by Katharine Schroeder

If there is such a thing as a noodle heaven, I found it in Kowloon on Austin Road. I'd tasted some terrific noodles one night when a group of us got Chinese take-away during a rainstorm. The next day, armed only with a business card (shown at left), I set out to find the shop that sold these tasty noodles.

As I walked down Austin Road (the wrong way) I noticed that all the shop signs were printed only in Chinese. After turning around and walking in the opposite direction, I desperately tried to match up the Chinese characters on the card with the writing on the signs. I wasn't doing very well. As I passed a small shop for the third or fourth time, a smiling woman in the doorway asked me if I was hungry. I showed her the card and, pointing to the shop sign, she nodded and grabbed my hand, leading me into a tiny restaurant about the size of the average American kitchen. "Welcome! I'll get you the English menu." I ordered, declining an invitation to sit at one of the tiny tables to wait. I liked to wait out on the street so I could watch all the hustle and bustle of Austin Road. Several minutes later and with noodles in hand, I was on my way to Kowloon Park to sit under the Banyan trees and eat (with chopsticks) the best noodles on the face of the Earth.

I would end up visiting the To Wai Ying noodle shop on four more occasions during my stay in Hong Kong. Each time I returned the Noodle Lady would greet me warmly, pulling me inside the shop with an invitation to sit in the air conditioning and wait. By the third time I visited, the cook was making me my own special noodle creation: noodles, very hot and spicy, with lots of vegetables.

I wish I'd taken a photo of this woman; she was so nice to me. I guess I never remembered to pull my camera out - I was too happy thinking about eating the best noodles in the world while sitting under the cool green canopy of trees in Kowloon Park.

The Noodle Lady of Kowloon was just one of the Totally Cool things about Hong Kong!


Kids Corner friend Mary D. went to Hong Kong, tracked down the Noodle Lady, and took her photo! That's her (left)!!!




©2003 Katharine Schroeder/Jackie Chan Kids Corner

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