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Bourdain - No Reservations Hong Kong

  • s

I just saw a segment on No Res that really makes this show worth watching. Watching the older gentleman make noodles with that giant bamboo pole and the beautiful way it was filmed actually brought tears to my eyes. I like the patience with which such a story is presented - it mirrors the patience required to make the noodles. A. B. may be a cocky dude, but he knows when to show respect. I love that about him.

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  1. I agree. I just reread Kitchen Confidential ( read it years ago) this weekend and it made me remember what I liked about Bourdain. I am looking forward to this episode.

    1. The Hong Kong blogger mentioned that Tony and the crew were in complete silence when they watched the noodle making process. They watched with respect and admiration. I have to say the crew and the editors did a great job in editting this segment. The shots were beautiful (who knew noodle making can look so "surreal"). This is definitely my favorite segment of the show.

      1. I'm watching it now on DVR. That noodle-making segment was beautiful. I had no idea this show could be so good or beautifully shot. The roast pork and goose segment wasn't too shabby either. A lot of food porn but nice to see Anthony Bourdain genuinely impressed with the food. Now it looks like it's getting gimmicky. What's the blog of the HK food blogger?

        1 Reply
        1. I loved this episode too. I have been to HK once and ate very well, but I would love to know more specifics about the places he went to...did anyone catch any details? I can probably find Alvin Wong's restaurant in Mid-levels, but I would love to know which food courts he went to and where exactly Yung Lok (I think?) is (the place with the roast baby pig and goose). Also...I wonder who he sells those hand made noodles to? I am sure they would be appreciated in the finest restaurants in HK.

          15 Replies
          1. re: kenito799

            Chuen Kee Seafood Restaurant: On his first day in Hong Kong, Tony and friend Josh enjoyed a meal together at this restaurant, located in the New Territories. Tony ate razor clams, cellophane noodles with soy and bamboo shoots, stir-fried cuttlefish, conch dipped in chicken stock and horseshoe-crab soup.
            Address: G/F, 87-89 Man Min Street, Sai Kung
            Phone: 852-2792-9294

            Four Seasons Clay Pot Restaurant: Tony and Josh enjoyed traditional Hong Kong clay pot rice and assorted sausages.
            Address: Temple Street, Yaumatei

            Long Kee Noodle Shop: At this restaurant run by brothers, Tony enjoyed some spicy beef brisket noodles.
            Address: G/F, 10 Hak Po Street, Mongkok
            Phone: 852-2390-3990

            Tung Po Seafood Restaurant: At this dai pai dong restaurant, Tony dined on various types of delicious seafood consisting of deep-fried mantis shrimp, fish fins, black-ink squid balls with noodles, stir-fried prawns and clam soup.
            Address: 99 Java Road, North Point, Cookedfood Center

            Yat Lok Barbecue Restaurant: Tony and Josh ate a delicious meal of various roasted meats, including goose with rice, suckling pig and pork belly.
            Address: Po Wah House A, Tai Ming Lane, Tai Po, New Territories

            Bo Innovation: Tony had an innovative, creative, delicious meal at this Hong Kong gem. It included sausage ice cream with rice crisp, toro sushi with air-dried foie gras, lobster with Szechuan sauce and har gao pasta, and wagyu beef with shrimp and scallop broth.
            Address: Upper Ground Floor, Ice House, 32-38 Ice House Street, Central Hong Kong

            The Grand Stage: Tony met with some Hong Kong natives to enjoy a tradition ... shark head soup.
            Address: Western Market

            Typhoon Shelter Crab: Tony sampled this traditional Hong Kong dish (crab with soy, scallions, salt, fried garlic) for the first time at this waterside restaurant. Tony also enjoyed fried mantis shrimp and clams in spicy black bean sauce.
            Address: Under the Bridge Spicy Crab
            Phone: 852-2573-7698

            Lin Heung Teahouse: Tony and friends experienced traditional Hong Kong dim sum at this popular teahouse. Tony ate pork liver shu mai, barbecue pork bun, Chinese-style steamed sponge cake, steamed crab meat with fish maw and har gao (shrimp dumplings).
            Address: 160-164 Wellington Street, Central
            Phone: 852-2544-4556

              1. re: K K

                KK, thanks for the extensive report.

                Is Tung Po Seafood Restaurant the place inside of the gigantic indoor street food market he went to? Is there some type of online info source concerning that venue? My mouth was watering at that sequence.

