Kung Wo Dou Bun Chong (公和荳品廠) is one of our favourite eateries we’ve found in Hong Kong. Nestled in the many rows of shops within Sham Shui Po of Kowloon, it is literally a few steps on your right from the MTR (Exit B). It’s really hard to miss it; and even if it’s difficult to navigate, it has its own landmark pin on Google Maps.
I first read about Kung Wo from strangertalk‘s article around last year, and it made me really interested to visit. So some time during our trip to Hong Kong, at about mid-morning, we took the MTR from our Airbnb in Jordan to Sham Shui Po, specially to have a nice beancurd meal.
The history behind soy foods dates back to post-war, when Hong Kong wasn’t the global metropolis we now know. Back then, people were malnourished and poor. Their childhood consisted of soy foods for dessert. It was affordable, filling, nutritious and packed lots of protein. Such a simple solution to widespread malnutrition led to a rise in its popularity; and thanks to it, we have big brands like Vitasoy introduced here from Hong Kong. More interesting facts about its history here. (no, this isn’t paid, but I liked the background on the soybean culture)
Over the years, Hong Kong-ers prefer to have their dessert puddings, be it milk or soy, soft and silky. And silky puddings seem to be prevalent all over Hong Kong.
When we arrived at the rather tiny shop, we were greeted by all the hubbub that is ubiquitous in Hong Kong. Kung Wo brands itself as a “beancurd factory”, and it’s not surprising that they sell fresh tofu products at the store front. It has its kitchen separated from the dining area. Judging from pictures from the internet, it seems like Kung Wo had recently renovated. It looks really hygienic, unlike what’s stated online.
Friendly service is just not common in Hong Kong, and I don’t blame them. The lifestyle here is all about the efficiency; sit, eat, and leave ASAP. The waitstaff will neither “wait” on customers, nor usher one to seats. We’re either finding our own seats, or the waitstaff points to share a table with another guest. For this time, it’s the former. We sat down by an empty table that the waitstaff had just cleaned up.
It was rather difficult to order in English, so I just pointed right off the menu to the waitstaff. We selected the hot tofu fa (HKD10) (called tauhuey or beancurd in Singapore), fish siu mai (HKD6/5pcs), steamed rice roll (HKD11/7pcs), and pan-fried fish-paste tofu (HKD11).
Not long after ordering, it’s all laid out in front of our eyes. I couldn’t wait to try the famed tofu pudding. Unlike in Singapore, the tofu pudding here requires customers to help themselves on the level of sweetness desired. We figured this out after noticing that people around us were sprinkling the orange cane sugar over their tofu pudding. Interesting.
The hot tofu pudding is extremely silky and soft, and is perfect for the cold and windy winter season. The soy taste is really strong, and to us, it’s the best tofu pudding we’ve had. Anyway, I strongly recommend to add the cane sugar, because it was just the taste of bland soy beancurd without it.
“Very homely, my favourite comfort food” – Cheryl
The fish siu mai was chewy and tasted like fish paste, and honestly I preferred the usual porky siu mai. Cheryl loved the fish siu mai, though.
Also on the same bowl was the steamed rice roll with sesame sauce (chee cheong fun). This, was lovely. As I don’t eat chee cheong fun often, I relied on Cheryl for her take on this dish. According to her, in Singapore, the sauce is made up of just sesame oil to give off the taste. Here in Kung Wo, it uses actual sesame paste that’s thick and lovely.
Our fish-paste tofu arrived hot, but as soon as it’s left in the open air, it rapidly cools down due to the windy chill (15deg at the time). At first, we didn’t know what the paste atop the tofu was, but we just tried it anyway. The tofu was really soft, and the fish paste gave a contrast to all the soy products that we’ve tasted.
Anyway, it wasn’t enough for our curious palettes. We added another dish to our order: at first, I pointed to the deep fried tofu puff. Seconds later, something else was laid on the plate served to us, and to be frank, we couldn’t figure out what it was:
We later found out that it was the Golden Tofu Fish Cake (HKD10). It came along with another serving of the fish-paste tofu. But, it tasted better. It had a hint of Indonesian tempe goreng, at least to me somehow.
Anyway, they gave us a slip of written “receipt” that will tell how much to pay for. Cash only!
For a good start to the day, Kung Wo’s soy foods is the way to go. It’s a really hearty pick-me-up. Just to end the curiosity, we had a serving of Fried Tofu Puff (HKD14 for take-aways) to-go, which was really, really crispy and silky soft inside. Amazing.