Although my recent trip to Hongkong, Shenzhen and Macau didn’t turn out to be the eating binge I had expected it to be, for reasons too varied and complicated to go into.. we did eat well and plenty.
Let me start with the last meal we had in HK be4 we flew home. Our flight was 4pm and we had checked in and cleared immigration and custom by 2pm. We were truly hungry by then as we had a fairly skimpy breakfast of bread and pastry bought overnight from the City Super food court at Gateway next to the hotel plus our trusty 3-in1 Kilin coffee brought all the way from Singapore and my self-concocted rolled oat n oat bran muesli.
L was in a “I’m in charge mood” and declared she must have the ying-yang rice (a Hongkong speciality of Chinese meat and liver sausages plus choi sum) be4 we left, as she’s never been to HK without eating that dish and she wasn’t about to start.
We wandered from stall to the stall in the vast departure lounge food court at Chek Lap Kok airport till she found what she was looking for, when she sat me down to jaga our hand luggage and went off to get the food.
She returned with a veritable feast, including goose which I don’t eat. The yin-yang turned out to be just a generous portion of pork sausage (tasty, if a tad hard) but with the liver sausage (that I had looked 4ward to) replaced by wax fatty pork which I daren’t eat.
Still, hunger spoke louder than hang ups and we were half way thru be4 I remembered to take a pix.. of what remained to be polished off.
Cleaned out yin-yang
Be4 we left for HK, L had waxed lyrical abt the good and cheap sharksfin to be had at Luowu. She said we could each have a bowl at equivalent of S$20 and a bowl of rice to go with it. But as regaled in the earlier post, First, the disappointments, we didn’t get to eat sharksfin — cheap or otherwise.
So in the pix above the little plastic bowl with a plastic spoon and a pair of wooden chopsticks sticking out of it — sitting between the two bowls of half demolised yin-yang rice — is a bowl of sharksfin which L had bought for us to share. “My treat,” she declared. Wah, I replied, true or not?
Now that we’ve got sharksfin to “cleanse our mouths”, where’s the birds’ nest soup to rinse our hands? That’s an exaggeration of mega consumption at its worse and probably taken off some script of some satirical Cantonese film or TV show!
Clearly there was nothing left for birds’ nest, as the tiny plastic bowl cost HK$300 or almost what both of us spent to get around HK as well as across the border to Shenzhen.
The night be4 our departure should have seen us having a feast, as would be usual on holidays, but again for some reason we ended up eating at City Super’s food court! The pix of our meal I took somehow disappeared from my Nokia 6500 camera fone, as did the pix of our dinner at Pierside, the brasserie at Royal Pacific!
Perhaps it was the lighting or perhaps when the food mood isn’t good, the pix won’t show? While travelling with a tour group could lead to soured moods, travelling with one other could occasionally have its moments of tension too.
This is even when one party is most accommodating or precisely because of it. The side always being given in to may feel guilty or embarrassed; while the side always doing the giving in may feel subliminal resentment, even if at the conscious level, a generosity of spirit prevails. The result is a lose-lose situation.
More in a future post about the pros and cons of travelling alone, a deux, with a group of friends and a group of strangers…
Where eating and sight-seeing was concerned in the HK trip, it might have enhanced things if there were more of us travelling together, as there would have been variety in company and preferences.
Well, back to what L n I ate.
First night on arrival, we hit Kin’s Kitchen at Tsing Fung Street (MTR station Tin Hau). According to L’s research, it was a private kitchen and since we had such a great experience at a Taipeh private kitchen we were taken to in February 08, I didn’t demur.
There was a problem however. We had to go for the 2nd sitting at 9pm, not exactly the best time for pple who had been up since 7am! What took the cake was that when we got there, we found it was a restaurant and nothing really that private about it, since it had a menu at the door, two chairs for waiting and an open glass concept that showed us that it was very popular — packed to the gills.
We arrived at 8.30pm, hung around for 15 minutes (thank goodness the weather was fine; not even cold) and then I decided to muscle our way in. We were shown upstairs; waited for a vacant table; shown both a la carte and set menus and settled for the menu de jour, costing abt HKD200 per head.
Because I don’t eat goose, we asked for an adjustment and were promptly offered pork patties with salt fish.
I shan’t comment on the food. Let the pix of the main courses do the talking. Fact is, if I wanted home cooking, I would have stayed home. The service though was friendly enough, with the maitre’d chatty, making a marketing pitch about his boss having other “kitchens” such as Yellow Door Kitchen.
- smoked chicky
- Nai bai, deep fried garlic cloves n dried scallop
Meat patties with black vinegar
There was also a dessert of essentially chng tng with American ginseng (fa kei sum) added to boot. As I don’t take ginseng, American or Korean, I left the sweet ending largely untouched.
Thank goodness therefore for the tram ride back to Admiralty from Tin Hau where fellow passengers were helpfully friendly, even if the tram driver wasn’t as kindly as the bus driver who took us to Stanley.
Talking of which, the meal at Stanley was scrumptous, even if it was eaten at what was a workmen’s cafe, rough, ready and rude. Crowded to the gills, we had to squeeze ourselves into a row of small tables meant for six, four places occupied by two lovebirds and their bags and jackets, and the remaining by two workmen taking their lunch break.
Needless to say we weren’t popular with the love birds who had to move their stuff but the workmen chomping down their hearty meal gave us enough welcome to make up for the big freeze.
L n I shared a set of rice with steamed fresh wan-yu (a type of fish) tail, with a billion bones that made talking and pix-taking difficult, especially when we were all sitting cheek by jowl. She took the milk tea that came with the set while I settled for a chilled Tsingtao costing an incredible HKD10! We also shared a steaming bowl of wanton noodle soup (below). The total lunch cost around HKD70!
first of many wanton soups
Looking over most of the food pix I took of this trip, the majority seems to be bowls of noodle soup of one kind of another.
The Sunday morning while waiting for MK to arrive from SIN, L and I split ways, as she wanted to visit Jordon and Mong Kok, to look at the flower and jade markets. Being a strictly utilitarian traveller, who skips sight-seeing of places I’ve been to be4 (unless I’ve intention to shop), I opted to explore City Super which was in the Gateway next to our hotel. Also, I was hoping to pick up some drinkable vino at HK prices (Chilean chardonnay as cheap as HKD35 at Taste supermart in Stanley Plaza).
Found some sauvignon blanc but not as dirt cheap as Stanley. Then took a break and ate this set (below) at City Super’s foodcourt be4 high-tailing back to the hotel to meet with L and MK. L had kindly packed my share of HK roasted meat lunch from her foray to local Hongkong which made for the perfect meal for MK who arrived ravenous from Singapore, having been on the road (or air more precisely) since 4.30am.
There wasn’t really any time to eat at Luowu, what with the detour to Dongmen and then my two companions spending over 2 hours for their feet, legs and body massages and then L and me dashing round madly to pick up “cheap” souvenirs and good buys.
So it was left to MK to organise a quick dinner which she did deftly at Fairwoods, a HK-grown fastfood chain serving local specialities and L and I just ate. As with all meals on the trip, the food might not be grand and the prices kind, but I still found myself eating with gusto. Perhaps it had something to do with making do with skimpy breakfasts every morning.
The next day saw me n L in Macau after an uneventful ferry ride and then made up for the previous night’s grab and run Fairwoods dinner by having a more than decent meal at one of the restaurants (more a cafe really) at the Venetians. Below was what we ate:
looks good but really more bones than meat!
tender sweet sauce ribs
ho-hum fishball noodles