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02 February, 2024

[TRAVEL] 5D4N Hong Kong - Foodie Trip feat. Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2024

Greetings from Hong Kong! 

Hello Hong Kong, I am back! For the 5th time, I stepped foot onto The Pearl of the Orient (東方之珠) after my last birthday trip for Hong Kong Disneyland in 2018. Time flies! And this round I am back for a whole, different experience, in hope that I can relive some moments that I have been hearing about for the past 2 years. 

The main objective of this trip is to be part of the 74,000 runners in the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2024; and I am taking a baby step to run 10 km along the picturesque Island Eastern Corridor (東區走廊) under the 16°C chilly weather.
I am proud to have completed the run in 70 minutes time!

The morning sunrise view is just so beautiful that I wish I could capture more of these moments. I enjoy the process through and through, and am definitely looking forward to challenging myself for more overseas marathons moving forward!

P/S: Thanks for supporting and cheering for me throughout the process (especially with the live result feature) - it feels like you are actually running with me! 

While the run is the highlight of the trip, I am happy that I get to reignite those good ol' memories here and rediscover Hong Kong with a different lens :)

If you are first timer in Hong Kong, here are the few places that you ought to check out for the good food, photo-worthy landscape and great shopping experience: 

❤ Central (中環)
❤ Causeway Bay (銅鑼灣)
❤ Tai Hang (大坑) / Tin Hau (天后)
❤ Kennedy Town (堅尼地城)
❤ Wan Chai (灣仔)
❤ Sheung Wan (上環)
❤ Fortress Hill (炮台山)
❤ Tsim Sha Tsui area - Jordan (佐敦)

Must-do in Hong Kong: Hop onto the tram and explore the city!

The "Ding Ding", Hong Kong tramway is one of the essential icons of the city that gives me a lot of fond memories in the past two years. My initial plan is to join the TramOramic Tour that would allow me to experience the genuine Hong Kong, see the bustling streets and ultra-modern cityscapes on a 1920s-style open top tram. But luck is not on my side, as there are only few slots available for each day and pre-booking is required. 

Hopefully I can embark on this fascinating sightseeing tour next time!

Central (中環)
Tai Kwun (大館-古蹟及藝術館)

Hello to my current favourite spot in Central! Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts was once Hong Kong's prison, courthouse and police station. Now, it has found a new life as an art and culture spot, and the home to many bars and drinking holes. I am impressed with the series of exhibitions held here, showcasing the history of Victoria Prison from multiple perspectives and bringing us better insights on how does a prison life look like. 

Apart from that, I particularly love the architecture here - it features the stately Edwardian and Victorian-styled buildings and historic brickwork which make every corner here so photo-worthy. Wish I could take more photos here before the sky turns dark!
Dragonfly @ 大館 Tai Kwun

Inside the main chamber of Tai Kwun, we come across this Bohemian-style art nouveau cocktail bar which is highly raved by the netizens. We have a sip on the signature cocktails here: Utopia (Sichuan Baijiu, coconut rum, tequila, citric acid, sesame oil, oleo saccharum, peach vinegar and blue curacao) and Meng Po Martini (Osmanthus infused bourbon whiskey, red bean, soy milk, smoky Islay malt, honey dew melon, green apple and lemon)

The overall experience here is amazing, given the quality of cocktails served and the mystical ambiance that allows us to truly unwind and enjoy our conversations till late. 

雙拼燒鵝 & 叉燒 @ 一樂燒鵝 Yat Lok Restaurant, 中環

Central, being the central business district of the city, is never lacking of good food. And one of the Michelin-starred restaurants we manage to visit is Yat Lok which is famed for its roast goose. We are there at 5pm on a Saturday and the queue is quite bearable, but the goose drumstick is already sold out. 

The roast pork here is extra crispy while the BBQ pork is softer (with higher percentage of fatty meats) than expected. The goose, on the other hand, achieves a good balance of crispiness on the skin and juicy goodness in the meat, but I still think the goose drumstick would taste even better. 

Bar hopping @ 蘭桂坊 Lan Kwai Fong, 中環

After dinner, we are here for the high energy vibes on a Saturday evening, but unfortunately
there does not seem to have anything spectacular when it comes to cocktail making.

