The 11th of November was my penultimate night in Hong Kong. I was going to do the solo bit tonight. Dinner was at the Zabon Ramen shop on Hollywood Road. At this point, Hollywood Road ran as an underpass for traffic and pedestrians beneath the escalator/covered walkway overhead.. The Zabon Ramen shop was just about beneath the escalator.
As you enter the shop – all the staff will announce that they are welcoming you – Iraahaimase!
You are directed to a space at the counter, or to a table for groups of three or more. In the above photo, I sat where the man (on the left side, drinking from a cup or glass is seated.
There’s a menu with pictures and text, and a notepad with check boxes for you to enter your selections. There’s also a place for you to advise how you want your ramen noodles: firm, soft, or normal.
After scanning the menu, I opted for some small pork dumplings (gyoza) and a large bowl of miso ramen.
Plus a Kirin Beer.
The shumei took a while to come out. Likely because they’re made to order. Tasty, but not the best ever. Since I had failed to mark the ramen texture, they were on the firm side of normal. The pork slice was an okay size, and the chopped cabbage was a good size mound. The chopped greens and chopped scallions gave the bowl a touch of color, and a hard-boiled egg, with a reddish center rounded it out.
The soup stock was flavorful and tasty and I watched the preparation of all the orders as I was seated at the counter right in front of the open kitchen as in the above photo. It was by Hong Kong standards, a relatively inexpensive meal HK$ 96 including the service charge. That’s a bit more than $12 US.
Since it was evening I was able to take the escalator back up the hill to have a look at night life in Lan Kwai Fong,
as well as Elgin Street. Whether it was Elgin Street, Shelley Street. Hollywood Road, or even my own ‘nabe’ – Staunton Street, it was hopping where ever you went.
People out for the evening – to drink, to eat, to watch English Rugby, Italian soccer, German football, or Spanish basketball. And of course to look to hook up. Hong Kong, at night, and at least in these precincts, was a mass of people talking in a multiplicity of languages, within a neon jungle.
Way further down (just above sea-level) on Des Voex Road, the trams and buses, in all their multi-hued glory, carried people along their appointed routes. While the taxis,unlike the trams and buses, were available above in the Mid-levels (sorry, the 26 Bus ran on Hollywood), in red and white took people where ever they desired and especially without a set route.
But no where was it more manic than in Lan Kwai Fong. It is not all that big of an area – basically it is just a couple of L-Shaped streets that meet to form a rectangle. But it is known as the hangout for expats. And a must see for tourists.
A bit too busy for me, but definitely a memorable place. I think I preferred ‘my own turf’ which was the Escalator at Staunton street. There, people overflowed the bars and stood in the street by the dozens. In Lan Kwai Fong – it was by the hundreds. Yes, Hong Kong can be a party town – and yet some how, all the expats end up in one place.
Me? I like space. So I said good night to Lan Kwai Fong rather quickly and soon was home. With a task in mind. I was going to pack up my suitcase, for delivery to the In-Town Check-In on Tuesday for my Wednesday morning flight.