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!
I have been asked what people in Hong Kong eat for breakfast. I conducted some primary research by asking locals and seeing what restaurants offered. One breakfast that may be a bit different from a North American breakfast is soft pasta in chicken broth with ham. Don’t expect al dente in the slightest, and you may like it. My mom used to make it for me and my siblings when we were sick. Now I know where she got it from. Sometimes families will have dim sum for breakfast on the weekend. People also have noodles or congee. Eating more “lunch time” meals for breakfast is normal here. Others may just eat toast or cereal.
Here are a couple breakfasts I had dining in Hong Kong, which are more similar to North American breakfasts, but with a slight twist: porridge and a baked good: bo lo bao (pineapple bun), to be exact.
First up, we have Tsui Wah. Tsui Wah is a ubiquitous line of restaurants that began as a humble cha chaan teng. It is now a well-known restaurant for typical Hong Kong fare for all meals of the day. Over the summer, they even went through an IPO. I’ve heard some negative comments about Tsui Wah, but, to me, they serve standard and consistent food in an efficient manner.
Tsui Wah offers savoury dishes including curry rice and noodles. For breakfast, they have the pasta dish as I mentioned earlier, as well as a crispy bun with condensed milk. However, my mom highly recommended their porridge, so I tried that even though I would not associate porridge/oatmeal with Hong Kong.
This porridge is also called “double milk” porridge because it is made with two kinds of milk: evaporated and condensed milk. It came a huge bowl — I actually took some home to enjoy later. Was this oatmeal ever creamy, thanks to the milk. The condensed milk added a hint of sweetness. They also gave a small “shot” of condensed milk to pour on top. I think I might have to put some condensed milk in my oatmeal here for a little indulgence now and then. If you are looking for something plainer, but still delicious, try the porridge at Tsui Wah.
Milk tea, my staple.
There are many Tsui Wah branches in Hong Kong. I went to the one in Central, Wellington Shop, at G/F-2/F, 15-19 Wellington St., Central, Hong Kong.
Later on in my stay in Hong Kong, I went to Kam Fung Cafe (金鳳茶餐廳) in Wanchai, because I heard that it had (one of) the best bo lo bao in Hong Kong. I was game.
Kam Fung is a cha chaan teng with modest decor, like many other cha chaan tengs. It was still quite charming. I called in the morning to make sure they were open since it was a holiday Monday. Well, when I got there, the place was packed full of families, so I should have known better!
I got a bo lo yau which is a pineapple bun with a slice of butter (“yau“) about an eighth of an inch thick. I was really looking forward to this, so unfortunately, my bun was cold and slightly damp on the bottom. That ruined the rest of the eating experience. I did enjoy the denseness of the bun. The sweet topping was interesting since it had a tighter grain. It was a bit out there to eat that slab of butter, but this was actually one of my favourite (and a little guilt-ridden) parts. It added some contrast to just eating bun, as much as I like eating bo lo bau on its own. I wish I could have had a warm, fresh bun, but I suppose that’s timing. The chicken pies are also good here, apparently.
The milk tea got a solid grade: steeped long enough for a bold flavour.
Kam Fung is located at 41 Spring Garden Lane Wan Chai, Hong Kong.
Wanchai in the morning.