Nestled in Hung Hom, Whampoa is full of hidden foodie gems!
Twenty minutes away from Central and Mong Kok lies the off-the-beaten path residential neighbourhood of Whampoa, which is within the Hung Hom district. Relatively secluded (it wasn’t accessible by MTR until October 2016), locals have since been flocking over to this hopping neighbourhood. Along with the Polytechnic University’s dorms within walking distance , there is a plethora of food and late-night joints, so it’s as good as a time as any to make the trip over to Kowloon and check it out! Here are our picks for what to do (and eat!) whilst you’re there…
Where To Eat:
一品雞煲火鍋The Great Restaurant
It’s called The Great Restaurant for good reason. This is where you’re going to get super tasty chicken hot pot that is authentic – meaning, when the pot first comes, it’s just chicken (without broth), and you eat most of the meat before you top it up with broth for the actual hot pot. The spicy soup is seriously addictive; however, the ‘little’ spicy can be quite spicy, especially as the broth gets boiled down, so if you can’t take the heat – go for BB spicy. For two people, half a chicken is more than enough and yes, it will contain all parts of the bird, including the feet and all the bones as well!
Tip: Don’t add too much broth when you start to hot pot – the broth will severely dilute the sauce, making it less tasty, so be sure to add it sparingly.
Find it at G/F, 35 Man Tai Street, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
A Michelin recommended restaurant, Wing Lai Yuen’s show-stopper is its signature Sichuan Dan Dan noodles (noodles in spicy peanut broth). We usually opt for the minced pork spicy version and the soup dumplings here are seriously just as good as Din Tai Fung’s. It’s one of the most well-known restaurants around Whampoa, and although the restaurant is big, the queues can be quite long during lunch and dinner so make sure you go early!
Tip: If you’re not going to eat the side dishes that are given to you at the beginning, make sure you tell the waitstaff to take them away before you are seated, or else you’ll be charged for them regardless if you eat them or not.
Find it at Shop 102-103&105, Site 8, Wonderful Worlds Of Whampoa, 7 Tak On Street, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, www.winglaiyuen.com.hk
兩合海鮮火鍋飯店 (No English name on store front)
Restaurants above wet markets are always worth checking out, and this is no different in Whampoa. Pretty much everyone that goes to the second floor of the wet market goes to this restaurant, so be prepared for the noisy, chaotic atmosphere of a wet market eatery. This is not a place for dieters – most of the dishes are cooked in a blistering hot wok with lots of oil and salt. Get the deep-fried calamari, deep fried tofu, clams in black bean sauce, and food in a clay pot, and be sure to get yourself a bottle or two of beer to wash everything down.
Tip: All menus are in Cantonese, with minimal to no English spoken here – so it’s best to bring a Cantonese-speaking friend, or have photos ready of all the dishes you want to order.
Find it on the 2/F, Hung Hom Complex, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
陳記魚蛋 Chan’s Fishballs (No English name on storefront)
Many come here for a quick skewer of fish balls or tripe, though we like the shark fin soup the most. Don’t worry, there is no shark fin in the soup itself; the “shark fin” is just glass noodles! The soup eats like a delicious, almost stew-like chicken noodle, with shiitake mushrooms, great as a snack, especially in the colder months. Make sure to ask for a generous sprinkle of vinegar, hot sauce, and white pepper in your shark fin soup.
Find it across from Sushi Takeout at 28 Tak Man Street, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Hung Hom Egg Waffles (No English Name on storefront)
Master Wu is famous in the neighbourhood and, although he has an egg waffle store, the majority of customers who flock to him are actually there for his egg white crepes. The crowd favourite is the mixed fruit crepe, but all the locals know that the real star of the show is the pork floss and peanut butter crepe. His is the only store we know of that does such crepes, so make sure you try them out! Master Wu also loves photos, so snap as many selfies with him as you like.
Find it at Shop 2, Polly Court, Taku Street, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
This place is so popular that queues will be outside before its even open for dinner, and understandably, it’s opening another branch in Tsim Sha Tsui to sate demand. Patrons come here for a drink and share small dishes, however, it is also famous for its handmade Inaniwa-style udon, which are slightly thinner and less chewy than regular udon. This restaurant is a bit pricier than the normal establishments around Whampoa, but it’s still well worth a visit, as the service and food is impeccable.
Find it at Shop A1, G/F., 27 Mintai Street, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
十二味不只是烤魚Clinton’s BBQ Fish
Having only recently opened in Whampoa, Clinton’s BBQ Fish is already making a name for itself around the neighbourhood. You may want to skip this one if you can’t take spice, but if you can, you’ll be in heaven. This store specialises in barbecued fish in a Sichuan chilli broth that comes atop a hot plate, so it’s essentially like another variation of hot pot. But who can have enough of hot pot? You can order other items to put into the broth, and we recommend #120 mixed golden combo of enoki mushrooms, soybean sprout, fresh bean curd skin and soft tofu. The fish is cooked to perfection and falls right off the bone, and yes, you will get an entire fish including all the bones, head and tail.
