STORY TIME || Hong Kong kitchen nightmare!
Late one afternoon in Hong Kong I desperately needed to go to the bathroom. Usually while traveling I have a good grip on where to find a public restroom, however, I found Hong Kong challenging in this department. We walked around one particular area of Hong Kong searching high & low for a Starbucks or some commercial chain of restaurants/hotel lobbies; but to no avail. In a last desperate attempt we ventured down into the nearest MTR train station. Metro stations throughout Asia have presented thus far, as the best place to find a public restrooms…but not in Hong Kong.
As we surfaced from underground metro I was borderline about to pee my pants in the street; when suddenly my partner spotted a restroom sign at the back of a restaurant. Sure! whatever! I could eat! Lets go! We made an immediate B line towards the the small restaurant and sat down. The server wasn't impressed with us from the getgo & seem reluctant to have us ( I’m aware of the abruptness of the Hong Kong people, but this was a different vibe). So we ordered (in fear) & I headed out the back towards the bathroom.
I almost slipped on the food covered floor but made it to the door; only to push it open and have god knows what drip on my head. As I looked around the dank room I realised I was in the backend of the kitchen. Frantically looking left and right for the bathroom, I saw something horrific. In a dark black or maybe green grimey room ( The exact details escape me; I think I kind of blacked out) was cabbage sitting in buckets of murky grey water & other non descript food items, in places they shouldn't be. The floor was covered in food from the dawn of this restaurants genesis (whose license has expired many moons ago). The smell of a thousand cabbages who lost their lives in the sun with an undertone of mold assaulted my nostrils.
For anyone who knows me personally, you could imagine how being a professional chef impacted my impression of the back end of this kitchen. If it were my place I would have burnt it to the ground with no hesitation rather than to clean it from scratch. God forbid if the health inspector came for an annual checkup!
As I turned to face the bathroom door, I opened it with extreme caution. The room was yellow; not because of its decor or paint, but for an entirely different reason. The floor was covered in food, mold, grime, you name it, it was there. The toilet seat was up & I didn't dare touch it. I squatted over the toilet; faced with the horrors of the bathroom in front of me.
I used the soap, multiple times & then rushed back to my seat to relay the whole experience back to my partner. Halfway through he grabbed his hat & was reaching for his bag.
"Should we go?! I don't want to eat here. Omg, why are you telling me this?!?!"
Plot twist. We ate there & I’m still alive to tell the tale. The food was descent despite the horrific details. Probably wouldn't go back 2/10.
After this whole debacle I found an app that listed all the public toilets in Hong Kong. It is a submissions based app with reviews & directions to public toilets. Anyone can add or review a public toilet. The app is called TOILET RUSH (go figure)!