Food Porn: Hong Kong

If developing rituals and social infrastructure is how we distinguish ourselves as the victors of evolution, then the culinary arts are the spoils of the evolutionary contest. Cooking elevates us above instinct, as if to gloat to other, inferior members of the animal kingdom: not only do we feed ourselves enough to cultivate other interests, but we prepare our food, and are healthier for it.  We feed ourselves not just to ameliorate hunger, but to appease boredom.  Food is not a means to an end, but an end itself, and from it we derive comfort, passion, and even identity.

A map of the restaurants I've been thus far (not exhaustive)

A map of the restaurants I’ve been thus far (not exhaustive)

In a lot of ways, although Hong Kong is a fully-developed, industrialized city, it feels like a new frontier.  Niches are up for the conquering, especially in the realm of cuisine, where Survival of the Fittest is the standard by which restaurants rise and fall.  There are simply too many choices to return to an establishment that was anything short of mind-blowingly good.  And, in the spirit of being able to have anything you please, diversity in the expat population ensures access to a different region’s cuisine for every night of the week.  

…Which is especially helpful when trying to navigate foreign cuisine with a life-threatening allergy, where asking the question, “Does this have peanuts?” is pretty much as useless as trying to explain anaphylactic shock to anyone except a trained physician.  (Though I have begun to carry around a card that a friend kindly translated for me, explaining the situation nonetheless.)¹

This aspiring southerner even found herself a barbecue joint founded by two Carolina boys.

Despite our society’s moratorium on instagramming your lunch, it is a crime not to preserve these dishes–which always taste even better than they look–in photographic perpetuity.

And, without further ado, I offer my first HK Food Porn compilation.  You will want to be sitting down for this.

22 Ships, aka possibly the best meal I have had in my life without exaggeration

Iberico & Co. Kitchen

The salted mousse at Bouchon

The salted mousse at Bouchon

Olive:

Seafood salad at Brozeit

Seafood salad at Brozeit

Baked chicken breast with tomato sauce and mozzarella, atop a roasted bell pepper polenta at Woomooloomoo, which boasts a very reasonable lunch set

Baked chicken breast with tomato sauce and mozzarella, atop a roasted bell pepper polenta at Woomooloomoo, which boasts a very reasonable lunch set

The chocolate souffle at Brasserie le Fauchon

The chocolate souffle at Brasserie le Fauchon

Brasserie le Fauchon:

Casual lunch of bacon-wrapped sole... nbd

Casual lunch of bacon-wrapped sole… nbd

Miscellaneous Bar/Casual food:

———————————

1.  I read one particularly mean post on GeoExpat responding to a concerned parent of a child with gluten and dairy allergies, suggesting that, instead of moving to Hong Kong, the mother should go back in time and let her child play in the dirt more often to develop the kid’s immune system “naturally.”²  I wonder if the poster would be swayed by stories from my childhood that involve being pelted with peanut shells at baseball games and rubbing my eyes with peanut-butter-covered fingers after painting pine cones with the stuff and rolling them in seeds for the birds… all scenarios condoned and encouraged by my parents.  For what it’s worth, the allergy runs in my family, as does its severity, and peanut allergy is one of the few that most people don’t grow out of — in fact, it gets worse with every reaction.

2.  I assume in Hong Kong, developing a child’s immune system “naturally” predicates upon having him inhale smog and particulates during his formative years, and exposing her to pollution, because kids here, according to teacher friends (re: 9/10 expats I meet), react to green pastures as one might to a bioterrain on Mars.  One art teacher recounted a story of finger-painting gone awry, wherein her students looked at their paint-stained fingers in horror and screamed until someone arrived to clean their hands.  Every morning before class, teachers wipe the children’s hands with hand sanitizer and take their temperatures.  Even children as old as six years are accustomed to having their domestic helpers pull up their pants post-potty break.  So yeah, I’m gonna go with the smog.  Smog toughens up immune systems.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s