Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Feasting in Hong Kong

It was supposed to be a nice long relaxing holiday back home with nothing more taxing than heading out for breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper ... plus snacks in between, of course :) A week before I left London, my father announced a family holiday .. to Hong Kong less than 24 hours after I arrived in KL after a 17 hour journey. Ye gads! How tired and disorientated would I be? Complaints aside, I do love Hong Kong. Land of delicious Chinese food and shopping, seriously ... what is there is dislike?

KFC Zinger Burger - KL, Malaysia

But first things first ... a girl has to be fed after such a long tiring journey (London to KL via Dubai). Aside from bits of Christmas dinner that my sister very kindly saved for me, Candice and I decided to share a Zinger Burger from KFC. Oh, yes! Hot, crunchy, slightly spicy batter on the outside and a tender, juicy chicken fillet on the inside on a warm sesame seed bun with mayonnaise. I have day dreamed about this for a long time... except the burger I bit into was all wrong. Admittedly we got the burger as a takeaway and it was a tad cold when we ate it, but the taste was ...different and ...what in the heck was that slice of processed cheese doing in there? Ahhh dreams are always lusher, greener and ... tastier :)

Fried Octopus Tentacles - Sea World, Hong Kong

First day in Hong Kong was spent at ... Ocean Park. Yes, that's right... 'oh, dear'! It was going to be Disneyland but a Saturday spent fighting the massive crowds just didn't sounds so great, so we spent it fighting a slightly smaller crowd at Ocean Park instead. For my nephew's sake..really... though I do think the adults had a better time ;) 'Ooo-ing' and 'ahhh-ing' over the seals, dolphins and pandas...laughing at the rides. It wasn't so bad, after all. Food-wise we did bag some gorgeous barbecued octopus tentacles. A good mixture of crunch and chew with a nice charred flavour. So good it got Candice to slurp a few down ... the girl who hates food that looks anything like the animal it came from :)

Dau Mui - Tai Woo, Hong Kong

Dinner was at Causeway Bay at Tai Woo with a few family friends. Plenty of very good food in unpretentious surroundings. First up the, the obligatory vegetable - one of my all time favourites, fried dau mui with garlic. Available only in winter, I tend to gobble up as much as possible to keep me going for the rest of the year :D

Stewed Beef - Tai Woo, Hong Kong

Stewed beef in in brown sauce - I haven't a clue what the name of the dish was. Nice tender chunks of beef, nice sauce.

Pigeon - Tai Woo, Hong Kong

Deep fried pigeon, which I haven't had in years and was definitely on my list of must eats when I was in Hong Kong. Thin crispy skin with tender, succulent bits of dark meat .... nothing like duck, though it does look a little like it's bigger cousin. And these are nothing like their Trafalgar Square amount Chinese five spice powder could cover the stench of London toxic fumes in the meat of those birds ;)

Sweet and Sour Pork in So-Chiu Style - Tai Woo, Hong Kong

Sweet and sour - beloved dish of takeaways worldwide. This sweet and sour pork So-Chui style (what So-Chiu style means, I have no idea) was really nice. The batter was harder and crisper (with the addition of cornflour to the batter, I believe) than what usually encases the meat at Chinese takeaways (in my book - yummier). The sauce was good, a good balance of tart and sweet.

Deep Fried Stuffed Beancurd Sheets - Tai Woo, Hong Kong

Deep fried beancurd sheets stuffed with vegetables - Chinese mushrooms, woodear fungus, bamboo shoots, carrots, water chesnuts.

Baked Sesame Chicken in Salt - Tai Woo, Hong Kong

The restaurant's award winning baked sesame chicken in salt. Quite understandable why it was award winning :) The skin was nicely crisp with the sesame seeds giving it a nice crunch and the meat was juicy and tender (and not in a hormone pumped sort of way). It's been a long time since I've been to a restaurant where the bird's head made an appearence at the dinner table :) Apparently, this is a norm at the more traditional of Chinese dining tables.

There was a whole table stuffed with more food but with 10 hungry people waiting to be fed, I didn't get a chance to grab a photo of each dish. Prices were incredibly reasonable and the food very good, great reasons to go back if I'm ever in Hong Kong :)

Bubble Bubble .... Filled with Goodies - Hong Kong

For breakfast, it was down to the cha chaan teng (literally translates to tea restaurant') round the corner from the hotel. Yup, the same place every morning - my dad's choice :) With it's steam frosted front window, bubbling stockpot/stewpot by the shop entrance and tiny tables and booths, this was a typical Hong Kong teahouse serving anything from wonton noodles to Spam and egg sandwiches (emmm...yum!).

Nai Cha- Hong Kong

Cups of very strong, very milky nai cha (milk tea). It was a little too strong for me, it would have been perfect iced.

