Saturday, March 18, 2006

afternotes: hong kong & macau

I'm back!!! I had a hell lot of fun eating and shopping, eating and shopping. The TV commercial's right. That's pretty much I did during my 4 days there. Frankly I stuffed myself crazy, more than the shopping I did anyways. I made a short trip to HK during my mum's bday last year and then again this year. The last time I visited HK before that was like 13 years ago?? Mum's right, we should make HK trips a yearly affair. What was I doing the last 13 years??!!

So anyways, we actually took a plane to Macau before taking the ferry to Hong Kong. I actually left having a really good impression of Macau. Besides the crude people who curse and swear loudly at the gambling table, and prostitutes asking men for an "overnight", it actually is quite a quaint and seemingly untouched city. Macau is strongly influenced by the Portugese so all the roads have Portugese names despite the fact that most people only speak Cantonese these days. I felt its culture especially whilst having breakfast at one of the Cha Chan Tengs (Tea Houses) around Senado Square. We were seated right inside the tea house when we saw a whole group of old men sitting around having their morning coffee and chattering away in Portugese. It was a really pretty sight. Anyways, I was happy too cos I was having my favourite for breakfast. Instant noodles with luncheon meat and egg! Three of my favourite foods together in one bowl and with a hot cup of milk tea. yum...

Thanks to a HK colleague at work, I also managed to taste the Portugese side of Macau. Frankly, I had no idea what Portugese food was like before I tasted it so I guess it was rather exciting in a way for me. There are 3 famous Portugese restaurants on Taipa Island so we picked one randomly called Gong Gai (means Rooster in Cantonese) which was supposedly a mix of Portugese and Chinese. The decor was a mis-mesh of Asian and Spanish styles kinda. So was the food. I liked it though. At least it was something new, something good and something to remember.

Braised Lamb served with Potatoes

Mixed Seafood Rice

Even though I was throughly stuffed from dinner, I couldn't resist having a Portugese egg tart from one of the other Portugese restaurants called Xiao Fei Xiang (loosely translated as small flying elephant) that came recommended as well. I had the best Portugese egg tart ever. Call me selfish but I was superly unwilling to share it with my mum who obviously couldn't get enough from the small bite she had. The custard was soft, smooth and sweet. Look at how the custard glistens below. The pastry was super flaky. I doubt I'd never have Portugese egg tarts that good again unless I go back to Macau. Although my colleague did tell me that KFC in HK brings egg tarts from Macau for sale? And we all thought that KFC was only famous for their finger lickin' good chicken..hehh...

So we crossed over to HK and then we had dessert at the Ferry Terminal in Tsim Tsa Tsui which was fantastic. There were 2 stalls actually. One was the famous Hui Lau Shan of which Singapore already has a branch of. By the way, the HK ones have much more on their menu and is cheaper. The other one was called Han Fa Lau. When I saw that stall, I actually got quite excited cos I was told that they're famous for the Yong Ji Gam Lok (mango dessert with sago and pomelo) and I was supposed to travel to Lan Kwai Fong if I wanted to taste it. So of course, I had it there and then and it was super good. Pure, which I liked.

I have to make this special mention for one of the street foods I had at Causeway Bay. It was so so good, I really regretted not having more of it (had to save my tummy for other stuff you see). You can't really see what the aunty in the pic is cooking in that big boiling pot right?

Look, the below pic was the end product! I loved it and although D squirmed when I told him how great this was, I still have to say that this was definitely one of the foods that I had that was memorable. It has intestines, radish, chives, dried pig's skin and a bit of pig's blood in it. I know it sounds gross to some who do not eat innards but I'm telling you, if you do eat them, this is a definite must-try. Curry sauce is then poured on top to combine with the gravy from the pot. Lastly, it's topped with HK style chilli oil and garlic. Absolutely delicious!

There were so many other great stuff that I ate. I had curry fishballs, lotsa sashimi of which included my favourite toro, fantastic teochew dinner on our last night there and award winning instant noodles. It was really a memorable trip. I don't think I can list every single thing one by one so just look at some memorable moments below.

Che Zai Min with Chicken Wings
It may look like a simple dish but this plate of yum actually won an award for being the best fried Chu Qian Yi Ding in town. Located on Soy Street at Ladies' St, it serves simple fare and is well-known for its Chu Qian Yi Ding. It was really yum and tasted somewhat like Fried Hong Kong Noodles from home but it was way better cos I've never been a fan of Hong Kong Noodles and I loved this.

Gong Zai Min
Apparently this is one of Che Zai Min's specialty too. I've never had it before and frankly it was ordinary. The only interesting thing about it was that they managed to squeeze so much variety into that bowl of noodles. I was told that this used to be sold in a cart with the seller yelling out to the apartments above.

Braised Goose
This was absolutely heavenly. OK, I'll be honest and say that I can't tell the difference between goose and duck meat! Not unless I have them both at the same time maybe? I love goose AND duck so what does it matter right? I had this on my last dinner in HK at a Teochew restaurant called Sin Kwong in Wan Chai. It must be famous cos I saw so many pics of HK stars outside the shop.

Roast Pigeon
Dad ordered this whole pigeon for me cos I was complaining about not having it during the days I was there. I don't get to eat it much here cos it's not that cheap and easily available (except on the road). So anyways, I loved it especially when it was dipped into the salt mixture. I eventually gobbled down half of the poor bird. Yes, that's how much I love my pigeons.

So I'm thinking now that I should probably start planning my next HK trip cos I'm really excited to have another culinary experience. There seems to be endless stuff to eat, new things to try. Maybe in Sept?? I can't wait...


  1. MAn..... everything look so yummy...erm...except for the piggy stuff la...innards and all... sucks! got blood somemore!!:s haha... but i guess it shd be yummy oso for those adventurous. :)
    I was telling xw tt we shd plan to go hk this year...maybe in july... hey! y not we make it a group trip thingy?! ;)

  2. as i type this.. ah xin is already savouring the good stuff in hong kong gal!

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