# Monday, December 14, 2009

This is the 44th Expo and shall be held from Dec 12, 2009 to Jan 4, 2010, it is always a good chance for us to buy bargain local products, since I live near Victoria Park, I don't have to worry about the hassle of carrying the items back home, but I would always focused on value items by quality instead of quantity, as even if my home is nearby, carrying purchased items around inside the venue can be a challenge, there are just way too many people there, even I got there today at non-peak hours, some shops were still having lots of people in front of the store.

紹香園 is popular for its walnuts, as well as preserved fruits, unfortunately my favorite 話梅肉 (some sort of preserved Chinese plum meat) is not available, and when I tried to ask, I was edged out by a few elders, whom I believe are definitely more than 60 years old.

Another store that I would patronage year over year is Comvita Manuka honey, this year they offer package of 4 bottles of 250g UMF 15+ plus free Huni skin lotion for HKD 999, or 3 bottles of 500g UMF 10+ also plus free Huni skin lotion for the same amount, I have not yet decided on which to take, but sure I would buy either one of this offer.


Another of my favorite Koi Kei Bakery 鉅記手信 has an impressive shop "building" there, quite inline with the Central library at the background, quite an ingenious design! But I did not see my favorite Flossy Pork Egg Rolls (肉鬆蛋卷), and I am not sure if the prices are really attractive, I do not buy anything there, they now have a store in Causeway Bay, quite convenient in case I need to buy something from them.


But the real value of my visit there today is the food, Farm House Chinese restaurant (農圃飯店) is a popular but expensive restaurant that I have tried only twice in the past, but today at the 工展會 expo, I can order four pieces of 蟹粉小籠包 (Hairy Crab paste Xiao Long Bao) for HKD 30! Their Almond juice Pig Lung soup (杏汁豬肺湯) is truly excellent, this is really an excellent chance for us to try out this restaurant's high quality food at very reasonable price. Again, I am lucky to be living close to the venue, so I can order take home and eat them while they were still hot! A word of caution though, if you order and eat there, it can be quite a hassle.


SuperStar also has a counter there, but their crab paste garlic toast (蟹粉蒜茸飽) was a little disappointing even at HKD 15 for 2 pieces, the crab stuff seems to be not very fresh, I would not recommend it. But you should buy their Crispy Whitebait with peanuts (脆脆銀魚) at HKD 50 for 6 packs, as it is a really a big bargain! The abalone seems to be quite tempting, but I did not get it.

By the way, the entrance fee is HKD 10, reasonable enough. But the true spending is not that amount, but the hassle of moving around the crowd, and your time. If you can get there during week days, it would be better, going there during weekends or holiday could be a nightmare for some of you.

Monday, December 14, 2009 9:00:01 PM (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Friday, August 21, 2009

The Computer Festival in Hong Kong used to be a must-go event for me, but as the fair turns from a venue for seeing new cool stuff into a dump site for old stock, going there is ok only if time allows, I went there today (the first day) and there were not many people. As expected, I do not see new innovations (I heard about 3D LCD monitor from Viewsonic but missed it) and it was simply a noisy night market like place.

But considering it a night market for low price tech items, there sure are a lot of things to hunt for, I only bought a hard disk though. My years of I.T. Technology experiences tell me not to buy something for low price, as the price will always only drop, and usually within very short time, the rule is, buy something only when it is needed immediately.

I was actually looking for a new notebook too, I use Fujitsu notebook computers for years, and is very happy for the quality and durability, I once dropped it hard and at another occasion, had it accidently turned on inside the bag and "baked" for at least 3 hours, but the notebook still works flawlessly, being "made in Japan" is another great drive for this brand, however, at the festival today, I only see old models being sold, all with only 2GB of memory, 2GB? No, I am looking for something with at least 6GB, hey, this is 2009.

At Sony's booth, I found a new series of notebook that looks very interesting, the VAIO Z series notebook features 6GB built-in memory, and the top end model has options for either SSD drive or a blu-ray drive (but not both), but considering the price point, I think the VAIO TT series would be even more attractive, as it offers a light weight computer with good power in good price. Here in Hong Kong, size and weight is very important, unlike I.T. folks in North America and Europe, most of us do not drive, so excessive weight will cause trouble moving around. Looks like I may betray my loyalty to Fujitsu this time. 

Another interesting find today is the Disney Notebook from Asus, interesting but not my choice, I do doubt the value of such marketing gimmick, a Disney notebook? Not for me definitely...

But the computer festival is really great if you are not looking for the latest and coolest, Hong Kong is probably the best place to buy I.T. stuffs as the shops here offers very competitive pricing, much more so in the Computer Festival, I may go there again on last day (Aug 24, Monday) and check things out, but I sure would abide by my own rule, I'll only buy what I really need, and not for the price. The problem is, however, I am a little lost on what I really need.

