Open Jaw

A World Of Brilliant Flavours

Dining & Culture in Hong Kong & Taiwan

If clients are visiting Asia for the first time and Hong Kong and Taiwan are on the itinerary, one thing’s for sure, they are in for an amazing culinary experience. Many say Hong Kong is worth visiting for its food scene alone, while Taiwan offers possibilities for farm-to-table dining that don’t exist anywhere else in the region.

Hong Kong Highlights

A modern city built on an ancient civilization, Hong Kong has everything from iconic, contemporary architecture to ancient Chinese temples, and an intersection of cultures that has shaped everything, including cuisine.

Dai Pai Dong

With a whopping 14,000 restaurants to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start. From street food to more than 60 Michelin-starred eateries, the dining here is as diverse as its many neighbourhoods.

Dai pai dong are the open-air street stalls that serve up hot food day and night and offer visitors a firsthand slice of city life. Of course there are also the myriad Dim sum restaurants that feature as many as 150 items on their menus, and the unique ‘walled-village food’, which is typically rustic and hearty with an emphasis on rich and dark textures that differentiates it from most Cantonese cuisine.

For a great sampling of Hong Kong cuisine, the annual Wine & Dine Festival (the 10th edition takes place 25-28OCT), brings together world-class food, drinks and entertainment. There will be wine-pairing meals designed by master chefs and tasting classes led by industry experts, in addition to over 400 booths serving up food and drink.

Immediately following the Wine & Dine Festival, the Hong Kong Great November Feast kicks off. It’s a month-long celebration of the city’s culinary scene, with everything from tastings at top restaurants around town, foodie street fairs in Lan Kwai Fong and on Queen’s Road East, and various wine- and beer-themed events such as ‘Beertopia’ and the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair.

Taiwanese Delights

A combination of old and new, city and country, Taiwan is a small island with big appeal, and it is a perfect complement to any trip to Hong Kong.

Taiwan food

While there is much focus on Taiwan’s natural and rural appeal, its capital city Taipei is as cosmopolitan as they come and the centre of modern Taiwanese life. In this city you’ll find the tallest building in all Asia, along with Michelin-starred restaurants, high-fashion boutiques, a cultural scene both traditional and eclectic in its influences, and a frenetic 24-7 pace of life you’d expect in any major city.

When it comes to dining, while Taiwan offers plenty in the way of international cuisine, it’s traditional fare is quite different from that of its neighbours. This is thanks to Taiwan’s Hakka origins, which arrived centuries ago from mainland China. With a focus on texture, Hakka cuisine is robust and deceptively simple. The key in its preparation is the ability to cook meat thoroughly without drying it out, and to naturally bring out the savoury, or umami, flavour.

Other local specialties include:

      • Tea: Although found throughout Asia, Taiwan has a reputation for being a tea empire. With a topography and climate perfect for growing tea plants, varieties here include Wenshan Baozhong, Dongding Oolong, Pekoe Oolong and Tie Guanyin. Visitors can head to Yingge, the ceramics capital of Taiwan – and specifically Jianshanpu Road, a newly designed pedestrian area – to purchase beautiful porcelain to gracefully serve tea.

Jiufen Teahouse

Jiufen Teahouse

      • Pineapples: Widely grown in Taiwan, pineapples are a local favourite, and pineapple cake is a particularly popular treat.
      • Mochi: This sticky rice cake is another favourite. A delicacy that stems from Taiwan’s aboriginal and Hakka cultures, it is traditionally made by hand-grinding the rice, pressing it dry, and then repeatedly kneading the dough into a dense, soft texture that is chewy but not sticky.

For the true Hakka dining experience, travellers are invited to head out of the city and into the traditional villages where the cuisine and culture has been passed down through generations.


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