On our way in to Hong Kong we were so exhausted from traveling we did not realize the vastness and craziness of the airport. Little did we know that arriving super early for our flight to Hanoi would be one of the best decisions. When we arrived back at the airport, basically retracing our steps from the airport to our hotel (red line to yellow line to airport express), we were floored. The ceilings were so high you could probably fly a plane through the airport itself. Everything was very clean, keeping in line with most of the city, and there were masses of people everywhere. We had eaten a light breakfast of a butter bun and raisin bun and weren’t particularly looking forward to eating airport or airline food again. We checked in, got seats together again, said goodbye to our bags and found some Chinese dragons that we desperately wanted to parade around in, but the signs said NO!
We went through security and customs (shout out to our friends from Mexico!) and were astounded to find a massive dining area and endless high-end stores, cafes and duty free shops. We walked around for a bit and decided we would attempt to have some lunch before our flight, since we were so early once again that our flight didn’t even have a gate number yet.
To our surprise, the dining area included Chinese and Japanese cuisine that was beyond anything we expected. There were roast geese hanging in windows with pork belly and pig heads. We walked around in awe trying to figure out where to eat, which was an extremely difficult decision. An older woman walked by quickly with a tray of ramen and we looked at each other and said “RAMEN!”
We ordered Number Three on the menu, which was ramen with tender pork and an order of fresh hand-made Japanese dumplings. The place was so crowded that we had to search for a table and wound up sharing one with a group of Chinese women. The ramen was accompanied with noodles, tender pork, pork cartilage, bean sprouts, chives, mushrooms, half of a soft boiled egg and lots of crispy garlic. We could have done without the garlic, but it just wouldn’t have been the same. The flavor was great. It was a fairly light, but warming broth and the noodles were tender and not overcooked. The egg was creamy in the middle and was unlike anything we have ever had. The pork was very tender and the pork cartilage was much more soft than what we experienced at the Kai Kee Restaurant. The cartilage almost melted in your mouth and had a great BBQ flavor. The ramen was served with some sort of patty. We are not sure what exactly was in it, but it reminded us of a latke. The dumplings were perfect! Filled with meat and chives and seared to provide the exact crispiness you would hope for. The dipping sauce also complimented the meat and dumpling very well.
Who would have thought we would have some of the best ramen we have had yet at an airport? This has made us even more excited for our time in Japan, where we know the ramen will be even better than this was. We relaxed after we ate in lounge chairs by our gate, which wound up being the farthest gate in the entire airport and we had to get on a train to get there.
Next stop: Vietnam!!!
-Jess and Steven
April 21, 2016