Thursday, 22 September 2011

Tai Hing Roast @ Citygate Outlets, Hong Kong

I was wondering how we were going to slot Tai Hing Roast into our trip as all meal slots seemed to be taken up but luckily we spotted a branch at the Food Republic of Citygate Outlets and so wasted no time in hurrying over to order the roast meats =P
We both had the Two Roast Combination and among the choices of roast meats were BBQ pork (aka char siu), roast pork (aka siu yuk), roast suckling pig (aka yu chu), roast goose (aka siu ngor,) plain chicken, supreme soy sauce chicken, squid, pork knuckle and red sausage.
Roast Pork + Roast Suckling Pig Combo (HKD 44)
  • Roast pork had an extremely crispy skin and the meat was lean with appropriate amount of fat.
  • Roast suckling pig also had an extremely crispy skin with lots of fatty meat.
BBQ Pork + Roast Goose Combo (HKD 44)
  • BBQ pork was well grilled and flavourful.
  • Roast goose was juicy with a slightly crisp skin.
Overall, the roast meats we chose were really good, much better than the local versions and of course back home, you can't even find small pieces of roast suckling pig for sale individually. I felt that the price was a bit steep for roast meats. Nevertheless, I'm glad we went to Tai Hing just to have the siu yuk and roast suckling pig =)
PawPoints: 4 Paws
Tai Hing Roast Restaurant
Tung Chung MTR Exit C
Counter R1, Food Republic
Shop 261-270, Level 2
Citygate Outlets
20 Tat Tung Road
Tung Chung
Hong Kong
Tel: 2109 2208
Daily: 10.30am - 10.30pm

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Dim Sum @ Maxim's Palace, Hong Kong

What a posh place! It was a ballroom full of hanging crystal chandeliers and elegant tableware. The dim sum were more daintily made than usual but not to the extent of fine dining daintiness. Taste-wise, it was good but not extraordinarily outstanding. I wish we had gone to sample Tim Ho Wan, the world's cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant, for comparison =(
Char Siu Bao
Scallop Cheong Fun
Prawn Cheong Fun
Steamed Vegetarian Dumpling
Beef Cheong Fun
Steamed Beef Balls
Har Gau aka Prawn Dumpling
Steamed Pork Ribs with Black Bean Sauce
Wu Kok aka Yam Puff
Char Siu Sou aka Char Siu in Chinese Puff Pastry
Fried Custard Dumpling
A few blogs have commented on the confusing directions in getting to City Hall where Maxim's Palace is located at and I have to agree too. Also note that the ballroom is located on the upper levels of City Hall so do not mistake the cafe bearing a similar name on the ground floor as serving dim sum =)
PawPoints: 3 Paws
Maxim's Palace
Central MTR Exit J / Hong Kong MTR Exit A
2nd Floor, Low Block
City Hall
5-7 Edinburgh Place
Hong Kong
Tel: 2521 1303
Mon - Sat: 11am - 3pm, 5.30pm - 10.30pm
Sun: 9.30am - 3pm, 5.30pm - 10.30pm

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Tsui Wah Restaurant @ Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

We had our 1st meal since we touched down at Tsui Wah Restaurant as recommended by the concierge at our hotel. It is a typical Char Chan Theng with prompt service and was packed with customers when we reached.
Shop Front
Herbal Tea
Iced Coffee
Fishball Noodle Soup
JS ordered the Fishball Noodle Soup which I found surprising since we're at Hong Kong, not Ipoh! But after reading some reviews on Tsui Wah recently, I found that it's actually the trademark dish! JS, do you have some sensitive nose or something?
The kuey teow (aka hor fun) noodles were slimmer than those served back at Malaysia and were quite nice according to JS. He also thought that the soup was flavourful but had a bit too much MSG in it. The fish balls and fish cake were fresh and bouncy.
Stewed Pork Ribs Noodles
Looked very yummy and tempting but I didn't try it =( Looks like it can be replicated at home with Maggi Mee though =P
Pork Chop Bun
The Pork Chop Bun was quite yummy with juicy meat, mayonnaise and fluffy flour-dusted buns.
Beef Fried Rice
This is one of the star dishes we had. Very fragrant fried rice with fluffy rice grains coated with sufficient oil and eggy bits. The beef added a robust flavour to the yummy fried rice. I wonder why is it that I still can't replicate Hong Kong-style fluffy fried rice at home T__T
Beef in Tomato Sauce Rice
This is also another yummy dish. The beef is really tender and the scrambled eggs is similar to Australia Dairy's, very fluffy and light and both absorbed the flavours of the tomato sauce fully, making it a very appetising and mouth-watering dish that goes well with rice.
PawPoints: 4 Paws
Tsui Wah Restaurant
Causeway Bay MTR Exit D1
Ground Floor
483-499, Jaffe Road
Causeway Bay
Hong Kong
Tel: 2892 2633
Daily: 24 hours

