Monday, June 20, 2011

Asia tripping - part X: Hong Kong (again)

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

Fried chicken wing from some cha chaan teng on Kimberley Road,
Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
On the evening of our return ferry from Macau; feeling perhaps a little worse for wear, we headed for a simple dinner near the hotel at one of the many cha chaan teng diners lining the main roads of Tsim Sha Tsui.

With menus spanning over pages and pages, there's something for everyone at the cha chaan teng for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, supper or even a snack.

I couldn't resist the fried chicken wing as part of a noodle soup set. Greasy and salty, it was just the thing to improve my spirits after the bumpy ferry ride.

Sui gao dumplings and noodle soup
The sui gao in the noodle soup were pretty awesome: big packets of pork mince big on ginger and shallot flavours; far superior to the noodles which were relatively bland and heavy.

Beef and beef tendon with dry egg noodles
The dry noodle options were served alongside meat options: here, a combination of beef pieces and gelatinous beef tendon in a deep reddish-brown gravy.

Spicy pork with dry egg noodles
This other dry noodle dish featured strips of pork in a fiery red, spicy sauce. Both also came with a bowl of steaming hot broth.

Fish in black bean sauce with rice
The fish dish was unexpectedly battered and deep-fried fish, with a pretty array of stir-fried vegetables with rice, and unfortunately, a liberal dose of monosodium glutamate (MSG or flavour enhancer 621).

Watercress soup
Most traditional and authentic was the individual terracotta pot of watercress soup, most likely made from pork bones and featuring a wealth of Chinese herbs, vegetables and 'forest goodies' as I call them - all, of course, very good for something or other.

Cha chaan teng on Carnarvon Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Another morning we found ourselves back at the cha chaan teng near our hotel for another morning hit of salty, often oily comfort food.

Iced milk teas with grass jelly and tapioca pearls
As cool as it was outside, it was hard to go past the iced coffees and teas, served in fantastic metal mugs that had me thinking beer steins for some reason or other.

Here the options range from good old pearl milk teas, blended milk tea and coffee drinks, and red bean and grass jelly additions.

Ham and fried egg with instant noodle soup
The cha chaan teng meal that makes me laugh the most simply has to be the instant noodle soup options. My order had the additional adornment of a crisp fried egg and two halved slices of processed ham, and tasted exactly like the Nissan instant noodles I have at home.

The only exception I think is the use of a full packet of the soup seasoning, as opposed to the half packs I normally do. And no vegies.

A plate from the buffet at Royal Pacific
Buffet meals seem very popular with the Hong Kong locals, especially when they're showing guests around town and treating them to a meal. They'll often have vouchers too (not quite like the group buying vouchers we have in Australia at the moment) for a variety of restaurants.

This buffet at the Royal Pacific Hotel featured a mind-boggling variety of stations - though this seems to be the norm at many Hong Kong/Macau buffets.

There was soup and bread, salads, seafood, sushi, noodles, a carvery, a grill, hot Chinese dishes, cakes and puddings, packaged ice cream, crepes and a Cold Rock style ice cream 'smoosher'.

And scissors to use on the Alaskan King crab legs - which is really quite ingenius and the perfect implement to ensure the crab flesh isn't ruined. (And that plate above was shared between several - not just mine).

Hung Lee Restaurant, Hau Fook Street, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Another morning, another cha chaan teng, although this one was more a congee specialist. Or at least it seemed that way because everyone who walked through the door ordered a bowl, if not something else with it as well. And with no English menus, look-point charades kind of ordering could be necessary.

Char siu ji cheung fun - BBQ pork rice noodle rolls
Within a minute of ordering, the BBQ pork filled rice noodle rolls are on our table - lukewarm and far too quick to not be pre-made.

Nonetheless, with drizzled dark soy sauce and healthy appetites, it probably only took us a little longer to polish them off; perfectly tender pork, smooth noodles and all.

