Category Archives: Seafood

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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The One With Okaki Oyster Bar – The Best Is In Its Grill

I said it before and I will say it again. Had it not been for Groupon, I would have never been to half the places I wrote about on this blog. Finding new restaurants and eateries to experience in Hong Kong could be quite an ordeal in itself; Groupon cut the chase for me admirably well.

Yes, there were misses. A little research goes a long way before you hit that “Buy Now” button and more often than not, I always find something good and interesting about the new spots I ventured to.

Okaki Oyster Bar was one of those experiences. Just over a year old, the name “Okaki” itself is a blend of east and west; oysters are “kaki” in Japanese, while “O” obviously stands for “oysters”.

White Truffle Honey Salad

Okaki Oyster Bar

We started off our meal with white truffle honey salad which, if truth is to be told, was rather bland to taste. I am no truffle expert, but even I could tell that either truffle was non-existence in this plate of rather untantalising greens, or the amount sprinkled left me wanting.

Fresh Seafood – Prawns, France Whelk & Oysters

Okaki Oyster Bar

And then came the fresh seafood. Do you find yourself a little economised by the restauranteur when you are told specifically how many pieces of seafood you will get with your deal? The two prawns and two France whelk were succulent and sweet. It would have tasted much better with wasabi, but I was a little hesitant to ask for some. What if they told me wasabi doesn’t come with my deal?

The oysters were excellent. To quote the French poet Léon-Paul Fargue, eating great, raw oysters are “like kissing the sea on the lips.” I slurped up mine in one quick suck, and the oysters seem to melt on my tongue, making me shivering in delight and wanting more.

These oysters were in season and simply tasted better than other time of the year. We had Bald Eagle – a plump sized oyster with a meaty texture but crispy to the bite, and Coffin Bay – considerably smaller in size with a pleasant salty tang and a cucumber-like finish.

And then I spotted the extensive oyster menu. Did I mention that the oyster menu was extensive?

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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.

IMG_9890

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 Lamma Hilton Shum Kee – Hong Kong Seafood Galore

There are many places to go for seafood in Hong Kong. What with being surrounded by seas and being in such close proximity to China, it is hardly surprising that seafood in Hong Kong in generally fresh. More often than not you get to see the live version of your dish before it gets cooked.

My all time favourite restaurant for seafood is undeniably the Lamma Hilton Shum Kee located at Sok Kwu Wan in Lamma Island. Being a good ferry ride away from HK Island, there is something almost magical about the place.

Lamma Hilton Shum Kee Seafood

But first, on to the food.

Deep Fried Squid with Spicy Pepper

Lamma Hilton Shum Kee Seafood

Perfectly spiced and succulent to the crunch. The deep friend squid was perfect to go with a bottle of beer on a hot Sunday afternoon. The dish would have been even better had the squid been cut into smaller pieces.

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The One With Rocksalt At Stanley

It was a moment of madness.

Imagine this – it was traffic peak hours on Hong Kong Island on a Friday night. The road was packed bumper-to-bumper with weekend traffic, full of rat racers rushing to dinner, spa, movie and what-have-you appointments all over the city. The frantic activities as observed from the upper deck of a double decker bus almost nauseated me.

Yes, that’s where I was, that humid night, on my way into Stanley, where I am to have my seafood dinner at Rocksalt. Oh, the things you would do when you give in to the temptations of Groupons! The trick of doing all these dining deals is to book at least two weeks in advance, even for some place like Stanley.

So was the an hour peak traffic journey into the never never land worth it?

Situated along the main Stanley promenade on the southside of Hong Kong, Rocksalt’s large floor-to-ceiling windows provide magnificent unobstructed views of Stanley Bay and a welcomed escape from the bustle of Stanley Market. As we were shown to our seats, I can’t help but marvel at the sense of calm that came over me despite the hustle and bustle of the growing dinner crowd that evening.

Dinner at Rocksalt Stanley

For this Groupon deal, a set dinner for two, the selection was kinda set so we settled right in with additional drinks (a pint of Erdinger for me, yum).

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The One With Hairy Crab Season In Hong Kong

There is just something very special about hairy crabs and its season in Hong Kong. The decidedly local culinary delight is usually consumed by the kilos mainly between the autumn and winter seasons.

Hairy Crab 2010 V1

First of all, of course, there are the crabs. Our famous clawed friends were originally famous as a Shanghai cuisine and are prized for the female crab roe. According to the Chinese, the meat itself was believed to have a cooling effect (yin) to the body. Depending on season and origin, a piece of hairy crab can cost as much as HKD200 upwards.

There are many reasons why I love the hairy crab season.

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The One “We Love Bangkok” Day 1

Seafood Dinner at Chinatown

First day in Bangkok drew to a close. It had been a relaxing day, in room service and then massage and a some shopping (Dunkin Doughnuts!) before a huge dinner gathering at Chinatown. It was a spectacular site to behold, the twelve of us. Tucking into endless fresh seafood sent to our table, chatters over beer, and friendly bantering with the wait staff.

An experience only an authentic Bangkok roadside dining experience can give you.

(This post will be updated again later)