My first trip to Hong Kong, where do I begin! Do I start with how much I think it’s like a hybrid of Malaysia with the humidity and the slightly dodgy looking coffee shops with tables laden with food? Mixed with the neon signs and frantic-ness of Japan and the incredible efficiency and cleanliness of their transport system, I just had such an incredible time that I was already wishing we didn’t have to leave on Day 1!
This is purely for my failing memory to remember in a few years time but we stayed at Travelodge Express in Central which was the cheapest of the hotels in the area and super close to Sheung Wan MTR (which is 1 stop away from Central station) because I didn’t want to risk not finding our Airbnb on our very first visit to the city and yes it’s kinda small but we would leave early each day and return late at night so it’s not like we needed that much space anyways.
I thought it was great- clean, good air con, powerful enough shower and they provided a smartphone that we could use for the duration of our stay which was so helpful when we needed to use google maps! We had purchased a sim that we originally were going to hotspot on our spare phone and tether but having the second phone was so helpful and saved our data and battery.
With so much food to try and so little time and stomach space, I was determined to hit all the original must eats followed by what the internet said was better. I’m gonna split up my posts into bite sized food group posts starting with egg tarts! I tried 2 each of the 3 types available- shortcrust, puff and Portuguese style.
I’ve never been a fan of shortcrust pastry egg tarts, always finding the pastry shell to be too dry, doughy or conveyor belt cardboard tasting but Hong Kong’s tarts have changed me! Tai Cheong Bakery is well known for their shortcrust tarts and they have a few locations, one which was conveniently a few blocks from our hotel so we managed to stop by a fair few times for snacks. Here, the shells were buttery and so very crisp, in danger of shattering and tumbling to the ground. The filling was incredibly silky and perfectly set with a delightful glean.
Queen Sophie (26號 Hau Wong Rd, Kowloon City, Hong Kong) had been hyped up on Instagram and we happened to stumble upon the small store while wandering the streets. I loved the tiny store and the presentation of the tart on the monogrammed plate, the tart was perfectly buttery and flakey however I did find the filling a touch too sweet for my liking.
Onto the puff pastry egg tarts! Honolulu Coffee Shop (176-178 Hennessy Rd, Wan Chai) was conveniently situated outside a bus stop so commuters could easily pick up a treat or two from the takeaway kiosk in front of the cafe. We stood huddled in a doorway while I scarfed down the warm, fresh from the oven tart, not caring about the flaky pastry crumbs showering down my top. The pastry was oh so buttery and light and the custard jiggly and barely set, it was perfection.
I ended up buying a whole bunch of egg tarts to eat on the way to Yik Cheong Building in Quarry Bay. I initially hadn’t wanted to visit knowing there’d be so many tourists but I’m glad we went just to ogle at the sheer number of apartments packed in this area.
I’ll be doing a separate post on Hong Kong’s cha chaan teng’s, a type of restaurants that smooshes Hong Kong cuisine with Western cuisine but I wanted to mention how amazing the egg tarts at Kam Fung Cafe (41 Spring Garden Ln, Wan Chai) are! Especially as they get freshly baked every hour and are displayed in the front windows, still piping hot in the metal trolleys. The custard has a barely set wobble and is so incredibly smooth, the pastry is buttery and flakey and it’s only HKD6/AUD$1.10!
We did a day trip to Macao, taking the Turbojet ferry from Hong Kong. The trip takes around an hour and make sure you arrive at the terminal door early because you’ll be given a teensy tiny sticker which claims your seat. Surprisingly the ferry was incredibly clean, quiet and had free wifi! The trip back however we hit massive turbulence and Noods almost hurled lol
Margaret’s (Edif. Kam Loi, Nam Van Area) is considered the gold standard for Portuguese tarts in Macao and it’s super close to the ferry depot. I’d originally only bought one to share but one bite and I immediately queued up again to buy more. It was incredible, the layers of pastry were crisp but light and the burnished custard was firm, smooth and just the perfect balance of sweetness with a touch of cinnamon. I must say these Portuguese tarts blew my mind, I was in such a grumpy mood that day, it was stinking hot and the people in Macao are generally more brusque and pushy andddd I just didn’t want to be there haha but luckily these brought a smile to my dial!
We walked back to the ferry depot to catch a free bus shuttle to the main strip of casinos. Lord Stowe’s had several locations in Macao but we visited the one inside The Venetian casino to escape the oppressive heat. We’re not really gamblers, I mean we like the occasional scratchie or bets on a footy game or race but the tables were too crowded with tourists screaming and there’s no point giving any money to the one armed bandits but it was nice to walk around and marvel at the calming ‘sky’ and the gondolas floating down the canals.
For some reason there is a tiny Lord Stowe’s kiosk literally 10m away from a bigger Lord Stowe’s complete with proper seating. A tart was procured and I have to say that I favoured the incredibly smooth custardy filling at Lord Stowe’s more but the pastry at Margaret’s. Both were great specimens and I would happily eat them again.