Thursday, February 26, 2009

WAI KEE RESTAURANT @ TEMPLE STREET, YAU MA TEI

After having my tummy filled with the Claypot Beef Rice for lunch and yummy Beef Brisket at teatime, my overstuffed tummy protested and decided to shut down for the day. I was bloated and didn't feel hungry at all despite strolling along Temple Street for an hour. Temple Street is located in Yau Ma Tei and is well known for its night market. Am not going to talk much about Temple Street, so if you are interested to know more, do check out HERE.

There are lots of restaurants (Dai Pai Dong style) along Temple Street and most fully packed with diners. Some impressive, some not. I always aim for those patronized by locals and we finally came across two promising restaurants located almost at the end of Temple Street. One is Hing Kee Restaurant which is recommended in my booklet. Hubby wasn't impressed with Hing Kee shopfront and so we decided to try Wai Kee Restaurant which is just few shops away.
Wai Kee Restaurant @ Temple St

It was fully packed outside, not even a table to share with other diners. So we proceeded into the shop and shared a table with two local girls. With the cool weather, claypot rice seems to be a big hit. I see most diners have own pot each. Since we already had it for lunch and I was not hungry at all, I told Hubby not to order any. If you ask me again at this very moment, I wish I could have one pot of each in their menu now!

Menu

The claypot rice must be really good here. As we were seated near to the kitchen, I saw pots after pots of rice being whisked out. Definitely must be good since the couple at the next table ordered 3 pots to share. Personally I couldn't even finish one pot myself as it's quite a big portion.
Stacks of Claypots

We agreed to have just few dishes to try. Apart from the claypot rice, their Deep Fried Mantis Prawn with Salt Pepper Style seems to be quite popular. Our serving came with generous portion of at least 10 pieces of huge mantis prawns. Price? Only HKD40! Average about less than RM2 per piece. I once paid RM5 per piece at a seafood restaurant in K.L. Now, who said dining in Hong Kong is expensive???
Mantis Prawns

I saw Claypot Eel Rice in the menu but I only wanted the eel and not the rice. The friendly waiter told us this could be done. Steamed with black bean sauce, this dish was delicious! The pieces of eel was steamed to perfection. I enjoy the chewy gelatinous skin followed by soft and smooth texture of the flesh. Good but however, it still could not beat the best steamed eel I had in Macau. Priced at HKD45 (about RM20).
Steamed Eel

Fiber! Definitely in need for some greens! Hong Kong Kai Lan is always my favourite, followed by Hong Kong choy sum and snowpea sprout. Crunchy and sweet when cooked just right, minus the green bitter after taste.
Hong Kong Kai Lan

Overall, it was a good meal without any complain. Service was friendly and fast. Am glad we gave this place a try.

Wai Kee Restaurant is located at:
"Twenty-something" Temple Street, Yau Ma Tei (few shops away from Hing Kee at No.19)
Direction: From Yau Ma Tei MTR Station Exit C, walk along Man Ming Lane until Temple Street

What's up at next post? Have not decided yet....come back later to find out yah!

Monday, February 23, 2009

BRATTY PUMPKIN TURNS 2

My precious bratty Pumpkin turns two today. What pressie did I get him? Hubby said no more toys this year since we have a basket full of it. So, this is what we got him. Nah..just joking. Meet Kanga! This furkid belongs to our next door neighbour and they just got him back yesterday. Pea met up with Kanga at our neighbour's place yesterday night and they got along so well until Pea refused to come home.
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Today, Pumpkin met Kanga and initially I thought Pumpkin would pounce on Kanga but was surprised to see how gentle he was. Maybe he knew Kanga is just a lil' puppy. Kanga was timid at first, but it only took seconds for him to warm up with Pumpkin.
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Kanga was exploring our garden under Pumpkin's watchful eyes. It was so sweet to watch Pumpkin trailing behind Kanga all the time. We were even more surprised to see Pumpkin licked Kanga. This assured me that Pumpkin would not be overly jealous like Pea did if I ever bring home my 3rd dog.
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Wondering where was Pea? I mentioned earlier Pea met Kanga yesterday night at our neighbour's place and they got along very well. Today, he refused to join in the fun. Instead, he sat at one corner with my visiting cousin. Pea must have thought we brought a new puppy home, cos he was rejecting Kanga just the way he did to Pumpkin when we brought the brat home 2 years ago. He just refused to be near Pumpkin at that time.
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Pea certainly prefers human than his own species. Cuzzie was cheering him up by lots of cuddles and kisses. By the way, my cuzzie is single and available but one condition, all interested applicants must go through my screening first. Any takers? Hehehe..
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While Pea chose to be anti-social, Bobo the ChiHuaHua wished he could join in the fun. Bobo belongs to another neighbour. Very fierce fella and he once bitten Pumpkin. Luckily Pumpkin has got long and thick fur. Strands of Pumpkin's fur landed in between his sharp teeth. That was the reason why we kept him out.

