Category Archives: Chinese

The One With The Unnamed “Private Kitchen” – Comfort Food, Chinese Style

I have been meaning to write about this place since ages ago. Ages ago – as in since I started food blogging. I discovered this place during my first month in Hong Kong, courtesy of some local friends whom brought me there one weekday night.

Unnamed "Private Kitchen" At Tsim Sha Tsui

There were many reasons why I didn’t manage to write about it. Firstly, for the life of me I couldn’t remember where the place was. I had to rely on my (less than stellar) photographic memory to recall the street, shops and lobby before rediscovering the place.

Unnamed "Private Kitchen" At Tsim Sha Tsui

Secondly, the place has no English name. I tried asking my friends to translate it, but the Chinese name is goddamn long it was impossible. Hence there is no way for me to “research” for its exact location.

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The One With Spring Deer Restaurant – Old School Peking Duck

It was the unlikeliest spot for a romantic dinner.

Granted, I wasn’t exactly with a date. But it was certainly an intimate dinner for two, so imagine my surprise when the (previously) better half proposed to have my birthday dinner at Spring Deer Restaurant at Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui.

Peking Duck at Spring Deer Restaurant

I have first been to Spring Deer two years ago and had my first taste of Peking duck. To this day I still can recall the rich taste of thinly sliced duck with deliciously crispy skin, wrapped in steamed pancakes with spring onions, cucumber sticks and sweat bean sauce.

Peking Duck at Spring Deer Restaurant

Since then, I had always wanted to go back to the restaurant. But being the disorganised me, I always decided that I am in the mood for some high-calories, fattened-on-purpose duck on the same day. But that won’t do for this old school restaurant.

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The One With Golden Valley Restaurant – Heaven & Hell In A Hotpot

Hotpot has got to be the best invention of Chinese cuisine. There are so many ways of doing a pot – from experimenting with different broths to dumping anything edible into it – that at every turn, you bound to be surprised.

Sichuan Hotpot at Golden Valley Restaurant

I thought my hotpot discovery was excellent, until Sichuan hotpot dropped a fiery bomb onto my radar. My (hotpot) life will never the same again.

Sichuan Hotpot at Golden Valley Restaurant

Golden Valley Restaurant was like a throw back to ancient times, when Hong Kongers revel in all things gold plated, and thick carpeting with swirly patterns commanded a mortgage to install. Located at Emperor Hotel (which is literally two minutes from my door step), it was a restaurant fit for a king.

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The One With Kwan Kee Claypot Rice – A Gem Of A Find In Sai Ying Pun

At times, you find a gem of a restaurant at the most unlikely place. Kwan Kee Claypot Rice was one of those finds. I was in the area one night with two friends looking for a second dinner (yes, we are gluttonish that way) when I remembered, hey, I had a dinner here before. Along one of those small alleys by the road side.

An unhygienic dinner spot? Perhaps. But good food is good food is good food.

So off we went in the rain and within seconds we found the place.

We noticed that the food of choice must be steamboat. But we weren’t in the mood for such heavy stuff, so we opted for a soup and claypot rice, shared between the three of us.

Edible Frogs & Preserved Sausage With Rice in Claypot (HK$62)

Kwan Kee Claypot Rice

It came as a surprise that one of my dinner buddies for the night, a true blue German, was NOT squirmish in trying out frog legs. I mean, at the best of time, frog legs are an acquired taste, especially for the common gweilo (I used the term very loosely here). We tucked in to this dish with gusto. The legs tasted like, well, chicken, though well cooked ones at that. The preserved sausage was excellent, though I am do enjoy sausages of all kinds, preserved or otherwise. But as a combination, it was just an alright rice claypot. I missed the “burned” rice layer at the bottom of the pot, but we were too stuffed to reach that part.

It was our second dinner for the night, remember?

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The One With Under The Bridge Spicy Crab – Gripping Hong Kong By The Pincher

While Singapore has its famous chilli crabs, Hong Kong upped the ante with their spicy crabs.

What do I mean? Having lived in Singapore for a while and have had my fair share of chilli crabs, nothing can prepare you for the sweat-inducing level of fiery hotness that Hong Kong spicy crabs can bring. It’s enough to make a grown man cry. Literally.

And the defacto place to have the authentic typhoon shelter spicy crabs (it’s a long story) here has got to be the Under The Bridge Spicy Crabs. There are four branches, all around the same location, so hunting one down could be an adventure all on its own.