Find it at Shop no. 21, G/F., Hung Hom Wan Street, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Due to the community of Koreans and Japanese living in Hung Hom and Whampoa, its’ a great area to try authentic Korean and Japanese cuisine. When you’re looking for the ultimate comfort food, there is no better place to go then Tenno Ramen with all its slurpy goodness! It has four main signature ramens – white (pork tonkotsu broth), red (spicy pork tonkotsu broth), black (truffle oil broth), and a limited edition one. If you’re an uni lover, it sometimes has a limited-edition uni cold noodle bowl, which is glorious. Similar to other ramen shops, you can customise your ramen’s seasoning, firmness of the noodle, etc. here too.
Find it at G/F, 99 Dock Street, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
If you want a place to impress your clients, this is the place for you. Hidden away behind an unadorned door is Sushi Man, a place specialising in omakase sets ranging from $1,480 and up. This is a high-end sushi joint, prepared by highly skilled chefs and with limited seating in the restaurant, so make sure to book well in advance to ensure it can accommodate you.
Find it at Shop G22A, G/F, Site 11, Whampoa Garden, Wonderful Worlds of Whampoa, 6 Tak Hong Street, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/sushimanhk
聯記川王涼粉Lien Kee Chuan Kong Noodle (no English name on storefront)
There are a lot of Sichuan restaurants in Whampoa, but our favourite is a total hole-in-the-wall on the side of the street. If you want to try this restaurant, do it now as the Hung Hom neighbourhood has been rife with talks of revitalisation. The owner of Lien Kee Chuan Kong Noodles, Ivan, said he is waiting for the notice for closure, but will continue to open and serve the neighbourhood until that day. Be prepared to sit outside on makeshift chairs and tables, but take it as all part of the experience. The flavours for the Sichuan spicy and sour noodles are bold, with a really good kick of spice and herbs. The chefs insist on adding no preservatives to the soup broth, meaning that the broth is made fresh every three days. The texture of the noodles is very al dente as well, and are a steal at around $30 for a bowl. The water fish and chicken is also outstanding here.
Find it at G/F, 1 Whampoa Street, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
唐人坊Tong Yan Fong Restaurant
If you’re around Whampoa, it might be worth a detour to come here for a drink, because it is seriously like a Nissan instant noodles museum! In terms of food, stick to the instant noodles, or just have a drink, but do make sure to come for a browse and a photo or two if you’re an instant noodle fan. Some of the paraphernalia is available for purchase as well.
Tip: This shop is quite hidden within the industrial area; if you’re walking down on Hok Yuen Street coming from the Ma Tau Wai Road direction, turn into a small alley before you see e-print, and you should see this restaurant on the corner.
Find it at G/F, 43-25 Sung Kit Street, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
This Japanese restaurant covers the entire street on both sides and is epically decorated on the inside and outside as well. Famed for being the first in Hong Kong to do salmon sashimi flowers, it’s worth trying and going to take some photos, enjoy the ambience and décor. Although the restaurant has seen better days, peaking in popularity about a decade ago, unfortunately, with more competition and a decline in food quality, the restaurant now serves average food at best.
Find it at 37 Sung Kit Street, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, www.katiga.com.hk
This little place is great for more intimate catch-ups and does amazing value for money weekday dinner sets. Full of Japanese skewers, soup, rice, tofu, sashimi and salad, you can get an entire feast for two for only around $300. It also has a pretty decent selection of alcohol.
Find it at Shop J2, G/F, Tak Man Building, 29 Tak Man Street, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/pages
This is not just any hotdog shop, this is Hong Kong style hotdogs! Similar to Japadog, this restaurant has a ton of different toppings – from Sichuan chicken, to foie gras, to even unagi (eel). These hotdogs eat like a burger and you can get them as a set with fries or potato faces, and a drink as well.
Tip: We particularly like the Bur-Dog (wagyu beef is involved).
Find it at Shop 106A, Whampoa Building C Block, 97 Baker Street, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/ICONIC.H
新忠記打冷小菜館 (no English name on storefront)
When you need a quick fix of Chiu Chow cuisine (especially late night) – this is the place to go. It’s such a frequented neighbourhood store that it has two restaurants on the same block. During winter, the made-to-order clay pot rice is a must! It also shows the seafood specials of the day near the front of the restaurant, and the cold fish, oyster pancake, goose slices and Chiu Chow style congee are always good here.
Tip: Chiu Chow style congee is more like rice in soup, with a lot of little pieces of vegetables and meats, whereas, Cantonese style congee is much thicker in consistency.
