This is from our 2011 trip to Hong Kong. My views on food may have developed a little bit more, but my love and passion have certainly not waned! Enjoy this post from the past.

Our trip to Hong Kong has concluded, and it has taken me a few days to work through the stack of papers, business cards, scraps, and chopstick wrappers to organize my collection of food mementos to help me recall the many incredible restaurants and palate-changing food items we experienced while there.  In the next few posts, I am going to attempt to describe the items we were served and the dinner guests with whom we enjoyed the items. While I crave and savour food treasures, it is equally important to me that we enjoy these items with good friends, both dear and brand new. The Hong Kong trip, more than any other trip we have taken, combined both unique cuisine and memorable connections.

The main players consisted of aunts and uncles and new friends whom we have recently met.

Aunt Elaine Wong has been my Chinese auntie since I can remember. She has worked as a social worker with the YWCA Hong Kong for decades, and she met my parents before they had kids. She watched my brother’s and my adoption, and she spoiled us over the years. When we lived in China, we would return to Hong Kong quarterly to restock supplies and catch up on appointments. Auntie Elaine would take my brother and me to Toys R Us and to dim sum. Uncle Leo soon also became part of our lives, and we remembered him mostly as the guy who liked to take pictures and go on treks. At one point, he also flew helicopters. He was the cool uncle who did all the cool stuff.

When Josh and I were in HK, we stayed with Auntie Elaine and Uncle Leo, and they took us all over the place. The restaurants we visited were amazing. Elaine would pick up the menu, look at it, although it hadn’t changed since last she’d eaten there, and then order some items from the server. The rest of us needn’t have bothered to glance at the menu. And each item she ordered was great! Once, she even ordered a salty lemon soda drink for us to try, which was – wonder of all wonders – salty and citrusy-bitter.

Uncle Leo and Aunt Elaine

In addition to some old, dear friends who spoiled us and made sure that we would be well-nourished on our tour of Hong Kong, we also connected with a business friend through a Seattle Culinary Academy connection. My classmate, Rachael, introduced me to Pius Lai, a sourcing consultant who had done business with Rachael’s dad, Stephen. Pius took it upon himself to give us a multi-part tour of Hong Kong. He also introduced us to restaurants and food items that most of our friends will cringe when I recall the stories.  This friendship enriched our At the end of our tour, he even dubbed us honorary locals. Hah!

Pius Lai