- January 5, 2018
For Christmas 2017, my family and I traveled to Hong Kong as usual. Both my parents and my husband Kenny’s parents were born in Hong Kong and we both still have family there. I grew up in Sacramento, but since birth I have spent most Christmases in Hong Kong. Therefore, I never really gotten comfortable with the American custom of tearing opening presents in front of your Christmas tree. I have had at least 32 Christmases in Hong Kong, with 3 in Sacramento, 1 in West Virginia, and 1 in Virginia, that I recall. (There, now you know how old I am=) I also wanted to go to Hong Kong while Carissa is still a lap child. She’s about to turn 2!
My Popo has some health issues. So a lot of my time this trip was spent at Hong Kong Sanitorium & Hospital. Usually in Hong Kong, I do a lot of shopping and eating. This trip, my shopping was limited but I definitely ate a lot of good food.
Food Highlights From My Hong Kong Trip
Hong Kong is really a great place to travel to if you’re a foodie. I always look forwarding to eating my favorites in Hong Kong.
The jin dui from Chiu Chow Garden is awesome. They serve it piping hot and it has just the right amount of crunch from the outside and the sesame seeds. The inside is sweet with black bean paste (I think).
I love Hainanese Chicken Rice. I still haven’t mastered the art of making it myself yet. But one of the best Hainanese Chicken Rice dishes I have ever had actually came from the Hong Kong Sanitorium & Hospital this trip. The chicken was moist and tasty. The accompanying dipping sauces were great. This dish is typically served with chili sauce, a garlic and ginger sauce, and soy sauce or something similar to Hoisin sauce. It also usually comes with some pickled or cooked veggies, white rice, and a bowl of chicken broth.
Before I tasted this particular Hainanese Chicken Rice, I had no idea that a hospital, ANY hospital, mind you, was capable of making such delectable food. My family told me though, that some top hospitals in Asia have really great food because they view it as a part of the business. Let’s hope I can find a Hainanese Chicken Rice somewhere in California near me that is just as good.
Hong Kong people are into clubs. Unlike country clubs in the United States, they don’t always have athletic facilities. Take the Hong Kong Chariot Club for instance. There is a floor for Western food and a floor for Chinese food. My family has belonged to this club for years. We have a lot of special family gatherings here. The average civilian can’t get in here. If you eat here, someone in your party must have a membership.
So I know this is a bit controversial, but I did have Shark’s Fin Soup from the Hong Kong Chariot Club during my trip. I do like the soup and the Hong Kong Chariot Club makes it well. I do always feel guilty about eating it, knowing that it’s a luxury and that some poor sharks had to die to make my soup. That being said, the Shark’s Fin Soup from the Hong Kong Chariot Club is phenomenal. So is their fish. This trip, I ate a very good Grouper which was so tender it was falling from the bones. The Hong Kong Chariot Club’s version is served with a flavorful sauce. I tend to like raw fish in sushi and poke better than cooked fish. But this fish was amazing.
Finally, one of the arguably best meals of my Hong Kong trip was from the buffet at Playt in Causeway Bay. I always think Hong Kong buffets are better than buffets in America. They are definitely better than any buffets near me in California. I think Hong Kong people just have a higher standard for buffet food and the food is generally more upscale than American buffets.
As you can see from the 1st round of my buffet food in the picture above, there really is a lot of good food at this Hong Kong buffet. I’ve never had caviar and truffles at a buffet before. The seafood was fresh. The Omelettes were made to order and topped by caviar and truffles. Actually they had a lot of caviar and truffle dishes so I think there was some sort of theme. The sushi was pretty good as well but I forgot to take a pic of that as that was in my 2nd round.
By the time I got to dessert, I was pretty darn full. So I had a yummy Crepe made with mango, banana, strawberries and homemade whipped cream with chocolate, strawberry, and brandeis sauce, some Pear Mousse, and some Mango Passionfruit Gelato, and watermelon. I actually had a cute little Mango Mousse Cake too but I think I ate it before I took the pic of my dessert plate.
