Chinese Belly series: Shanghai in HK

I have come to the conclusion that I am not really able to differentiate between Cantonese and Shanghainese food. We went to a Shanghainese restaurant tonight but the food seemed rather Cantonese to me. Or perhaps being a Shanghainese restaurant in Hong Kong, it is inevitable that Cantonese food is also served, and not all the food in a Shanghai restaurant is Shanghainese.

20140422-182217.jpg

Pork with black fungus.

20140422-182210.jpg

Stir-fried Spinach.

20140422-182229.jpg

Steamed buns or xiao long pau

20140422-182235.jpg

Fried crispy beancurd skin with filling on the inside. This was a little too oily.

20140422-182244.jpg

The food was so-so but the service was similar to service in other Hong Kong restaurants, which could be improved. If the service was better, I am quite sure the food would also taste better.

Thank you, P, A and J, for bringing me around. Next time, I will visit when it is not a long weekend in Hong Kong and I will remember to bring a list of must try food with me.

Golden Shanghai Cuisine Restaurant, Shop no. 119, L1, Citygate Outlets, Tung Chung, Hong Kong.

Advertisements

Chinese Belly series: King at the top!

This was truly the best place for us to have a meal and catch up at The Peak. The peak was foggy which meant we could not walk around that much. We found a good seat and both of us liked Burger King, so that worked out well. This is one of the few Burger King outlets in Hong Kong that is hugely popular because of its location. With the theme, Taste is King, well, it certainly was a good place to eat, at The Peak.

20140422-181948.jpg

I liked the pictures here, which I have not really seen in Burger King restaurants elsewhere.

20140422-181954.jpg

20140422-182001.jpg

Hot chocolate. This was just so-so.

20140422-182116.jpg

The location was great!

This outlet is very popular and many of the items were already sold out when we came in just after noon. We still managed to get our whopper (what else, right?) and a drink and generally had a great time without paying an arm and a leg, considering the location. I would definitely come here again if I ever visit The Peak in Hong Kong again.

Burger King, Shop 1, Level 1, The Peak Tower, 128 Peak Road, The Peak. Tel: +852 2849 2275
山頂山頂道128號凌霄閣1樓1號舖

Chinese Belly series: Chinese food

Tonight we went to Crystal Jade for dinner. This chain of restaurants is from Singapore. I have not eaten at this chain in Singapore for a while due to the change in chefs. The quality of their food suffered as a result. The last time I went was Chinese New Year in 2013, so it has been more than a year now since I last visited. The restaurant serves Cantonese and Shanghainese food.

The food in Hong Kong was fine but the service could have been improved.

20140422-011212.jpg

Steamed kalian. I liked the nice crunchy stems of the blanched kalian.

20140422-011224.jpg

Pork ribs. I liked that it was small, bite-sized and sufficiently tasty without the meat being tough. I would have preferred it to be less overcooked but considering the size of the meat portion and the fact that most people would want the taste to get into the meat, it would have been hard not to overcook it.

20140422-011239.jpg

Fried rice flour cake. This turned out to be rather filling. We ordered this instead of rice.

The taste of the food seems better in Hong Kong than in Singapore. I sure hope the chefs in Singapore are good again.

Crystal Jade, Shop 310, Tai Yau Plaza, 181 Johnston Road, Wan Chai.

Chinese Belly series: Sweet and Sweeter

This is what happens when the friend who is bringing you around has a sweet tooth. We end up with an overdose of sweets! So far, we have had three different kinds of desserts over two days.

20140422-181806

The lights are switched off momentarily as the dessert is lit so everyone can enjoy the ‘show’.

20140422-181819.jpg

Bomb Alaska is served, looking stiff and pretty.

20140422-181833.jpg

Souffle. Talk about a load of hot air. Nice and light.

20140422-181846

Did I mention it was crowded as well and we had to queue?

Dessert Garden, Shop 117, 1/F, Horizon Plaza Podium, Ap Lei Chau, Hong Kong. Tel: +852 3115 2821

Chinese Belly series: Sweets

Like I said before, I love Hong Kong desserts, this time, it’s the Chinese kind. We went to another crowded place for dessert; the crowds are indicative of the taste of the food in the shop.

20140422-181403.jpg

Double-boiled papaya with fungus.

20140422-181412.jpg

This is known by many names in different countries; ah balling, mochi, or simply glutinous rice balls with sweet fillings.

