Snake soup? That’s almost boring

Snake soup? That’s almost boring

December 11, 2018 0 By admin


Inna Hemme from Berlin blogs on

Never have I decided to order food as quickly as in Hong Kong: I close my eyes and just tap something. Because what exactly is there in Chinese, I can not read anyway.

It could also be different for me. Because the Chinese megacity (7.3 million inhabitants) is considered the Capital of the food. There are several reasons for this: as a melting pot of many cooking pots, Hong Kong unites Indian tandoori restaurants, Indonesian, Filipino and Thai food stalls as well as many Japanese sushi bars.

In addition, the Special Administrative Region boasts of having the best Italian and French restaurants in Asia. And: From the British colonial era, the tea time is left.

As an important hub on the way to Southeast Asia, however, Hong Kong is also home to many international companies – and that means, above all, chic business lunches.

The snake soup with poker face slurped

So there are enough international menus. However, I deliberately avoid such restaurants. And prefer authentic.

Here’s how: If you want to visit the real and fancy takeaways that are so popular with the locals, you have to leave the touristy areas like Kowloon or Hong Kong Island behind you – and be prepared not to get an English-language menu.

To commemorate the centuries-old Peking Duck, a Beijing restaurant has some living specimens wafting past the guests

Here I feel a bit like Scarlett Johansson in Sofia Coppola’s Tokyo film “Lost in Translation”. Only that I am lost in the menu.

My fingertip ordering technique turns out to be perfect – until at some point a snake soup lands on my table. I slam it down with a poker face, but at the same time I admit that I have to change my strategy.

The perfect solution is a guided food tour (bookable for example at With Guide Yammy, I no longer feel “lost in the menu” even in the original Sham Shui Po neighborhood.

“The vast majority of Hong Kong’s are Cantonese, and their cuisine is the undisputed queen of all regional kitchens in China,” she explains. “In other parts of the country they say that the cantons eat everything that has four legs, except tables, everything that floats, except ships, and everything that flies, except planes.”

So nothing sweet and sour with pork. And so dishes like ducklings, crocodile claws, millennial eggs (in reality, only a few months old), swallow-nests stuck with bird spitting and stinketofu are also on the plates. Since I was almost boring with the snake soup.

Behavior tips for restaurants in Hong Kong

First, Yammy shows me a typical breakfast: pineapple bun (pineapple bread) and milk tea, together three euros. Okay, it may be a bit more exotic.

After breakfast, head to a Rice Rolls store. In the snack bar all tables are covered. “The eye rarely eats in Hong Kong,” says Yammy. Then she gives me behavioral tips.

I’m supposed to stand very close to the tables and peer over people’s shoulders, then they get up faster and release the table. “Is not that rude?” I ask. “No”, she answers shortly and orders for both of us. I almost devoured my portion when I felt a breath on my neck. We left quickly.

After my tour with Yammy, I go to a dim sum store that even has a Michelin star. “Tim Ho Wan” is one of the cheapest star restaurants in the world with prices starting at four euros.

Photos of Tom Cruise hang on the walls on his last visit, English tables with boxes on the tables. You simply cross something and then hand over the note. I close my eyes anyway and scrawl something. Hong Kong is a surprise bag, too much menu knowledge spoils the surprise.


Inna Hemme from Berlin blogs on

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