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HK report

m
medgirl Jan 8, 2010 06:20 AM

My HK eating plans were not fulfilled to the extent that I hoped, because of various reasons. We arrived in HK all having just recovered from really bad colds and generally still feeling unwell. The weather in HK was grey, cloudy and drizzly in early December. We also found walking around a bit difficult with a toddler in a stroller. Unlike London, where all the pedestrian crossings are at street level, HK seems to have lots of underground crossings and bridge type high above the street crossings needing lots of stairs to be negotiated.

The culinary highlight was Fu SIng. We were sort of left in a corner for almost 20 minutes with a pot of hot water (no tea leaves in it!). Once a waiter came to our table, I showed him a printout in Chinese characters of the stuff I wanted and asked for steamed rice (to accompany the char siu). We got everything except the steamed rice! I liked the way they brought the things at intervals, rather than all at once. Everything was excellent. Har gau and siu mai were the best I've had anywhere. The char siu was heavenly. I think it would rank as my favourite thing to eat ever. We also loved the fried rice (sang chow lor mai fun). FInished off with a plate of polo char siu bao. Somehow, the bread encasing the chair siu seemed almost too sweet. I guess I am too used to the bland steamed char siu bao. My 2 year old loved everything and was getting really excited every time the kitchen lady brought another dish to the table.
A family friend took us for a light dinner at Festival Walk Mall in Kowloon Tong. We had XLB and turnip cakes at one place (can't remember the name) and then char siu cheong fun and milk tea and another place (King's Palace Congee and Noodle Bar?). It was OK.
We went to Victoria City in Harbour City but our toddler got scared of this big model of a crab they had out in the front (to promote the hairy crab season, I think) and started crying very loudly, so we got embarrassed and left.
Another highlight: wonton noodle soup at Tasty's in IFC Mall. By far the best wonton noodle soup I have ever had. I'm sad that there seems to be nothing comparable in London.
All in all, I wish I was feeling better so I had more of an appetite. And without the stroller, it would be easier to get around. We got taxis a couple of times but the driver couldn't understand where we wanted to go until we went back to the hotel concierge and asked for it to be written down in Chinese. Maybe next time I will be more organised!
Thanks so much to all the lovely Chowhounds who frequent the China board and gave me great advice. I'll look forward to visiting HK again.

  1. m
    mikey8811 Jan 8, 2010 08:19 AM

    Glad you enjoyed your trip & the food. Coincidentally, my last meal in HK was at Tasty in IFC before boarding the Airport Express. Great stuff like the one in Happy Valley. I think Charles likes Tasty too.

    4 Replies
    1. re: mikey8811
      Charles Yu Jan 8, 2010 04:49 PM

      Next time, you should do a horizontal tasting of Won ton noodles before flying off! First the one at Tasty's then try a bowl at ' Hang Heung's Kitchen ' first floor of Airport Terminal 1. Not bad at all for airport food. Much better than a lot of outfit in town!

      1. re: Charles Yu
        PeterL Jan 10, 2010 09:20 AM

        There is a very good won ton noodles place in terminal 2, which has some pretty good food choices.

        1. re: Charles Yu
          j
          JiMaWu Jan 11, 2010 01:14 AM

          Mmmm...the airport also has the only branch I know of Ah Yee Leng Tong, which has great homemade Cantonese soups. I really miss the TST branch of Ah Yee Leng Tong. I think they are only at the airport now.

          1. re: Charles Yu
            m
            mikey8811 Jan 11, 2010 01:22 AM

            The queue at the IFC Tasty is v long at peak lunchtime - I thought I was gonna miss my flight but they are very efficient at turning over traffic.

        2. erica Jan 8, 2010 12:23 PM

          Thanks so much for the follow up! I am headed back to HK soon, after an absence of many years, and am looking forward to some great eating!

          Question: How can I get a list in Chinese of those dishes to order at Fu Sing? Or, alternatively, are there any English speaking servers? I understand that dim sum are a specialty. How are the non-dim sum dishes at Fu Sing, in other words can I put it on my list as a dinner venue?

