Adapting to the Hong Kong lifestyle is expensive. Both locals and foreigners residing here would agree on that. Tummy hacks that are safe can relieve you from unnecessary expenditures. Here are snacks and meals that will help you not go over your monthly budget.
The minimum wage in Hong Kong is HK$34.50 for non-domestic employees. The average cost of a decent meal in an inexpensive restaurant costs HK$50. These are the factors that affect the spending habits of Hongkies on top of their very expensive rent. Due to space issues, agriculture and housing are affected in great heights.
Geographically, Hong Kong got steep hills and rock formations. It doesn’t hold much fertile soil to focus its trading industry to local produce. According to the government’s Agricultural Fisheries and Conservation Department, only 7 square kilometres of land are actively farmed. This propels them into importing basic produce from neighbouring countries as financial trading remains the number one generator of income in the 852.
Nonetheless, Hong Kong remains to stand up as the No.1 country in Asia because of its employment capacity. Job opportunities vary from being an accountant, a copywriter, performing artist and/or (but not limited to) domestic helpers. These jobs are compensated competitively with medical and health benefits that are rewarding and beneficial.
ONE PLUS ONE EQUALS 2
Pooling of employees led to an increase into Hong Kong’s population. More demand for food in that sense and the most inevitable of all, the need for more space when it was scarce from the very start. This made Hong Kong rent the most expensive in the world based on the price per square meter in purchasing an apartment. Numbeo calculated the average amount into two categories: at the city centre (HK$222,951.02) and outside of centre (HK$139,153.62).
With these much information coming into play, many Hong Kong residents resort to eating whatever is affordable, available and filling all in one go regardless of the nutrition it gives. Helpless as it may seem, a beneficial skill may be developed when situations like this arise. You learn how to hustle. And you rediscover your way around. Here’s some sources of food that will cost between HK$50 to HK$99 that will surely satisfy your cravings and fill you up in no time. Just be careful with the dietary facts and nutritional facts for each specific serving.
Starting from HK$3 a piece, SUSHI TAKE-OUT sells good-tasting sushi. You can come up with your assorted selection of steamed shrimp, seaweed sushi, California Maki and salmon. Five of these goodies will fill you up in no time because of the rice perhaps with all of those amounting to just HK$15.
The most bought are the crab legs, sea weed, shrimp and mackerel. Because these SUSHI Take Out stations are often at the MTR exits, sales don’t stay stagnant. They change their stocks consistently and refilled continuously.
Do double-check it of any signs of unclean, rotten meat for your own relief. Check the salmon for worms and if you are not the type who cannot stomach uncooked seafood or if you are allergic, skip this. In my personal experience, Sushi Take Out is clean and had never given me food poisoning.
Originally from Taiwan, Bafang Dumpling is a good go-to-brunch meal that can literally last you a day if you hail noodle soup. The famous Wonton Noodle Soup and the Noodle Soup of Pig’s Intestines are the best sellers because of how affordable they are, ranging from HK$30 to HK$50.
The Beef Noodle Set is the most popular among the choices. Its flavourful beef broth served with carrots, white radish, noodles and generous serving of beef tenderloin is perfect. They cook it with rich spices that tickle your palate. Coriander, spring onions and tianjin (a kind of preserved pickled cabbage) compliments the set as side spices.
A big bowl comes with a tall plastic cup of Milk Tea (you can add jelly pearls or not) and 6 pieces of home-made dumpling. The Bafang Cabinet Factory in Tianjin, China aims to buy the freshest vegetable and meat for their dumplings. So for a good price of HK$85-HK$95, it is worth it.
It is quite remarkable how Jollibee has been widely accepted in Hong Kong adding 7 more branches expanding confidently. China had embraced partnership with them as well. One in every three customers of Jollibee is a Hongkie, another proof of this fondness with Jollibee anchoring a position as one of the leading companies that Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre featured. One of the 2 huge companies that are open to franchising. Even my daughter loves the juicy Chickenjoy with French fries and iced lemon tea. Their meals start from HK$34.00 up.
If you plan a night out with friends in Lan Kwai Fong, may I suggest for you to taste Grill’s Thai barbecue. Each stick of chicken, pork and beef is HK$16. I tried all three once for my dinner because it was very affordable. And I got so full. So, it’s enough to fill you in less than HK$%.
The barbecue was marinated perfectly. Edges were toasted just right and it made me think that the only one missing is the cup of rice. A smart entrepreneur rented the other side, a vacant commercial space, located just beside Grill. It profited big time from the rice combos.
