Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should be taken seriously, although I can’t say I follow this rule religiously. But because of a memory long forgotten, I begged my aunt to take me to the market to get congee, fried noodles and deep fried bread to kick our day off. I was telling Ron about the breakfast I had six years ago when I last visited Hong Kong. The taste of the food haunted me. And now that I am back, there is no way I will miss the morning with that hearty breakfast combo.
Congee typically is added with different ingredients. My favorite is congee with minced pork and peanuts. Other options would be pig stomach and intestines, pig skin, century egg, octopus, pork meat, or minced beef. This is normally ordered with deep fried bread on the side or, my favorite, fried noodles. With the taste so authentically Chinese, I know I have to count years to eat that breakfast again.
Now if one is not so used to that kind of breakfast, Hong Kong has cha chaan teng. It is a Chinese tea restaurant that serves a wide array of food and beverages. They serve clear tea, cold lemon tea (they even put lemon in water, coke and other sodas), coffee and, of course, Hong Kong styled milk tea. The menu ranges from dimsum to sandwiches, noodles to pasta, and bread to cakes. Western breakfast sets (American, continental) are also available and prices would range from HK$20 – HK$25.
Cultural bits: Clear teas served in cha chaan teng are used to rinse utensils before a guest uses them. This is very customary for Chinese so you don’t have to freak out when the person sitting next to your table suddenly decides to do a little dish washing before the meal.
Walking around Hong Kong can be very tiring. When Ron and I went to Ngong Ping Village, we had to climb 268 steps to get to the Big Buddha. Not only that, we had to go around the village to check out some of the other sights. We were perspiring, hungry and dehydrated, and what do we find? Strawberries in kebabs. Introducing frozen calabash! We seriously don’t know why it is named like that but we can guarantee it’s going to refresh anyone who walked around much as we did.
And like what Ron says, we are caffeine fueled creatures. We cannot believe that we can find the two-tailed siren nestling in the mountains. We needed to recharge.