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Showing posts with label HK trip. Show all posts
Showing posts with label HK trip. Show all posts

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Bites HK: Ippudo Ramen @ Tsim Sha Tsui

Ippudo Ramen is one of the mainstream franchises from Japan that is taking the world by storm.  With its first Australian shop running on a high in Westfield Sydney, there is no doubt that we will see a similar trend happening in Perth.  But before it comes, is Ippudo Ramen really all that good?  Well, I was in Hong Kong last Christmas and had the opportunity to try the franchise  a little closer to the home of ramen, Japan.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPork belly buns is an appetizer bun that seemed really popular,so I followed and decided to order one!  The pork was soft but to say “OH! It melts-in-your-mouth” would be an overstatement.  Steamed buns were soft and fluffy.  I found myself not understanding the hype.  Back in Malaysia, I would sometimes see a generous slice of pork belly sandwiched between fluffy buns that really hits you like BAM!  This was nowhere near that in comparison. The meat was just so little!  But for most people, it must have been enough.  If not Momofuku would not even be half as famous as it is now.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe little darling ordered some Gyoza for us to share too.  It was perfectly cooked on the outside as the picture shows.  But what it does not show is the filling which were OK but it could have been juicier on the inside.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARamen is what we were here for and for their December special, Ippudo HK had a special Ramen on promotion.  The soup tasted great and noodles still had enough resistance when clipped out using chopsticks.  To make it easier maybe I should just call it Chinese Al Dente? haha.  The oozy center of the egg was very yummy but when I look at the ramen package as a whole, what is so special about Ippudo?  I struggled to find my answer. 

From this bowl of delicious noodles, I did not see how it differentiates itself enough to make an impact in town.  I would rather go to Nao or Dosukoi over this anytime.  However, if we had something more unique like Menya Musashi or Santouka Ramen in Australia, then we are talking!  Conclusion?  Ippudo is OK only.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

HK Trip Final: Old Spice.

Time to wrap up the last part of my trip to Hong Kong.  To help ensure a smooth transition from holiday to reality, we made sure that our trip would have covered as much of this small country as we can to avoid regrets that is.  Being said that this country isn’t all that big, it really shouldn’t be too hard to visit most of the places within a week. That is unless you’re too caught up with shopping ahah.  To finish off the last day in Hong Kong, we had a choice of either visiting Macau or Lama Island.  But a trip to Macau is quite ripoff and having heard there isn’t much to do, there really wasn’t a point for the ladies to suffer a 1 hour boat ride considering they both suffer from sea sickness.  So Lama Island it was.  Just had to take a train to central before getting on to the jetty for a 20 minute boat ride.  It was quite short really and my sister was already dying ahaha. 

Just got off the boat @ the Lama Island Jetty.  The architecture is pretty well aged in Lama Island.  Loved how there would be mosses growing on the buildings.  There was also a certain effect on how the houses were positioned as if they were arranged on terraces to especially provide this “effect”.  This place is really a good change of environment when you’ve been in the concrete jungle for too long.  Sometimes in the city all you see is metal framed boxes that really just get you nauseous especially with loud mouth people everywhere, 360 degrees.

Lots of bicycles just outside the jetty.  Most of the roads here are no more than 3 metres wide.  Obviously there won’t be any cars here at all.  But there were some other pests that looked like an ATV “pick-up” truck version.  They were roaming all over like stray dogs. SO annoying.  But I guess they didn’t have much of a choice considering they were upgrading the infrastructure on the island.  Then there were this three ladies sitting by the jetty showing their fine fishing artistry.  Approx 1 small fish every 10 seconds. @@!

IMG_5342 It didn’t take long for us to feel hungry!  We were looking for food and started looking around the restaurants near the jetty and let me tell you its a fckin rip off!  But at times like this I somewhat felt like succumbing to their ridiculous pricing.  O well, at least my mom had her principles right.  280HKD for 2 miserable mantis prawns lol.  And just because this is an island, it doesn’t mean the seafood is fresh. It’s shit FYI.  So we headed towards a beach area to see what we could find. Walked through all the small lanes which really feels so nice for some reason :S! Am I a village boy? omg.  Walked for like err 2-3km and we finally reach the beach but there wasn’t any seafood barbecue happening because we didn’t know they only have it at night unless you’ve booked beforehand!

The beach!

However, although the restaurant did not have decent meals for us, they did have something else :)!
The cheapest and smoothest tau foo fa mmmmm! It was like err 6hkd or 7hkd per bowl.  Really cheap as I remember the one @ the Buddha statue was at least 10! Put some cane sugar powder and yumms!!

