GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY
Officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is a special administrative region on the eastern side of the Pearl River estuary in southern China. With over 7.4 million people of various nationalities in a 1,104-square-kilometre (426 sq mi) territory, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places in the world. Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire at the end of the First Opium War in 1842. Sovereignty over the territory was transferred to China in 1997. As a special administrative region, Hong Kong maintains governing and economic systems that are separate from those of mainland China.
Hong Kong is characterised as a hybrid of East and West. Traditional Chinese values emphasising family and education blend with Western ideals, including economic liberty and the rule of law. Although the vast majority of the population is ethnically Chinese, Hong Kong has developed a distinct identity. The territory diverged from the mainland due to its long period of colonial administration and a different pace of economic, social, and cultural development. This was influenced by British-style education, a separate political system, and the territory's rapid development during the late 20th century.
香港的食物以粵菜為基礎，粵菜，或更準確地說，廣東菜，是指中國廣東省（尤其是省會廣州和珠江三角洲周邊地區，包括香港和澳門）的美食。它是中餐的八大菜系之一。其在中國以外的突出地位是由於大量的廣東移民在海外。直到最近，西方國家的大多數中國餐館都主要提供粵菜。粵菜僅指廣州或與之相關的粤語地方，人們通常將潮州菜和客家菜的烹飪方式也稱為“粵菜”。 為了提高風味，大蒜，糖，鹽，醬油，米酒，澱粉，醋，蔥和香油等許多成分在一些菜餚中大量使用。儘管粵菜廚師非常關注其主要原料的新鮮度，但粵菜還使用了很多醃製食品來增加菜餚的風味。 有些物品在乾燥/保存/氧化過程中會獲得非常獨特的風味。 老火湯沿上於廣東，是中菜最著名的湯烹飪技術，它是將肉和其他食材用小火煮數小時而製得的清湯。通常加入中草藥成分作為食療。 由於廣東省位於南中國海沿岸，因此在粵菜中新鮮海鮮尤為突出，許多粵菜館都在館內設置了水族館或海鮮罐。 粵式烹飪中最新鮮的海鮮最好通過蒸煮來烹飪。
Food in Hong Kong is based on Cantonese cuisine, Cantonese cuisine or more accurately, Guangdong cuisine , refers to the cuisine of the Guangdong province of China (particularly the provincial capital, Guangzhou, and the surrounding regions in the Pearl River Delta, including Hong Kong and Macau). It is one of the Eight Culinary Traditions of Chinese cuisine. Its prominence outside China is due to the large number of Cantonese emigrants. Until recently, most Chinese restaurants in the West served largely Cantonese dishes.
"Cantonese" specifically refers to only Guangzhou or the language known as Cantonese associated with it, but people generally refer to "Cantonese cuisine" to Teochew cuisine and Hakka cuisine cooking styles. a number of ingredients such as sugar, salt, soy sauce, rice wine, starch, vinegar, scallion, and sesame oil, to enhance flavor, garlic is heavily used in some dishes. Although Cantonese cooks pay much attention to the freshness of their primary ingredients, Cantonese cuisine also uses a long list of preserved food items to add flavor to a dish. Some items gain very unique flavors during the drying/preservation/oxidation process. Old fire soup, or lou fo tong, is the most famous soup cooking technique of Chinese cuisine along Guangdong. It is a clear soup made by cooking meat and other ingredients on a low heat for several hours. Chinese herbal medicine ingredients are usually added as food therapy. Due to Guangdong's location along the South China Sea coast, fresh seafood is prominent in Cantonese cuisine, and many Cantonese restaurants keep aquariums or seafood tanks on the premises. The freshest seafood in Cantonese culinary arts is best cooked by steaming.
HONG KONG CUISINE
Hong Kong cuisine is mainly influenced by Cantonese cuisine, European cuisines (especially British cuisine) and non-Cantonese Chinese cuisines (especially Hakka, Teochew, Hokkien and Shanghainese), as well as Japanese, Korean and Southeast Asian cuisines, due to Hong Kong's past as a British colony and a long history of being an international port of commerce. From the roadside stalls to the most upscale restaurants, Hong Kong provides an unlimited variety of food and dining in every class. Complex combinations and international gourmet expertise have given Hong Kong the reputable labels of "Gourmet Paradise" and "World's Fair of Food".
