# Friday, 10 April 2009

If you have a specific restaurant in mind that you wish to read a review but cannot find, just feel free to leave a comment here. I love great food and would be happy to help (if it won't cost me too much :-))

Of course, I have tried so many restaurants here, perhaps I can give quick feedbacks as well.

Friday, 10 April 2009 00:21:30 (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)
# Saturday, 28 February 2009
 #
 

Welcome! As a food lover I am fortunate enough to be living in this city known as Hong Kong, where you can find a rich variety of fine restaurants, and because there are so many of them, it is obvious that visitors often face a big challenge, which is how to choose among so many good choices.

On the web there are rich sources about great food in Hong Kong, but those with real local experiences are usually in Chinese, I am not saying that prestigious sources like the Michelin Guide cannot help, but in general I think they are not able to fully reveal the true essence of gourmet experiences in Hong Kong (as evident by articles like this http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/12/02/asia/hong.php and this http://gohongkong.about.com/b/2008/12/05/michelin-guide-hits-hong-kong-and-hong-kong-hits-back.htm), as a local, I do have something to say about the guide's recommendations, and that will be quite a focus for my blog at this time.

But of course, Hong Kong has much to offer other than great food, and I'll try to share that as well, but for the meantime, let me start by sharing some of my views of the restaurants that Michelin Guide recommends.

Since I'll be writing in English, it is also obvious that I intend to share this with friends from other parts of the world. But of course, if you happen to be a local folk, I'll be glad to hear your comments as well.


Thanks for visiting and I hope you'll find something useful here.

Cheers!

Saturday, 28 February 2009 21:35:42 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)