Find it at Shop J2, G/F, 2 Bulkeley Street, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
韓宮K-Bap Korean Cuisine
If you’re in search of an authentic Korean restaurant, K-Bap Korean cuisine has got you covered! This is a restaurant that’s better suited for larger groups as the dishes are good for sharing and the Korean barbecue is popular here as well. It serves all the Korean comfort foods well – with fried chicken, bibimbap, seafood pancake, Korean barbecue and more on the menu. The banchan (side dishes) are super yummy, with generous portions and lots of variety. If you like cheese, you’re in luck as it even has a cheese menu! With melted cheese on a hot plate and an assorted selection on the top, we like the simple but delicious cheesy kimchi fried rice.
Find it at G/F., 16 Man Siu Street, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
華姐清湯腩Sister Wah Beef Brisket
Located within the Dockyard, in a food court connected to Kerry Hotel, the easiest way to get to Sister Wah is to walk through the hotel. It’s original and first store is in Tin Hau and is known for its tender and succulent beef brisket rice noodle in clear soup. It’s super fragrant and packed with flavour.
Tip: Make sure to make it a meal and add the daikon radishes – they absorb all the flavours of the brisket and it’s absolutely to die for.
Find it at Shop 5A, Dockyard, Level 1, Kerry Hotel Hong Kong, 38 Hung Luen Road, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
生記茶餐廳 Sheng Ji Dim Sum Restaurant (no English name on storefront)
We let this one sneak in even though it’s technically on the cusp between Whampoa and Ho Man Tin. This street is also a well-known street and all the locals flock to this restaurant for either the crab congee, or crab with glutinous rice wrapped in a lotus leaf. The walls are adorned with all of the press that it’s been featured in – and it’s quite a beloved restaurant in the local media! The crabs are amazingly fresh and meaty, with a very sweet and flavourful congee. Make sure to also order the clams in broth, razor clams and some chow mein to compliment the whole meal.
Tip: While the owners probably don’t speak English, there are enough photos on the menu, so you should have no problem ordering.
Find it at G/F, 13 Lo Lung Hang Street, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
This place is basically the canteen for the Polytechnic University students. If you come later than 7pm, expect to queue for a good 45 minutes and also to sit outside the store on mah-jong tables and plastic chairs. It is indeed that busy! The barbecue skewers it serves, and the rub that the chefs use on all of the skewers, are excellent. Make sure to also try the full chicken wings, Chinese broccoli, fried rice rolls with egg and eggplant. Everything is cooked from scratch on the grill, so be prepared to wait. Whilst you’re waiting you can go to the fridge and get yourself a drink, but just make sure you let the staff know at the end when they total up your bill. It’s probably best to bring your Cantonese-speaking friend for this restaurant as well, because the menu and ordering sheets are all in Chinese.
Find it at G/F, 2 Bulkeley Street, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/pages
Time for dessert! Located within the Nine Seafood Place, a Japanese market complex, this place is extremely popular for its Japanese style desserts, especially the matcha items. Particularly famous for its matcha sponge cake roll, matcha latte, matcha chiffon cake and matcha ice cream – you get the idea, it’s a heaven for matcha lovers. Time to get your sweet tooth on!
Tip: If you are an absolute matcha fiend, it offers some matcha dessert and tea sets, so you can try a variety at around $160.
Find it at Shop 3, G/F, Nine Seafood Place, Site 9, Wonderful Worlds of Whampoa, 8 Tak Fung Street, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/pages
一豆花One Tofu (No English name on storefront)
Hong Kong loves tofu pudding! Most traditional Hong Kong desserts have some sort of nutritional or beneficial value to them, and with tofu pudding, rumour has it that it will make your skin as white and soft as tofu. If you find the pudding not sweet enough, there is also sugar and ginger syrup on the side to add to suit your taste. If you do fancy sweeter things, try the “black white,” which is tofu pudding with black sesame paste, or the “red black,” which is tofu pudding with red bean soup. If you’re really adventurous, the durian tofu pudding here is amazing as well!
Find it at G/F, 99 Dock Street, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
源味甜品小食Yuen Mei Dessert (no English name on storefront)
Only serving Hong Kong style desserts, such as red bean soup, black sesame paste, papaya stewed in soup and glutinous rice dumplings, Yuen Mei Dessert is small and always full of people enjoying the nutritious desserts. The one we particularly love is the glutinous rice dumplings with black sesame paste and a ginger soup. Definitely one to warm your soul in winter!
Find it at Shop 3, G/F, United Building, 1-7 Wu Kwong Street, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Where To Drink:
Connected to the Kerry Hotel, Dockyard is a food court style area serving up Southeast Asian flavours and cuisine. It has a live band area and a bar; however, it is still awaiting its liquor license, so you can’t actually purchase alcohol here yet. We recommend checking this place out in a couple months’ time, when everything should be well and underway. We’re sure that it’ll then be a hotspot for travellers, and locals alike.
