Hong Kong: The Sugar Land of Sweet Soup (Tong Sui) Wenna Pang October 9, 2014 Asian, Cool, Desserts, Interesting For Hong Kongers, the night is forever young. Step out into the city at 12am and you’ll find that the night has only just begun, with bright city lights and a hundred pairs of footsteps running back and forth in every corner. Where are these busy people running to? A huge majority of them are hungry foodies running to grab a good bite to eat. Being the culinary heaven that it is, that’s not an extremely difficult thing to do in Hong Kong. In fact, Siu Ye (宵夜) is one of the most popular evening activities for Hong Kongers. It’s like an evening snack tradition where city dwellers go out to fill late night cravings. Besides street food, one of the most popular midnight snacks and my personal favorite, is Tong Sui (糖水). Tong Sui, literally translated into sugar water or sweet soup, is a type of soup or custard dessert, usually served either hot or cold, at the end of a meal in Cantonese cuisine. It all started back in the days of ancient China, when Tong Sui was sold by street merchants pushing carts in the streets. Today, Tong Sui doesn’t only reign in China but is also sold throughout other Asian countries such as Hong Kong and Malyasia, as well as Chinese communities overseas in Canada, Australia, and the United States. During my recent visit to Hong Kong, my sweet tooth was literally jumping for joy to find these popular Tong Sui stalls lurking at every corner. It is at these Tong Sui stalls, that many Hong Kongers spend their evening, unwinding, sipping at dessert, and chatting the night away. My time in Hong Kong was filled with a lot of street roaming, going in and out of dessert stalls, and tasting my way through the long list of Tong Sui options. The menu list was indeed fabulously long, with choices ranging from red bean soup to peanut paste soup to tofu pudding. Fresh fruits and coconut milk are extremely popular in the world of Tong Sui, with milk, sago (a type of tropical palm starch), and fruits commonly mixed together to create a creamy cold dessert with a fruity sweet flavor. For fruits, popular favorites include mango, pomelo, and strawberries. As for toppings, popular choices include ice-cream, fresh fruit slices, and bittersweet herbal grass jelly, which is not only unique in taste but is filled with health benefits as well. Another popular addition usually added to Tong Sui, are Tong Yuan (湯圓), dough balls made from glutinous rice. The chewy texture of Tong Yuan is definitely hard to resist and comes with a variety of filling flavors, typically either sweet or savory. Another type of Tong Sui is hot soup made from a variety of bean paste, which is commonly thicker and stronger in flavor. Favorites include red bean, mung bean, black sesame paste, and sweet almond soup. Dou Fu Hua, tofu pudding, is another local classic of Hong Kong dessert. Sweet syrup is usually served in a separate bowl, so the sweetness can be adjusted according to personal taste. Dou Fu Hua can be enjoyed either hot or cold. Hot brings out a stronger sweet aroma, whereas cold offers a more brisk and refreshing way to cool down during Hong Kong’s hot summer days. To recommend one specific Tong Sui spot would be challenging, since there are almost as many Tong Sui stalls as there are people, which is really saying a lot. However, two cute spots worth stopping by on my list are “Chinatown Dessert” in Tsim Sha Tsui and “Honeymoon Dessert” in Mong Kok. Both have an extensive and creative menu of sugary treats to choose from that will surely not disappoint. So what’s the major rule of thumb when dining in Hong Kong? The most important is probably to know that in Hong Kong, dinner is literally more like an appetizer, there’s tons of after dinner treats. So remember to leave room, but no worries, as everyone loves to say, there’s certainly always another stomach for dessert. Chinatown Dessert (糖仁街) 11 Hau Fook Street Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong Honeymoon Dessert (滿記) 8 Argyle Street Mong Kok, Hong Kong The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts Wenna Pang A writer and photographer who's in love with new experiences, visual art, and the written word. Born and raised in Chicago, I've also spent time living in New York City, Hong Kong, and traveled throughout various places. A travel enthusiast by heart, I love roaming new places and exploring the people & food that comes with it. As an avid story teller, I love sharing my discoveries, whether it be my latest travel experience or newest food adventure. I truly believe that food is the universal factor that connects all of us, no matter how different we may be in other ways, we cannot deny that there’s at least one thing that we love to eat and that one favorite food magically and unconditionally gives us comfort and pleasure. That feeling is one of the purest forms of happiness and I’d love to share that feeling through my work Latest posts by Wenna Pang (see all) Corn Milk Recipe : How to Milk Corn on the Cob - February 11, 2015 Beef Barley Stew : See what’s Brewing - February 10, 2015 ShuMai Recipe : Have Some Dim-Sum - February 6, 2015 Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Name* Email* Website Comment Current [email protected]* Leave this field empty Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.