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Monday, January 30, 2012

HK Trip: Central favourites!

After spending much time on Kowloon, we finally decided to cross over to Central to look around.  Typically, tourists would visit places like Lan Kwai Fong which is a drinking hole famous for people watching.  IMHO?  Overrated! Perhaps that its coming from a non-drinker, my argument is invalid :P! The other attraction would be the Peak which is a great place to catch the skyline at night:


Been here a couple times now! Still captivated by it!  The only bad thing about this place is that its freezing and extremely windy.  Coming at night in winter is crazy! Add that to the long queue to take the tram down and @@!


After awhile we headed back down to the CBD to find some stuff to eat.  We started with two scrumptious egg tarts which were fresh from the oven! 


I have to say, short crust pastry has never tasted better!  The Tai Cheong bakery one was so moist yet crumbly! Kick ass! As for the custard, it was good but not mind blowing!  Nevertheless, with a crust that is to die for, this was really good! Imagine a hot egg tarts and you are hungry on a cold night!  No wonder this bakery is often frequented by a men who once used to be the Premier of HK!


After having our egg tarts, we were looking to have noodles!  Instead of slurping down delicious serves of wanton noodles at the famous Mak’s place, we ate at a rival store just opposite the road as the former was closed. 


Among the locals, Tsim Chai Kee is often preferred as the noodles here are cheaper and tastier.  According to my sister and friends, Mak’s place is 50% more expensive and is served in a bowl no bigger than the small Ikea soup bowls but its yummy! The serving size would not have been an issue because Kau Kee which served the “best braised beef noodles” is just down the road! But oh well!


Disappointed as anyone could be, this turned out very much to be a blessing in disguise as the wanton noodles here were kick ass no doubt! 

DSC_1444My first spoon full was pure satisfaction as the hot broth tasted very delicious.  It was slightly oily so as to complement the smoothness of the noodles which were good itself!  Springy and more importantly, it does not carry that raw flour flavour.  Wantons were great as well.  So definitely no complains from me! Satisfaction achieved!  But in all honesty so as to no discriminate, I find that all the top wanton noodles as voted by the locals always have good prawn wantons. It is good the people here do not take crap because that is the way it should be!


Darling who is allergic to prawns opted for the sliced beef and fresh minced fish ball noodles:


Served with the exact same broth and noodles, the only difference here would be the condiments.  Seeing how tender those slices were, I really could not resist but pick bits and pieces of darling’s food!  It was good as well.  The tender beef slices could easily rival the king prawn wanton as the best condiment!  The fish ball too was good but little darling did not quite like the seasoning of the fish ball.  There was this sort of taste which I thought was fine but she disliked it.  So I willingly helped myself to both the fish balls :P!


I could not be happier after our meal.  With our stomachs filled, it was a great feeling compared to when we were starving up at the peak.  The meal as Tsim Chai Kee might be accidental but it was a great eat! Is this what the call serendipity? However, the next time I come, I will order the noodles with all three condiments! The wantons, the beef slices and the fish ball!  Why?  Because it is only 10 HKD more at most :)!



Friday, January 27, 2012

HK Trip: Desserts @ Paul Lafayet, Tsim Sha Tsui

On day 3, we enjoyed a scrumptious dim sim meal at Tim Ho Wan which I blogged before here.  Soon after, we decided to check out the Tsim Sha Tsui district which is well-known for its high end fashion and hotels where Bentleys and high powered German limousines are ‘normal’.  Of course I did not pick up anything for myself but I would have loved too if I could afford it :P!  But we did not leave empty handed as we picked up a little gift for the darling’s little brother sponsored by her sister xD! 


At night a light setup is used to showcase the beauty of the Central district from the Avenue of Stars.  I would not say that the show is mind blowing but it was worth the experience considering it is free to watch anyways!


The view of Central from Tsim Sha Tsui!


