Eating Out in Hong Kong

Eating Out In Hong Kong

30230632.CRW_6849_RJaJumbo – Famous Floating Seafood Restaurant

Chinese are known for their culinary skills, and the dominant presence of Chinese restaurants in foreign lands reflects that. It is generally acceptable that Chinese food is tasty and most palatable. In Perth, for example, on a per capita basis there are more Chinese restaurants than anywhere else I know. Eating out in a Chinese restaurant on a Friday evening is a norm among the Aussies.

Perhaps, when you look at the life style in Hong Kong, where living space is a premium, and where people generally work right round the clock, then you begin to understand why Hongkies choose to eat out. The roaring trade of the restaurants here does not in any way indicate that the economy is down. People are still entertaining out or eating out with their families. Most families generally don’t have the luxury of proper dining room or kitchen facility adequately made for entertainment. Seldom you get an invitation from your Hong Kong friends to dine at their homes. Most meeting and entertainment whether social or otherwise are done outside the home.

Shopping in Ikea the other day provided an interesting experience, particularly in the café section. We were utterly surprised to see a great number of students doing their schoolwork there. Considering that the place, public though it is, probably provide a more conducive environment than the home for their studies. The management gladly permit them to linger on. Rightly and profitably too this crowd does form a sizeable clientele. Another venue popular with students is the many outlets of McDonalds and KFC. The availability of community libraries may be a solution for the students.

People are naturally gregarious and habitually gather together or congregate at “mahjong” tables or in the morning favour Dim Sim Houses for “Yum Cha”. Having lived for some twenty-six years in Perth where “Yum Cha” has taken on even with the Aussies, the atmosphere of such Dim Sim places is utterly different. Forget about the limit of noise pollution. In there all rules are broken. Don’t be annoyed that you can’t even hear your own self. Back in 1972 on our first visit to Hong Kong, we noticed that people literally had to queue by your table, waiting to pounce upon your vacating it. Today this may not be so, but people still queue outside with allotted numbers.

SSJhongkong3nttables.JPGSeafood Restaurant Serving Fresh Seafood

Our son and daughter-in-law took us to a rooftop restaurant in City One, Shatin, where full-suit attired male waiters serve on their diners. We had expected a quieter atmosphere, but not so even with all its grandeur. I guess Hongkies are generally loud people. Hong Kong must be the noisiest city in the world. Perhaps, if the floor is carpeted and the walls soundproof . . . but then the authenticity will be altered. All would seem so alien. The busy pressure of serving, the noise generated by the diners, and the impatient diners all contribute towards the “fun and joy” of dining out in Hong Kong. I guess this is one experience quite unlike anywhere in the world. But generally the food is good and the price . . . well, it depends where you dine or what you compare with.

For all its shortfalls, Hong Kong cooks are about the best there is in all China and possibly in the world. Whatever the outcome, people will continue to eat out! I guess this is one of the simple pleasures in life. With the famed roast goose and such seafood paradise as Lei Yue Mun and Sok Kwu Wan, sometimes I wonder whether we eat to live or live to eat!

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Paul Chong ©

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