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Apr 28, 2011 04:11 AM

In transit in HK

I am going to be in transit in HK twice next week.
Once in the morning, get in at the airport and need to take a train from Hung Hom. Then a couple of days later back to Hung Hom and get to the airport to catch a flight.
I was thinking of an late breakfast / early lunch at Tim Ho Wan. Is it worth it? Will the queues be very long? Is there any alternative?
On the way back maybe a late afternoon snack before getting the airport express back at about 530 pm. any suggestions?

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  1. re: Tim Ho Wan (Mong Kok location)
    Queues get v. busy around midday but they operate on a ticket system so you don't have to "keep your place" in the queue. However, it's hard to predict how big a crowd there'll be.
    I passed by there around 5:30pm on the way to Mong Kok MTR and there was no queue (although the place was full). However last week around the same time, it was pretty crowded.

    Technically Yau Ma Tei is the closest MTR stop to Tim Ho Wan but if you're coming from Hung Hom, I suppose you could go to Mong Kok East (just one stop along the KCR East line). It would mean a bit of a trek though. Check Google maps for more details. As long as you find Dundas street you'll be fine.

    While you're in that area you might want to check out some of the plethora of snack stalls/stands. My favourite stand is further along Dundas Street. You can't miss it due to the distinct aroma of "Stinky" Tofu that perfumes the air around it! (although I normally get their Ngau Jap). It's located right next to a branch of the Taiwanese fried chicken chain "Hot Star" (which looks dismal imho). Also along Dundas Street is Man Ga where you can find their signature pepper pork buns.

    10 Replies
    1. re: harryrodgers

      I might have a bag with me so I guess I will have to get a cab. From Kowloon Airport express station though. I will go to Hung Hom from there.

      The Man Ga buns sound good. Is there a sign in English? I had some congee and Char SIu near Mong Kok station before. Average.

      I will probably get to Tim Ho Wan by around 11. Hope there isn't too much of a queue. By "not keep my place" I guess you mean I can take a coupon and come back in 30 minutes or so? What if my number has already been called? Do I lose my place in the queue?

      1. re: intrepidgourmand

        Man ga has no english signage that I remember.
        Here's the openrice entry:

        Their two most popular varieties are usually on top of the counter (one is flatter with pork and scallions in the middle while the other is a heftier stuffed bun. It's the same pork mixture in either one). They also have "toothbrush" buns but I've yet to try those ones.

        Regarding the queue at Tim Ho Wan - yes unfortunately you do risk losing your place if your number has been called (I'm not sure how much lee-way, if any, they give on that). You can get a fairly good idea of how fast the queue is moving when you're there. The other places I mentioned are literally about 5 to 10 minutes away.

        Oh, and not so near to the above but very close to Mong Kok East station (not Mong Kok MTR): Kam Wah Cafe (along Bute street where the goldfish market is). They are quite well known for their bo lo bao (pineapple buns) and dan tart. However, they may be sold out by the evening.

      2. re: harryrodgers

        I would take the MTR to Prince Edward, exit a and walk 5 minutes to the Sham Shui Po location. Queue is less scary. Quality is much the same as the Mong Kok location. Remember to order the b-b-q pork bun!!!

        1. re: Charles Yu

          Thank you Charles
          Does that outlet have the same timings as the one at Mong Kok? Is there a queue, but shorter?

          1. re: intrepidgourmand

            Everything is practically the same except the place is bigger and the line shorter!

          2. re: Charles Yu

            Good point. If queue time is going to be a major factor then the Sham Shui Po branch might be the better choice.
            Speaking of Sham Shui Po, another 5 minutes walk on from Tim Ho Wan would bring you to Kung Wo (on Pei Ho street). Try their Dou fu fa.

            1. re: harryrodgers

              Follow up:
              I went to the Sham Shui Po branch today for a (very) late lunch. Quality was pretty much on par with the Mong Kok location. The har gow and chiu chow dumplings were a little on the soggy side (oversteamed?) but that might just be a daily inconsistency rather than an overall trend. Everything else was fine. Queue was much shorter than Mong Kok with seats provided for those waiting (oh the luxury! :D ). We only waited 20 minutes. Once inside, it was predictably crowded but no more so than you'd expect from a busy Cha Chaan Teng.
              The location is basically equal walking time from Shek Kip Mei, Sham Shui Po or Prince Edward MTR stations.

              1. re: harryrodgers

                Long weekend (labour day on monday) = shorter queue....?

                1. re: PhilD

                  Might also be the time of day (mid afternooon).

                  1. re: harryrodgers

                    Thanks for the recommendations, everyone.
                    I had a very short time in transit and took a cab to Tim Ho Wan after checking my bags at Kowloon station. I thought if the queue was long, I could just eat elsewhere. Luckily as I was alone, I got a spot immediately.
                    It was worth the trip. After eating the Har Gao there, I am not sure I have actually eaten this dish anywhere else. The skin is quite simply the best. And that was not even the best dish I ate. The Baked BBQ Pork bun is outstanding and so was the Congee, both phenomenal. The spare ribs in Black bean sauce were average and so was the dessert.

        2. That's too bad your time is so limited there in HK, one of the best place to be hungry and the worst place to be hungry and in a rush. Where ever I am in the same boast as you I try to travel as little as I can, eat as much as I can. Hong Hom is very close to Mong Kok, I love all the little hole in the wall places. The flavor there is very different then on the HK Island side, more wild, less refine then say in Causeway Bay or God forbid, Central. When I really run out of time and have to fly out, I go straight to the airport. HKG has some of the best food anywhere, all the stuff you will need to stuff your face before you get into your cramped window seats and eat airline food with plastic forks. Chow away, next time when you go to HK insist on a layover, they love you more then you think at work, no???