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Drink Morning Tea in Hong Kong

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Hong Kong is a city with gay night life. In twenty-four hours a day you may get various kinds of delicious food here that make you linger on, forgetting to return to where you have come from. The two sides of a street are congested with shops selling commodities and meals, which will keep you company from morning to night and provide you with amusements for you to beguile your leisure time.

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The day begins at 6 a.m. Hong Kong people like to "drink morning tea", which is in essence an abundant breakfast. No matter whether it is a workday or a weekend day, people will accompany old folks, bring children and invite friends and neighbors to go for the "morning tea". This has become a peculiar cultural phenomenon of Hong Kong.

Although it may be still quite dark at six o'clock in the morning, meal shops are already open for business. Restaurants of considerable sizes may have prepared more than a hundred refreshments for customers to choose from. Originally, they were only Chinese refreshments of the Guangdong style. Now they are much larger in range and occupy an important place in the epicureans' temple. Some of the refreshments have to be made to order, but most of them are ready-made. Those ready-made refreshments are placed in small steamers, with boiling water beneath them to keep the food at the required temperature of warmth. But there are also ready-made products which are displayed in saucers to facilitate choosing. Just as the Guangdong-styled cooked dishes which are served up for a feast, the refreshments for the morning tea are prepared with great emphasis placed on the material being fresh and the texture of the food feeling wonderful in the mouth. The cooking is carried out by steaming until the food is done and by frying for a short time so as to keep the original taste of the food itself.

Refreshments are small in quantity but refined in workmanship. The underlying philosophy is to enable the consumer to taste in one meal as many kinds of food as possible and enjoy different flavors at the same time.

There are many places in Hong Kong which supply morning tea. The Meixin Palace is absolutely worthy of recommendation. It has a spacious and


magnificent hall which is nearly always packed with customers. Waiters with pushcarts move about in the narrow gaps between the dining tables. Every customer may choose his snack and take it direct from the pushcart. The food supplied is exquisite in taste and flavor, which are rarely met with elsewhere. If you go there with five or six friends you may try to have a portion of everything. If there are only two or three persons of you, it would be better to choose those pastries which bear the trade name of the establishment and, therefore, have characteristic features, such as shrimp dumplings, black-pepper beefsteaks, steamed spareribs in fermented soya-bean milk, and various kinds of Guangdong-styled pies and cakes.

In short, a pot of fragrant tea and a few cage-like steamers of Guangdong-styled pastry of fine workmanship will afford you great pleasure if you take this as your breakfast. The morning tea is certainly a good opportunity for communicating with your friends besides enjoying the good taste and the feeling of leisure and elegance.

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