Tuesday, July 20, 2010

36 Hours in Hong Kong (Part 1)

36 hours in Hong Kong and focused on eating Hong Kong and Cantonese food. Pack light, wear good walking shoes and be prepared to be a little sleep deprived.

Off the plane and off to lunch. Starving and still clutching my hand luggage, we arrived at Fu Sing for some Dim Sum and traditional dishes that were all executed at a good to excellent level. One example is Fu Sing’s char siew had a good little of bit of everything - a sweet, crisp and charred outer layers and the pork was super succulent, hands down the best ever. (I don't think anything in Singapore comes close.)

Amongst the usual suspects of dim sum, chicken feet and har gao, we ordered other delights like deep fried fish belly with a batter that is airy and light, polo char siew pau, a little too sweet but nice and crisp on the outside and soft on the outside, good but more char siew would be appreciated. And lastly, but not in any particular preferential order, the XO stir fried Cheong Fun that was soft and chewy and coated with enough sauce.

Chinese lettuce and prawn paste in claypot

Away from the dim sum theme, two dishes that I really enjoyed that I thought were wonderfully simple but high up on the delicious scale were Chinese lettuce and prawn paste in claypot and pomelo skin with shrimp roe sauce. The prawn paste was pungent enough to make it and the heat from the claypot was enough to scorch the taste on the lettuce and to maintain its crisp without wilting it, clever cooking and excellent tasting.

pomelo skin with shrimp roe sauce

As for the pomelo skin, like most Chinese delicacies that are textural than strong tasting, the second dish - pomelo skin with shrimp roe sauce - sounds stranger than it taste, and it is really quite amazing for something that I wouldn't think twice about tossing into the bin. Our dining companions, a couple of local HK foodies, explained the pains of preparing the skins to remove the bitterness from the skins and then the braising process, the result is a texturally interesting squishy and spongy pulp that readily absorbs the braising liquid, the whole dish was strangely delicious.

Gough Street and its dai pai dongs. We first headed to Kau Kee to the awesome beef brisket noodles that most who have tasted still either a. crave b. have on a regular basis to feed the crave c. daydreams about, we headed there to, option a, feed the crave. Then we crossed over for some typical Hong Kong food, food that really only makes sense in Hong Kong and sometimes pack a tasty punch. Sing Heung Yuen, a typical da pai dong that requires some - sideways eating - sitting on an uneven ground and balancing your bowl of noodles on a downward angled table due to the hilly nature of Hong Kong has its charm. Sitting here makes you feel like part of the old and new Hong Kong and whilst you are soaking in the local feel, have some local fill - we had their popular crispy bun, a crispy hamburger bum, topped with lemon juice and honey and a bowl of instant noodles with hand squeezed tomato soup with a pork chop and fried egg (the popular choice is macaroni and beef). The crispy bun was crisp and fluffy and the lemon and honey was sweet and tangy but a tad too sweet for me. The tomato soup, I enjoyed it more than I expected, and I recommend getting a fried egg in whatever combination you choose - break the yolk and coat your noodles or stir it into your soup, extra flavour means extra yum!

The only ‘real’ dinner that we had was to be the highlight because we were sampling the seasonal local delicacy - Yellow oil crab. The locals guard this pretty tightly, well basically they eat up their own supply so very little of it gets exported or if any at all. So this is what I’ve learnt, like the hairy crab, it is yellow oil crab is roe-filled and are best eaten at the peak of its season. During the hot summer season, these sun loving crabs meet on the mouth of the Pearl River and if sun kissed at the right temperature, the fat in the liver breaks up and permeates and stains the flesh yellow. We sampled ours at Victoria City (part of the East Ocean Group) and like the hairy crab, the focus is really on the yellow oil and roe – best scooped and savoured with a tiny teaspoon - rather than its flesh, although there is more to pick through compared to the hairy crab. What we really liked was their yellow oil crab xiao long bao where the crab meat and roe is mixed with the pork and the resultant soup that is encased in the dumpling is both stained yellow, rich and creamy – great and turf in a dumpling! Good as it was, I must confess, it was a little of a let down but perhaps we haven’t hit the peak of the season.

Fu Sing Sharkfin Seafood Restaurant
1/F, 353 Lockhart Road,
Sunshine Plaza,
Wanchai, Hong Kong.
Tel: (852) 2893 0881

Kau Kee Noodles
21 Gough Street,
Central, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2850 5967

Sing Heung Yuen (opposite Kau Kee)
2 Mee Lun St. (between Gough St. and Hollywood Rd.)
Central, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2544 8368

Victoria Seafood
1 Tim Mai Avenue
5 Floor Citic Tower
Central, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2877 2211



Anonymous mosey said...

YAY HK food FTW!

10:33 PM  

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