# Monday, 30 August 2010

It is quite bad that after taking 1g dose of anti-biotics twice a day for a week, I am still having heavy cough and no real relief, and doctor prescribe another anti-biotics, honestly I tend to rely on Chinese herbal medication more but some pressure forced me to western medicine, well, somehow I feel that managers may feel that employees should see western doctor to get well faster, even if they would not think Chinese herbal medicine does not work, at least it must be slower.

I am not saying Western Medication does not work, but it is not the first time that I have to try another anti-biotics (last time I took 3 and followed by another anti-viral drug) in an attempt to kill "another kind" of bacteria, I am indeed worried.

But as a consolation, I got a chance to visit Dim Sum 譽滿坊 again, as it is close to the hospital I went to, and I had the HK$80 酥皮龍蝦湯 - Chinese style Lobster Bisque, which I have been wanting to have, I am not sure though if this soup is good or bad for my symptom.

Dim Sum 譽滿坊 is indeed offering great dim sum, but one thing that I need to point out is that they used Shark's fin quite a lot in their dim sum, I cannot blame them but to be frank, I think that can be unnecessary, their dim sum can still be great even without it.

My previous blog entry on Dim Sum 譽滿坊

Monday, 30 August 2010 21:23:24 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Sunday, 21 March 2010

Being one of the restaurants that I would rate as very good, as well as one that I blogged about in my first few posts, I am glad to see them opening a new branch in Causeway Bay, I actually found out about it when I ate at Din Tai Fung (鼎泰豐) more than two months ago, but I forgot to mention that in my blog. Well, this new branch is not really very far away from the old one but it added some convenience for me. It is located at Regal Hotel, near Victoria Park, and walking distance from Sogo.

Address in Chinese: 銅鑼灣怡和街68號1樓
Address in English: 1/F, 68 Yee Woo Street, Causeway Bay
Tel: 2504 4228


^All three are good!


Excellent shrimp springroll

I feel that the quality in terms of food is as good as the original branch, and the service is ok too, for me this location saves me some walking, so I would try to eat there more often now.

My previous blog posts on Fu Sing (around an year ago)
http://www.biginhongkong.com/2009/03/01/FuSingSharkFinSeafoodRestaurant.aspx
http://www.biginhongkong.com/2009/03/07/FuSingSharkFinSeafoodRestaurantPartII.aspx 

Sunday, 21 March 2010 22:30:34 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Wednesday, 10 February 2010

This is probably the last of my recent recounts of my North Point gourmet experiences, there was a comment asking about restaurants in City Garden Hotel, while the word-of-mouth of the restaurants there are general ok, the one I have tried is Yue (粵), I rarely eat there and that was a dim sum lunch a few months ago.

Yue is quite impressive to me, although they may not be as good as Lei Garden, or as good value as Shark's Fin City, they represent a new style of dim sum gourmet, there is no complaint on the things I tried there, though I would not say they are the best in town, especially when the pricing there is quite high. Environment wise the restaurant is expectedly good, the people I met are quite professional that day but I think they need more hands to serve everyone during peak hours. Overall, I would say this is worth trying once if you stay in the hotel or near the North Point area.

Yue (粵)
Address in Chinese: 北角城市花園道9號城市花園酒店1樓
Address in English: 1/F, City Garden Hotel, 9 City Garden Road, North Point
Tel: 2806 4918

There are quite a few budget restaurants nearby that serves dim sum at lower price, especially during non-peak hours (morning or late afternoon - after 2:30p for example), my personal classifications for these are as followings:

Metropolitan Restaurant (新都會大酒樓) - Good for business lunch when you are the one to pay and wish to spend averagely for guests of average importance, the environment is good and spacious, but the price tag is acceptable, food quality, in my opinion, is also average only.

Star Seafood Restaurant (明星海鮮酒家) - I have not been there for a long long time, somehow it co-relates hassle and noise to me. You don't have to treat my comment seriously, but you may want to take a look yourself.

Hok Ka Hut (客家好棧) - well....I would never eat there again, this oily and strangely tasted fried shrimp roll scared me:


And I almost forgot, some may feel that there seems to be no Japanese restaurant in North Point, but in fact, there is one which is quite good, also at the basement of Island Place (港運城) - it is a restaurant and not just a counter at food court - OEDO Japanese Restaurant (大江戶日本料理) is very ok to me, I especially like their Teppanyaki (鐵板燒), good in content, great taste (especially the sauce), and reasonably priced, the only caveat is that the food is rather too salty.

