[Hong Kong] Di Di Xiang 汕頭蒂蒂香 達濠魚丸粉麵店- traditional Chiu Chow fish ball noodle joint

Traditional Chiu Chow fish balls are hard to find in Hong Kong these days. The type where real fish are handmade into pulp, then beaten for ‘springiness’ and formed into fish balls. versus most out there that has fillers and crap. Shan Loon Tse Kee Fish Ball 山窿謝記魚蛋in Aberdeen used to make fish balls in this traditional manner and attracted even celebrities illegally parking outside just to get a bowl of fish ball noodle. Alas it closed. Hence the search for good fish balls elsewhere.

Di Di Xiang 蒂蒂香 has been around Hong Kong for a few years. They are originally known in Shantou for its fish balls. Its located in the stretch of Mongkok where there is a cluster of Chiu Chow joints. Their fish ball pulp (or are the balls?) are made in Shantou and imported in Hong Kong every day. They also have hand made noodle so I tried the fish ball handmade noodle and the cutterfish ball noodle.

So were they good? The balls tasted like they are made from real fish/ cuttlefish pulp instead of flour. The texture was a bit firm. I would have preferred them to be more springy. I wonder if its because of the transportation from Shantou that caused some ‘settling’ of the pulp- air bubbles introduced in the beating into the pulp ‘left’ during the drive? or was it because of a higher percentage of fish?

Shouldn’t have ordered the handmade noodle as I believe hor fun would have matched the fish balls better. The broth was light.

Overall, a nice bowl of noodle, but I would love to see stronger fish ball contenders.

They have a branch in Wanchai.

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Question- where are the good fish balls in town?

I think both. More spongy ones mean more liquid or more air is injected meaning less fish.
Maybe they should rebeat once arriving in Hong Kong.

Is the balls very strong pepper taste? Do you think they use MSG like in many other joints?

How much is a bowl if you recalled?

It’s rare to eat good fish balls, I’m not sure I have ever ate some good ones.

No pepper taste that I recall. No MSG either. Their broth and fish balls seemed like they used all natural ingredients.

I think they are about $40 or so.

Maybe give this a try, my friend recommended 50 year old On Lee Noodle Shop in Shau Kei Wan, long queues. They use fresh fish to beat the balls and the fish slices in Chiu Chow style. Be careful not to mix up with An Lee Dai Pai Dong which is opened by the uncle of the same family on the same street. (it’s also very popular with queue).

I read about some good things about Wong Lam Kee Chiu Chow Fish Ball Noodles in Shau Kei Wan has a good reputation.

Read some articles on HK Chiu Chow style fish ball, traditional fish balls should be softer and tender. But from the 90’s the Hong Kong people like the springy and relatively firmer texture (al dente).

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Di Di Xiang in that case is neither. Pretty dense, neither tender nor springy…

Do you know if there is a cluster of Chiu Chow eateries and folks in Shau Kei Wan? Just curious why there. Like there is a cluster in Sheung Wan, another in Prince Edward (where Di Di Xiang is).

I was emailed a magazine article- the Chiu Chow folks originally arrived as miners at a nearby mine. Eventually more arrived when Chiu Chow folks opened factories. Many Chiu Chow eateries around. There’s a good reason to go eat there.

One Shau Kei Wan fish ball joint mentioned by @naf in this post- On Lee. Anyone tried?

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold