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Foods in Sham Shui Po

Dining choices in Sham Shui Po are one of the hidden delights of the district that surprise many a visitors, while it may not host many Michelin Star restaurants (though there is one) what you will find is an enormous variety of authentic Hong Kong style dining choices which range from the simple to the exotic, from the budget to the luxury. 

As one of the least spoiled of districts of Hong Kong you will find that Sham Shui Po has many of the traditional styles of eating which have been pushed out elsewhere by chains and corporations. This is the place to find family run and traditional restaurants and cafes, many of which have been operating for decades though they may have moved to modern premises they maintain their traditions and flavours.

Here are some of the culinary highlights of Sham Shui Po.

Noodle Shops

Noodles are as Chinese as Rice and you can't go far anywhere in Hong Kong without finding a noodle shop, but it is in Sham Shui Po that you are shure to find the most traditional, authentic and busy noodle shops. Noodles are a snack as well as a staple and a good noodle shop serves fast and diners don't linger, the hard tables and small stools not intended for lounging but for practicality and diners eat and leave.

Wai Kee Noodle Cafe - Well known for it's signature dish of Pork Liver and Instant Noodles this cafe Fuk Wing Street has been running in the same location for many years, and now has a branch nearby on Pei Ho Street. In either one there is very limited choice but whatever you choose will be prepared instantly to just perfection. Super heated cooking broth allows these dishes to be served to your table moments after you order them, and continue to cook in your bowl. Eat fast or slow, but not too slow, to enjoy the al dente ingredients. Also try their French Toast which is a variation of the Hong Kong style this time with Kaya instead of Peanut butter!

Lau Sum Kee Noodle - This Kweilin Street based shop offers another time of noodles, this time the Egg Noodle with Won Ton Soup. Pran Roe Noodles are offered as are yellow fried noodles. A purely Chinese menu on the wall shows the choices available, for those who don't read Chinese are best prepared to order by pointing or asking a friend to help. Succulent prawn dumplings in a shrimp stock, with just cooked egg noodles and decorated with chopped spring onion. What could be more authentic than a bowl of noodles here.

Dessert Restaurants

Chinese loves desserts, but quite different ones from western or European traditions. So there are an ever increasing range of Dessert shops in Hong Kong and Sham Shui Po has some of the best, both of the original Chinese tradition, many of the newer traditions and a few which explore different fusion combinations.

Tong Shui Lo Dessert - This traditional shop has no English name above the door but you'll recognise it by the green chinese wording on stainless steel above the door, as well as all the pictures of fruits and the display case of chilled desserts. Located at 143 Kweilin Street it combines traditional Chinese dessert ingredients in both classic and innovative styles.  Try the Black Grass Jelly with Coconut Cream or the Sweet Bean Curd with Green Mellon for example. For hot dishes the Steamed Milk with Ginger and the Red Bean Sweet Soup will cater to your sweet tooth while warming as well.

Tian Tian Di Dessert House - Located in Fuk Wa Street this small shop offers a blend of different styles, seating is in booths or small tables which though hard are clean and simple. Try an Ice Mountain with Melon which is an impressively tall spike of shaved ice soaked in interesting sweet flavours, or Sticky Rice Balls in Ginger Soup which have delicious different fillings made from Peanut or seasame. An English menu is available though the names in English are less explainatory than the Chinese ones, but this is made up for by the illustrations which show exactly what each dish will be like. Don't miss their Molten Mango Puddings!


Street Food

While street food is no longer served on from mobile stalls as it once was there are stell plenty of small restaurants maintaining the traditions of "Cart Noodles" and other dishes fondly remembered by the locals of Hong Kong.  Today more eaten in the evenings you will find these on many streets.

Cart Curried Fish Balls - Not a restaurant but a tradition you'll find this dish on many street corners. The stalls which nestle outside small cafes have a wide range of different items which can be quickly heated and served with a variety of sauces but the staple is the Fish Balls though some people prefer either the Squid or the Beef balls. Eaten with curry sauce dripping on them they are messy but delicious and one of the first things the Chinese dispora ask for when the return to Sham Shui Po!

Stinky Bean Curd - Like the fish balls this is one of those very local traditions, in this case with the added benefit of being too difficult for most non-locals to enjoy! Safely fermented for several days this Tofu or Bean Curd takes on extra layers of flavour in the way of a blue cheese, and a strong smell which is brought to the fore by deep frying. You won't miss passing a stall and should stop to have a plate which will be served with strong chili or sweet sauce!

Dim Sum Restaurants

Tim Ho Wan - Now that the Mongkok branch has closed the SSP one here on Fuk Wing Street earned the districts only Michelin Star and nobody who has waited here for an hour or more to get a table at busy times will be surprised as this is some of the best Dim Sum you will find in any restaurant in the world, and at rock bottom prices as is expected by the discerning locals customers. Check out their Crispy BBQ Pork Bun which is a unique invention of the restaurant, or Fried Turnip Cake a traditional staple of Dim Sum taken to another level! Steamed Spare Ribs with Black Bean on Rice is also a hidden delight served in the traditional steel tin which makes a full meal all on its own if you don't share!

If you are particularly interested in experiencing the food choices in the area consider taking an organised food tour, they are available from various sites, just google "Sham Shui Po Food Tour" to find out more. Combine eating and shopping on your visit!



Populated for at least 2000 years according to archeological evidence the history of Sham Shui Po is long and deep but poorly documented. Having been a poor area for much of the 20th century little attention was given to it but now that has become developed and busy, though still not as prosperous as some other parts of Hong Kong, people have begun to seek it's history.

Originally a coastal settlement before reclamation brought it inland it was close to the important peninsular of Tak Kok Tsui with it's Cosmopolitan Dock, now since long gone of course. The last of the connection with the sea disappeared in the 1970s when the Nam Cheong Street nullah, or concrete stream, was covered over and today all that remains of it is the wide street which now runs past the open green park.

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