We have had a great time in Hong Kong. We are making lots of new friends and even found an old friend. In true Hong Kong fashion we being taken out to eat alot. Great big amazing meals. We have had so many new foods. We are getting all the Dim Sum we need and are finding some new favourites.
We have tried chicken feet,
grass jelly, squid in various forms, seaweed balls, red beans in the bottom of our milk shakes and many, jellyfish
and many more new tastes. Even TJ has become an expert with her chopsticks.
The other day was a momentous day. We all tried Durian.
We have been hearing ominous tales of Durian for years. According to Andrew it smells so bad that you are not allowed to take it on public transport in Indonesia. The locals love it, crave it. Foreigners can’t stand it and think it to be the most vile thing that has ever crossed their lips. But we are not the typical tourist. We are adventurous and enjoy strange and unusual flavours. We have eaten camel, squid, jellyfish, chicken feet and inflated lungs of salt cod and enjoyed it. Not to mention the fact that Durian is supposed to smell like onions. We like onions. Bring it on. Now, instead of buying it in its raw, spikey ball form from one of the many street vendors we opted for a nice civilized form. We went to a posh dessert bar at the top of a prominent new skyscraper on the edge of the red light district. Well…. Dino ordered Durian pancakes. It arrived layered with cream and wrapped in a green tea pancake. We all tried it. Not sure if the bravest person was Andrew who tried it first or TJ who tried it after hearing all of us moan and put on the “Durian face”. After we all tried some Dino finished it off with big smiles and great satisfaction. You know, for the record, it doesn’t smell like onions. It smells like rotten onions! To make matters worse Durian makes you burp. Burping in public here is not bad manners but when it brings back the Durian aroma and taste. We were burping up Durian for 6 hours afterwards!… DANG!
On to better things. Theresa flew over from Korea when she heard we were here, she stayed with us and adventured with us for 5 days. So great to see her again. She is sitting here with Carol who has been organizing our social life here. Carol is a hard task master : ) but we think she’s great. Since we are staying on Lantao Island we take the ferry to Hong Kong city most mornings and Carol meets us to take us around.
Some things Carol, and others, have taught us about eating out around here.
Tap water in Hong Kong is NEVER OK to drink.
Do not drink Juice from those machines at little streetside shops. Go to the nicer juice bars with the “shrinkwrap” lids and chunky things (beans, jelly, fruit, sago) at the bottom of the cup.
Rinse your dishes in hot water or hot tea at the table. Many restaurants will provide a small bucket or bowl and some hot water. If they don’t then put some tea in your largest bowl and use that to rinse. Just rotate your dishes, one at a time in the hot water. Teacup, small bowl, put spoon in bowl and rest chopsticks resting on top of the bowl rim. Never put the spoon or chopsticks on the table top. The tabletop is considered dirty. One person cleans for all. There will probably be extra dishes on the table. Only rinse what you will use. You don’t need to do this at more upscale restaurants – we only went to 2 restaurants that we didn’t rinse our dishes.
Pour tea for others at the table first. Say thank you for someone pouring your tea by tapping on the table twice with two fingers.
Don’t be afraid to try new tastes – you will probably be pleasantly surprised over and over again.
Try the Durian. This will probably not be a pleasant surprise but it is a rite of passage. People WILL ask if you did