Find it at Level 1, Kerry Hotel Hong Kong, 38 Hung Luen Road, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, dockyardhk.com
Located on the 7th floor of the newly opened Kerry Hotel, this bar has a seriously breathtaking view of Victoria Harbour, making it the perfect happy hour spot or weekend location.
Find it at 7/F, Kerry Hotel, Hong Kong, 38 Hung Luen Road, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, www.shangri-la.com/hongkong/kerry/dining/bars-lounges/red-sugar
Think of it as your local neighbourhood joint. With a recently added area for beer pong, if you’re around Whampoa and in dire need of a drink, this conveniently located bar is the place to be.
Find it at Shop F2, G/F, 53-73 Man Tai Street, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Where to Shop:
金發麻雀Mah-jong (no English name on storefront)
If you’re a mah-jong lover, and are looking for a new set to add to your collection, why not get one that is handmade? There are only a handful of handmade mah-jong makers in Hong Kong and the owner of this shop, Master Mei, has been in the business for 40 years and is now the only women master left. Handmade mah-jong tile sets are more for collecting purposes and less for actual playing purposes. It would definitely make a great gift for someone who loves mah-jong (think mother-in-laws, or grandparents). It has all kinds of mah-jong tiles you can think of – Japanese and Malaysian, to Hong Kong style tiles, literally, you name it, and this shop will have it. If you look carefully, you’ll be able to see photos of Master Mei in her younger years when she was an apprentice with her master.
Find it at 2 Bulkeley St, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Very similar in concept to Wan Chai’s Yamataka Seafood Market, Nine Seafood Place houses a variety of Japanese restaurants, grocery shops, and a seafood market. Get ready to be astonished by the massive amount and size of seafood on display. The fresh selections look amazingly fresh and are reasonably priced as well.
Find it at 8 Tak Fung St, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/nineseafoodplace
Have you ever been shopping in a mall that is shaped like a ship before? If not, there’s a first for everything! Most of the area belongs to AEON, a Japanese grocery market that sells a lot of cooked food, ready to eat sushi, and it even houses a fantastic Japanese food court as well.
Find it at 10 Shung King St, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, www.whampoaworld.com
Things to Do:
Take a scenic stroll
The promenade at Whampoa has amazing views of the harbour and leads all the way over to the Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry promenade. Why not take a leisurely 3-kilometre walk over to East Tsim Sha Tsui where you can stop at Wooloomooloo for an icy cold beer or cocktail?
Start at the Hung Hom Ferry Pier, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Take a ferry
In 2011, ferry services from the Hung Hom ferry pier to Central and Wan Chai were cancelled; however, there is still a ferry service from the Hung Hom ferry pier to the North Point ferry pier. For $7.50, you can get back to the Island side in 8 minutes with scenic views of Hong Kong, so why not?
Find it at the Hung Hom Ferry Pier, Kowloon, Hong Kong
This is the only theatre in Hong Kong that still uses a manual ticketing system. You can’t buy the tickets online, so you have to buy them in person, choosing your seats on a paper seating plan taped to the counter at the box office. On one side of the foyer, it has on display the old equipment that the theatre used in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Talk about nostalgia!
Find it at 2J Bulkeley Street, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/LuxTheatre
Take some selfies at Jockey Club Innovation Tower
Just a 15-minute walk away from Whampoa is The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and one of Hong Kong’s most magnificent buildings. Called the Jockey Club Innovation Tower, it was designed by Pritzker-prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid, and this building was her first permanent work in Hong Kong. The exterior is just as amazing as the interior and is a photographer’s dream. It houses Polytechnic University’s School of Design so there are special exhibits (by students and/or artists) that are shown here periodically. Guided tours are also available, so check out its website for more details.
Find it within the Hong Kong Polytechnic University located on Chatham Road South in Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Kwun Yam Temple
Built in 1873, this is known as the most auspicious Kwun Yam Temple in Hong Kong. Hundreds of people purposefully come over to Whampoa to pay their respects to the Kwun Yam here. During World War 2, Whampoa was bombed heavily; those that sought shelter in the temple came out unharmed and the temple itself was unscathed. Therefore, this Kwun Yam Temple become the most famous amongst all the other Kwun Yam Temples in Hong Kong.
Find it at 15 Station Lane, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Located in Treasure World is an arcade targeted to mostly little kids, but there are arcade games here for adults as well. Go on, relive your childhood! We were particularly interested in the bumper cars, but this would be an excellent place for kids to spend an entire afternoon.
Find it at 6 Tak Hong St, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, www.jumpingym.com
If you’re interested in checking out local delights with the comforts of an English-speaking guide, then join Virginia’s Off the Eaten Path Food Tour that leads you through Whampoa, to learn stories of the neighbourhood whilst devouring all of her favourite local eats!