Yibo Wang 150215893, Bai Xue 150233509, Tong Shen 150234919
Our walking tour starts from Mong Kok station and ends at HKBU Shaw Campus. The main topic of this tour is the imported seafood. As most of the food should be imported in Hong Kong, seafood is also in this range. We went to different levels of supermarket and restaurants to research the imported seafood. During the trip, we focused on the price of the seafood and who will buy the products, as well as other detailed questions.
1 Wellcome supermarket
Go out of the Mong Kok station and turn right for about 5 minutes walk, there is a Wellcome supermarket in right hand side. It is not a large supermarket. It is a normal one. Wellcome supermarket opens everywhere in Hong Kong, most of the people who will shop in this supermarket are mid-class level. We found that the fresh seafood in the supermarket is really limited and the price is quite low. Most of the imported seafood is frozen in the fridge. However, it is only occupied two fridges of about 10 fridges in the shop. We talked with the casher in the supermarket and knew that the fresh seafood cannot keep for a long time, so the supermarket often does some sales promotion such as special offer. Such as halibut steak, it was 34.8 HKD in normal, but it would cost only about 25 HKD in special offer. The quality of products is under the control of specialists and samples are tested regularly. When it turns to the frozen seafood, it does not often have special offer as it can keep for more than one year. The price could be accepted by most people. The customs are the people who live nearby or some visitors come here by accident.
2 DCH Foods
This small shop is in Soares Ave which is near the Waterloo Road. It is a multiple shop but do not have many branches. When we went to the shop, we found that this shop only sells imported food, not merely seafood. There are a lot of fruits which comes from Japan and Korean. The beef is delivered from the USA and New Zealand. You can also buy some snacks which are produced in different countries. As we focused on the seafood, we found that the seafood in this shop included both high levels and low levels. Some products are over 1000 HKD while some fish fillets only cost 17.5 HKD. There is a great variety of seafood. The students who went with us told me that the price in this shop is normal in Hong Kong. This shop also will do some sales promotion to attract people to buy the expensive seafood even the product is frozen. For example, the price of Japanese Hokkaido cut king crab leg changed from 599 HKD per bag to 421 HKD per bag. When we talked with the manager in the shop, she told us that they mainly sell retail to the citizens. The customers are a little richer than the mid-class.
3 Winning restaurant
This restaurant is No. 73 in the Waterloo Road, not far away from the DCH Food Mart. They put the menu out of the shop and people could choose if they want to eat in or not. There are many seafood dishes in the menu with different cook styles, such as steam, fry, boil. We asked the waiter in the restaurant about the source of the seafood. He told us that most of the seafood was brought from the wet market because they need fresh material. Almost all of the seafood only can be sold in the dinner because they will buy the seafood in the afternoon. Most of time people could see the price of the dishes clearly from the menu, but the price of some kinds of seafood depends on different seasons. If you want to eat in this restaurant, you’d better to ask the price before you order the dish. Actually, there are many restaurants cook seafood in this area. There even has a Japanese restaurant which does live fish and crab in the opposite of the DCH Food Mart. They keep the live seafood in a large glass bowl out of the shop. People could clearly see the fish swim inside and outside the restaurant.
4 Kowloon City Police Station
Walk along with the Waterloo Road; you will see the police station on the right side. We marked this place just want to help people to recognize this station if they meet any problems, such as if they get lost or need any other help. In the opposite of the police station there is a hospital called St. Teresa’s Hospital. If you do not feel well during the trip, you can go to this hospital and ask for some help.
5 Islam Food
Because destinations 5-9 are really close, we designed the above picture of detailed route. Leaving from the police station, we walked along the Argyle Street. At the first intersection, we turned to the Lung Kong Road and had lunch at Islam Food. Islam food is a type of ethnical food of the Hui nationality in China. Most people of the Hui nationality lived in Ningxia Province. Islam food differs from other ethnicities food in China. The most well-known difference is that the Hui nationality does not eat pork. They mainly eat beef, lamb and chicken. Not merely people of Hui nationality prefer Islam food. It is quite prevalent in China.
We had beef pie, chicken curry, lamb curry and rice for lunch, which were really delicious. The expense of the meal is slightly high. The restaurant is quite popular. There were lots of customers that day. One of our Hong Kong friends said she usually walks for a long time to come to eat. The restaurant was crowded. We shared one table with other people. Hong Kong gives me a sense that it is crowded everywhere. The population density of HK is very large, which is about 6,300 people per square kilometre.
We turned to Nga Tsin Wai Road. At the second crossing, we turned left and went to the YEBISU. YEBISU is a Japanese seafood store. It imports sea products from Hokkaido. All products are delivered directly from Hokkaido to Hong Kong. This store is quite different from supermarkets. Besides chilled and frozen seafood, it also has living marine creatures. This kind of store is a little rare. People could have fresh imported sea food in this store. Therefore, the price is relatively high. People in HK believe that local seafood is inferior to the Japanese seafood. Japan is famous for the its seafood. Since Fukushima nuclear radiation, Japanese has paid much attention to food safety. It has been claimed that currently food in Japan is not influenced by the incident. People also worried about the pollution circumstance of the sea near Hong Kong.
