I was looking forward to a day out to one of Hong Kong’s smaller islands but I was to choose between Cheung Chau and Lamma Island. I went with the smaller island – Cheung Chau – mainly because it sounded like fun and heck, it’s home to the bun festival every year (not that we’d get to see it that day). It was a quick half hour ferry ride from Central and we emerged onto an island that was just as crowded as Hong Kong island but with a more relaxed, holiday feel to it.
Apparently, the thing to do on Cheung Chau is eat seafood. With empty stomachs, we wandered down the road and ended up at one place where the tables were packed and the food looked good. The New Baccarat Seafood Restaurant, it was!
What a lovely spread we had out there in the sun (yes, about 20C that winter day)! Scrambled egg with prawns was the first to our table and it was excellent, all fluffy egg and juicy, crunchy prawns.
Stir fried gai lan with garlic was crunchy and all the green we needed.
The salt and chilli squid was greaseless and crisp and made up for a hard and greasy version the previous day at Hay Hay Kitchen in Wan Chai.
Salty, carby goodness came in the form of chicken and salted fish fried rice.
Our steamed garlic scallops came with a wonderfully ridiculous amount of sweet garlic and unexpected but pleasantly slippery mung bean vermicelli. We scraped the contents of each shell straight into our mouths.
Finally, a whole steamed fish, a Cantonese classic. We picked it clean.
The seafood was all magnificently fresh though I doubt they’ve been caught very locally. I was told most of the waters surrounding Hong Kong had been fished clean though I did see a few fishing boats come in with a small catch and some fish and prawns being dried in the sun. Local or not local, with the warm sun on our backs, fresh breeze on our faces and cold drinks in our hands, this was a memorable lunch.
New Baccarat Seafood Restaurant
9A G/F Pak She Praya Road
With full bellies, we strolled around Cheung Chau’s car-less streets and over to the beach on the other side too. And I knew Hong Kong was famous for its wide variety of street foods but the variety of snacks available on Cheung Chau was still amazing and surprising. Fish balls, deep fried mochi ice cream, sticky rice cakes, popcorn, waffles, egg waffles, ice cream, shaved ice, pastries, grilled squid … all that temptation was just too great.
We first stopped at the Grand Plaza Cake Shop (91B, Hoi Poi Road, Cheung Chau) where a large crowd was jostling for just-out-of-the-oven egg tarts of both the Hong Kong and Macanese varieties. We had one of each – the mini dan tat (the Hong Kong version) was particularly tasty.
We couldn’t pass up this Taiwanese shaved ice stand and I walked away with this aromatic guava one. The flavours are already frozen into the ice block and the shaved ice almost resembles freshy fallen snow in its consistency – all light and fluffy.
Finally, on the way back to the ferry port, my first tornado potato! It’s a single potato spiral cut on a stick and mine was fresh out of the fryer. A bank of shakers in front of the shop allowed you to custom flavour your fried potato however you wish – there was curry, extra hot, chicken and garlic powders all along mine. Salty, greasy, good.
Needless to say, go with empty stomachs to Cheung Chau. To get to the island, take a ferry from Central Pier 5 in Hong Kong. You can use an Octopus card to pay – did I mention my love for their Octopus card? I love that all transport around Hong Kong can be paid with it and many eating establishments also accept payment with it.