I am originally from the Hong Kong Island side, so I was never familiar with the Kowloon side and beyond. Ever since a good friend of mine introduced me to Islam Food in Kowloon City, I was hooked. Now on every visit, I wouldn’t leave Hong Kong without making a journey over to Kowloon City for this restaurant.
Islam Food has been established since the 1950s. Over the years, the restaurant has won numerous awards and certificates. It now has two shops in the city, both located within Kowloon City. My friend always takes me to their main shop by Lung Kong Road. It’s super busy there and it’s a relatively tiny space. We normally order takeaway and sit outside to eat. This time around, I decided to go to their other branch at Tak Ku Ling Road. The Tak Ku Ling Road branch seems to be a bit more spacious and there is also a slight difference on the menu.
Juicy Beef Patty Cake (HKD$36 / 2pcs)
These beef patty buns are their most famous and popular item. This is the very dish that my friend was keen to introduce me and the dish that had me hooked. No trip to Hong Kong ends without at least savouring one of these scrumptious cakes. A thin dough encloses a meaty beef patty. The dough was pan-fried to a light crisp and golden colour. As you bite into it, all the juice and soup explodes into your mouth. It’s so tasty and the moist meaty beef follows. The patty was pressed fairly firm, with so much flavours packed into it. There is a reason why this small halal restaurant can attract so much attention from non-muslim locals. Muslims or non-muslims alike come all the way here just for these beef cakes. Do not leave this restaurant without trying them!
Mutton Xiao Long Bao (HKD$40 / 4pcs)
This is the dish that I saw on the Tak Ku Ling Road branch that the main shop doesn’t have. I adore Xiao Long Baos to death and it’s irritating that they are all mainly made with pork. I had Xiao Long Baos at the Islamic Centre Canteen, where they substituted pork with chicken, but they came out too dry. It’s not easy to get Xiao Long Baos absolutely spot on and I made it my mission to find the best halal ones out there. Good that I came to this branch of Islam Food then.
There are two options of Xiao Long Baos to choose from – one with beef and one with mutton. Since we already got beef, we went for the mutton one.
First things first with Xiao Long Baos, there should be at least 18 folds at the top. These ones from Islam Food looked absolutely fine. Each dumpling is consistently made of 18 folds and is done reasonably neat. The second thing to look for is the dough – it has to be thin but not too thin to a point where it breaks too easily. They’ve got this done right too. The dumpling can be easily lifted off the bamboo basket without breaking. As I bite into it from the top and gave it a little suck, the soup inside gushed into my mouth. The soup was absolutely flavoursome and not too oily at all. As for the meat, it was sensational. The flavours were so meaty and the mutton fragrance filled up our cavities upon each bite. This one’s a MUST-TRY if you happen to visit the Tak Ku Ling Road branch.
Roll Bread (HKD$18 / 1pc)
Last but not least, we picked the Rolled Bread (I promise its Chinese name sounded less plain but this is the best English translation I can find and come up with). The Rolled Bread is basically a bao within a bao. A bao bun is first shredded into thin slices and then bundled up and enclosed within a large bao. It is served with a little dish of condensed milk on the side for dipping. You get to choose a steamed version or a deep-fried one. We stuck with the steamed one.
Beautifully fluffy, the bun was a delight. Since it’s a steamed one, the flavours are relatively bland. It’s basically just like a Mantou (Chinese steamed bun). If you are looking for something less plain, definitely go for the deep fried one where the exterior will be fried to a gorgeous golden yellow colour and a crispy texture. The crispy edges would actually suit better with the condensed milk as well.
Other specialities and famous dishes of Islam Food include Sesame Sauce Chicken, Lamb Curry, Chinese Cold Cut Platter, Stir-Fried Beef with Leek, etc. The menus of both branches offer a variety of halal dim sums and Chinese dishes, including stir-fry, roasts, soup noodles, rice dishes, curries, rice cakes, and platters. Only if I lived much closer to the area, you would definitely see me visiting this place almost every day – that’s how much I love the food here.
It is always worth the effort to go all the way to this side of Hong Kong to visit Islam Food. If you’re looking for halal food places in Hong Kong, make this your first stop!
Tel: +852 2382 1882
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