Maybe you thought that the topic of this post indicated it would be some reflective and deep thoughts on our move to Hong Kong.
Nope! This post is literally about food. A new country and culture means new food. Of course, every man and his dog knows about dim sum but what about the everyday food that you find in supermarkets or your fave takeout place?
Right up front, it must be said that since I am gluten intolerant, food is always a more difficult and annoying proposition for me than your average Joe. In Australia, the gf eater is well catered for. In HK? Well, not so much. Sure, there is a lot of rice but there is also a lot of soy sauce (which contains gluten). It’s a bit of a Russian roulette for my intestines and I when we dine out. But this post isn’t about gluten.
I give you two words: fried garlic.
You can buy a little plastic bottle of fried garlic and it tastes fantastic. Sprinkled over any savoury dish, it is super yummy. It takes spaghetti sauce to a new level.
I also discovered a new taste sensation. Do you like pizza? And do you like Big Macs? Well, imagine if you could put the two together. We got Pizza Hut one night. It cost a bomb but was really, really tasty. I took the plunge and ordered a pizza that had a topping I had never seen on pizza before: Thousand Island Sauce. It tastes a lot like the Big Mac special sauce and is really, really good. Of course, it is choc full of gluten and I certainly paid for that meal later but boy, oh boy, was it worth it!!
Another good thing here is the availability of a selection of American and European food. Mostly, because my husband never really got used to Australian bacon. Our bacon is mostly meat and quite similar to what Americans call Canadian bacon. Their bacon is mostly not meat but does go very crispy when you cook it. They also smoke their bacon, which is a very tasty addition. Personally, I will eat any bacon. I am not fussy as I love bacon so much; I am not bacon-ist.
On the downside, dairy is expensive in Hong Kong – all dairy, including cheese and ice cream, which are two of my fave foods. And having all these different international foods means you have to figure out which product from which country is what you are looking for. And sometimes the cooking instructions are in French or German. I just make it up when that happens. Luckily, my children are not fussy and don’t know any better so they eat some interesting things sometimes!
It’s also not cheap here. If you don’t have access to a “wet market” where you can buy fruit and veg it can be really expensive. For instance, I refused to pay HK$65 recently in the supermarket for a red pepper. That is almost AUD$10. Um, no.
So far, everything (except for alcohol and public transport) is more expensive in HK than even Sydney! But as we figure out the best place to get things, I am hoping our grocery bills go down a bit. At least, they better!