After visiting all the touristy stuff in the area, it was time to get serious! Fooooooooooooooood!  And since we already had our dinner, we were looking for some dessert in the area.  There we searched for a Paul Lafayet branch which is a French dessert shop with various outlets around HK. Seeing how lovely the desserts looked when we reached, we could hardly contain ourselves!


Crème Brulee is something so good that it has consistently topped my charts for favourite dessert year after year.  With the perfect consistency and crust, this dessert can easily make anyone crave for seconds.  And believe it or not, the one at Paul Lafayet delivers superbly.  The creaminess and sweetness was just spot on.  It does not leave that creamy taste and neither is it so sweet that it becomes cloying.  The texture was just right, silky smooth and extremely light.  Air bubbles were non-existent. To finish it all, the burnt crust was delicious despite being done by the waitresses at the store which seemed rather inexperienced at first.  I have to say, darling and I was really impressed.   What more could you ask for?



Macaron tart with wild berries.  A pastry filled with custard and decorated with berries before being finish by a Vanilla macaron.  While this dessert was good, I found that it tended to be something that was rather difficult to enjoy politely.  Its a dessert where one needs to take a bit of macaron and a little bit of berry along with the custard to get the right chemistry of sweetness and freshness.  When the berries were eaten alone with the custard, it tended to carry too much acidity making the whole dessert too sour and if you go with the custard and macaron alone, you’d probably complain of its sweetness.  Either way its a tough call.  But when messy fingers come in, nom nom nom! :)!



Classic Blueberry Cheesecake.  A simple cheesecake with the right amount of cheese in the mixture always leads to an orgasmic sensation.  Too much too brittle, too little too soft.  Its really an art which I have to say many have perfected and flopped.  I have eaten many good cheesecakes and despite having a large variation in prices, the quality of good or bad depends solely on the shop itself.  At Paul Lafayet, I would rate it somewhere between ok and good.  Probably nothing above but definitely nothing below.  But after having so many decadent desserts halfway through the trip, it was a hard call especially after having the awesome Crème Brulee!


Once we were done ordering, a friendly men approached us and started talking about the restaurant.  He was actually the owner of the franchise in HK and he was really friendly.  He told us about how the restaurant came by and its key effort to increase customer satisfaction lies in the core ingredients which are fresh with absolutely no preservatives or flavouring.  I think he mentioned imported from France too?  I guess that explains the fairly pricey price tag of the desserts there!  When we finished our little chatter he offered us free macarons! Nom nom nom! But to be honest, I never quite understood macarons.  They are always too sweet for my liking with the exception of flavours like Jasmine and Lavender.  Those are really special!


Having stuffed our face, darling and I were all smiles.  I guess having good desserts to reward ourselves after a long day of walking is well earned!   Would I recommend Paul Lafayet to my friends? Heck yes! Despite being labelled as factory food by some, it taste nothing like it.  In fact, I was actually surprised with the quality of the desserts despite them being made in large quantities.  Kudos!



HK Trip: Desserts @ Luk Lam!

After an obviously mediocre meal of wanton noodles, the little darling and I decided to drown our disappointment by enjoying desserts in the Sam Shui Po area.  One thing I have learned from all my previous trips to HK, is that the desserts here are truly amazing and they clearly part of the HK dining culture.  Dessert shops here are mostly filled with people of all ages especially at night.  Luk Lam clearly was not lacking in fans that day.  There was a queue for takeaways and the tables inside were packed.  In fact, they  even have an established Facebook fan page!  And from what I have seen, lots of check-ins and a good amount of fans on it too!





My usual dessert :


The dessert which I ordered was a mix of mango, sago and pomelo fruit! Generous servings of mango paired with a sure win combination made this dessert a winner for me.  Always is!


As for darling…


Dinner sucked? No worries! EAT ALL THE DESSERT! Yeap that’s right, the mango pudding, durian pancake and a red bean soup mixed with tau fu fah!   Even the couple who shared table with us thought we were nuts when they saw what we ordered!


