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The residents of Hong Kong are crazy about food. You can visit one the 11,000 restaurants in this metropolis at any time of the day. Hong Kong is also a mecca for all types of snacks, from Portuguese egg tarts to Chinese chive rolls and smelly durian sorbets.
The cuisine of Hong Kong reflects influences from every part of the world and the snacks are no exception. Many of the bakeries specialise in just a few delicacies, and Hong Kongers don’t mind making a detour to get their cakes just so. People would gladly travel to the border with Guangzhou to get the perfect ‘wife cake’, as this is where this pastry was invented. Fortunately, you don’t have to go that far as there are distinctive snacks to be had at every turn in Hong Kong.
There is an abundance of baked goods in Hong Kong. The Portuguese introduced their egg tarts to the Far East via Macao, and these tarts have a crispy edge and soft custard filling. Tai Cheon Bakery in Hong Kong now makes hundreds of these delicious cakes every day, which are best when still hot. The bakery is very famous – the last British governor is said to have been a frequent guest. There’s usually a queue outside which is always a good sign.
There are also plenty of wife cakes baked nearby. This typical Cantonese snack is filled with almond paste and winter melon. 5 spices are added to the dough and to surprise the taste buds the buns are sprinkled with sesame seeds. Then there are the famous pineapple buns, which don’t have any fruit in them – the crust of these pastries resembles a pineapple, hence the name. The taste is divine, partly thanks to the combination of two types of dough.
From complex layered cakes to simple candy – the people of Hong Kong can’t get enough of sweets. A popular snack is sugar cane juice which is available in various cafés. This sugary drink is manufactured in old-fashioned mills from cane stalks. According to the Chinese, cane juice is tastiest after a spicy meal. A highly recommended place for sweet desserts is Hui Lau Shan. What started as a herbal shop outside the city centre has become an empire with 52 branches. The menu comprises plenty of desserts and you’ll find sweet mango in everything from ice cream to pudding.
More fruit can be found at Lucky Dessert, which also has multiple establishments. They use durian in their gelatine, a fruit with a terrible smell but heavenly taste. And speaking of gelatine: Kei Kee Dessert builds the largest desserts with it. Huge cups are filled with gelatine cubes, mixed fruit and condensed milk. The portions are so big that you might want to skip dinner altogether before coming here.