7 Kowloon City Market
We walked along the Nga Tsin Wai Road. Kowloon City Market is the next destination. This is a large wet market, which is tidy and well-organised. Basically retailers sell local food. Only some stores have imported seafood. The price of chilled Norway salmon is about 70 Hong Kong dollar per 500 g. I will first introduce the price of salmon in different retailers, then compare the price. It should be mentioned that although salmon in some stores was not Norway salmon, the label was Norway salmon. These imitated salmon might mainly come from the sea near the north east of China.
8 Kai Bo Food Supermarket
Kai Bo Supermarket is near with the Kowloon City Market. The price of imported seafood is relatively low, so people who have a low income are likely to purchase there. All products in Kai Bo are packaged by supermarket itself. This is one reason for the low price. DCH Foods is the competitor with Kai Bo Supermarket. Additionally, the price of frozen Norway salmon in Kai Bo is 39.68 Hong Kong dollar per 500 g.
9 AEON supermarket
Then we arrived at Carpenter Road. There is a big supermarket, AEON. Lots of people drive to here to buy food for weekly shopping. This supermarket mainly sells Japanese products. There are lots of Japanese retailers which sell various products. Nakajima Seafood is one of the retailers. It not only has products that supermarket sell, like various frozen and chilled seafood, also has sushi and sashimi. Sushi and sashimi requires fresh resource, which may be hard for some supermarkets to obtain these resource. There is no doubt that the price of these kind of seafood is very high.
Comparing with salmon of other supermarkets, the expense is much higher in AEON. Frozen salmon is 64.98 Hong Kong dollar per 500 g, which is about the 1.6 multiple of the frozen salmon of Kai Bo; the chilled salmon is 112.5, which is also about the 1.6 multiple of the chilled salmon of Kowloon City Supermarket. This really impressed me. As far as I am concerned, one reason is that the Nakajima Seafood is a brand of higher level. Generally, the seafood quality of a big brand could be guaranteed. For example, the product is produced by which country, how many hour salmon has been stored since it was slaughtered.
When we went to the AEON, it was a little crowded. There were lots of housewives were buying food ingredients. It was about 3 pm, which was the time for housewives to purchase food and prepare for dinner. We noticed that customers can eat a small piece of squid for free. This is a common phenomenon in mainland. However, this phenomenon is rare in Hong Kong. I thought it is interesting because both the population density of HK and mainland China are large. There are lots of people come to supermarket every day. It may result from the different promotion patterns.
Along the Junction Road and after pass the Tung Tau Tsuen Road you will find a traditional Temple in your right hand side. According to the legends, Hau Wong Temple was built in 1730 to commemorate a Chinese general Yeung Leung-jit who helped an emperor of Song dynasty. As one of Grade I historical buildings, you could find lots of cultural artifacts such as iron incense burner, Chinese calligraphy and a number of plaques. You could burn incense in here and pray for health, which is an old tradition in China. However youth people in Hong Kong are more western- style and they don’t like to pray towards ancient statues because of neo-liberalism and faith diversity. Then, look at your left hand in Junction Road, there is a tea house which offers milk tea, pineapple buns and other tradition Hong Kong foods. Strangers usually do not mind sitting around one table in together. You can enjoy another colour different from UK.
11 Park, 12 PARKnSHOP
Continue along the Junction Road, you will find there are many communities. This residential area is surrounded by many leisure and entertainment venues such as Lok Fu Park and Lok Fu Recreation Ground. A middle size supermarket meets the need of nearby residents. After through the Wang Tau Hom E Roda and beside Lok Fu MTR, you will see a PARKnSHOP, which is a common supermarket. Just like Welcome, the price in PARKnSHOP is in the middle level. Due to the convenience, nearby residents would like to buy food in here. In terms of sea food, residents pay attention to the quality. Although frozen sea food is cheaper, people prefer buy expensive products because they are fresh. Also, they like to choose the sea food from clean ocean. Manger checks temperature 4 times a day and ticks in the table on the door, which surprised us. Thus, we think people in Hong Kong are really aware of the importance of food safety.
13 HKBU Shaw Campus
Trace your steps back to the Junction Road and go straight, you will find the Junction Road Park. It is a good place to have a rest. Then, be careful with your steps when you walk cross the road because cars are always rushing. Our walking tour ended with HKBU (Hong Kong Baptist University), which built in 1956. The campus is beautiful. They grow green food in the rooftop and use empty bottle to grow some plants. It is so interesting.
You can return to Lok Fu MTR or go along the Suffolk Road to Kowloon Tong MTR if you want to explore other places.
This walking tour gave us an opportunity to have a deep understanding. How the public choose imported seafood reflects the consumption level of residents. It also indicates the customer’s attitude of purchasing seafood, like attitudes towards food safety, food nutrition. For example, people prefer to buy Norway salmon, rather than mainland China, which shows inferior quality and food safety problems of salmon of mainland China. This experience was very impressive. It also enabled us to pay attention to some unanticipated things and make comparison among HK, mainland China, and UK, and investigate the causes.