Category Archives: Tsim Sha Tsui

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 Swiss Chalet – Smelly Cheese House

Tucked along the bustling Hart Avenue in Tsim Sha Tsui is a neat cottage-like restaurant called the Swiss Chalet. I was having some time off a conference at a nearby hotel and my colleagues brought me to this restaurant.

Swiss Chalet @ Tsim Sha Tsui

Such attention to details, no?

The first thing that hit you when you enter the restaurant is its smell. Goodness, I had never ever been into a place that smelled so cheesy yet so good! Apparently Swiss Chalet is famous for its cheese fondue, but since it was a working day, it is not good to tuck into such, well, cheesiness. The food comma that is surely to follow will be too much to bear.

But nothing stopped us from having a (German) pint. Heh.

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The One With Mu Dan Ting – Chinese Buffet & Dim Sum At Great Prices

“That price to eat all you can? Dim sum and Chinese dishes? Are you sure?

That was my first reaction when we reached Mu Dan Ting restaurant located at Pacific Centre at Tsim Sha Tsui. You would have the same reaction too when the price to eat all the dim sum and Chinese dishes you want is an affordable sum of $138.

Yes, that’s HKD. As in, like, S$20.

I can’t really tell you much about what I ordered. That’s because I didn’t. The entire menu was in Chinese.

Chinese Buffet @ Mu Dan Ting

But what I can tell you that, despite my initial skepticism of its quality (you get what you pay for, and all that theory), the food turned out to be surprisingly good.

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The One With Tandoori Chicken At The Delhi Club

Dinner At The Delhi Club

If there is only one dish you can afford to order at The Delhi Club, it has to be the tandoori chicken. Four visits later, it is still the best thing they have on the menu.

The One With Chung Gye Chon – Delectable Korean BBQ

Did you know there is a Korean Street in Hong Kong? No? Neither did I, until earlier last week when my friends detoured from our usual haunts on Hong Island ventured to Kowloon for a spot of Korean BBQ.

Korean BBQ At Chung Gye Chon, Tsim Sha Tsui

The restaurant for the night was Chung Gye Chon, located at Kimberley Street at Tsim Sha Tsui. Various Korean eateries dot along this road, so you will be hard pressed for choice to dine out here. Ours was illuminated by a large orange sign so it will be hard to miss.

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The One With Traditional Chinese Noodle

What is it about Chinese and their tendency to pick-and-match their food? There is this distinct food culture in Hong Kong where you get to fix your meal the way you want from a variety of food and condiments.

It is something like “chap chye peng” in Singapore, only better.

Traditional Chinese Noodle @ Tsim Sha Tsui

The way to do it is this. You choose the main soup base you want, and then add on whatever you wish at incremental prices. The end result can be fascinatingly delicious… or atrociously laughable. It helps, of course, if you read Chinese.

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The One With The Delhi Club – An Adventure At Chungking Mansions

It certainly wasn’t a place I would go to on my own.

Chungking Mansions was certainly not for the faint hearted. From the outside it looked like an rickety, overlighted building with many South Asians (Indians, Sri Lankans and similar) loitering around. Once you approach the building, endless leaflets advertising everything from food to clothes are stuffed into your hands.

It wouldn’t be that bad if these vendors didn’t start to surround you and shouted unsolicited offers, from food to suits to everything imaginable under the sun, in your face. It was worse than my experience with the insufferable touts at the Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar.

Under so under considerable duress my friends and I made a choice for a dinner place (somewhat random, but hey when in doubt, just close your eyes and jab, hehe) and made our way to the third floor of Chungking Mansions, where The Delhi Club was at.

The Delhi Club @ Chungking Mansions

The exterior of the restaurant was, like the rest of the building, plainly deceiving. Just a nondescript door that would be otherwise mistaken as the entry to someone’s house, if not for the posters decorating the wall outside. The overenthusiastic Indian proprietor of the place welcomed us in and soon we were seated somewhat comfortably in the deep cavern of the restaurant.

After debating the pros and cons of Indian cuisine to the best of our limited knowledge (there were two Malaysians in the group but that didn’t add on much to our culinary advantage), we took a collective breathe and ordered… randomly.

It was certainly a random kind of night ;)

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The One With Balalaika – A Russian Experience At Knutsford Terrace

It’s someone’s birthday. Someone special. So of course you can’t do a half-hearted at (God forbid) char chan teng or just order a cake, can you. You need to do something different.

So what do you do? Here’s my three-steps fail-proof guide to choose an appropriate restaurant for a birthday dinner:
Step 1: Get a globe. Give it a good twirl, close your eyes, and jab with your finger.
Step 2: Look at the country, go to OpenRice.com to search for a corresponding restaurant (i.e. if you jabbed at Mongolia, you go for Mongolian food, see?)
Step 3: Call up the restaurant, make a reservation and start saving

Inevitably an exotic meal will cost you an arm and a leg, though I have to say that perhaps Balalaika Russian Restaurant is one of the few exceptions.

The Ice Bar

The Ice Bar

A visit to Balalaika would be incomplete without visiting the Ice Bar (the inverted Absolute Vodka prop wasn’t a photoshop mistake, mind you). The small bar without seats, which can comfortably fit about 6 – 7 standing adults, was famous for the subterranean chill of almost zero degrees Celcius, probably all to make it a Russian experience (side note: do you know the Russians have one of the most severe winters in the world?). Prior entering the chilled room you get to choose a huge fur coat, a fur cap and a pair of furry ear muffs.

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The One With Espressamente Illy – Dessert On The Go

When in doubt, go for coffee. That’s my solution to the eternal problem of oh-I-still-want-to-eat-but-so-full-after-dinner.

So after our dinner, Ms. Khoo (otherwise affectionately known as The Gal Who Shop Too Much) dragged me to Espressamente Illy at K11, loudly proclaiming that they have the best dessert ever.

And who I am saying no to FREE dessert, right? ;)

Chocolate Brownie, HKD34

Dessert at Illy's (K11, Tsim Sha Tsui)

Her choice. Apparently it wasn’t heated enough to her preference, so she returned the brownie to the friendly barista for a reheat. I was pleasantly surprised that the brownie was heated to the point of melting but without getting it burnt. Nice job! It must have been heavenly as Ms. Khoo was rendered speechless for the first couple of mouthfuls. I didn’t try because I have my own sin to indulge in.

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