Congee with lean pork and century egg- Hong Kong

Pei dan sau yuk chuk - a warming bowlful of rice porridge (I dislikethe word 'congee' ... it brings to mind ... congealed, perhaps? But apparently, the word 'congee' comes from the word Dravidian word kanji ...'ahhhh' :) with century egg and lean pork. Whilst I don't like porridge made with oats, I do love a bowl of rice porridge. The food of my childhood that really warms the soul (mine anyway:). I also had a bowl off pork liver porridge (not photographed), which no one else wanted to touch ..hahaha... so it was ALL mine!!

Wonton Tong Mien - Hong Kong

Wonton noodles in soup - gorgeous wonton bundles filled with whole prawns and seasoned with soy sauce and sesame oil. Topped with blanched lettuce leaves. Cooking lettuce - it does seem like a very non-British thing to do. I get questioned whenever I make it :) However, I went to an Italian restaurant just the other day that served braised baby gem lettuce with my main.

Beef Brisket Soup Noodles - Hong Kong

Ngau lam tong mien - braised beef brisket with noodles in soup. The beef was lean and the soup clear. I almost wished it was fattier (translate -> tastier haha) but it was breakfast, so lean and clear was good.

Choy Sum- Hong Kong

Since this meal included my father (whose main food philosophy is 'the more, the better' ... perhaps that may be an overall Foong philosophy...), extra dishes just had to be ordered. One morning it was blanched choy sum with oyster sauce.

Roast Goose..lots of them - Yung Kee, Hong Kong

Goose Feet & Wings - Yung Kee, Hong Kong

A meal at Yung Kee for it's famous roast goose was another must on list but alas we arrived too late. The roast goose had sold out for the afternoon. It didn't, however, stop them from offering us a tantalising glimpse of those beautifully roasted birds on the front window of the restaurant - all had been pre-ordered. Hanging beside the geese were pieces of char siew and below it, whole birds cooked in either soy sauce or poached in water, goose wings and webs braised in soy sauce ... delights from the roast meat counter.

Mixed Meat Plate - Yung Kee, Hong Kong
So we embarked on a feast without roast goose (they don't serve roast duck either) with a roast meat plate - soy chicken, char siew and jellyfish.

Century Egg & Pickled Ginger - Yung Kee, Hong Kong

A plate of the equally famous Yung Kee century egg with pickled ginger. A rich, gooey yolk with a gelatinous white.

Fries Dau Mui - Yung Kee, Hong Kong

The obligatory dau mui with ginger and garlic. I still haven't had my fill yet :)

Something a little different that I found on the menu - stir fried kai lan with goose liver sausages. It was very good. The fattiness and flavourings from the sausages, with a little garlic and ginger, really enveloped the vegetables and it was delicious.Probably not the healthiest of dishes but the taste buds had definitely fallen in love.

Deep Fried Ribs - Yung Kee, Hong Kong

Deep fried pork ribs, which were nice - but really not particularly memorable.

Fried Rice - Yung Kee, Hong Kong

Fried rice with Chinese sausage, dried prawns and egg. We actually forgot that we ordered this dish until it arrived at the end of our meal. There was a look of pure horror on all of our faces when the waitress put it down in front of us and that very rarely ever happens!

Steamed Beef Balls - Yung Kee, Hong Kong

Deep Fried Stuffed Beancurd Sheets - Yung Kee, Hong Kong

Thinking that there wasn't enough food (this was before the arrival of the fried rice), my dad ordered some steamed beef balls and fried bean curd skin stuffed with fishpaste from the dim sum menu. Neither were that good ... disappointing even. For it's reputation, the size of the restaurant and number of patrons, Yung Kee's food really isn't that special. I remember eating there years ago and having the roast goose, which was so delicious. This trip though, minus the roast goose, the food was incredibly disappointing.

Dan Tat - Hong Kong

Whilst it wasn't possible to stuff another bit of food down our throats, Candice and I still managed to stop by Tai Cheung Bakery, which I visited a few days before with my parents (minus the sister). A little shop in Central that's apparently quite popular - it even proudly displays a photograph of Chris Patten eating one of their pastries :) Their speciality? Egg custard tarts - freshly out of the oven. The tarts were very nice but I found the pastry a little too buttery and crumbly for my liking. I'm just being a little too particular :)

Egg-y Chinese Dough Balls - Hong Kong

Candice couldn't resist a sugared doughnut either. Not a traditional doughnut with a hole in the middle - more of a ball of quite egg-y, puffy fried dough covered in sugar.

Egg-y Chinese Dough Balls - Hong Kong

Hong Kong was bustling and wonderful as ever. I swear I took more photos than I did ... but I was sometimes a little busy shoving food into my mouth to notice the photographs had not been taken.

Tai Woo
27 Percival Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Yung Kee
32-40 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong

Tai Cheung Bakery
32 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong


Su-Lin said...

Wow - looks like you had an amazing trip! :D Very jealous of all the goodies you managed to consume.

Luscious Temptations said...

It was a very good trip with a ton of fabulous food! :) Hong Kong was just the start, there's still Malaysia and Indonesia to go. February is probably a pretty good time to go on a diet to recover from all that pigging out... lol.