Thanksgiving is probably my least favorite holiday – I’m not a fan of any of the common Thanksgiving foods, and there’s never really anything to do on the day except sit around, digest and make small talk.
So there was no love lost on missing Thanksgiving to be in Hong Kong this year. Actually, my favorite holiday memories are ones that I’ve spent abroad.
Needless to say, I hadn’t initially made any plans for the Thursday of Thanksgiving in Hong Kong, even though I didn’t have class that day. But then I’d spoken to my friend, Virginia from Humid with a Chance of Fishballs tours, and found out she’d be doing her new Sampan Seafood Dinner tour on that Thursday. I thought it would be a perfect way to spend the day!
We all met in the Times Square area of Hong Kong before walking over to the Canal Road Bridge underpass to see Granny Chiu, a government licensed “Villain Hitter”, who will ward off any bad spirits surrounding you.
We then hopped on the tram (which is an extra charge) to ride a few stops to the area of the typhoon shelter. We stopped off quickly for a last toilet break at the restaurant which was preparing our food. It was cool to see them frying the clams and packing everything up in heated containers before we set off for the Sampan.
The typhoon shelter in Causeway Bay is a small inlet where fishing boats can take shelter during storms. It’s become famous over the years for the “Typhoon Shelter Crab”, or sometimes referred to as “Under Bridge Crab”, which Anthony Bourdain himself enjoyed while in Hong Kong for his show No Reservations.
It’s also made many lists of the Best Seafood in Hong Kong, and is a pretty famous thing to do/eat.
After the pit stop at the restaurant, we made our way to the typhoon shelter to board our Sampan. This was a highlight for me with the shimmering Hong Kong skyline providing backlighting for the evening.
After getting settled in, we started off with sea snails and whole prawns:
Then came some veggies, the clams I’d watch them fry up at the restaurant prepared in a spicy black bean sauce, and one of my favorites of the meal – the razor clams, prepared with vermicelli noodles, enoki mushrooms and minced garlic.
Then, it was finally time for the main event: typhoon shelter crab with fried garlic (more fried garlic than you’ve probably ever seen)!
This was all polished off with Chinese Plum wine, which is a favorite of mine and tastes a lot like a dry sherry, but sweetened with the plums that Virginia provided.
Truth be told, this is A LOT of seafood – more than I’ve ever eaten in one sitting. So if you’re a seafood lover, this is absolutely the thing for you in Hong Kong! You can join Virginia to dine on a Sampan boat yourself, on Tuesdays until it gets too cold. You can find more info on her website here.