Flashback: Food in HK
Leaving for my
food trip to HK-in-Canada in less than an hour. Couldn't sleep with all this excitement; but that's not true, it's more b/c I've been used to sleeping at 5-7AM for the past week... In other news, I watched all sorts of depressing stuff on TV, before deciding to do something constructive. Including: disasters of biblical proportions in the Deep South, a documentary on orgasm, and on the same channel right after, a documentary on the (less-than-orgasmic) 2000 US election... (dot-dot-dot)
Ok! Let's go with the food! (Sadly, I forgot half the names of the places I had this food... it's pretty generic (and still good), so no loss)
One of the first days in HK, but the last for uncle ah-Pang, who usually owns/manages the Perle something (d'Orient?) restaurant on Des Sources in DDO, but returns to HK for a month every year. So he decides to invite us for... I forgot, safe bet is Chinese food? Including fish, and we ordered that shao xing wine I kept looking for since tasting it in Shanghai in 2002.
The morning after, we get some regular noodles with fish balls or what seems to be pork, in a little eatery near the MTR station of Wan Chai. A bowl for about 15HKD. Side orders of fried salmon skin are favourite fillers.
Miam, Cafe de Coral! The #1 Cantonese fast-food chain in HK. I had a BBQ pork and duck on rice here, with my favourite, the HK-style milk tea. <3
This is actually in Macau, but food (besides the Portugese specialties) is pretty much the same as in HK. This is a beef brisket noodles I got at a well-known restaurant on Largo de Senado (the territory's central plaza), facing the McDonalds and beside the Starbucks. Couldn't dare order the thing before 2002, but now it's a once-in-a-while delicacy...
Another place in Wan Chai, between the Southorn Playground and Morrisson Hill... Famous for its delicious congee, and flavours "boiled" into it. Rice dumplings (zong) are favourite too. ^^;
Tofu au gratin at a branch of a fancy Japanese restaurant chain in the new Kwun Tong shopping mall (was it Watami?), my uncle Rene and family took me to. They've all sorts of other "cool" plates like crab meat sashimi salad and eel sticky rice, in a chic environment (you get to sit at those tables with a deep gap under them to dangle your naked feet over).
Two weeks later, same uncle and family take me to fancy Hunan-style restaurant (owned by the Maxim group?) in friggin Central. This is a piece of delicious fish with a nut-like-based sauce. Never was able to understand what it was made of, but quite novel to me, so all good. :D
Some of the cutest baby choy I've ever eaten, from that same restaurant.
The day after (May 14th) was the day before the Cheung Chau bun tower climbing competition. As a tradition, the whole month before is the Bun Festival, and residents must eat zai (vegetarian). To follow the trad, McDonalds only offers the incredibly disgusting McVeggie.
Sai Kung, a little town in the Eastern New Territories, and one of HKers' favourite weekend places, boasts a large number of seafood restaurants in its downtown, and seafood peddlers selling their goods directly from the boat (fresh or not, it's still moving! But is for tourists really; any local big grocery chain has their "live" seafood/fish).
My aunt Nat takes me and cousin Nic to fancy Japanese chain restaurant in the basement of Times Square. We get a bunch of sushi, extremely Japaneasy-tiny dishes, and these onigiris...
At the airport, as I was going to leave on a Dragonair flight to Guilin with a HK tour (China Travels)... the only affordable meal you get is from big fast-food chains. And Ajisen Ramen is one of them, selling their meals at the same flat price than in other branches in the city. This is their "Ajisen Ramen" (eponymous, eh), which has about everything you expect for Japanese ramen, the preserved veggies, the hard-boiled egg, and the fat pork.
Early June, this is a weekend day I got bored and decided to eat at random places by myself. By then, I'm used to life in HK, and dare return to restaurants I've been taken to (eventually, I'd even try new restaurants, I think?). Shown are "xiao long bao", a variety of Shanghai dumplings, filled with pork (a variant puts crab fat and meat in them), have a thin skin, are made with wheat flour, and if well-made (as they are in China but not in stupid Montreal), has pork juice in them (pierce and drink before eating the whole thing!), from one of the best-known chains of Shanghai-style food, Crystal Jade (Fei Chui).
HK is also an international city, and it doesn't have a farming industry to protect... So clearly imported saucisson and goat cheese (you can find saucisson locally-produced in Montreal, but it's miles away from the real thing - funny, I thought to myself, that I had saucisson in Asia...).
Another rediscovery (b/c I probably tasted a lot of those traditional plates, while going "meh" when younger) was the drunken chicken, made with teh shao xing wine. Chicken is different in China, meat has more consistence, which makes or breaks this sort of dish.
At the same restaurant (in Causeway bay, on the street behind Sogo) my aunt took me to, we're in mid-June by now, a few yummy non-Cantonese dishes, including some fatty pork leg.
Another evening by myself, I decide to try Cafe de Coral's main local competitor, Maxim Fastfood. Had the salty baked chicken combo on special.
One evening in a hurry, my aunt and cousin meet up with me, and we're whizzed into this fast meal restaurant in Causeway Bay. There, we had a few cha chan teing quick dishes, eggrolls, lime pork chops, fried tofu...
...and also, something called "choy fan" (veggie rice), the simplest tastiest specialty. Just cut some bak choy finely and mix it in with your rice, right before it's finished cooking.
At another Shanghai-style restaurant, behind the Sogo in Causeway Bay... Was meant to be one of my last meals in HK, so we had what I liked the most, xiao long bao, ... and a bowl of chicken broth with dumplings.
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