I visited Hong Kong for the second time in Autumn of 2016. People who know me well know that I’m a hopeless noodle addict, and I’d probably choose a noodle soup over any other meal. Imagine then how excited I was at the thought of trying all the possibilities in Hong Kong, not only the indigenous noodle dishes but all those from other Asian cuisines as well.
Below are a few of my favourites. You can find them on this Google map.
Probably the most famous and commonly available Chinese noodle soup is Beef Noodle Soup. In Hong Kong some restaurants distinguish between Beef Noodles (牛肉麵) which are made with slices of beef or beef shank, and Beef Brisket Noodles (牛腩麵) which contains only brisket. I’m all about the brisket.
Muscle Man Noodle Shop (Elementary A), G/F, 104 Hak Po Street, Mongkok
A great noodle shop near the Royal Plaza Hotel. The guy who owns it is obviously a bit of a character! There are lots of pics of him with various celebrities on the walls.
Anthony Bourdain came here for one of his shows and loved the Beef Brisket Noodles. I agree, they’re great (A). I need to come back to try the wontons.
Kau Kee (Elementary A), G/F, 21 Gough Street, Sheung Wan
This is probably the most famous place for Beef Brisket Noodles in Hong Kong. I read about it in ‘Where Chef’s Eat’ and ‘1001 Restaurants You Must Experience Before You Die’.
It’s opposite this funny little place on the steps. Next to it you’ll see the permanent queue along the street. I went after the lunch time peak and waited about twenty minutes.
It was definitely worth the wait . The brisket might look tough but it’s been stewed for hours till it’s really tender. Great flavours (A). They have a curry flavour option as well which would be interesting to try.
The next local bowl to try is Wonton Noodle Soup. In Cantonese cuisine wontons are filled with minced pork and shrimp and served with noodles in a soup typically made from boiled shrimp shells, pork bones and dried flounder.
Here are two of the most famous places…
Mak An Kee, also known as Mak’s Noodle (Elementary A), 19 Lock Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui
Mak’s are probably the most famous purveyors of wontons in Hong Kong. They are a small chain with many imitators due to feuds in the family. I went to their Jordan branch for a late morning snack and was seated pretty much straight away.
I had the wonton noodle soup which was sublime (A+). Their unique wontons contain half a shrimp tail in a paste of egg and powdered dai di (flounder), while the broth is made from dried shrimp, flounder and pork bone. The only downside is the portions are tiny and more expensive than elsewhere, but then they are the best.
These guys are pretty good at wontons too though…
Ho Hung Kee (Intermediate A), 12F, Hysan Place, 500 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay m.facebook.com
Another famous wonton institution, with a Michelin star, on the top floor of a shopping centre. I had the good fortune to be working nearby so I came for lunch a couple of times. It’s so busy they have a greeter on the front door issuing tickets. Fortunately as a solitary diner I got in fairly quickly.
Shrimp wontons, the house special, come in two ways; in a soup…
… or dry, in this case with some bok choi and hoisin dipping sauce. I tried both over two visits and they are excellent (A). There’s lots of other good looking stuff on the menu.
While beef brisket and wonton soups are wonderful, my first noodle love is still Japanese Ramen, which is widely available in cosmopolitan Hong Kong…
Yokozuna Japanese Noodle Shop (Elementary A), G/F, Yun Kai Bldg, 466-472 Nathan Rd, Yau Ma Tei yokozuna.com.hk
A local ramen institution, since 1987. They are named after a famous sumo wrestler which is making quite a statement. Time Out would have you try their Yokohama curry ramen, with tomato, bacon and parmesan cheese but I’m a stickler for tradition and went with their Kyushu Ramen, a classic style made with Tonkotsu pork bone broth. And a rack of gyoza on the side. So, so good (A).
Ippei-an Ramen (Elementary B+), 132 Nathan Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, www.ippeian.com
A small citywide ramen chain that began in 1984. They too are famous for their Tonkotsu soup which is my favourite style. I had the classic Soya Sauce Ramen which was great (A).
So top marks all round! Hong Kong is heaven for noodle lovers.