Friday, January 10, 2014

Destination Hong Kong

As anybody who follows Chinese food knows, the quality of Chinese food in Hong Kong far surpasses that found anywhere in the United States.  Not only is this the consensus view of almost anyone who has eaten Chinese food both in Hong Kong and the United States, but when one commentator, legendary Chinese American filmmaker Wayne Wang, was quoted as saying the best Chinese food in the world was in the San Gabriel Valley, he was ridiculed from stem to stern.

Like everybody else, I truly believe that Hong Kong Chinese food is superior to American Chinese food.  But the truth is, I cannot say this belief is from personal experience.  And it's not that I haven't eaten in Hong Kong, since I've been there three times.  The problem is we never knew anybody in Hong Kong who could show us around and take us to the best restaurants.  Consequently, whenever we visited Hong Kong we would walk into random restaurants.  The result was Chinese food, that with just a couple of exceptions, was not in fact better than anything we had in the San Gabriel Valley.  I guess the analog would be a foreign tourist taking his meals at McDonalds, Denny's, Olive Garden and Tony Roma's and not being impressed with American food.

Potentially another issue is the possibility that not all categories of Chinese food in Hong Kong are vastly superior to what we are used to.  I've heard it said that while Hong Kong Chinese food at the extremes--high end dining and subway station/street food is greatly superior, that the food at say a mid-range dim sum place might not be.

Consequently, it  is with great anticipation that we're looking forward to our trip to Hong Kong where we will be hosted by people familiar with the local food scene.  You can follow my tweets @chandavkl.

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