Just across the street from the Dorsett Hotel is Ivy Street in Tai Kok Tsui, an area west of Mong Kok, Kowloon. This area is rather run down in some parts and is a mix of industrial and residential high-rise erected on reclaimed land. Was attracted to Fu Lum Restaurant at Unit A Shop 3 of Tai Chung Building, Ivy Street which had a poster advertising a special offer on Canadian lobsters. Disappointed to find out it was only valid for dinner, so my travelling companion Anita and I settled for Dim Sum lunch instead. We ordered 6 items; Steamed Shrimp Dumplings, Century Egg Congee, Phoenix Claws, Steamed Cha Siu Buns, Century Egg with Preserved ginger and Fried Green Peppers with Fish Paste totalling HK$154. The most appetizing dish was the Green Peppers which I give the thumbs up!
Whilst checking out the area in the vicinity of Dorsett Mong Kok, we chanced upon Jim Chai Kee at No. 40 Chung Wui Street and Hop Kwan Street junction. These huge minced meat dumplings literally had 3 shrimps wrapped inside and they were pretty tasty and the texture was bouncy to the bite. It was nice except for the dark soup which was rather bland and lacking oomph!
Heard so much about Tim Ho Wan, so I made some effort to try them. Took a cab from Tai Kok Tsui to Kwong Wa Street Mong Kok where the original Dim Sum place first opened. Cabbie only told us when we arrived there that Tim Ho Wan had closed this branch about 4 months ago. Was a little flabbergasted that he did not reveal this earlier on and could have taken us straight to the one at 9-11 Fuk Wing Street, Sham Shui Po instead. Generally the Shrimp Dumplings and Pork Dumplings with Shrimp at most Dim Sum establishments are good. The signature dishes here are probably the Polo Cha Siu Bun (Baked Bun with BBQ Pork) and the Malai Gou (Steamed Egg Cake) which was moist and very fluffy, excellent as compared to the many bland, dry & harder versions I have tasted.
The buns are close to perfection; very soft and fluffy but just a tad sweet. The pastry actually bounced back into shape after taking a big bite, so amazing.
This unimpressive looking shop at No. 21 Gough Street, Central Hongkong is the best dining experience for me. Was shopping like crazy at Lai Chi Kok that we actually missed the lunch hour and decided to have an early dinner instead. Read somewhere that Kau Kee Noodle Restaurant was Tony Leung Chiu Wai’s favourite beef noodle shop and thought it was worth a try. Was surprised to see a long queue outside the shop at around 5pm and we waited about 30mins before we got seated, sharing tables with 3 other persons. The restaurant is nothing fancy and the seating arrangements tightly packed and rather uncomfortable but this is really one place not to be missed. They ran out of the thick rice noodles (Hor) which I love, so I settled for the rice vermicelli (mai sin). The Beef Brisket noddle soup is reasonably priced at HK$40 per bowl and it is served up piping hot with a generous sprinkling of spring onions and Chinese coriander. The soup is very tasty, not too salty or oily and wonderfully delicious. I polished everything up with great satisfaction, a gastronomic delight!
We noticed a neighbouring patron eating the Curry Beef Brisket noddle and we were tempted to try it, so we ordered one bowl without noodles. It was rather spicy (3 out of 5 Chilli) but pretty good too but I prefer the soup version much better. The portion of meat in the serving was plentiful even for 2 persons sharing and it cost HK$100.
After the savoury, my cravings for sweets surfaced. Spotted this cozy Italian café Il Caffe and decided to have a nice shot of coffee and some desserts to round off the meal. Had a lovely chat with the friendly Nepalese Shop Manager, Gurung Sunita who stayed on in Hongkong to work after completing her studies. Her whole family migrated from Nepal eventually.
The Macchiato (HK$26) I tried was aromatic, full-bodied and packing a punch but the real surprise was the Lemon Meringue dessert (HK$38) that exceeded my expectations. Flavourful and tart like it should be, it was a real perk me up after hours of shopping and walking.
