Earlier this summer during the months of May and June, I was working and living in Hong Kong. I still have remaining a few entries I’d like to blog about, so please excuse the lateness!
Some of the inspirations for the restaurants I visited and foods I ate in Hong Kong came from CNNGo’s Top 40 list of foods we can’t live without in Hong Kong. Number 18 on this list was authentic Thai food in Kowloon City. Kowloon City has a cluster of restaurants and, as I read, a small Thai community.
Within the Kowloon City district is the historical Kowloon Walled City. Interestingly, when China leased additional parts of Hong Kong, including the New Territories, to Great Britain for 99 years, the agreement excluded the Walled City, which used to be a fort. Eventually due to lack of governance resulting in crime and poor sanitary conditions, the British government tore down the Walled City in the early ’90s. In its place is now the Kowloon Walled City Park. I only learned more about the Walled City after I visited — a bit counterintuitive, I know — and since I went there at night I didn’t see the park.
I invited my local friend to go to Kowloon City for company, and also because I didn’t know how to get there! Just kidding. Kowloon City is not accessible by subway so she found us a bus there. In fact, she told me she maybe had come here once or twice before, since she and her friends usually go to other places to eat. As such, it was a new food adventure for both of us.
We arrived and my friend checked OpenRice to see what was the top rated restaurant, which turned out to be Cambo Thai. When we arrived, the host told us that they were full, but then she said to go next door. Actually, there were a few Cambo restaurants all on the same street! That’s an interesting strategy of doing business.
We ordered green curry with beef as well as baked seafood in young coconut to share. Our order must have gotten mixed up, because we got green curry with chicken, but we didn’t bother switching. The green curry was flavourful and creamy from the coconut milk. To be honest, though, I was not too impressed with this dish. Although I am definitely not an expert in Thai cuisine, I thought the curry was too mild and should have been spicier.
The baked seafood rice in young coconut was creamy, delicious and fun to eat. The dish was a generous portion and came with a good ratio of seafood to rice. The rice was served in the coconut, which I had never tried before. It was similar to pineapple rice with the rice served in a pineapple. We were able to scrape up the young coconut flesh and eat it with the rice. This was my favourite part of the meal.
For dessert we shared black rice with mango and coconut milk. This was tasty and pleasant, but fairly standard.
On the whole, while I enjoyed the meal and chatting with my friend, I must admit I was a bit disappointed due to my high expectations from the CNNGo article and OpenRice. I thought the green curry was nothing to rave about. The coconut rice was a highlight, especially since young coconuts are rarer in Toronto. Well, at some point, I hope to try another Thai restaurant in Kowloon City and see the neighbourhood during the day.
On our walk around Kowloon City after dinner, I saw some cube and pyramid-shaped watermelon. This was neat to see in real life.
Cambo Thai is located at or around G/F, 15 Nga Tsin Long Road, Kowloon City, Hong Kong.