My first meal in Hong Kong

I’ve been under the weather the past few days, with a sore throat that turned into a nasty cold with a hacking cough. Fortunately, I wasn’t too ill to do my events in Singapore, but now I’m resting for a day. And, mirabile dictu (have you learned that phrase yet?), one of my hosts here told me that one of the best beef brisket noodle joints in Hong Kong was right around the corner from my hotel.

I ventured out, and after a three minute walk was at Kau Kee, which specializes in this dish:


Tons of beef brisket in a rich broth loaded with chewy E-Fu noodles. What a treat! Within seconds I was slurping the noodles with the locals (contrary to the link above, there were no tourists there). You don’t linger in a place like this: with a Chinese soup spoon in one hand and chopsticks in the other, you slurp, gobble, pay, and run.

Here’s a video of the two most famous brisket noodle places in Hong Kong, including Kau Kee:

I’m jumping the gun as I haven’t finished my Singapore food posts yet, but this is a one-off.


  1. Cole
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    That looks like it would have a soothing effect on a cold! Get well soon.

  2. darrelle
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Oh man, I want that. Looking at that picture I can almost smell it. My lunch today sucks.

    My 1st visit to Japan a friend took my wife and I to a famous noodle shop somewhere in Shinjuku. Mine was spicy, which I like. But my friend didn’t inform us about certain differences that USians might not be prepared for. Like it is not unusual for Japanese food places to not have napkins (or toilets toilet paper, but that’s another story).

    So about half way through my face is covered in noodle broth, keeping in mind that it’s impolite to NOT slurp your noodles, my nose is starting to run freely from the spiciness and I’ve got nothing to wipe the snot and noodle broth off my face with. I felt like the proverbial snot nosed kid in a high chair wearing half his food.

    The noodles were damn good though.

    • David Duncan
      Posted November 3, 2016 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      “Like it is not unusual for Japanese food places to not have … (or toilets toilet paper, but that’s another story).”

      I thought that only happened in eastern Europe…

    • nickswearsky
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      My sister-in-law always says of Japan: “If you see a noodle shop with a line out the door, Get In That Line!, even if you are not hungry.” The ramen is that good!

      • darrelle
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 8:45 am | Permalink

        Good advice. I’d only add, bring something to wipe your face with.

  3. geckzilla
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    So, according to my Chinese husband, it is very hard to get the best noodles outside of China. We eat in Flushing all the time which has some of the best Chinese food in the world, but, according to him, the noodles still pale in comparison. Count yourself among the lucky on this day.

  4. Posted November 3, 2016 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Hm, I wonder if I can get e-fu here at T&T (or at one of the smaller places). I’m not sure if I’ve had those …

  5. Heather Hastie
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Comfort food for the sick!

  6. Taskin
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 1:11 pm | Permalink


  7. M&S
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    You must have the Xiao Long Bao at Din Tai Fung! And go for formerly the cheapest Michelin starred restaurant in the world (now 2nd cheapest I think), Tim Ho Wan for dim sum.

    • Larry
      Posted November 3, 2016 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      Yes! Xiao long bao at Din Tai Fung is THE BEST! My wife and I go for ours in Taipei, near the wonderful Eslite bookstore. Yes, yes, yes…Din Tai Fung’s Xiao long bao! Great hot-and-sour soup too.

  8. jrhs
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Gotta go to dim sum in Hong Kong.

  9. nickswearsky
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    I travel to Taiwan often. Their version of this noodle soup is one of my favorites. Very few places in North America can even come close, so you gotta load up on it while there.

  10. Posted November 3, 2016 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Wow. That beef brisket noodle bowl looks up there with jewish penicillin for curing what ails you.

  11. David Duncan
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Oh man, I have to stop coming to this site when I’m hungry. Get well PCC (E).

  12. Diana MacPherson
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    mirabile visu might explain it better. 🙂

    • Hal
      Posted November 3, 2016 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      You’ll be happy to know that that expression is called ‘supine in u’. Lamentabile dictu, I find the occasions for the latter expression far too numerous lately.

  13. Forse
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Great stuff! Tried any Dan Dan noodles yet?
    Wondering if any Hong Kong talk program ?
    Peter F

    • Winnie
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:27 am | Permalink

      Jerry will be speaking at the HK Literary Festival on Thursday:

      He’ll be joining Skeptics in the Pub on Tuesday:

      Meet and Greet

      Tuesday, Nov 8, 2016, 7:00 PM

      Location details are available to members only.

      9 Skeptics Attending

      November 8th will be a open event without a topic or interview. This will be a casual meet and greet. Jerry Coyne will be there to meet new friends and enjoy casual conversations. Come on out, enjoy some great pub food and your favorite beverage.This is what Skeptics in the Pub is all about!

      Check out this Meetup →

      Can’t wait.

      • Winnie F
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:29 am | Permalink

        Oops, only meant to give the link.

        • Forse
          Posted November 4, 2016 at 10:00 am | Permalink

          Thanks Winnie, I’ll be there

  14. Forse
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Dear Prof:
    Have a look st today’s South China Mornong Post section C12-13 for some interesting food choices. I’d second the recommendation of “Hutong”, 1 Peking Road Kowloon, though it’s sometimes a bit of style over substance. Still, elegant and great views.
    By the way SCMP published a letter of mine today….
    Cheers, wishing you well soon, and hope you enjoy what is now my home town.
    Peter Forsythe

    • Byron
      Posted November 9, 2016 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

      I think Hutong is more for the ambience and view so you’re paying top dollars for household Sichuan dishes. But I’d strongly recommend Aqua Spirit, the bar just one level up from Hutong, excellent almost-360-degree-views like you are drinking in mid-air.

      For an authentic Sichuan dinner experience, Sijie Sichuan in Causeway Bay (near Times Square) would be great; a popular spot for both locals and expats; booking in advance needed. San Xi Lou in Central is also excellent.


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