Vegetarian Food and Sichuan Cuisine in Hong Kong With Meenu

Vegetarian Food and Sichuan Cuisine in Hong Kong With Meenu

Hong Kong promises its travellers “every moment a different world”, and I have come to understand the gastronomic sense of this phrase when I was invited to dine with Meenu, one of BonAppetour’s hospitable hosts in Asia’s world city.

Meenu grew up in Hong Kong all her life, her international background and experience in Hong Kong has allowed her to study and perfect recipes from all around the world. Today, Meenu teaches various types of cuisine in her home, ranging from Middle Eastern, Indian, Sichuan, to Italian. She also helped to revamp the menu in two restaurants around Hong Kong.

I was lucky to be invited to a taster’s night at Meenu’s place. Her home is conveniently located near to Jordan, a shopping district featuring multiple night markets and malls.

Meenu's awesome table setting

Upon stepping into Meenu’s apartment, I found that she had taken the trouble to beautifully set up her dining table for her guests.

Meenu serves up some Sichuan cuisine

Meenu prepared two different cuisines for the night: Sichuan and Indian Vegetarian. The Sichuan menu included spicy dumplings, sauteed prawns in a sweet and spicy sauce, and deep fried sweet buns.

Glorious spicy dumplings

Guests that night were delighted with the dumplings and prawns, commenting that the sauce was really tasty and went great with the food. Meenu says that the dishes are really popular among her students in her cooking class, as the sauce is versatile and goes well with most other main ingredients.

Sauteed prawns in Meenu's secret sauce

The Indian Vegetarian menu featured home-made chapatis, mung dhal and aloo baingan (a potato and eggplant dish).

Vegetarian Indian food in Hong Kong

The aromatic flavours and rich texture of the aloo baingan was well complimented by the light and soft chapati and well-cooked dhal.


The food tasted great and also has a very manageable spiciness level – great for people who are just trying out Indian and Sichuan food!

Meenu and her daughter made a pair of lovely and chatty hosts. The night went on with conversations about food in Hong Kong, Meenu’s passion for food and her eye for detail when it comes to hosting guests in her house.

Meenu and her lovely daughter

If you want to book a flavourful evening with Meenu, check out her experiences for Sichuan cuisine and Indian cuisine on BonAppetour!

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Discovering The Ultimate Comfort Food In Hong Kong With Peggy And Angelica

Discovering The Ultimate Comfort Food In Hong Kong With Peggy And Angelica

Congee is the mother of all East Asian comfort foods. It can be featured in an exquisite banquet, be a lunch to soothe a busy day, or be the ultimate staple food to nurse the sick back to health. Hong Kongers have perfected the art of making congee and created an entire genre of the rice gruel dish, complete with distinct recipes and a list of must-have side dishes. There is a special charm dining into a congee meal in a private home, and we were glad to be invited by Peggy and Angelica to lunch during our stay in Hong Kong!

Peggy, the lady of the house, is passionate about eating and cooking healthy. While being proud that Hong Kong is home to an exciting spread of cuisine, she believes home-cooking is a much healthier option and is determined to share her own home-cooking with her family and friends. So she partnered up with her long time friend Angelica, and often invited guests to her home for a hearty meal.

Peggy welcomes BonAppetour team into her home

On a Saturday afternoon, we made our way to Tin Hau, a small district in metropolitan Causeway Bay that is known for its temple of the same name. When we entered Peggy’s apartment, we found it to be spacious and comfortable. To our amusement, there was classic Cantonese songs playing in the house. What a great way to create a “true local atmosphere”!

Pan-fried radish cake

While Peggy and her helper worked to put together the last few dishes for lunch, Angelica told us the work had actually started the day before. The radish cake were home-made, and Peggy had to start steaming them a day prior to our lunch to get it ready in time.

Our friendly hosts setting up the table

Our friendly hosts decked the dining table with food while we sipped on our tea. Peggy had prepared congee cooked with dry pak choi and salted pork bone for our meal that day. While most Hong Kongers have savoury congee on its own in restaurants, congee is served with a number of side dishes in a home setting.

Cantonese congee, served with a myriad of side dishes

So Peggy also prepared stir-fried mushroom, beans and pork, stir-fried choi sum, steamed meatballs, pan-fried radish cake (which she steamed a day before), and some extra stir-fried hor fun (rice pasta) with meat and vegetables.

Delicious spread of Cantonese dishes

There seems to be another ritual in Hong Kong when one eats congee – always pair it with pickled vegetables and preserved eggs. Peggy and Angelica prepared some pickled vegetables, pickled ginger, salted duck eggs, century eggs, and fermented tofu for us to eat with the congee. It was delish.

Congee is not complete without preserved vegetables and eggs

Peggy said on other days she would teach her guests how to pickle ginger, and gave them jars of their work to bring home. She then showed us the specific type of ginger required for this job – fresh young ginger that is only available during the summer period.

Inez, our co-founder, guides Peggy through the BonAppetour platform

After our lunch, Inez, co-founder of BonAppetour, took the opportunity to explain how our platform works and guided Peggy through the registration process.