Causeway Bay (銅鑼灣)
Sourdough Egg Tart @ Bakehouse, 銅鑼灣

Causeway Bay is a shopping haven be it for fashion, tech or beauty stuff. But I come twice solely for Bakehouse, the home of my all-time favourite egg tarts. In the past, I always feel that it tastes so good even after being left overnight but now it is my first time having it fresh from the oven! Freshly baked every day, the egg tart features a crisp sourdough exterior and creamy egg custard on the inside. 

If you are a fan of egg tarts with a lovely twist, this is something to die for! The queue after office morning rush hour is pretty okay, and the grab-and-go coffee here is worth a try too.

Ichiran Ramen (一蘭)
Just a quick Japanese fix for the week!

Tai Hang (大坑) / Tin Hau (天后)
Spot the beautiful architecture in the lovely neighbourhood of Tai Hang!

Located at the southeast area of Causeway Bay, Tai Hang feels like a special place in my heart - a place where I, again, have fond memories of. Taking a short stroll here from Victoria Park is soul-soothing as it is a pleasantly breezy walk with plenty of beautiful sights along the way. 

One of them is the famous Lin Fa Kung Temple (大坑蓮花宮), which is a uniquely designed, small round shaped temple built in 1863. I have said my prayer here and I hope the God would be able to hear me...

滑蛋叉燒飯 + 滑蛋蝦仁飯 @ 順興茶餐廳 Shun Hing Restaurant, 大坑

Another personal favourite of mine throughout this trip is the BBQ Pork Scrambled Egg Rice from Shun Hing Restaurant in Tai Hang. Served piping hot, the egg is ultra fluffy and complements well with the sliced barbecued pork, especially with an added drizzle of soy sauce onto it. In case if you are wondering, the prawn version is an utter disappointment. 

Although 滑蛋叉 is a classic comfort food widely available in most of the Hong Kong char chaan teng, the one in Shun Hing is definitely one of the better options in town. 

Winstons Coffee @ 大坑 Tai Hang

Right opposite Shun Hing, Winstons Coffee serves probably one of the best flat whites in town. The Aussie-style neighbourhood coffee shop and cocktail bar is a great place to spend a quiet afternoon on a weekday (but it usually gets super busy during weekends). 

豬扒麵 + 双拼三文治 + 奶茶 @ 炳記茶檔 Bing Kee Cha Dong, 大坑

Bing Kee is known for its rich and thick milk tea, which I concur in terms of taste and consistency. As for the char chaan teng-styled food selections here, it is just mediocre. Perhaps it is worth popping by only for the milk tea if you are in the vicinity of Tai Hang. 
Kennedy Town (堅尼地城)
% ΔRΔBICΔ @ Kennedy Town

My favourite thing to do in Kennedy Town is going for a relaxing stroll along the scenic sea view street, or sitting at a quiet corner of the two-storey % Arabica while enjoying the panoramic view of the sea. Unfortunately the 8°C weather during our January visit is too freezing for a seaside stroll, but I am so looking forward to doing that in the next visit. 

As the cafe is located only a stone's throw away from the terminal station of the Hong Kong tram, we grab this opportunity to take a scenic ride back to Central area after our coffee fix. Perfect timing for the dazzling evening view!

Wan Chai (灣仔)
Lee Tung Avenue (利東街)

I don't remember doing much in Wan Chai but the Lee Tung Avenue is definitely worth visiting for its a 200-metre long pedestrian walkway flanked by high-end retail and F&B establishments including my Tokyo's favourite Tempura-Tendon restaurant, Kaneko Hannosuke. Don't miss out the festive decors there during Chinese New Year season as well! 

龍點心 Lung Dim Sum @ 灣仔

Can't believe this is the only dim sum meal I have throughout this 5D4N trip. This dim sum place is well known for its creative dim sum range, amidst a funky vibrant atmosphere. With the modern colorful aesthetics and fresh, well-portioned dim sum selections, it offers an overall pleasant dining experience. 

Verdict: Not the most spectacular or cheapest dim sum in town, but definitely worth a try for the creativity.