Walked around Lama Island for awhile and we didn’t really know where our destination was.  Just pretty much walked where the roads would take us. And by the time we know it, we were kinda lost.  But dad and I just kept on walking while mom and sister panicked a little ahah.  Walk through to some lanes which we saw large machines putting large rocks by the shore to prevent additional erosion.
Wicked machines!  Imagine them suddenly transforming into those big badass robot in Transformers!  Probably sink Lama Island hehe!

I didn’t get too many pictures of this trip to Lama Island.  There wasn’t really much to take truth to be said.  Not to mention the weather was cloudy with cool moisture streaming in from China.  This place however has a good environment to get absorbed into for awhile ahah.  After walking for a super long time, we headed back to the jetty for a rip off meal which was crap! O well.  Learnt our lesson :P!!  We headed back to central to check out my jeans @ Harvey Nichols but disappointingly there weren’t any.  HK is too Japanese inspired.  I don’t see those low-key cult European brands in HK!  A bit disappointing but it’s fine.  Now that I’m back in Perth I can indulge in denims I want! Ksubi? Nudie? hmmm.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hunger by the Harbour: HIP Katsu @ Harbour City.

After travelling all about Mongkok following the guide book, my sister and I finally decided its time to do something not visiting.  While my parents headed back to the hotel to get some rest, my sister and I headed over to Harbour City to do more shopping :D!  Pretty happy with my shopping bag although I only spent about 25% of what I would have like to spend during my trip to HK.  Tommy Hilfigher was having some pretty sick sales as well as Polo By Ralph Lauren, hmm some really premium brands like Seven for All Mankind were having sales as well. Hmm I think Diesel was on sale as well.  Sister got a pair of jeans from there.  The jeans at Sevens were rather disappointing considering the promotion the media gives it.  Saw a guy trying on a pair of Sevens which were disgustingly similar to what Obama wore in some event that gave him bad publicity the next day as the press compared the jeans to “granny pants” ahah.  Along the way we also stopped by a massive I.T shop in Tsim Sha Tsui where I was looking at the clothes that they had. NBHD is a whopping 5000 HKD a pair. 1 word, SICK.  But I like my jeans raw untouched unworn untorn.  So yeah, I’m gonna get more Nudies! We were famished and the stores started to shut their doors about 8.  With my sister close to hitting her gastric limit, we were careful to have something asap.  There aren’t many food stall in the mall and one of it was HIP Katsu.  We got a number and waited for awhile before being guided by the captain to our seats. (that’s after me questioning why the waiting numbers are rolling back! Bitch!)

I was takened back by the prices on the menu really.  A bloody katsu for 130HKD? ohh ok @@ Its like 20+ aud Or 65 ringgit.  Damn!!  Luckily there was this other set menu which seems fairly prices @ 150HKD per person!  Not sure whether to consider ourselves lucky or not but yeah, take a look;

For starters, Miso, pickled radish, Chawan Mushi, and salad.

After that our mains took about 20-30 minutes to come so I waited an got myself a few more pictures!

The chef carefully preparing the crepes
And from our seats at the bar we had some view which was nothing to shout a bout for sure.

The view of Central.  These are the few picture worth noticing ahah.

And jeng jeng jeng, the food started pouring in one by one;
Thinly sliced beef with udon in Japanese Curry soup base.  I liked this because it tasted good but there wasn’t really a “wow” factor in this.

If presentation was everything, then this tasting platter of the menu really quite makes the mark. Its well presented, everything looks so neat on one plate.

Upon closer inspection:
I just love scallops.  Have a scallop with a small slice of mushroom and celery. Wow really nice aha.  Maybe I’m just a sucker for scallops ahha

Baked Oyster was well errr ahah ONE TO EACH OWN. I personally don’t like this fancy shell thingyy.  But I did scoop the cheese of the oyster.  When I asked my sister how did it taste, she said “OK”.  So then I kindly offered her the oyster and she said “Just because I said it was OK doesn’t mean I like it”. HAAHAHAHA fakkkkkkkkk

Lastly was this crispy pork from the USA. You heard me people the USA.  That is why this whole HIP Katsu thing is so pricy. But I have to be honest, I don’t like the USA.  They f*ck up the Reds, the World Economy, the Harmony, err what else did they NOT f*ck up?

Dessert was jelly with red bean paste.  Quite nice even though it was a bit too sweet!

All in all my dining experience here was nothing to shout about.  If this restaurant was supposed to specialise in serving Katsu as its name suggests, then I have to insist that this place is a failure.  Akira-san @ Kanta does his katsu at half the price, and doube the serving.

I’d go back to Kanta anytime rather than this place.


