Thursday, February 9, 2012

Hong Kong Day 1

We have arrived in Hong Kong. It's so exciting to be back. I have to admit I am a bit biased about this city. I mean Toby is from here, it is where we met and where we first started dating and it was once my home for about 12 months.

It's a crazy city, with excess lights, shops, high rises. It's a little like visiting New York in that energises me. I also find it kind of refreshing to be a city where I can't understand most of the voices speaking Cantonese around me. Although I can understand a few of the more common phrases every now and then as I try to improve my cantonese. The underground train system is the best, so clean, so efficent, and if you miss one train, you only have to wait a few minutes to the next. There is also lots of smart ideas like this umbrella vending machines at train stations, which I sadly got kind of excited about:

The food can be amazing for vegans,  so many Chinese vegetarian restaurants, so many yum cha opportunities and so much gluteny mock meat. However, this is my first time eating gluten free here and I have to admit that I suspect it is going to be a big challenge. Chinese Food is difficult since there is wheat in soy sauce and most sauces and almost no awareness about coeliac disease is. I'm prepared for some boring meals of plain rice and eating rice cakes at home. I will try to blog every couple of days to show you what I can eat.

I woke up and had some sweet soup made by Toby's mum which I will post about seperately.I'm afraid we set out shopping on our first day and didn't bring any camera, so all of these pics are from my phone.

Our first meal out was actually kind of a happy accident, I was prepared to eat g/f cup of noodles at his parents place while he went some where more exciting. However, we were wandering around the shopping centre near Toby's parents house in Taikoo Shing when Toby remembered that the food court at a Japanese department store called Apita had a curry in the hurry with dosa.

Dosa are generally g.f since they are made with rice flour. I ordered a masala dosa which comes with coconut chutney and samba. It was fantastic. The samba was spicy but the coconut chutney was so cooling and the potato filling was amazing. It also comes with a choice of drink and the iced tea help to cool my mouth afterwards. Toby had a regular curry from there too with roti, pappadum etc. And the best thing about it was super cheap. I was a little worried that my enquiries about it being gluten free and dairy free was lost in translation but given that I wasn't sick I think it was safe.
Curry in a Hurry
Apita Uny Food Court (City Plaza MTR exit)
Taikoo Shing
City Plaza

For dinner, we went with Toby's family to Life Cafe. The one place in Hong Kong that I am confident can feed me. It's a western style vegetarian resuarant with plenty of gluten free marked meals and a few raw dishes. Toby and I shared the gluten free pizza with vegan goats cheese. It was fantastic, the pesto, caramelised onion, tomato and base was defintely one of the best gluten free pizzas I have had. 

Toby got the sesame tofu which is served with quinoa and veggies. It is served with a cashew type sauce. I thought was tasty and healthy but a bit average.

Life Cafe
10 Shelly St

Afterwards we went to a little cafe on the side of the road which I am told is famous for desserts.

I couldn't resist some red bean soup. My whole less sugar thing is on hold while i'm holiday, obviously! The mandarin peel released such a nice but not obvious flavour and it was super filling. Toby got some sweet sesame soup and I also tried some tong yuen (rice balls) which I'm not a huge fan of as its way too chewy for me.

Leaf Dessert
2 Elgin Street, SOHO, Central


  1. A good first day, at least! If you can keep eating like this, I don't think you'll be missing out at all!

  2. I tried to leave this comment on the other post but your word capture thing wouldn't let me! I'm now in IE, after reying Mozilla - your blog is being crazy. The other post isn't even showing up.

    Who would have thought to get pizza in Hong Kong?! That pizza looks AMAZING!

    The worst pizza I ever had was at an asian restaurant.

    And btw.. that yum cha food all looks amazing. Do you guys even have a vegan yum cha in Melb?

  3. I'd be excited about umbrella vending machines too - and even more excited if google lets me post this comment (a few have been rejected today) - have a great trip - that pizza sounds like a fantastic find and a good break from rice and rice cakes :-)