Category Archives: Seafood

The One With Under The Bridge Spicy Crab – Fiery Claws Revisited

Under The Bridge Spicy Crab

It has become a fixture in our agenda whenever my Singaporean friends are in town.

The famous Hong Kong under the bridge spicy crab has captured the imagination of many. With ten levels of fieriness it was easy to be overwhelmed and ordered way beyond your capacity to enjoy these awesome crabs, but the key is to always go moderate.

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The One With Oyster Island – Fresh In The Valley

I have been eating round a lot in Happy Valley lately, trying out new places and venturing into unfamiliar restaurants. Though I have been here for almost two years now, it wasn’t until I have a buddy to do this with did I dig into with gusto recently :)

Oyster Island, without a doubt, was one of those little secret of Happy Valley that came as a pleasant surprise. Tucked at the end of a quiet road in the Valley, the restaurant was quiet looking for an eve-of-public-holiday-night. But the other half wanted oysters, so in we went into the blue, mysterious looking restaurant.

Oyster Island Happy Valley

All was well. Because we were the only occupied table, service was attentive and we felt very comfortable with the wait staff. To start off the night, we pondered over the selection of oysters available, and opted for the lighter and sweeter variety, Rocky Bay and Namibia, to the denser, heavier tasting Gillerdeau and Sydney Rock.

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The One With Shun Kee Typhoon Shelter – Seafood On A Boat

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.

Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter Seafood

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The One With Sai Kung Seafood Private Kitchen – A True Gastronomic Adventure

An eerie silence permeates the night.

As I walk down the muddy path from the edge of the forest where our cab left us, I look up into the clear sky and see stars. My awe is shortlived as suddenly, something dashes across our path into the bushes just to the left. I curse under my breathe and strain my eyes looking for the sign. Any sign. To be honest, at that time of the night, a sign of another human being would be a welcome sight.

If this sounds like a scene from Indiana Jones, I don’t blame you. I feel like one. I am at a God-forsaken village in the middle of nowhere in Sai Kung, where bus stops running and only cabs can reach. Street lights are far and few in between, and as the night deepens I am eager to reach my destination.

Where’s that, you ask? Why, a food place, of course. A seafood private kitchen, to be exact. Only that I am armed only with an address (in Chinese!) and Google Map isn’t of much help.

Blue Gate Seafood Private Kitchen

It is hard to believe that, half an hour after that dramatic scene, I am seated at a table for ten, sipping red wine and wishing the birthday boy the best of luck for the year ahead. The private kitchen we are at is quite elusive and known to a precious few.

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The One With Choi Kee Spicy Crab – Second Encounter Of The Fiery Kind

It seems only like yesterday when I had my first taste of chili crab in Hong Kong. The overpowering spiciness and heavy loading of garlic did little for me for a virgin experience to remember by; kinda like having my first time with the wrong person.

But everything I thought I knew about chili crab was turned to crap after my visit to Choi Kee Fried Crab Expert.

Choi Kee Fried Crab Expert

Sauteed clams with chili and bean sauce.

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The One With Hairy Crabs – Having It On The Cheap

Hairy crabs are in season again, and you know what that means, don’t you? Well, that means winter is on its way! Begone, days of insufferably humidity and searing heats of summer! You will NOT be missed.

Hairy Crabs

Okay, now that my rant about summer is over, I can get back to my lovely hairy crabs. You need no introduction about the local customs of eating hairy crabs. But what you need to know this year is how to have it on the cheap.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for austerity measure. In times of economic hardship when even the Chinese powerhouse is posting a “decline in performance”, one should be cautious about luxury spending. That includes burning $500 a pop for hairy crabs. You can easily have great crabs right at home. In fact, I have never had hairy crabs in restaurant before; I had always cooked at home.

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The One With Lamma Hilton Shum Kee – My Seafood Epiphany Revisited

The recent Lamma ferry disaster has thrown much limelight onto this beloved island of Hong Kong. Though the city still mourn for those who perished in the collision and look on anxiously at those fighting for dear life in hospitals, there is little reason to doubt that Lamma, for its flaws and faults, remains a favorite island to many.

Lamma Hilton Shum Kee Seafood

Flower crabs with egg white and Chinese wine.

I lost the number of times I took across the busy waterway (one of the busiest and, until recently, one of the safest in the world) to escape the concrete jungle of Hong Kong city for a bit of greens and nature. A hike through Lamma island is never taxing – afterall, it’s only 1.5 hours at most – and it’s a great way to unwind and relax and not to be inhaling exhaust fumes.

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The One With Ah Pek Lee Kou Hock – Sitiawan Seafood At Its Very Best

If you have just started to follow this blog, you may be surprised to know that I am not a Hong Kong local. Okay, maybe you might get the hints that I relocated here from Singapore, but yet I am not a Singaporean. I grew up in a small town called Menglembu in Malaysia, where my earliest food memories were made. It has been more than ten years since I moved away from home, but yet I remember some food places like a piece of history etched permanently in memory.

And rightfully so, for Malaysia is famous for its varied, delicious food. I could rattle all night long of my favourite Malaysian restaurants, or I could tell you that ONE seafood place which I will always, always remember. During my recent trips back home, I even demanded my family to make the one-hour journey to this obscure restaurant in the middle of nowhere near the town of Sitiawan.

Ah Pek Lee Kou Hock is the place. Funny name of a restaurant, eh? Never mind the name. Let me tell you about its food. This meal took place over a year ago, but to this day I still remember the details. Vividly.

Sweet & Sour Fish Maw With Sea Cucumber

Ah Pek Lee Kou Hock Seafood Restaurant

Succulent fish maws cooked with soft sea cucumber with a touch of shrimps, cooked in a sour, starchy tomato broth. You know, they should consider replacing shark fins with a phenomenal dish like this one.

Oyster Omelet

Ah Pek Lee Kou Hock Seafood Restaurant

Maybe I should rename this as oily oyster omelet. Yes, it is extremely greasy – I can feel my waistline expanding just by thinking of it – yet like all fattening food this was extremely good. More commonly known as “hou jian” in the local dialect, it’s a tantalising mix of batter, eggs, oysters… and plenty of oil. Yum.

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The One With Frites Belgium On Tap – Mussels Me Please

It was said that beer is to the Belgians as wine is to the French. If it was true, then Frites Belgium On Tap paid homage to that tradition as good as your favorite French winery. Minus the snobbery.

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I could do without the huge declaration of 10% service charge though.

It was weekday night when I visited the branch at Quarry Bay for some beer and good old mussels. Have you heard that I love shell fish of all kinds? No? Now you know.

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How dedicated were the Belgians to beer? At Frites, they have a beer bible, and prayers dedicated to beer. Heads were definitely bowing (probably due to pints consumed rather than subjugation) and incantations were shouted rather than murmured, it was a temple for beer worship, alright.

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The One With Sydney Fish Market – Freshest Seafood In Town

I have been Sydney twice now; once in 2006, and more recently in 2011. Both times, I didn’t miss out the chance to visit the ever fabulous Sydney Fish Market.

Sydney Fish Market

Sydney Fish Market is located Pyrmont, right at the harbour where countless boats of all sizes were docked at. You can reach the market by the lightrail tram, which runs every ten minutes or so. Perfectly reliable transportation, so you’ll be excused if you kinda forgot you are still in Sydney.

Sydney Fish Market

Oh yes, where was I? The fish market. The whole complex is located some ten minutes walk away from the lightrail stop. There are plenty of signboards to show you the way, but fret not if you are hopeless with direction even with a map AND an iPhone in your hand, like yours truly.

Just follow your nose.

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