Looking to update your home kitchen arsenal? Have foodie or history buff friends in town? Shanghai Street is an easy walk from Yau Ma Tei MTR station in Jordan and a treasure trove for the keen cook.
One of Hong Kong’s oldest avenues (and one of its longest), Shanghai Street was an early example of reclaimed land in the city, and got its name during the Government’s phase of christening Kowloon streets after Chinese provinces that traded with them. In 1880, brothels dominated the street, which saw a bank robbery and hostage crisis unfold in the 1970s. Some of its shop-house units have been around for more than forty years, with a few that date back more than a century.
It’s a great spot to just wander and browse, and you’ll find anything from second-hand blenders and mixers to pretty Japanese ceramics and bamboo steamers. But it’s also where serious chefs go to tool-up, and Black Sheep Restaurants’ Executive Chef Tony Ferreira gives us his top three shops and what to buy there:
- Kwong Wing,G/F, 312-314 Shanghai Street
This is our one-stop shop for absolutely everything, and we’re here on almost a weekly basis. From digital scales to pots, through spice grinders and meat slicers, they have it all. Tammy is our go-to gal there: if we can’t find something we need, she’ll make it for us. And, for the non-Canto speakers who are intimidated by Shanghai Street, Tammy speaks English.
- Chan Chi Kee, G/F, 316-318 Shanghai Street
This is where we go for knives, wooden boards and cleavers. They have an extensive knife selection with some Japanese and European brands, but most are local cleavers. Anthony Bourdain bought a knife here when he filmed his show ‘The Layover’ in Hong Kong a few years ago.
- I Love Cake, G/F, 388 Shanghai Street
There’s a solid selection at this shop for bakers and dessert-makers. They also have a store in Wan Chai and, unlike a lot of the places on Shanghai Street, a fairly usable website, but if you are looking for something specific it’s worth dropping them a line.
If you have time, take a short detour to check out the Tin Hau Temple (confusingly not located in Tin Hau), more than 150 years old and built to honour the Chinese goddess of the sea. This was once where sailors came to pray for safe voyages.
Shanghai Street offers a rare glimpse into old Hong Kong that has thankfully stood the test of time and continues to provide the goods.
Now that you’ve purchased all the gear, check some of our home cooking guides which show you how to make dumplings Ho Lee Fook style and how to make an Indian meal from scratch. If you’re looking for more geeky kitchen convenience, check out the top five kitchen gadgets for cooking nerds.