This is one of many posts that are part of the series Jen's Guide - Best Places to Eat in Hong Kong for Visitors
This is also post #13, part of my #50PostsIn50Days personal challenge to document my first 100 days in Hong Kong. Other posts in this series may be found at the bottom of the original post.
I'm a big congee fan, and Bryan loves noodles, so together we are pretty happy dining at the many excellent congee and noodle shops around Hong Kong.
Opened since 1946, Ho Hung Kee originates from one of the four well-known wonton noodle families that emerged after World War II. The Ho family started Ho Hung Kee as a roadside stall on Hennessy Road in 1946. The restaurant moved a few times in the past half century before settling in its current location inside Hysan Place at Causeway Bay.
The son has gone on to open the very popular and casual Tasty Noodle and Wantun restaurants, while Ho Hung Kee continues to draw crowds and crowds of people to its centrally located restaurant inside Hysan Place.
Ho Hung Kee has been recommended in the Michelin guide since 2009, and has had one Michelin star since 2012 (with the exception of 2014 when they had to adjust to moving from their more humble digs to fancy Hysan Place). Bryan likes to say it's one of the cheapest Michelin-starred meals you can get (a bowl of their signature wonton noodle soup costs around $5 USD).
The space is white and bright, with teal colored whimsical lanterns and booths. At the back you can watch the chefs preparing each individual bowl of wonton noodle soup.
I think the most fun way to dine here is to come with a larger group and share a bunch of dishes. We came with a group of 10 people, and thus had the chance to try most things on the menu. Thankfully, the menu is in English and includes lots of photos, so it's quite easy to order.
The house special wonton noodle soup comes with four wontons for a small ($39 HKD) , or six wontons for a large ($56 HKD). The noodles are nicely al dente, with almost a crunchy texture. There's that familiar alkaline flavor in the broth, and the wontons are juicy and flavorful.
Although the classic wonton noodle soup was good, one of the favorites at the table was actually the noodle soup with pork liver ($65 HKD).
Wonton noodles with chu hau brisket of beef ($54) came with an assortment of tender brisket and tendon.
I ordered the shrimp roe noodles (left) which was fine but not super interesting. It's mainly their wonton noodles topped with a generous sprinkling of dried shrimp roe. I did really enjoy the stir fried rice rolls, which had a nice, charred flavor and good texture.
Although the wonton noodle soups were good, my favorite was the congee, which had a wonderfully creamy texture and a robust, rich flavor. I ordered the lean pork and preserved duck eggs (aka "century eggs" or "thousand year old eggs") congee. Frankly, my guess is that the flavorful congee base is the same and you can enjoy it with a variety of different toppings.
Chinese fried cruller wrapped with rice sheets is something I tend to order a lot because I never could get it in Boston. These were quite good as long you ate it while it was fresh.
We always get vegetables to round out any meal. I appreciated being able to order something other than poached bok choy with hoisin sauce. Here, we had poached romaine lettuce tossed with fermented bean curd sauce, which was nice.
General Thoughts - Ho Hung Kee Causeway Bay
All in all, food at Ho Hung Kee is quite enjoyable. My personal favorite is probably the congee, which has a great creamy texture and excellent flavor. The wonton noodles are good, though I'm not sure if it's necessarily better than the many other good wonton noodle soups around (e.g., Mak's or Tsim Chai Kee, just to name a few others that I've visited).
Expect to pay a bit of a premium at this place compared to more casual wonton noodle places, probably because of it's fancier location and Michelin star status.
Ho Hung Kee
Hysan Place 12/F
500 Hennessy Rd
Causeway Bay, HONG KONG