One of my favourite parts of travel is sampling new and delicious foods. In fact, one of the highlights of my everyday life is eating (is that sad?!) The only problem I have when it comes to eating in new countries is actually being adventurous. After several stints in Asia recently, I have always come home to find myself wishing I had tried more of the local cuisines. As Hong Kong is known for its great food culture, I knew I had to get out there and sample the best it has to offer on my recent three day trip. I just needed a little push. This is where Ashley from Hong Kong Food Crawlers comes into play…
A bit about Hong Kong Food Crawlers:
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Ashley is a major foodie who loves sharing her passion with everyone around her. After travelling for a while and living in the UK and Canada, she eventually missed the food culture of Hong Kong and returned to pursue her food touring business.
I say its a ‘tour’, but it really doesn’t feel like that at all; it’s more like hanging out with a friend, wandering the streets of a buzzing city and sampling the best food and drinks it has to offer (what’s not to love about that?!) Ashley isn’t all about the touristy chains (I learnt that when I told her I went to the most touristy Yum Cha of all), and strives to show her newfound friends little hidden gems that a tourist alone would not normal seek out. Her tours are done on foot, which allows you to wander at your own pace as she educates you of Hong Kong’s culture and cuisine from a local and authentic perspective.
The tastiest beef curry noodles!
I took the night tour in the Central area, just because that was where I was staying, but there are many kinds of tours on offer in all different areas of Hong Kong! Since the tour was private, Ashley was super flexible and I was able to meet her at a sweet little coffee shop not too far from my hotel. We set off straight away and came across an old Chinese medicine shop – it was interesting to say the least! Next we had a little wander while getting to know each other – Ashley is super easy to talk to, which I loved, and had so many interesting stories to tell about Hong Kong and her life!
Before making our way to the first food stop, we took a detour through rows of markets stalls. The potent smell of seafood and meat slowly enticed me over to the live sea critters and hanging slabs of red meat; quite different to what I’m used to, but interesting nonetheless. Tables upon tables of fresh produce, odd looking dried foods and baked goods assaulted all my senses as I quizzed Ashley on what some peculiar looking products were. She even purchased some Hong Kong style rice crispies for me, that I later had as a little midnight snack.
By now, looking at all the food was making us a little hungry, so we got in line at a little noodle place. Quickly, we were seated and thankfully had Ashley there to order some plain beef noodles and beef curry noodles, along with Yuenyueng, an iced coffee and tea concoction that was surprisingly tasty! We all chatted away between slurps of our brothy noodles. My mouth is salivating at the thought of them right now!
Now it was time to quench our thirst. I told Ashley I love beer and cider as she does too, so obviously couldn’t pass by one of her favourite little beer shops without having a drink! What appeared to be a tiny little store on the outside, shocked me when I stepped in to find the floor to ceiling covered in all kinds of craft beer and cider from all over the world. It was every Aussie’s heaven.
We explored the streets a little more as Ashley showed us some more cafes, restaurants and bars she recommended for our coming days in Hong Kong. I was ashamedly too full for dessert that night, but returned the next to an egg waffle shop in the area. Mum and I scoffed them down as though we hadn’t eaten in days, and wished we had ordered one each.
Just while we are on the subject of food in Hong Kong:
We also couldn’t leave Hong Kong without sampling some dumplings, of course. We heard about the famous Tim Ho Wan (a cheap Michelin starred chain restaurant) and had to see what all the fuss was about. After lining up for a while, we ordered an array of shrimp and pork dumplings that were delicious, though not much different to ones I’ve tried at home in Australia to be really honest. If there is one place I will tell you to avoid though, it is Yum Cha at Central. Firstly, let me say these places weren’t recommended by Ashley, and later she told me that they are tourist traps! The cute buns drew me in, but the price tag and rude waiters really ruined the dinner for us. The food was super average – I feel quite sick just thinking about those grainy (and cute) custard buns! Just. Stay. Away. Stick to what the locals recommend!
Delicious dumplings at Tim Ho Wan
They don’t taste as good as they look (Yum Cha at Central)
Why a food tour?
Sure, you could walk around the city yourself and sample the food alone. But, what really makes a food tour special is the fact that you have a local guide / friend to educate you and guide you around with ease and comfort. I loved the fact that Ashley could communicate with locals for me, while also reading menus and explaining exactly what ingredients were used in the local cuisine. By far, this tour was the highlight of my trip to Hong Kong and I would highly recommend a food tour to all kinds of travellers, from the most adventurous to the timid eaters. Even if you don’t need to push your tastebuds out of their comfort zone, you will learn a lot about the country you’re visiting through their food culture!
Book your tour with Ashley at Hong Kong Food Crawlers here on their website. Check out the various tours on offer and choose which one best suits you before filling out a booking form and receiving your price quote! Follow her on Instagram here to fulfil all of your foodie desires!
HAVE YOU DONE A FOOD TOUR BEFORE? WHAT WERE YOUR FAVOURITE FOODS IN HONG KONG?
I was welcomed as a guest of Hong Kong Food Crawlers, but as always, opinions are my own!