Friday, January 8, 2010

HK Trip Pt. 3: The Buddha.

After having used more than half the day wait and eat the best dim sum in HK, the trip continues again.  Today’s plan was to go to Ngong Ping to see the Big Buddha statue.  To get there was pretty damn tedious.  Had to take MRT all the way to central before switching to the  Tung Chung  line.  I think the trip to reach the end of the line was about 30-40 minutes already! But when we reached, jeng jeng jeng! Got one really big shopping mall right in front of us.  It turned out to be the place where the direct factory outlets were.  They were having massive sales. 

Anyways, from there we took a cable car which cost $107 for a return trip.  If you’d ask me I would have to say that the money paid was well spent!  The cable car isn’t as scary as the one in Genting where you can feel uneven change of speed and altitude.

The cable car journey to the tourism settlement located at the foothill of the big Buddha took us about 25 minutes.  The place had a nice old China Town feel you would get when you see those olden day TVB dramas.  But with closer attention to detail, you would realise it really isn’t so old skool after all.  They had Starbucks and Euro Restaurant. @@!  We didn’t get to chill at any of the cafe’s because we were a bit short on time.  We reached the place @ 4pm and the last cable car back to Central was @ 6.30!  We quickly climbed up the err 200 steps of stair which I saw m both the fat and fit looking people struggle to get up there.  What’s wrong with you people lol.  I’m supposed to be the fat one ahah.  But the flight of stairs was a breeze.  Smoked it without much effort.

Talk to the HAND!

Mom was quite happy to be there since she’s a fairly religious person.  Wonder how did she manage to bring up 2 very unreligious kids. ahahah.  We spend half an hour walking about the Buddha said our prayers because mom asked us to.  But oh well, with 2010 around the corner I believe we all have many things to ask for!  After that we headed back down.

Bye bye Mr Buddha!! :D

After we got down we weren’t ready to go home yet!! We stopped for dessert;
Yumm! Tau Fu Fa ahha.  In Hong Kong they have a small tub of orange powder which turns out to be sugar.  You can just add it to you soy bean thingyyy if it isn’t sweet enough.  Quite yummy even though I dislike the ginger syrup @@!

Snacksssssss! Just some sausages ahah.  I also had curry fish balls again. Oh shit seems like all the pictures are in wide mode @@ Forgot to change it back to the normal mode dammit!

On the way back.  Couldn’t get a decent shot with the insane wind rocking the cable car on the way home :(! And of course with the poor lighting, a hell of a lot more exposure is required. 

IMG_5274Dinner @ the mall was the a Teppanyaki place.  It was ok-ok only.  But definitely better than all those Teppanyaki fast-food outlet in Malaysia! I sooooo remember the bad experience I had at Mr Teppanyaki @ Sunway Pyramid where the food was gawddd! So disappointing!! Not to mention the horrible one located in the KLCC foodcourt! All so fail ahahah.  Every since those bad experience I would try to abstain from feasting on non-buffet Teppanyaki.  Truth to be said, Teppanyaki isn’t difficult! It’s just stir fried meat on a hot plate omg.  I think it is more of the cook’s attitude that made previous experience shitty.  The total “lack of interest + I’m getting paid RM5 an hour so shaddup.” Blehhhhh!

In the process of being cooked!

Felt super healthy that day.  Had this whole heap of bean sprouts + another heap of green vegetables!

After that sister and I went shopping but we didn’t buy anything because hmm we were feeling a bit undecided.  And since most outlets were DFOs, you can expect the clothes to be very messy with a night market kind of crowd.  A bit too insane for my liking!  About 10 something I went back to Mongkok to get some rest.  All the walking was getting into me already! But of course before sleeping sister and I got on the streets to pick up some supper lol.



Thursday, January 7, 2010

Hype Put to Rest: Tim Ho Wan, the Best Dim Sum in HK? World?

While the best signifies a place only one can claim, it is funny how this little dim sum place which has been awarded 1 Michelin Star is claimed by the residents to be the best dim sum compared to the 3 Michelin Star one in Four Seasons Hotel.  Or maybe it is just the aunties and uncles. Nonetheless with journalists from all over the globe adding to the hype, the wait for the best dim sum was a catastrophe. Just try for yourself, get on Google and type Tim Ho Wan.  xD.  Major newspapers such as The Sydney Morning Herald had it featured in its travel section in one of the few weeks before X’mas.

Mom and I came about 10 am to join the already waiting queue when the restaurant had just started opening its doors to customer.  People from all races were in the queue! There was this guy which looked like Mika Hakkinen too ahah.

The insane line which is about 3 to 4  shops long.

