In a lot of ways, Hong Kong is not so different from New York. You have your street vendors and tourist traps, your gleaming skyscrapers and people in suits working long hours. Hong Kong even has a SoHo and a Times Square. But, alas, as far as sandwiches, these great cities will never see eye-to-eye.
It must be said: the noodle is king in Hong Kong. Noodle, bun, rice, and milk tea, sure, but sandwiches are second fiddle. However, a determined expat can always find a way. Through an alley, tucked in a fusion restaurant, around the corner from a cha chaan teng, you can hear the faint but glorious sound of meat between slices of bread.
Scrambled Egg Sandwich (Hokkaido Dairy Farm Milk Restaurant, Various Locations)
This, my friends, is not just scrambled eggs and bread. Well, technically it is. But sandwich lovers can’t quite put their finger on what makes this one so irresistible. Is it the delightfully fluffy egg, made with 3.6 percent fat Hokkaido milk? (Japanese Hokkaido milk is especially creamy and refreshing.) Or is it the fact that the perfectly toasted bread is crust-less? Maybe it’s that this sandwich measures a full three inches tall. Who knows? You’ll have to try it to decide.
Ice Cream Sandwich (Elephant Grounds, Sheung Wan)
Though you may know Elephant Grounds as the home of some pretty outrageously delicious coffee, they offer equally outrageous ice cream sandwiches every weekend. The flavors change almost every week, but stop in any time for the likes of handcrafted cantaloupe ice cream topped with cantaloupe cubes and stuffed inside two green tea Hokkaido milk buns. Elephant Grounds even got into the spirit of Halloween with pumpkin spice ice cream between black sesame seed cookies, topped with allspice almonds and a spooky sugar cookie.
Holy Kimchi Burger (Boomshack, Central)
Boomshack is bringing food truck culture to Hong Kong with its unique blend of American, Mexican, and Asian cuisine. While you can’t go wrong with the chicken waffle or beet fries, the real must-try on the menu is the Holy Kimchi Burger. Imagine a generous serving of corned beef, homemade kimchi, cheddar cheese, and “baconnaise” on a potato bun. Holy Kimchi, indeed!
Katsu Sando (Sunday’s Grocery, Kennedy Town)
Look, we know this one is sort of a leap of faith. It’s not every day we advocate heading to a liquor shop to procure a sandwich, but today’s the day. The Katsu Sando at Sunday’s Grocery has just four ingredients – one chicken katsu meatball, milk bread, cabbage slaw, and spicy tonkatsu sauce. You’ve had Japanese fried chicken? Try a Japanese fried chicken patty.
Tail Wagger (Bread & Beast, Wan Chai)
With a name like Bread & Beast, you know these people take their sandwiches seriously. While a number of their sandwiches were up for contention, the Tail Wagger had us at, well, tail. Red wine braised oxtail, melted gruyere, house-pickled tri-colored bell peppers on a fresh baked baguette -- it’s like a Philly cheesesteak, but better.