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Tonkatsu by Wa Kitchen @ Pavillion, KL

After hearing about the one and only tonkatsu (deep fried breaded pork cutlet) place in KL, we headed over to Pavillion that very weekend.
Shop Front
Hot Green and Brown Tea (RM 3)
The ocha cups here are so dainty, much better quality than the standard thick-rimmed cups we've been getting at other Japanese restaurants. The cup on the left is perfect with a thin rim whereas the cup on the right looks like it was shaped by an inexperienced potter who accidentally squeezed too hard whilst the cup was spinning on the pottery wheel =P
Table setup
Toasted sesame seeds and tonkatsu sauce
Toasted sesame seeds waiting to be ground
The toasted sesame seeds are ground with a miniature wooden pestle in a special ceramic saucer with rough edges on the inside. The tantalising smell of freshly ground sesame seeds immediately wafted over as the waitress showed us how it was done.
Tonkatsu sauce
The next step was to pour the tonkatsu sauce over the ground sesame seeds...
Tonkatsu dipping sauce
...mix it and tada! special dipping sauce for the tonkatsu =D
Hire Katsu + Rosu Katsu Zen (RM 28)
What's the point of going to a tonkatsu place if you don't order the pork fillet cutlet (Hire Katsu) or pork loin cutlet (Rosu Katsu)? The pork cutlets are served with shredded cabbage, a wedge of lemon for the tangy flavour and a dollop of yellow wasabi for that extra kick. The set also comes with pickled vegetables, hiyayakko (cold Japanese tofu), rice and tonjiru (pork miso soup).
  • The deep fried pork cutlets were very crispy thanks to the panko coating. It can be eaten on its own as it is subtly flavoured, or dipped in the tonkatsu-sesame seed sauce. The rounded ones are the fillet whereas the oblong ones are the loin cutlets which were juicier and more tender.
  • The shredded cabbage is refillable and is rather bland on its own. This can be rectified by a liberal splashing of light and slightly tangy salad dressing in the tall glass bottle.
  • I thought the yellow blob next to the lemon slice was mustard but it was a deceiving wasabi disguised in its cousin's yellow colour >.>
  • The hiyayakko was very refreshing and provided a cooling effect to the heatiness of the deep fried tonkatsu. I wish it was refillable =(
  • Pickled vegetables were quite bland. Only the slightest hint of salt was detected but it was like eating blanched vegetables squeezed to a crisp texture. Not very memorable.
  • Rice with dotted black sesame seeds is refillable <yay!> - good for guys who have a bigger appetite.
  • The tonjiru is very different from the usual miso soup as there was almost no hint of miso - the only thing which gave it away was the cloudy broth when stirred. For light eaters, this alone might be enough as there were a lot of ingredients in the soup. Plenty of pork, diced carrots, diced shiitake mushrooms, konnyaku slices and small daikon pieces. Very flavourful and slightly sweet (from the meat) broth.
The many ingredients in the tonjiru

Would you look at the amount of stuff in this porky soup?
Buta Shogayaki Zen (RM 26)
The Buta Shogayaki Zen was a surprise winner =) I was a little surprised when JS ordered this as it was quite a simple dish to make - sauteed pork belly with ginger sauce.
The dish was surprisingly light and not oily (unlike the one I had at Gin Ryu Tei at Midvalley =.=). The pork belly was very tender and the onions were so well cooked that they seemed like part of the pork belly to me =P The gingery taste was not very strong so it's good for those who do not like ginger. The mayonnaise was very compatible with the dish and added to the smoothness of the tender pork belly.
This set also comes with refillable cabbage shreds, hiyayakko, pickled vegetables, refillable rice and tonjiru. A must-try, I would say.
PawPoints: 5 Paws
Pawket: Tomato

