Mar 31, 2019

Hong Kong Travelogue: Stuck at Lantau Island (17 Oct 2016)

I thought that weekends would be bad timing to go to Lantau Island but I was wrong. Monday was equally packed.

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Queuing for Tickets @ Ngong Ping 360 Ticketing Office at Tung Chung
I did not recall how long I was in the queue. It was probably past an hour when we got this close to the ticket counters.

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Crystal Cable Car Time
By the time you hit the counter, you would not care much except to get on the next cable car. Of course that usually means an upgrade, which in our case, return tickets for crystal cable car i.e. cable car with glass bottom, for HKD555 for 3 pax.

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Views from Cable Car @ Ngong Ping
All these cable cars simply could not fulfill all the anxious crowd back in the ticketing counters fast enough...

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Stairway up the Lantau Island
Along the 5.7 km ropeway, we came across these stairways climbing the mountain and occasionally a gang or two trekking along in their sports attires.

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Mom and Aunt being playful @ Ngong Ping Village
Our 25-min cable car ride came to an end at Ngong Ping Cable Car Terminal on Lantau Island. Upon exit, you will find yourself in a cultural themed Ngong Ping Village, where you can shop, dine and keep yourself entertained.

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The Big Buddha @ Lantau Island
My objective, however, was to pay visit to the Big Buddha (aka Tian Tan Buddha).

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The Big Buddha @ Lantau Island
The Big Buddha is the second largest outdoor bronze seated buddha, sitting atop peak of Mount Muk Yue. Located ~10 min walk from Ngong Ping Village, you will find yourself at the foot of 268-step staircases leading up to the 3-storey pedestal for 360 degree view of Lantau Island and South China Sea.

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The Offering of the Six Devas @ The Big Buddha
Once you reached the 3-storey pedestal, you will find 6 bronze statues known as The Offering of the Six Devas surrounding the Buddha.

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Moo Moo Encounter @ Lantau Island
By the time I was ready to leave the Big Buddha, Typhoon weather alert came in, beckoning the crowd to wrap up before the storm.

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Wisdom Path @ Lantau Island
I wasted no time and headed straight to the Wisdom Path, which was ~10 min away from the Big Buddha. On these wooden columns are the inscriptions of complete verses of the Heart Sutra written. It was a shame that time was not at my side, else I could easily immerse myself in this seemingly endless path (no pun intended!).


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Excerpt I came to know from The Monkey King @ Wisdom Path
By the time I came down from Wisdom Path to Po Lin Monastery, drizzles came. I did not get my chance to visit the Po Lin Monastery before we made our way back to the Ngong Ping Cable Car Terminal.

Lo and behold! The cable car ride was stopped due to the bad weather, so hundreds of us ended up waiting in queue for hours for the alternate transport i.e. buses to bring us back to Tung Chung. The exhaustion, the humidity, the restless of the crowd - on hindsight, we should have just stayed at home.

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Har Gao @ Tim Ho Wan, Olympian City 2
To placate our weary souls, we stopped by Tim Ho Wan at Olympian City 2 to have some warm delicious dim sum in a comfortable setting.

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Glutinous Rice in Lotus Leaf @ Tim Ho Wan
I wasn't sure if it was the hunger talking but Tim Ho Wan sure lived up to our standard. Now, time to have a good shower, stretch my legs and have a good night sleep! Given another chance, I would have spent another day or two at Lantau Island, probably some trekking and exploring fishing village nearby.

Mar 3, 2019

Hong Kong Travelogue: Yee Shun vs Australian Dairy, Mak Man Kee, Yat Lok, Yan Wo Dou & Man Fai (15-16 Oct 2016)

Day broke earlier in Hong Kong. By 5am, the sky was brightly lit. Say bye bye to sleeping in on a Saturday morning.

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Morning View from One Silversea
Since cousin was not working on a Saturday, she brought us to Golden Sands Restaurant at Tai Kok Shui for a typical Hong Kong breakfast. A typical Hong Kong breakfast is one of the things that you must do when you are in Hong Kong but in any case, steer clear from macaroni. I repeat, steer clear from macaroni!

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Signature Double-Skinned Steamed Milk (HKD32) @ Yee Shun Dairy Company 港澳義順牛奶公司
After breakfast, I took a train to Fitness First Platinum at Harbour City, Tsim Sha Shui, to squeeze in one-hour fat burning Body Attack class with my complimentary overseas access. Two hours later, here I was at Yee Shun Dairy Company 港澳義順牛奶公司 for some piping hot Signature Double-Skinned Steamed Milk. Compared to Australian Dairy Milk Company 澳洲牛奶公司's hot steamed milk, I found myself liking Yee Shun's more as it was more subtle in sweetness and lighter in texture.

