Fred Schneiter moved to Hong Kong in the 1960s and wasted no time in getting to know the food. Here’s a recipe (and a reminiscence) from the old Causeway Bay typhoon shelter. It appears in his new book, The Taste of Old Hong Kong.
Living in one of the world’s major tourist destinations, the culinary epicenter of the China Seas and a world-class capital of fine dining, prompts many Hong Kong insiders to choose their restaurants following the ancient axiom “the fewer tourists the better the food.”
Fortunately, if you know your way around, the choices are virtually unlimited with a dazzling diversity of restaurants offering every imaginable ethnic favorite from arroz con pollo to zabaglione. Our destination of choice on evenings we felt like having something different was the Causeway Bay typhoon shelter, known to some as “the tycoon shelter” as it harbored the sleek and costly craft of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club. It also afforded moorage for a small flotilla of durable seaworthy family junks.
The only tourists in evidence on these outings were those who’d been smuggled in by locals, quite likely with the visitors’ absolute assurance they wouldn’t reveal the location to anyone else. The inclination toward secrecy was perhaps overblown. Even having heard about the place a stranger had little chance of getting to it without help.
Logistically, with its access blocked by sea walls, the harbor and the life-threatening speedway of Victoria Park Road, there were only two reasonable approaches. One was the little-known underground passageway which carried