As we continued walking along Gage Street, we saw this elderly lady selling all kinds of preserved foodstuff and interestingly these sticky glutinous rice dumplings which were traditionally eaten in celebration of Duanwu Jie (Dragon Boat Festival) but Asians love rice to a great extend and these dumplings are now sold all year round.
This is a typical Cantonese style rice dumpling that is wrapped in Bamboo leaves and boiled for up to 4 hours to cook it. It’s contents include lots of mung beans, some seasoned pork belly meat, a salted egg yolk and fried sliced shiitake mushrooms. This simple dumpling with lots of mung beans is tasty and both Anita and I enjoy it much. In Singapore, we have many varieties like the Nyonya, Cantonese, Salted Egg, Kee Chang with Red bean Paste & Kee Chang (Plain ones) to suit all taste buds.
Hami Gua (Musk Melon) first originated from Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in Northwest China which has fertile soils and suitable weather conditions to propagate it. Now there are over 180 varieties and it is cultivated primarily in China and some Asian countries and also in California, USA. We bought this melon at a shop near our hotel and it is relatively inexpensive at HK$35 for the whole fruit which weighs about 2-3kgs. Hami melons not only taste good but are rich in nutrition and abundant in vitamins, apple acid, sugar, calcium, phosphorous and iron.
The set lunch at Watami Japanese Casual Restaurant located at the Citygate Outlets at Tung Chung, Hongkong costs HK$268 for 2 persons but it comes up to HK$295 with 10% service charge. Reasonably good food with 7 courses and a drink included. We were shopping, eating and really waiting for the rain to stop, in hope of taking the cable car ride from Tung Chung across to Ngong Ping on Lantau Island.
After watching “A Symphony of Lights”, a nightly multimedia show at 8pm from the Avenue of the Stars at Tsim Sha Tsui, we walked to Nathan Road in search of dinner. Delaney’s Kowloon is an Irish Pub that sits in the basement of Mary Building at 71-77 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. The ambience is warm and the food there is good and comes in a generous portion. For those who love to drink, there is no better place to get a swig of ale, beer or Guinness and you would be spoilt for choice.
My friend Lye Liang had just been to Hongkong the week before and highly recommended One Dim Sum at Shop 1/2 Kenwood Mansion, No. 15 Playing Field Road near Prince Edward MTR station. As a comparison to the other two Dim
Sum places I have tried, I decided to have a go at it. We were the first to arrive at 10:20am braving the heavy rain and sat there queuing till they open the doors at 11am.
I was not disappointed as the quality was good especially the Steamed Chicken & Mushroom rice which was very tender and tasty with lots of sliced ginger mixed into the rice. The fried beancurd roll was tasty but not crispy enough as the chef was probably fighting for time trying the serve the first lot of hungry patrons for the morning. We ordered 9 items and Chinese tea and the bill totalled HK$168 which tickled Anita & I as the numbers when read in Cantonese, sounds like ‘Prospering all the way’. As we were leaving, I noticed that there was still a long queue outside One Dim Sum.
Not one who likes Chinese pastries much, curiously the Lo Por Pang (Wife Cakes) from Hongkong is something I love eating paired with a nice cup of tea or coffee. You have to pop it into the microwave oven for a minute or two and when it is hot, the pastry is soft and the winter melon paste inside slightly oozy and that is when it is best consumed. I have always been getting the ones from Hang Heung Cake Shop which is famous for their traditional Wife cakes but decided to try a different one this time.
These Almond Crisps were totally delightful. Crispy, crumbly to the bite, sweet and with almonds so fragrant! This was a surprise find at Chek Lap Kok International Airport when I was coming home. I only bought two small packets for tasting and regretted not grabbing a few more. I guess I will have to wait until my next visit to Hongkong to discover more interesting and nice eateries that foodies swear by!