Saturday, October 28, 2006

hong kong eats . day five

Before I left for HK, E recommended me this really great site to check out the good & bad eating places in HK. I found it pretty informative and it actually prompted me to try out a cafe which had everyone raving. The interesting thing about this was that all the raving was just over scrambled eggs.

So on my fifth and last day in HK, D & I hopped over to Jordan just to search for this bustling cafe called Australia Dairy Company (G/F, 47 Parkes St.). The place was pretty easy to find and when I got there, I got very excited. For a chachanteng, its size was pretty big and filled with people! People in HK move in and out pretty fast so we managed to get a seat almost as soon as we got there. Seeing that the waiters were speaking so fast, we didn't have much time to brood over what we wanted to eat so we just ordered the most popular item on the menu; their set meal.

For HKD 22, that's what we got. When the food came, D asked me what was so special about the food. I told him that it was the scrambled eggs. At that time, he said "it's just scrambled eggs what!" but after he took the first mouthful, he smiled and told me "yah, it's good". The macaroni soup was good but nothing spectacular I felt but the eggs and bread were so delicious even though they were so simple. The bread was thick and toasted to a light crisp on the outside but yet it was so soft inside. The eggs were smooth, creamy and buttery. I have a feeling they added evaporated milk but whatever it is, it was probably the best scrambled eggs I've ever tasted. I was glad that D was the one who was with me. If it was someone else, I won't be so sure that they'd be willing to travel just to eat scrambled eggs. Whatever it is though, the trip was well worth it.

The meal was around brunch time and filled us up quite a bit so we took the time to explore more of Kowloon side and eventually made our way to Sha Tin, a place famous for roast pigeons. This was one of those on my list of 'must-go' places. If you ask me what's the difference between roast goose, roast duck and roast pigeon, I probably won't be able to describe it except that pigeon has a more tender flesh. I love all 3 of them anyway. E recommended me to try Zun Zun but it was closed when we got there so we decided to give its neighbour a try since we had travelled so far to get our roast pigeon.

I don't know if it's just me but famous or not, almost everything I've eaten in HK has been delicious! Seems like that's the case whenever I visit HK. I'm saying this cos Zun Zun's neighbour served up a good meal as well. I don't know when I'll get to try Zun Zun so I don't know how MUCH better it is but this was good enough for me.

It was D's first time trying roast pigeon and I think he liked it a lot too. The other pic you see is of Curry Seafood Fried Rice which was pretty yummy too although it lost its charm when it turned cold afterwards.

I had to spent the night packing cos I was leaving the next morning. We didn't have much appetite for dinner since we had our lunch so late so we just decided to buy some sashimi and sushi back to the apartment as our supper. Everytime I visit HK, I'd be sure to stop of Sogo at Causeway Bay for some sashimi. Prices are lowered after 8.30pm just like in Singapore. There's more variety, it's cheaper, fresher and I love that they cut the slices so thick. My favourite is the aburi salmon sashimi topped with ikura. You can get toro too at a more afforable price compared to Singapore.

Time passes when you're having fun. Seems like I fulfilled a lot of my wishes on this trip. Being able to savour the good food and spending the time with D has been memorable. When will I visit HK again? I'm crossing my fingers now. Soon maybe...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

hong kong eats . day four

It was day four of my Hong Kong trip. Woke up slightly earlier than usual today cos I was complaining that we weren't getting up early enough to have breakfast before lunch. Usually, by the time we get ready to leave the apartment and all, we'd be in time for brunch. Somehow, that wasn't too good for me cos technically some simple mathematics made me realise that I was missing out on one meal a day and since I was going to be in HK for 5 mornings, that would have worked out to a lot of "lost" breakfasts. Very calculative I know. I had already lost 2 and I didn't want to lose out on more so we brushed our teeth, got dressed and left for breakkie.

I was whining about not having my favourite instant noodles with luncheon meat and egg so D brought me to his regular dinner haunt for breakfast. Weird I know but they serve food all round the clock. In the end, it was D who ordered my favourite and I decided to have the instant noodles with pork chop since D told me he liked the pork chop rice they served. The pork chop was very tasty but I should have just gone with my favourite. Nothing to describe here anyways. How special can instant noodles taste? I had my Yin Yeong too so breakfast ended up giving me a whole lot of satisfaction.

Went back to the apartment to freshen up and did a little bit of shopping in the Wan Chai area. D and I had a nice plan for lunch that day and I was really excited about it. I'd probably dedicate another post about lunch. I thoroughly enjoyed lunch and have much to say about the place so I think another entry on this is what it deserves.

After lunch, D & I made our way down to Sai Kung, a place that's famous of seafood. Apparently, some stalls are frequented very often by HK stars. Probably cos there's a TVB station nearby as well. It was a small district and we had to take a mini bus to get there. I liked the place though cos I found it very charming. Along the banks of the sea, there were fishermen selling their daily catch. There were also many people walking their dogs. The dogs were so cute and attracted lots of attention from passers-by.

