Tai Po market's indoor cooked food centre is a local haunt for many of Tai Po's residence but much more of a mystery for tourists and non locals. It's easily overwhelming once you arrive on the 3rd floor of Tai Po market, without the faintest idea of what to choose or where to choose from.
Luckily, my husband's family are Tai Po locals and we have his aunty to guide us every time we are in Hong Kong. We now know which vendor to go to for the best shrimp roe noodle, the silkiest steamed cheung fun (rice rolls) and the bounciest fish balls to name a few.
Many of the vendors here are family run and are real hidden treasures. For not a lot of money, you can eat so well here. The food centre is a hawker style food court, you can see the food as it gets cooked and you'll have to hunt hard for a table during busy times.
Do note that you should try and grab a table near where you'll be ordering the most from. All the vendors have their own allocated seating for their customers but don't let that stop you from buying other food bits from other stalls.
1. Ping Kee Noodles 平記麵家
The egg noodles are made from scratch and some of the bounciest and most toothsome you'll ever eat. Shrimp roe egg noodles along with handmade cuttlefish balls are Ping Kee's signature dishes. Wontons are also well made in the traditional bite size with an excellent pork to prawn ratio. You can order everything with or without noodles.
Shrimp roe noodles with wonton extras on the bottom. Served with a side soup.
Creamy cuttlefish balls, some say it's Hong Kong's finest.
Cuttlefish balls with ho fun noodles in soup.
unking in the soups.
Fishcake slices with wontons.
2. Hong Kee Fish Balls 洪記
Don't get these guys mixed up with Ping Kee as above, Hong Kee's speciality are fish balls. They are made from scratch and taste super fresh. There's more bite to the texture and the fishiness (in a good way!) in them is what makes them stand out. The soup is delicious and doesn't need to rely on MSG at all.
3. Lam Kee Dim Sum 林記點心
Head over to Lam Kee's for their delicious black bean steamed spare rib rice, and whatever dim sum that takes your fancy. The quail egg siu mai (dumplings) are also good. Unless you have a seat at Lam Kee's, ask for the take out option so that it can be eaten on another table.
4. Fat Kee Congee + Noodles 發記粥麵
Whilst congee and noodles are their game, I come here for their plain steamed cheung fun (rice rolls). The cheung fun is just the silkiest and softest with a light chew to them. Say yes to all the sauces when asked, and there's also the takeaway option too.
5. Wai Yeung Tea + Drinks 惠陽茶水檔
6. Yau Kee Hakka Teacakes 有記茶果
Last but not least, when you've finished eating, be sure to swing by Yau Kee to pick up some put-chai-ko. It's also known as bowl pudding, a mixture of sweetened glutinous rice batter is steamed in a small bowl hence the name. You can buy ones with red bean or without. They also sell other types of Hakka teacake/pudding.
For somewhere like Tai Po Market's food centre, it's best to go with 3-4 people, and share all the different foods. A bit of simple co-ordination of who buys what from the vendors and who looks after the table will ensure a everyone leaves with a happy tummy.
Tai Po is in the New Territories and can feel out of the way, but if you do decide to go, a quick change at Kowloon Tong MTR onto the East Rail Train for Tai Po Market will take approximately 35 minutes. Tai Po is full of local culture and it's here where you will see the daily hustle and bustle of locals going about their day.
Tai Po Market Cooked Food Centre
Heung Sze Wui Street
Read about my other Hong Kong eats and recommendations.