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FOOD

A Taste of Home Away from Home

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Discovering the flavours of a new cuisine can be an exhilarating part of the expatriate experience. But there’s something powerful about the comforts of our home foods – especially when the pangs of homesickness strike while you’re living thousands of miles away. We spoke to a few people from different cultures about the foods they miss most from home, and where they go to get their fix in Hong Kong.

Corina, Venezuela, Dancer
Years in Hong Kong: Six

“My family and I are Venezuelan and we moved here six years ago. We usually cook at home since there aren’t many places in town where you can get an authentic Venezuelan food. Picada is one place in town I like for Latin American cuisine like empanadas. They also have a Latin American DJ, as well as a Latin band, Azucar Latina, for that fun fiesta vibe. But for me, good Venezuelan chocolate is my favourite comfort food. I recently discovered Chinese-Venezuelan Liliana Chan’s gourmet chocolate business, Envoy Chocolates, which uses Venezuelan cocoa, so it should be easier for me to indulge now!”

Anson, China, Structural Engineer
Years in Hong Kong: Four
“I’ve lived most of my life in Shanghai, and a little bit in Toronto before coming to Hong Kong, but I’m originally from a small city in Henan province. Food has always been my connection to home – especially dumplings, which we’d make together as a family during the holidays. If I’m feeling homesick, I go to Lao Zhang Gui Dongbei Restaurant near Olympic MTR station, which serves traditional dishes from northern China. Another favourite is Shandong Dumpling House. The owner is from Shandong, a neighbouring province to Henan and where my mum is from, so we often chat over a steaming plate of dumplings.”

Joaquim, Spain/Belgium/France, F&B
Years in Hong Kong: Eight
“My family comes from Belgium and Spain, and I’ve also lived in the south of France, so ‘home cooking’ includes quite a variety of cuisines. We have access to good ingredients and products here, so we often enjoy Spanish food at home or at the homes of friends. Same for French cooking. As for Belgian food, I enjoy the moule frites at The Pawn, and Frites does Belgian dishes like Flemish beef stew. But the real taste of Belgium is the beer: I get my fix at The Hop House in Wan Chai.”

Catherine, Thailand/Swiss, Artist
Years in Hong Kong: 20 (combined)
“I was born in Bangkok to a Thai mum and a Swiss father, but we moved to Hong Kong in 1991. I’m back in Hong Kong now after having lived in Australia and the UK. When I crave Thai food, I’ll usually cook; a good curry makes me reminisce of Bangkok. Otherwise, I like the green curry lunch sets at The Spice House in Wan Chai. As for Swiss food, I like good bread and sausages, and cured meats and cheese, which I pick up at Great supermarket in Pacific Place.”

Himanshu, India, Merchandise Manager
Years in Hong Kong: Eight
“I was born and raised in Bhilwara, Rajasthan – a state of India known for especially hot food. But I’m a fan of all foods – and spice levels. Two of my favourite places in Hong Kong are Sangeetha, for vegetarian South Indian dishes like dosa (long, thin, savoury pancakes) and Gaylord in Tsim Sha Tsui for North Indian food. My all-time favourite is dal makhni (stewed spicy lentils) with tandoori roti (I could live on that forever) which my wife and I often cook at home. We’re also lucky that our mums visit often – my mum’s home cooking will always be the ultimate comfort food.”

Julie, France, Financial Analyst
Years in Hong Kong: One

“I miss the bread and pastries of Paris the most. In Hong Kong, both Maison Eric Kayser and Bakehouse in Wan Chai are fantastic places to buy freshly made artisan breads and pastries like flaky croissants and fresh danishes. I miss bistros, too, for the casual, hearty cuisine and the ambience. I’ve found that Pastis in Central is very close to a real thing. I also love cheese, cold cuts and good wine, which I get from Citysuper.”

In need of more food recommendations? See what Taikoo Place office workers said about their favourite lunchtime haunts, here.

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