By the time we were done, the mango pudding came out the obvious winner out of the three with their pudding having the right amount of sweetness and taste.  The additional milk was spot on as it went really well with the flavours of the pudding!  As for the durian pancake, the generosity of Luk Lam in putting the fruit in did help make this dessert worth the money but as a person familiar with the king of fruits, the quality of durian used was deplorable.  Instead of being creamy and rich, it was unripe and crunchy.  Could have been a lot better! And the worse one that night was the red bean soup with tau fu fah!  Red bean soup was unenthusiastic.  Bitter orange peel was horrible. Not to mention their tau fu fah (bean curd dessert) was rough in comparison to the ones we had before.  Honestly, I would never eat that dessert ever again! I guess it just was not my type! 


Overall, this is the right place for mango type desserts like the one pudding and soup I ordered.  But I was also told that their black sesame desserts are delicious as well. Regardless, I would never come here for either the red bean soup or tau fu fah again.  Definitely have them written off my list!


Stuffed to the brim? Checked!  Satisfied? Checked! 



Wednesday, January 25, 2012

HK Trip: Wanton Adventure @ Lau Sham Kee

If you have tried looking for the best Wanton noodles in Hong Kong through the internet, you will realise that this is a never ending debate involving both tourists and locals.  Finishing our day at the big Buddha, darling and I got off the train a few stops earlier at Sam Shui Po.  There, we dined at a highly rated Wanton Noodles shop call Lau Sham Kee which has been dishing out quality noodles for many decades now.  On top of its list is the Ha Chi Lou Meen or in English the dry wanton noodles with dried shrimp roe.  Darling despite being allergic to prawns ordered that despite being allergic to it while I conservatively picked the traditional wanton noodles. 



The classic dry wanton noodles!



The famous dry noodles with dried shrimp roe.


Each of the noodles came with a serve of wanton soup as well:



Over all, I have to insist that we came here expecting more.  The prawn noodles instantly scared the little darling off and instead she had mine.  In all honestly, the noodles were sufficiently bouncy and tasty but having that much hyped roe is an acquired taste rather than anything else.  For me, I love seafood but found that the roe left me with a gritty feel which I dislike.  Instead, I am more seasoned to slurping smooth textured noodles!  Hence, I felt that this was nothing special.  However, I must insist that the wanton soup tasted yummy and with the added freshness of the prawns, what can I say?  It was yummilicious!   In fact I happily enjoyed darling’s bowl of soup as she was allergic to prawns.  Double win!   But do not be put off from giving this restaurant a try.  In fact this might be for you considering this place is packed from lunch till midnight proving that some people really enjoy the shrimp roe noodles.  Hence, do give it a shot as its really near the train station at 82 Fuk Wing Street,Sham Shui Po, Kowloon H.K.



Tuesday, January 24, 2012

HK Trip: 2nd day! ADC + Big Buddha!

On the second day, our breakfast started unexpectedly with something that came from Australia!  The Australia Dairy Company or ADC as commonly mentioned among locals is one of the hotspots in Jordan where the queue is long all the time.  But thankfully, the turnover here is quick.  How fast? Well, so fast that the waiter does not even have time to bother about you.  When little darling asked them about their specialty, he pointed to the wall and say ‘OK? OK? I’ll just get you two of those sets!". =.=!  Totally insane! Also their food flies out fast.  Our orders were met within 5 minutes.


ADC is most famous for its Scrambled Egg and Butter Toast!


When the only thing 100 people eat is this, you know shit just got real!  While the my hype was almost as great as my doubt, it was almost maniacal that the scrambled eggs here tasted better than ones back in Oz.  Believe it or not, butter was used unsparingly.  Everything tasted good thanks to it.  Another big difference here is the use of salt where they decide what’s good for you rather than otherwise.  In Oz, most big brekkie comes with flat tasting eggs which allows you to add salt and pepper to your liking.  My take on this? 10/10!  But of course do not expect this to fare as though it is something worthy of a 3 starred restaurant!


