When I was a resident here, I rarely had time to venture over to Kowloon side to go to Fa Yuen Street or Tung Choi Street (Ladies’ Market). But as a visitor, it is one of those things which I find myself doing over and over again.
These two streets aren’t terribly far from one another so it is quite common that I take a walk down both while I’m in the area. Fa Yuen Street is located just off the Prince Edward MTR station, while the other is one MTR stop over at Mong Kok station. Now, I’m not quite sure why it has the moniker of “Ladies’ Street” but perhaps most of the wares appeal mostly to women?
Through the years I’ve been an avid fan of shopping here, managing to find a ton of unique and cheap things to buy. On this trip, Bernice and I started off at Fa Yuen Street and then walked the few blocks over to Tung Choi Street looking for more bargains.
Along the way, I saw a little hole-in-the-wall with a cart selling fish balls. This ubiquitous street food item used to be sold right on the street off a cart, but since the crackdown many years ago, those street vendors are few and far between and they have now moved into the confines of small eateries everywhere.
I bought a skewer of fish balls dipped in a spicy sauce (HK$6/US$ and shared them with Bernice. They were really quite tasty and I couldn’t help but reminisce about how my brother and I used to buy them off a vendor near my grandma’s home whenever we used to visit her.
As Bernice and I ventured farther into the depths of Ladies’ Market, I found another stall selling fish balls and got more. Unfortunately, this time, the fish balls were too dense in texture and weren’t as good as the first lot.
After a two hour failed attempted at doing much shopping, we decided to maybe stop for lunch. I had noticed that the first place I bought the fish balls at had fish dumplings, something I was seriously craving after since god knows how long. So, Bernice suggested we go back there and eat our lunch.
This little place specializes in “car noodles” (tseh jai meen) — which is typically a meal eaten on the run. Back in the day, this type of noodles are sold on a cart which has many compartments housing different ingredients which are then added your bowl of noodles as you order them. You choose your type of noodle, and then your toppings.
They also have various little street food snacks and I ordered fish dumplings which came four to a skewer with one shu mai. They’re not as good as the ones in the broth that I usually like but it sufficed to satiate a craving.
I haven’t had this in a very long time and was thrilled to be able to do it. Bernice ordered her’s first with pig’s blood, fish balls, daikon and water spinach on top of rice vermicelli.
When it came my turn, I asked for yellow thick egg noodles or “oil noodles” in Chinese. I added squid balls, tofu puffs, daikon and water spinach but requested a spicy broth. This set me back HK$27/US$3.50 and it was really tasty, but I knew that a good part of it had to do with the MSG-laden broth.
At the end of the day, after drinking 1.5 liters of water, it was well worth the MSG which I ended up sweating out anyway.