Jul 10, 2013

Hong Kong Travelogue: Food Hunting in Central & Mong Kok (Day 2-8 Jun 2013)

The morning in Hong Kong was so different than Malaysia. At 6am, the sky was fully lit and my body awoke at the sign of light. I tried to fall asleep for another hour but as usual, I wasn't deeply in sleep. I took a quick shower and got myself ready for a full day out in Hong Kong.

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集興荼餐廳's Menu 

My breakfast was at a nearby coffee shop, 集興荼餐廳, serving typical Hong Kong breakfast, such as toast, scrambled eggs, fish chips, instant noodle, macaroni. They had plenty of choices and I had quite a hard time digesting Chinese words (since I haven't write any Chinese for ages). In the end, I decided to go for Set E with fish & chips, eggs, butter toast and Hong Kong mik tea (HKD21).

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集興荼餐廳's Hong Kong milk tea 

This was my first milk tea in Hong Kong and it was a world's different from what we get in Malaysia. It was less sweet and tasted more tea than milk (well, you get more milk than tea in Malaysia). Texture wise, it was less creamy (which is probably due to the use of evaporated milk as opposed to condensed milk). Do I like it? I don't know, frankly speaking.

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集興荼餐廳's Set E breakfast (HKD21) :)

Presentation was not a concern in a small scale neighbourhood coffee shop like 集興荼餐廳. However it was actually very good to Malaysian standard. Crispy on the outside, flaky in the inside, I think this small pathetic bite of fish and chip was very decent, best eaten with mayo. The egg did not disappoint either; so smooth that I just whacked it in few seconds. On the other hand, the toast was nothing to brag about.

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Traffic in Central

After my small but filling breakfast, I headed to Central using Tung Chung line (you can also head to Central using Tsuen Wan line as mentioned in my previous post). I arrived at MTR Hong Kong Station, which connects to IFC Mall. Can you believe it? Last night, Wilson was telling me that International Financial Centre (IFC) is the highest building in the country and today (as of 8 Jun 2013) I was here!

Pardon me for the kampung girl attitude. It was my first time being out of Malaysia.

IFC Mall houses plenty of luxury brands. If you are rich and you are a shopaholic, this is definitely the place for you. So much for my curiosity, I walked around IFC Mall and attempting to locate my exit on my own. However, my initial plan failed and I decided to get some help from the mall's helpdesk. Lesson learnt: Always ask for direction if there is no exit signboard!

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Escalators in Central

Most places in Hong Kong are usually connected to other places you might want to go. All you need is to locate the right exit and walk. To a certain extent, I really think these escalators are necessity. In fact, I think air conditioned walkway is necessary in this hot summer! I sweated alot when I was in Hong Kong.

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Tai Cheong Bakery at Lyndhurst Terrace

My first stop in Central was initially Yung Kee Restaurant. However due to the lack of sense of direction, I found myself at Tai Cheong Bakery. Well, it wasn't too bad for a solo ranger eh? Let's grab some freshly baked egg tart, shall we?

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Tai Cheong's egg tart (HKD6) :))

Oh the smell of butter, I just couldn't wait to land my first bite on it but being a food blogger, camera always comes first. Look at the golden brown skin and wobbly yellow fillings, don't you want to have a bite too?

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Crumbly love!

The outer skin was lovely; not only it smelled strongly of butter, it also crumbled perfectly. The egg filing was wiggling with momentum as I attempted to shake it. My tongue approved strongly of the proportion of eggs in it. I felt sad when I was left with nothing but some crumbs. I told myself that I shan't be greedy as I had to eat more later.

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Yung Kee Restaurant at Wellington Street

My next stop was at Yung Kee Restaurant for their famous roast goose rice. Their grandeur exterior was indicative of its class of luxury. Even Wikipedia stated that Yung Kee has once awarded One Michelin Star back in 2009. However, I was forewarned by my tanner half that it is expensive and boring. Since I was there, I had to give it a try right?

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Yung Kee's roast goose rice (HKD60 including preserved century egg) :(

The restaurant was almost full at 1.35pm. The menu was filled with expensive dishes but I knew well that I was here for the goose and goose only. I flipped through the whole menu several times before I managed to locate the item I want. If my memory serves me well, this roast goose rice was about HKD40.

Sitting above a bowl of white rice (yes, just the bland white rice) was few slices of cucumber and 4-5 pieces of roast goose. Let's just ignore that effortless white rice and the plain decorative cucumber, the roast goose was nowhere close to the word "amazing". The skin was supposed to crispy but it was quite the opposite. Luckily they did not give me boney goose, else I was gonna scream! The plum sauce, which was supposed to enhance the flavour of goose, was best left alone to sulk as I personally find that the goose meat was flavourful to go on its own.

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Yung Kee's preserved century egg (HKD60 including roast goose rice) :(

I love century egg but I don't eat a lot. Initially Yung Kee's preserved century egg was not on my list of To-Try but my colleague was telling me, "if you like century egg, then you must try Yung Kee's!". She sold me but after trying the century egg, I was like, "okay...". I appreciated the fact that their century egg yolk was yolky, which contributed to the melt-in-your-mouth sensation. I also appreciated the fact that it was fresh and not smelly. However, to pay HKD10 or more for this half piece of century egg? OMG, let me alone!

