Best Food City in the World Nomination #1: Hong Kong

Ketchum has offices in 68 countries around the world and that provides our global network of food lovers with plenty of healthy, fun competition about which city has the best food, chefs, and home cooks. This week @ppetite challenged employees to a Culinary Face-Off explaining why their city deserves the honor of being called The World’s Best Food City. Today’s post comes from Thomas Kwan who makes a good case for Hong Kong. If you think that your city deserves the title, please send your post and photos to amy.kull@ketchum.com. Let the competition begin!

Hong Kong calls itself “Asia’s World City” for a good reason. It can be considered the capital for any type of cuisine you can imagine, from side street snack shops selling curry flavored fish balls, to Michelin 3-star restaurants serving the finest French cuisine. Of course, there are delicacies in between that locals and tourists should not miss. Here are some of my favorites:

There’s nothing more comforting than hot pot, an Asian dish that is sort of like fondue but made in a much larger vessel. It features a wide variety of soup bases and ingredients from which to choose, but beef is the essential hot pot ingredient. Head down to ChaosHotPoter and be sure to ask Ted to help you pair your beef slices with a nice bottle of red wine. Megan’s Kitchen also offers a range of beef cuts for your indulgence.

Photo courtesy: www.sassyhongkong.com

Photo courtesy: www.sassyhongkong.com

Try al fresco dining at “dai pai dong,” hawker stalls stirring up Cantonese dishes such as spicy crispy calamari, roast pigeons, and littleneck clams in black bean sauce. Dai pai dongs were once cafeterias for the Hong Kong working class, but are now scarce due to urban development. Chung Chung Food Shop and next door’s Tai Yuen still fires up the traditional Cantonese flavors that are loved by locals.

Photo courtesy: Apple Daily

Photo courtesy: Apple Daily

Enjoy a hearty breakfast, lunch, or afternoon tea at “cha chaan teng” spread across the city. Here is an example of the “cha chaan” set consisting of BBQ pork with macaroni, scrambled eggs, ham, and toast at Australia Dairy Company. Don’t get turned off by the long queue outside. It’s worth the wait!

Photo courtesy: www.ufood.com.hk

Photo courtesy: www.ufood.com.hk

For those who like to experiment in the kitchen, head down to a wet market near you for the freshest produce that comes in fresh every day. Anyone who cooks has their favorite wet market. For instance, movie star Chow Yun Fat likes to shop at the one in Kowloon City.  I prefer the one in Wan Chai, of which there could be a hundred street stalls spread across a few blocks, selling fresh meat, seafood, vegetables, dry goods, and everyday essentials.

Photo courtesy: http://www.114.com.hk/information/detail.jsp?id=a_71777

Photo courtesy: http://www.114.com.hk/information/detail.jsp?id=a_71777

And last but not least, there’s nothing like a fresh seafood meal right by the South China Sea. Diners get to pick and choose the exact fish, shrimp, crab, or clams and have them cooked to their exact preference at seafood restaurants in traditional fishing villages of Sai Kung, Lei Yue Mun and Lau Fau Shan.

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But what’s important is that all these are best done with a group of friends or family – the more people there are, the more variety of dishes you can try. After all, dining is the best way to bond with those who are dearest to you!