Friday, 30 September 2011

Thursday, 29 September 2011

8號風或 eating

In all the times that I've come to HK for my holliers, I have never experienced a 8號風或 (aka. Typhoon Number 8 typhoon warning signal)......that is, until now! Ma Chan and I had noticed a Typhoon Number 3 warning signal the previous day when we were at the HK Museum of History. At the time, we didn't think much of it since it was looking pretty calm outside and peeps were going about their normal business. I only realised the severity of 8號風或 when Jools informed me that it was standard for most people to not bother going to work when this takes place. In fact, its the Government's recommendation to stay inside and wait it out. Sods Law that we get a 8號風或 on the day of Pa Chan's 60th b-day which meant that the party that had been organised was postponed until the following day since it was very likely that no-one would actually be able to make it to the party venue, as well as the fact that there probably wouldn't be anybody serving us either????

With sheets of rain pouring down outside and life practically grinding to a halt, we needed to stay local for grub.....well, for lunch at least so Ma Chan and I headed to a nearby noodle place near where my bro lives for a spot of 雲吞麵 - very tasty, filling and dirt cheap. It really is pretty easy to eat well out here for next to nothing, a real luxury. Having a goo around the noodle place made me realise just how handy it is to know some Chinese.....even just to read the signs posted around. Of course, I am no expert in this area - I have enough to get by but I can only imagine how hard it might be for someone with no knowledge.....those were just my musings during lunch which I seem to be prone to doing a lot this trip.....
Tea in various guises - take your pick!! (milk or lemon, hot or cold, with or without sugar)

As the day wore on, the wind and rain much so that the warning was then reduced to typhoon warning no. 4 (a lot tamer in comparison to 8) which meant that we could start venturing further afield. Since we didn't want Pa Chan to be celebrating alone on the actual day on his b-day, we all met up in Shatin and had a family dinner - an EXTREMELY rare occasion for the Chan clan!! :)
Roast duck

 八珍豆腐 (aka. 8 treasure tofu pot)

 Sweet and sour pork - a Chan clan favourite!! :)

 芥蘭 (Chinese broccoli) braised in stock

 Satay fatty beef with vermicelli pot

B-day cake - 生日快樂爸爸! :)

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

蓮香樓 re-visit

One of the highlights of my last trip to HK was lunch at 蓮香樓 with Ma Chan and my aunty J. My bro had mentioned that he would be interested in going there to have lunch so my re-visit was set (see here for previous blog entry). The day we picked to go, we arrived at 12:30pm to find the place absolutely rammed with hungry diners - I also forgot that the table policy was all about finding a table, standing by it and waiting until diners vacate some seats and then you pounce for the space!! Having been brought in blighty, it didn't exactly feel very natural for us to be pouncing for seats so we decided to return the following day and make sure we got there early to avoid this experience :) 

We did manage to find our seats pretty quickly and even around 11am, the place was still ticking over!! The dim sum was still pretty good (but as I later found out in the day, pretty ladened with MSG) and it was cool to experience dining in surroundings from another era - since I was sat by the main walkway, I was designated by my bro to go chasing after trollies for food!! It was a most enjoyable lunch - my lasting memory was not of the food but of an old lady who was sitting on the same table as us who smiled at me just before she left with who we thought was her son (Ma Chan had commented earlier that she must be very lucky to have a son who will take her out and look after her) - random act of kindness by a stranger which touched me :)
 Malay steamed sponge cake (馬拉糕), deep fried pastry with shrimp and pork (鹹水角), steamed bean curd roll ((鮮竹捲), chicken feet (鳳爪)

 Chinese rice sheet rolls with dried shrimp (腸粉)

 Chinese on the right hand side advertising for duck leg, rice and soup - according to Ma Chan, very popular back in the day. I reminded her why she used to scold us when we were young when we wanted to add soup to our rice, just like this dish?? She replied that there was nothing wrong with it but at the time, she was worried that it might not be good for our digestion since the rice would head straight into our tummies without us chewing on it a little.....

