Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Do you remember where this shop is?

It's not a guessing game, but a casual chat for where this shop is. I think it's been there for more than 4 decades, and they only serve one herbal tea. That's it.

thousand egg, salty pork and dried oyster congee, by Shin Kau Kee 新九記, 大王東街, Wanchai, Hong Kong

I should have reported this one rather than the Congee King (who was written by the media as the no. 1). For those who still remember, congee should be boiled with broken rice for a long time. Though it's been with a long time boiling, you can still see the broken rice in it. Nowadays many congee shops just blend the congee to make it smooth. They forgot it will lose the rice aroma if they blend the congee in such a way. Some congee shops even uses some rice congee powder.

For this one, it's a classic one. Besides, we can hardly find dried oyster to be put in the congee. What's more, they even put "dried tangerine peel" in the congee! I have tried almost half bowl to tell it's dried tangerine peel. I would give this 4.2 marks out of 5.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mango in 3, Hui Lau Shan, 許留山, Hong Kong

Why Hui Lau Shan has been that successful in Hong Kong is that they keep on innovating their famous mango dessert. So like this one, for just HK$30, you can have 3 different small dishes of mango sweet. The top right is the mango in chewy sticky rice dumpling with mango slices. Left one is the mini dumplings in mango juice with mango chunks. Then the front one is mango sorbet with mango cubes. Besides, I think for mango taste, mango from Philippines is the best among all the Asian countries. Hui Lau Shan uses such mango.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Nha Trang 芽莊, part 2, Hong Kong

I had another visit to this restaurant last Friday. So I tried something new.

1/2: 2 sides of the restaurant
3: Ban Hoh with grilled chicken (HK$45).
4: Beef soup (HK$12): since I didn't order my regular Pho, I had this one for my taste bud.
5: Pork chop and steamed egg over fragrant "broken" rice (HK$68)
6. Beef brisket in curry with french bread (HK$58)
7. Garlic rice (HK$15)

In general, all the dishes are excellent. I can give 4 marks out of 5.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

how much you think for this 7 person set menu?

Ok, another guess! Tonight I went to a set menu for 7 persons (originally for either 6 or 12 persons) but they can add up one more person by charging more. Then look at the menu and the dishes, how much do you think we paid including tips, and 2 jars of cane juice? Sorry I forgot taking the photo of the E-Fu noodles. Quality-wise, I can give 3.8 stars out of 5 stars. Hint: something you wanna get from Las Vegas... Prize: the missing E-Fu noodle from this restaurant. Only 1 guess per day and the final one is considered as the confirmed answer. Deadline: 12 midnight (GMT+8, i.e. HK time) of the coming Saturday 26th July.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Vietnamese Restaurant, Hong Kong

Nha Trang opened a branch in CC Wu Building next to Hopewell Centre in Wanchai. I passed by and got so surprised with this new branch. Why not go in for a try! If some of you still remember, I told you about the small Vietnamese restaurant in Wellington Street in Central. That's the one! They have very nice Pho and even better than those I tried in Hanoi (either the hotel one or the street stalls I was brought to by local business associates). My HK Vietnamese friend told me during the Viet war, lots of talented people flee from the Country. I think it's just like the Shanghai food in Hong Kong and Taiwan. I do find the food in Shanghai is less attractive than in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

1. Grilled pork dry noodle: nice sauce and the noodle texture is good! However, the pork is a bit dried.

2. Lotus tea: a typical Vietnamese tea. Quite stress relieving

3. Raw beef pho: my favourite pho from this restaurant. The soup base is really nice. For HK$37 (US$4.5), what can I say?

4. Baby lotus stem salad with prawn: another favourite dish I usually order! The baby lotus stem is very fresh and tastes so crunchy. The vinegar dressing is in a good balance. HK$54 (US$7). Must try!

5. Morning glory in garlic soy sauce: HK$18(US$2.2) for such a nice veggie at a nice restaurant is really something.

6. the restaurant: I came in the restaurant at around 12noon; so almost no one is around.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

wanna go home?

This morning I went to Cheung Chau. Passed by the shelter pier and noticed these homeless sandals.....

My National Geographic childhood

These photos are just part of my younger time (actually not childhood).  

That night my father opened his bag and brought 2 night owls up in front of our eyes...  I wasn't surprised at all because these might be the 100th guest in our home.  However, we called the one in the photo as Mimi.  Funny is that Wang Mao (who died 2 months ago, back then he was 2-3 years old) often acted like an escort.  No matter what we are going to take photos, he will be around.  Bao Mao is not camera friendly at all, as compared to Wang Mao.  Besides, Wang Mao is like a lion.  He also acted like a nanny to take care of the younger kitties.  I lost a photo that showed him to be a nanny to pretend to feed milk (but he is he) to the kitties.  After the kitties knew that they ain't get any milk and left, we saw Wang Mao tummy was all red.

The last photo is the last dog we had.  I liked him a lot and we called him "Black junior".  However, cats don't like dog and I just don't know why my father still keeps him.  After a week of being discriminated, we had to give him up.

