G/F, 1 Whampoa Street, Hung Hom
I’ve never really been a fan of Hung Hom, particularly the MTR station and its exits which never seem to lead anywhere in particular, surrounded by all sorts of public transportation that never seem to offer a way to the places I want to go! Countless a time I’ve exited B1 or B2 and just walked around in circles before ending up at the same exit. I don’t know whether it’s just me and my poor sense of direction but I’ve always had such a problem getting around there. It also reminds me more of China than Hong Kong, so I just end up feeling more lost than ever.
Pair this with the fact my only real memories of Hung Hom have been of me and friends lugging our typical white kid sports equipment after school to some field hockey match at King’s Park, when all I really wanted to do after a shit day at school was to buy some McD’s, have a fag and pass out in the comfort of my much-loved but consistently neglected bed. God, I don’t miss high school, and I never missed those trips to Hung Hom.
So imagine my excitement when a friend of mine said that we’d be meeting there for our next foodie mission.
I tried to swallow all my initial fears and prejudices towards the place when I was told that this was the place to go for some authentic, good Sichuan in Hong Kong – if we could find it. Apparently, the place closes for a couple weeks every month so that the owner can go to Sichuan to get all the spices, so my friend had to check to make sure it was open before we legged it. But how legit is that? We’re talking all those crazy Sichuan peppercorns, the pickled chilis, pastes, fermented black beans. To be fair, I’ve only ever passed through Sichuan province on a 36 hour train-ride so I’m not even sure what real Sichuan food is meant to taste like, other than ridiculously mouth-numbing; mind-numbing even, to the point that your brain can’t even deduce between pain and pleasure, and releases a confused brand of endorphins into your bloodstream so you feel this kind of tortured euphoria. What a fucking high.
I was in Guangxi province once and I remember we had some backpackers from Chengdu who kept on complaining about how mild the food was there. I thought they were just being cocky, but when you see the film of chili oil on every fucking Sichuanese dish, piled with even more roughly cut pickled chili, I suppose one’s entitled to that kind of food-bashing…