The One With Tasty Congee – Living Up Its Namesake

Honestly, I wasn’t that hungry when I walked through the door of Tasty Congee & Noodle Wantun Shop.

The night was humid, dense with anticipation of the approaching typhoon. My stomach was still hard at work deciding if the afternoon tea earlier on was worth keeping (read: else, to “repel” it, if you get my drift). I was tired after a long day. So it was the prospect of catching up with a friend and trying out a new place in Happy Valley that got me going.

Tasty Congee & Noodle Wantun Shop (what a mouthful!) looked promising from the outside. You couldn’t get any more Chinese than with waiters in costume, dark paneled wall and antique-like furniture. It was almost like the restaurant was afraid that random strangers might come through the door and not know it is a Chinese restaurant. And what’s up with the name? I mean, it can’t get anymore SEO-friendly than this… only if their website (which I won’t bother to link here) is working.

Does this sound like an opening of a bad review of this place? Quite the opposite. Tasty Congee & Noodle Wantun Shop was quite a gem, keeping true to its name sake, true and true. I found out that Tasty Congee is the second generation shop of Hong Kong’s congee and noodle expert Ho Hung Kee.

It certainly didn’t disappoint!

Fresh Fish Slices & Preserved Egg Congee (HK$46)

Tasty Congee & Noodle Wantun Shop

I was amazed by its congee menu; it was over four pages long! Cheap ones, expensive ones, simple ones, elaborate ones… the options danced in front of my tired eyes, so I decided to go for something simple. I was talking to my friend when the first spoonful, and it literally got me swooning. The congee was smooth yet not too watery, while the fresh fish slices and preserved eggs felt like dancing on my taste buds. And that was before I added a dash of pepper. Kick butt.

Rice Noodle Rolls Filled with Twisted Cruller (HK$36)

Tasty Congee & Noodle Wantun Shop

This is a specialty of Hong Kong, and apparently a very popular dish at Tasty Congee. I have had the same dish at other places, but none – and I do mean none– can be compared to the perfect combination of crispy fresh fried dough and the thin (instead of too thick) rice roll the dough was wrapped in. Also, instead of drenching the whole plate in soy sauce, making it one unpalatable soggy mess, the soy sauce was served separately, along with some “hoisin” sauce and peanut sauce mix. Thumbs up!

Noodles with Spicy Shredded Pork in Soy Bean Paste (HK$60)

Tasty Congee & Noodle Wantun Shop

The spicy shredded pork contrasted nicely with the sweet soy bean paste, but for some reasons I think the latter was a bit overpowering. It felt like I was having ketchup along with my noodle. The pork slices were tasty with a slight garlic overtone. I am looking forward to try their other noodles.

Deep Fried Fish Ball With Salted Clams (HK$60)

Tasty Congee & Noodle Wantun Shop

I thought this dish was a specialty of Home Feel, so I was surprised to see it listed on the menu. The sauce came without the spring onion and sliced chilli I was accustomed to, so, unlike Home Feel, the fried fish ball – succulent and fragrant – were the main highlight, as it was rightfully so. I think I prefer the Home Feel version (probably with more MSG), but I think this was still done well.

Verdict? A Michelin recommendation in 2011, this friendly Chinese restaurant is going to be my new favorite haunt in Happy Valley. It will take me years to try out all those congees!

Tasty Congee & Noodle Wantun Shop
G/F, 21 King Kwong Street, Happy Valley
2838 3922

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