As the shops were about to open, the waitress started passing out numbers so that the crowd would disperse. I was no. 22!!!  We waited for awhile until my dad and sister joined us to wait for the dim sum.  And after awhile a Caucasian family came with their translator and asked for a number. I think they got no.200+ HAHAHAHA! They’ll probably only come back @ night since this place is open till 10pm daily!

After waiting for more than an hour, the number was still stuck at no.11 because there was this family of 16 people still inside oh my gosh!! I was astounded when I found out about that family being in there… 16 people @@. O well my hungry tummy could no longer wait so we headed somewhere for a light meal:
Jeng Jeng Jeng.  Super Crispy Roast Pork :P  This place was nearby the dim sum restaurant so we just chilled there for awhile.

No idea what the name of the restaurant is.

Mongkok in B&W.

Even after the pork roast slices, I was still starving.  God my, the hypes fadinggg but as the number gains its paces towards no.22 I was getting stoked.  RWARrrrrrrrr and YESSSS we finally got in after 2 hours of wait @@!

The kitchen that makes all the food is very small.  I guess that is why they only serve 30 customers at any one time.  We ordered whatever that was featured in the newspaper reviews posted outside as well as some stuff we would normally have in a dim sum place as well.

My camera wouldn’t focus on the congee because it was so smooth there was almost no detail for the camera to work on =.=!

The glutinous rice which had lovely yummy well cooked rice which isn’t too soft or too hard. Loved it!

Char Siew Cheong Fun! Rice roll with BBQ pork.  The fillings were one of the best my sister says she has ever tasted.  For me I really liked how this place had me piling heaps of praise on the consistency within each of its dishes.  It really feels refined.

The beef ball did not feel hard to bite into neither was it soft! And I often shun from ordering this dish in most restaurants because the tangerine taste was often too strong :(!  But this one was just fine. Or maybe my hungry tummy locked out the fussiness in me ahah.

Dumplings? :S! Not really sure what this is.  It feels like “Gao Chi”.  But the fillings are totally different from the ones in Malaysia.

This one was FUNNY! Called it like King Siew Mai. But damn hell it tasted like the ones in Malaysia. So JUST this ONE dim sum is not in my good books.  Later in the trip we had another dim sum meal at the hotel, the Siew Mai was like this too =.=!

This Malai Kao?Kow? Ok its some kind of steam cake a Malaysian can find in the market for RM0.50 or more like 10 cents in AUD. lol.  Call it cheap call it market food but this place makes it wonderful.  Its just different, got to try to know.

Pan Fried Radish cake which is one of my favourite whenever I have dim sum! These were a tad different from the ones I would normally have because it has a pinch of bitterness in it.  My mom says they did not wash something of the radish or something like that.  Not quite sure.
This is chickennnnn feet! I liked the sauce but the meat wasn’t soft enough. HAha I remember not liking these when I was young and now hohohoho I’ll eat it if its ordered!

Simple Spring Rolls but I liked the filling.  The pro chef very carefully arranged the prawns in these :)! The colour of the spring rolls look good too right?

Lastly we had these little buns for dessert.  The pressure put on these little delight was massive considering the praises and words I read in articles and blogs. So how was it? Hmmmmmmm…
Hmmmmm….take a look at the filling first….
Haha I’m not telling.  Time to go Hong Kong to try it or if you’re already there, go get yourself one.  They do takeaways too! In fact I saw people buying boxes of it away.

Overall the hype of this restaurant being really good is true, but thinking of the long wait, really, it keeps me feeling unsettled.  I mean 2 hours for food is a bit of an overkill is it not?  But if I happen to pass by and its empty. I would definitely rate this place the hidden gem of Hong Kong. OFFICIALLY. But yea right, the chances of that happening is like having Perth snow.  Almost impossible.  This however shouldn’t deter food loving people from giving it a try.  At least once no?


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

HK Trip Pt. 2: Peak-nic

IMG_5088 After the first day in Hong Kong I forced my dead body out of bed the next day feeling self harassed! But having come from a family with gastric bloodline I’m pretty much in need of a decent morning meal everyday!  After simple pickings of bacons, hash browns, omelette and juices for breakfast, I was my usual energetic self once again.  The breakfast @ Stanford Hotel was ok ok only! They serve the same thing every single day so you can expect to get bored after a few days!  Imagine me staying there for 1 week =.=!! But even though the food is the same, a light one before a good brunch wouldn’t hurt ahah.

After pampering myself by lazing about the hotel bed for awhile, it was time to move on!  The objective of the day was to visit one more tourist spot in Hong Kong!  Our choice was the Peak located somewhere on HK island I think :S! We took a train all the way to Central and from there we walked to the tram station which heads towards the peak.  The ticket which includes a return ticket to the peak as well as entrance to the observation deck costs us about 40 HKD per person.

