Bourdain-inspired Hong Kong food tour: After dark food crawl
Hong Kong has got to be one of the best foodie cities in the world! You can get any cuisine you can think of and probably eat somewhere new every day of your life. There are hawker-style centers and there are SEVEN Michelin 3-Star restaurants. Can you think of anywhere better to take a food tour?
No. Seriously, that answer is no. You absolutely, positively, must take a Hong Kong food tour.
We found the wonderful Ashely of Hong Kong Food Crawlers while watching a special episode of The Travel Man. It’s a British TV show, and yes, we’re obsessed. Shocked? No, you probably aren’t!
You know we like to share food tours from all over the world, and even different neighborhoods, because we truly feel that they give you a huge return of investment on your time. There’s so much to see and do, but there’s also so much culture and food to experience, especially in Hong Kong. Big thanks to Ashley for giving us complimentary spots on her tour so we could share it all with you.
This article continues after the video.
Why take this Bourdain-inspired Hong Kong food tour?
Ashley, the owner of this food tour in Hong Kong is not only an avid fan of the late Anthony Bourdain’s tv shows, but she loves his philosophy on why he did what he did and what he wanted people to experience. It’s about the culture, the authenticity, the people behind the food…the people behind the city.
Hong Kong is more than meets the eye. It’s quite the melting pot of people from all over the world. In this tour, Ashley focuses on the various Asian influences, and not just the Chinese ones. Since Ashley is a local, she gives us insight on the foods she eats in Hong Kong and introduces us to some people along the way who love what they are creating and some have been doing it for ages! I really think this is the kind of thing Anthony Bourdain would love.
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After Dark Food Tour in Hong Kong
You’ll find a couple of different tours on the Hong Kong Food Crawlers website, but the After Dark Food tour seemed super interesting to us, though, so did the others! Sorry, but who wouldn’t be interested in a Hidden Bar Crawl? I guess the real reason we went on this one was that it fit into our schedule. But, I’ll make you a deal, if we go back to Hong Kong, we’ll take the Hidden Bar Crawl one because I know you are just dying to know what that’s like! (I know I am!)
To get started, we met the group at a metro station in Sai Wan Ho and took a little walk to our first stop. It was a Cooked Food Centre and traditionally this is where locals go to buy their groceries. The grocery stores are incredibly expensive in Hong Kong! There’s usually a food on the top floor and you can even buy fish on the bottom level, take it to the top, and have it prepared in a restaurant for you (for a small fee). I feel like that’s the more neighborhood-y things you could ever do…next to asking a neighbor for a cup of sugar.
Now, let’s get into the foodie part of this food tour and I’ll let you know what we got to sink our teeth into. Keep in mind, your tour may be slightly different depending on what’s open!
We had our first stop at a cart that offered a bunch of different foods, but we got a Taiwanese-style pancake filled with pork floss, kimchi, and seaweed. Because Sean and I were sharing and I’m a wimp when it comes to spice, we got it not spicy. Just know that you can request it spicy or not spicy here.
The guide will then fill you in on the mix of cultures between Hong Kong and Taiwanese so you understand a bit more why you’ll find Taiwanese food in Hong Kong.
Meats and tofu with rice
When I think of this part of the world, I tend to think of different meats and rice. This stop made me oh-so-happy. I don’t have a lot of words for this except YUM!
The part that made me a little nervous was the tofu. I’ve rarely eaten tofu (and sometimes it’s been by accident) so I wasn’t excited about this. However, as I always say, you should try it all! And try it, I did. It’s mostly a texture thing, if you can get past that, you’re fine. All the flavors on the plate were awesome, and you really can’t go wrong!
This was our first time sitting as a group. It was nice to use this time to learn about the food center, the food itself, and about each other. I truly believe that part of the tour is meeting new people and getting to know them throughout the tour. I’m glad Ashley saw the value in this as well
I have a love (borderline obsession) for bubble waffles aka egg waffles. Yes, it probably has to do with the shape and how fun they are to eat. But it’s also a delicious treat because the batter is perfection. However, on this food tour, I feel like we got extra spoiled because we got a regular (to me) waffle with peanuts and peanut butter on top, too. It was epic! The crisp of the waffle, with fluffy inside, and the peanut flavor combined to make a new treat.
…but we also got a bubble waffle 😀 SCORE!
Again, other Asian influences are at play here in Hong Kong. This time, it’s the love for the matcha in desserts. We could order anything from the menu, which was really nice! There were many ways to get your matcha fix and we went with matcha and vanilla swirl soft-serve ice cream with mochi and red beans on the side. Mochi are little gooey rice cakes. They add a fun texture to the ice cream and I’ve really started to enjoy the addition of red beans to desserts while in Hong Kong. Some things may surprise you!
Proper Cantonese dinner
We got a table in a very popular and busy traditional restaurant and I knew this was where “it” was going to happen. This tour isn’t about making you try a bunch of foods that might be super weird to you, but it is about going out of your comfort zone a little bit.
Served family-style, we started with a clear bone broth soup that is supposed to be very good for you. It was warm and soothing — exactly what you want from a soup like that. Then we were served a couple of difference Catonese meat dishes. My favorites were the chicken with the zesty sauce and the BBQ pork. Oh my goodness…I could eat those every day!
Then “it” happened. I needed to try the snake soup. It’s made from 5 different snakes and supposedly has the texture of chicken. Sean tried it first (gotta love him!) and said it tasted a bit like chicken noodle soup. I’m very glad I tried it because it really did remind me of chicken noodle soup. I had a couple of bites, actually. You have to get it the idea of “snake” past your brain because being pleasantly surprised if one of my favorite things about food tours. It might look and sound weird, but it might just be the tastiest things you’ve ever had!
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Final thoughts of the After Dark Food Crawl
I loved the variety and the truly local feel of the places we went to. It was obvious we were with a local and someone as passionate about the food and she was about the city and her neighborhoods. That’s just something you don’t get on every tour, you know? You can’t fake passion!
The combination of having foods I knew I would enjoy and new things to try is a bit of a bonus for me. Granted, I had been to Hong Kong before, so I’ve had some of the flavors already. But, even I had a bunch of new things to try! Oh, y’all, this was yum-ville. I hope you consider taking a food tour like this (or get to take the Hidden Bar Crawl before I get back!). If you do, reach out and let me know. We love knowing when you love what we are sharing with you.
Wishing you joy and travels!