OEDO Japanese Restaurant (大江戶日本料理)
Address in Chinese: 北角英皇道500號港運城地庫B10
Address in English: Shop B10, Island Place, 500 King's Road, North Point
Tel: 2960 0099

You may also check out my previous blog entry on my North Point favorite at: http://www.biginhongkong.com/2010/01/27/LookingForPlacesToEatInNorthPoint.aspx

Wednesday, 10 February 2010 23:25:50 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Friday, 27 November 2009

It is not an easy thing for a restaurant to be around for 60 years, especially in a fast changing city like Hong Kong, 龍門大酒樓 Lung Moon Restaurant will be closing down by end of this month (Nov 2009), although I am not a fan of this restaurant, I wish it would continue to be around. But the reality is, located at a real estate with high market value, and facing the trend of a district wise rennovation, it has already been a great feat that it survives up to this time.

The dim sum served by Lung Moon Restaurant is very traditional, they are nice but in my opinion not especially great, some of their post popular items, such as the big bun (大包) and glutinous rice (糯米飯), are not my favorite, therefore I rarely go there, but the main reason I avoided them is the environment, for experiencing the good old days it is fine, but perhaps once in a while is enough, most of the time I would not consider it.


Many people like the big bun (大包) because you get to taste a lot of stuffs in one item (Chicken,Pork,Mushroom etc), if you like buns this is a must try.


The beef ball is well done


The chicken feet is too spicy for me


A fairwell banquet (龍門夜宴) for HKD 300 per head, I am really interested but it is already fully booked.

The restaurant is full of people taking photos these days, another token of the old days will be lost, I really don't like to see this happening.

Friday, 27 November 2009 15:26:02 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Wednesday, 25 November 2009

It is always hard to say which dim sum restaurant is the best in Hong Kong, coz there are truly many great ones, but if I must name one, probably Lei Garden (利苑酒家) can be a safe answer.

I could have blogged about Lei Garden a long time ago, but just did not make it, I do not eat there very often, being always full is not an exact reason, but I somehow just feel more at ease at other restaurants, considering location and my schedule. On the other hand, they do serve great food.


Their crab meat soup dumpling was excellent, something that I sure would order when I eat there  


This hairy crab paste Xiao Long Bao (小籠包) was very good, aside from rich crab paste, it contained quite some crab meat inside, but at HKD 32 each is too expensive!!


The beef ball in soup was great, I like the way it is cooked, even the soup was tasty!


The chicken feet and 叉燒包 (barbecued pork bun) were also very good, but they can be found at same quality elsewhere too


The Taro Puff (蜂巢芋角) was not good enough, it was fried too deep, this was quite a surprise, and it was the only thing that I feel disappointed.

Lei Garden is comparatively expensive, and serving a higher end market, the people there are polite, but somehow I just feel a little unease there, if you wish to eat there I suggest making booking in advance, unless you got there early during non-peak hours and can finish eating before the crowd comes in.

There are quite a few branches of Lei Garden, I think the quality is quite consistent, but the one at Wan Chai seems to be mostly popular among locals.

Official web site: http://www.leigarden.hk/

Wan Chai Lei Garden Restaurant
Address : 1/F., CNT Tower, 338 Hennessy Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong
Tel. 2892 0333

Opening Hours:
Monday to Saturday & Public Holidays
Lunch: 11:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Dinner: 6:00 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.
Sunday
Lunch: 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Dinner: 6:00 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009 18:50:21 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Monday, 12 October 2009

Have not been visiting Jade Garden for more than a month, I decided to try it again, with a purpose to see if it is still "better than Maxim's Palace" as I mentioned, and why not, especially when it is offering a discount if you settle your bill before 11:30a.

The result is affirmative with reservation, coz I was not able to order ha gao (shrimp dumpling), please note that Jade Garden, like Maxim's Palace, is using the old style push carts, I did not see them offered, not sure if it has something to do wth the morning discount.


Using Beef ball as an index, this one from Jade Garden gives a better feel somehow


The steamed shrimp roll is not that good, wish I could have ordered ha gao instead


This fried taro scallop is only offered here as I haven't seen it elsewhere yet, it is simply fantastic! But make sure you got them hot enough.


This one is spicy, not my style but taste good

If Causeway bay is not convenient for you, Jade Garden at TST is also a good choice, just next to the Star Ferry terminal.