A picture with our friendly hosts

It was a really enjoyable and pleasant evening. Our hosts are truly a power pair – whenever Peggy is busy in the kitchen, Angelica would chat with us to make us feel at home. Anyone looking for a truly Hong Kong-style hospitality should check out Peggy and Angelica’s Cantonese Lunch in Causeway Bay!


A Dumpling-Making Experience on Aberdeen Island with Edith

A Dumpling-Making Experience on Aberdeen Island with Edith

The best way to learn about a culture is to taste it. In Hong Kong's case, culture is a steamy, gastrorgasmic feast of custard buns, dumplings, rice rolls and egg tarts. Working as a community manager for BonAppetour, I visited this dim sum wonderland to meet our first few hosts, and was fortunate to be invited to dine with several of them.

Edith, our first host of the trip, has graciously invited the BonAppetour team to lunch at her place in Aberdeen. Aberdeen Island, or known locally as Ap Lei Chau (literally duck tongue island), is a beautiful isle off the southeast coast of Hong Kong Island. It is a refreshing retreat from the hubbub of central Hong Kong, and also a great place to check out the fishing harbor and vast view of the sea.

Edith's place is also a brief 7-minute drive away from Ocean Park. Guests who are traveling with their families (or anyone looking for some thrilling fun time) can visit the famed oceanarium and theme park after lunch. Talk about a great location!

Breathtaking view of Ap Lei Chau

That morning, as we alighted from our taxi in Edith's neighborhood, I was welcomed by flowing gusts of wind filled with a fresh, salty scent of the sea. Despite being known as one of world's most densely populated islands, the neighborhood had a laid-back atmosphere that sets the place apart from the busy city central. I liked it immediately.

Edith's apartment was spacious for a Hong Kong house – it has a cosy dining corner decked with books on one end of the living room, and a wall lined with travel memorabilia on the other end. Edith excitedly welcomed us into her home and discussed the menu of the day with us. We would be having pork dumplings, century egg tofu, and lettuce wraps. I was accompanied by Inez, co-founder of BonAppetour, and Jean, a food-loving expat trying out the BonAppetour experience for the first time.

Edith and her cosy dining corner

Part One: Dim Sum Class

Edith asked if we were keen to learn how to wrap the dumplings, to which we enthusiastically agreed. Wrapping dumplings always occurred to me as an advanced culinary art, and I was excited to learn it from Edith.

Edith demonstrates how to fold a perfect dumpling

Edith showed us the ingredients to be used for the pork dumplings, and demonstrated how to season the dumpling fillings. While she was mixing up the ingredients, we chatted about alternative ingredients that can be used and where we could get the similar condiments back in our respective countries.

BonAppetour team learning to be a dim sum master

When the fillings were ready, Edith showed us how to pleat the dumpling into a crescent. Chinese dumplings come in many shapes and sizes, and there are many ways to wrap a dumpling. The crescent shape is often used for potstickers, har gow (shrimp dumplings, a famous dim sum classic), and boiled dumplings. Her movements were clear and easy to replicate. And within minutes I made my first ever crescent-shaped dumpling.

Pleats of triumph

Looking at my row of carefully wrapped dumplings, I thought I was making good progress. That was until Edith told us that she would make over a hundred dumplings in one batch, while watching TV!

Part Two: Cooking Demo

While waiting for the water to boil, Edith prepared the dipping sauces for the dumplings and the tofu dish. She also quickly demonstrated how to make the classic century egg and tofu (a common cold dish in Chinese restaurants) on her small, portable kitchen island.

Edith chopping up some century egg goodness

When the water started to boil, Edith popped half our dumplings into the pot and pan-fried the other half to make potstickers, she also took a while to stir fry a bowl of minced meat for the lettuce wraps.

Pan frying potstickers

While Edith waltzed around her narrow kitchen, she continues to chat about how she planned the preparation sequence so she only had to wash the wok once. She also showed off her deep freezers that she used to store her extra produce and dumplings stash.

Part Three: Bon Appetit!

After the one-hour wrapping and cooking session, we settled down around the table and dined to our hearts‘ content. There is a special satisfaction in eating the food made by yourself.

Our creations

Edith taught us how to wrap the minced pork in a lettuce and gobble it in one go. The lettuce wraps are commonly eaten with roasted duck, but considering that it is difficult for foreign guests to find roasted duck back at home, Edith used pork instead so her guests can replicate the same recipe back in their home countries.

Minced pork for the lettuce wraps

Edith popped the century egg and tofu into the fridge and only took them out right before serving. Her special sauce went very well with the refreshing, organic tofu she got for us. Edith topped the dish with a generous amount of chopped spring onions and parsley, putting the sprinkled-on garnishes in Chinese restaurants to shame.

Home-made side dish that puts restaurants to shame

Edith was a very attentive and bubbly host. The lunch session with her was packed with energy and well-paced. I left Edith's place feeling proud that I have mastered the art of wrapping dumplings. I can't wait to show off the skills when I am back at home!

If you love to try out some Canton food at a convenient location, be sure to check out Edith’s Market Tour and Home-cooked Meal Experience the next time you visit Hong Kong!

Photo credits: 1

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