Tonkatsu by Wa Kitchen
Lot 6.12, Level 6
Tel: 2144 2292

Congee @ Sang Kee Coffee Shop, Hong Kong

We originally came here to try their famous Dace Ball and Beef Congee but when we reached the shop around 9.30am, we were told it wasn't ready yet. Nevertheless, we decided to stay to try the other congee varieties as there were lots of newspaper review clippings taped to the shop's window. The shop was packed with people and it took a while to get a table to fit 6 of us.
Yau Char Kwai aka Chinese Cruellers (HKD 5)
As is the norm, we ordered some Yau Char Kwai (aka Chinese Cruellers) as accompaniment to the congee. They were very fresh and crispy but not extraordinary.
Hong Kong Style Milk Tea
Some of us ordered a cup of Hong Kong's famous See Mat Nai Cha which translates literally to Stocking Milk Tea, indicating the silkyness and smoothness of the milk tea. The tea was very concentrated with a strong tea taste which no amount of sugar and milk can help dilute. It does take some getting used to but I think it'll taste nice after your tastebuds have adapted to it. The long teaspoon looked like it belonged more in a glass of cold milk tea than on the saucer =P
Sliced Beef and Pork Ball Congee
Unfortunately, we were too busy digging into our respective congee to snap pictures of the other varieties -_-"
I had the Pork Ball and Fish Ball Congee and it came in a bowl smaller than a ramen bowl but bigger than the small orders you get at Sushi Zanmai. The congee was very smooth and the rice grains were all boiled down to a concentrated swirly mixture as Hong Kong congees usually are.
The pork balls and fish balls were HUGE and I'm not exaggerating here...they're the size of ping pong balls! I think I was given 3 pork balls and 4 fish balls so imagine 7 ping pong balls in your tummy lol. The pork balls were very compact, full of minced porky goodness and very flavourful. The fish balls, on the other hand, were translucent in colour and very pasty. I wasn't a big fan of it.
The congee comes with an individual serving of ginger slices and spring onion in superior soy sauce. It was served in a tiny bowl smaller than the average rice bowl and you can opt to pour as much as you like into the bowl of already flavourful congee. Check out the picture below for a (blur) picture of the condiments.
Condiments *taken from OpenRice
All in all, the congee was good, serving was large as is typical in Hong Kong and meatballs were huge. It was a shame we weren't able to try the famed Dace Ball and Beef Congee.
PawPoints: 4 Paws
Sang Kee Coffee Shop
Sheung Wan MTR Exit A2
7-9 Burd Street
Sheung Wan
Hong Kong
Tel: 2541 1099
Mon - Sat: 7am - 9pm

Friday, 16 September 2011

Wantan Mee @ Tsim Chai Kee, Hong Kong

On our last day in Hong Kong, we hopped over to Tsim Chai Kee to try their legendary wantan mee. The shop at Central is warm and cosy unlike the other slightly rundown versions of famous Char Chan Thengs in Hong Kong. Clean wooden tables and stools greeted us as we stepped in.
Prawn Dumpling Noodles (HKD 16)
Portions were much bigger compared to Mak's Noodles and the prawn dumplings given were huge in size, much larger than the typical wantans in Malaysia. They were also fresh and full of flavour. The noodles were good and sufficiently springy although they turned a little soggy towards the end (maybe it's because I'm a slow-eater =P). There was a slight alkali aftertaste though. The broth was a little cloudy but still full of prawny and porky essence. A little saltier compared to Mak's though. I felt the abundant chopped spring onions detracted the flavour of the soup a little...a sprinkling of chopped scallions is good, a handful of them is not -_-"
To be honest, Mak's was of higher quality - springier noodles, crunchier prawn dumplings and clear broth with the right amount of seasoning - but I would definitely return to Tsim Chai Kee as the difference in quality is minimal and they serve a much larger portion at a much lower price.

PawPoints: 4 Paws
Tsim Chai Kee
Central MTR Exit D2
98 Wellington Street
Hong Kong
Tel: 2850 6471
Daily: 9am - 10pm

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Mak's Noodles @ The Peak Galleria, Hong Kong

We were pleasantly surprised to find Mak's Noodles at The Peak as we planned to go to the main shop at Central so without having to worry about overpriced, touristy food at The Peak, we headed in to Mak's. Not to say that Mak's isn't touristy with its expensive price tag and unbelievably small bowl of wantan noodles but at least it came with the guarantee of being delicious =P All 6 of us had the trademark Prawn Wantan Noodles which costs HKD 28 per bowl.  

Prawn Wantan Noodles (HKD 28)
All wantan noodles come in one size only - small =.= Each bowl is the size of the average rice bowl so you can imagine the amount of noodles it can contain. Each serving comes with three prawn wantans so I guess that kind of makes up for it. The portion is actually just nice, sufficient to fill you up but not to the maximum level of fullness. Guys might have to order two bowls though =P
The wantan noodles were very delicious, definitely not overrated. The noodles were springy and fresh with no jelak aftertaste. The soup was very clear and full of prawn essence. The prawn dumplings boiled in stock were fresh and crunchy. "How can prawn dumplings be crunchy?" you ask. Well, I'm not too sure myself -_-" I guess the prawns must be really fresh to actually be bouncy and crunchy haha. The wantan skin was paper thin which added to its crunchyness.
Watch this space for our review on Tsim Chai Kee - Mak's Noodles' competitor <dundundun> :D
PawPoints: 4 Paws
Mak's Noodles
Central MTR Exit J2, Peak Tram Lower Terminus
Shop 1, Ground Floor
The Peak Galleria
118 Peak Road
The Peak
Hong Kong
Tel: 2854 3871
Daily: 10am - 10pm