Jade Garden Causeway Bay
Address in Chinese: 銅鑼灣駱克道463-483號銅鑼灣廣場二期3樓
Address in English:3/F, Causeway Bay Plaza II, 463-483 Lockhart Road (Causeway Bay)   
Tel : 2573 9339

Jade Garden TST
Address in Chinese: 尖沙咀梳士巴利道3號星光行五樓
Address in English: 5/F, Star House, 3 Salisbury Road (Tsim Sha Tsui)   
Tel: 2730-6888

Google Map: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=114499201820180881946.000463d25b524e2ce06d1

Monday, 12 October 2009 13:54:19 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Thursday, 08 October 2009

I was really a little surprise that my last experience at Maxim's Palace City Hall was not good enough, so I visited its Taikoo Branch to have another test, and it seems that the quality this time was slightly better (better beef ball, Ha Gao), though not totally satisfying (same so so Siu Mai), the fried rice was especially disappointing, somehow I feel that its sister restaurant, Jade Garden, serves better food more consistently.

But rating overall quality, services, and considering the good environment, it is still a very good dim sum restaurant, just can't agree that it is the "best". 

Thursday, 08 October 2009 19:04:03 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Monday, 21 September 2009

It is interesting to find quite a lot of information on the web relating best dim sum to the Maxim's Palace City hall, could it be that someone with little dim sum experiences visited there and thought that he/she just had the best dim sum in Hong Kong? I think when someone started by saying "I did not have very high expectations of Hong Kong food....", it is a sign to seek a second opinion.

I am not saying that Maxim's Palace (美心皇宮) is bad, in fact, after the latest renovation, it is a grand place to enjoy dim sum, just that the dim sum there is simply, average, the best? come on, it really makes me laugh.

Not sure if it was the material quality, or if the food was prepared by an apprentice, the ha gao, beef ball as well as Taro puff are all below average at my first visit after the renovation. Maxim group operates various brands, Maxim's palace, as well as one of my favorite, Jade Garden, are all under the same mother company, I guess despite their effort to maintain consistent quality, the actual result would still depends on individual talents, Maxim's Palace itself has quite a number of branches covering the entire city, the general perception among locals is that Maxim's only just another dim sum restaurant, "the best" is something that I never imagine a local would call it. But strangely, it seems to be extremely popular among foreigners, in fact, more than half of the people who were there when I ate there last week were foreigners. I strongly feel that this is another hype on the internet.

I think another blow to this restaurant is the fading away of the Original Star Ferry Station, I am not a die-hard preservationist, but it is indeed sentimental to see one historial icon destroyed after another, I hope the government is not lying and really knows what they are doing. Well, with the place looking like this today, until the building of the new structures are done, it will be much less attractive to visit this so called best dim sum restaurant in Hong Kong.


View from restaurant today


Star Ferry Central 2006


2009

Personally I would go to the nearby Lei Garden in IFC instead, there are also quite a number of interesting options in Central, there is a new one which is especially attractive, I'll keep this a secret for the moment, and hope that I can arrange a chance to eat there sometime soon!

Monday, 21 September 2009 13:15:04 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Thursday, 06 August 2009

I once worked in a building known as Jardine House in Central Hong Kong around 3 years ago, this building used to be the tallest building in Hong Kong during the 70s, and at the lower floor there are quite a few eateries and restaurants, and Jasmine Place (怡翠軒) was a Chinese restaurant that I rarelywent to, my impression with it was really not so good. Recently I went to Jardine House for something and suddenly felt like eating there, and my first impression was - wow, they have quite a nice decoration now - and looks much more high class than it used to be.

But are the food as greatly improved as the decoration? I think perhaps not exactly, usually I would judge dim sum quality of a restaurant by the basics, for example, Ha Gau (Shrimp dumpling) or Siu Mai, if they cannot do it well, then probably they are not great enough yet, and Jasmine Place fails this test in both their Ha Gau (Shrimp dumpling) and Siu Mai.

However, the 2 layers dim sum casket (good for 2 person) as a whole is quite a good deal considering the relatively expensively priced dim sums in this restaurant. Well, I am not saying that they serve bad dim sum, it is just that the price is so high that you are actually paying for the location and not the food, this restaurant I believe is serving business customers who work in the building or at nearby offices, as Central is such a busy commercial district in Hong Kong.

 

There is one dim sum that I think is kind of innovative and tastes good, which is a seafood roll (crab meat) wrapped in thin noodles, I like this one a lot.

 

Another great surprise is the dessert that I ordered, 楊枝甘露 is a popular dessert in Hong Kong, which is a mix of mango, grapefruit and coconut milk, it is one of my favorite, and Jasmine Place created one with Ice Cream in it (Mango Ice cream), and the result is double yummy! I have to give a thumbs up for this.

 

I guess there could be a reason why this restaurant is on the Michelin guide, in fact they do have a Michelin Menu (which does not look that attractive to me on paper), but personally I would recommend this restaurant if you shall be having business visit at Jardine House, do not want to go far to eat, and shall be able to claim your dining expenses from the company.

