There’s no shortage of transportation to get you into the streets of Wan Chai, a metropolis of food, drink and market stops to fill up an afternoon. Old Hong Kong and new Hong Kong clash in the streets of the district with a selection of heritage sites beaming with history, street food sellers and the indistinguishable sound of the ding ding trams scooting by, contrasting with international food joints and avenues resembling those found deep in European capitals. With far too many office buildings to count, thousands of workers flood the streets in a lunch dash for new and exciting flavours the area has to offer.
I made my way down to Tallore, Belgian soup takeaway and the first of its kind to hit the city. Each choice of stew is getting cooked up and restocked in the open kitchen and diners can either pop onto the stools and watch the chefs at work, or grab a quick takeout before heading on their way. With plenty of deals for all times of the day, whether you’re a scheduled snacker or just happened to catch a whiff as you walked by, Tallore will have something ready just for you.
Even a mile away one gathers a fragrant sense of the brewing broths. Friendly faces draw you into the cosy store and offer a taster of their daily choices. I decided to kick my snivelling nose with their popular Spicy Chicken and Bean soup ($38 small/$48 medium/ $58 large), full of carrots, celery, jalapenos, shredded chicken and plenty of other chunky bites that will help soothe that throat right up. With a choice of croutons of bread to accompany, I jumped on their freshly baked loaf right away as it is impossible for me to resist a satisfying tear and dip with my soup. The crispy bread, full of seeds, helped to soak up every last drop once I’d finished munching down on the lumps of veg within.
Seeing that I was near breakdown with the choice of lunch wraps, the ladies behind the counter were quick to call out their top choices and swayed me to pick out the Bolognese Wrap ($58), mixed in a tortilla with wild rice and sharp cheddar. Luckily I had decided to cross the road and sit in the gardens of Lee Tung Avenue for my mid-afternoon snack as I managed to cover myself in the sauce after just one bite. The stringy cheese and oozing tomato sauce proved rather a challenge to get all in one mouthful, which meant it was, quite literally, finger licking good. A word of warning: while I’m not going to recommend this to be a first date dish, I can’t promise there won’t be a bit of PDA going on once you sink your teeth in.
The salad box was my next task, and picking from nine trays can be rather intimidating. If you’re extra nice, however, they will be able to give you three variations ($58), allowing you to have your try at all the combos. I went for the Quinoa, Cauliflower, Carrot and Chickpea salad with a Sundried Tomato and Sesame Dressing, which gave me the feeling of having lunch and dinner all at once. Next up, Pesto and Gorgonzola Pasta, full of juicy cherry tomatoes to cut through the sharp cheese and brought back to green with creamy basil pesto. Lastly, no one can resist a Tuna Poke Salad with Sesame Dressing. Raw fish has rather become an obsession in this hero protein brings off a nice cooling close to the leafy portion of lunch.
Even with my eating for three, this quick, easy and very affordable lunch is ideal for a pit stop in Wan Chai before hopping back on the ding ding and off on the next city adventure.
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7-17 Amoy Street, Wan Chai
Or order from Tallore on foodpanda.
Having lived in Hong Kong for 22 years, Kate’s appetite for discovering hot new places has only been encouraged by the city’s obsession with food – and through eating all of it! Keeping up may be a challenge but it’s one she’s willing to take. Have a laugh with her on Twitter @kaate852.