Although I didn't have seafood for dinner, I ended up having late tea at Honeymoon Desserts (Shop A,B,C, No. 10 Po Tung Rd., Sai Kung) ; a famous dessert stall that started its days in Sai Kung. Apparently, Honeymoon Desserts became so popular because many HK stars used to frequent the stall. Fans who wanted to catch a glimpse of their idol would also visit Honeymoon. With their help, Honeymoon was able to expand their business and now have many outlets throughout HK.

I was recommended by E to try their Mango Pomelo dessert. I had also found out that they were famous for their durian desserts like durian and cream pancakes. It was interesting to see the durian-eating customers isolated in another shop cos some people just cannot bear the smell. Anyhow, I ended up having Mango Pomelo Beancurd dessert and D had the Tang Yuan in Black Sesame Cream. Both turned out ok but we agreed that we still preferred Hang Fa Lau and Hui Lau Shan.

After exploring the town a bit more and waiting for the rain to stop, we made our way back to Hong Kong Island just in time for dinner. When D first reached HK, he told me that he wanted to have some pasta after eating too much of Chinese food. So I consulted HK Foodie and found a very interesting recommendation on Te (1/F, 37 Cochrane St., Central - Intersection of Lyndhurst Terrace & Mid-Levels Escalator). Apparently, Te started from Roppongi Hills in Tokyo. Being from Japan, the pasta they serve isn't the typical Italian kind. I told D about this place, he decided to try it and then raved about it. So even though I was in HK, the land of Chinese food, I had to give this Te a try.

I made my order of the Mentaiko Pasta which I've never had and didn't regret having. The sauce was creamy and smooth. It was really simple; just pasta, cream and mentaiko but the flavours blended so well together that you wouldn't have need anything more. Regretfully, I didn't try the herb teas that they're known for. Whatever it is, Te left me with a good and lasting impression. Might want to go to some Japanese Italian cafe in Singapore now to see if they match up. A little bit of comparison won't harm I guess...

After the very satisfying meal that left a lingering taste in my mouth, D dragged me to Krispy Kreme's (51 Elgin St., SoHo) for some dessert. He kept going on about how we didn't have them for tea and all so I relented when he requested that we have it when he saw the new outlet in SoHo. THAT was a MAJOR mistake because it threw out whatever lightness I felt from my simple mentaiko pasta dinner. In fact, it left me with blocked arteries and hundreds of calories. I like the simple sugar coated one usually but I shouldn't have been adventurous to try those with caramel cos it's super super sweet! It's probably not a 'night' food as well. I figure it would taste much better when you need that sugar rush to wake you up from a sleepy afternoon.

Speaking of which though, I think Singapore should have Krispy Kreme's too. Afterall, I think many Singaporeans love it looking at the boxes of doughnuts carried home from the US. Whether it will do well once it's on our shores and is no longer a novelty is another story altogether.

Monday, October 09, 2006

hong kong eats . day three

Day 3 started with a little damper. The skies were dark when D & I got out of the apartment. Some rain came along but thank goodness we managed to settle ourselves into a dim sum restaurant before that happened.

I cannot remember the name of the restaurant where we had our typical HK dimsum. I only know that it was in a building in Wanchai and was just next to the HK Convention Centre. To be honest, the dimsum was practically as unmemorable as its name. It wasn't bad or anything; it was just merely normal. Nothing spectacular although I have to commend the prawn Cheong Fun cos it's was the most different and tastiest of the lot. Instead of just prawns in it like how we're used to, there was a layer of fried beancurd skin wrapping the prawns. Definitely added a lot more texture than just having prawns alone.

Maybe I should have tried the dim sum at Maxim's or Superstar. I have this thing for dimsum pushcarts with ladies shouting, "Lo Mai Kai, Cha Siew Bao, Har Kow, Siew Maiii...". I couldn't get up early enough for dim sum on other days and even if I did, there were too many other things to eat so I never got there. Just have to wait til next time on that.

After brunch, we hung out around Wanchai and Causeway Bay for a bit. Did some shopping then decided to make our way to Ladies' Street in Mongkok. I've always travelled the MTR when I visit HK but this time, D suggested to we take the ferry over to Kowloon for a different experience and so we did. The view was pretty although it was a really misty after the light shower we had in the morning.

More eating. The moment we reached the Tsim Sha Tsui ferry terminal, D suggested some Hui Lau Shan for tea. This was my chance to have the curry fishballs which I was dying to have 2 days before. He barred me from ordering it before bcos it didn't go well with our mango desserts but oh well, he made up for it!

This is one thing I never fail to have when I'm in HK. D doesn't really fancy the taste of HK-styled curry and much prefers the conventional Indian curry but he's just missing out in my opinion! It's got fishballs, radish, cuttlefish and dried pig's skin in there. Why do I love it? Simply cos it's delicous...

After we did some very important shopping at Ladies' Street, I brought D to Che Zai Min located on Soy Street, an intersection at Ladies' Street, to try the famous fried Chu Qian Yi Ding with chicken wings. I wrote about this place in one of my first few entries. Had a gut feeling that D would like it cos he has always loved Hong Kong noodles and this tastes like it. He ended up loving the fried tofu even more though cos of the special dipping sauce that came along with it.

