Hong Kong Temple Street Claypot Rice
Literally on Temple Street
Jordan Kowloon, Hong Kong
A must do for all the adventurous is eating the street food on Temple Street in Hong Kong on the Kowloon side. The most famous dishes here are the claypot rice bowls or “buo jia fan” as they call it in Cantonese (sorry, I really don’t know any pin yin for canto). Rice is scooped into a claypot and whatever meats you order are placed in the bowl and then it’s heated over a high flame for 15-20 mins. The entire claypot is then brought to your table and allowed to ‘cook’ for another 5 mins – meanwhile the tasty juices from the meats mix with your rice. The sides of the bowl, so hot from the flames, heat the rice to a tasty crunchy texture. Open the bowl, stir the rice and meat with a spoon and enjoy. The steamy goodness of this rice is incredible – you scrape the crunchy rice on the sides of the bowl, mix it, eat and repeat. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it . Part of the experience is eating on the tables right on the street and sharing your table with the locals. As with most places in Hong Kong, expect huge crowds – here it’s mostly young students hungry from shopping at the many sneaker and clothing shops in the Jordan / MongKok district. It’s definitely managed chaos I have to say however, and I don’t how these server ladies can manhandle these hot bowls with their bare hands without getting burned. We ordered a side of batter fried oysters and a plate of steamed snails. You eat the snails with these long sharpened skewer sticks and dip them in a soy based sauce. When I first came here 2 years ago I was in a jetlag haze and didn’t understand anything that was going on – it was as if everything was moving in slow motion. The lights, the yelling, the crowds, the shoving, and the piles of plates of food all over the tables didn’t really seem like a fine dining experience. But this time around I wasn’t jetlagged and a little more prepared – yes the chaos of Temple street can be overwhelming. You can still enjoy the claypot rice indoors in the restaurant though if you dont’ want to be in the middle of it all.