Tai O Scenery & Street Food 大澳小食 | Hong Kong
Tai O has got to be my favorite outlying islands in Hong Kong! Dubbed the Venice of Hong Kong, it's got the picturesque pang uks (stilt houses) and gorgeous nature but the high quality of the street food there pleasantly surprised me as well. With lots of variety, you don't even need to eat a proper lunch and can get full from trying a little bit of everything as you wander around.
Before I stuffed my face though, I went to admire the beautiful scenery that Tai O has to offer. This is the famous sight of two rows of stilt houses with a canal running straight through the middle. There are many signs that will point you to this vantage point so it is very easy to find. Just remember that people still live in these houses so be respectful when you are walking around and taking pictures.
The entire village is filled with stilt houses so here's a couple other vantage points I came across in my adventure.
The other common sight you will come across are the many dried seafood goods that are hanging around to dry and for you to buy. From dried fish to fish maw to oysters (even starfish!), Tai O is great for you to stock up on all the dried seafood goods you've ever wanted.
The before and after of drying duck egg yolks!
After my wanderings worked up my appetite, I set about exploring the street snacks that Tai O has to offer!
First thing I saw on Wing On Street were these tea cakes which is a traditional Hakka snack filled with sesame filling ($4 for one). I've never had it before and I found it to be very delicious! The outside was chewy like a mochi while the fillings was slightly sweet with various crunchy textures from the sesame, nuts and sugar.
Next, I spotted this store that sold roasted cuttlefish. Now I love cuttlefish so I placed an order which costs $10 for 3 pieces of cuttlefish. They roasted it right in front of me and after confirming that I wanted it to be spicy, they applied a coat of hot sauce on top of the cuttlefish. They cut them up and hand it to me in a bag, so it was convenient to chow on them while walking around. My only complaint was that it was too salty.
As you're walking down the main strip along Wing On Street, there are food vendors who will be calling out to you to try their food. That's how I was attracted to this place that sells these almond biscuits. One of the ladies at the store was handing these out for people to try. It was freshly roasted so it was still hot and I loved it - very crumbly but not powdery at all! I bought a box home for $22. Highly recommend these!
More food options along the main street in Tai O.
Then I started looking around for this guy who's famous for his coal-roasted Hong Kong style eggettes! Using coal used to be the traditional way of making eggettes, but nowadays everyone uses an electric egg waffle iron to make it because it's easier and less of a fire hazard probably. It didn't take long for me to locate him on Kat Hing Street and the owner was really friendly! He was like "take more pictures! Everyone's been taking pictures of me." Okie dokie "click click click".
This is the bucket of coal he uses to make the eggettes which will costs you $15.
Ta da! I never had coal roasted eggettes before, and it certainly did taste different. The smell of eggs was stronger and the crust was crispier. The inside was more like a sponge cake though which was interesting as I usually prefer the insides to be slightly chewy. They did feel a bit dry as the eggettes got cold so be sure to eat them all while they were still hot.
At this point, I was already full but my sweet tooth got the better of me and I finished off my day with a bowl of hot tofu pudding. One of my favorite desserts and only $7! So deliciously smooth!
I would recommend visiting Tai O for the wonderful nature scenery and the delicious street food for sure!
Directions: Take the MTR to Tung Chung Station and take bus #11 to get to Tai O. Alternatively, you can also take the ferry from Central to Mui Wo and take bus #1 to Tai O. Personally I'd prefer taking the ferry because it is faster for me and you can enjoy the scenic views on the ferry ride to Lantau Island.