20140422-181455.jpg

Durian and black glutinous rice dessert. Talk about rich!

20140422-181513.jpg

Baked sago pudding with yam paste.

20140422-181526.jpg

Mango pomelo

Honeymoon Dessert (Sai Kung), G/F, 10A, B, C Po Tung Road, Sai Kung, Hong Kong.

Chinese Belly series: HK seafood

This must have been one of the most filling meals I have ever had in my life. It was a lot of food for four ladies, thanks to my generous friends. The restaurant was really busy and even with a booking, we had to wait. I have come to expect this in Hong Kong, since it was a long weekend, and there were many visitors to the country.

20140422-175825.jpg

Fancy some pickled garlic (middle) along with peanuts (left) and chilli sauce (right), anyone? I have not seen garlic being served in this way for a while.

20140422-175849.jpg

Cooked drunken prawns to die for! They were really fresh.

20140422-175859.jpg

This fried tofu dish was delicious as well.

20140422-175908.jpg

This was a large portion of really chewy cuttlefish. We could have done with half of this portion. It was nice but just really chewy. Again, it was fresh.

20140422-175918.jpg

Small clams cooked into a broth with vermicelli.

20140422-175935.jpg

Loved the steamed fish as well.

20140422-175951.jpg

Bowls of healthy, wholesome seafood soup goodness for our already overful bellies!

20140422-180228.jpg

The restaurant we went to.

The food was really fresh and the crowdedness of the place shows how well it was doing.

Chinese Belly series: Cheese cakes

I love Hong Kong desserts, including their western ones. This place, like so many in HK, was very crowded and we were truly fortunate to get seats.

The cakes were delightful, especially the smooth tofu cheesecake. The pu er (a kind of tea) cheesecake was a novelty for me. The tea could have been a tad stronger to better bring out its flavour. I thought it was quite creative of them to mix tofu and tea, two Chinese-type ingredients into their cheesecake which is western.

20140422-011609

Tofu cheesecake which was quite smooth.

20140422-011558

Pu Er cheesecake which would have been better with a little more tea in it.

20140611-012901-5341890

Front of the shop.

The place is supposed to serve good coffee. I am used to good coffee served in Japanese or western cafes. I ordered a cup of Sumatra Mandheling and I cannot say that I would order it again. Hong Kong has a lot of good food and drinks. Coffee just isn’t one of them. Tea may have been a much better choice, if only I had realised it then.

Colour Brown is located here.

Chinese Belly series: Afternoon Tea

I do not remember the last time I visited Hong Kong. At the back of my mind, I remember being there before Hong Kong went back to China. That was a long time ago. Hong Kong was crowded then and people walked fast. The eating places used to allow smoking then. I remember walking under dripping buildings. I never knew what would end up dripping on my head. It could be water from air-conditioners, dripping flower pots or something else. Fast forward twenty years later, the place is still crowded but this time with a different crowd. The place seems to be swarming with people from the mainland and that is with cross border control in place for the mainland Chinese. The eating places have a no-smoking rule now, to my great relief, but the service quality for the food business anyway seemed a little ungracious to me. People tend to eat and leave hurriedly or someone else will wait at your table until you leave. I thought it was bad in Singapore but here people will sit down without even looking at you or asking if the seat is taken. The clearing of plates and utensils is rushed and noisy. I simple do not recall Hong Kong being this way before. Has it really been that long? Was it like this before?

Service attitude aside, Cantonese food is best eaten in Hong Kong, though I believe that many places where Hongkongers have opened restaurants worldwide are giving those in Hong Kong a run for their money. When I ate at Crystal Jade which is a Singapore chain of restaurants serving Chinese food, the food too tastes better in Hong Kong than in Singapore. It was just more authentic and I am sure it had a lot, if not everything, to do with the chefs. I’ll talk about Crystal Jade another time. Today, we had a westernized meal at Tea and Herb.

This is a neat, little eatery that serves western food. We came here for a quick bite. The food was average, not outstanding but not bad either. The coffee however, was not the good coffee that I was used to. I later concluded that good coffee was rather hard to come by unless one visited places like Starbucks or something similar.

On hindsight, among all the eateries I have been to in HK on this trip, this eatery turned out to be the most pleasant of them all. I did not feel rushed and the service was at least gracious. And this was the first restaurant I ate in.

