I would describe Hong Kong seafood districts like going shopping. But instead of shopping for clothes, shoes, cosmetics and/or books, you shop for fresh seafood and seafood restaurant.
Each district has it's own appeal. It is very different from stepping into a regular seafood restaurant.
There are 3 major Hong Kong seafood districts that I highly recommend:
1. Lei Yue Mun
2. Sai Kung and
3. Lau Fau Shan
After introducing you these Hong Kong seafood districts, we will check out the Hong Kong outlying islands' seafood.
Eating seafood meal in a Hong Kong seafood district, you have the chance to pick the fresh seafood and bring to your preferred restaurant in the same area and cook it the way you want. Just like ordering fine wine in a restaurant, you must approve it before they can take it into the kitchen and cook it.
Be prepared that many seafood you see in these Hong Kong seafood districts are very rare in the western countries. For instance, abalone, sea cucumber, cockles, conch, common periwinkle or winkle and so forth. Many shellfish served with the shells in these Hong Kong restaurants.
There is one thing about the restaurants in the Hong Kong seafood districts is that the way how they operate is pretty much the same as I remember when I was a kid. In other words, the traditional way but with some help from the modern equipment.
These Hong Kong seafood districts share some common ways.
Most restaurants do not sell seafood. They only cook and may partner with a few seafood retailers. Most of the time, they operate separately.
The restaurants and seafood retailers concentrate in an alley. Along the way, you will find booths, mom and pop stores selling dried seafood and some Hong Kong local specialty food, such as pastry and jerky.
We mostly shop for these items after the dinner.
At the time when you pick the seafood or you approve of what they pick for you, you will let the restaurant knows how you want the seafood to be cooked.
Very often, it is cooked in the Chinese way, such as steamed and stir-fry. If you want to do some fusion ways, like many Hong Kong restaurants do, they will try to accommodate that, too. They are very flexible and open to customer's requests.
You can enjoy seafood in many Hong Kong restaurants. They use dried and fresh ingredients. But those in these seafood districts only use the fresh ones.
Now, you know that how these Hong Kong seafood districts are in common. They have their unique way to attract their customers.
Let me share my last experience in one of the restaurants in this area.
I think we picked the best restaurant which is at the end of the alley. It has a nice harbor view. During dinner, we even saw a yacht passed by which is a very rare sight in Hong Kong.
On the way, there are stores selling Chinese homemade snacks and dried food. The best part was that some of the food was freshly made in front of us, like jerky. I am pretty sure that you will do the same thing like us....buy it right away. We just couldn't resist that temptation or take the risk of not able to buy it later.
My husband noticed that the lobster was the warm water one. And when we sat down to enjoy our meal, I started to pay attention that most seafood is warm water. If it's cold water, it has a special name. Of course, the price is more, too.
This is a point that I want to bring to your attention. When you buy seafood in Hong Kong, it doesn't particularly emphasize if it is warm water or cold water. Over 90% seafood sold in Hong Kong is warm water.
While we were there, they were preparing the cross Harbour swimming competition the day after.
Beware that there are dogs without leashes walking around the area which is a very common practice in the New Territories. Some of them do have owners. Not all of them are strayed dogs though.
Direction: MTR Yau Tong Station, Exit A2. Take minibus 24 to Sam Ka Tsuen Ferry Pier and follows the signs. It’s about a 15-minute walk to the restaurant area.
When we were at Sai Kung Pier, we tried to figure out how to get to the GeoNational Park (coming soon), those restaurants were packed.
Most people were dining outdoor because there was not enough room inside the restaurants.
It was October then. The Hong Kong weather during this period of time was very warm during the day and a little bit cool at night.
In my opinion, I don't recommend dining outdoor in a Hong Kong summer. But please feel free to pick what fits you the best.
Sai Kung is a very popular area where Hong Kong people would rent a boat to fish. I remember when I was a teenager, I came here with a group of friends to fish squid which was a very popular activity during that period of time.
Most boats are owned and operated by small families. They would offer to serve seafood dishes on board.
Now, the most popular activity in this area next to seafood dining is GeoNational park tour.
As soon as you step on the street by the pier, you will see many "kiosks". Each has its own package, schedule, price and etc. If you are interested to join the tour, check out Hong Kong GeoNational Park tour page (coming soon).
MTR Diamond Hill Station Exit C2 take bus 92 to Sai Kung, OR
MTR Choi Hung Station Exit C1 take green minibus 1A to Sai Kung Pier or take bus 92 on Lung Cheung Road, near Exit C1 to Sai Kung
My dad used to take us to Lau Fau Shan for Hong Kong seafood. Back then, going to the New Territories like going out of town. Transportation was not easy at all.
My dad loves car. It just gave him a perfect excuse to drive.
Thankfully, going to this Hong Kong seafood district is definitely not as challenging as in the past. You still need to change from one transportation mean to another. But it is nowhere close to used to be.
There is one thing we love about this little place. There is an oyster farm. It is relatively large, especially comparing to the limited space in Hong Kong.
Back then, it was easy to see people shuck the oysters in the alley right in front of a restaurant. But when we went back last time, it was just the farm.
Like farms, there were a few corners piling with junk and some stray dogs. You may not stay in the oyster farm for very long. I truly think that that is one of the views to behold. You can rarely find a place like this in Hong Kong anymore.
If you love to take pictures, this is a great place to take a few awesome shots. Being an amateur, I was even able to take some good ones look like the pros'.
MTR West Rail Line Tin Shui Wai Station Exit B MTR Bus K65/ Minibus 34 to Lau Fau Shan
Visiting a Hong Kong seafood district may be a great idea for you. But there are more options.
With limited traveling time, feel free to step into one of the seafood restaurants in Hong Kong. Or better yet, check out an outlying island and enjoy a seafood meal while you are there.
If you visited one of these seafood districts, share with me your experience and pictures. I look forward to hearing from you.
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