combination of flavors and textures is what made this special: flaky, crunchy, fishy (in a good way). Josh and I were fighting over salad leaves for the first time ever.
For our buns, I wanted to satisfy the carnivore and vegan in me. I am a woman of extremes. We planned to go halvsies on one classic pork belly, and one "sloppy chan," This is one of my favorite things to do, unless I really like one dish better than the other and then I try to claim it as my own. Thankfully, that didn't happen here.
These buns were everything a bao bun should be: hot, fluffy bun, meat/temph well seasoned, spicy sauces holding it all together, and various pickled accouterments. It was a long wait for our two little buns to come out of the kitchen, so you know each and every bun is being made with a sincere amount of TLC - as all buns should.
A note on portion control: I could have easily eaten those two buns alone, but since we had a big day of food ahead I made due with my 1/2 of each and the salad.
After a few hours of walking and shopping, we made our way to our dim sum lunch at Yum Cha.
In case you've been living under a rock or in the suburbs - dim sum is a style of Chinese cuisine prepared as small bite-sized portions of food served in small steamer baskets or on small plates. It's the Chinese answer to afternoon tea, and immensely popular.
I did a lot of research on where to go for my first, proper dim sum and eventually decided on Yum Cha because they specialize in "a playful twist on traditional Chinese cuisine." It was the rare time I wasn't looking for a fancy, Ritz Carlton experience but rather wanted something playful I could Instagram like crazy. When I saw they served pineapple puffs shaped like birds inside mini birdcages, my search was over.
Our order revolved around the cutest-looking things on the menu: the aforementioned pineapple bird puffs, green tea custard buns, and piggy pork buns. To round out the meal, we added some scallion pancakes and steamed veggie dumplings.
Overall, the food at Yum Cha was pretty average tasting, which I foresaw, but I just couldn't pass up dim sum shaped like little green minions. The scallion pancakes, by far the least photo-worthy dish, was by far the most tasty. So if it's the tastiest dim sum you're seeking - this may not be the place for you. But if you're dining with kids or just happen to be a kid at heart like me, Yum Cha would be hard to beat in terms of dim sum fun.
Finally, the most important meal of the day - dessert. I ate several sweets while in Hong Kong, but the most Insta-worthy was my egg waffle cone from Eat With Me, complete with a hand-crafted whip cream flower (swoon).
These egg waffles have just started to become big in New York City, where I live on the rare week I'm not traveling. But I wanted to try one at the source first, so I sought out Eat With Me and watched them make their magic.
The egg waffle cone was made to order out of a typical waffle-looking batter. I sat there, eyes bulging as the waffle-iron hissed and smoked for what seemed like hours until my browned waffle came out, cooled, and got wrapped up into a fluffy cone. I was in a rare fruit mood so I went with a strawberry ice cream, sprinkles, and whip cream topping. The chewiness of the cone makes this dessert unique, and the hot cone against the cold ice cream makes for an outside-the-box ice cream cone experience.
If you have the time to sit in and enjoy a dessert, there were some elaborate sundaes and creations to be had here! This is a spot for a photo-opp loving foodie to keep coming back to.