Where Hikers and Beach Bums Meet and Eat

High temperatures and little breeze did not stop us from hiking the Dragon's Back trail on eastern Hong Kong island on Sunday. Nevertheless, by the time we finished the 2-hour long hike, we were in need food and ice-cold drinks.

Big Wave Bay (Tai Long Wan), a scenic little beach where the trail ended, had a few restaurants scattered between surf shops. Tong Kee, a noodle shop that also rents surf and boogie boards, had a no-frills outdoor eating area that was filling up with beach-goers. Always a good sign. We struck up a conversation with the family that owns the eatery, who told us that Tong Kee has been opened off-and-on for 40 years, long before the other restaurants on the strip moved from town.

You wouldn't think a hot bowl of noodle soup would be good after a long hike in the scorcing sun. But sitting in the shade under a fan and sipping lemon iced tea has a remarkable cooling effect. (AC, you were not missed.) We ordered a plate of stir-fried choi sum (Chinese flowering cabbage) and big bowls of pork and beef tendon soup. What's in the broth, we asked one of the owners, that makes it so flavorful? She brought out the magic spices: bay leaf, star anise, and nutmeg. Also, she added, we cook the beef - lean cuts, fatty cuts, and offal alike) - in it for at least 4 hours.

After lunch, we were rested enough to endure the 3 minute walk to dip our feet in the ocean.

Tong Kee Restaurant and Store
Tai Long Wan (Big Wave Bay), two km north of Shek-O Village on Hong Kong Island.
MTR to Shau Kei Wan, then No. 9 bus or one of the smaller private buses to Tai Long Wan