          37 Replies
          1. re: erica
            k
            klyeoh Jan 8, 2010 03:10 PM

            Thanks for the update, medgirl - and sorry that you didn't get as good a service at Fu Sing as you should have. It is a very busy place, and sometimes, service is just very slow there - but being persistent (and with a broad smile) will get you that little more attention from their staff. BTW, that bolo bao with char-siu filling was Fu Sing's house speciality!! Bolo bao - literal translation: "pineapple bun" is similar to Mexican buns, i.e. with sugarcrumb topping which added to the sweetness. Usually, HK bakers made lattice-shaped designs on the crumbed topping, which made them look like "pineapples", hence the name. Like Mexican buns, bolo bao were originally just buns with sweet crumbed topping and with no filling. But in recent years, char-siu filled bolo bao have become popular in HK, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, etc.

            erica, Fu Sing does have several English-speaking staff, and the menus are bilingual in any case, so you'll never have any problems ordering. The seafood dishes are good, but you'll also see a whole list of house specialties highlighted on special picture cards displayed on the table or on large posters on the walls.

            1. re: klyeoh
              erica Jan 9, 2010 04:16 AM

              Thanks again, Medgirl, and thank you, Klyeoh! So is sounds like Fu Sing is more than just dim sum, right? Would it be a good choice for dinner? (I will have 5 nights; soon I will present my list for approval here!)

              1. re: erica
                m
                medgirl Jan 9, 2010 06:35 AM

                erica, klyeoh had a wonderful dinner at Fu Sing which he described in this thread:

                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/620966

                He thought it was even better than Lung King Heen at the Four Seasons, from what I recall.

                1. re: medgirl
                  erica Jan 9, 2010 09:01 AM

                  GREAT!!! So I have started my list! First entry: Fu Sing.

                  I am SO excited!

                  1. re: erica
                    Charles Yu Jan 9, 2010 05:54 PM

                    Posted on facebook, fellow chowhounder Fourseasons had dinner at Grand Stanford's Hoi King Heen ( Michelin 1* ) and Tak Lung ( Michelin Bib Gourmand ) which apparently trumped his meal at Fu Sing!! My wife's meal at the 1* Wan Chai Lei Garden last week was also at par if not better than Fu Sing!!
                    Then, there's always the Creme de la Creme, Michelin 2* 'Tim's Kitchen'. Great food but a touch expensive!. For a more economical choice, there's the newly open ' The Chairman' which is currently the talk of the town. You can get more info by going on www.openrice.com

                    1. re: Charles Yu
                      k
                      klyeoh Jan 9, 2010 09:20 PM

                      So many choices, so little time!

                      1. re: Charles Yu
                        FourSeasons Jan 9, 2010 09:31 PM

                        Hi Charles:

                        Need to clarify your statement: I never stated HKH and TL trump FS!!! They are really different genes...I go to FS more for its Dim Sum and a few sides dishes; HKH for chef Leung's signature dishes and TL for classic Cantonese dishes. Each has its own style and I love them all.

                        P.S: I don't think HKH has any star on Michelin but in my opinion, these three trumped most, if not all, on the Michelin's list.

                        1. re: FourSeasons
                          erica Jan 10, 2010 04:12 AM

                          FourSeasons and Charles: But now you realize that you must divulge which are the signature and recommended dishes of Chef Leung at Hoi King Heen!

                          Please!

                          It looks as if my list is shaping up before I've even begun a thread. Tim's Kitchen is pencilled in already and it sounds as if I need to get the pen ready!

                          Many many thanks. I plan to spend quite a few hours with OpenRice--I've taken a look at am impressed.

                          1. re: erica
                            FourSeasons Jan 10, 2010 06:14 AM

                            Hi erica:

                            I went to HKH in a big group; it was like 10 dishes feast for more than 10 of us. The dishes were specially ordered when we reserved the private room so I am not sure if they are in the menu. You can read my very brief review on this thread (it is a very long thread so you should just go straight to the bottom post written on Dec 09): http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/519768

                          2. re: FourSeasons
                            Charles Yu Jan 10, 2010 02:15 PM

                            Sorry my friend! Since your rating on Asiafoodie assigned 4.0 to TL and HKH but only 3.5 to FS, I automatically assume the food at the two former places are better. Interesting that almost everyone I know including myself do the same routine as you for FS ie., go for dim sum and a few side dishes from the regular menu rather than full dinner. I think only Klyeoh had a full dinner there?!

                            I remember seeing a star for HKH in the 2009 guide. May be the star was dropped in the 2010 edition? Again I might be wrong since I kept most of my food info in my office

                            1. re: Charles Yu
                              k
                              klyeoh Jan 11, 2010 01:18 AM

                              A full dinner in 2008, and a full lunch in 2009. Had the crab noodles both times - to-die for!! To me, it was mind-blowingly perfect, in every way possible! But pomelo skin in shrimp sauce was also really, really good both times, too - beat Tim's Kitchen's version hands-down!