One thing that I need to mention is that their staffs are very professional and friendly, I believe foreign friends will sure find them helpful.

Thursday, 06 August 2009 17:47:42 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Wednesday, 05 August 2009

I once thought that I have tried most of the "extremes" in dim sum, but after trying out OVOlogue (祇月), I just knew I had not.

Located and renovated out of a hundred-year-old Pawn Shop, this restaurant creates a unique mix of Old Oriental decoration with a Western style atmosphere, I would not say that their food tastes super great, but the look definitely is rich for visual satisfaction.


The urchin soup (with gold dusts) is quite ok, as well as the sio mai.


But this gold fish is better for looking than eating.

I would suggest trying out this restaurant for experiences, if pure great food is what you want, you can get the same quality elsewhere at a much lower spending, or at the same spending, but with a much higher quality. But for the unique experiences, such as this special money tray used for payment, may be it truly worth a visit after all.

Address in English: 66 Johnston Rd. Wan Chai.
Address in Chinese: 灣仔莊士敦道66號地下
Tel: 2527 6088

Wednesday, 05 August 2009 22:53:39 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Tuesday, 21 July 2009

I have tried Shark's Fin City Restaurant (魚翅城酒家) a couple times more after my last blog entry on this restaurant (http://www.biginhongkong.com/2009/06/04/SharksFinCityRestaurant.aspx), it is really a good choice with good value for the money, only caveat is that some of their staffs did not serve well, I have been served cold food twice (while they should be hot), in one case the staff took it and heated it for me without saying much, but during the other time, the waiter questioned in a very unpleasant way, while some other staffs performed well, some just fail to perform under heavy workload. But for the environment, this restaurant is very good, not very noisy and spacing is fine.

The food, however, is really good value, I tried again the set I mentioned last time:

Pictures for the set:

Very rich and creamy shark's Fin Chicken Soup!

 

 

 

 

This is Bean Curb dessert (豆腐花), should give it a try, you can control how much Syrup you want to put in

 

Aside from the set, the dim sum and dishes are also great, below are the recommended ones!

 

 

Most friends from western world may not like to eat internals, but the beef stomach (金錢肚) on the left is really good, and their Crispy Pork (燒腩肉) is also nice, though not as good as that of Fu Sing (please see http://www.biginhongkong.com/2009/03/07/FuSingSharkFinSeafoodRestaurantPartII.aspx)

 

The Taro Puff (蜂巢芋角) is also excellent!

 

This specially favoured fried chicken (南乳雞) is spiced up by Fermented Bean Curb, truly a delicacy!

This is a restaurant that you should not miss, I really wonder why it is not mentioned in the Michelin Guide.

Address in Chinese:
銅鑼灣勿地臣街1號 時代廣場 食通天 1102 號舖

Address in English:
Shop No. 1102, Times Square, 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay

Tel: 3102 9838

Google Map: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=114499201820180881946.000463d25b524e2ce06d1

Tuesday, 21 July 2009 20:07:48 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Monday, 08 June 2009
 #
 

Regal Palace is a restaurant that I frequently visited in 2007 and 2008 with my family, but less often now as Jade Garden is now the preferred choice, partly for budget reason, I would not object the 1 star rating given to the restaurant by Michelin Guide, but if for casual dining, I think a few other restaurants can offer similar value with less spending.

What I like most about the restaurant is the environment and service, which is truly excellent, the food is great too though a little expensive, I think one of their dim sum which is the best in Hong Kong would be the Fried Taro Seafood pie, I just feel that it is much better than all other restaurants:


The fried crab claws is also nice, though many others can do as good as well.

The Shark fin soup dumpling is also great:


I recently tried a special dish that they were promoting, 佛跳牆 is a famous dish from Southern China, the term literally means that even Buddha would jump over the wall to taste it, although this seems to be a lack of respect religiously, I think the chef who invented this just wished to explain how great it is. The dish is an expensive one making up of abalone, Sea Cumcumber, Shark Fin and other good material, it is also one of my favorite dish.

But this one from Regal Palace is a little disappointing, the size is smaller than expected but it ok ok, the issue is the taste, while the soup base is fine, the material does not seem to taste good, and I am even a little surprise to find a piece of bone inside, which is not supposed to happen.

Anyway, this restaurant also has a few other famous dishes great for dining, but for dim sum and casual eating, may be I would not come as often as I want.