Darling on the other hand asked for fried eggs which were better than the ones I had at Sayers where the eggs were cooked in a little pan to the extent that something that was meant to taste magical ended up “OK”!


The egg white itself was cooked just nice still smooth with a coating of oil, while runny yolk are still finger licking good! Good but no match for its scrambled version!


Macaroni and ham with soup!


The macaroni soup with ham is the accompanying dish which in my opinion, the suckiest one for the day.  With pieces of ham, this dish was unpopular with many people as there were plenty of unfinished ones around.  And to be honest, doesn’t the soup look suspiciously mixed with butter?  I guess it was! I would not recommend this!  Another set of scrambled egg and toast would have been more appreciated!


Our meal at ADC cost us around 65HKD/RM26/$A8 for all the above and 2 drinks.  Quite decent in my opinion ;)!  If you are making a trip to HK and are sick of dim sum, this is definitely worth a shot despite its poor service!  Even a friend who studied in Melbourne mentioned that one of the thing he misses the most in Hong Kong is ADC! So my fellow foodies be sure to put ADC in your address book @ 47 Parkes Street, Jordan, Hong Kong.


After our quick breakfast, we visited the big Buddha which I have to say, is still looking pretty kickass despite me coming here just 2 years ago!  To get up there, take the cable car called the “Ngong Ping 360”!  You have a choice of crystal or normal cabin!


Darling and I tooked the Crystal Cabin Package which was cheaper than taking either of rides by itself! And jesus! I really hated the Crystal Cabin as it was scary as hell!  Worst of all, the cable car ride takes something like 30 minutes?


Up in the hills we decided to feast on some delicious Tau Fu Fah.  A dessert commonly found in Asian markets and in Perth, at Dim Sum places!


Silky smooth consistency makes this hard to beat.  Even the ones in the CBD areas of HK was no match for the ones near to the big Buddha!



Curry fish balls were an extra order after we started tucking into our desserts :P!


After eating, starts our long ascend up the flight of stairs leading to the Buddha statue. 


Ambitious child makes her way up the flight of stairs while..



Someone is tired!  Doesn’t matter! Still lovely to me :D!



The Buddha and us!


After walking around and taking more pictures, we came back down and prayed in the nearby temple before helping ourselves to another serve of Tau Fu Fah! This time at another place!  My take on it? Equally good!  Hence, it is fair to say that the dessert around in this area is consistently good!  And I guess this will be all for now :)!  Will try to get the next post up soon!



Monday, January 23, 2012

First day: Taiwanese Food in HK!

Reaching HK just before lunch, the place has not even changed a bit.  The same shops, the same things all in familiar places.  That’s good news for me considering how badly I fare in speaking their language!  For lunch we were thinking of having dim sum at Tim Ho Wan, the only Michelin starred hole in the wall dim sum canteen the world!  But knowing the size of their fan base, it was impossible, true enough, it was! Hence, using a handy application on iPhone called Open Rice, we found a popular Taiwanese restaurant in the area.



Braised Pork Rice or Lu Rou Fan, was pretty good! Definitely much better than the ones I have had in Taiwan where their meat consists mainly of lard.  Packed with vegetables, pickles and a braised egg, this was definitely a decent quick fix before running around town shopping!


So if you peeps are looking for this place, its called Seam Eett Taiwan Restaurant located in 2N Hung Kwong Building, 2 Tung Choi Street Mongkok.



Monday, January 9, 2012

HK: Mini Post

Currently typing of my phone, it's my first day in Hong Kong. Using a handy local program, I've been visiting popular eating places which I have to say, it's really good. Pictures are probably going to be absent as the dslr isn't the lightest thing to bring about. Shopping has not failed either. Quality items at bargain prices. Got to go now. Time to get on the streets again. Regards, WenY