It had been many years since I was last in Hong Kong, 20, to be precise, and although I love the hustle and bustle, not sure if I could live here, just too many people. Over 7 million, almost twice as many who live in the whole of New Zealand.
Himself and I were here as part of our Far East trip, using it more or less as a base, to go to Mission Hills, China, ( for golf) and then onto Vietnam and Cambodia and used the hotel as storage for golf clubs. Our dining experience, hotel wise ( it was close to the airport, as lugging golf clubs around was something to be avoided) was pretty much a disaster, under cooked chicken as well as an interminable wait for it. But Hey Ho, in Hong Kong one is truly spoilt for choice and as such we only ventured into the hotel restaurant once, and that was only because we were a bit late to eat elsewhere. It seems that Hong Kongers eat early !
So the hotel options should be quickly forgotten as the rest was excellent.
There is in Hong Kong a Branch of Din Tai Fung. Din Tai Fung, is to be found in London, New York, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, Malaysia and China and of course the original , Taiwan ( Taipei). The company was founded as a cooking oil company in 1958, but diversified in 1972 as a dumpling and noodle restaurant, and today the Hong Kong branch, which is basically a cafeteria has a Michelin Star.
I think we went to the Taipei version back in 1995, but can’t be sure, but I have now been to the Hong Kong branch twice, and this the second visit with himself and was not disappointed. ( I did warn him, that I was taking him to a Michelin Starred cafeteria, he was dubious!) However, I have to try the London branch which is to be found in Covent Garden. Both Giles Coren and Tom Parker Bowles (renowned food critics) are both smitten.
Unfortunately, there are no reservations, so be prepared to queue, or they will give you a queueing time update if you give them a call. But I can assure you the wait is worthwhile.
For our Hong Kong visit, we did not have to wait, as we were early, having a pre late night , 12 hour flight dinner. Just as on my previous visit, we walked past the kitchen where all were gainfully employed and in harmony. There did not seem to be any shouting or histrionics ( à la Gordon Ramsey).
We were seated quickly and given a table number and a menu. We then had to give the waitress our order, which was also in number form, rather than saying the name of the dish, and with that she disappeared before re-appearing with a pot of Chinese tea.
There is no order to how and when the food arrives, as it is all cooked to order, and it depends on the preparation/cooking time as to when it is served.
- Beans with Pork
- Spicy Peppered Pork
- Saucy Noodles with peanut sauce, Taiwan Style
- Dumplings with Beans and Pork
- Dumplings with Shrimps
So all that remains is for me to head on down to China town, ( or to Hoo Hing at Hanger Lane, West London) to buy supplies or maybe even better go to Covent Garden and try out the London version of this Iconic restaurant chain!!