富豪金殿 Regal Palace

Address in Chinese:  銅鑼灣怡和街88號富豪香港酒店3樓

Address in English: 3/F, Regal Hongkong Hotel, 88 Yee Wo Street, Causeway Bay 

Tel: 2837 1773

Google Map: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=114499201820180881946.000463d25b524e2ce06d1

 

Monday, 08 June 2009 23:03:02 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Thursday, 04 June 2009

This time I'll blog about a restaurant NOT on the Michelin Guide, but I can assure you, the food quality, service level and environment can match most of the best in the guide.


魚翅城酒家, Shark's Fin City Restaurant, as the name implied, specialized on Shark Fin dishes, but of course they also offer other great dishes, as well as dim sum, they have quite a few branches but I always go to the one in Times Square Causeway Bay (yes, there is a "Times Square" in Hong Kong)

Here are many of the food that I have tried:

Shark's Fin Dumpling

I would say that their Sio Mai is one of the best in town, the barbicue bun is not bad too

 

They recently offered a set which is a very good deal!

The menu in Chinese, 4 items plus a dim sum from the list on the right.

The Shark's Fin Soup is superb, very rich content! Good deal indeed! I can choose a type of dim sum as part of the set, of course I choose Ha Gau (Shrimp Dumpling), not only because I like it, but also because it is the most expensive one among the options.

The "fish belly" is the one with great value, not the noodle. Well, "Fish belly" may not be the right term, I'll probably need to do some research later, this one is very nutritious but not as good tasting as I expected though. 

This egg pie has bird's nest on it, would cost much more than the regular ones found on the streets, majority of HK eateries can prepare this one well, personally I do not see bird's nest adding much flavor or value to it, but nice to have one if it comes with the set.

The dessert, just ordinary stuff...

Their pricing recently is very competitive without sacrificing quality, very economical for us to have high quality food!

Address in Chinese:
銅鑼灣勿地臣街1號 時代廣場 食通天 1102 號舖

Address in English:
Shop No. 1102, Times Square, 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay

Tel: 3102 9838

Google Map: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=114499201820180881946.000463d25b524e2ce06d1

Thursday, 04 June 2009 23:41:57 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Just a few blocks away from Jade Garden Causeway, you can find another restaurant mentioned in Michelin Guide - Tai Woo. I have discovered this restaurant years ago but I was truly surprised that the restaurant makes it to an International Gourmet Guide, not because its food is not great, but because such an simple looking restaurant got noticed.

The ha gau there is very good, the fried shrimp roll is one of my favorite, I do not especially like the way they roasted the pigeon anyway, but I think their biggest strength is in seafood dining, which I had experienced more than an year ago, overall I would say this restaurant offers above average food, not the best but very good for the money. The issue with them though, is the environment, poorly designed and inconvenient seated for some, if you want a dim sum restaurant with good balance of comfort, food quality and price, I would rate Jade Garden better unless you are in for seafood dining.

The environment: I was assigned a not so good place, quite not comfortable

The food: - Very good Ha Gao, tasty Fried Shrimp Roll, and a very different fried pigeon.

Tai Woo Restaurant (Causeway Bay) 太湖海鮮城

Address in Chinese: 銅鑼灣波斯富街27號
Address in English: 27 Percival Street, Causeway Bay 

Tel: 2893-0822

Google Map: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=114499201820180881946.000463d25b524e2ce06d1

Tuesday, 12 May 2009 20:03:39 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Wednesday, 06 May 2009
 #
 

It is great that the health crisis seems to be under control now, while we should not forget about maintaining good personal hygiene, it is time to focus on where to eat good food again.

Some local critics in Hong Kong laughed about the Michelin Guide because most of the restaurants recommended are comparatively expensive, they feel that many great local eateries that deserved the honor are not included simply because their environment is not good enough. While I agree that there are indeed great food served in those eateries, majority of the tourists may not feel comfortable there, I'll try to mention one of those restaurants someday, but personally, I think the best places to go are those restaurants that strike a good balance among food, environment, and price. And I would consider Jade Garden (翠園) as one of them.

Jade Garden has quite a few branches, the one mentioned in Michelin Guide is located in Causeway Bay, since I live around the area, it is also the one that I frequently go to. A few things I like about it aside from food quality:

- The dim sums are served in trollies (點心車仔) which are being pushed around, you can look at the plates (or look at the actual thing) and choose instead of ordering the items on a form, this is the older and original form of dim sum eating, but now most restaurants prefer the more effective order form. The disadvantage of trollies is that you may need to wait patiently for the right thing to come, however, in Jade Garden the trollies are moving around frequently enough, with sufficient goodies on each of them of course.
- The tea set used there is quite good and the tea quality is also fine
- I feel good in the environment, not too elegant but just good enough to make one feel at ease

