Written by Dyami Millarson
Hong Kong opened my eyes for the first time to the diversity of cuisine in Asia and the world when I was there in 2017. I had never tried so many different restaurants, dishes and flavours before. It was a true pleasure to the senses. I have seen the interior of many different restaurants and I recall the ambiance of each restaurant. Eating out is obviously not a thing in the Netherlands where I live, because restaurants are so much more expensive here than in Hong Kong, where eating out regularly is part of the local culture, and this cultural habit is probably also what is driving down the prices, whereas people in the Netherlands prefer to eat at home, which is driving up the prices in the Netherlands. That being said, the food in Hong Kong restaurants is very affordable and this offered me the opportunity to try many different restaurants and foods. I was very interested in the ambiance of each restaurant, because I consider ambience to be part of the total food experience. It behooves no explanation that a fine-dining restaurant in Hong Kong has a completely different ambiance from a congee shop in the streets of Hong Kong.
I have fond memories of being in Hong Kong because I recall not just the ambience of each restaurant but especially all the flavours, textures and methods of preparation of the foods that I have tried there for the first time: silky, briny, fresh, crispy, whipped, sweet, flaky, bittersweet, citrusy, zesty, cooling, delicate, crispy, fried, nutty, baked, herbal, earthy, smooth, roasted, sauteed, infused, crusty, broiled, blanched, fruity, and I could go on. I learned to recognise a lot of new flavours, textures and methods of preparation in Hong Kong. It was definitely a food paradise to me. Never in my life have I been able to try so much and learn so much about cuisine in a relatively short timespan. I do really cherish the culinary knowledge that I have gained in Hong Kong in 2017 and I will surely carry it with me for the rest of my life.
While I was so busy trying new things in Hong Kong, I did not have much time to write about my experiences at that time; I have not written much on our blog in 2017, because I really wanted to focus on experiencing as much as possible (I was nevertheless profoundly inspired during my stay in Hong Kong and this is what prompted me to write an article about Moana with a rare zeal and zest that I experienced particularly at that moment in my life and so that contemporary article, that I wrote now 957 days ago when I was staying in Hong Kong, captures my mood of that fleeting moment in history accurately and remains the most-read article on our blog to this day and has been for 2 consecutive years since 2018, while it was just one of the most-read articles in 2017). After all, I knew that I would be writing about these memories afterwards like I am doing now. These are the memories of a lifetime. Although I learned a lot in Hong Kong about restaurants and foods, I noticed that I still needed to expand my vocabulary to describe these experiences, because while I had never experienced these things before, I did not possess the vocabulary to describe it, and I knew this would take many years to perfect, because describing culinary experiences is an art in and of itself. After visiting Hong Kong, I was determined to master this art and read professional descriptions of foods and restaurants and perform a linguistic analysis of each description mentally so as to grasp the style and the vocabulary better. I have been slowly learning how to describe my 2017 Hong Kong experiences and I will definitely continue to post about these experiences in the coming years, because I recall all these memories very vividly and very fondly.
I enjoyed your comments here on dining in HK. I lived there ’69 to ’72, on the island, school in Repulse Bay – Yes, always a dining mecca!