Thursday, 31 October 2013

香港日記 Hong Kong Diaries. Part Four

Strolling through the indoor market by our hotel, looking at the impressive displays of fruit and vegetables it’s clear that the people of Hong Kong like their food fresh. Very. Some of the smallest ingredients in the meat section and nearly all the fish are still alive. 

Walking past little faces staring out with doomed eyes is a disconcerting experience, but then I feel exactly the same way in this part of the world when I see sheep peering out from lorries on their way to slaughter.

We’re not stopping here though, just passing through on our way to the MTR station. Neither of us is a great shopper but since we’re in Hong Kong, we both have a small wish list of things we might like to buy; I’d like some perfume and Tom’s after a bike computer. Away from the side streets and markets, the lavish shopping malls reveal a completely different aspect of Hong Kong’s personality.
On the spotless trains, exquisite girls and sleek boys, straight out the pages of Vogue, are glossy with head-to-toe designer labels. 4G networks across the MTR keep everyone busy on their Samsung tablets or texting on their smart phones where the keys correspond to brushstrokes to form Chinese pictograms - there’s not a book in sight! 

In what feels like miles of jewellery shops, there’s a brisk trade in eye-wateringly expensive diamond rings and luxury watches. Cameras, handbags, designer clothes are everywhere in this busy modern city with its huge appetite for the new and costly, but not my perfume - which was introduced in 2000 and is now considered out-of-date – nor Tom’s modest bike computer!

The queue starts to form...
Giving up on our purchases, we decide to have another try at eating at Din Tai Fung, a Michelin-starred Taiwanese dim sum restaurant, actually part of a franchise, which Tripadvisor loves. 

The problem is that everyone in Hong Kong seems to love it too; on our first attempt we were beaten back by the queues, but this time, amazingly, we’re shown straight to a table. And, oh my goodness, is it worth the wait! The food is utterly sublime; the service is fantastic and the bill is less than most British takeaways. What a treat!

Outside the glass...
Success! Dumplings, crispy chilli chicken and hot and sour soup!


Chanpreet said...

I'm sorry to hear you and your husband didn't find what you were looking for. I usually find that if I'm looking for something I will never find it. Even if it's right in front of my face.

I too feel horrible when I see animals on their way to slaughter. I have a distant who uncle own a poultry farm in India and I took a tour once when I was visiting. It was huge. Even though they had fresh eggs, I couldn't bring myself to eat the omelette they offered to make me. You also should've seen my face when I realized what my other uncle meant when he said bragged about picking out the best chicken for one of my favorite meals, tandoori chicken. :(

Chris Stovell said...

I think it must be one of the unseen rules, Chanpreet, that if you're looking for something, you won't find it!

I feel for you with the tandoori chicken. I eat a lot of fish, but seeing one hauled out a tank for a customer at the market and filleted in front of my eyes was a sharp reminder of the living creature at the beginning of the food chain.