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Hong Kong - Local Gastronomy

Hong Kong has a variety of food, but is probably famous for its Dim Sum and noodle bars. There are other varieties of Chinese food, such as Shanghainese, Sichuan, and Peking. Each is unique, so try a few restaurants before deciding which suits your taste buds. 

Dim Sum is usually served at lunch and is made up of small dishes. Dim sum literally means "a snack" and many snacks are ordered to make up a meal. It should be experienced with many people, so you have the opportunity to try many dishes.  

Depending on where you go, you will either fill in a sheet on your table requesting the dim sum items you want, or you simply stop the waiter who will be pushing a cart around with dim sum on it and you choose what you want to eat.  

I find it difficult to know what is inside all the dim sum dishes, so it would be advisable to learn a bit about dim sum before you opt to eat it!

There are plenty of authentic noodle shops around Hong Kong and I know of no specific ones that are authentic and excellent. Beware that the hygenic standards of some of the noodle stands may not be up to par with what you are use to. It is polite to use chopsticks to eat, but you can put the bowl near your mouth and shovel the noodles in as needed. 

Chinese Banquets
If you are invited to a chinese meal that is brought out banquet style, be aware that there may be as many as ten dishes brought out over time. Try not to fill up on the first few dishes!  

Also, if you are offered the head of a fish, it is considered an honor--but you can decline if desired. Fish are tricky in that they should not be turned over when taking the meat off the fish as that is considered bad luck. Be sure to see what the locals are doing at your table. 

Food may be taken from the main bowl using  serving chopsticks. These can be different from the chopsticks you are using so that you don't dip your own chopsticks into the communal pot. Serving chopsticks are not always provided, which is why Hong Kong has a high incidence of Hepatitas A, and has had other health epidemics run through the colony.  

At a banquet, there may be food that is new to you, such as chicken's feet, entrails, or shark fin soup. When possible, avoid eating shark fin soup as a shark is killed solely for it's fin and the practice is ecologically unsound. Be open to trying new (non-endangered) food items, or pass and hope that the next course will be more to your liking!  

Beware of food you did not order.
In many Chinese restaurants there will be peanuts on the table, along with other small dishes. These may not be complimentary! If you don't want the dishes, ask the waiter to take them away so you don't get charged for them.  

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