                1. re: Polecat

                  Never been there sorry. I copied and pasted this info from the link to the travel channel from the Cha Xiu Bao blog (latest entry). But yes I'd imagine that's all "dai pai dong" street vendor stalls (moved indoors).

                  There is one place they went to after horse racing that was not mentioned in the listing. It is somewhere in Happy Valley. Where you need to go up an escalator to go to the multitude of food court/stalls. I remember a TV documentary that spilled the beans of cheapest seafood upscale restaurant quality abalone there, though you'll be paying $50 a piece easily, but you're shaving 2 to 3 times the cost of dining at an actual table cloth establishment. The messed up thing is that you can order an iced milk tea to go with your abalone, mix and match your dishes from various food courts. But in a way that's fun, to be able to customize, eating high end seafood with street food and drink!

                  1. re: Polecat

                    Tung Po seafood is indeed the place inside the food market. Unfortunately like many Chinese restaurants in Hong Kong, I don't think they have an online website. Actually among these dai pai dong restaurants, Tung Po is popular among locals but I won't say it is the best. There are better ones though Tung Po has more variety so it is very popular as it appeals to people with different palates!

                    1. re: Polecat

                      Chubby Hubby posted on Tung Po Seafood Restaurant in March 2006 briefly. (http://chubbyhubby.net/blog/?p=167


                      K K, is the place in the Happy Valley marketplace on the third floor with dai pai dong clustered in the glassed-in area? If so, I've been living in the dark for the longest time then because it houses my usual breakfast joint in HK!

                      1. re: lsk

                        Sorry I don't know, never been there. :-(

                        Only saw it and mentioned twice on TV. All I know is that you need to go up an escalator, and my cousin when I talked to him 2 weeks ago, did mention it was inside or on the top floor of a "gai see", aka fresh produce and meat/butcher market. You know...the places where PETA would go hog (or vegan) wild, where you would see a fish sliced in half with the heart still beating, and live chickens deskinned and throat slit to order. Vendors always wear boots and aprons, and water hose down the floor that's always filled with blood and grime. But it doesn't get any fresher than that.

                      2. re: Polecat

                        Tung Po Seafood Restaurant is on 99 Java Road in North Point above the market. Take the MTR to the North Point train station. Follow signs to Java Road ( I think its 1A exit...not sure). Once you get out the exit walk to the left about 1-2 blocks and across the street you will see a food market. You take two escalators up. Most of the tables are usually reserved at dinner time. Its also usually the most crowded place.

                        1. re: designerboy01

                          Look for this sign.

                          Boy its really difficult to look at the Chinese food oferings in NY after coming back from HK.

                          I had the stamed fish lips which was a little gloopy in the sauce. I had the black ink squid. That was cooked with cheap pasta and after eating seveal days of bamboo noodles it was sort of a let down eating that pasta. The taste was good. I also had the fried pig knuckles with a red fermented bean curd dip. Very fatty but my 2 cents is that it was the best executed dish. Very crunchy skin and just pure soft fat on the inside.

                      3. re: K K

                        Watching this again and forgot how I drooled over Tung Po, thanks for this!

                        1. re: K K

                          Where 's "Under the Bridge Spicy Crab?" I know I've walked past a Typhoon Shelter crab place between Wan Chai and Causeway Bay that is almost under a bridge, but it's not waterside. I've been curious about it, though.

                          1. re: SoupNoodles

                            Hong Kong Restaurants
                            Under Bridge Spicy Crab
                            Shop 6-9, G/F 405-419 Lockhart Road

                        2. re: kenito799

                          Does anyone know what Josh's food blog is?

                        3. One of my favorite episodes of No Reservations. I think the main reason I loved it so much is because the majority of the show focused on food. I've been to HK and watching this episode made me want to book tickets immediately. The noodle making process was incredible, I really enjoyed the music NR used. Great work!

                          11 Replies
                          1. re: puppychao

                            yeah it made us go to Flushing for dim sum at 11pm...which then only made us miss HK more...

                            1. re: kenito799

                              That's funny because when I was watching the show last night I was thinking - next time i'm in nyc I'm making the trek to Flushing. I went to Chinatown in Manhattan the last time I was there a few weeks ago and had Shanghai soup dumplings because of AB's Shanghai show. I live in N.C. and don't know NYC well enough to know where to go in Flushing. I imagine there's a thread here somewhere. Where did you go? And dim sum that late? Who knew that was possible! I visited HK many times in the late 80s early 90s and it is truly a food mecca. Unfortunately, I didn't appreciate it then because as I was living in mainland China at the time, we would always head for non-Chinese restaurants when we were there. I would go about it very differently now. One of these days soon.....

