Wanchai Wet Market: A Sample of Old Hong Kong

Jump off the MTR or HK tram at Wanchai, and step back into the Hong Kong of days gone past…slick streets lined with all manner of edibles, various sorts of fish, fowl, and four-legged folk, plus all things needed to serve along side.

Wanchai market is not for the squeamish, though, nor the vigilante non-meat eaters. (Vegans, time to go up The Peak.) This place is hard core gore. You’ll see insides and outsides, heads and tails, ears, hoofs, snouts, and yes, lots of blood. Don’t let this deter you, kind reader…this is a culinary and historical adventure, after all! Time to step out of your comfy zone.

Bubbling salt water-filled vats keep the crazy array of seafood fresh and swimming until it hits the wok. You’ll be hard pressed to name all of the different variety of fish here.

Now, let’s move on from all of this “where your food really comes from” stuff. A little gentle retreat for your tortured senses. After all the sights and smells of the butchery parts of Wanchai Market, you’ll suddenly have a tiny scent of something glorious…sweet, warm, tender. Waiting to sweep you up and comfort your troubled, post-wet-market self. The Pineapple Bun. (Not actually made of pineapple at all, named for the way it looks…the top is a butter and sugar blend, that when baked, cracks to resemble a pineapple’s outer skin.)

Because, thank goodness, Wanchai Market is also home to a few holdout real old fashioned HK style bakeries. These too are going the way of the dino, pushed out by bigger chain, Western-style bakery shops.

So indulge. Let that sweet, sweet, soft yet crumbly goodness enter you. Sooth you. Let you know that, “Yep, everything’s going to be alright…and I’ve got some bitchin’ Instagram pics, too!”

Visit WanChai market, Hong Kong island side. Open daily early til late.

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