Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hong Kong's Love for All Things Japanese

I still have a lot to blog about from my Hong Kong trip!

Like fashion, food in Hong Kong is very much influenced by Japan. There are a lot of fresh fruits and food imported from Japan. At the same time, there are also outposts of Japanase restaurants/chains in HK.

In HK, there are numerous Japanese Supermarket/Department Store Chains. We went to Sogo in Causeway Bay, Jusco in Tai Koo and APITA in Tai Koo during our trip. One of the reasons why food is imported from Japan is because of the known quality issues and deception in Mainland China. Most Hong Kong people, like my cousins, believe quality is much better for products from Japan. On top of that, products from Japan are less prone to being fake; for example, there are cases of dyes being used to make a food product look like something else in Mainland.

Here are some of the interesting goods you'll find in these Japanese stores in HK:

  • Grilled corn from Hokkaido

  • Giant grapes - their skins are rather thick, so you just eat the inside. They're really sweet, and the skin tastes like an intense concord grape.

  • Fresh cod roe (spicy or mild)

  • Fish cakes made with scallions and cod roe. These are really good. They're made fresh in Japan and shipped to HK.

  • Seaweed salad

  • Takyoki (Octopus Balls) made onsite. I've had these before in the US, and the ones I got from HK (specifically Gindaco in APITA in Tai Koo) were soooo much better! The crispy exterior was lightly kissed with a sweet grilled flavor sauce, and inside was warm, airy and creamy. The ones I had in the US were dense and not crunchy at all.

  • I don't know what these are called, but I've had a variety of these before (filled with red bean instead). This was nice but not my cup of tea. It was almost like a sweet vanilla butter cream.

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