You can't live anywhere in HK cheaply. Rents outside the main "tourist" area as you call it are still expensive. Expats usually want to eat western food in western restaurants NOT chinese food. Sometimes they may want to eat Chinese food but chinese food in China and HK is not the same as a chinese takeaway in the UK! It's all broths and noodles Chinese food is along with dark coloured meat which looks awful and probably tastes like rubber. However some chinese food I ate in Taiwan was quite nice such as beef noodles and the odd chicken curry. But there's only so much of it you can take. You can't eat this stuff every day you need a change. Also no one in China eats sandwiches except of course in HK you can get them. In Taiwan you can get sandwiches at the 7 11 but china doesn't have 7 11s and no one seels sandwiches in china that I have seen. so consequently, all expats have to eat main dishes at lunch time which they don't usually do back home.