Yuen Long: The Culinary Jewel of Hong Kong's New Territories

Despite the long commuting times and a number of horrendous journey's on the (k)night bus, I'm glad I had the chance to experience living in Yuen Long. A more chilled out, local vibe than places closer to central, less air pollution and the best food I have had in Hong Kong. I would recommend anyone visiting the Fragrant Harbour to make a trip to Yuen Long, even if just for one evening, there are some great spots for eating and drinking at excellent prices.

5 Yuen Long restaurants not to be missed

Eggplant - Thai Restaurant.

The first of these five that I was introduced to not long after arriving. Hands down the best Thai food i've had, ever. I haven't been to Thailand (yet!) but I've eaten in a lot of Thai restaurants since being in Hong Kong. They offer an extensive menu, outrageously big portions, the food is always very well presented and very colourful. I can't recommend this place enough, the Red Thai Curry is probably my favourite. So much flavour! Best enjoyed with a big group, all pick one dish, put them all in the middle to mix and match. My bill has never been much over $130, (£11 approx). Don't forget to wash it down with a delicious Chang beer.

My favourite!

Address: Shop 10, G/F, Ho Shun King Building, Fung Yau Street South, Yuen Long

Telephone: 2442 3399

Shaffi's - Indian Restaurant

Not only do I have my favourite Thai restaurant on my doorstep, only a few street corners away is my all time favourite curry house. The first time I went I ordered the Chicken Makhani with kashmiri naan, it was both a blessing and a curse because it's so good I've only strayed once or twice from that choice. I've not completely neglected the rest of the menu though, my boyfriend and I usually share, so I can confirm that the other curries are also fantastic. The kashmiri naan is just insane, you have to try it for yourself to understand. You can also get the classic Indian drink - fruit lassi to accompany your curry, great to help neutralise the spice. Shaffi's is particularly renowned for their mangoes, people come from all over to get the freshly squeezed mango juice (or lassi), you can even buy a box of Pakistani mangoes for yourself - $80 (£6.70) for 7 very large Pakistani mangoes. The house wine is also the cheapest by glass that I've found in Hong Kong at $25 (£2.10) a glass. Similar in price to Eggplant, the bill is never much over $130 (£11) usually with a beer, fruit juice or 1-2 glasses of wine. Shaffi himself (originally a chef in the British Army) is often around checking everyone is happy with their food.

We made a fantastic discovery a few weeks back, they do a lunchtime offer - $60 (£5.10) for a curry (choice of meat) rice, plain naan and a soft drink. Lunchtime Shaffi's trips have since become a regular occurrence at the weekends!

Address: 14 Fau Tsoi Street, Yuen Long

Telephone: 2476 7885

Tams Yunnan Noodles

This noodle bar is one of my favourites, (along with Ajisen Ramen, and the Taiwanese Noodle place in Yuen Long, see below) however it's not just a Yuen Long specialty, there are several branches around Hong Kong. Personalise your own noodle dish. Always a very generous portion of Yunnan Noodles served, you choose what you want with the noodles (I normally go for pork, fish ball and dried bean curd) then what level of spice you want your soup (my choice is spicy, level 2 or 3, depending on how brave I feel) they are some real spicy noodles! Non-spicy options are available. Bill is usually around $40 (£3.40) per person. Ask for the English Menu...

Address: Sai Ching Street, Yuen long

The Chef

This cosy little spot doesn't have an English menu, however my boyfriend was recommended a dish a while back, and we know which one to point at to get it. It's a stone pot with beef and aubergine, i'm not sure what it is that it's marinated in but it's soooo good. The dish is $65 (£5.40) - it's the most expensive thing on the menu, which is  how we remember what to point at. The bill with rice and drink is around $80 (£6.70). If you can read Chinese it looks like they've got a great selection of dishes on offer. No English menu.

Address: Shop No.14, G/F, Ho Shun King Building, 3 Fung Yau Street South,Yuen LongTelephone: 2466 8860

Taiwanese Noodles  (There isn't an English name as far as i'm aware..)

士林台灣麵

On the same street as Tam's noodles, which compared to the other three restaurants is a much longer walk from where I live, so we're always faced with a big decision when we decide to go for noodles. We normally get the classic Taiwanese beef noodle dish with fried chicken to share. The beef is very tender and the soup is tasty. There's a really good selection of iced teas which I always get excited over. The strawberry is my favourite so far! Bill is usually around $60 (£5.10) each for a bowl of noodles, drink and fried chicken to share. Ask for English menu.

Address: G/F, 9 Sai Ching Street, Yuen LongTelephone: 2477 9775