Wednesday, 31 July 2013

The Orient Barbecue Cuisine - HK

July 30, 2013
Located right next to the North Point subway station is The Orient Barbecue Cuisine. 
IMAG2893
They offer yum cha with dim sum in the morning, then lunch and dinner

IMAG2885
Top: Stuffed eggplant
Bottom: Fried fishcakes
I would have preferred it if the stuffed eggplant were cooked just a little longer to make them softer and mushier in texture so that it would contrast with the meatier fish cake stuffing. The fried fish cakes were okay, but I wish the edges were a little crispier.

IMAG2883
Pan fried chive dumplings
These were good.

IMAG2884
Cotton Wool Chicken
It had a lot of things in the dish including mushrooms, fake crabmeat, chicken and daikon. The chicken and mushroom dish was decent. 

IMAG2889 IMAG2890
Oyster pancake and Roasted pigeon
I was expecting the pancake to be savoury with the oyster and egg combination, but the pancake turned out to be sweet...very interesting.
Roasted pigeon is delicacy in Hong Kong and this pigeon had crispy skin and very lean meat.

IMAG2887  IMAG2888
Shrimp Cheong Fun, Siu Mai and Steamed Meatballs
The siu mai was okay; A little tougher than some of the siu mai I've eaten in Toronto and it was packed with meat.

IMAG2891IMAG2892
Haam sui gaau
The deep fried glutinous rice dumpling with meat and vegetables inside was really quite good. The skin was a little crispy and sticky with yummy filling.

IMAG2882
Century egg and pork congee
One of my favourite types of congee - yum!

IMAG2886
Osmanthus jelly (gwai fa go)
It was sweet, but not too sweet and a little bland.

July 31, 2013
We came back for dinner with more family.
Stir fried kai-lan with ground pork & Braised fish with tofu
The gai lan was really tender and tasty even if the stalks were long and cumbersome to eat. 

Winter Melon Soup 
The soup is made by scooping out all the winter melon and making a soup from the winter melon base and chicken broth with all the ingredients, then the soup is put back into the winter melon and simmered for hours. The soup was rich and delicious with the winter melon absorbing the broth's flavouring. 

Fried garlic roasted chicken
The name literally translates to "golden sand" from the fried chopped garlic on top of the chicken.
The chicken was delicious! It really makes a difference when you use free-range chicken - the meat is amazingly tender. The skin and garlic together made the chicken even tastier and added a crackling texture.

Szechuan Eggplant
The eggplant dish was good and not too spicy. I love this dish paired with rice since it has so many layers of textures and flavours to it. Delicious!

Sirloin Beef topped with peanuts
The beef was cubed and cooked until they were perfectly tender morsels. Yum!

Braised Pork Belly with Beancurd
The sauce was pretty good, but I found the pork belly very fatty and it wasn't braised long enough to be really tender.

Szechuan Fish Filet and Braised Tofu with Mushroom
The fish was cut up into tiny slices and it was made spicy with all the grounded chili peppers on top. The tofu was amazingly soft and scrumptious. It really makes a difference with fresh tofu.

Sago Dessert with Coconut milk, Corn and Tapioca
This is one of my favourite Chinese desserts (especially when it's made with taro). 
The coconut milk adds the sweetness and it's usually warmed. I found the corn a little weird in this version of the dessert since the dessert is already sweet, I didn't think that they needed to add corn to make it sweeter. Instead, they should have added something a little heavier and with more substance (like taro) to make it balanced. I also found the dessert a little watery.

Overall: Good food, attentive service and reasonable prices at The Orient Barbecue Cuisine.

Happy Restaurant - HK

Everything is tightly packed in Hong Kong: from the apartments to the shops and market stalls. It's like there's never a dull moment. 
IMAG2894 IMAG2895 
We wanted to grab a quick lunch in Wan Chai and we found this restaurant right next to the Fleming Road bridge: 
 IMAG2915
This Hong Kong style cafe looked really busy with all the locals. It was like a Chinese version of a diner: we were served our food within 2 minutes of ordering. The turnover was so ridiculously fast - people came, ordered, ate and left within 15 minutes. 

