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Jan 5, 2013 04:18 AM

HK mini trip report

I'm still over here, but thought I'd share what's going on over here.

Joy Hing Wanchai - glorious cha siu. Even though Bourdain gave this place an international boost on Layover, the place still has a very local feel to it. I ordered a cha siu entree, and specified half lean half fatty and it was super decadent. The marinade and overall flavor is heavily slanted on sweet. $56 a plate, and they gave me free house soup (watercress with pork bone and carrots). Wish I had room to try abalone sauce chicken feet and curry beef brisket side dishes.

Lan Fong Yuen - major tourist trap. Birthplace of HK milk tea but there is no passion or soul remaining. They cater more towards Mainland Chinese tourists these days. When I requested one cup of hot milk tea, the waiter took out a plaque from the side and slapped it in front of me. I read it and it said $20 min order, the tea was $16. Dude was too lazy to even say, "pardon me but there is a min order". Rude as f****k.

Shui Kee - this food court is in Sheung Wan market cooked food center, in a corner. The business owner/chef has been there for 30 years I think and is easily 80 years old. His signature is cold milk tea in Schwepps glass bottle. Super glorious and the best cold milk tea I had.

Kam Fung - HK cafe in old part of Wanchai. Great chicken pie, tho sadly when I went in the AM they gave me a fairly cold one. When hot out of the oven these cannot be beat. Great hot milk tea and even better cold (iceless) one. The iceless cold version at the chain known as Tai Hing is not bad, but don't drink too much of this, might cause upset stomach.

Sun King Yuen, not too far away from Kam Fung, is excellent for HK style curry fried pork chop.

Ishiyama izakaya in Causeway Bay, is a true gem. Lots of JP expats, and excellent nimono dishes. Ankimo was even better than Sushi Ta-Ke, and sea snail (cold dish but stewed till tender) is unbeatable.

Wing Wah (Wanchai) - excellent springy toothy egg noodles (made by bamboo pole). Did not like the shrimp roe lo mein bamboo pole noodles at Lau Sham Kee...almost choked as it was way too dry. Lau Sam Kee's broth was nice for shui gow (dumplings), but seemed a tad MSG strong. Wing Wah's beef brisket noodles is really amazing. $34 for a small bowl and I finished it all. Those who are hungry might need to get two bowls. Still need to make my way to Mak An Kee on Wing Kut St... Lau Sham Kee the day I went had a long line, and slow. Wai Kee pork liver noodles down the street had lines but they moved fast. Good HK style coffee there, and the pork liver soup is interesting, but not something I want to eat again.

Kung Wor bean curd shop in Sham Shui Po - go go go. Too bad it's not foreign tourist friendly, but you can always point I suppose. Soymilk is great, as well as tofu custard, and pan fried stuffed tofu. Brings me back great memories of those traditional tofu shops, not many remaining...

Ho Hung Kee (Causeway Bay) - they opened a new location in Hysan Place. Only had wonton noodles. Presentation wise, excellent, but best part of the bowl was the shrimp roe heavy broth...very sweet and delicious. Wontons were ok, and noodles paled in comparison to Wing Wah.

Had some amazing fresh seafood at Ap Lei Chau last week, and going again tomorrow. Basically go downstairs to the market, pick out what's in season and alive, bring it upstairs to the food court and have the dai pai dong guys take care of the rest. They charge very reasonable cooking fee, and it is a feast of epic proportions. Unfortunately this is not a tourist friendly place.

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  1. Thanks for the report - always appreciate updates on the HK dining scene.

    1. Hello KK,
      Seasons greetings! Sounded like you are having some great ' hole-in-the -wall' fun experience!!
      Just a short remark about noodles. IMHO, likes and dislikes for the type of noodles used in Won-Ton Noodles is a very subjective thing. For example, skylineR33, our Toronto hound loves the 'bamboo' noodles of Wing Wah and Lau Sum Kee, whilst on the other hand I love the more chewy 'alkaline water aka Kansui' infused noodles used by the Mak's and Tasty's. (SkylineR33 hated the smell and taste of the Kansui!)
      As such, I am curious to find out your reason for using the wordings ' PALED in comparison to Wing Wah '?? Too thick? Not Al Dente enough...??

      1 Reply
      1. re: Charles Yu

        Charles, it was more like a personal preference. By paled in comparison, Lau Sam Kee just seemed to be terribly overrated. Yes the lines were long, but the signature shrimp roe noodles perhaps wasn't quite what I was expecting. The noodles I felt had better bite and flavor (and texture) at Wing Wah. I'm only comparing the noodles at this point. As for Ho Hung Kee's noodles, they are not bamboo pole but lack the texture and depth for me. I do want to return to try beef chow fun, ditto for the fusion swiss sauce version at tai ping koon. I hope to try mak an kee and kwun kee in cheug sa wan before I finalize my thoughts on the matter.

      2. Always thought Ho Hung Kee was better with their beef ho fun...but Im a big fan of Wing Wah in Wanchai as well, haven't been back in almost two years, glad to hear it is still excellent.

        I've always preferred Wing Wah's noodles to Mak's or tasty's, but most of my friends prefer Mak's...I think the bamboo style creates almost the same effects as the alkaline infused noodles but without the unpleasant smell....

        1 Reply
        1. re: tbtb18

          Same here - Wing Wah for me over Mak's when it comes to the noodle texture.

        2. Ate at a place called Sushi Mori last night in Causeway Bay, on the 16th floor of Wing Kwong building of Dung Long street, which surprisingly houses a lot of interesting Japanese restaurants. One of the lower levels is an amazing izakaya with an Okinawan theme called Rakuen (highly recommend for others to check it out)

          Sushi Mori is good value for what you are getting compared to Northern California. Red vinegar sushi rice and very dark), lots of seasonal seafood selections from Hokkaido and Kyushu that I've never had before, with delicate touches, The head chef is actually half Japanese (his father trained in kaiseki and is from Kyoto) and his mom is HK Cantonese, and he speaks way better Cantonese than I do (as he grew up in HK). Cheaper than eating at Sushi Ta-Ke which is already very lavish, but one surprise I had at Mori was grilled Japanese mullet roe, and even a grilled fresh eel (unagi) that was alive and moving before. The chef also makes a good Jiro style tamagoyaki... mirin, dashi, shiva ebi, yamaimo... very very nice. Love the sorbet made with fresh yuzu and peel.

          2 Replies
          1. re: K K

            Have been to Rakuen, very interesting food, the location also made it very non-canto/japanese friendly as the waiters spoke very good English....

            Is the Sushi Mori in Causeway connected to anyway to the Sushi Mori in California? By good value roughly how much pp for like an average omakase like dinner?

            1. re: tbtb18

              The one in LA is Mori Sushi. I have never been there but have heard a lot about it. I don't believe the two are related in any way. The same building also has an Izakaya Mori, though I have no plans to try.

              The nigiri omakase at Sushi Mori cost $1280 which is expensive, but still considered cheaper than Sase or Ta-Ke (which might be better).