Thursday, 13 December 2007

Lunch on Kat O

Kat O Seafood Restaurant
Kat O Main St, Kat O Island
School Picnic Day in Hong Kong is usually an unruly exercise. Bus loads of students trundle out to a crowded country park to burn a few fish balls and chicken wings on a BBQ before boredom and delinquency takes over. Thankfully the Form Four students at my school had a very different plan this year. We bussed to Ma On Shan from where we left on a day's nautical excursion. The boat we chartered took us out to Double Haven or Yan Chau Tong; the land of fisherman and pirates. We walked around tiny Ap Chau, visited Tin Hau Temple, explored the Yan Chau Tong Mangrove forest and wandered the deserted streets of Lai Chi Wo.

Kat O or Crooked Island is an island in the far north-east of the New Territories, much closer to Shenzhen than Sha Tin. A traditional home of the Hakka it is now relatively quiet, but a few residents scrap together a living through fishing, tourism and fish farming. Lunch was served at the Island's only restaurant, a place right near the ferry pier. The teachers were banished outside by the hungry hordes and we had a pleasant lunch under the trees. The fixed menu is all there is and we got plates piled with fried prawns, sautéed squid, chicken, green vegetable, a whole steamed fish, broccoli with pork, baked egg, pork short ribs and congee. The chicken was good, the prawns had a great meaty flavour and the squid tender and succulent; just what you expect from a restaurant run by fisher folk.
While it was certainly wasn't fancy lunch on Kat O was superb. The food was classic Chinese fare served in an absolutely cracker of a location. Kat O and Yan Chau Tong are a long way from Yuen Long, but well, well worth the trek. Exploring this area by sea is a great way to enjoy this beautiful, isolated and relatively untouched part of Hong Kong. Who knew school picnic could be such fun?


Anonymous said...


You have brought back pleasant memories of Kat O Island, although I haven't been there for a few years.

Thank you.

John D

Andrew said...

Hey John

It was a while ago now that I visited, but it was a very pleasant outing; so different from so much of HK and remarkably remote.

Have you been to Ping Chau? I never been, but am considering next time I have a spare weekend. I've heard lots of good things about it.


Anonymous said...


Yes, I have been to (Tung) Ping Chau a few times.

On Saturdays and Sundays and (other) General Holidays here is a ferry from MaLiuShui, near University Railway Station. Return fare is HKD90. Scheduled journey time is an hour and forty minutes. (Better book early though, could be quite crowded.)

On those days, the ferry sets out from MaLiuShui at 0900 and leaves Ping Chau at 1715. (On Saturdays there is a second ferry to the island at 1530, presumably for people staying overnight.) There is not a lot to do on Ping Chau, but I find the walks and views are nice.

By the way, your post gave me the inclination to revisit Kat O a few weeks ago. It was quite peaceful, despite the three boatloads of tourists (some 500 in total) with a lot fewer residents than I remembered from earlier visits.

John D