                              1. re: suse

                                I never pay attention to the name of the spot...but it's not very good anyway. The late night options in Flushing are limited but there are certainly a huge number of Chinese and Korean places in Flushing...check out the Outer Boroughs board.

                                1. re: suse

                                  Late-night dim sum can be had at Ocean Jewels, but you must order the dishes a la carte (by indicating on your dim sum card which dishes you want), since there are no carts being wheeled around at that time. Nearby, Sunway also has dim sum dishes if you've got that late-night craving--and they are open until 3AM, I believe.

                                  1. re: richardiculous

                                    yeah, sunway is the place. We also went there at around 2 am immediately after getting back from HK, we were still craving the HK food scene...it paled in comaprison, but last night it seemed better, maybe because I wasn't jet lagged. The tripe was great, both beef and pork spare ribs good, Chinese chive har gow quite yummy even if the wrapper was a bit thick. Taro bubble tea, hit the spot.

                                    Didn't know Ocean Jewels was open...on Prince? it looked closed, maybe for Labor Day. Will check it out next time--thanks!

                                    1. re: kenito799

                                      Yup, Ocean Jewels on Prince. Their website has them listed as open until midnight Mon-Thurs and Sunday, and until 1AM on Fri and Sat.

                                2. re: kenito799

                                  My wife turned to me and said "we're going for dim sum this weekend". I've been to HK three times, this show made me want to go back again.

                                  1. re: Scrapironchef

                                    Lin Heung Teahouse is at least 80 years old. Quite amazing that the inside and operation still manages to be stuck in time. And probably best value for the money compared to other higher end places.

                                    And there's of course Luk Yu which is a tourist stop, 100+ year old "overpriced" tea house.

                                    For the same money arguably you could pay US$7 to $8 for siu mai that has scallops and abalone in it and some of the more upscale places from what I've read.

                                    1. re: K K

                                      The clattering of the spoons, cups and saucers was the stuff of beautiful symphonies. My kind of music. Anyone up for a trip to Hong Kong?

                                      1. re: K K

                                        Luk Yu has very regular old time customers. They are the people that get the proper service you would expect. They don't really need new business.

                                  2. re: puppychao

                                    "...the main reason I loved it so much is because the majority of the show focused on food"

                                    Hear, hear.
                                    It was a beautiful show. I even didn't mind the kung fu segment for some reason. Perhaps it was because I found the behind-the-scenes info to be interesting.

                                    As much as I enjoy going to Flushing and Manhattan's Chinatowns, this was yet another reminder of what a drop in the bucket they are in terms of the incredible variety and breadth of the true source cuisine. Hong Kong awaits.

                                  3. Apparently the dude on the show was not the only guy who made noodles the old school way. There is at least one more guy I know of. He makes the noodles for

                                    Wing Wah Noodle House
                                    Henessey Road # 89, Wanchai, Hong Kong
                                    Tel: 25277476
                                    12 pm to 5 am (Mon thru Sat)
                                    12 pm to 1 am (Sun)

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: K K

                                      Wouldn't it be something if the word got out that there is real interest in this traditional way of making bamboo noodles -- and some HKK kids put down their cell phones and started learning from the old masters?

                                      1. re: ClaireWalter

                                        No truer words were ever written. Yes, that would really be something. Thank you.

                                        1. re: ClaireWalter

                                          The trick is to educate and somehow instill that work ethic and spirit/passion into the HK kids, which is an impossible task these days due to so much materialism in the form of goods, toys, gadgets, technology, fashion/clothes, and as they grow up, desire for power and riches (emulating celebrity pretty boys and girls no doubt) robbing their attention. How do you convince a kid to apprentice doing this kind of work that in a sense is very low pay although it will make millions happy?

                                          I had only read about and seen pictures of the noodle making, but to see it on an international/American program for full footage, now that really commands respect and awe.

                                          1. re: K K

                                            I watched this episode last night with my mom. She had seen the earlier broadcast and enjoyed it so much, she stayed up to see it a second time with me. Like others, i was amazed by the beautiful shooting of the noodle making. Then my mother told me that my late uncle knew how to do this and had described bouncing on the bamboo pole as a kid.

                                            1. re: Melanie Wong

                                              All of that bouncing on your nether regions can't be good for fertility, perhaps that's why there's no one to take over the business.

