A heart-warming bowl of piping hot congee is a staple in many Asian countries, with a well executed base being the perfect blank canvas for an array of flavours and textures. We’ve rounded up our top picks in Hong Kong for the silky-smooth, umami-filled bowl of goodness.
Words Claudia Shum
Law Fu Kee
G/F 142 Queen’s Road Central, Central
Tel: 2543 3881
Previously recommended by the Michelin guide, Law Fu Kee’s congee is a perfect choice to go alongside their famous fried dace balls, served alongside a briny preserved clam sauce (from $20). For over 50 years, Law Fu Kee’s breakfast classic has been made daily at the crack of dawn by boiling down preserved eggs and fish bones for that perfectly smooth and creamy texture, laced with the fragrance of long-grain jasmine rice. Though their flavour selection is basic, diners are served with a clean, hearty-tasting congee, generously filled with fresh ingredients such as sliced fish, pork liver and homemade meatballs (from $34). Try the preserved egg congee with their bouncy meatballs and don’t forget to get a side of yau tiu!
Mui Kee Congee
Shop 11-12, 4/F Fa Yuen Street Market, Mong Kok
Tel: 2789 0198
First opened in 1970 as a dai pai dong, Mui Kee congee has been passed down through generations and is now managed by third generation owner Pierre Choi. Famed for their “open fire” congee, they have recently opened a pop-up in Singapore, cooperating with the Les Amis Group. The addition of mashed century eggs and bean curd skin ensures their congee base is silky smooth, flavoured by simmering fish and pork bones for five hours. Upon ordering, the base is transferred to individual copper pots with other ingredients such as fish belly and beef, as well as the more adventurous option with pork offal, and is not for the faint hearted – think kidney, heart and intestines (from $30).
Sang Kee Cha Chaan Teng
G/F 13 Lo Lung Hang Street, Hung Hom
Tel: 2334 7573
Cha chaan teng by day and crab experts by night, Sang Kee Cha Chaan Teng is a hidden gem in Hung Hom, famous for its made-to-order crab congee served bubbling away in a clay pot. Featuring a whole fresh crab, the congee brims with flavour from the sweet crabmeat and fragrant crab roe – a popular choice among crab fanatics. Other must-try’s include its crispy oyster spring rolls, deep-fried octopus balls and tom yum gong clams.
Sang Kee Congee Specialist Shop
G/F 7-9 Burd Street, Sheung Wan
Tel: 2541 1099
Tucked away on Burd Street in Sheung Wan, Sang Kee Congee is a firm favourite among locals, featuring a more traditional, quick fix vibe. Sang Kee’s full-flavoured congee and generous portions pay homage to the traditional method of slowly cooking the congee with quality ingredients before hitting it on high heat with your selection of ingredients. Its signature carp belly congee ($43) does not disappoint, with fresh, flaky fish and is served with its house soy – generously garnished with spring onion and ginger for that fresh kick. A well-cooked bowl of congee is just what you need after a long day.
Trusty Congee King
7 Heard Street, Wan Chai
Tel: 2882 3268
Whilst not as historic as the other congee contenders, Trusty Congee King has made its way into multiple Michelin guides. Its congee is made from a careful selection of six different dace fish, then slowly simmered for four hours to produce a rich, umami fish broth forming the base of the congee. Health-conscious readers will be pleased to know that no MSG is added to their congee, making it a healthy comfort food option. Not-to-be-missed are its rice dumplings ($32), blanched and dressed carp skin ($44) with a spring onion ginger sauce, as well as its star congee featuring eel and pork liver ($75).
G/F 83 Stanley Street, Central
Tel: 2551 5564
Boasting cheap and cheerful food as well as welcoming service, Wai Kee is well known among locals. Aside from the breakfast favourite – good old plain congee ($9), other combinations feature classics such as preserved egg and pork, sliced fish, congealed pigs’ blood and Canton-style seafood congee (from $18), where diners can also combine their favourite ingredients for that perfect bowl of congee. Don’t forget to get a snack. Highlights include steamed turnip pudding ($11), rice rolls (from $11) and yau tiu ($8), which are deep fried Chinese dough sticks perfect for dipping into the piping hot congee for a greasy treat.