IMAG2913 IMAG2912
Chicken Feet soup & Pork Chop and Fried Egg with Spaghetti in Ketchup sauce
All the plates came with a drink (Hong Kong style milk tea, coffee, lemon tea or bowl of soup). 
We got two milk teas and a soup. The soup was pretty good with chicken feet and black eyed peas.  I love Hong Kong style spaghetti with ketchup sauce - something about the sweetness of the ketchup and the tangy thick sauce works so well. It really is done best by Hong Kong people. Even in a simple cha chan teng in Hong Kong, the ketchup spaghetti sauce is way better than some other Italian tomato sauces I've tried. 
The spaghetti at Happy Restaurant was okay - a little mushy and overdone. 

IMAG2914
Baked chicken filet fried rice with ketchup sauce
The baked chicken filet was a little dry, but still good and it was even tastier with ketchup sauce. They kept the fried rice simple with just egg. The addition of the corn, carrots and peas made the ketchup sauce a little sweeter. 

IMAG2911
Pork chop with rice
Simple and classic - pork chop was a little dry, but tasty and substantial.

Overall: Super cheap and fast food. It wasn't particularly delicious, but it was filling and okay. 

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Yi Ban Heung Shanghainese Restaurant - HK

The busy Causeway Bay area is home to Jardine's Bazaar which is one of the oldest shopping areas in Hong Kong dating back at least to 1845 (according to Wikipedia).  
DSC04667 
Luckily, the street isn't as crowded and there are some really well known restaurants there. After a busy day of shopping, we were looking for somewhere with quick food, fast service and air conditioning to escape the heat.
IMAG2905

IMAG2902
Shanghaiese Chi Fan
The chi fan is a sticky rice roll wrapped around shredded pork and youtiao. This one wasn't very good: the rice was hard and old, and although it was sticky, it had difficulty sticking to the meat and Chinese doughnut and it wasn't wrapped tightly enough.

IMAG2903
Stir fried shredded eel with noodle soup
I've been eating a lot of Japanese style unagi, so I was a little unprepared for the saltier sauce. The eel was all deboned and tossed with so many beansprouts that it diluted the taste of the dish.

IMAG2904
Xiaolongbao
We got two steamed baskets of xiaolongbao. The skin was pretty thick and sticky. I found that the bao had a lot of meat inside and very little soup which made it not as balanced as some of the authentic xiaolongbao I've had before (especially in Shanghai)

Overall: Yi Ban Heung Shanghainese Restaurant served mediocre food, but it was air conditioned and they had really quick service. 

Juchheim - HK

If you've been reading my blog entries since the beginning, you'll know that I have an obsession with Baumkuchen. I was super excited to see Juchheim (the original Japanese Baumkuchen maker) in the basement of Causeway Bay's Sogo store. 
IMAG2896 IMAG2897 
I was so excited to try it!
IMAG2906  DSC04601DSC04604
Boy was I disappointed when I tried it. Instead of the firmer texture of the Japanese baumkuchen that I was expecting, it was spongy and tasted very similar to the sweet butter pound cake that's so popular in Hong Kong. I found it plain and flavourless compared to the Japanese versions. Fail...

Overall: Don't bother trying this Juchheim in Hong Kong unless you want a sponge cake rather than baumkuchen. 

Monday, 29 July 2013

Coffee shop at The Emperor (Happy Valley) Hotel - Hong Kong (HK)

Vibrant Hong Kong
IMAG3017 IMAG3155

IMAG2994 IMAG2858 
The Emperor (Happy Valley) Hotel in Hong Kong offers free breakfast with the purchase of a stay in a deluxe room. So during our stay at the hotel, we got to eat a range of food from traditional Chinese breakfast items like congee and chow mein to blueberry pastries and omelettes.
IMAG2874 IMAG2872IMAG2873
Apricot yogurt, mortadella, wonton wrapped meatballs, variety of fruits and soy milk
The pineapple and watermelon were sweet and delicious
IMAG2908
Omelette with cheese, ham and mushrooms
They made the omelette right when I requested it and served it to my table. Something about Hong Kong ham is so much better than North American ham - it's just so much tastier.

IMAG2870 
Top bowl: crispy taters and turnip cake
Bottom plate: fried noodles, sausage, choy, almond coconut paste pastry and blueberry pastry
The noodles were decent; the chicken sausagewas a little weird tasting; the almond coconut pastry was really good
IMAG2907
Pork and dried cabbage congee
IMAG3130
Char siu bao, xiaolongbao, vermicelli and almond pastry

IMAG3131
Fruits and potato salad (lots of mayo)

Overall: Decent breakfast - they mixed things up everyday so you didn't have to get bored with the buffet.