Tea & HerB, Shop B, G/F, Po Wing Building, 6-16 Shell Street, North Point, Hong Kong.
香港北角蜆殼街 6-16 號寶榮大廈地下B鋪

20140422-011002.jpg

Décor in the shop

20140422-011018.jpg

I had a meat and mushroom wrap with a sunny side up egg. I was famished so I devoured everything. The food was okay, not outstanding.

20140422-011027.jpg

Coffee

20140422-011137.jpg

Red, White and Blue series: Nothing like a burger!

My trip to America wouldn’t be complete without eating hamburgers and drinking milkshake. So off we went to the only hamburger cafe in town where I was visiting.

After watching program after program on the best eateries in the US, I almost felt like I was in search of the best burger in town, minus a TV crew. This was the only burger restaurant in town, where the other competitors were MacDonald’s and Burger King.

Upon entering the eatery, one would write down exactly what one wanted in their burgers on white food wrap papers where the food would be served in. I was happy because for once I did not have to tell them not to put pickles in my burger. They also served sweet potato fries which I decided to try. They added salt to them. Had I known that, I would’ve asked them not to add salt as I liked my sweet potato fries, well, sweet. But the salt did bring out the contrast between the sweetness and the saltiness and I can understand why some people may actually like that.

The burger was made of 100% beef and it was good; finger-licking good! I liked that it was all beef and not mixed with stuff to look like it was all beef. I was a little unsure about the raw onions and sure enough, the taste lingered in my mouth way passed the burger, fries and milkshake and I had to drink something strong to get rid of the taste eventually. Clearly, fried onions agreed with me better. What really looked good too was the chicken burger and I will try that the next time.

Altogether, it was a jolly good American meal with a jolly good American family!

20140131-002701.jpg

Sweet potato and potato fries.

20140131-002734.jpg

My juicy burger. It has got to be juicy!

20140131-002752.jpg

A vegan burger.

20140131-002804.jpg

The milkshake which was very thick. I could hardly suck it up the straw. I don’t know if that’s the way it was meant to be even though I’ve had ‘thinner’ milkshakes before.

20140131-002816.jpg

20140131-003236.jpg

20140202-104115.jpg

I came back another day for the chicken. Yum.

Red, White and Blue: Yak and Yeti, no, not their meats!

We were longing for Indian food and my friend brought me to her favourite Indian restaurant in town. So off we went to this place. A yak, I know. But a yeti? Two drawings on their signboard showed a deer or goat-looking animal and a gorilla. The yeti must be a gorilla, or something similar and a Google search resulted in another term, ‘apeman’. Since both animals are known in the Himalayas, I concluded that the food must be North Indian, if it is Indian. As it turned out, some of the food was Nepalese and Tibetan, housed in the oldest Victorian house in Arvada! We ordered Indian.

Being more familiar with Indian food in South East Asia, I was especially surprised at the size of the samosa, which was about twice the size of what we got in Singapore. But food portions are usually larger in the USA to begin with. The taste of several of the dips seemed less pronounced than what I was used to. I liked the meat dishes though the meats were cooked just right and not overly spicy. The weather too played a part as the dryness made some things like the pappadams taste really nice. I liked the Naan bread as well.

Yak and Yeti, 7803 Ralston Rd. Arvada, CO 80002. Te+1-303-431-9000. http://www.theyakandyeti.com

20140204-170458.jpg

Pappadam entree with four dips

20140204-170526.jpg

The pappadams were great – crunchy and fragrant with spices.

20140204-170555.jpg

Vegetarian Samosas that were larger than what I was used to.

20140204-170621.jpg

I am used to skin that are thinner as the skin or wrap here was rather thick. But I do not know if such skins are the standard here in the USA though.

20140204-170703.jpg

This was like set meal for one person but we ordered it to share between two people which turned out to be a great idea. The rice was of good quality and fine. The meats were not too spicy – we asked for medium spiciness – and the dessert of rice pudding, which I did not know was a dessert at first, balanced out the meal perfectly. The sweetness of the dessert balanced out the spiciness. I then wondered if perhaps in Indian food, the dessert was eaten at the same time and not later, like in western meals.

20140204-170720.jpg

Chicken masala

20140204-170736.jpg

20140204-170816.jpg

20140204-170829.jpg

20140204-172011.jpg

Plain naan bread which was nice too.