Much like 7-Eleven, Yunnan noodle shops are always near by, no matter where you are in Hong Kong. The cuisine itself has kind of taken on its own form in our city when it comes to the flavors and toppings, and there are quite a few that stand out from the rest. Check out a few of our favourite staples right below:
Tam Jai (Sam Gor) | 譚仔（三哥）雲南米線
Most of us already know of Tam Jai, just because of the many shops that are around. A possible family feud led the split of the franchise into two factions: Tam Jai, and Tam Jai Sam Gor (“third brother”). Locals have their preference of one or the other – but don’t take your pick before you try both!
Must have: shredded chicken, sour-spicy soup base, marinated chicken wings (土匪雞翼).
Various locations, including: Shop E & F, City Mansion, 483-499 Jaffe Road, North Point; or G/F, Island Building, 439-445 Hennessy road, Causeway Bay.
Chun Mei | 川味美食
Instead of rice noodles, why not opt for a fiber-rich potato noodle instead? At Chun Mei, it’s all about the punchy, spicy and excitingly heavy umami of the dry noodles (撈薯粉). We highly recommend the thin noodles (幼薯粉), which are bouncy and absorb the sauce well, as well as some spicy pig ears and a bottle of soy milk to help you take the edge off.
Must have: dry thin potato noodles, spicy pig ears, sliced pork belly.
Several locations including: G/F, 60 Fuk Wing Street, Sham Shui Po; G/F, 56 Parkes Street, Jordan.
Wan Guai Chun Fung Mei | 雲貴川風味
Most Yunnan noodle shops offer similar toppings, and the dish becomes a routine pretty quickly. At Wan Guai Chun though, it’s the side dishes and toppings that shine. Take your pick of century egg tofu, sautéed potato julienne, or grilled wings. Make sure to add the crispy beancurd rolls into your roster, because WGC is one of the only places that serves them with noodles, and they taste absolutely divine soaked in the flavorful soup base.
Must have: crispy beancurd rolls (響鈴), century egg tofu (皮蛋豆腐), spicy pig stomach (辣豬肚絲).
Several locations, including: Shop 103-109, Sai Yeung Choi Street South, Mong Kok; G/F, 40-46 Tam Kung Road, To Kwa Wan.
Butterfly Fountain | 蝴蝶泉雲南過橋米線
Hidden on a side street in Fortress Hill, this shop is frequented by the neighborhood office crowds. The differentiating factor is BF’s chicken stock soup base, which shines with its natural sweetness. Much like cart noodles, you pick your own toppings but we recommend the slow-cooked chicken (黃燜雞) or the Yunnan mince (雲南肉醬).
Must have: Slow cooked chicken, Yunnan mince, Yunnan pickled vegetables (雲南酸菜).
G/F, Kin Ga Building, 99 King’s Road, North Point.
Nam Kee Spring Roll Noodles
Nam Kee has been a staple for islanders for over three decades, serving up classic local comfort food like fish ball noodles and wanton noodles. Though it started out as a clear-broth kind of shop, Nam Kee soon took over Hongkongers’ hearts with its one-pot Yunnan noodles (小窩米線). Sour (mandatory) and spicy (optional but highly recommended) all at once, NK’s hearty bowl of noodles can be topped with bouncy fish balls, juicy dumplings or a healthy helping of beef.
Must have: pork belly slices, fish tofu, signature fish meat “spring rolls”.
Various locations, including: 66-72 Staunton Street, Central; Shop B, Hing Yip Commercial Centre, 272-284 De Voeux Road Central, Sheung Wan.
Sing Lum Khui | 星林居
A good bowl of Yunnan noodles has an addictive soup base that keeps you wanting – especially on cold winter days. With awards plastered over its shop windows, Sing Lum Khui’s highly recommended homemade soup base and giant servings are to cry for. Just the right amount of sourness and plenty of tongue numbing spices complement the array of toppings on offer.
Must have: Any topping you fancy, with the sour and spicy rice noodles.
Shop A, G/F, 23 Lock Road, Tsim Sha Tsui; 3/F, Golden Glory Mansion, 14 Cameron Road, Tsim Sha Tsui.