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Sushi Hiro

Visiting HK always means catching up with my good friend, D (thats assuming, she's not off travelling the globe hehe!!) and this time was no different. I had heard good things about Sushi Hiro so thats where we headed for dinner and a good ol' chinwag :)

The resto is pretty small and located in Causeway Bay, right between Sogo on the main drag and Times Square. The food was good and the fish was pretty fresh but felt a little disappointed compared to the place D took me to the last time I was in town (Sushi Sawa). D then told me that Sushi Hiro is more authentic whereas Sushi Sawa has tweeked their food to be more suitable for local palates......I just thought the food at the latter was a little more exciting.....anyhoo, it was cool to catch up over some decent grub!!
 Appetiser of whelk and tofu - this was also accompanied by a glass of plum wine which was sparkling and yummy!!

 Sashimi and sushi (part of my dinner set)

 Funny pickled seaweed stuff

There were also tempura, soup and a few grilled dishes which I forgot to take pics off, apologies.....highlight of the dinner had to be dessert which were these fantastic Japanese peaches - super sweet, juicy and fragrant, yum :)

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Home-Feel 住家菜

Back in HK for just over a week's holliers and this resto was one of the first dinners I had since touching down - my bro had already taken Ma Chan for some dinner so when we found ourselves around Causeway Bay on a Sunday evening, we decided to head there for some grub too. Home Feel is all about Cantonese cuisine that one might find if you were cooking at home so think soups, simple dishes and (hopefully) not too much MSG!! Overall, a pretty decent meal :)
Bit of a wait since its the weekend and all...

Some nice homey tasting soup to kick things off :)

Poached chicken with a gingery marinade

Braised chinese broccoli (芥蘭) in stock 

Sweet & sour pork

The whole spread!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Goodman City

Wowzer!! Has another month gone by already?? So.....having heard rave reviews from my bro, JD and I had this month's anniversary dinner at upmarket steak eatery, Goodman. Our intention was to try and get a table at the resto in Mayfair but after a bit of hesitation, we found that they were fully booked on the night we wanted to go so I decided to make the trek out to my old stomping ground (handier for JD since he only had to cross a bridge from work to dinner) and try out Goodman City.

So much for double deep recession/credit crunch, the place was heaving and packed with supposedly bankers with deep pockets/corporate cards despite it being mid-week! The menu was pretty straightforward but there was a bewildering array of different steaks to choose from. After a lengthy explanation form our waitress and much mmm-ing and aaah-ing on my part (as well as scratching of the chin!), we finally plumped for a 1kg bone-in ribeye Longhorn to share. We had been warned by our waitress that there was a lot of eating in this cut so we would need to be extra hungry (which we were) so we went without starters and ordered a few sides with our hunk of meat: mac & cheese, chips and spinach. So how was it? Pretty good but the waitress exaggerated what a huge feed it was - JD's first comment when it arrived was, "We've had bigger!" The meat was first rate and cooked well, the sides were well-executed - I thought the addition of truffle oil to the mac & cheese was a nice touch, JD less so. I suppose my only reservation was that I have yet to get that same feeling of satisfaction after a big feed of steak in London than I have had in other cities in the world (namely, BA, Florence or even Bilbao) - maybe the fact that I've been on holidays in these other places added to the dining experience more so than just going for a meal here in the big smoke. Anyhoo, the search continues for a similar dining experience - have already earmarked a resto for next month, roll on October!! :)
Plush surroundings, you knows you're in the City, huh?

My treat was that I got the big bone on the left, yay!!

 Only got pic of 1 side - mac & cheese. The chips were good but not Medlar good!

Monday, 5 September 2011

Tapped and Packed 114

I had first heard about this cafe (well, this branch) on the Timeout website around a month ago (turns out that we've walked passed the original branch on the way to Charlotte Street a good few times but never went in) and since I had an impromptu Monday off, decided to check it out. I plumped for a latte plus a slice of lemon poppyseed cake. The coffee was pretty good and much stronger than most lattes that are served out there. The cake was pretty awful, despite the fact that I could see that there was lots of zest in the cake, it tasted of nothing. It also didn't help that I knew I had a pretty yummy lemon drizzle (albeit 2 days old) back home to compare it too......I rarely blow my own trumpet but I only managed to eat half of cake in the cafe and was more than relieved to head home and scoff a slice of my own :)

Love the decor of the cafe tho!