IMG_5077 I was amazed by how modern the place was.  Never would have expected a well done up building.  But I guess this is Hong Kong after all.  It isn’t a super city for no good reasons ahah.  The tram stop was located in a large multi-storey complex which has lots of place to dine, chill and shop.  But of course, everything here is a rip off! We had a drink which was crap and costly at the same time!! (+ no good view)


While the place has quite a fair bit of stuff to do, the main reason a tourist would all the way come up to the Peak was to experience the modern Hong Kong city view from a high vantage point.  The view from above was awesome but sadly, was compromised by modern day pollution derived from the smoke churning factories of the Mainland China.  But I’d believe this is what’s keeping the well-heeled wealthy!

The impressive modern facade of Hong Kong from the Peak.  It’s amazing what you see from higher ground because at the bottom it would be impossible to view much without straining your neck (not an exaggeration) =P!!

My sister!

Me!!! I asked my sister as much view of the city as she could but instead, she got me the view of the fence. Nice one sista!!!

Mom and dad + Haze ahah.  My dad looks like a little boy in this picture! So funny ahaha.

Old Hong Kong lady embracing the sun @ the observation deck.  Having the glamour shot of her life HAHAhaha.  She resembles l some old actress :S!  Maybe it just her pair of bug-eyed sunnies!

It was almost half a day gone by the time we finished going about the Peak.  And that’s excluding the nature walk which only god knows where it would lead us to.  We got back on the tram and was en route to Central once again.  In Central we went to a couple of shops including Comme De Garçons, BAPE Flagship, and Neighborhood.  Filled with plenty of life luxuries, this place is truly for the wealthy.  They even have an Armani Cafe I think @@.  My sister got a tee but nothing there was for me.  CDG PLAY was selling for 900HKD a piece which is not what I was willing to pay!  Also we went to a mall called The Landmark which I was supposed to get my jeans but failed to in the later parts of my trip!! Nudie jeans where are you in Hong Kong? :(!! And also no Marc Jacobs limited tee! Supposedly HK is not licensed to sell it =.=!  Lunch was up next in some Hong Kong fast-food place called Maxim’s MX.  Maxim’s supposedly has a chain of food subsidiaries and that includes the infamous Maxim Cake found inside MRT stations.
Sister’s roast duck noodles which was a flop because the soup was tasteless and the noodles were half cooked!

My safe bet! The tea set which consisted of chips, fries, jelly, mash and French toast.

Roast Meat Combination and Rice for parents! The duck here was pretty good according to them.

After having our meal, we went back to the hotel to chill until evening because there really isn’t much to do in Hong Kong if you’re not shopping or eating ahha.  And because I said so, the next thing we did was eat dinner =.=”
Chinese anyone?  The only thing I see is the understand is the name of the restaurant and coca-cola ahah.  This place is often seen crowded with people eating their famous “Pou Chai Fun” which I think should mean Clay Pot Rice.   Since it takes awhile to get the rice cooked by traditional fire, we had ordered a quicker dish which help hold our hunger still.

More delicious wantons!!  Sometimes when I think of it, the wantons have not changed at all.  Perhaps it is just me getting used to the crude large sized dumplings served in Australia :S

Chicken Riceeeeee in Clay Pot with some mushrooms! It was really tasty hoho! And for that we must thank the sauce which the restaurant gives to mix with the rice. And the picture below is the veteran handling the burning clay pots.


We walked around town again until we were in the mood for dessert:
Hui Lau Shan dessert which claims to be healthy ahah.  Not too sure about that but anyways it was time to get inside and try gain greater understanding about the whole dessert fuss in town.
The Set Menu alongside all the other menu available @ Hui Lau Shan

We ordered the two sets out of the 4 available for X’mas.
Set 1
Sister’s mango + glutinous rice ball drink which also came with:

Radish Cake with XO sauce which I have no idea how to associate XO with the radish cakes in anyway once I tasted it.

Set 2
This was pretty much the same thing I had the other night except this time we had half a serve of coconut milk with it =.=! So “healthy”

The chicken wings with came in my set ahaha. NO WAY IS THIS SET HEALTHY at all.  But the wings were aweeesome!!  Even my dad agreed it was very tasty.

After supper we went back home to sleep haha. Damn piggggggg! But it’s holidays and I likey sleep! No wonder I gained 4-5KG in less than 20 days ahah.  Time to shed those fatsss away!!

More updates soon!  Time to get ready to sleep and go to work again!