Jordan is a suburb you’ll find in Hong Kong’s Yau Tsim Mong District, and a lot like the rest of the city, it’s densely populated, with tens of thousands living in an area roughly one square kilometer in size. But it also is among the most diverse areas you’ll find in the entire country.
With the area sitting alongside the Jordan MRT station, it sits as a central location, but is still relatively affordable, meaning you’ll find a wide range of working-class ethnicities living or working the area. And for tourists who want to experience the life of a local in modern Hong Kong, there are few better places to visit.
One thing that struck me about Jordan was just how diverse it was – there are offices, residential buildings and hotels sitting right next to each other, which are surrounded by incredible cheap eats, street markets and shops, that attract locals and tourists alike. But there’s also a strong influence of nightlife culture – not quite as vibrant as some other areas in the city, but it all just seems to blend in here. On one side of a building you may find massage parlours with girls out the front and hostess bars, and then one of the world’s most acclaimed – and affordable – dumpling houses on the other.
The Michelin starred noodle spot Mak Man Kee Noodle Shop (Hong Kong, Yau Ma Tei, Parkes St, 51號G/F) was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it hole in the wall diner, but it may have served up the best prawn wontons I’ve ever had. And at HK$44 for dry and HK$34 for soup (about $8 and $6, respectively), the quality was not reflected in its price. It’s the sort of place that foodies around the world travel to Jordan exclusively to experience, and is open daily from Midday to 12.30am.
A little further down Parkes Street, you’ll also find the Australian Dairy Company (47 Parkes Street). Now it may seem a bit strange to come all the way to Hong Kong to have “Australian Dairy”, but this is one of the most popular coffee houses in Hong Kong – with popular dishes including silken steamed milk puddings, milk tea mixed with coffee (“yuan yang”), scrambled eggs on buttery toast, and macaroni with shredded ham or roasted pork served in soup (you can also get this with spaghetti). You can get your fix here between 7.30am and 11pm daily.
Mido Café (63 Temple St) is another great Hong Kong cafe (known as a “cha chaan teng”), and is one of the oldest, with the decor across its two floors looking straight out of the 1950s (likely because it is).
If you’re looking for dessert, Kai Kai Dessert (Ning Po St, 29號號地下) is the spot – another Michelin-listed location in Jordan. It’s a traditional Cantonese dessert shop, which is famous for serving sweet soups, like the stewed papaya in rock sugar and the red bean soup. The Michelin guide, meanwhile, points to “Ginkgo and job’s tears sweet soup and black sesame soup”. Suffice it to say, you’ve got plenty of uniquely Cantonese options at this establishment.
In all, there are five dining options – all incredibly affordable – that have enjoyed inclusions in the 2019 Michelin Guide. There’s Yat Tung Heen (380 Nathan Rd), with their “traditional but refined Cantonese fare” that sees the regulars who “order the abalone and bird’s nest set menu for their banquet dinners in the private rooms”. Block 18 Doggie’s Noodle (27-31 Ning Po Street) is a literal hole in the wall that serves “fried pork fat noodles, pork skin and radish, and roast duck leg”, and Yau Yuen Siu Tsui (36號 Man Yuen St) serves Shaanxi cuisine, with dishes like Biang Biang noodles and Shaanxi-style bread with stewed pork among the recommended items according to the guide.
Of course, it’s not all about food (though this writer may disagree), so a visit to the Yau Ma Tei Jade Market and the Tin Hau Temple may be worth your time. And you’re a short walk from the West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade, where the Clockenflap music festival used to be held; it’s a beautiful place to walk by the water. And then when you’re all done, you can head to the Temple Street Night Market for incredible seafood and maybe a souvenir or two.
If you’re looking to explore and discover Jordan further, one option is a via a free local tour which happens Tuesdays and Fridays at 4pm from the Hotel Madera, which is located about 5 minutes walk away from the Jordan MRT station.
The hotel itself is a great option for the area. It’s a pretty slim building, so the floor I stayed on only had four rooms – but they were sizable, with a comfortable bed at its centre. And from said bed you could control all the lights in the room – with options to dim them, too, rather than just turn them on and off. There’s also an international power converter ensuring that guests from all around the world can use and charge their devices.
The shower is in need of an update, but the room is otherwise contemporary, with excellent Crabtree and Evelyn toiletries. Tea, coffee and water bottles are all provided, alongside a comfortable desk to work at and a massive TV on the opposite side of the room. But most important of all, you’re a short walk away from all the incredible dining options and attractions mentioned in this article – and to be honest, I’ve barely scratched the surface of what the region has to offer.
But definitely come for the dumplings.
Virgin Australia fly to Hong Kong daily from Sydney and Melbourne, with connections available through Hong Kong Airlines. For more details head HERE. While in Jordan, we stayed at the Hotel Madera (1 Cheong Lok St, Jordan). You can find more details about the hotel HERE.
The author stayed as a guest of Hotel Madera for one night. Headline photo by Jimmy Chan.