# 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)
# Saturday, 01 August 2009

Aside from eating, another kind of fun that I always enjoy is playing Lego, may be there are misconception that Lego is for kids only, many adults actually uses Lego to express themselves, I went to a local event yesterday (ani-com) and was deeply impressed by this Lego representation of my other favorite: Dim Sum

By the way, if you play Lego as well, please check out my Lego blog at: http://brickand.me

Saturday, 01 August 2009 22:53:00 (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)

Hong Kong was hit by a strong typhoon over the weekend and it was a stormy night that hardly any of us in the house can sleep well, the wind must have been extremely strong as the traffic lights are turned (that was what looks wierd in my previous blog entry: http://www.biginhongkong.com/2009/07/19/DoYouNoticeWhatsWrongWithThisPhoto.aspx 

But despite that, the daily life of citizens were not affected, with an effective transportation network, especially MTR, it is possible to move around without even using an umbrella! My wife used to live in a place where she could commute to her work place all within covered area connected by MTR stations. So I can say that, despite high transportation costs, MTR improves the quality of life of people in this small city. 

Check out the MTR network here: http://www.mtr.com.hk/eng/train/system_map.html

Tuesday, 21 July 2009 17:57:47 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Sunday, 19 July 2009

Not those blurred area intended to protect the privacy of people inside the picture of course.

Sunday, 19 July 2009 21:03:16 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Thursday, 16 July 2009

I talked about the positive environment impact of taking vegetarian food, I guess even not considering environmental protection, a lot of people are already doing so for health reason. In the west, salad probably is the most common vegetarian option, personally I find it too plain, and in Hong Kong, vegetarian food can be extremely attractive!

There are many good vegetarian restaurants in Hong Kong, but there is one that I would recommend everyone to try at least once, Long Men Lou (龍門樓) combines a scenic Chinese style garden with great vegetarian food, the restaurant is located at Nan Lian Garden (南蓮園池), a nice place that you can spend a whole morning, and have a great lunch before leaving, but I would suggest that guests arrive early or have a booking to be sure, coz the place is not big and spaces are limited.

The restaurant may not be easily found within the garden, but actually it is located just behind the waterfall, be patient and you can get there without hassle. The garden itself is only a few minutes walk from the Diamond Hill MTR station.

Address in Chinese: 鑽石山鳳德道60號南蓮園池龍門樓
Address in English: Long Men Lou, Nan Lian Garden, 60 Fung Tak Road, Diamond Hill
Tel: 3658 9388

* The garden is also commonly called "Chi Lin Jen Yuen" (志蓮淨苑) by local folks, but in case you really can't find the place and need to ask a local folk who does not speak English well, mentioning "Chi Lin Jen Yuen" will probably help.

Officially no photography is allowed within the restaurants, so I can't take pictures for all the dishes ordered, but generally most of them are good, though the price may be a little above average, but considering the environment, it is expected that the cost may be higher than those outside of the garden.

Thursday, 16 July 2009 19:07:58 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Sunday, 12 July 2009

Starting July 7, 2009, Registered retailers in Hong Kong will charge customers not less than HKD 0.5 for each shopping bag with handles if they demand it, these retailers are mostly department stores, supermarts and other bigger retail outlets.

http://sc.info.gov.hk/gb/news.gov.hk/en/category/environment/090524/html/090524en04002.htm

While some people get away with it by getting plastic bags with no handles, most local residents do bring their own eco-friendly shopping bags. I admit that this can cause some inconvenience, but for the cause of protecting the environment (protecting ourselves - human - actually, as the earth will survive after all), I believe that if under situation where bringing a bag is not feasible, paying 50 cents is acceptable too.

Talking about environment protection, not sure if many are aware of a UN report telling us that Livestock is a major threat to environment, and it generates more greenhouse gas emissions than the transportation sector!

http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2006/1000448/index.html

While becoming a total vegetarian is not easy, enjoying a nice vegetarian meal more often can now serve one more purposes: Save the planet, and thus saving us.

Sunday, 12 July 2009 18:33:27 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)

There is another interesting place to visit if you are a fan of Xiao Long Bao (小籠包), Wing Lai Yuen - Yeung's Kitchen 詠藜園楊家菜 is located at Hung Hom, in a food plaza known as 黃埔美食坊, this food plaza used to be extremely popular but I feel that the magic has diminished, Wing Lai Yuen is the only special one there I would go for, the rest are either average or has branches elsewhere.