                                        2. re: K K

                                          Its not true. There are a bunch floating around HK/Macau and probably different parts of Guangdong Province. There is another restaurant directly across the street from Yueng Kee on Wellington that has the bamboo noodles. They even have a restaurant at Terminal 2 in HK airport.

                                          1. re: K K

                                            Seconded on this place (though I thought it was at #93). I've eaten there many times, and the noodles are superb. Alive, almost.

                                          2. does anybody know the name of the music that they used for the noodle making segment? it is beautiful.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: justwandering

                                              justwandering -- did you ever get an answer to your question concerning the name of the music in the noodle segment?

                                            2. I, too, really enjoyed this episode.

                                              I loved the roasted pork and duck segment. It looked so simple, rice and meat. I was imagining the rice soaking up all of the juices and the fat from the meats. My mouth was watering!

                                              One thing that Tony missed out on was the clay pot rice. He had the Chinese Sausage with rice while his guide had the chicken with salted fish. The chicken with salted fish would have been far superior to the Chinese sausage. I guess the blogger dude didn't want to overwhelm A.B. with "weird" foods?

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: dave_c

                                                I watched monday night and was looking at airline schedules yesterday. Thanks, KK for the diligence on the itinerary. Bordain has the intelligence to know when he's in the presencee of a master. I just hope I get there before the noodle masters all retire.

                                                1. re: dave_c

                                                  I think the reason that he ordered the Chinese sausage casserole because it is the "classic". It is like when you introduce burger to others you introduce the "classic" version first before you go to the other variations. And I can guarantee you that many many Cantonese people will prefer the Chinese sausage casserole than the salted fish casserole. The former is more popular.especially in winter.

                                                  1. re: dave_c

                                                    Regardless of what we saw him eating on camera, Bourdain surely tasted everything that came to the table.

                                                  2. Will the show be repeated sometime soon? I'm so sorry I missed it...

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. I finally had a chance to watch this segment with my wife which I had taped earlier. Great episode with mouth watering food. Loved the dim sum at the old teahouse, the soup noodles and the roast pig and goose.

                                                      It made us both want to return to Hong Kong for another visit as long as we can get a nice room in a nice hotel, to decompress after a day out on the streets fighting the crowds. We both cracked up at the woman street vendor who told Tony to leave, darn gwai lo and his camera crew interrupting business. So typically HK!

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: curiousgeo

                                                        It's so easy to get a combo hotel/plane ticket to HK on Cathay Pacific...we stayed at the Renaissance Kowloon in Tsim Sha Tsui, excellent hotel and very reasonable since the Intercontinental was built and blocks its views. But it's right on the walk of stars on the harbor and you can walk to Temple St, but really, with that fanstastic public transport, anywhere is convenient in HK...my favorite jetlag breakfast ever was wide rice noodles with sesame and peanut sauces from a tiny shop on the street at the north end of Kowloon Park. What a city!

                                                        1. re: kenito799

                                                          My cheap, save the money for the food travel tip -- Stay at the HK YMCA, it's right next door to the Oriental and is a better hotel than many in town.

                                                        1. greetings, there's a highly entertaining (w. traditional Chinese music in the soundtrack) recent martial arts comedy, "Kung Fu Hustle" in which one of the masters hidden in the obscurity of Pig Sty Alley makes his living rolling noodles with bamboo poles. Many vets of the Hong Kong film scene involved.

                                                          1. I am going to be in Hong Kong in two weeks and will try to get to Long Kee Noodle Shop and Yat Lok Barbecue Restaurant. I put the addresses into Google and they popped right up. The noodle shop is in Mong Kok which is right in the heart of Kowloon, just off Argyle Street towards the hills. The barbecued meat place is up in Tai Po, a few stops up on the Kowloon-Canton Railroad line, about a 20 minute ride from Kowloon. It's very close to the Hong Kong Railroad Museum, which is a popular tourist attraction.

                                                            I will have most of the day to hang around since my flight from Singapore gets in at 10:35 a.m. and I don't leave for San Franscisco until 6:30 p.m. I'll check my bags so I'll just have my backpack. They have showers in the Thai and United lounges so I can get cleaned up before my connecting flight. Hopefully I'll have some succulent pig and goose fat lingering by then! I've been to Hong Kong several times so this this is just a "bonus" day as United doesn't fly the late HKG-SFO flight every day (and it's disappearing completely at the end of October when UA resumes HKG-LAX nonstops).