Total damage for 1 pax = HKD32

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Australian Dairy Milk Company 澳洲牛奶公司 and Mak Man Kee 麦文记面家
Mom and aunt departed later from One SilverSea to meet me for early dinner at Mak Man Kee 麦文记面家 and dessert at Australian Dairy Milk Company 澳洲牛奶公司. Despite the sense of frustration and lost, I must commend my mom and aunt for navigating the trains in Hong Kong on their own.

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Dumpling Wan Tan Mee (HKD32) @ Mak Man Kee 麦文记面家
3 years ago, I ordered my first bowl of dumpling wan tan mee here at Mak Man Kee 麦文记面家 and fell in love with the springy noodle in clear soup and crunchy and fresh dumplings. 3 years later, I ordered the same thing again and they did not disappoint.

Total damage for 3 pax = HKD98

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Steamed Milks @ Australian Dairy Milk Company 澳洲牛奶公司
For dessert, we walked a few shops away from Mak Man Kee 麦文记面家 to Australian Dairy Milk Company 澳洲牛奶公司. The steamed milk in Australian Dairy Milk Company 澳洲牛奶公司 was as sweet and intense as I remembered 3 years ago. Good thing was we had more pax to share, so we ordered two different steamed milk for varieties.

Total damage for 3 pax = HKD67

Our night ended pretty early with us heading back to One SilverSea to chill and rest after our dinner and dessert at Mak Man Kee 麦文记面家 and Australian Dairy Company 澳洲牛奶公司.

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Store Front @ Yat Lok Roast Goose 一乐烧鹅
As Sunday comes, it was time for us to head out and hunt for more Hong Kong delicacies. This time round, we were going to Central for some roast goose.

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Hello Gooses @ Yat Lok Roast Goose 一乐烧鹅
I don't know about you. The first time I tried Yung Kee Roast Goose, I was disappointed with its quality and price point, so I had strike out Yung Kee Roast Goose.

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Roast Goose Noodle @ Yat Lok Roast Goose 一乐烧鹅
Mom and aunt, the two big noodles fans, opted for roast goose noodle at Yat Lok Roast Goose 一乐烧鹅. I must say while the goose fat did make the soup tasted much nicer, the thick rice noodles did do its part in making slurping it all the more delightful. Little did I know at that point of time that Yat Lok Roast Goose 一乐烧鹅 was Michelin 1 Starred Restaurant in 2015-2018!

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Roast Goose Rice @ Yat Lok Roast Goose 一乐烧鹅
I, on the other hand, did it the old school way (I think). Unlike Yung Kee's, Yat Lok's roast goose was tender, juicy and bursting with flavours. Just look at that sliver of fat underneath the charred skin - one word, heavenly! Another thing I appreciated much was the fact that Yat Lok served their rice drizzled with sauces.

Total damage for 3 pax = HKD169

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Graffiti @ Central
After our hearty brunch, we went around exploring Central. While I sure did not recall seeing any grafitti 3 years back, Central was now covered with graffiti across all the walls you could possibly spot. Not a bad sight at all!

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"Fashion" Alley @ Central
For those who explored Central on foot before, you must share the same sense of exhaustion after going up and down the slopes and staircases that did not seem to end. To ease our exhaustion, we stopped by Tai Cheong Bakery to grab a few egg tarts. I must say the quality was no longer the same as what I had 3 years ago.

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Pan Fried Tofu with Fish Meat (HKD16) @ Yan Wo Dou Bun Chong 人和豆品专门店
After all the walk, we hopped onto a train to Causeway Bay and started our pre-lunch snacking at Yan Wo Dou Bun Chong 人和豆品专门店. While it was not out of the world, this pan fried tofu with fish meat was quite a delight.

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Tau Fu Fa in Black Sesame and Tau Fu Fa in Ginger Sugar (HKD16 each) @ Yan Wo Dou Bun Chong 人和豆品专门店
Their tau fu fa on the other hand was lovely! Fragrant and silky smooth, I simply could not resist, especially not when it came with my favorite black sesame dessert.

Total damage for 3 pax = HKD48

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Store Front @ Man Fai Noodles 文辉墨鱼丸大王
We went around Causeway Bay on foot, exploring the area without specific destination in mind. Not long after, we decided to make a pit stop at Man Fai Noodles 文辉墨鱼丸大王, which I came across in my research, though not enlisted in my to-do list.

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Clear Soup Noodles with Seafood Balls @ Man Fai Noodles 文辉墨鱼丸大王
While I would not particularly hunt for a bowl of clear soup noodles with seafood balls, it was decent and hearty. Don't get me wrong, I am still not a fan of processed seafood balls, but these were better than the factory made (duh!).

Total damage for 3 pax = HKD120

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Tramming @ Hong Kong Island
On the way back, we managed to get on the free tram ride across Hong Kong Island, which you could just hope on and off as and when you like. It was quite an experience to be able to see the city from an elevated view - best of all, it was free!