Unlike Guangzhou, the uninterrupted contacts Hong Kong has with the West has made it more susceptible to Western influences, and has produced favorites such as egg tarts and Hong Kong-style milk tea.The main course is usually accompanied by a generous portion of carbohydrates such as rice or mein (noodles). People generally eat 5 times a day. There are five daily meals: breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, and siu yeh (late night meal).
廣州是廣東省省會，長久以來一直是貿易中心，廣東菜中使用了許多進口食品和配料。 許多烹飪方法都是用鐵鍋烹飪的，該鐵鍋可用於多種烹飪方法。 包括：滾，燜燉，炸，煎，鋦，燒，熏。
Guangzhou (Canton) City, the provincial capital of Guangdong and the center of Cantonese culture, has long been a trading hub and many imported foods and ingredients are used in Cantonese cuisine. Many cooking methods are cooked in a wok, the wok can be used in a large number of cooking methods. Including:Boiling, Braising, Deep-frying, Pan-frying, Roasting, Searing, Smoking.
For a lot of traditional Cantonese cooks, the flavors of a dish should be well balanced and not greasy. Apart from that, spices should be used in modest amounts to avoid overwhelming the flavors of the primary ingredients, and these ingredients in turn should be at the peak of their freshness and quality.
HONG KONG TEA CULTURE
Traditional Chinese tea, including black tea, green tea, flower tea, jasmine tea, and Pu-erh dark tea, are also common, and are served at dim sum restaurants during yum cha.
On the other hand, The English-style tea has evolved into a new local style of drink, the Hong Kong-style milk tea, more often simply "milk tea", in Hong Kong by using evaporated milk instead of ordinary milk， either hot or cold. It is popular at Cha chaan tengs (Traditional Hong Kong style fast food restaurant).
Another Hong Kong specialty is lemon tea - served in cafes and restaurants as regular black tea with several slices of fresh lemon, either hot or cold, with a pot of sugar to add to taste.
CHINESE TEA CULTURE “YUM CHA”
古代中國傳說裡記載了炎帝神農氏在五千年以前偶然發現了茶。有一天,神農氏跟往常一樣為了給人治病到深山野嶺去採集草藥,在一棵大樹底下生火燒水,忽見有幾片樹葉飄落到鍋裡把水染紅,神農氏聞覺清香撲鼻,喝完後神清氣爽,頓覺溫暖並充滿能量。 神農氏把這種新的飲品取名為"ch’a",這也是中文語言系統中其中一個最古老的並一直沿用原有使用意義的文字——在漢代語言學家給予它正式的漢字表達時就已經存在了超過兩千年。這個漢字被規定必須要反映出一個被樹木圍繞的人,以及樹葉在風中飄蕩的情境,也許正是出於對炎帝神農氏這一發現的敬仰。 到了八世紀,茶雖然還沒有被完全普及到社會上的每個階層,但它已經成為了人們生活中一種關鍵的食材, 包括在醫藥和茶點上的運用。一直到後來,種植技術提高獲得了更大範圍的豐收,以及有了 “點心"的出現,茶才最終走入了平民百姓的生活。傳說一位宋代皇帝在進餐時吃上了一個新的蒸菜名叫 “包”,並隨著他的上午茶一起享用。他感覺這樣的搭配觸動了他的心,也就是我們現今所說的 “點心”--一個歷盡千年的傳統就這樣開啟了。 伴隨著這個傳統,歷史上最早的一批餐館也誕生了。這些新的餐館在小鎮和村莊裹興旺起來,主要供應茶和茶點, 由此被人們稱作茶館。到了四百年後的清代,茶館成為了中國最普遍的生意,數目比其它的餐館和商鋪加起還要多。 在十七世紀,紅茶的發明促使茶文化有了巨大的發展。茶農為了保鲜他們的產品以便儲存更久並且適合長途運输,他們尝試把茶葉進行發酵而由此發明了紅茶。這一發明把茶帶到了西方國家,在那裡深深地紮根並持續地繁榮到幾百年後的今天。 西方對中國的殖民化也為其帶來了新的文化傳統：“饮茶”。一份點心永遠伴隨著一張报纸——還有 “一盅兩件" ,也就是一杯茶和兩道菜。無論是在清晨還是夜間模式也都一樣。尤其是在香港以及中國的南方,英國人把牛奶加進茶裡的喝法也正爲香港的傳統。 十九世紀中期, “遛雀” 是香港茶館裡最常見的事。養鳥在全中國雖然已經有很長的歷史,但在空間狹小以及熱帶氣候的影響,尤其是香港,鸟成為了最理想的寵物。然而人們認為鳥兒長期被關在室內會丧失它們的攀線和高歌的热情,因此盡責的主人們會在早上出門時帶著他們的籠子和鳥兒; 當然,這包括了去一趟當地的茶馆。茶館的老闆開始投其所好,在天花和牆壁裝上掛鉤和桿子,讓客人們可以把他們的鳥籠掛起來。茶友間的談話聲、鳥兒的歌唱聲,以及餐具的碰撞聲充斥著空氣,格外的热闹。 到了一九六零年後期,香港成為了真正的文化大熔爐。附近地區的動盪不安使得大量的移民和藝術家們都逃離到這個城市裡。一些茶館趁著這個時機由白天轉變成深夜供人唱歌、跳舞、喝酒,畅所欲言的場馆。 我們的茶館是對這個年代的回憶。一種對傳統的材料、傳統的服務和渴望革新的態度的融合; 充分使用了金色，砖瓦，皮革，陶瓷，茶壺，蒸籠，古典华语音樂结合傳統的香港美食，将博大的饮茶文化精髓传播海外。
