Hong Kong is crazy about its noodles. Whether it be ramen, Korean instant noodles, cheap fish ball noodles, Hong Kong people’s classic tam zai or the traditional shrimp wonton noodles. It can never get enough. Here’s a summary of the noodles that I sampled in Hong Kong. Some of them were definitely more touristy than others. I am ranking all of the Hong Kong restaurants I try, out of 5.
1-for don’t go. 2 – for worse than average. 3 – average. 4 – good. 5 – amazing, must go now.
Let’s start off… with the classic and traditional雲吞麺Wonton Shrimp Noodles which we had at Tsim Chai Kee. It’s definitely a highly rated restaurant on Openrice and a tourist place. Just looking at the menu, you can tell its not somewhere where locals would go for Noodles. But the main point was how did it taste? I would say it was okay. The soup tasted pretty much like sweet MSG (yes I said sweet). The noodles themselves were quite bouncy but lacked egginess. The wontons were not the freshest, could have been slightly more crisp and the skin of the wontons fell apart too easily.
Overall: 2.5/5 – Passable but there’s probably better.
Moving on to the type of noodles that I ate the MOST often and these were the noodles that accompanied fish balls. They ranged from thin to thick and were usually composed of flour and water. Hong Kong people eat these on a pretty daily basis or else they are eating tam zai. Places like these are found throughout Hong Kong. Almost on every block. It’s the most common of the common and here are just a few for example.
Cheong Kei noodles which is located need Times Square Causeway Bay. Specialized in fish balls. Here I have tripe and fish balls combination. You can mix and match your toppings just by asking.
Overall: 3/5 – Standard noodles, good fish balls, flavours not bad.
Man Fai 文輝墨魚丸大王 is another noodle and fish ball place in Causeway Bay but its located near the Forever 21. (There’s a lot of food on this block so you have tons of choices). The fish balls were very bouncy and pretty delicious. The soup base was also not too salty.
Overall: 3/5 – Noodles broke too easy, fish balls were good, flavours on point
Nam Kee Spring Roll Noodle Co. Ltd 南記粉麵 ALSO located in Causeway Bay is famous for their long fish cakes. The flavours were pretty on point and they have multiple locations in Hong Kong. It’s difficult to find a seat because its so popular but the wait goes quickly. Also be careful of the chilly oil. It can get spicy.
Moving away from the fish balls and more towards the tighter rounder noodles we have places like金祥排骨麵 Kam Chang Noodles is located down the street from the University of Hong Kong. It’s one of those local places that only has a Chinese menu. The noodles were definitely not the star of the show. But the pork chop itself was pretty good. Crispy on the outside and not dry on the inside.
Of course, when we talk about noodles, we can’t forget ramen. Hong Kong people’s love or rather almost everyone’s love for ramen is indescribable. Ramen is definitely a carby and fatty comfort food. I had to try Ilan (the one where you can eat by yourself). The experience was good. It was interesting sitting in cubicles and having no contact with the outside world to get the order of your choice. You could get your own water. You never had to talk to anyone. It was very interesting. The ramen itself however was not as amazing. I found the portion to be terribly small (and I’m a small person with a small appetite). But the flavours were pretty on point and quite milky from the pork fat. The noodles themselves were not bad because of the ability to customize how al dente you wanted it.
Next we had Ippudo which was different from Ilan. Less customizability and of course you don’t get the same privacy as Ilan. The pork here was quite good and the portion seemed larger than Ilan. I preferred this one to Ilan by a hair.
Finally, we had Butao which sadly had ran out of eggs that day. What I really liked about Butao was the kimchi in the small boxes on the table. I added a lot of it to my ramen because it was pretty delicious and added more depth into the ramen. At the end, we had finished an ENTIRE box of the kimchi.
In general, all the ramen places were pretty standard, nothing really stood out to me that had me wanting to go back over again. I’m looking for a place with very fatty, tender and meaty cha siu with some very al dente noodles and a semi-thick broth with a good amount of saltiness and depth but without tasting too over bearing. Any suggestions?
One of the most commonly seen chain restaurants around is Spaghetti House. I cam here for lunch and had their set which included a drink, spaghetti and puff pastry soup.
Overall: 3/5 – The food here is not bad for a chain restaurant. The noodles were al dente and there was nothing big that I would dock them marks on.
The last noodles place I want to talk about is Sam Go Mi Xian (the red one). It’s one of those go to places for all Hong Kongers. It’s cheap and the flavours are not bad.
Hong Kong is one of those places that has a variety of food. Whether it be noodles or Western food or fusion. They have all sorts and they are usually made to adapt to Hong Kong people’s tastes. So far, out of all these noodle places there’s none that wow me and make me want to go back. But out of these the ones that are worth trying is probably to visit one of the ramen restaurants, even though its not Hong Kong food, and Sam Go Mee Xian. Ramen because its very popular in Hong Kong. And Sam Go Mee Xian because its where locals go.