Foodies Tour of Hong Kong New Territories – Tai Po and Yuen Long26 October, 2015
Besides sightseeing in the New Territories, we also took the opportunity during our private tour with myhktour.com to do a mini foodie trip of the best places to eat around the New Territories, specifically Tai Po and Yuen Long.
After making our wishes at the Lam Tseun wishing tree, we drove to Tai Po for our lunch at Yat Lok BBQ Restaurant – known for its Roasted Goose dish. It also came with the endorsement of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain. This restaurant is highly rated for one of the best roast goose dish in Hong Kong with its crispy skin and tender meat. However, one of our wishes we made at Lam Tseun wishing tree wasn’t to eat Yat Lok roasted goose so when we arrived at the restaurant at 11am (its supposed opening time), it was still closed. It was only later then we realised that although the Yat Lok BBQ restaurant is supposed to open at 11am, you may have to wait until 12.30pm for the doors to open. The picture below is what the exterior of the Yat Lok BBQ restaurant at Tai Po looks like when it is opened. There is another Yat Lok BBQ restaurant branch at Central and is opened by the Tai Po branch owner’s (Chu Kin-wah) brother.
一樂燒臘飯店 Yat Lok Barbeque Restaurant
Block A, Po Wah Building
5 Tai Ming Lane
tel: +852 2656 4732
Thankfully, our myhktour.com guide, Ronald was able to make quick suggestions of what else to eat around the Tai Po market area – we decided to eat where the locals eat – at their equivalent of our Singapore’s food court/kopitiam. If you are making your way there, take the lift up from the Tai Po complex – not the escalators of Tai Po Market and Food Centre. You see the entrance below, take the lifts on your right as you enter. The lifts on your left have very long queues because they lead to the Tai Po complex offices and Tai Po library.
The Tai Po food court is very crowded but there will be some empty tables here and there along the aisles. I am not sure if tissue paper choping works here. For certain tables, you will see the menu or small signages indicating the stalls these tables “belong to” so while you can still order food from other stalls to eat at the table, you are still require to order food from the “sponsoring” stall if you eat at their table. So in a sense, they have “choped” the table for you if you are intending to eat food from that stall.
The food here is very affordable – for the butter thick toast you see in the picture below, it cost HK$10 (less than S$2) – this is usually sold at S$4 to S$5 in Singapore “Hong Kong cafes” and this toast tasted really good!
The Har gow (shrimp dumplings) you see in the picture below cost HK$10 for 4 (less than S$2 for 4) and the liu sha pao (custard bun) cost HK$9 for 3. Very affordable lunch so if you are on a budget travelling in Hong Kong, you might want to check out their food court. Not sure if these food courts are only available in the suburbs like Tai Po.
Next for tea – after visiting Kat Hing Wai Walled Village, we stopped by Yuen Long – known for its many good food – one of which is the Ho To Tai Noodle Shop 好到底麵家. The Chinese translation of the shop name means “very good noodles” so it has to live up to its reputation – it is also a one star Michelin starred restaurant. This 60-year-old Yuen Long institution is one of the world’s cheapest Michelin restaurants.
Ho To Tai is best known for the fresh Cantonese egg noodles and shrimp roe noodles. I personally prefer the dry version of the wanton noodles. The soup taste just as good too.
Ho To Tai Noodle Shop 好到底麵家
No.67, Fau Tsoi St, Yuen Long; tel +852 2476 2495
When you are in Yuen Long, you should get Lao Po Biscuit 老婆餅 or Wife Cake – there are 2 biggest Lao Po Biscuit shops in Yuen Long – Wing Wah Cake Shop and Hang Heung Cake Shop 恒香老餅家. We bought both brands to try and my favorite is the 老婆餅 from Hang Heung Cake Shop 恒香老餅家.
Hang Heung Cake Shop 恆香老餅家
Hang Heung Lao Po Biscuit 老婆餅 is the traditional wife biscuit with winter melon paste. The entire pastry is very soft and the filling sweet. There is a slight “chao da” burnt taste to the soft crust and that makes the 老婆餅 from 恆香老餅家 very unique tasting compared to the rest of Lao Po Biscuit from other shops.
The Lao Po biscuit does not come in individual packaging and rough handling can cause the 老婆餅 to disintegrate, at least the soft crusts. The expiry date of the 老婆餅 is typically 10 days after purchase so if you are planning to buy a lot home, time your purchase of the 老婆餅 to the last day of your trip for maximum freshness. Each box cost about HK$55
The Yuen Long Hang Heung Cake Shop 恒香老餅家 shop is at 64 Castle Peak Road, Yuen Long; tel: +852 2479 2141 but you can find their shops everywhere in Hong Kong e.g.
Causeway Bay, Sogo Department Store, Basement 2
10am-10pm , Causeway bay MTR Exit D3
579 Nathan Road, Shop 1, Mongkok, Kowloon
10am-930pm, Mongkok MTR Exit A1
Tsim Sha Tsui, Sogo Department Store, Basement 2
10am -10pm, East Tsim Sha Tsui Exit J
Wing Wah Cake Shop 榮華餅家
Just a few steps away from Yuen Long Hang Heung Cake Shop 恒香老餅家 shop, you will find Wing Wah Cake Shop. The taste of Wing Wah Wife Cake is so-so only compared to Hang Heung but what they lack in taste, they make up for it in variety – you will all kinds of “pattern” of wife cake with Wing Wah – mini wife cake, wife cake with different fillings and even husband cakes! They also sell a lot of different types of food in their store e.g. lup cheong, Hong Kong snacks (Wing Wah brand ones).
Their wife biscuits are individually packaged so unlike Hang Heung wife cakes, they are better preserved in terms of looks even with rough handling but taste-wise, Hang Heung wins hands-down.
So that’s the quick food trail we did with myhktour during our private tour of the New Territories. Ronald – the boss of myhktour.com was mindful of our needs and had arranged for a comfortable 7-seater to bring our family around (4 adults and a baby). He charges HK$2500 (about S$460) for a 9-hour private tour (with a 7-seater vehicle) of Hong Kong (toll fees, parking fees, petrol are all included in the HK$2500 rate). You pay for your own food and entrance tickets to any attractions. This is a per vehicle rate for up to 7 persons (although you will find the vehicle very cramped if you fit 7 average-sized persons in it) – even if you have just 4 persons like my group, I thought the rate was quite reasonable (at about S$100 per person) to have a vehicle to yourself to check out various sights in Hong Kong.
The overall experience with myhktour.com and Ronald was a great one – there was no shopping stops. We just drove wherever we want to go and if we want to, we can actually visit a lot more sites in a day but we chose to take it easy. Thus, if you are travelling with a baby or have elderly in your group and yet want to travel around Hong Kong conveniently at an affordable price, myhktour.com is a good choice. They even do tours to Macau and Shenzhen too.
Ronald has also launched a new website – sohongkong.com that details the best thing to do, see and eat in Hong Kong. I find the site quite useful for trip planning – very detailed reviews and addresses of the places to check out.
Like this dedicated Hong Kong food page, you get an overview of what you can eat in Hong Kong with lots of pictures to help you navigate. However, you will need quite a good understanding of Mandarin to read the reviews and gather the necessary info for your trip planning. Even if you understand Mandarin, you will need to understand the traditional Chinese writing script – we are all taught in simplified Chinese so navigating the sohongkong.com site might be challenging for some of us.
But if this language barrier isn’t a barrier for you, then check out sohongkong.com to plan your next trip!