Strawberry-flavoured meat balls and garlic that does not stink are titillating the taste buds of bargain-hunters at the Food Expo in Wan Chai. Exotic foods and dollar deals drew crowds to the five-day expo, which opened at the Convention and Exhibition Centre yesterday. But most of the HK$1 items, such as crabs, fish and even frozen meat buns, were gone within 10 minutes of the 10am opening. Many were left disappointed after failing to get mooncakes, an expensive festive treat, at HK$1. Anxious crowds gathered outside seafood vendor A Style International, which was offering 10 Hanasaki crabs from Hokkaido, which normally sell for HK$510 each, at HK$1 apiece. A secondary school pupil who managed to land one of the crabs after queueing more than two hours before the fair opened said: 'It's scary. Some women scolded me.' Another schoolboy was less fortunate. 'I was the tenth person in the queue, but the others pushed me away ... I could only get a fish instead of a crab,' he said. The most hard-core of the deal-seekers opted to pay nothing. About 100 queued for free abalone at On Kee Dry Seafood. Seven-year-old Ho Ngai-chi queued with his aunt, Tracy Tam, for half an hour to get the freebie. 'I haven't tried abalone before. It's good,' he said. Tam, who secured 10 frozen buns from Ng Fung Hong for HK$1, said she planned to visit the expo three times. 'On the first day I'll get familiar with the environment. On the final day I'll sweep the bargains.' Sandy Cheung spent HK$2,000 on two trolleys and six bags of food. 'I've called a van to take them home,' she said. Tricoloured meatballs, flavoured with strawberry, pork and cuttlefish, were a hot item at the Taipei Trade Centre. About 100 bowls were sold by noon. Dried grapes from Xinjiang at Ng Fung Hong were double the usual size, while Shiu Pong Group was selling Korean melons at HK$60, about half the market price. Only three of them remained in the afternoon. A trade hall, which will be open to the public tomorrow, offers other unusual items, including a black variety of garlic at HK$40 that does not make the mouth smell. Mexican brand Cedmex is showcasing fresh abalones the size of the palm of your hand at US$120 each. A restaurant ordered 500 kilograms, director Amado Castro Villegas said. The Food Expo, with 20 per cent more exhibitors than last year, will run until Monday. An International Tea Fair will be open to the public tomorrow. Hall 3F, with 80 exhibitors, features a 'night bazaar' from 7pm to 10pm. Products will be discounted by 50 per cent or more every day.