Sheung Wan (上環)
日本菠菜蟹柳豚肉腸忌廉湯意粉 & 香脆奶油豬仔包 @ 諸勝堂 Katsudo, 上環

We are here for breakfast in Sheung Wan on one of the coldest mornings in Hong Kong (it's only 7°C!). Katsudo is a pretty interesting Japanese-Hongkie styled char chaan teng, offering a wide variety of char chaan teng staples. The most popular item on the menu is no doubt the Crispy Bun with Condensed Milk, which is done right with a generous amount of butter and condensed milk. The "soup pasta" is pretty creative too - worth a try! 

If it is not because of the heavy drizzles, I'd probably spend a couple of hours exploring the bustling, colorful, and extremely fragrant street market along the famed Des Voeux Road West, especially to check out the scene of over 200 stores filled to the brim with dried seafood.

Fortress Hill (炮台山)
鹹肉叉燒炒蛋三文治 & 煙蔥芝士炒蛋三文治 + 奶茶 @ 半島冰室 Angus Cafe, 炮台山

Tucked at the corner of a quiet row of shoplots in Fortress Hill, Angus Cafe is one of the recommended breakfast spots in this area and we queue for 10 minutes on a weekday morning before being seated.

Our favourite here is the scrambled egg with bacon, scallion and cheese sandwich - so thick and fluffy. Not forgetting to mention the old-school cup of Milk Tea and Yuen Yeung that makes it a perfect meal to kickstart the day.

Tsim Sha Tsui (尖沙咀) - Harbour City (海港城)
Latte @ Cupping Room Coffee Roasters, Harbour City

At the other side of the Hong Kong island, Kowloon's Tsim Sha Tsui is the home to the largest and most diverse shopping mall in Hong Kong - Harbour City. And we are here to check out the sea-facing Cupping Room, which is constantly flocked with huge crowd as it is one of the most Instagram-worthy cafes in town lately.

This seaside cafe features a cruise-inspired design scheme that appeals to wanderlust and shutterbugs, but coffee enthusiasts may be disappointed as the coffee here has nothing to shout about. 

溏心蛋卤肉饭 @ Check-In Taipei, Harbour City

Tsim Sha Tsui (尖沙咀) - Victoria Harbour (維多利亞港)
Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront - "A Symphony of Lights" night show

The must-do activity for first timer is to watch the light show along with Victoria Harbour (維多利亞港) / Avenue of Stars (星光大道) while enjoying the breezy sea breeze in the vibrant evening. I have been here several times and still enjoy the calming atmosphere here :) 

Hong Kong Cultural Centre (香港文化中心)

I remember taking a photo here in 2018, and now I am back here again for some photos! This place definitely reignites the good ol' memories here :) 

Jordan (佐敦)
核桃露雙拼芝麻糊 @ 佳佳甜品 Kai Kai Dessert, 佐敦

Our evening food hunt in Jordan brings us to this 50-year-old Michelin-listed Kai Kai Dessert, which is known for the traditional Hong Kong style desserts such as tong yuen, sesame soup, tofu pudding, etc. I am impressed by the creamy smooth Sweet Walnut Soup here; so tummy comforting especially under the cold weather at 10°C.

香濃燉奶 @ 澳洲牛奶公司 Australia Dairy Co., 佐敦

Another all-time favourite of mine is the steamed milk pudding with egg white in Australia Dairy Co. It is so silky smooth especially when served warm, although a tad sweet for my liking. 

Temple Street

Temple Street has always been a popular street located between Jordan and Yau Ma Tei sections of Kowloon. With the newly revamped layout since December 2023, the night market vibe here is full-on! Remember to enjoy the local delicacies such as dim sum, beef offal stew, curry fish balls, imitation shark’s fin soup and fried snack here! 

No Hong Kong trip is complete without shopping for the local delicacies! Kee Wah's almond crisps (奇華 杏仁條) and Jenny's butter cookies are my all-time favourites here. Don't mind buying more of them home to be shared with the loved ones! 

Thank you, Hong Kong 

All in all, this Hong Kong '2024 trip marks a new beginning, a fresh reset from the past. Thank you for the great experience and I am so looking forward to coming back Hong Kong again or participating in another marathon here! 

20.01.2024 - 24.01.2024

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