Is Wing Lai Yuen's Xiao Long Bao (小籠包) as great as those of Crystal Jade or Modern China Restaurant? Personally I think not, though they are still very good. But Wing Lai Yuen offers something else which attracts a lot of people, 擔擔麵 Dan Dan Noodles is a special Sichuan cuisine, the special thing about it are the use of spicy sauce, and the peanut flavors (there is a non-spicy version of it if you cannot take it). Although I am not a fan of Dan Dan Noodle, its popularity and word of mouth reputation make me believe that it fits the savor of many people, especially those who loves spicy food.

 

Xiao Long Bao (小籠包)

 

擔擔麵 Dan Dan Noodles, I suggest that you ordering one to see if it tastes great for you, it is extremely popular!

 

Wor tip 煱貼 (Potsticker)

Wing Lai Yuen offers a lot more than what I mentioned, especially Sichuan style and Yeung's Imperial style cuisines, but if these do not really ring a bell for you, I would not suggest that you travel all the way to Hung Hom just to try out Wing Lai Yuen, but it can be an excellent (or perhaps an absolute) choice if you happen to be there in the vicinity. It is a very special high quality restaurant with very reasonable pricing.

Wing Lai Yuen - Yeung's Kitchen 詠藜園楊家菜

Address in Chinese: 紅磡德安街7號黃埔新天地黃埔花園8期106-107號舖
Address in English: Shop 106-107, Site 8, Wonderful Worlds Of Whampoa, 7 Tak On Street, Hung Hom, Hong Kong 
Tel: 2320 6430

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

Sunday, 12 July 2009 13:21:42 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Wednesday, 08 July 2009

I talked about Crystal Jade as a great restaurant for Shanghai style food, especially Xiao Long Bao (小籠包), but there is another one which is almost as good as Crystal Jade, I would say that 金滿庭 "Modern China Restaurant" is also definitely worth trying.

They feature a smaller Xiao Long Bao (小籠包), 8 pieces in an order, that can be easily eaten in one bite:

The chicken soup noodle is also a nice surprise, it first tasted too light for me, but gradually I can feel the richness of the chicken soup, and not being too heavy/salty or oily is good.


Address in Chinese: 銅鑼灣 勿地臣街1號 時代廣場 10樓1002號舖
Address in English:Shop 1002, 10/F, Times Square, 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay
Tel : 2506 2525

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

Note: They are also located at Times Square like Crystal Jade, and they have another branch at Olympian City 2 (奧海城2期)

By the way, the decoration there is quite unique, and they offer good tea too, I also find their staffs polite and professional, and pricing is also reasonable, but there are always a lot of people there (like Crystal Jade), so better get there early to avoid long waiting time.

Wednesday, 08 July 2009 18:22:15 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)
# Thursday, 02 July 2009
 #
 

Noodle is a great invention believed to be originated in middle Asia, in my world of noodles, I would classify my favorites into two: Cantonese noodles and La Mian (拉麵) - hand pulled stretch noodles, and the later are often served in Shanghai style restaurants.

And the flag ship food for most Shanghai style restaurants, 小籠包 (Xiao Long Bao), which can be described somehow as steamed pork dumpling (note: this is not Siu Mai - see picture please) is one of my great favorite, and the best I believe is served by Crystal Jade 翡翠拉麵小籠包), I like the freshness of the material and the soup within the dumpling is very delicious and rich, another good thing is that the skin is not too thick yet able to hold the soup within without easily being broken.

 

They have many branches in Hong Kong, the Michelin Guide recommended the one in TST, but I think the quality is quite consistent among all branches, as I have tried the followings:

Wan Chai:
Address in Chinese: 灣仔莊士敦道181號大有商場3樓301舖
Address in English: Shop 301, Tai Yau Plaza, 181 Johnston Road, Wan Chai 
Tel: 2573 8844

Wan chai branch Photos:

 

Causeway Bay (Times Square)
Address in Chinese: 銅鑼灣勿地臣街1號時代廣場地庫 B221A
Address in English: Basement B221A,Times Square,1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay
Tel: 2506 0080

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

Aside from Xiao Long Bao, the noodles are great too, and if you happen to be in Hong Kong during Autumn season when the hairy crabs are available, their special hairy crab dishes are definitely worth trying, the following is a crab meat noodle I had in December 2008 (cannot recall if those were hairy crab meat though, but December is already off season).

 

Crystal Jade also offers luxurious dishes, like this Braised Shark's Fin soup with Chicken was excellent!


But if you like something nice and reasonably priced, you can also try the minced fish meat soup, which I regularly ordered too:

This is a restaurant chain that I would highly recommend! I think they offer the best 小籠包 (Xiao Long Bao) in town!

Thursday, 02 July 2009 21:07:34 (China Standard Time, UTC+08:00)