The next day, I headed to Sham Shui Po, a working class neighborhood on the Kowloon peninsula, across the water from Hong Kong Island, to try a number of local specialties. The pineapple bun is a popular breakfast item. It's called that because it looks like a pineapple, not because it tastes like one. It's actually only made with sugar, eggs, butter, and lard.
One of the most treasured Hong Kong specialties is "bamboo pole noodles," called so named because they're made with a centuries-old technique where the noodle-maker kneads the dough by balancing on a giant bamboo pole. The resulting thin noodles have a bouncy, elastic texture. It's a dying art.
Pork and chives-filled dumplings are one of the most basic dumpling types in China. If you've ever eaten in a Chinatown, you've probably had the dish. In the Sham Shui Po district of Hong Kong, many shops still make each dumpling by hand.
Hong Kongers love their sweets (though Asian-style desserts and snacks are far less sweet than European or American ones). Dou Fu Fa (sometimes spelled doufuhua) is a soft, silky tofu in a lightly sweet soup covered with ginger sugar. It's served cold in the summer and lukewarm in the winter.
Fook Lam Moon's most famous dish is the famous crispy chicken. It's a classic Cantonese dish that is extremely difficult to do right. The perfect Cantonese crispy chicken was crispy paper-thin skin and juicy, tender meat. Fook Lam Moon does it right.
I finished dinner with fried rice that was as classic Cantonese as it gets. It had plump shrimp, tender pieces of char sui pork, and rice that wasn't oily. Fried rice is often served last in Chinese cuisine so you don't ruin your appetite for seafood and meat.
After Hong Kong, I headed to Wulingyuan, a small mountain town in the southwest province of Hunan. The cuisine there is known for being dry and spicy with a liberal use of chili peppers (but not Sichuan peppercorn), as well as numerous dried, cured, smoked, and preserved ingredients. Rice noodle soup, congee with preserved veggies, and a variety of side dishes like corn and shredded potatoes are a typical breakfast.