Food on Lantau
All people love their food, and the people in Hong Kong perhaps more than most! Therefore on Lantau there is a wide range of foods available from traditional delicacies through international snacks to fine dining of both Chinese and International cuisines. Here are a few of the highlights to consider when thinking about food and Lantau.
Vegetarian Delights at Po Lin Monastery
While visiting the Po Lin Monastery don't miss the chance to dine on some authentic Buddhist Vegetarian food either at the dining hall or the deli/snack-shop.
In the dining hall food typical of that eaten by the monks is served with a set menu. Either eat with others in the hall or go into the VIP room for a deluxe version, which is the same food but served privately on your own table rather than sharing a table with others.
A soup, a vegetable and a fried dish are served together with rice in the traditional Cantonese style. All foods here conform to Buddhist Vegetarian principles and contains only vegetables, bean products and oysters.
Outside at the deli/snack-shop similar vegetarian delights can be bought to take away, or to eat at the outdoor tables. Focusing more on snacks size items there are daily freshly made bean curd deserts and most famously the mango filled rice dumplings.
The dining hall is open from 11:30 to 4:30pm and is to the left of the main Shrine.
Tai O Specialties
The fishing village of Tai O is one of the most authentic anywhere in southern China, with the traditions of the fisher folk preserved and maintained for generations. While some modern facilities have come to the village for the most part is unchanged from 100 years ago and despite the influx of visitors seeking to see old Hong Kong it is still a real seafood centre.
As well as catching fish with the traditional trawlers which are moored in the natural harbour here the people of Tai O also process the seafood into naturally preserved traditional specialties.
Salted fish, dried shrimp, oysters, octopus and other sea life are well known delicacies. These can be seen drying in the sun around the village and are for sale in many small stalls. Many are made on a small scale in the homes of the fishermen themselves. When preserved in this way they will last for many months and have a very strong aroma that is well appreciated by the connoisseur. Being so pungent only small amounts are used in dishes, but a whole village full of them can be overpowering to those with sensitive noses!
On a slightly larger scale the family run Sing Lee Shrimp Sauce and Paste factory makes, as the name implies, the famed Shrimp Sauce and Paste for which Tai O is well known. The sauce is sold in jars as it is a smooth soft peanut-butter consistency with a delicate pastel mauve color, while the paste is harder and is formed into bricks like pats of butter darker and speckled purple.
Both are extremely strong flavorings which are appreciated all over not just Hong Kong but neighboring parts of Asia as well. Shrimp Paste Chicken Wings is a favorite dish in Singapore, but best made with Tai O Shrimp Paste!