HONG KONG — The buildings are tall, the neon is bright, and the cheap eats are fabulous in Hong Kong. Last fall, my niece Jenny and I took the two-hour train from Guangzhou in hopes of eating ourselves silly in a day and a half. With a list of noodle and seafood restaurants in our pocket, all recommended by a local friend, imagine our surprise as we tracked down these hole-in-the-wall joints and found photos of Anthony Bourdain on the wall. OK, so we weren’t the first to discover these places, but they are noteworthy nonetheless.
This bustling fast-food restaurant offers three staples: A fragrant, porridge-like rice soup (congee) with a dozen choices of add-ins such as sliced pork, fish ball, or pig’s liver; braised noodles with vegetables, fish, or stewed spiced ox-brisket; and noodle soup with vegetables, meat, or scrumptious shrimp dumplings. The host seats you at any available table, even one partially occupied. No use asking for napkins (they don’t have them), and water is served hot in 4-ounce plastic glasses. A chilled mini-bottle of Coke is $1. Our favorite: Deep-fried shrimp dumplings with a squirt of mayo on the side. $3.10-$4.10. 140 Des Voeux Road Central, 011-852-2541-3080