So the title of this blog post does sum up the experience quite nicely. Shun Kee Typhoon Shelter is certainly a authentically Hong Kong experience like no other. Imagine walking your way over the busy, extremely dangerous expressway, dodging traffic and getting lost, to find your way to the typhoon shelter (which, by the way, looks nothing like a shelter)…
… to be greeted with this sight.
Basically, Shun Kee is a collection of smaller boats sitting anywhere between 2 – 10 diners, all tied to a mother boat (the smaller boats, not the diners) which acts as the kitchen headquarter. You board the boat at a grungy, run-down pier, and an old lady with surprising strength will row you over to the mother boat.
At this point, it is only right for me to point out that you are NOT in for a sea ride of a lifetime. The entire journey is over in less than 30 seconds.
Now, a word about the boat. Go to Shun Kee with no expectations and you will not be disappointed. These are no beautifully restored boats created to lure tourists. The boat is old, its safety record questionable, and the toilet unplumbed, which is my way of saying that, well, what you take from the sea, you return to the sea.
Did I sound like I don’t like my dinner? No, far from it. I had the best time at Shun Kee. It gotta be my most authentic Hong Kong experience to date, and that’s saying something since I am more than slightly adventurous when it comes to food. To share this with my visiting friends from Singapore only made this even more wonderful – seeing it through unfamiliar eyes, I was grateful for the things most locals would have taken for granted.
And the food. Very decent seafood and dishes. The bamboo clams were the biggest I had, and it was delicious beyond description. I was very impressed by the quality of seafood here; even the simple blanched prawns was stellar.
Included in our set menu was spicy crabs. More accurately, a mountain of moderately spicy and sweet crabs. The crab-lover in me approves.
I am not a fan of intestines even at the best of time, but this plate of porky stuff was divine. There’s something in the accompanying sauce which made everything tasted great. We asked for the recipe but was politely told to go to hell.
Needless to say, towards the end of the meal my party of five was stuffed to the brim, bursting in our pants and there’s still food on the table. The mind was willing but the flesh is weak. Plus we were timed as the set menu price included boat rental (for some 90 minutes, I think). The price wasn’t exactly cheap, but it was worth every penny.
Verdict? A seafood experience iconic to Hong Kong. Settle down on the swaying boat and be prepared for the gastronomical adventure of your life.
Shun Kee Seafood
Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter
Note: Time slots are available from 6 – 7.45 p.m., and 8 – 10 p.m. Call ahead to book as it is unlikely you can get a boat by walking in.