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The crabs – a large one can set you back some $480, more than enough for two person – came drowned in minced garlic, onion or shallots, red chilli and black beans. There are 5 – 6 varying levels of spiciness you can opt for.

Plus some other non-spicy options for the whims.

For the night, I stupidly went for the mid-range option, and boy was I in for a treat. Not.

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The One With Mak Siu Kee Traditional Wonton Noodle – ‘Noods in the ‘Hoods

Hot on the tail since my last review of my fav eating Indian place in Happy Valley, here’s another one – Mak Siu Kee traditional wonton noodle.

Mak Siu Kee Traditional Wonton Noodle

Happy Valley seems not short of noodle places. The trick is to find a nice one which won’t cause a huge dent in your wallet. Mak Siu Kee, decent as it was, is too expensive in my opinion. I was there for lunch one fine day as I was, err, on a bit of a loose end.

Shrimp Wonton With Noodle (HK$45)

Mak Siu Kee Traditional Wonton Noodle

A seemingly simple dish. The wontons were crunchy to the bite, its shrimp fresh and succulent in a way I find more fitting for a salad. The accompanying bowl of soup has much MSG. The egg noodle itself was alright, though I would prefer it to be done the Malaysian way; tossed with think, dark soy sauce. Overall the combination was quite pleasant.

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The One With He Jiang – A Tale Of Two Rivers

If I can only use one word to describe He Jiang – a new discovery thanks to my baby project RedeeME – it would have been “understated“.

One glance from the outside of Cosmopolitan Hotel, where it was situated at, things do no look very promising. It was only after you cross its treshold that you realised, really, one should not judge a restaurant by its exterior alone. With its floor-to-ceiling windows all along one side, He Jiang is an oasis of calm amidst the hustle and bustle of Causeway Bay.

He Jiang

He Jiang brings together cuisines of Huaiyang and Sichuan, hence its name “He” meaning “together” and “Jiang” meaning “delta”. A tale of two rivers indeed. I am no fan of Sichuan food – I blame it to a lifetime adversity towards overly spicy food – but that was about to change.

He Jiang

So serious was their dedication to remain faithful to their food heritage, the kitchen of He Jiang was helmed by natives of both provinces to recreate the tastes of home and give it a modern twist.

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The One With Tung Po – Local Chinese Hawker Experience

Few dining experience can be compared to one in a Hong Kong’s local hawker centre.

Imagine endless Chinese hawker stalls lining up the upper floor of a wet market (the smell itself is enough to make one gag – of the wet market, not the hawkers!), throngs of sedated diners observed jealously by patrons waiting to be seated, and dish after steaming dish seemingly conjured effortlessly from the kitchens.

Tung Po Chinese Hawker Centre

Tung Po (東寶小館) is one of those famous hawker stalls come highly recommended by my local friends. Since some of my best buddies from Singapore were in town, it seemed only fitting that we had a dinner right in the midst of a decidedly local experience.

But first, I must mention the unique way beer is consumed on this premise.

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The One With Ser Wong Fun – Virgin Experience With Snake Soup

I love a foodie night out. The gastronomical possibilities are almost limitless and a dining adventure to the unknown is almost a given. Especially so when you are with the pros like Brad (of Lady Iron Chef), Jason (of Jason Bon Vivant) and Rita (of Mochachocholata-Rita).

It was during our food trail around Central when I paid my first visit to Ser Wong Fun.

Ser Wong Fun, Central

Those in the know will tell you that this restaurant is famous for one thing, and that is snake soup.

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The One With Woosung Street Food Hawker Bazaar – Chiu Chow Undefined?

I have been contemplating about writing this post for quite sometime now. My hesitation stemmed from various reasons: (1) I am not sure if the food I am eating is indeed, chiu chow food, and (2) for the life of me I can’t seem to recall the name of the food I ate, and (3) the fear that even if I do write the post, it will not be useful to you.

So why did I decide to write it anyway? That’s because I loved the place. I specifically told my better half that I wanted to go to this particular food hawker bazaar as we have walked past it several times in the past and it was always bustling with people.

With that kind of crowd, the food bound to be good, no?

Woosung Street Cooked Food Hawker Bazaar

Well, yes and no. If you are the kind of diner who can queasy at the sight of rickety chairs, wet concrete floor and harried waiters, this place is not for you. The food adventurer in me was in full force that night; I was happy to just jab at the menu randomly (I can’t read Chinese) and eat whatever came.

Of course my better half intervened, otherwise the dinner would have been a total disaster.

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