When I was kid, I saw, ducks, chicken, hampsters, parrot, lots of different types of birds, fish (even piranha), snail, rabbit, quail, lots of cats and dogs, 穿山甲 (pangolin), various kinds of snake, mice....etc.  I may have forgotten some of them.  It's like I am watching National Geographic but this time is close encounter.

my shrimp paste spare ribs and baby clams with chives

The show must go on.  I still keep on enjoying making dinner for my family.  Besides, the standard steamed fish, shell fish and seafood...etc., I made the spare ribs with shrimp paste (actually it's a shrimp paste cube 蝦榚 - I prefer using this one to the shrimp sauce because this one has the 'burnt" flavour and less salty).  For this portion around 12-14 oz of cut spare ribs, I used 1.5 soup spoon of shrimp paste, 0.75 tea spoon of sugar, 1 tea spoon of corn starch, some white pepper powder/sesame oil, 2-3 gloves of chopped garlic (about 1 soup spoon). 1 soup spoon of soy sauce, some oil.  Massage all the ingredients into the ribs.  Steam it for about 12 minutes at medium heat.

Then the one on the left, is tiny baby clam with chopped chives (韮菜花).  The first time I tried such tiny baby clam and actually it's a Chiu Chow food.  I put some wine and white pepper powder to marinate the baby clam a bit.  Then put 2-3 soup spoon of oil in the wok and heat it.  Put the baby clams into the wok.  Stir fry it at high heat for about 1.5 minute.  Then put the chopped chives into it.  No need to put any salt.  Instead put some sugar (1 table spoon).  If you can take hot, put some finely chopped chilli (maybe 0.25 to 0.5 table spoon).  Stir fry it for another 1.5 minutes at high heat.  Put some sesame oil and then done!  I didn't expect this baby clam is that salty.  So next time I will add more chopped chives and even chopped dried bean curd.

Friday, July 18, 2008

My Lo Han Guo soup

This soup meant so much to me and to my family.  The soup was taken and shared by all the family members for the last time but at the same time.  I made it for the first time when I was 12 or 13, when my father brought back home the Lo Han Gou.  He told me to boil it with pork and water cress, but I added some dried dates, dried tangerine peel and (north/south) almonds.  So for this one, during the summer season in Hong Kong, water cress is so hard to find.  So I made a carpet search from Quarry Bay to Shaukiwan for this water cress but much relieved I could find it.  No matter how much it is, I don't care.  I also bought a freshly cut "golden China ham".  The soup came out so nice after 3 hours of boiling.  I kept checking the fire and the water level and make sure it's good enough for everyone.  I carried 2 big warm containers to a far away place and serve the soup.  That's the story and the story will go on as I will tell the recipe and the key points to my nieces and nephew.

Fung Shing Restaurant (鳳城酒家), Hong Kong

Almost 2 weeks ago, I visited this restaurant and ordered the sweet and sour pork.  I can give it 80 marks.  I like the way they deep fried the pork and the pork is not that fat.  The coating is nice and the oil temperature for finalising the deep frying was perfectly controlled so that it's not oily at all. However, the sauce is a bit too sweet but it may be my problem as I don't eat too much sweet.

2nd one is the famous "Tai Leung shrimp omelette 大良蝦餅" (a cuisine from Shun Tak 順德 and Poon Yu 潘禹 in Guang Zhou province, where we call those areas as "fish and rice" town 魚米之鄉, as these places are surrounded by nice rice field and streams and rivers - a place with good natural resources).  They used some very nice prawns and the pan-frying is nice too.  The Chef is quite good at controlling the temperature.  While the omelette is nicely burnt but not too dry inside.

3rd: ok, this is the signature dish or Fung Shing - deep fried chicken.  I can tell they did "wind dry" the chicken for quite some time before deep frying, as the skin was very thin and crispy.  Again, the meat is not dried out because of deep frying.  Though it's HK$120 for half, it is worth it.  Normally half deep fried chicken in a nice restaurant is at around HK$60-70.

Hoi Tor Chao Lay, Suk 55, Bangkok

I found so hard to locate the photo order of this shop and still missed the Pad Thai.  This shop is quite close to the soi entrance of Suk 55 (Thonglo).  I am sure if you are regular to Thong Lo, you wouldn't miss this shop and it's also quite crowded because it's quite famous for its oyster omelette (the 4th photo).  It's pretty good though it may not be the best.  I still like it quite much.  The Pad Thai is also good.

1st/2nd: the shop inside.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Garden, the hidden, Bangna, Bangkok

Ok, as in the Thailand Unseen Gourmet's blog as taking a quiz on "what were we doing in this place".  Stella got the prize already.  So it's time for me to introduce this lovely roof top garden.  I hope my roof can be as big as this one so that I can have a even bigger BBQ party for my friends and families. Ok, back to this place, when I first went into the lobby of this mansion, immediately there came a "wet" moulding smell in the lift lobby.  Actually I don't doubt Thailand Club, but just can't stand that smell.  My ex-apt. also had that smell but if you can decorate your inside apt. nice, after you open your door, there is another world.  

1. Ox Tongue in red wine sauce: I don't like Ox Tongue but this one really impressed me a lot.  They made the Ox Tongue very tender and the sauce is excellent.  We even asked the waitress to leave the sauce for us.

2. Fried Rice with salty fish: my favourite!  The chef made it wonderful - not too soft and not too hard.  The salty fish is not too overwhelming and they put some diced Kai Lan (veggie).  One thing about Thai fried rice is that they will first stir fry the egg to make the egg aroma into the rice.  I like it a lot and I took it all without letting Thailand Club touch it!

3. Watermelon shake - at such a nice place, why not get something chill, esp. it's a sunset time.

4. Thailand Club to introduce the indoor dining area - kind of classic.

5. the water fountain

6. I like the toilet too!

7. the sofa we had our meal.