[Hong Kong] The funny thing is, I only got to really like congee only during the recent years. Is it an age thing?
These silky-smooth congee are bowls of comfort that is warming to the belly, and I made it a point have at least two to three bowls every trip.
Somehow, Hong Kong’s congee is just on a different level all together.
The Hong Kong style is typically on the thicker side, cooked until the rice is almost disintegrated, added with fresh ingredients of fish, beef or pork slices, full of umami goodness. Many with flavours coming from slowly-cooked broth rather than just MSG.
Here are some of the Best Congee available in Hong Kong: (I know there are some more which has to be included in this list, to be added after my next trip. Haha.)
Trusty Congee King 靠得住
7 Heard St, Wan Chai, Hong Kong (Wan Chai MTR Station Exit A5)
Tel: +852 2882 3268
Opening Hours: 11am – 10:45pm (Mon – Sat), 11am – 9:45pm (Sun)
Google Maps – Trusty Congee King
Trusty Congee King 靠得住 is the first congee restaurant ever to be included in the Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand listing.
While it was recommended in the guide from 2011 to 2016, it finally earned the recognition of offering “exceptionally good food at moderate prices” status by the Michelin Guide in 2018.
What makes Trusty Congee King different than other congee joints in the city is the fact they specialise in fish broth, and their dishes come with intense umami-laden flavours.
The owner thought that his own fish congee recipe was very delicious and “could be trusted upon”, thus the name.
The main focus here is congee cooked from fish broth made from 6 different types of dace fish, stewed for over 4 hours.
They do not use MSG in their cooking and therefore there is no need for any additional toppings.
The texture was more watery than what I was familiar with, but there was still that pleasurable smoothness and thickness in terms of consistency.
There was that natural seafood-y sweetness, and yet it didn’t have that fishy smell or taste typically associated with fish porridge. Trusty Congee King 靠得住 (Wan Chai, Hong Kong)
(Click PLAY for food highlights of Mui Kee.)
Mui Kee Congee Hong Kong 妹記生滾粥品
Fa Yuen Street Municipal Services Building, 123A Fa Yuen Street, Mong Kok Hong Kong
Opening Hours: 7am – 3pm (Mon, Wed – Sun), Closed Tues
Google Maps – Mui Kee Congee Hong Kong
While the Mui Kee at Singapore’s Shaw Centre comes with a 50-seater restaurant, the Hong Kong Mui Kee is located at the 3rd floor of a less-than-glamorous under-maintained food centre.
The congee is perfected over three generations, since the founder Mak Mai started the first stall in 1979.
To master the heirloom recipes and heritage cooking techniques, third generation owner Choi Kok Tung (also called “Ah Tung”), started training under his late grandmother since he was 22 years of age.
Mui Kee serves up a menu of mainly congee, with the signatures being Congee with Sliced Beef (HKD34, SGD5.70), Congee with Pork Meatballs (HKD34), Congee with Shredded Salted Pork and Preserved Egg (HKD34), and Congee with Fish Belly (HKD39, SGD6.50).
Each order of congee is prepared a la minute in a handmade copper pot, with the base delicately prepared with a selection of raw ingredients.
The congee is said to be prepared from scratch, following a five-hour-long process. The raw rice grains are first mixed with mashed century eggs, which help to break down the grains.
Every spoonful was flavourful, but not overly salty. Good enough to eat without having to add additional soy sauce. I particularly enjoyed the fish belly for its smokiness and freshness, all with power wok-hei. Mui Kee Congee 妹記生滾粥品 (Mongkok, Hong Kong)
Sang Kee Congee Shop 生記粥品專家 Branch 1: Original branch
7-9 Burd Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong (Sheung Wan MTR Station Exit A2)
Tel: +852 2541 1099
Opening Hours: 6.30am – 9:00pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
Google Maps – Sang Kee Congee Shop Sheung Wan
Sang Kee Congee 生記粥品專家 is one of the favourite eats found in the Sheung Wan neighbourhood.
The quaint eatery has been around for more than 40 years, famed for its fish belly congee, so much so that CNN has included the place in its top 40 Hongkong dishes they cannot live without.
The original Sheung Wan shop offers just congee, while the other serves brisket beef noodles as well. (There are two other branches at Yau Ma Tei and Quarry Bay.)
Prices range from HKD32 (SGD5.54) to HKD62 (SGD10.74) – which would be the Congee with fresh fillet, sliced beef & chicken congee.
