Even as the sun sets over Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong’s streets stay full. Well past midnight, visitors can find wooden junk boats sailing across the moonlit water, streets colourfully lit by intricate neon signs, crowded night markets selling everything from knockoff sneakers to bags full of goldfish – and, of course, the warbling sounds of karaoke cutting through the fog-like humidity. But despite the seemingly limitless preoccupations of high-density Hong Kong, it’s the food that stands out as the true 24-hour cultural obsession.
In fact, Hong Kongers revere food so much that they’ve even created a little-known fourth meal – siu yeh (night-time snack) – that’s consumed late at night, typically between 9pm and 6am but any time between dinner and bed. While few restaurants are actually open 24 hours in Hong Kong, many open late – around 9pm – to do a siu yeh trade. Many restaurants, cafes and street stalls have special siu yeh menus, and even nightclubs can be known as much for their late-night munchies as for their DJs and glow-in-the-dark cocktails.
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