September 18th, 2016
Because some of the food I had to think twice about haha. But honestly, there’s a plethora of options to eat. Like really, there are restaurants of different cuisines all over. Hong Kong is a place where Western and Eastern cultures meet, so on the days when I feel a bit homesick I can find a nice western restaurant and get a solid set of chicken and waffles. Then on the days when I feel a little more adventurous, I’ll step into a restaurant where I can’t even read the menu and try something.At HKUST I’m quite satisfied when it comes to food. There are exactly 17 locations to eat. There’s a couple little café’s where you grab and go, things like coffee, fruits, salads, pastries etc. There are two huge canteens, also known as cafeterias. You can find a selection of western, Chinese, and Japanese foods. Unlike at Drexel’s Hans dining center where it’s buffet style, everything here is prepared upon ordering. The system is pretty good, food is prepped quickly. You go to the cashier to place an order, they give you a ticket, when your number comes up on the screen above your food section, walk up and exchange the ticket for your tray. There’s also a bistro restaurant that’s more on the fancy side, where you sit down and have a waiter take your order. On weekends during brunch hours they have a buffet. Starbucks is on campus and it’s open exclusively to students where we get 30% off, yes 30% off. There’s a supermarket called ParknShop that’s open till midnight and students get 10% off. You can get all your necessities there, pretty much like any supermarket back at home, not as big as Trader Joes or Fresh grocer but enough for the average college student.
Financing this food is less stressful than Drexel. Well for one it’s cheaper, not only is it cheaper but it taste better. I get a full cooked meal AND a beverage for 30-40HKD which is around 5 USD, and there’s plenty of options so you can mix it up during the week. In the early hours they have the consistent breakfast selections, but for lunch and dinner they switch up the cuisines pretty often. I’ve eaten some good spaghetti and meatballs, chicken curry, steak, roast duck (yes quack quack), seafood pastas, chicken wings and French fries, stir-fry, there’s so much. You can pay for all food on your octopus card, swipe and go.
When I want to head out to a good restaurant I use the open Rice App, which is the equivalent of yelp. You input your preferences, or location, check out the menu and reviews, pull it up on Google maps and go. Restaurant etiquette is a bit different. The waiters/waitresses don’t periodically check up on you to see if your ready to order or if you need anything, you call on them yourself. They set up the table and give you the menu, when you’re ready to order you raise your hand and call them over. Then when you’re done and ready to pay, you call them over for the check. They usually stand next to your table after you’ve called for the check, and wait for you to put up the cash or card. It was definitely weird at first. Tipping isn’t a big thing out here; no you won’t get the finger if you don’t leave a tip. Most restaurants usually have a 10% service charge, which is pretty much the equivalent of a tip. Pricing for restaurants are pretty similar to any other city, it ranges depending on where you go. The cheapest option to eat as a student I can definitely say is at my University.