September 4, 2015
My life is centered around food. I just love eating so, so much. What I probably like most about going somewhere new is trying all the local food. Luckily, there is a lot of food in Hong Kong. The second day here I had street food and I think it was the best thing I’ve eaten here so far.
Even things as universal as McDonald’s are at least slightly different. Yes, they have burgers and fries, but did you know that corn is an option at some Asian McDonalds? When I was in Shanghai, the McCafe part of the restaurant was a big thing — very fancy. They sold macarons (strawberry, green tea, lemon, and chocolate flavors). As for their ice cream…
Honestly, I can’t remember if they had vanilla and/or chocolate because those flavors were so normal — I was more interested in the things that I couldn’t find in the US. Chinese McDonald’s had new ice cream flavors like cherry blossom, which was pretty interesting. The ice cream was a really pretty shade of pink. After I left Shanghai, I found out that they introduced even more ice cream flavors: black sesame and pudding. (Separately, of course.) I was so envious of my friends who got to try the ice cream — they said it was really good. Here in Hong Kong, as of right now, the featured flavor of ice cream is green tea (or matcha). My friends and I shared a green tea McFlurry with light, crisp Oreo wafers on top. So, so good. I plan on trying every single green tea-flavored thing on the list.
I encourage people to try something new when they go to another country! This doesn’t just apply to desserts, but to food as well. For example, lots of people are intimidated by organ meats, so they avoid them. My way of thinking is “it’s not very often that you get this, so why not try it?” It could possibly be your one-in-a-lifetime chance. You may not like the taste or the texture, but at least you have an interesting story to tell — and if you do end up liking it, then that’s still a story to tell!
A unique thing that Hong Kong diners do at restaurants is use hot water to rinse their plates, bowls, cup, and utensils. Of course everything is already washed, but, according to my Hong Kong friend, having the customer (or diner) rinse their own dinnerware gives them peace of mind. A pitcher of hot (usually steaming) water is put on the Lazy Susan and people take turns with the pitcher. Rinsing your dishes is pretty simple — you pour the hot water into the bowl and swirl the water around the bowl (be sure to not spill any water). Dump the hot water into the empty bowl on the Lazy Susan, provided especially to hold the (presumably) now-dirty water. Repeat with other dinnerware. Simple enough, right? My mistake the one of the first times I ate out was that I poured tea for everyone, then used the hot water (for rinsing) to refill the teapot… Oops.