Monday, 12 September 2011

Monster Burger @ Hong Kong

Ah Monster Burger! It was an accidental find. We had initially wanted to go for Roast Pigeon at Tai Ping Koon Restaurant but we were short of time as it takes one hour (!) to cook the tiny pigeon =.= Also, the price was exorbitant...about HKD 60 for half a pigeon but I guess it was to be expected since the restaurant exuded old world charm and all the potential customers seated looked posh and important (well if they didn't have to work on a Friday, they must be quite rich =P).
Anyway I'm rambling about our adventures again =P So out the door we went and we decided to stop at this tiny outlet called Monster Burger. To be honest, the name attracted me first, followed by proclamations that they sell pork burger <grins>
Pork Chop Crunch Burger Set (HKD 43)
The Pork Chop Crunch Burger came with a thick and juicy, slightly sizzling, crispy slab of pork chop wedged between two heavily dotted sesame buns. I think it was slathered with Thousand Island sauce and fibre sources came from onions, tomatoes and shredded cabbage.
If the burger doesn't wow you, the chips that came with the set definitely will. Hot and crispy, there was a hint of Cajun seasoning on the thick cut fries. The chips were very fresh and you can taste real fluffy potato within. I, who was coming up with a sore throat, couldn't resist the fries at all. Both JS and I agreed that this is the best fries we ever ate <four thumbs-up> :D
Juicy monstrous burger
I'd say it beats even Grill'd from Australia with the juicy burgers and crispy yet fluffy chips.
Monster Burger Creature *taken from OpenRice
PawPoints: 5 Paws
Monster Burger
Central MTR Exit D2
21 Stanley Street
Hong Kong
Tel: 2526 1526

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Egg Tarts @ Tai Cheong Bakery, Hong Kong

Did some research and found that this place serves awesome egg tarts! The bakery itself goes way back, more than 50 years if I'm not wrong. The route to the bakery however is treacherous >.<  We had to hike up super steep slopes but thankfully it was located just a few roads away from the MTR station. I think the walk helps to gear you up in anticipation of the wonderful egg tarts =P Bad point: you feel hungry after making it back to the main road =.=
Piping hot egg tarts
Close-up of egg tart (HKD 5)
The freshly baked egg tarts were wonderful, the smell absolutely fragrant, the tart buttery, the egg custard silky smooth and eggy <two thumbs-up!>
We actually returned to the shop again on our last day in Hong Kong just to sample those divine egg tarts once more <drools thinking about them now> I can guarantee no place in Malaysia makes egg tarts as good as Tai Cheong's. Apart from egg tarts, the bakery also sells a variety of buns and Chinese pastries. They also have packaged items such as Hong Kong egg rolls which we bought as souvenirs.

PawPoints: 5 Paws

Tai Cheong Bakery
Central MTR Exit C
35 Lyndhurst Terrace

Hong Kong
Tel: 2544 3475
Daily: 7.30am - 9pm

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Australia Dairy Company @ Jordan, Hong Kong

What a deceiving name! One would have thought this place serves Western food instead of it being a Char Chan Theng aka HK-style coffeeshops. Nevertheless since it was famous for its silky smooth Zhong Nai aka Steamed Milk as well as Scrambled Eggs, we headed to Jordan for a meal before going to watch the Symphony of Lights at Tsim Sha Tsui. Pleased be warned that the staff are well known for not being polite...We experienced it first hand... =(
Steamed Milk (HKD 20)
The signature dish was indeed very smooth and creamy with a hint of ginger taste.
Scrambled Eggs & Cheese Toast
Another trademark dish and it was every bit as good as I imagined. The bread was toasted just nice and complemented the scrambled eggs and cheese perfectly.
I have to give the scrambled eggs alone a 5 Paws rating as they were firm with multiple layers of egg and a moist, ever so slightly runny center. No hint of pepper which, to my surprise since I love black pepper, suited it just fine as it was very flavourful with a hint of butter.
Scrambled Eggs & Ham Toast
This is another version of the scrambled egg toast with an addition of a slice of ham. Think it was pork ham which was very yummy with the scrambled egg. Totally felt like we were eating breakfast when in actual fact, we were there for dinner =P
PawPoints: 4 Paws
Australia Dairy Company
Jordan MTR Exit C2
47-49 Parkes Street
(Off Austin Road / Nathan Road)
Hong Kong
Tel: 2730 1356
Daily: 7.30am - 11pm