If you’ve never been to Hong Kong before, there are probably a few things that you are worried about; food is likely to be one of them.
When you’re traveling to a place that is so alien to what you’re used to, perhaps because you’ve taken advantage of a good deal on an instant book hotel in hong kong central, or a cheap flight to the area, and you haven’t had time to do your research as thoroughly as you would like, then it’s only natural to worry about what you should and shouldn’t eat, where you should eat and how you should eat. Worry no longer because here are some very useful tips for eating in Hong Kong:
Sharing is the Norm
In Hong Kong, when it comes to eating, it is normal to share – no, not your food – your table. You shouldn’t be surprised when being seated at a restaurant to be led to a communal table. This might not be something you’re used to, but as long as you nod a sign of acknowledgement when you sit down, it is perfectly fine to politely ignore your table mates – in fact, that’s what’s expected.
Street Food is Safe
For the most part, not only is Hong Kong street food totally safe to eat, but it is also some of the most delicious food you’re likely to find during your stay. Obviously, you should use your common sense and not eat anything that looks or smells bad, but don’t be afraid to eat from one of the many stalls you’ll find lining the streets. If you do, you’ll be missing out!
Waiters Will Leave You Alone
Unlike in some places – the USA for example, Hong Kong waiters are much less in your face. They assume that diners want to be left in peace to enjoy their food, so unless you flag up an issue, they won’t be coming over to ask you how everything is. That means, if you do have a problem with the food you’ve been served or if you want anything extra, you will need to call them with a polite “M’goi” (excuse me) and let them know.
Don’t Expect a Cool Glass of Ice Water
Many westerners, particularly Americans, are used to having a glass of icy cool water with their meals. Many people in the rest of the world, including Hong Kong, find this strange, In fact, in Hong Kong, it’s considered that ice water is bad for digestion and it probably won’t be forthcoming, so if you want it, best to bring your own bottle along with you.
On the subject of water, in Hong Kong, it’s generally only safe to consume after being boiled, so you’ll be fine using it for tea, but bottled water should be used for everything else.
Bring Your Own Napkins
Top travel tip: If you’re a messy eater, you’re out of luck in Hong Kong because most restaurants don’t offer napkins with their meals. That’s okay though because you can find Tempo tissues at most convenience stores in the area and they are a good alternative.
Enjoy your trip and happy eating!
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