Some of the best dim sums there:

- Ha Gau, one of the best in Hong Kong

- Fried Scallop (帶子芋蓉酥) - not offered in many restaurants and this one is superb


- Abalone SuiMai - very food

But Jade Garden has another delicacy, which unfortunately is not available in the Causeway Branch, the shark fin soup dumpling there is the traditional ones, which holds the soup inside the dumpling instead of putting the dumpling in the soup, which may be good but not my preference. To have the one I want, I need to visit Jade Garden TST branch, which is near the Ocean Terminal and Star Ferry, I like to mention  that Jade Garden TST has good views too if you can sit near the windows. I think they offers the same quality of food and service like the Causeway Branch, so if that location is more convenient to you, you can choose the TST branch as well.

Jade Garden Causeway Bay

Address in Chinese: 銅鑼灣駱克道463-483號銅鑼灣廣場二期3樓
Address in English:3/F, Causeway Bay Plaza II, 463-483 Lockhart Road (Causeway Bay)   

Tel : 2573 9339

 

From Jade Garden TST (Tsim Sha Tsui) 尖沙咀:

Shark fin dumpling in soup 魚翅灌湯餃

Address in Chinese: 尖沙咀梳士巴利道3號星光行五樓
Address in English: 5/F, Star House, 3 Salisbury Road (Tsim Sha Tsui)   
Tel: 2730-6888

Google Map: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=114499201820180881946.000463d25b524e2ce06d1

Wednesday, 06 May 2009 20:02:52 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Tuesday, 21 April 2009

When I first tried this restaurant quite sometime ago, I noticed that it was good and very special, I saw it as a nice eatery at the Happy Valley neighborhood but did not realize that it has such great potential of making it to the Michelin guide. I am not sure if the restaurant's English name "Dim Sum" is truly official, but most locals are not aware of it - yes, we only know it by the Chinese name 譽滿坊, which is pronounciated as "Yue Mun Fong".

Since the restaurant is located at a quiet and high class neighborhood not accessible by MTR, the environment is very nice, and the chances of having unpleasant people around is quite unlikely. The place is small but decorated well, with good food, it is truly a great place to enjoy dim sum, at a premium price though.

Somehow I feel that this restaurant offers the most expensive dim sum in Hong Kong, they have a category of dim sum known as 貴族點心 - dim sum for the nobles, at HKD $80 each they are really costly, my instinct told me that I need not order those, for example, 翡翠官燕鮮蝦餃, Koon Yin Ha Gau, which means Shrimp dumpling with Birds nest, I doubt if that would make much differences than the regular ones, if I wish to consume Birds nest, there are many better way of cooking it. Actually, I tried a lowest cost (HKD $35) version of it - 燕液帝皇明蝦餃, which probably uses some sort of glue form of Bird Nest with Ha Gao, but hardly notice any difference from the regular ones.

I also find the 竹笙海皇龍蝦餃 - Lobster dumpling not much better than Shrimp dumpling, and the skin is not as good as some of the best restaurants - too thick and broken easily, so despite tasting good, they are not that superb.

燕液帝皇明蝦餃 Shrimp dumpling (ha gao) on the left, 竹笙海皇龍蝦餃 - Lobster dumpling on the right

The real great one is 魚翅酥皮龍蝦湯 - Chinese style Lobster Bisque with Sharks Fin, it is a good combination of east and west, the material is rich, and the taste is fantastic, it is highly recommended.

In general, this restaurant is worth visiting, I believe that there are other dim sums under the chef's recomendation section that are worth exploring. And I need to mention that the tea they use are very good, I'll go there again for sure.

By the way, tourists can also take time to see the neighborhood as well as a view of the Hong Kong Jockey Club race course. If you happen to visit Ocean Park and wish to eat at a place not too far away, you may consider it as well.

Address in Chinese: 跑馬地成和道63號地下
Address in English: 63 Shing Woo Road, Happly Valley
Tel: (852) 2834 8893

Operating Hours:
11:00 - 16:30
18:00 - 22:30

Google map: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=114499201820180881946.000463d25b524e2ce06d1

Tuesday, 21 April 2009 21:54:06 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Wednesday, 01 April 2009

The Golden Bauhinia Square (金紫荊廣場) is a tourist spot that attracts quite a lot of visitors from mainland. It a place for Special Flag Raising Ceremony and a symbol for the return of Hong Kong to China. Visiting the place is meaningful for mainland Chinese tourist but may be less attractive to tourist from other countries. However, being at WanChai district (it is located at seaside and a few minutes walking distance away from main commercial area) and being part of the HKCEC Convention Center, it is worth visiting if it fits your itinerary.

