Sunday, April 3, 2011

Food Trip in Hong Kong

The welcome fruit, chocolate, and tea at the hotel.

My first dinner on my second stay at HK is also my first time to taste an imported escargot (snail) aside from the dark "kuhol" or snail of the Philippines. This was followed by a fish flounder with scallop seafood sauce which has superb taste, but I was not able to take a photo. The food is part of the HK$628 buffet at the hotel, since I'm quite tired to dine out after my arrival. Good thing that my HK trip is on business, so I don't have to worry about food expenses.

Most of my breakfast and lunch food are taken in the Hotel's cafeteria. Below is a sample of their lunch menu choices with Chinese translation.

Second dinner is at Yung Kee here. On my third night, I was treated to a famous hot pot restaurant by my gracious host and colleague Ms. JW, at Tao Heung in Carnavon Plaza, TST district. Most of the diners are HK locals, and I think less than 5% are foreigners including myself. Food is better than the shabu-shabus I tried in the Philippines. There were so many food that time. Good thing that hot pot dining allows people to eat at their own pace while we are sharing stories. My host recommended that I drink San Miguel beer, but I chose the Chinese brand Yanjing for a change. Its not bad as its quite similar with Heineken beer.

Thursday lunch, I was treated again by my wonderful host Ms. JW, this time at this locally popular dimsum restaurant Mu Dan Ting in Pacific Centre, Hankow Road. The place is packed with Chinese people, and I believe I was the lone foreigner that time. This is where I was able to taste goose feet, aside from the usual chicken feet. Pork siomai, shrimp hakao, and the vegetable dumpling are also very good. Their egg custard bun is also unforgettable. Total bill for the 3 of us is around HK$ 350 with fried rice and teas. 

The 2 nights I was in Sham Shui Po computer shops, I was able to try a charsiu pork and vegetable meal of Eat Together. At HK$ 35 with rice and lemon iced tea, I rate it as an average meal. My second dinner at the same area, I had beef with brocolli and coconut milk cocktail at Golden City Restaurant. The portion size is good for 2 people, and the brocolli flowers are blanched just right. However, I was excited to go back to the hotel with my newly-purchased netbook, so I did not bothered to take a photo of this HK$ 75 meal.

While at Causeway Bay, I had lunch at Maxim's inspite of the long queue of diners. I tried their baked pork, which I regretted later, since their charsiu pork looks more appetizing.

One of my unique dining experiences in HK is at Xpress Teppanyaki, part of the Food Republic chain. The food is cooked in front of you at the griddle, and served on aluminum foil resting on the same griddle to keep it warm. I tried it first on a dinner at Silvercord mall in TST, with photo of the food below. At HK$ 86 for a meal with lamb, squid, shrimp, cola drink, and standard rice, beansprouts and green veggies for a healthy diet, this is also a value-for-money meal. My last lunch at HK in Citygate, I tried their meal with beef slices, scallop, and whole shrimps for HK$ 130.

Finally, I was able to try the food of Cafe de Coral fastfood chain, at the airport prior to my departure from HK. The charsiu pork and roast goose meal at HK$ 49 with cola drink is a nice experience to cap my HK food adventure. Unfortunately, I was not able to take a photo, as I tried to quickly finish the food to catch my plane.

Hong Kong offers a lot of culinary choices for all types of people. For someone like me who loves Chinese food, it is a very fulfilling week spent on this Asian city. Allow me to share some tips when dining in HK:
  1. Some of the best locally known restaurants are inside the buildings with no English signages outside, so don't hesitate asking the locals for directions.
  2. Do not be intimidated by their Chinese menus. Most of the restaurants have English menus available, just ask for it.
  3. Fastfood style restaurants usually have this system of paying first to the cashier, then proceed on the kitchen counter to claim your food. You may also pay with your octopus card, like in Cafe de Coral, Maxims, McDonalds, etc.
  4. Casual restaurants and small eateries usually put your food check or order slip on your table. They will write your additional order on this paper, so keep it visible on your table. After your meal, bring this paper with you when you pay the cashier usually stationed at the entrance/exit of the restaurant.
  5. HK people don't want to waste their time. On high end restaurants, usually the waiter already has your prepared change, when you pay in cash upon presenting the bill. Saves a lot of time going back and forth to the cashier.
  6. Unlike in Manila, HK restaurants don't offer free drinking water and paper napkins. So it is advisable to bring them with you to save on cost and to keep yourself presentable after the meal.
  7. It is also customary to share a table with other diners, especially for restaurants with limited seating capacity. So do not complain if you are brought to a table with a diner already seated.
Happy Eating!
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