On the second day of Hong Kong in 2016, we went to 合益泰小食 (Hop Yik Tai) in Shum Shui Po on 121 Kweilin Street to have lunch. Apparently this place boasts the best cheung fun (rice noodles) in Hong Kong. I was excited to try it out. 😀
It’s located on a busy street full of other shops and street vendors (Hong Kong’s famous streets). It’s a place that is completely no frills and so ‘Hong Kong’. You go in, find your own seat/table — which for most people would be completely uncommon — and wave down the servers for attention. All the utensils are already on the table and you grab them for yourself.
It was full lunch hour when we arrived and the place was packed! I spotted a table of people whose plates were near empty and stood by them. In several minutes, they cleared out and we slid into the spots (yes, this is how you get seats in these restaurants and the only way to do so; if you are polite, you will be waiting for a looong time). Fast, efficient ‘service’ is key in these Hong Kong eateries. This also equals a fast turnover for tables! 🙂
We already knew we would be ordering the famous rice noodles. Thus, we ordered the medium bowl to share (containing 6 rice noodles), a bowl of ‘boat congee’ 艇仔粥, and a bowl of mixed pork skin, turnip, and fish balls.
After placing the order, everything arrived within 2 minutes. It was so fast!
The famous rice noodles were already mixed with peanut sauce (what makes it special). You could add in sweet sauce, sesame seeds, and hot sauce which were available on the table. You eat these with wooden skewer sticks! These rice noodles definitely were firm, smooth, and tasted pretty good. 🙂
The turnips were so smooth and flavourful; the pork skin was good; the fish balls were typical.
The ‘boat congee’ contained squid, pork skin, minced beef (the best part). The congee was steaming hot and fresh. You can even watch them make everything near the front of the shop but they are so busy that you will probably be in their way (space is limited here in Hong Kong). I thought that while the congee was good and chock full of ingredients, I wish there was more minced beef in it.
Within half an hour, we were done and there were already customers standing next to us to wait for our table.
In addition to the seating available inside the shop, they also sell their rice noodle exclusively outside and there was a long line-up of people wanting to buy just their rice noodles. So awesome and so Hong Kong. 😀