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Lan Fong Yuen at Gage Street

After a rather disappointing experience in Yung Kee Restaurant, I just needed something to compensate my sulky tummy. Moreover, in the quest to determine my fondness of Hong Kong milk tea, I should try another to give a fair comparison.

There is a famous milk tea place in Central named Lan Fong Yuen, which is just less than 1 minute walk from Yung Kee. While I was queuing for my milk tea, it suddenly hit me that Kau Kee Restaurant is just along the same alley! Well, technically, Kau Kee is at Gough Street, which is perhaps another minute walk away?

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Lan Fong Yuen's Hong Kong milk tea (again!) HKD19

There are two queues in front of Lan Fong Yuen; one is for takeaway, another is for dine in. If you opt for dine-in, bear in mind, there is always minimum spend imposed for dine-in guests. The dine-in queue was long but if you come in smaller number, it is highly likely that you would be seated first.

So what do I think about Hong Kong milk tea? Frankly speaking, I find that Lan Fong Yuen's and 集興荼餐廳's are very similar in flavour, texture and intensity. In short, I think I wasted my HKD19 for a milk tea when I can have the similar at HKD21 with breakfast!

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Honolulu Coffee Shop at Stanley Street

On my To-Try list, I actually put down two different egg tart bakeries: this Honolulu Coffee Shop and Tai Cheong Bakery. You must be thinking that I was mad but no, I want to know which is the best when different person has different view as to which is the best to them.

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Honolulu Coffee Shop's egg tart (again!) HKD6

My family and friends would know that I am an egg tart queen. Back in Malaysia, I loved Tong Kee so much for their egg tarts until I tried Tai Cheong's. I was totally in love with the latter! Note that my opinion is totally in my own personal preference.

As opposed to Tai Cheong's egg tart, this was the non buttery version. The outer layer was flaky like danish, shattered upon touch. The filling was equally eggy, except with a slight sour touch. My preferred version was no doubt Tai Cheong's. I am a buttery person; I love crumbs and I love my flavour intense. For those who prefer a lighter version, yes, Honolulu's egg tart would be on your list.

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Roads in slope (Central)

I was pretty bloated when I was done with TWO egg tarts, ONE roast goose rice and ONE milk tea, which pretty much summed up my To-Try list in Central. I headed back to mainland and engaged in a foot-ful discovery in Mong Kok.

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Gold Fish Street in Mong Kok

Besides eating and walking, I was here to shop for my sport shoes and attire. Being adventurous, I thought walking would be great to explore the area but after half a day of walking, my feet started to feel sore. So if I were to choose again, I would take MTR even though it is just a station away. Be warned that if you enter and exit the same station, you will be charged.

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Polo Yau and milk tea from Kam Wah Cafe at Bute Street (

When you are tired, it is always good to crash a local coffee shop for some snacks and/or tea. A golden yellow Polo Yau and a glass of iced milk tea sounded perfect, especially after all the walk in Mong Kok. That was the third glass of milk tea in a day and it tasted pretty similar I must say. On the other hand, the Polo Yau could have been better with more evenly spread butter and glazed bun on both surfaces containing the bun. Texture wise, it was fluffy when it was served warm. Hint: You will like it when you get that bite with butter :D

After the short tea break (a.k.a snake time in cantonese), I headed down to Argyle Street, which is also known as the Sneaker Street. Disappointingly, many of them are not selling cheap stuff; they even charge the same price for out of season sport shoes. Also note that most shops are so packed that I had to squeeze my way through the aisle to check on the models they offer. After 3-4 repetitions, I decided to drop the idea and headed straight to Nike on Argyle Street and got my training shoes for less than RM200 (now we are talking...). Oh, plenty of fitting space for you to try and move around too!

As for sports attires, they are similarly priced in RM, except for discounted items. I found a Nike sports bra at Nike shop in Langham Place with 10% discount, which summed up to be less than RM100. Oh, before I forget, for Lego lovers, you can get your Lego at In's Point for very cheap price. All you need to do is hop on to the MTR Yau Ma Tei and In's Point is just around the corner.

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Mak Man Kee Noodle Shop at Parkes Street

Time flied as I roamed through the busy streets of Mong Kok. It was time to compensate my tummy for the whole day footwork. I took a train to MTR Jordan and walked for a minute before I reached Mak Man Kee Noodle Shop at Parkes Street in Yau Ma Tei.

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Mak Man Kee Noodle Shop's Dumpling Wan Tan Mee (HKD30) :)

What else to order here but wan tan mee? I was pretty undecided (as usual) as I looked at the choices offered. When the waiter approached, I just pointed my finger to dumpling wan tan mee. Why not wan tan instead? Good question, I think my brain just power off at that point of time.

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Jackpot!

Looking at the portion served, I thought I wouldn't be full but I was wrong. The texture of wan tan mee was very very very springy (so springy that I have to repeat "very" thrice); the soup was very pure and I actually finished all the soup! Oh, that dumpling was really a jackpot. Look at the fillings in it! Crunchy and fresh, these people in Mak Man Kee were really generous! I really wonder how good is their wan tan.

There were a total of SEVEN pitstops in a day; TWO egg tarts, THREE milk tea; ONE roast goose rice; ONE Polo Yau; ONE wan tan mee. I wonder how much calories I had consume :p

Eat and Be Merry,
Hitomi

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