A Taste of Hong Kong's Reality in North Point

By Christina Kim - July 24, 2015


North Point (北角) is a district of its own identity; and is a far cry from the usual bustling crowds in the commercial districts comprising of busy Hongkies rushing in their own pace and interests among the avid tourists navigating their way around the city centre.
High rise buildings surround the area with peaks dotting the skies, while the streets are lined with locally owned shops and stores, along with a wet market selling fresh produce from the farm and sea are probably the scenes greeting one when they alight from the North Point MTR Station.

It is all in all, your everyday kind of neighborhood and rightfully so, as North Point would be more appropriately described as a residential district rather than a commercial point in full bloom.
Technically a mix of urbanization with that taste of locality in its fusion is that key characterization of North Point.

This is a district which is dear to me, on a personal level, mainly because I used to stay in this area on my first visit to Hong Kong and I even have friends who reside in this area (they are Hongkies).
There is just something about North Point (besides the fact that I used to stay here) that makes it fascinating to me, and I believe it is just that local identity it harbors in its very own portrayal of the personality of the area.
Beneath all the high rise densely populated buildings housing hundreds of the local families is a side of Hong Kong, in a very down-to-earth and unpretentious manner.

I will always make it a point to drop by North Point, in most of my trips to Hong Kong, just to take a stroll down the streets and take in the local scenes.
It is rather the version of the off-the-beaten-path for me in a personal way, and I am always on the hunt for the local gems in the form of the local shops and eateries.

We stumbled upon this shop while deciding on a place for our late lunch; a quiet and hidden outlet which could easily go unnoticed among the many eateries lining the street.

Lok Tak Char Chan Teng is just right there on the street we walked past, and unfortunately I forgot to save the location or even the name of the street.
(We were probably too happy to finally find the place for lunch, or just too hungry?)


Based on my idea of a place where the locals would probably go for their meals, away from the wandering eyes of curious tourists on the streets, Lok Tak is just the answer in that aspect.

No-frills menu, old time servers and basic table settings are all well-fitted into this cosy environment which could transport one's mind into believing that one could be easily mistaken for a local (a brownie point if you could even speak Cantonese)




It was late in the afternoon; the typical hour for tea though the place still serves meals throughout the day.
Just like in the typical Hong Kong dramas we have been watching since our childhood, the locals would stroll into the shops and order toasts, noodles, along with their favorite milk tea or iced lemon tea for their afternoon tea session.
That, is the idea of tea time in Hong Kong.

We went for simple dishes; for it was our lunch rather than tea despite the hour and the promotional dishes were quite enticing with its description and prices, which were quite reasonable.

Complimentary soup which came with the main courses we ordered.







It was a very satisfying meal; though with a few enduring stares from the curious workers in the shop who obviously could tell we were not locals.
That is probably the only setback dining in a localized environment, away from tourist-infested areas and the locals themselves are not used to foreign visitors to their territories, though there is nothing that they do except just stare at you, and stare.

There are just so many local eateries and even snack stalls in this district; sensibly so since it is after all a residential neighborhood.
Prices would definitely be more suited to the local standards, in favor of their domestic community in the vicinity.


Famous shop selling egg rolls
(You'd need to order 6 months in advance for these rolls. They don't serve walk-in customers)

I am sure there are many more residential neighborhoods in Hong Kong; with their highly populous community and North Point is just another one in the list.

It is these neighborhoods that one should drop by, given the luxury of spare time in their schedule for one to truly experience the lifestyle of a typical Hongkie, which is simply not portrayed in the commercialized images often slapped on the media in their interpretation or depiction of this glamorous city.

Glamour or not, Hong Kong is still herself, beneath all that sparkle and neon lights and it is this very side of Hong Kong which shaped her very identity.

It is this very side which highlights the realistic facade and disposition of Hong Kong; which sets her apart from other cities in the world.

Nothing beats that taste of local flavor, and North Point is just one of the many vibrant personalities of Hong Kong, stripped down to earth.


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