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While happily playing in the garden, suddenly Kanga stopped and came into my house and sneaked behind the shoe rack. He was overly exhausted and decided to take a nap. So cute isn't he?

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As usual, the birthday dinner usually consist of steamed chicken. Birthday boy had a chicken maryland while Pea had a drumstick.
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Pumpkin knew he was having freshly steamed chicken and was barking excitedly while I was preparing his dinner. Look at his wide wide grin...
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Couldn't find any muffin at the bakery so we got him a marble cake instead.
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Happy Birthday my precious Pumpkin. JiehJieh, Gor Gor and Pa Pa love you LOTS!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

KAU KEE BEEF BRISKET (九記牛腩) @ SHEUNG WAN, HONG KONG


KAA-CHIAANGGG!! (The sound of Hubby opening an ancient sword)
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Hubby: Meet the descendent of the Great Yang Warrior Clan 杨家将! (Hubby's surname is also Yang杨)
P.Pea: The males in the Yang Warrior Clan not famous isn't it?
Hubby: Says who??
P.Pea: But all the TV drama I watched on Yang Warrior focussed on the ladies, hence the title Ladies of the Yang Family. Isn't that true?
Hubby: Errr...actually yes, all the males died during war except the sixth male offspring.
P.Pea: I think I know the reason why all the males died...
Hubby: WHY????
P.Pea: Cos they were using the wrong weapon, just like you. That's SAMURAI sword that you are holding now!! Wuahahaha!
Hubby: *Ka tooingg*

*****

Jokes aside, today I shall continue with the food expedition I had in Hong Kong. Since we were already in Sheung Wan for the Claypot Beef & Raw Egg Rice at Wing Hop Sing, we decided to make a visit to another recommended eatery in that area. On the way to our destination, we made a stop at Lok Ku Road which houses a row of antique shops on both sides of the road. What interest us was the small stalls along the street which offers goodies such as old coins, crystals and knick-knack stuff to enhance your 'chi' or feng shui.
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Although it was almost end of Chinese New Year, we still spotted a few stalls selling these spring couplets or Fai Chun in Cantonese. The red paper inprinted with auspicious chinese characters is normally put up at home during the festive season, for good luck I guess.
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Too many choices certainly not a good thing. If not mistaken, these charms are for good luck and protection.
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Colourful lanterns in various shapes and sizes. I do think one needs to bargain here. I didn't get anything back since I never liked old ancient stuff. Personally, I find it 'spooky'. Well well...I watched too many Chinese horror films.
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Continuing our journey, we reached Ladder Street. Being an avid fan of TVB drama, Hubby is very happy to see the flight of stairs. He said this is usually where the female actress drops her bag of oranges and the male actor will come to her rescue.
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With such great discovery, of course Hubby didn't mind posing for me. A shot of him going up....
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And a shot of him going down..... *can you imagine his excitement?* 8

We passed by the Man Mo Temple, a famous tourist spot in Sheung Wan. According to a travel booklet, Man Mo Temple was built in 1847 to worship the God of Literature (Man) and the God of Martial Art (Mo). Chinese saying, "Greet when you enter one's house, pray when you enter a temple". I wanted to go in but look at the crowd! There were even policemen standing around the corner making sure everything is in order. Our mission is to find food, so we continued our journey.....
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Located at Gough Road, it is quite easy to find Kau Kee Restaurant. Don't play play, this restaurant is even listed in Wikipedia. It was 3.30 p.m when we arrived and I couldn't understand why those locals are not working at that hour. Do they have time off for tea break? It was packed!! The restaurant is quite small and cramp, so as expected we have to share the table with other diners.
10