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Cheese Baked Fried Rice @ Mongkok Cooked Food Market

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Some Stir Fry with Rice @ Mongkok Cooked Food Market
We had so much venturing for the day that by dinner time, we unanimously agreed to settle at the nearby Mongkok Cooked Food Market. It was a huge mistake. The fried rice was horrible and the "cheese" tasted like bland milk powder. The stir fry was equally disappointing and I believe I can cook than this.

In summary,

My personal dining ranking (5 being the full score) based on following criteria are:
  • Ambiance
    • Yee Shun Dairy 港澳義順牛奶公司 - 3/5
    • Mak Man Kee 麦文记面家 - 3/5
    • Australian Dairy Milk Company 澳洲牛奶公司 - 3/5
    • Yat Lok Roast Goose 一乐烧鹅 - 3/5
    • Yan Wo Dou Bun Chong 人和豆品专门店 - 3/5
    • Man Fai Noodles 文辉墨鱼丸大王 - 3/5
    • Mongkok Cooked Food Market - 1/5
  • Price
    • Yee Shun Dairy 港澳義順牛奶公司 - 3/5
    • Mak Man Kee 麦文记面家 - 4/5
    • Australian Dairy Milk Company 澳洲牛奶公司 - 3/5
    • Yat Lok Roast Goose 一乐烧鹅 - 4/5
    • Yan Wo Dou Bun Chong 人和豆品专门店 - 5/5
    • Man Fai Noodles 文辉墨鱼丸大王 - 4/5
    • Mongkok Cooked Food Market - 3/5
  • Food
    • Yee Shun Dairy 港澳義順牛奶公司 - 5/5
    • Mak Man Kee 麦文记面家 - 4/5
    • Australian Dairy Milk Company 澳洲牛奶公司 - 3/5
    • Yat Lok Roast Goose 一乐烧鹅 - 5/5
    • Yan Wo Dou Bun Chong 人和豆品专门店 - 5/5
    • Man Fai Noodles 文辉墨鱼丸大王 - 4/5
    • Mongkok Cooked Food Market - 1/5
  • Verdict
    • Yee Shun Dairy 港澳義順牛奶公司 - If you are not a fan of coying sweet stuff, here is where you should go for some steamed milk
    • Mak Man Kee 麦文记面家 - Here for a good bowl of springy noodles and dumplings
    • Australian Dairy Milk Company 澳洲牛奶公司 - Good selections of food and snacks, I still prefer Yee Shun's steamed milk over Australian Dairy Milk Company's
    • Yat Lok Roast Goose 一乐烧鹅 - Hands down the best (and affordable) roast goose I have tried in Hong Kong 
    • Yan Wo Dou Bun Chong 人和豆品专门店 - Must try their tau fu fa, though they could really use a little more sweetness 
    • Man Fai Noodles 文辉墨鱼丸大王 - Fairly good meal option for those who love seafood balls noodle
    • Mongkok Cooked Food Market - Horrible, never want to step foot into this place ever again!

My personal attractions verdicts for:
  • Central - Walking across Central is akin to walking through the passage of time where both past and present intertwined, which I personally find it intriguing but tiring (just look at them stairs and slopes!). Also, take the chance to get on free tram rides whenever you are on the island

DINING INFO:

Yee Shun Dairy 港澳義順牛奶公司
63 Pilkem St, Kowloon City, Hong Kong
Operation Hours: 8am - 12am
Tel: +852 2730 2799
Credit Card: Cash only

Mak Man Kee 麦文记面家
G/F, 51 Parkes St, Hong Kong
Operation Hours: 12.00pm - 12.30am
Tel: +852 2736 5561
Credit Card: Cash only

Australian Dairy Milk Company 澳洲牛奶公司
G/F, 47-49 Parkes Street, Jordan
Operation Hours: 7.30am - 11.00pm (closed on Thurs and public holidays)
Tel: +852 2730 1356
Credit Card: Cash only

Yat Lok Roast Goose 一乐烧鹅 (Michelin 1 Starred Restaurant (2015-18))
G/F, 34-38 Stanley Street, Central
Operation Hours: 10am - 9pm (Mon - Sat, closed on Weds), 10.00am - 5.30pm (Sun and public holidays)
Tel: +852 2524 3882
Credit Card: Cash only

Yan Wo Dou Bun Chong 人和豆品专门店
55 Jardine's Bazaar, Causeway Bay
Operation Hours: 11am - 11pm
Tel: +852 2808 4738
Credit Card: Cash only

Man Fai Noodles 文辉墨鱼丸大王
22-24 Jardine's Bazaar,, Causeway Bay
Operation Hours: 8am - 2am
Tel: +852 2890 1278
Credit Card: Cash only

Mongkok Cooked Food Market
2/F, Mong Kok Complex, 555-557 Shanghai St, Hong Kong
Operation Hours: 9am - 11pm
Tel: N/A
Credit Card: Cash only

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