Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Asia tripping - part VIII: Hong Kong

This is the eighth of several brief posts of my recent trip to Asia: photos, food and a few thoughts.

Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
It wasn't my first time in Hong Kong, and I know it won't be my last. The vibrant, busy city where English-speakers can still get around, there are cheap-ish goods abound (compared to Australia; not the rest of Asia) and food at any opportunity.

Roast pork and egg noodles on Carnarvon Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
I don't know how some people can have Diet Coke for breakfast and I certainly don't know how people eat fatty, crisp-skinned pork for breakfast. With hoisin sauce and dry egg noodles no less.

Okay, so the pork is pretty good with remarkable layering of fat and flesh, and probably from a much younger, smaller pig than what would be at home in Australia. Not too far off bacon I suppose (and egg in the noodles?) but still a bit much for me before noon.

Fish fillet congee Carnarvon Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Yu pin jook, or fish fillet congee is more my kind of breakfast: boneless fillets of fish in the bottom of the bowl, cooked by the ladling of super hot rice congee on top, and garnished with a few slices of yau tiao, or Chinese fried dough sticks, and some shallots for greenery. For me, this is breakfast in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong is all shopping and food. Having already been up Victoria Peak, visited the rather pleasant Kowloon Park and marvelled endlessly at the efficiency of the MTR, there was mostly walking and shopping to be done, interspersed with meals and drinks and snacks.

Katsu don from Ippei-An Ramen & Bar, Miramar Shopping Centre,
Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
One late lunch in the middle of a glam shopping centre, and shopping day for that matter, we ended up in an authentic-looking Japanese ramen bar that did a late-lunch/early dinner special.

Along with a small bowl of ramen, we received mini bowls of Japanese classics; here katsu don - a few slices of panko-crumbed pork fillet with fried egg and onions on top of steamed rice.

Katsu kare and rice  from Ippei-An Ramen & Bar, Miramar Shopping Centre,
Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
There was also a small version of katsu curry with rice, just a few slivers of the same crumbed pork in that mild, sweet curry sauce that the Japanese are known for, with a few vegetables.

Tonkotsu ramen from Ippei-An Ramen & Bar, Miramar Shopping Centre,
Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
The ramen itself arrives as the main, in small, impactful bowls with nori flags waving out the top of the bowl. The tonkotsu broth is creamy white and rich with the sweetness of pork bones boiled for hours.

The ramen noodles are served a slice of chashu roast pork, bean sprouts, shallots and seaweed. The noodles are luscious and just a tad chewy; just as they should be.

Shoyu ramen from Ippei-An Ramen & Bar, Miramar Shopping Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
My preferred shoyu ramen is significantly lighter with its soy based soup, and also features nori, chashu and seaweed, but also bamboo shoots and the kamaboko fish cake with the swirly pink centre.

Cocktails at the Mira, Nathan Road, Hong Kong
The Mira hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui is like nothing I've ever seen before. It's like a designer nightclub with more flashiness and just as many dark, moody areas. We weren't staying there but couldn't resist a drink as soon as the upper, open air bar opened.

It wasn't too busy on an early weeknight evening, giving us as much room and space needed to laugh and be in awe of the psychedelic colours of the light coaster, which lit up our cocktails in a bright double hue every few seconds the glass remained on the coaster. Memorable drinks.

Yum cha selections on Temple Street, Hong Kong
The Temple Street night markets are an attraction for tourists and scammers alike. This is where you can fairly freely pick up a designer copy (although the stalls all seem to have the same stock) and test out your bargaining skills.

For those not so keen on  the latest fake Jimmy Choo handbag, the street is lined with eateries where locals and tourists alike feast on dinner, supper or whatever that meal between the two is. We briefly stopped off at a stall doling out hot yum cha items, like char siu bao, siu mai and beef dumplings.

Grilled (gar?)fish from Temple Street, Hong Kong
The star delicacy though, for those in the know seemed to be freshly grilled seafood - the long, thin garfish-like fish being particularly popular. With skin grilled to a crisp brown, every bit of the oily flesh was picked off by chopsticks and savoured before we returned to the cold night and the cool walk back to the hotel.

More Asia tripping to come in Macau, Hong Kong and Malaysia.


susan said...

I think I could eat anything for breakfast if I had all that wonderful food on offer!

jbjose said...

ZOMG! Awesome pics.

Totally agree with congee for breakfast with dough sticks. Yummo.

missklicious said...

Ahh, I miss Hong Kong and all the wonderful food!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

What a food lovers paradise! I can't drink Coke for breakfast but crackling and pork yep I could do that :P

Blaire James said...

Totally mouth-watering!

The first time I saw the picture without reading the whole article, I thought the black onions put on top of the Katsu don dish looked like a black spider. LOL

Thanks for sharing!

SK said...

I love porridge for breakfast! The fish fillet congee looks yum!

Tina said...

Hi Susan - Almost too much to choose from!

Hi jbjose - Thanks. Congee is so comforting :)

Hi missklicious - I miss being on holidays....

Hi Lorraine - Well... maybe some crackling....

Hi Blair - The nori strips? Yeah, they do a little.... :D

Hi SK - I'm starting to like oat porridge more now...

john@heneedsfood said...

I adore HK, and isn't the Mira amazing? Last time I was in town I dropped by the Mira for a coffee. I love the sculptural entrance! HK rocks!

Tina said...

Hi John - The Mira is crazy amazing :)

Forager @ The Gourmet Forager said...

I could definitely chow down on roast pork & noodles for brekkie - but congee is just as satisfying. Love HK - the food is just so good & the city so alive!

Anonymous said...

I have been eating fish congee since I was a few months old. I never tire of it. Thanks for this great write up of Hong Kong. I adore eating in Hong Kong. There's so much variety even if you just try all the recommended classics.

Tina said...

Hi Forager - A completely buzzing city, isn't it?

Hi bunnyeatsdesign - Yeah, congee can be so comforting, especially chicken :)


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