For certain choices such as Meat Ball Congee or Preserved Egg Meat Congee, you have an option between a small bowl (HKD32, SGD5.54) and a large bowl (HKD41, SGD7.10).
The Congee was silky smooth, almost grain-less. The taste of the Congee itself was slightly bland, supposedly so that diners can adjust it to their taste.
Fish fillets were sweet, fresh and tender, while the meat balls had great chewy texture. However, they were not as well seasoned as I would have liked.
Ho Hung Kee Congee and Noodle Shop 何洪记 – Causeway Bay
1204-1205 Hysan Place, 500 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay (Causeway Bay MTR, near Times Square, take elevator or lift up to Level 12)
Tel: +852 2577 6060
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 11pm
Ho Hung Kee Congee and Noodle Shop is awarded a Michelin star, the first wonton noodle and congee shop to be given the accolades.
Other than Hysan Place, Ho Hung Kee has also opened a branch at Hong Kong International Airport Arrival Hall (non-restricted area), and Shanghai’s 789 Nanjing Xi Lu.
Their prized smooth congee cost HKD64 to 88 (SGD10.70 – 14.80) for a bowl with varied ingredients of sliced fish, sliced beef, meatballs, pork liver, salted lean pork, pork intestines, egg and preserved egg).
The congee was cooked for many hours, with a smooth creamy consistency. I think one of the best I had in Hong Kong (though not the most memorable).
Tasty Congee & Noodle Wantun Shop 正斗粥麵專家
Central Shop 3016-3018 (Podium Level 3), International Finance Centre (IFC), 1 Harbour View Street, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2295 0505
Opening Hours: 11:00am – 11:00pm Daily
Tasty Congee & Noodle Wantun Shop is established by the son of “Ho Hung Kee”, who made the brand more commercial and accessible, and is now a chain of restaurants with outlets in China and Malaysia (Gurney Paragon Mall, Penang).
The Hong Kong flagship is located at Happy Valley, and other branches can be found at Elements (Kowloon), Shatin, and Central IFC. (I recently realised they closed the branch at Hong Kong International Airport Departures East Hall, unfortunately.)
They are also higher priced in a higher end setting, and thus giving the impression that it may not be as delicious as those in the smaller shops.
One of the signatures is the Minced Fish Balls Congee, of thick creamy style that is quite flavourful, though I personally find Ho Hung Kee’s more memorable. Tip: You can actually ask for “MSG-free” congee base IF THEY HAVE as it comes in limited quantities. Tasty Congee & Noodle 正斗粥麵專家 (Central, HK)
Good Hope Noodle 好旺角粥麵專家
123 Sai Yee Street, Mong Kok, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2393 9036
Opening Hours: 11:00am – 12:00am Daily
Google Maps – Good Hope Noodle
In fact they have moved and expanded to 2 outlets in Mongkok now – one in Fa Yuen Street and the other along Sai Yee Street.
I really enjoyed their silky, smooth Congee with Meatballs (HKD37, SGD6.50) and the consistency was just nice – not too watery or thick. While it might have looked plain, every mouthful packed a punch of the taste of the broth the congee was cooked in.
Comforting for a tummy that needs some ‘light’ food. It would be very hard to decide between the wanton noodles or the congee if I had the appetite for only one dish. Good Hope Noodle 好旺角麵家 (Mongkok, Hong Kong)
Law Fu Kee Congee and Noodle Specialist 羅富記粥麵專家
G/F, 142 Queen’s Road, Central (Sheung Wan MTR Exit 1)
Opening Hours: 7am – 11pm (Mon – Sun)
While Law Fu Kee is not as well-known to tourists compared to the other noodle shops in Central, it is well visited by locals and has a history of over 50 years. Finding the eatery is not that difficult, located near
Tai Cheong Bakery 泰昌餅家.
Indeed, the interior looked like it was caught in time.
It serves up a variety of congee (which they also call “rice soup”) with fish slices, meat balls, beef slices, pork slices, lean meat with century egg, and fish ball. Each bowl is priced from HKD34 to HKD44 (SGD5.98 to SGD7.74).
Cooked with old Thai long-grained Jasmine rice, the congee had quite a watery texture and lightly creamy. One of the recommended was the Pig Kidney’s and Liver – cooked tender without that strong smell.
Other than you tiao, another accompaniment you can get is the Deep Fried Fish Ball with clam sauce, said to be unique to this shop.
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Good Hope Noodle 好旺角麵家 (Mongkok, Hong Kong)