Finally ended the day with some yummy Haagen Daas ice cream. I'm not sure if this is sold in Singapore yet but we had the summer berries ice cream coated with dark chocolate on a stick. Reminded me of the times when D and I went crazy over the Haagen Daas strawberry ice cream coated with white chocolate in Hawaii. Singapore had that flavour for awhile but somehow disappeared from the shops one day which was pretty disappointing.

Finally ended the long day we had to get some rest back at the apartment. All the walking was killing my legs but at the same time, it was good for the eating that I was doing. I'm just so good at making excuses for myself isn't it??

Sunday, October 08, 2006

hong kong eats . day two

Armed with a trusty map, I started the day exploring the streets of Hong Kong on my own whilst D was hard at work. Took a train from Wan Chai to Central and had to literally climb hills (yes, HK is a very hilly place) to search for Tai Cheong Bakery (G/F, 35 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central). Along the way, I went into little streets looking at aunties buying their supply of seafood and fresh pork. Quite an interesting sight although that's besides the point.

Although I've been to HK twice before, I've never made the effort to try this place out. Apparently, Tai Cheong became really famous because the ex-governor of HK loved the egg tarts there. With the long lines (so I heard!), batches of egg tarts were sold at one go thus allowing the shop to always have warm egg tarts to be sold. Ling is also a big fan and kept telling me to try it just before I left.

When I got there, I didn't see a line at all but true enough, the egg tarts were still warm when I bought them. Couldn't resist the temptation of the soft yellow custard so I decided to sit in one little corner to savour the little dessert. I was really really impressed just after the first bite. The pastry was crumbly and buttery. Almost like a very soft biscuit. The custard was soft, rich and warm. It went so perfectly well with the pastry. Bought 3 of it but ended up only having one cos I gave the other 2 to D for tea. I'm filled with regret now so I'm making D bring a dozen egg tarts back. My diet will just have to be put on hold for awhile.

After exploring more of Central and observing the working crowd who made me very inspired to work in HK, I met D for lunch at Can.teen, a food court run by the large F & B group, Maxim's. Besides the food court, they've got Chinese restaurants, cake shops etc. It's basically one of the most successful F & B groups in HK. Ended up having a very boring but delicious roast meat rice. D had some sausage in his and I ended up stealing a couple of pieces from him cos it was very yummy!

After lunch, I proceeded to do what HK's also known for... GREAT shopping!! Basically the commercial is all true. It's shopping and eating, shopping and eat when you get to HK. Spent most of the day around Causeway Bay cos D & I made arrangements to have dinner at Yung Kee that night. My legs ended up so tired that they were screaming for rest near the end of the afternoon so I made my way for some dessert at Hang Fa Lau Desserts (G/F, 57 Lee Garden Road, Causeway Bay). The last time I visited HK, I had one of the best Mango & Pomelo desserts I've ever tried at Hang Fa Lau. This time though, cos I was having way too much mango-ish stuff, decided to go for the traditional Almond Cream which turned out good as well. Actually desserts in HK can't really go wrong cos that's what they're famous for. I love their desserts and in fact, had planned to try 4 different dessert shops this time. This was the 2nd so two down, two more to go. I was making a lot of progress for the 2nd day.

Dinner only started at 9pm that day. Yung Kee (32-40 Wellington Street, Central) was full and only had a table available at 9 which turned out to be a blessing in disguise cos D only finished work at 8.30pm. Yung Kee's famous for its succulent roast goose; an absolute must-try if you're there. I've heard that Tsuen Wan is also famous for roast goose but it was too far out for me to travel there.

Dinner was delicious that night with the addition of the tofu dish which D loved so much and the scallops with brocolli. Although the roast goose still tasted good, it was somewhat of a letdown compared to the previous times we were there cos the skin wasn't as crispy. The dinner didn't come cheap though at about HKD500 for 2 of us but I guess Yung Kee's the place for that plate of delicious roast goose when you want it.

The end of day two. I was left with weary legs and a very full tummy but raring to go for day number three.

Friday, October 06, 2006

hong kong eats . day one

I've been looking forward to visiting Hong Kong again, one of my favourite cities in the world, for 2 reasons. One is to visit D cos he's been there for 2 months, and the second is to savour the good food all over again; without my parents this time.

I was famished by the time I got there. It was just in time for dinner and I refused to let the icky airplane meal spoil my appetite. After I put my luggage off at the apartment, D & I made our way to Causeway Bay for some famous Wanton Mee.

Mak's Noodles (G/F., 44 Jardine's Bazaar, Causeway Bay) is one of the most well-known Wanton Mee shops in the whole of Hong Kong. It's so famous that its name made its way to the New York Times. Anthony Bourdain visited Mak's when he was in HK too. The noodles are served in a very small portion which is ideal for me although D had to have 2 bowls to himself. I loved every bit of it and especially loved the noodles cos they were cooked al dente. Was definitely off to a good start after this delicious meal.

To end the night before I started on my "expedition" the next day, D & I went for dessert at
Hui Lau Shan. Definitely one of my favourite and must-visit places in HK. I'm pretty disappointed that they closed off the branch in Orchard Road but then again, they were overpriced and lacking in the variety that the outlets in HK offer.