                              But I'm game for Hoi King Heen the next time I'm in town.

                              1. re: Charles Yu
                                m
                                mikey8811 Jan 11, 2010 01:20 AM

                                Charles, I thk that's 'cos FS does good dim sum vis-a-vis the other places. Tak Lung specialties are only available for dinner when I asked 'em. So visitors like us who don't have enough time have dim sum and a few dishes at FS and then din at other places where dinner is relatively better than lunch so to speak. If I had the time FS, Lei Garden & Victoria Seafood would be places I would do both lunch and din at.

                                1. re: Charles Yu
                                  FourSeasons Jan 11, 2010 02:32 AM

                                  Hi Charles:

                                  Good memory!!! FS should be close to 4.0 except I did not like the abalone sauce chicken and the meal was slightly to the greasy side. And I have been there so many times there is no "surprise" like the way I feel about TL and HKH!!! I also had dinner before at FS; Klyeoh's crab noodle is great and the "Flower crab with hua diao sauce" is superb too; but just like Mikey's words, since FS did an excellent job at Dim Sum too, so for the last few trips, I have opt for lunch while leaving the dinner to places where the signature are available only in dinner time.

                                  P.S: I just check 2009 edition: HKH was not on the list...

                                  1. re: FourSeasons
                                    k
                                    klyeoh Jan 11, 2010 03:55 AM

                                    You're right, FourSeasons - FS' chicken was bleah! I'd forgotten about it till you mentioned that.

                    2. re: erica
                      m
                      medgirl Jan 8, 2010 11:35 PM

                      Hi erica, for the list of dishes in Chinese characters, I just googled the dishes and on places like Wikipedia they are listed in Chinese characters, which I cut and pasted to a Word document. I also googled Fu Sing and various different bloggers reviews came up with dishes listed with Chinese characters (pinkpau, epicurious girl's blogs are some that I remember). I also had loads of good advice from this board on CH, some specifically Fu Sing related. So I had compiled a list of what I wanted to try and printed it out because I wasn't too lucky in scoring an English-speaking server.

                      1. re: medgirl
                        h
                        hong_kong_foodie Jan 16, 2010 08:10 AM

                        Here are some suggestions for Fu Sing 富聲魚翅海鮮酒家 with the Chinese characters:

                        DIM SUM
                        - **A plate of half lean, half fatty roast pork 一碟叉燒, 半肥半瘦
                        - **Roast pork baked bun 酥皮叉燒包
                        - Crab roe xiao long bao (seasonal so might not be available) 蟹粉小籠飽
                        - Pan fried turnip/daikon cake stuffed with fish paste(?) 煎釀百花蘿蔔糕
                        - Har gow so that you can compare with what you find at home 蝦餃

                        NON DIM SUM (which you can still order at lunch)
                        - **Braised ox tail in red wine sauce 紅酒炆牛尾
                        - **Vermicelli in sizzling clay pot 干燒粉絲煲
                        - Romaine lettuce with shrimp paste in sizzling clay pot 生菜蝦醬啫啫煲

                        ** I believe these are their signature/award-winning dishes.

                        Just make sure to book a table in advance since it gets very busy during lunch hours (12:30pm-2pm). If possible, try going when it opens at 11am (or 10:30am on Sundays).

                        1. re: hong_kong_foodie
                          erica Jan 16, 2010 10:03 AM

                          This is wonderful. Many thanks! If I cannot eat lunch as early as 11am, would 2pm be a decent hour, or do they run out of freshly made items?

                          1. re: erica
                            h
                            hong_kong_foodie Jan 16, 2010 10:28 AM

                            I think 2pm should be fine, but I would recommend an earlier slot since you can never be sure. You can still go during lunch hours, but you just need to (1) book in advance and (2) be okay with the crowd.

                            By the way, I'm sure they have some English translation available that you can request, but the only dim sum menu I've seen is in Chinese.

                          2. re: hong_kong_foodie
                            skylineR33 Jan 16, 2010 02:54 PM

                            What you need to order for char siu at Fu Sing is 和哥义燒 (War Gor Char Siu) which is their special version.

                            1. re: skylineR33
                              m
                              medgirl Jan 16, 2010 09:50 PM

                              That's the kind of char siu I ordered (on your advice in a previous thread!) and it was the best ever. I copied those characters and showed the server.

                              1. re: skylineR33
                                h
                                hong_kong_foodie Jan 17, 2010 07:25 PM

                                Hmm, I always assumed that's what you got if you ordered char siu at lunch. I mean, won't the waitstaff just assume that's what you want?

