Nov 25, 2013

Hong Kong Travelogue: Eat, Snack & Play in Mong Kok (Day 3-9 Jun 2013)

The day started well with a wholesome breakfast at Tim Ho Wan. Better than most of the dim sum places in Klang Valley, I would say "please help yourself with affordable dim sum at Michelin one-starred Tim Ho Wan, by all means". The crowds and queues were there but the wait was worthwhile. Chances are you will be amazed by the speed of staff escorting you to a table. The smaller group you have, the faster you will be seated.

With a bloated tummy, I made my way from Sham Shui Po, Tsim Sha Tsui, to Mong Kok to meet up a colleague of mine in KPMG Hong Kong (back then). Just as we were wandering aimlessly at Tsim Sha Tsui, we spotted this small setup of Hui Lau Shan. The curiosity got hold of me and I suggested to try it out.

Hui Lau Shan's mango dessert with coconut milk and red glutinous beans

Tables were placed closely with one another. If you were any fatter, you would bang the tables down without even trying. Staff were bustling like trained bees, bringing in customers' orders like mine. The faint yellow portrayed in front of me was a bad omen. Such sourness was no doubt of young mangos or worse, the wrong mangos! That bland red glutinous beans gave me the impression that they forgot to put sugar in it. In summary, I think Hui Lau Shan in Klang Valley serves better one.

Hui Lau Shan's mango mochi

My friend ordered a dessert set which came with this mango mochi, which he offered to share. Such bright orange was too inviting to not devour. The outer layer was soft and chewy, in contrast to the crisp coconut flake. The mango filling was filled with mango cubes in thick mango lava. It was made in one-bite size which is convenient to pop one into your mouth and let the sweetness break lose in your mouth. Please help yourself with some.

1881 Heritage Complex in Tsim Sha Tsui

After a disappointing visit to the famed Hui Lau Shan, we took a stroll at 1881 Heritage Complex in Tsim Sha Tsui. Formerly Hong Kong Marine Police Headquarters with a history of 129 years, it is now housing a shopping mall, a heritage hotel and an exhibition hall. Well, needless to say, prepare a good buck if you wish to crash here for the night or grab a few bargain along the way.

Interior of the complex

We roamed around the courtyard in the hot afternoon sun, took shade in between while enjoying the sceneries and mesmerizing (maybe just me :p) at this new shopping concept which is new to me. It was when we came across this small tower, namely Time Ball Tower. As the name indicated, it served as a time indicator for ships coming in Hong Kong as their chronometers usually lost its accuracy after long voyages.

Australian Dairy Company's steamed egg

I must say if one wasn't shopping in Hong Kong, it would be eating. Entering Day 3 in Hong Kong, my legs were screaming for rest. As the clock approaching 3 in the day, we headed to Australian Dairy Company for some famous steamed egg. Being a sweet tooth myself, this bowl of steamed egg was densely packed with sweetness that I would gladly do with just a quarter. That aside, the texture was perfectly smooth. Total slurp slurp goodness!

Kai Kei Snack at Mong Kok

After loading ourselves with overly sweet steamed egg, we found ourselves back to Mong Kok again. This time, I did some shopping at Sasa. Just so you know, every Sasa I passed by was always full and almost everyone would be carrying few products in their baskets. Yours sincerely happily joined the sweeping force and landed few Shiseido products into my basket. It was hard to resist when you get 25% + extra 10%. Total damage: RM498.95. In Malaysia, you would probably spend over RM600.

Kai Kei Snack's curry fish ball (HKD 8)

A satisfied shopping experience was then followed with a little snacking. Curry fish ball is probably most down to earth kind of snacks you can find in Hong Kong. Simple, cheap and eat it while you stand. Kai Kei's fish ball was less springy and more of starchy side, almost resembling the cheap sotong ball you find in Malaysia. Curry was not too exciting either. Guess I am just too spoiled with chillies, curry, sambal in Malaysia.

Lee Keung Kee North Point famous egg waffle at Mong Kok (HKD 15)

Now that we were done with the savoury snack, it was time for the sweets again. Instead of heading all the way to North Point to have a taste of the famous egg waffle, I resorted to Lee Keung Kee's branch in Mong Kok. That smell of egg and flour surely gave way to its hidden crib. I ordered one and it was huge! Crispy nonetheless, I was half heartedly wished it would be more moistened inside and more flavour.

Little Sheep's yin yeong soup base - Ma Lat and normal soup base

It was a long wait between tea time to dinner as the weather wasn't really on our side. It rained twice, to be exact; once while we were at 1881 Heritage Complex, another while we were on the bustling street of Mong Kok. Everyone was scampering, trying to look for shelter in whichever form they may be. Two of us half ran half sprinted and went into McDonalds. Surely it was crowded, especially in this weather. After good two hours of hide in McDonalds, we headed to Little Sheep and have some steaming hot Ma Lat and normal soup steamboat.

The menu of Little Sheep or Xiao Fei Yang at Mong Kok

I must say it was quite a hefty price to pay for steamboat in Hong Kong. What costed us RM20-30 in Malaysia is at least double here (in my case HKD 160). Good thing was the meat selection here was of good quality and most of the items were refillable. Soup were good, just that I did not get to throw some scallops to make it all the better. Was it value for money? Probably not for a small eater like me who doesn't fancy seafood with shells.

Panaromic view from Avenue of Stars at Tsim Sha Tsui

Dinner filled me to the brim to the extent I wouldn't want to walk. Being all touristy, I was here at Avenue of Stars just to check out whose palms those were. To my amusement, the sea side view attracted me most. Feeling the breeze caressing my cheek while smelling the faint salt in the air, my night could have been better with less humid atmosphere.

IMG_8969Cloudy night

Not sure if it was the norm but the dark sky was all cloudy. While the ferries busy manoeuvring to and fro mainland and Hong Kong Island, the light cast on the sea did have its own appeal. The sound of rippling waves, the ever changing neon lights, can someone send me a leaning chair with a glass of whisky on ice?

Here I was at Avenue of Star

The Avenue of Star was not alone in this humid night. Tourists, most likely from mainland China, were all chatty and excited about some stars they could relate to. As for me, it was nothing spectacular to spot palms on the famed walk way. Rather, I found this little girl liked my camera very much that she just had to interrupt amidst my photo taking.

My Director friend

I guess, being all touristy does mean you have to take a picture with you in it! Here you go, me with my director friend. At this juncture, I still don't believe all the circumstances that led me to this foreign land, which also happened to be my FIRST overseas trip.

Hong Kong style ice cream (HKD 9)

Life is a journey, you just can't stop travelling. In the meanwhile, have a cone of ice cream. This was another down to earth thing you must try in Hong Kong, i.e. that ice cream from the ice cream truck. Creamy vanilla in a crispy waffle cone, simplicity at its best.

Mrs. Fields Cookies at Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station

Life is like a movie, have some cookies. Could it be just me or that Hong Kong's sweet stuff is really double the sweetness? One Mrs. Fields Cookies and I was all done for the day. Psst... HKD 39 for 6 after 9pm. Go ease your bad days with some of these sweet and soggy cookies. 

It was hard to believe that it was the final full day I would be spending in Hong Kong.
I am going to miss this place very much :(

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