Anthony Bourdain's Guide To Hong Kong

Anthony BourdainAnthony Bourdain dining in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbor.

Navigating the world one dish at a time, leather jacket-clad traveller and TV personality Anthony Bourdain has become somewhat of a poster-child for finding authentic eating experiences abroad.

On an episode of his travel show No Reservations, the foodie visited Hong Kong, a culinary hub teeming with traditional and non-traditional dishes.

“In Hong Kong you don’t take the tour bus to find good food,” Bourdain said. “You don’t need to know where you’re going, you just press start.”

We watched the episode on Bourdain’s visit to Hong Kong and pulled out the best places to eat, drink, and explore, according to the travel guru.

Hong Kong is made up of a set of islands in the South China Sea.

Over 7 million people live in an area that's just a quarter the size of New York City.

Bourdain began his visit to Hong Kong at the Four Seasons Clay Pot Restaurant on Temple Street in Kowloon, where he met up with Josh Tse, a Hong Kong based food blogger.

Tse ordered salt fish and chicken, while Bourdain had classic sausage. Before digging in, they drizzled soy sauce over it and let it steam a bit more.

The place is run by three brothers. The trio are body builders by day and restaurateurs by night.

The place was filled with clippings from muscle magazines. Turns out the food was awesome too.

Bourdain loved the beef brisket and noodles.

Afterward they went to a street-side vendor. They ordered pork intestine and chicken kidney despite warnings from the short-tempered owner.

Next stop was Yat Lok restaurant in Tai Po, a suburb of the New Territories.

Bourdain's favourite aspect of the food culture in Hong Kong is the way they roast meat and birds. It's definitely a culinary art form.

At Yat Lok they dined on roast goose leg accompanied by a prune dipping sauce.

They also had some of that pig they saw roasting earlier. Bourdain loved the crispy skin and tender meat.

Next Tse brought Bourdain to a food-court to sample some of Hong Kong's best noodles. These ones were handmade and sprinkled with shrimp eggs and topped with lard.

Bourdain visited one of the last traditional noodle makers. The noodle maker uses two types of flour, duck eggs, sodium water, and a bamboo poleto make delicious traditional noodles. It's a dying practice that could be dead in 10 years.

That night Bourdain headed out to Happy Valley Racecourse on Hong Kong Island, where more money is bet on horses than anywhere else in the world.

After loosing all his bets, Bourdain headed to Tung Po Seafood Restaurant in the North Point neighbourhood. Chef Bobby owns and runs the place.

They started with mantis shrimp that went from tank to chopping block to deep fryer in seconds.

Then they had fish head with noodles and black squid balls.

Crispy pig knuckles followed the seafood.

They finished off with a soup of tripe (animal stomach lining, usually cow), intestines, and clam.

The next day Bourdain went to the Yuen Long district of the New Territories where he got a chance to work with Jackie Chan's stunt team. Fun fact: For many years China was the world's second largest exporter of movies.

Bourdain and Chan's stunt team gathered around Pun Choi, a large bowl filled with layers of chicken, prawns, mushrooms, fish balls, pork, and vegetables. The dish's history reaches back about a thousand years to the Song Dynasty.

Later Bourdain took to the water, where he dined on a boat anchored in Hong Kong Island's Victoria Harbor.

Typhoon sheltered crab is one of the traditional shellfish from the area.

The crab was mixed with cloves of garlic, shallots, and hot oil. The slower-style eating dish is typically consumed late at night when the workday is done.

Later that night, Bourdain headed to Chef Alvin Leung's restaurant Bo Innovation. Leung is controversial for his style of deconstructing traditional Chinese dishes.

He served Bourdain dishes like Toro sushi with essence of abalone, crispy fried tomatoes and air-dried foie gras.

There was also Wagyu beef (also known as Kobe) in a stock of dried shrimp, scallops, and beef.

Bourdain finished up his Hong Kong circuit with a visit to a tea house in the Sung Hwan neighbourhood on Hong Kong Island.

Where he sampled a dim sum array of steamed shrimp dumplings, chicken feet simmered with soy sauce, pork liver dumplings, beef tripe, and radish cake with ham.

Can't make it to Hong Kong right now?

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