Beer at Grill is priced at HK$25. Not much sitting area but you won’t need it anyway. After eating here, go up to Lan Kwai Fong for some good fun. Three sticks can make you go a long way than an empty stomach in this part of town.
Yep! Those croissandwiches are monstrous for the price. It will fill you up in no time so take advantage of the best part in purchasing one. That is, you can divide it into two to be eaten twice in a day. One for brunch and one for supper, so that means splitting up the price as well around HK$25 each meal? Who wouldn’t want that? Voila! Meals check!
Just have some snacks in between if you feel hungry. Their bread comes in whole wheat, whole grain, whole wheat. Some are layered with butter, chocolate, praline and almond paste.
Urban City Diner bakes pastries and cakes and serves lunch and dinner as well.
This platform serves as a “virtual canteen for Filipino Cuisine”. All of their meals are Filipino dishes. Initially, their market was supposed to be Filipino OFW’s only. The ones that miss Filipino meals like sisig, tortang talong and palabok. But later on, foreigners started to get fond of what they offer and embraced it eventually.
Their meals start at HK$50 and are all bound to be delivered. If the location where you’re at is beyond their 5 mile radius from Tung Chung, delivery fee will be imposed. This is favourable to people who barely leave the office and barely have the time to eat. Their very product is pre-ordered meal for a month and they bring your food on the day. No need to line up and no need to go elbow to elbow during lunch time at restaurants during those busiest hours.
For the list of foods they offer and if your office is interested to avail of their services, log on to their website and connect through their email address.
Are you a fan of cookies for breakfast or for your snack? Well, say hello to Mrs. Fields!
Mrs. Fields saved a lot of lives. It is a relief for those who tend to forget to eat. Those who don’t have time to eat and those who are always on the run. These people need to put these cookies in their bags at least.
One little hack is that when it’s 10 pm onwards (meaning, until supplies last), they put their cookies on sale because they always want to finish up everything that they baked within the day. They don’t want to resell it for the next day. So instead of throwing it out, they put it on sale.
They say that Mrs. Fields cookies here in Hong Kong are sold more expensively as compared to the US. Surprisingly, Hong Kong locals and foreigners alike find it a go-to-food in line with Sushi-on-the-Go. Probably because of its effective location – MTR exits.
TE (QUICK PASTA AND HERBS)
Located in iSquare, Tsim Sha Tsui, Te sits quietly at a corner with a very attractive aroma of garlic bread. I had no expectations when I decided to give it a try but Te did not disappoint. I thought the serving was just enough and the pasta was cooked al dente!
Budget by Open Rice was imposed from HK$51-100. I love the combination of the mushrooms with clams. The way they cook their pasta is so simple yet so deeeeliiicccious! Their garlic bread tops their pasta servings as their parmesan melts on it.
I thought it was odd to pair tea up with pasta but their wide selection of tea is worth trying.
Hong Kong sees Paissano’s as the most authentic New York tasting pizza. A lot of foreigners go here before and after a night out. Equally, locals dine here for lunch to escape piling work in the office.
A 12″ pizza costs HK$30. With a soda beside that or a juice, a good meal of less than HK$50 gets you through. 7 branches cater to the busy-ness of Hong Kong including the areas: SOHO, Causeway Bay and Sai Kung.
Trivia: Paissano’s Pizza Dough are made with purified water.
Hong Kong BBQ ITEMS
Roasted duck, White Chicken, Soy Chicken, Crispy pork and BBQ pork are the staple fast foods of Hong Kong. These foods leave a special mark whether it is served on rice or in a noodle soup. It brings out its best taste with grated ginger garnish, soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce.
Sets amount to HK$35 to HK$55 depending on how much of the meat you want. Two can be combined in one plate but the menu offers until 4 to put together per plate. Price goes up too when you go for half serving of the whole duck or if you want to buy the whole white chicken. But for a meal, with a choice of iced lemon tea, or iced milk tea or iced lemon water, it’s more than satisfying. Sometimes, you may order it with half of a salted egg and bok choi (Chinese cabbage).
WHAT’S YOUR BEST MEAL IN Hong Kong UNDER HK$100?
There you have it folks! Here are the 10 meal sources that cost less than HK$100. If you have something else in mind that you think deserves to be on this list, let me know through the comments. Kindly share it and tag your friends who are bound to Hong Kong on a budget with this post.