金紫荊粵菜館
地址 :   灣仔博覽道1號香港會議展覽中心地下
電話 : 2582 7728

Golden Bauhinia
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center
Golden Bauhinia Square
Expo Drive East
Wan chai

Tel: 2582 7728

Google Map: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=114499201820180881946.000463d25b524e2ce06d1

And for dining, the Golden Bauhinia could be a great choice. Since I had only lunch there in recent months, I can only comment on dim sums (which are my favorites):

Jumbo Ha Gao 蝦餃 (shrimp dumpling) is getting popular these days but personally I believe that Shrimp dumpling is not best being eaten that way, it is simply too big. The regular Ha Gao can be bitten in half (or taken as a whole for people with big mouth) so you can enjoy the right mix of the stuff and the skin, the Jumbo Ha Gao makes it a little difficult, as the stuff may fall out at first bite (or the whole thing will fall apart), especially when the skin is not strong. The Jumbo Ha Gao here is well done, it is good, but I think ordering the regular Ha Gao (4 pieces in one order) will be my choice.

 


Well, may be you would wonder, why would a restaurant offer the same item in two sizes (in this case Ha Gao), the nice surprise is that the regular Ha Gao is a little special, unlike the Ha Gao else where, it has a few green spot on the skin, I heard that vegetable sauce are added to it, and while there were reports saying that they are not that good, I personally found them excellent, possibly they had improved it after being criticized.

 

"Fan go" (粉果) usually comes as 潮州粉果 chiu-chau style dumpling and I am not a fan of it, probably because I don't like the sticky thick dumpling wrapper made from glutinous rice flour, as well as the traditional content of  peanuts, garlic, chives, pork, dried shrimp. But this one from Golden Bauhinia has stuff that is primarily shrimp,  and I do quite like it.

 

Most of the salty/flaky pastry - "Sou" (酥) are in forms of barbecued pork filling, but some use higher cost material such as abalone, I can't remember 100% sure that this one has abalone filling, the sure thing is that it tastes very good

 

The Shark fin dumpling in soup (魚翅灌湯餃) is good and has rich content, may be I had tried so many great ones so there is no wow factor but I sure would like to order this again.

 


This one is called 蠔皇鮮竹卷, I found it rather hard to translate and I did not check how the restaurant translates it, many restaurants have this but I believe that Golden Bauhinia has the best! Literally it means Steamed Tofu Skin Rolls with Oyster Sauce, with some nice stuffing inside. I highly recommend it.

 

This fried taro roll with stuffing has one of the most unique and nice looking packaging among all dimsum, the taste is ok but may be just not my favorite, so I can only enjoy the look of it.


Overall I would say Golden Bauhinia is a great restaurant, and due to its location, having a table is usually not difficult unless it is booked by tours from China, please note that not many western tourists would go there but it is a hot spot for mainland visitors. The environment is nice and comfortable, although the services quality varies from time to time, it would still be good enough, especially for foreign visitors.

 

Wednesday, 01 April 2009 19:27:09 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Saturday, 07 March 2009

In order to enrich my experience with this restaurant, I got there again and it was a good decision, I enjoyed a wonderful meal!

I got there quite early this time and the atmosphere was truly nice, with few people around, the feeling was totally different, but may be because of the early timing, it took quite awhile for the dishes to come.

The big surprise is the 冰燒三層肉, I am a little unsure on how to translate this, it is a 3 layer pork (skin, fat and lean meat) roasted to come up with crispy skin, what is so special about Fu Sing's style is that the meat is not too oily but tasty, and the flavor and testure and nicely balanced. I heard that the dish was invented out of accident, a cook overdone the dish and used ice to cool it down, and came up with the unexpected effect.

 

Another nice dish is the mushroom fish soup noodle (雙菇魚湯米線), the soup is exceptionally great, i guess they must have used sufficient seafood material to come up with such a rich soup.

The Crispy barbecued pork bun (酥皮叉燒餐包) that many recommended is good, but not fit my personal taste, I do not like the mix of sweet and salty sensation, I think I like the traditional steamed version better.

By the way, I saw some westerners sitting at a table reading the menu while I left, from their look I think they are having a hard time. May be they are not aware that during lunch hours, the small pieces of colorful paper are what people would usually order from instead of the menu booklet, unfortunately, those papers are Chinese only, so I guess having a translation list here may help a bit, I may try to come up with one if some of you would request so.

And one more thing, one dish that seems to be great (but I haven'tried yet) is 紅酒炆牛尾 (red wine stewed/braised Ox tail), I would try it next time.