In ancient Chinese legends it recorded that Yan emperor Shennong accidentally discovered tea five thousand years ago. One day, Shennong, in the same way as usual, collected herbs in the mountains. He made a fire and boiled under a big tree. Suddenly he saw a few leaves falling into the boiling pot and the water was colored. He smelt the aroma and drank it. He felt warm and energetic right after. Shennong named the new drink "ch'a", which is one of the oldest words in Chinese language systems and has always used the original meaning of the word .Before linguists in the Han dynasty gave it formal Chinese expression, it has existed for more than two thousand years. This Chinese character is stipulated to reflect a person surrounded by trees and a situation in which the leaves are floating in the wind, showing the respect for Emperor Shennong for his discovery of tea. By the 8th century tea had become a pivotal ingredient to life, with uses in both medicine and refreshment, though it was still not yet something readily available to all socioeconomic classes. Tea castes were even developed where, among the elite. It was not until better farming techniques were invented, which made large scale harvests possible, and “dim sum" appeared, that tea became accessible to the commoners. Legend says that a Song Dynasty emperor was enjoying a new steamed dish called "bao” pairing with his late morning tea at a meal. He felt this combination touched his heart, which is later called “dim sum" till now, and thus began a millennium-old tradition. It is believed the first restaurants were founded along with this tradition. Primarily focusing on offering tea service and small dishes, these restaurants prospered throughout cities and villages and they became so called Tea Houses. By the time of the Qing Dynasty in 400 years later, tea Houses were the most common popular business in China, outnumbering other restaurants and shops together. In the 17th century tea culture was developed further by the invention of black tea, discovered by tea farmers fermenting their tea leaves in order to preserve their product. It made longer storage and further export possible. This discovery allowed the tea trade to the West and it flourishes and prospers for hundreds of years to the modern era. Colonisation in China by Western powers brought new traditions: “Yum Cha”. A newspaper became a ubiquitous accompaniment to dim sum - with "one bowl and two pieces." Which means a cup of tea and two dishes are serviced together. It is the same both in the early mornings and nights. In Southern China and Hong Kong, under the influence of British culture, people take the habit of adding milk to the tea. In the mid-19th century. "bird walking" became common in Hong Kong tea houses. Though petting birds have a long history throughout China, the cramped space and tropical environment specifically in Hong Kong make birds an ideal pet. However, people believe that birds locked in the cage would lose their voice and desire to sing. Thus, owners take their morning routines of walking birds and it includes a trip to the local tea house. Tea house owners began to installing hooks and bars on the ceilings and walls where customers could hang their birds’ cages. A lively din of neighbors’ chatting, birds singing, and dishes clattering fills the air. By the late 1960s Hong Kong has become a true cultural melting pot. Unrest in the surrounding regions led to emigrants and creatives alike finding refuge in the city. Some tea houses caught the timing and turned into late night venues for music, dancing, drinking. Our teahouse is a memory of this era with a blend of traditional materials, traditional services and an attitude to innovation. We make full use of gold color, bricks, leather, ceramics, teapots, steamers, and classical Chinese music combined with traditional Hong Kong cuisine in order to spread the broad essence of tea culture “Yum cha” overseas.