If you ask a local where to get great Thai food in Hong Kong, inevitably they will recommend that you take the road less traveled to Kowloon City, where a great number of Thai eateries line up its streets. After living here for some four years (wow, time flies!) I had to say that I agree. But to find a gem amongst the many somewhat mediocre Thai restaurants require steadfast determination and more than a dose of luck.
It was with both that one day I found myself at the third floor of a wet market digging into mounds of great food at Amporn Thai food.
I have been to Amporn two times now, and I have tried enough dishes on its menu to know what is good enough to be on your list of must-trys, and what is to be avoided at all cost.
MUST TRY – deep fried cat fish with sour mango salad. The deep fried cat fish is a work of genius. It was crispy without being overly oily, and went perfectly well with the sweet and sour mango salad. The contrast of texture made this a very refreshing dish, enough to tempt one for a second (or third, or fourth) helpings despite being filled to the brim.
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I will be the first to admit that I am no expert when it comes to pastries and desserts. Some knowledge about cupcakes and how it differs from muffins would be the furthest my gastronomical knowledge in this area would go.
So please excuse me for the lack of names for the stuff you’ll see in this post, but then again you probably won’t need to know anyway.
Despite my best intention, I am still unsure about the differences between high tea and afternoon tea. I would stick to describing this as afternoon tea set to keep true to its menu. We were told that the Lobby Lounge at Hotel InterContinental was strictly walk in only, usually with a 30-min waiting time if you arrive anytime after the 2 p.m. when the afternoon tea started to be served.
A word about the lounge. Despite the slightly warmer temperature, the lounge has a lovely ambiance. The waiters bustled around us without being overly intrusive, and the sweeping view of Hong Kong (Janice sums it up well with a footnote to her post) was the perfect backdrop for an afternoon of leisurely tea. I was particularly charmed by the live band, consisting of a cello, a violin, a piano and a flue, playing not classical but easy listening pop.
It was sublime.
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There is a little Thailand in every country. Everyone loves a little bit of that culture, food and hospitality from the Land of A Thousand Smiles, so it was a delight for me to walk down the Thailand “town” in Hong Kong, located roughly along two main streets in Kowloon City.
We were starving and were desperate for some Thai food. Our first choice was closed until 6 p.m. – I won’t blame them; afterall, who in Hong Kong have dinner at 5-ish in the afternoon? – so we settled for the next tiny restaurant with the curious name of Pee Long Thai.
The eatery itself looked promising. A tiny shop with a handful of tables and wait staff speaking in perfect Thai and surprisingly good Cantonese. We settled down at a rickety table, full of anticipation for some Thai goodies.
But alas, we were in for a disappointment.
Thai Tom Yum Goong
No one in the right mind having Thai food would give this famous dish a miss. Pee Long Thai did this pretty decently. It wasn’t as spicy as it looks, probably because the taste was attuned to the local tongue, but both my friend and I agreed that the soup lacked that punch. Which is surprising, because there were two Thai women manning the (somewhat) open kitchen, and you would think they could do a punchier job.
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It was bright Saturday morning, perfect for yet another adventure into the many nooks and crannies which Hong Kong has to offer. After spending an hour or so trawling around Yau Tong area testing my new camera (I love saying that!), we made our way to the fishing village of Lei Yue Mun.
A little background of the place. Lei Yue Mun is the eastern gate into the Victoria Harbour, hence it serves an important trade route in and out of the South China Sea. By definition the “Lei Yue Mun” area covers both the Hong Kong Island side, with its strategic vantage point for military purposes (hence that’s where you’ll find the Hong Kong Coastal Defence Museum) and Kowloon side, with its bustling seafood market where Hong Kong-ers traded their catch of the day for many years.
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As you could probably tell from recent posts, things had not been great for me lately. But no matter how dire some circumstances have been like, life must go on. Hence I went ahead with a “trial” photoshoot to test my new camera (a Canon PowerShot S95, which is an absolute delight to use under tricky lighting condition and for night shots).
The location of choice? The industrial area of Yau Tong in Kowloon. It’s not a tourist area, it’s definitely off the beaten track, but it is beautiful in its own right.
Sometimes, a beautiful shot needs not be looked at through your lens.
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I never considered myself as a fan of steamboat… or hotpot, as it is commonly known in Hong Kong. In Malaysia and Singapore, the choices of hotpot outlets were somewhat limited. Had it not been because of their eat-all-you-can style, I don’t think I would have ventured to any of these establishments.
That perception changed after I moved to Hong Kong, as I discovered the joy and delight of New Star Seafood Restaurant (新星海鮮酒家) outlet located at Mongkok.
Despite its name, majority of its patrons were there for their hotpot every night.
(Side note: Subsequently I went to a few other good, if not better, hotpot places here, but New Star remains one of the places to go when my Singapore friends come visiting)
Why do I love it so? Here are eight good reasons:
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