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茶餐廳 (cha chaan teng, "tea restaurants") are the Hong Kong equivalent of a quick and dirty greasy spoon diner experience, endearingly brusque service included. Their menus reflect the mesh of traditional Cantonese cooking with Western ingredients from the British colonial period which only ended in 1997.
Elbow macaroni is usually tied to thick and creamy mac n' cheese in North America, whereas in Hong Kong diners it is more likely found in soups, topped with slightly browned Chinese spam and the perfectly fried egg. In the very same diner, you can order freshly baked sweet "pineapple buns" with a thick, cold slab of butter sandwiched in the middle. (How these places hide a running bakery behind a crowded active restaurant in the middle of the busiest narrow streets is always beyond me.)
Oh, and don't ever miss out on trying Hong Kong style milk tea. Creamy, luscious, with a slightly deep-set savouriness, it coats your tongue with a warm, roasted aroma that brings a well-sought comfort in any weather. Even under 38C. But to be honest, I would probably opt for the iced version, which is a thrilling treat with the signature sweet and bitter taste.
Be a local: save one of the complimentary sit-down hot teas for soaking your utensils! Yes, we love to drink hot tea no matter what the temperature.
banner: I really X love Hong Kong
bubble: One daily special, please!
I used to have a lot more cookery books than this set. These were kept as I refer and cook from them the most. Although its easy enough to look up recipes online there nothing like a tangle book you can flick through and write notes in the margins.
I was inspired to illustrate this after I saw Salli post a few of hers.
If I had to pick one food to eat for the rest of time it would be pasta. I love pasta of all kinds, but spaghetti and meatballs, that age-old classic, will always have a special place in my heart. Add some extra crusty bread and a nice glass of red--Buon Appetito!
If I were to go on a PIKUNIKKU (Japanese romanization of the word picnic), I would vouch for a nice long hike underneath the sakura blossoms in March. There would be nothing more fitting than an ornate and delicately welcoming Japanese bento box, along with some seasonal mandarins. The "ben" in "bentou" comes from the word convenience, which shows in the cute and compact shapes of each food item. While I was growing up, I was fascinated by the creative ways people would dress up common ingredients, such as cutting up hot dogs into octopus shapes, or the "onigiri"- rice balls "molded" into different forms with a variety of seasonings. Now I can make my bento boxes however I want, but for this illustration I wished to satisfy my childhood fantasy with the picture perfect vegetables and octopus hot dogs, with full on Japanese headband and silly octopus face.