I spent two months in Hong Kong and, if you eat at local rather than expat places, eating out is cheap. So I ate out a lot. These are the noodle places I went to.
We tried lots of noodle places; some were better than others, but there was no one place I really loved. Probably our best noodle experience was on Macau, at Luk Kee, so I have included it here. But, although the noodles are one of their signature dishes, unlike the other places in this post, Luk Kee does a much sider range of dishes, so it really counts as a more general “hole-in-the-wall”.
G/F, 77 Wellington Street
We tried wonton noodle, beef brisket noodle, pig foot noodle. The dishes are very small—although I did read on one internet site that portions are supposed to be small in order that the noodles won’t get soggy, and that you are expected to order multiple portions. The wontons were good, the stock they were served in was very light. The best thing we ordered was the brisket, which tasted of star anise. The noodles here are expensive by HK standards but still a bargain compared to prices in the UK.
89 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai
I found the famous noodles a bit too chewy for my taste. We had the beef and the pork, which were both fine but not special. Portions were bigger than Mak’s, but still had us off to Cao Song for dessert.
Tsim Chai Kee Noodle
Shop B, G/F Jade Centre
98 Wellington Street
First and only meal I actively disliked: straight from entering the shop, where the air conditioning was way too cold and the smell was of recycled air and stale cooking, rather than yummy fresh stock. The fish balls in the soup were amazing, but the stock was too sweet and sickly and the noodles a bit chewy.
21 Gough St
There are two things they are known for here: Beef tendon curry -- v strong curry, the rice vermicelli absorbed the flavour beautifully, the tendon was extremely tender. Beef brisket noodles -- beef exceptionally tender, shows why it’s not worth wasting time at Wing Wah. I missed the star anise taste that was so distinctive at Mak’s but, as the bf said, at least he didn’t walk out hungry. The hor fun sell out early, e-fu had also just sold out at 8.30pm.
Nam Kee Spring Roll Noodles
G/F, 66-72 Stanley Street, Central
Definitely get the spicy broth with pickles, with pork and spring rolls. It’s not gourmet food, even compared to some of the other noodle places, but it’s tasty and excellent value—a huge bowl at rock-bottom prices. The pork broth was nothing in comparison. Fish balls and meat balls had a very processed texture. NB the menu on the wall was not current, and it was only after we tried to order unsuccessfully by pointing at it that they produced an english menu from behind the counter. Take the Chinese name for the must-order dish in order to bypass any problems caused by not speaking Chinese: 小鍋豬腩肉米線加春腃.
Luk Kee/ Lok Kei (Macau)
Freguesia de Santo António > Patane
1-D Travessa da Saudade, Macau
Shop D, G/F, 1 Sha Lei Yan Mo Avenue, Patane
It was quite an adventure finding this place. The address on openrice was the transliterated version of the Chinese street name, not the Portuguese one that appears on the signs; and most Macau taxi drivers need addresses written in Chinese. Note that a previous link to an address on chowhound is incorrect, going to the Chinese site of Lok Kei (part of the group including Old Neptune in the Venetian). Eventually we found it on a back alley near pier 29, with the help of google maps. The food was definitely worth it. Bamboo noodles with shrimp roe (a Macau speciality) showed me that it wasn’t bamboo noodles than I don’t like, just those at Wing Wah. The wontons we had with them were better than any I’ve had in Hong Kong. Chicken feet and intestines were in a delectable marinade and the intestines were oh so creamy. We also had the deep fried fish balls, and crab congee, a Macau speciality, which was a whole crab in a plain congee, not a congee mixed with crab meat like I expected. The congee was good, but we are spoilt by living near San Kee congee, and it wasn’t as good as that. No English menu, there were pictures of the signature dishes, alongside the Chinese names, and we used the combination to get what we wanted.
雲吞蝦子撈麵 wanton shrimp roe bamboo noodle
鳳爪拼大腸 chicken feet and intestine
米通鯪魚球 fried fish ball