Fair | I.T.
Friday, August 21, 2009 7:52:13 PM (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Sunday, August 16, 2009

手信 is a tradition among many Greater China geographies wherein travellers will bring back items as small gifts for family and friends, very often these small gifts are edible foods of the places that they have visited, for Hong Kong, Japanese 手信 are highly welcomed, but how about people visiting Hong Kong? What can they bring back?

There are many great options, I may blog about that in future entries, but today I am not going to focus on that, instead, I want to mention something I bought also at the Food Expo, the Flossy Pork Egg Rolls (肉鬆蛋卷) from Koi Kei Bakery (鉅記手信), well, this bakery is actually from Macau, and not Hong Kong, but since travelling to Macau is so convenient (only a 1 hour ride on Ferry), it is not being conidered very foreign to us.

Koi Kei produces excellent biscuits and other Chinese style bakery products as well as traditional Chinese sweets, recently they also produce sauces and even canned abalones, they have shops in Hong Kong (there is one in Sogo basement at Causeway Bay) but the Flossy Pork Egg Rolls (肉鬆蛋卷) usually is available in Macau Shops only, so when I see them at the Expo, I purchased half a dozen of them without hesitation, at HKD 29 (net price after discount), this is a great snack to enjoy!

So what exactly is Flossy Pork Egg Rolls (肉鬆蛋卷)? The internals are dried shredded meat with flavor (they are flossy), and wrapped in crispy egg biscuits, this snack mixes sweetness and salty senses perfectly, with a perfect sensation when bitten inside your mouth, I would say this is something that visitors to Hong Kong and Macau should not miss.

There are many great stuffs from Koi Kei that deserves attention, grab a couple others and try it, the different flavors of almond cake/biscuit (杏仁餅) is a must try too.

Fair | Snacks
Sunday, August 16, 2009 7:01:58 PM (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sometimes you go to a fair and the best thing you got ends up as something that is totally unexpected from a fair of that nature, this happens again today at the Food Expo.

I am a fan of Nissin's instant noodle (出前一丁即食麵), I know instant noodles are not healthy, therefore I only buy those Nissin products produced in Japan, and there is a popular saying, if you boil the noodles once and discard the water, the harmful material at the surface of the noodle will be melted away, with all these safety measures, so I would still enjoy the great tastes of a Nissin Instant Noodle once in awhile, I also like the original flavor with sesame oil, though occasionally I would also try some special seasonal offers.

But don't get me wrong, Nissin's instant noodles are not the best thing I got today at the Hong Kong Food Expo 2009, it is a set of Mahjong (麻將)! Yes, a set of Nissin Mahjong (出前一丁麻將)!

This Nissin Mahjong (出前一丁麻將) set uses interesting patterns and can be practically used! I don't play Mahjong at all, but this set is so funny that I decide to keep it as a collector item, it will remain unopened though.

And I think this serves well as a wedding gift item too - all red color, and can be used instantly during wedding banquet.


Other cool stuffs that you can buy from the Nissin booth:

Thursday, August 13, 2009 9:15:30 PM (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)

I blogged about UMF+ Manuka honey in June and it was quite a frequently hit entry, it seems that many people are interested in the power of honey, at today's Food Expo, I visited Comvita's booth and found out that they are offering a good deal package:

4 bottle of 250g Comvita UMF 10+ Manuka honey + a bottle of UMF20+ Huni Skin whitening product for HKD 669.

And the nice staffs there even waive my entrance ticket (HKD 25) by deducting it from the sales total, I also got a book on honey's healing power, as well as a HKD 50 coupon (applied only on regular price product and only for net purchases of HKD 500), please note the expiration date of this batch of products though, which is Nov 2010.

If you are trying to find out where to buy Comvita Manuka honey in Hong Kong, please check out Comvita's outlet at Hong Kong here: http://www.comvita.com/wheretobuyhk_2.html#1657

Fair | Health
Thursday, August 13, 2009 8:55:44 PM (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)

Despite having extremely terrible experiences before with the food expo, I still opt to go this year, getting there early and on the first day, I avoided the terrible crowds that made the expo a bad place to stay.

One reason I got there was to buy the Japanese snow crab (松葉蟹) at HKD 90 (USD 11.5), fortunately most of the early birds were attracted to the HKD 1 meat ball pack so I was able to get one, I believe many people behind were not able to get one, so am I happy? Not exactly, first of all, the crab did not taste great, secondly, I found out that the vendor seems to be selling them at exactly the same price at their web site.

The crab is cooked and frozen, I did not expect it to be great, but still quite disappointed, it is a far lot worse than those I had in Hokkaido Japan, so frozen food is frozen food, there is probably no exceptions, but to be fair to the vendor, HKD 90 is a "reasonable" price, but they should not call it a "bargain", which I think is not true.

Based on what I know, this eight leg creature are harvested only during a short period of time in Japan from November to April, if that is true, that explains why the crabs are not in good quality, they just have been frozen for longer than they should, I was in Hokkaida a few years back during winter, the fresh crabs just taste totally different.

For the same amount, getting a fresh crab at the market is a better choice.

Crabs | Fair
Thursday, August 13, 2009 7:47:56 PM (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)