Fish fillet congee
My usual congee order with fish fillets and loads of shallots. It's warming, pure and cleansing - just what a good breakfast (fine, brunch) should be.

Jia leung - deep fried dough sticks wrapped in rice noodle
The discovery was this dish. After seeing numerous ones head out of the kitchen, we manage to order ourselves a plate of the yau jia gwai fried dough sticks which are wrapped in the same white rice noodle sheets and doused in soy sauce, which I discover are called jia leung.

Despite the dough sticks being a little cooled and chewy, there's no doubt that this dish of contrasting textures and flavours is a local favourite and now one of mine.

Watermelon and aloe vera jelly drink from Hui Lau Shan, Mong Kok, Hong Kong
I guess a lot of strange, unique and downright weird drink and dessert concoctions that we see on Sydney streets (Chinatown especially) have a Hong Kong, Taiwan or Chinese heritage - think of all the tea drink places and remember back to the first time you had a pearl milk tea. Weird, but oddly fun.

Why would something out of a can or bottle suffice when you can get a drink like the above? Vibrantly red and green, "healthy" yet full of sugar and just fun. The Hui Lau Shan chain also does bowl desserts but the aloe vera jelly was like a dessert anyway.

More Asia tripping to come in Malaysia.


Lil said...

So many HK classics!! Your food pictures are making me hungry...for food and for HK! I miss that place!

Dumpling Girl said...

Love jia leung, definitely one of my faves, but could really do with some of that spicy pork with dry egg noodles right now.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

The food looks a combination of delicious and odd! The ham and eggs with the noodles made my chuckle :P

msihua said...

That char leung looks good! Oh how I miss Honkers with its char chan tengs.. *sigh*

OohLookBel said...

Food like this in HK would be fabulous, but you'd have to order it in Chinese, which is a bit risky. The jia leung look heaps better than the ones you get at yum cha in Sydney.

Keely aka The Richest Girl in Bondi said...

Wow! Those fried dough sticks look unusual -- would love to give them a try! But really, with the 'fried dough' element how can you go wrong?

chopinandmysaucepan said...

This looks like yum cha but it's also got the buffet stuff too! Not sure if I'm up to ham and fried egg with instant noodle soup though!

Ramen Raff said...

I miss HK and congee there is good!

I love the look on those iced milk teas! Gotta have them when you're in HK. The fried chicken and the roast pork! mmmm...

Did you get the chance to try Tim Ho Wan dimsums in Mongkok. The baked bbq pork buns there are unreal!

mademoiselle délicieuse said...

As much as the you tiu in the ja leung can be a bit soggy, they're still heaps better than the version we get here! How I miss sitting at a street-side "dai pai dong" ordering ja leung, plain congee and stir-fried noodles for breakfast *sigh*

Gianna@TheEmptyFridge said...

oh you make me wish i was there again, both for the shoping and the food!

i totally grew up with nissin ramen too..the fried egg is a normal addition - but those ham slices look very..hehe..tasty!

Tina said...

Hi Lil - Classic HK instant noodles, yeah? :)

Hi Dumpling Girl - Can't believe I only just discovered jia leung. Never seen it in Sydney before...

Hi Lorraine - Yes, but it's also so comforting... :)

Hi msihua - Yep, nothing like them in Oz :(

Hi Bel - I haven't ever seen jia lenug at yum cha! Must keep an eye out next time.

Hi Keely - You're right there!

Hi chopinandmysaucepan - There's a few places around HK in the post ;)

Hi Ramen Raff - Sadly didn't get to Tim Ho Wan - pretty upset about that...

Hi mademoiselle délicieuse - Strangley enough though, I rarely feel like congee for brekky back home. Must be a HK holiday thing for me...

Hi Gianna - Yep, only recently intro'd to Mi Goreng :S

Flights Search said...

Hong Kong just a wonderful place but also so delicious foods and drinks. I want to go back to Hong Kong with overseas holiday packages.


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