Sunday, April 03, 2011

Hong Kong: Following the Scent on the Avenue of the Stars

Hong Kong is a city that sparkles at night, when you can't see or feel the grit and grime of a big city. And one of the best view of the cityscape is from the Kowloon side along the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade.

A popular tourist attraction is the "Symphony of the Stars" laser light show every night at 8 p.m. Laser lights shine from the city's tallest skyscrapers set to symphony music. Tons of tourists gather along the waterfront waiting for the free show, and I was among them last night.

While I was waiting for the show to begin, I strolled along the waterfront taking in the view of the city lights reflecting off the harbor waters, and watching tour boats strung in lights floating by. There's no hawking along the promenade, except several stalls of vendors selling photos of you in front of the cityscape. I really wished there were some food vendors because I didn't have dinner yet and was getting hungry.

Then as I turned the corner of the Intercontinental Hotel, I kept smelling this amazing grilled seafood aroma. I kept smelling it as I walked and walked and I was envious of the diners I saw through the hotel windows, sure that the enticing aroma was coming from the kitchen.

But then I saw a kiosk with two guys inside and a short line forming. For some reason, this is the only official (I'm guessing) food hawker along the promenade and they were grilling what they called cuttlefish cake.

Basically they had circle shaped cuttlefish pieces that were cooked in a press, and then rolled through some kind of device that created ridges into the cuttlefish, presumably to help make it easier to eat. The warm cuttlefish is then folded and placed in a paper cone for you to eat on the go, all for HK$20 a piece (or $2.50).

I had to get one because the aroma was just too good to deny, and I do like cuttlefish, which I ate a lot of when I traveled in Barcelona. But this piece of cuttlefish was chewy and tough. It really reminded me of dried cuttlefish that I ate as a kid in Hawaii. Still, because I was so hungry, it held me over until I could get dinner after the light show.

The laser light show lasts for just a few minutes, and it's not as well choreographed as something you might see at Disneyland. But you can't beat the view. Below is a photo of the light show, but the perspective is higher because I snapped this shot a night before when I ate dinner at a restaurant that had a view of the light show (that's why there's a reflection in the shot). The shots I took from the promenade really didn't turn out, but it was a beautiful evening to be outside by the water with the view and the smell of cuttlefish.

1 comment:

Foodhoe said...

That Light show looks surreal, how distracting too. Too bad the calamari sucked, that sounded so good at first.