                                                            This episode really made me excited about my stopover in Hong Kong - I wasn't sure what to do all day (I was going to go to Lantau Island and see the big buddah but the aerial tram is shut down at the moment). I agree that this episode was beautifully shot - it's great to have a DVR to admire some of the quickly-fleeting images.

                                                            I'll report on my field trip when I get back if anyone's interested.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: krhobar

                                                              please do! with the excellent public transport you should be able to do a lot. and the airport doesn't need you back there till 45 minutes before the flight. Tai Po might be a stretch but it really sounds worth it...check the timetables. We had the BEST pork knuckle and tripe noodle soup in a little place in the middle of Tuen Mun, also in New Territories...

                                                              1. re: kenito799

                                                                So here's my Hong Kong adventure, as promised. I failed! But I have a good story to share.

                                                                The story:

                                                                I got back to Singapore the night before from Krabi, Thailand, where I'd spent the weekend. I took a taxi to my hotel and as I was checking in I realized I did not have my travel folder with my passport inside! I ran down the street but the taxi had already driven away. This was at about 11 p.m. and I was flying out at 6:45 the next morning. I made a bunch of calls to the taxi company (Comfort) but got no word back before morning.

                                                                I went out to Singapore airport, filed a police report and pled my case to United and the Singapore immigration staff. No dice. No passport, no flight. This took about 2 hours and my flight to Hong Kong had left by then. The standard procedure in such situations is to go to the U.S. embassy and get an emergency replacement passport. But Monday was Columbus Day in the U.S. and embassies around the world observe U.S. holidays. Doh! So I was looking at a two-day delay to get home. Really bad as I had an important work deadline looming.

                                                                Dejected, I kept calling the taxi company while I headed over to the Singapore immigration office near the Lavender MRT. I was waiting in line when I got through to the taxi company and found out that my travel folder had been turned in by the driver at a police station. So I went to the local police station nearby to find out exactly where I needed to go. Nobody was there so I sat on the steps and made friends with a Singapore cat who kept me amused until I got Comfort on the phone again with details. It was the Clementi main police station, halfway across town. After a 40-minute taxi ride I went inside, was helped by a very nice Muslim woman and got my folder/passport back. Phew!

                                                                Back to Singapore airport (another 40-minute cab ride) where the horrible United staff told me that since I was on a discounted ticket I could only come back the next day (24 hour delay). So I ran down to the Singapore Airlines ticket counter in the other terminal and got on the 11:00 a.m. flight to Hong Kong and paid about $400 for a one-way ticket. I made it with about five mintues to spare. But it allowed me to reconnect with my original United Hong Kong-San Francisco flight at 6:30 p.m. By the time I got to Hong Kong (lovely Singapore Airlines flight on a brand-new 777-300; even in economy it was plush, and the Singapore Slings were flowing) it was about 3:00 p.m.; needless to say I wasn't going in search of roasted meat nor noodles. I took a lovely shower in the Red Carpet Club and then went over to the Thai Airlines lounge and had some tasty fried noodles, samosas and a couple of San Miguel beers. So I did have at least a couple of Hong Kong culinary items.

                                                                I travel a lot and this is one of the most stressful things I've encountered. Do NOT lose your passport! But I made it home on time and didn't muck up my job so it worked out OK.

                                                            2. I finally got around to watching this episode. It certainly ranks high on my favorites.

                                                              I especially love the segment at Tung Po. The music was a bit more frantic (I would love to know that techno tune) and the post-production processing with the focal points was something totally different that No Reservations had done before.

                                                              1. FYI... from the Travel Channel website: http://travel.discovery.com/tv-schedu...

                                                                The HK episode will be reaired on
                                                                Oct 29th at 10 pm
                                                                Oct 30th at 2 am
                                                                Nov 5th at 12pm

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: dave_c

                                                                  A note to clarify, unless I missed it above - Tung Po Seafood Restaurant is among the indoor dai pai dongs in the North Point municipal market complex at 99 Java Road in North Point, not actually in Happy Valley. Once you get up there, Robby's place can't be missed, nor can he & his 'do.

                                                                  For roasted meats, an easier trip than schlepping out to Tai Po is Joy Hing,
                                                                  265-267 Hennessey Road, Wanchai. Street level, but not actually facing Hennessy Road. It's around the corner from that listed street address, facing Stewart Road. Chaxiubao gives it a good write up.