Saturday, 07 March 2009 21:32:05 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Sunday, 01 March 2009

This is NOT a glamorous Chinese restaurant inside a 5 star hotel, well, the michelin guide describes it as a "plush spacious restaurant" in a "stylish modern building", which is amusing to me, although I don't know exactly what "plush" means (and I lost interest in understanding a term which may be textile related and originated from French), the Chinese translation there in the guide makes me laugh. Personally I would say that the environment is typical Hong Kong, averagely decorated, averagely noisy, averagely crowded, and housed in an average commercial building, but "富麗堂皇" (富麗=magnificence,堂皇=grand) definitely would not come to my mind, and don't be misled by the picture on the guide, the tables are not usually that spaciously separated. With a high cost on real estate, they need to pack as many people inside the hall as possible.

But don't get me wrong, I am NOT saying negative things about Fu Sing, in fact, they offered great food, but the Michelin Guide simply says nothing key about the restaurant, while you may try Abalones or Cognacs there, you can spend averagely and enjoy some of the best dim sum in town.

To fully experience the best of Fu Sing, I would suggest that you visit there during non-peak hours, this is generally true for most restaurants in Hong Kong, as Wan Chai is one of the busiest commercial area in Hong Kong, going there during lunch break is getting yourself unnecessary hassle, lunch break in Hong Kong is somewhere from 12:30p to 2:00p (don't get me wrong, people get only an hour break, some starts earlier at 12:30p, some starts at 1:00p, I usually started at 2:00p), so if you can start around 11:45a or noon, you can avoid (at least for awhile) the rush hours mess and get better treatment, well, the people there are very professional, but expect more patience when they don't need to serve more people than they can. For dinner, start by 6:30p and you will be in good shape.

How to get there: Someone in googlemap mentioned "Causeway Bay station and take exit C", if MTR is your preferred choice of transport I would agree, simply going west along Lockhart Road and you'll be there in 5 minutes' walk.

So what can you order there? Quite a few worth trying, I would group them into things I have personally tried, and things that many locals recommended:

Personally tried:

Ha gao (or har gow) 蝦餃 (steamed Shrimp and bamboo dumpling)
For me, there are a few good indicators for great Ha gao, the skin must be thin but strong enough to hold the stuff together, and the shrimp meat must be crispy, better if it can be evenly tasty yet without being too oily inside, the Ha gao at Fu Sing definitely has all these. But to be fair, a few other restaurants can do equally good as well.


Shark fin dumpling in soup 魚翅灌湯餃
Not many restaurants can prepare well on this, either the soup base is having too much MSG, or they make it too heavy. Fu sing adds papaya to the recipe, this may not be a perfect fit as I find it a little bit odd to have something sweety inside a salty soup base, but if you take out the papaya, the remaining stuff tastes quite unusual, it is light but having the right amount of seafood flavor to warm your appetite. I would not say it is the best Shark fin dumpling in soup in town, but it is sure one of the best.

I understand that many from the western world is againt the eating of Shark Fin due to the damage done on the Shark's population, this is quite difficult for us who loves great food, well, I don't wanna pretend as I really don't know what to say about this.


Crab Paste wor tip 蟹粉煱貼 (Crab paste Potsticker)
Very rich crab paste inside this fried dumpling, excellent and I can only find it here, so this is what I would recommend everyone to try!

 

Siu Mai 燒賣 (Steamed pork dumpling)
Above average, not superb but definitely a good addition if you have many people dining together and need to order a lot of food, but if you get there as a couple, may be you can try something else unless you are into Siu Mai a lot. As you may know, Siu Mai is as common as Ha gau. 


Favorites of Local folks:

Brother Wo's Cha siu 和哥叉燒 (barbecued pork)
I am not a fan of barbecued pork, but I would not reject one if it is truly good, shall order it next time with my family.

Crispy Cha siu bau 酥皮叉燒包 (Crispy barbecued pork bun)
I really want to try this one though, there are just too much good comments on this. The normal barbecued pork bun is steamed, obviously this cooking style is different and can be a big good surprise.

Overall, I would say this is one of the best restaurant in Hong Kong that you should try, it is not the hotel style that some western guides would focus more on, but they do offer great food at reasonable price.

Address in Chinese:
富聲魚翅海鮮酒家 Fu Sing Shark Fin Seafood Restaurant
灣仔駱克道353號三湘大廈1樓
Tel: 2893 0881
 
Address in English:
Fu Sing Shark Fin Seafood Restaurant
1/F, 353 Lockhart Road, Sunshine Plaza, Wanchai, H.K
Tel: 2893 0881
 
 
 
Sunday, 01 March 2009 12:50:01 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)