The Oxford English Dictionary Added Hong Kong Words About Food. Here Are Our 5 Favourites

Yum cha.

Cover image via China Discovery & @the_kimo (Instagram)

This Spotlight is sponsored by Hong Kong Tourism Board.

Hong Kong is known for delicious and affordable food. So much so that even the Oxford English Dictionary took notice.

Back in 2016, the Oxford English Dictionary made headlines when they added new Hong Kong words.

Some were based from Cantonese, such as dai pai dong (a food stall), while others were English terms that are only used in Hong Kong, like sitting-out area (a small public space with seating in a built-up urban area).

We miss travelling to Hong Kong for the food! Jom, let's dive into the meaning of the city's delicious treats and plan where to eat once we can:

1. Dim sum

n. A Chinese dish of small steamed or fried savoury dumplings containing various fillings.

Who doesn't love dim sum? From the steamed classics like siu mai, har gow, and cheong fun, to the deep-fried treats like spring rolls and bean curd, there's always something for everyone.

Lifting the lids off those little bamboo steamers to reveal the delicious bites inside is the best feeling. Oof so puas! Dim sum is all about sharing and variety.

Late night dim sum from Prince Dragon.

Image via Caffeinated Excursions

Where to try it:
Dim sum is widely available throughout Hong Kong. Traditional establishments tend to serve dim sum in the morning and early afternoon.

For a late night dim sum experience, visit Prince Dragon, which opens until 2am!

Address: 9 Cedar Street, Prince Edward, Kowloon
Tel: +852 2648 8911

2. Yum cha

n. A meal eaten in the morning or early afternoon, typically consisting of dim sum and hot tea.

Image via GLP Worldwide

Yum cha. For Hongkongers, yum cha is all about spending time with family. It's about gathering and chatting over rounds of hot tea and dim sum. Usually a morning or early afternoon activity, it's also a popular pastime for retirees and senior citizens to catch up with friends. 

The Dim Sum Afternoon Experience at Holt's Cafe comes with seven courses and four different brews.

Image via Holt's Cafe

Where to try it:
For a classic yum cha experience, you'll need hot tea and dim sum! Check out Holt's Cafe for a taste of both in a modern setting. With all-day dim sum and Chinese tea that's brewed to order by certified tea masters, you'll get lost in conversation in no time.

Address: 2/F, Rosewood Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel: +852 3891 8732

3. Milk tea

n. Any of various drinks made with tea and milk or cream; esp. a drink originating in Hong Kong, made with black tea and evaporated or condensed milk.

Milk tea is a Hong Kong staple. Usually made with a combination of strong Ceylon black tea with evaporated or condensed milk, this drink has been a popular go-to since the 1950s.

Nowadays, locals get their milk tea fix from a cha chaan teng (Hong Kong-style cafe).

Mido Cafe is one of the last cha chaan tengs from the 1950s.

Image via @the_kimo (Instagram)

Where to try it:
For a vintage experience, head to Mido Cafe, one of the last remaining cha chaan tengs from the 1950s. Enjoy a glass of authentic milk tea, the way it's always been made.

Address: 63 Temple Street, Yau Ma Tei
Tel: +852 2384 6402

Sun Hang Yuen is famous for their sandwiches and milk tea.

Image via @loveatjournal (Instagram)

Another popular spot worth a visit is Sun Hang Yuen. Enjoy your iced milk tea with Cantonese baked goods and quick snacks. This classic cha chaan teng is famous for their egg and beef sandwiches!

Address: 38 Kweilin Street, Sham Shui Po
Tel: +852 2386 2748

4 & 5. Siu mei and Char siu

Siu mei:
n. In Cantonese cookery: marinated meat roasted on a spit over an open fire or in a wood-burning rotisserie oven.

Char siu:
n. In Cantonese cookery: roast pork marinated in a sweet and savoury sauce, typically served sliced into thin strips. Frequently attributive, esp. in char siu bun, char siu pork, char siew rice.

Siu mei is used to describe Cantonese-style roast meat in general. This includes char siu, roast goose, roast pig, and soy sauce chicken. Traditionally, siu mei is considered a luxury, a meal for special occasions. Siu mei restaurants are unmistakable with their rows of roast meat in glass displays out front. 

With a rich taste and distinct barbecue flavour, siu mei is best savoured with plain white rice or noodles.

Char siu is probably the most popular siu mei item of all time. This barbecued pork is instantly recognisable with its dark red exterior, while the meat is sweet, savoury, and smoky. The best cut is half fat, half lean, so you get the best of both worlds!

Get Michellin-star char siu at Yue.

Image via @itsallaboutgoodfood (Instagram)

Where to try it:
For the ultimate char siu experience, head to Michelin-starred Yue. Made with the finest ingredients, this char siu is in a league of its own.

Address: 9 city Garden Road, North Point
Tel: + 852 2806 4918

There are 100 reasons to miss Hong Kong, and food is definitely at the top of that list!

Image via China Discovery

We may not be able to travel to Hong Kong yet, but Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) is bringing Hong Kong to us.

We're sure just practising the names of all these Hong Kong dishes got you salivating - we have good news for you! Order your dim sum, siu mei, char siu, nai cha, and other authentic Hong Kong dishes through GrabFood using the promo code IMISSHK now to have your craved-for meals delivered to your doorstep for free.

With loads of activities for you to tickle your fancy, you're gonna wanna visit Hong Kong as soon as travel becomes possible when borders reopen!

For more information and the latest updates about Hong Kong, visit Discover Hong Kong or 'Like' them on Facebook

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