Meet-ups From My Trip To Hong Kong
I was happy we were able to meet up with my cousin Jocelyn in Hong Kong at Playt buffet. Jocelyn is on my Dad’s side and her Mother is my Father’s 1st cousin. I used to see Jocelyn a lot more in college because we both went to UC San Diego. These days, we see each other about once a year, when I travel to Hong Kong for Christmas. We really like meeting up at buffets in Hong Kong.
We also met up with my cousin Jonathan and his fiancee Connie at the newly remodeled Park Lane Hotel. My cousin Jonathan is on my Mom’s side. His Mom is 1st cousin of my Mom. He also was educated in the United States, or went to college here, and then returned to the Motherland. I’m stoked for him because he’s engaged to Connie. He and my husband Kenny share a love of college football and also both like craft beers. I’m thankful he made the time to meet us, especially considering that I didn’t factor in that Causeway Bay, where my family is from, is also one of the main places to shop in Hong Kong.
I’ve known Tania since high school. For a time, we both went to the same parochial high school. Although I switched high schools, Tania and I remained friends through the years. We both have deep roots in Hong Kong, Tania having grown up in Hong Kong, and me spending almost every Christmas and some other vacations in Hong Kong. I was so happy to meet up with Tania and to be able to catch up with her.
Things I Bought In Hong Kong
As I said, I didn’t do a lot of shopping this trip. This is because I was more concerned with spending time with my 98 year old Popo with health issues. But I did buy 2 things that are notable.
I bought a lot of Chinese boy outfits and Chinese dresses. They are cheaper in Hong Kong and more authentic. I buy them from a stall in this hard to find alleyway across the street from the Causeway Bay Apple Store. It’s my place to go for Chinese New Year outfits. My girls already have their Chinese outfits through their teenage years so this year I got a bunch for my nieces and nephews, and some family friends.
If you’re ever in Hong Kong, you want to go to Causeway Bay (pronounced tung lo wan) and Tsim Sha Tsui (pronounced jim sa jui) for good shopping and eating. It’s easy to get to both on the MTR (subway in Hong Kong). In fact most people take the MTR everywhere. It’s the quickest mode of transportation in Hong Kong as most people do not own a car.
I also found the cutest Sanrio Hello Kitty and Keroppi children’s spoons at a little store near the Tin Hau MTR exit. In high school I loved Sanrio so sometimes I can’t help myself when I see cute Sanrio stuff for my kids. I actually did 2 Prize Giveaways with these spoons as well and I was surprised by how well they did.
I honestly didn’t see too many of the main sights of Hong Kong. So there were no pictures of us by the Peak or anything like that. But we did get to see the lights on the buildings by Victoria Harbour.
Also, my Popo’s hospital room happened to have a very good view of the Happy Valley Race Course & Hong Kong Jockey Club. My Dad actually spent a lot of time in his youth playing soccer on the fields and racquetball on the courts here.
Although our trip to Hong Kong this Christmas was not as busy as usual, because we didn’t do a lot of shopping and were at the hospital a lot, it was definitely memorable. We had a lot of good food and, most importantly, got to spend time with family and friends we don’t see very often. I hope that you all had a very Merry Christmas!
Happy New Year to you and your families!
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Dr. Jacqueline "Jax" Cheung grew up in Sacramento, California. She is a Christian Wife, Proud Mom, Major Foodie, Sacramento Native, Elk Grove Resident, Feminist, Adoption Advocate, Blogger, Freelance Writer, and Cat Lover. Jax is the owner of the award winning Jax Chronicles Blog & Adoption Ministry. She is also the Editor-In-Chief of the Elk Grove Tribune, and freelances for Sacramento4Kids, and many other publications. Jax is married to Dr. Kenneth Cheung (Kenny). Jax and Kenny live in Elk Grove, California and have 2 daughters named Roxy and Carissa, and 3 cats named Mochi, Miso, and Mango. To follow her journey please like her Jax Chronicles Facebook page, follow her Instagram @jaxchronicles, follow her Twitter @jaxchronicles, or check out Jax Chronicles Blog & Adoption ministry.