Eat Like A Local – Gung Ho @ Tung Po
Eat like a local – Gung ho @ Tung Po
You haven’t truly experienced a meal in Hong Kong until you’ve visited the top floor of the wet market building in Java Road, North Point.
Popular among locals and gweilo (foreigners) alike, and described by CNN Travel as Hong Kong’s wildest dining experience, it’s almost impossible to find an empty table on any given night at Tung Po.
On the hunt for a no-frills cheap but delicious meal, the Ovolo marketing team ventured down to find out what all the fuss was about.
When we arrived, it was obvious. With music blaring and the roar of conversation at every table, Tung Po’s rowdy atmosphere has made it a unique attraction, luring both locals and travelers from around the world. And a lot of the atmosphere is thanks to the restaurant’s energetic owner, Robby Cheung.
With his grey mohawk and white wellington boots scissor cut like jagged sharks the teeth along the top, Cheung is every bit the animated, high-spirited character that draws a crowd to a place liked this. He’s the reason people love the place and keep going back for more. Often seen doing the splits, moonwalking from table to table and taking selfies with customers.
Once you get past the restaurant’s somewhat grimy appearance, the food is amazing! We ordered an array of delicious dishes, one of which was the Wind Sand Chicken, which is marinated and deep-fried until the skin is crispy. It’s served buried in fried garlic and other spices. We also ordered the Deep Fried Salted Duck Yolk Shrimp, which get so crispy that you can eat the whole thing, head, legs, tail, everything. The duck yolk is salty and has a pleasantly grainy texture that tastes amazing with the plump juicy shrimp. You also have to get the lotus leaf steamed rice that is piping hot, moist, and full of flavour with bits of shitake mushroom and chunks of chicken.
Like everything else in Tung Po, drinking beer is a dramatic affair! Robby parades around the restaurant drinking beer from the blue and white bowls with the Chinese word “victory” printed on the bottom and likes to show off one of his favourite tricks – opening a beer bottle with a chopstick. Hold it like this, hit it there, and then POP… to the thunderous cheers of the crowd.
So, as they say in Cantonese, YUM SING! (literally translated as drink victory or bottoms up).
Reservations are recommended. Tung Po only accepts calls for bookings between 2:30-5:30 p.m. each day.
Tung Po, 2F, Java Road Municipal Services Building, 99 Java Road, North Point; +852 2880 5224