None of us can control that moment where the craving for hearty portion of cheese is going to hit us. Whether you’re straight off a flight, in a rush between meetings or just saw a video online that has set off your rumbling stomach. No judgment as to whether you indulge on the feeling or not, I know I certainly have been in recent weeks! Hong Kong is full of little spots that will have your food on a plate and in your hands without even enough time for your change to be popped back into your wallet. From international chains to locally run dispensaries or even just a corner pop up that has your nose caught in an aromatic trance, we’ve been out on the town to pick out our top picks to get your fast food fix.
Bacon Cheese Burger ($112)
I may be exaggerating a little bit when I say that this burger came out ten foot tall, but for a burger, this dish is certainly doing its best to imitate the skyscrapers surrounding. Between the lightly toasted buns comes a carefully stacked portion of fresh lettuce and tomatoes, a thick and might patty, two crispy strips of bacon and bubbling cheese to complete the list. The secret of the sauce is kept with the kitchen but made for an ooey gooey addition to an already juicy combo.
Having arrived at the restaurant keen and ready as the lunch service was starting, tables were already filling up before noon. The friendly staff gave me a tip to upgrade my burger to the lunch combo for just an extra $30 which included thick cut chips and their signature homemade peach ice tea, an excellent cool off to a still suspiciously warm February.
The Causeway Bay store is hidden down a modern alleyway reminiscent of a European piazza. Overhead are hanging lights, which stretch down the entirety of the restaurant laden street. This calming atmosphere of an almost out of Hong Kong experience is contrasting with auditory reminders of urban construction in the distance, bringing us home to the Causeway Bay we all know and love as one of the busiest districts in the city. Even with Valentine’s Day out of the way, this is the perfect little spot for a romantic afternoon getaway with that special someone.
Shop D, G/F, 50-56 Paterson Street, Fashion Walk, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Shop 2012, 2/F, Miramar Shopping Centre, 132 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
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The undeniable test to identify a true Hong Konger is to simply mention the name Paisano’s and await the tales of testosterone induced eating competitions of who can finish the most slices. Everybody has a story to tell about these impressive pies, from carrying several boxes down to the piers for a summer junk party to encouraging pals to head to the Lyndhurst terrace branch for a pre (or post!) Lan Kwai Fong snack. These 24-inch masterpieces are a staple to city goers.
With several branches throughout town, there is always a stop to make during one’s busy commute. I stopped by the Wan Chai store to watch the chefs stretching and throwing dough into the air, narrowly avoiding each other’s chef hats before coating the base in their signature marinara and a variety of delicious toppings.
Opting for the Paisano’s classic Pizza, smothered in pepperoni, mushroom, black olives, onion and sausage meat, heated up to a molten cheesy bite, I sat on their street chairs and watched the world go past. As determined as I was, I let down the team and couldn’t finish the whole slice, but the challenge is on for you! The mid-afternoon snack was just what I needed to get myself energised and ready for the rest of day on the town.
Oh and don’t forget, if anyone tells you they don’t like pizza, they simply haven’t been to the right place yet!
Address: 5 O’Brien Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Order from Paisanos on foodpanda.
The Aged Ham and Cheese ($63 small/$88 classic)
Sheung Wan has proven itself to be a hub for diverse international foods, with healthy alternatives dominating the fast food scene. Just down the stairs from Queens Road Central, onto Hillier Street, is an authentic French sandwich takeaway, La Sandwicherie. With toasty loaves being baked in the back and fresh ingredients getting chopped up and prepped, separated into tubs, the store is ready for the influx of hungry lunch goers coming down from their high-rise offices.
I can never resist a classic ham and cheese combo, especially when store bought meat is traded for cured parma ham and an imported French cheese. Between the crispy crust of the large bun, the fresh lettuce and zesty pickles enhanced the already rustic flavours coming through the hero fillings.
The friendly host has an unique talent of sending customers across the world by communicating in both French and English, giving one a feeling of being far more bilingual than in reality, and during the quiet hours is more than happy to have a quick chat while the smiling chefs in the kitchen prepare your meal. With the choice there to pop your bun into a bag, I chose to gather my lunch into a simple white pocket allowing me to easily snack while I went about my business.
Address: 255 Queen’s Road Central, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Get your sandwich fix with La Sandwicherie on foodpanda.
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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.