                                1. re: hong_kong_foodie
                                  skylineR33 Jan 18, 2010 08:00 AM

                                  of course not.

                                  1. re: skylineR33
                                    erica Jan 18, 2010 11:12 AM

                                    Can you tell me what "wor gor" means?

                                    1. re: erica
                                      Charles Yu Jan 18, 2010 04:17 PM

                                      Literally it translate into ' Brother Wor', presumably how they address the Chef, whose name is 'Wor' !!

                                      1. re: Charles Yu
                                        erica Jan 19, 2010 03:20 AM

                                        Many thanks, Charles. Am I correct in assuming that the char siu will be on offer at dinner, too?

                                    2. re: skylineR33
                                      h
                                      hong_kong_foodie Jan 18, 2010 10:57 PM

                                      Funny, since I just spoke to the restaurant and they said there is absolutely no difference between the "wor gor" char siu and the regular char siu. In fact, as it has always been the case for me and everyone else I know who goes to Fu Sing, ordering just "char siu" is the same as ordering the "wor gor" char siu.

                                      Are you sure you're talking about the same Fu Sing?

                                      1. re: hong_kong_foodie
                                        skylineR33 Jan 19, 2010 05:07 AM

                                        The one that I am talking about is the one on Lockhart road, not sure about yours. Well there is no need to mention "half lean half fat" as it is Fu Sing's version. Everyone goes there order "wor gor cha siu" as this is what it's called in their menu and does not need to mention "half lean half fat".

                                        1. re: skylineR33
                                          h
                                          hong_kong_foodie Jan 19, 2010 06:52 AM

                                          Yep, I'm talking to the one on Lockhart Rd, and yep, you have to mention half lean half fat just to be sure. When was the last time you were there?

                                          1. re: hong_kong_foodie
                                            skylineR33 Jan 19, 2010 04:35 PM

                                            a few days ago. Just order off the item in their menu "wor gor cha siu" and it is aleady half lean half fat as it is what it is supposed to be.

                                            1. re: hong_kong_foodie
                                              Charles Yu Jan 19, 2010 06:03 PM

                                              The TVB food program hosted by Dr. Mok had an episode on Fu sing. The 3 decker roast pork cubes and the 'Wor gor cha siu' was specifically mentioned and captioned.

                                  2. re: hong_kong_foodie
                                    c
                                    cabking Jan 21, 2010 01:07 PM

                                    The braised pomelo skin with shrimp "seeds" was a highlight for me. Deep rich seafood flavored sauce and surprisingly soft textured somewhat potato-like pomelo skin. A real surprise, in the best possible way.

                                    FWIW, the server seemed to know exactly what I wanted when I ordered the roast pork, as every other table in the restaurant was getting an order of the same thing (it was the half lean/half fatty version). I would guess that you would only have to specify if you wanted something other than this version (NB I do seem to remember the menu listing another kind of roast or BBQ pork, but I'm sure I got what I was supposed to get becasue it was so freakin' great!).

                                    1. re: cabking
                                      Charles Yu Jan 21, 2010 03:19 PM

                                      Interesting how everyone posting about Fu Sing mentioned the same few dishes like the Char Siu, 3 decker crispy roast pork, the pomelo skin, the best bun under the sky...etc but not once did anyone mentioned the 'real specialty of the house' - The braised ox-tail with French red wine. This dish was highly recommended by the owner, Sammy, who commented that it tasted amazing!

                                      1. re: Charles Yu
                                        k
                                        klyeoh Jan 21, 2010 03:55 PM

                                        Fu Sing's braised pomelo skin was a real revelation, Charles.

                                        1. re: klyeoh
                                          Charles Yu Jan 21, 2010 04:29 PM

                                          Always love your articulate description! Hope we can dig out some more 'real revelation' this coming March!

                                          1. re: Charles Yu
                                            m
                                            mikey8811 Jan 21, 2010 10:25 PM

                                            I always have the braised ox tail w red wine and end up stuffing myself w too much meat - thk abt it char siu or crispy roast pork, crispy skin bun w char siu again, walnut chicken pastry & ox tail - that's a lot of meat!

                                            1. re: Charles Yu
                                              erica Jan 22, 2010 11:04 AM

                                              Why don't you come with us in March, Charles? Any chance?? Anyone else?

                                              1. re: erica
                                                Charles Yu Jan 22, 2010 02:42 PM

                                                Space are tight! If you're interested e-mail me. I'll let you in some of the detail. Address in my profile.

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