I’m in Hong Kong, in Central to be precise and on Wellington Street to be exact. At 77 Wellington is Mak’s Noodles. Across the road, at 98 Wellington is Tsim Chai Kee. They both serve a Hong Kong staple: wonton noodle soup. Wontons are little prawn dumplings. They are cheap and cheerful and served all over Hong Kong. Wontons come with egg noodles, a broth and a sprinkle of spring onions for garnish. Vinegar, soy or chilli is always on the table. A side of leafy green gai lan (Chinese broccoli) is recommended.

wonton noodle soup at Tsim Chai Kee
Wonton noodle soup at Tsim Chai Kee

Mak’s serving at $33HKD ($4.60) is pricey (!) compared to Tsim Chai Kee’s bargain basement price of $23HKD ($3.20). Tsim Chai Kee’s serving is also bigger and the wontons are plumper with bigger pieces of prawn bits, as opposed to minced prawns at Mak’s. Tsim also has better seating and later opening hours. Tsim closes at 10pm as opposed to Mak’s 9pm. Hey, when they are both good, I have to pick on the small things.

Oyster sauce with gai lan on the side
Oyster sauce with gai lan on the side

Other noodle places to try are: Mak Siu Kee, 81D Electric Road, Tin Hau – this one is slightly off the beaten track. Tin Hau is the next stop after Causeway Bay on the MTR (subway) but tourists generally have little cause to go beyond Causeway Bay. If you make the journey, the noodles are pushing $40HKD ($5!). Outrageous, I know but you get nicer seating and nicer toilets. Man Fai, 22-24 Jardine’s Crescent, Causeway Bay – this one is right in the middle of the action; you can go after you’ve shopped Times Square and Sogo. This one is known for its famous cuttlefish balls so go on, swap the wontons and try some balls.