Again, I had Milk Tea cos it was recommended in my food guide. Tasted too sweet and the tea wasn't as flavourful as the one I had earlier at Wing Hop Shing.
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I have no idea why my stomach was not behaving that day. I was stuffed from lunch and I lost my appetite. I kept telling Hubby not to over order as I really didn't feel like putting anything into my mouth. Since the guidebook mentioned only two types of beef briskets, we stick to the recommendation. First to come was the Curry Beef Tendon and Brisket that I didn't really like. The curry gravy was too strong and powdery. It leaves an unpleasant sensation to my throat. The gravy reminds me of the Curry Fish Ball that the local loves so much. Apparent sign of different tastebud! The beef brisket was good though. It was cooked till fork-tender and the texture of the beef tendon was perfect. Soft yet gelatinously crunchy. But since it was coated with the thick curry gravy, I only had a piece each.
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We asked for Crunchy Beef Brisket which is available only after 3 or 4 p.m. but was told it was not ready yet. Sad sad sad. Crunchy Beef Brisket is their specialty due to the tender meat and crunchy tendon. We didn't want to wait so we just order a bowl of beef brisket without any noodles. One spoonful of the soup and my appetite immediately came back. It was full of beefy goodness. Hubby was highly impressed and declared it the best beef brisket soup he ever had in Hong Kong to date. According to my guidebook, the rich soup gets its flavour from 300 katis of beef brisket that have been stewed for hours. It was so flavourful and I almost asked for refill. By the way, they charge you additional HKD5 for refill but I tell you, it's worth it. The tender pieces of brisket was very tasty and goes so well with their spicy chili sauce. Since this bowl of plain beef brisket was so good, am very curious how the highly recommended crunchy beef brisket would taste like.
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At times, I don't mind sharing table with locals as they could provide you with valuable information. According to the filial son who brought his elderly mum and dad there, he told them that the place is super packed during peaks hours. Business is so good, they even close the shop during dinner time for an hour. So for beef lovers who are interested to give this place a go, Kau Kee Restaurant is located at:

Address: 21 Gough Road, Sheung Wan (refer to C9 of your HK Map)
Opening Hours: 12.30 p.m. - 7.15 p.m.; 8.30 p.m. - 11.30 p.m.
Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays


You might want to check out the Dai Pai Dong aka HK hawker stall located right opposite Kau Kee. It was super packed as well. The place was made famous from a drama shot there. They offered sandwiches and most table ordered instant noodle cooked with tomato broth. Not exactly my type of food so we just walked off without feeling that we missed something good.

Next post, I shall bring you to one of the businest night market in Yau Ma Tei, yes, Temple Street!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

THE DAY WHEN WE ARRIVED IN HONG KONG..

Weather was perfect in Hong Kong at this time of the year; end-winter early-spring! Cool and breezy at maximum of 21 degree Celcius. Most of the time cloudy too. And for those flower-craze people like me, it was a sight to behold cos flowers blossoming everywhere on the street! Flowers on huge pots, flowers on planter boxes and flowers hanging on lamp posts wherever you go. The most unexpected flower that I saw were tulips surrounded by sweet baby roses along a main street at Tsim Tsa Tsui area.
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Busy bees! I wonder if this flower belongs to the crysanthemum family. So beautiful and bright pink in colour.
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I like this the most, sweet light purple.
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Hubby liked this one and insisted that I take a shot of it too. Bloody red with white tip!
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This photo was taken at Macau. So tempting, hand soooo itchy!!! Nah, I didn't pluck it off.
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Narcissus or Water Fairy (Shui Sin - direct Cantonese translation)...I bought the narcissus bulbs before Chinese New Year and I am still waiting for it to flower. Felt so cheated since the seller said it will be just in time for CNY. Anyway...a photo here to show how my bulbs were 'supposed' to turn out to be.
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Almost end of Chinese New Year when we went but this is the first lion dance I saw for this festive season. Is lion dance a rare sight in KL nowadays?
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Another lion dance at Ocean Park...funny, it keeps reminding me of my precious Pumpkin (my Pekingnese brat). It might be the popping big eyes!!!
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See?? Everyone is in spring mood. Even the owner of this BMW. But then, would you name your BMW 'MUSHROOM'?????
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Am not sure if we were under-dressed or the locals 'OVERLY-dressed'. We were only wearing jeans with tee and crocs but the locals were heavily covered by thick jacket, scarfs, vests and BOOTS!! We were so 'out of place'! At times, we even felt warm and sweaty after a long walk. However, we both were really captivated with the amount of boots we saw during this trip. Regardless young or old, slim or plump, most of the ladies are wearing boots. I guess it is the 'IN' thing in HK now. I have to admit, it does look stylish and elegant, but won't it be hot and sweaty as well??? Hubby suggested that I should do a collage of it, so here it is, the result of my hardwork being a stalker and pervert while taking these photos (anyone wanna hire me as private investigator??)
Boots

Most of the shoe shops are offering 50% discount on boots now since winter is ending soon. Hubby asked if I want to get a pair for myself. Wearing that in KL would be ahem...Natural Foot Spa? I don't mind a new pair of Crocs though... *Hubby, wink wink*
Output

Next post will be on 'The Best Beef Brisket Hubby Ever Tasted in Hong Kong" and humourous photos of him that he begged me not to post in my blog. Till then...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Wing Hop Shing @ Sheung Wan (永和成茶餐厅)

My trip to Hong Kong and Macau was a blast, so much so, am suffering from post-holiday syndrome now. Armed with my 'food bible' on the 50 Must-Try Snacks in Hong Kong, I managed to try a number of recommended eateries. Well, I didn't achieve my aim to try at least 25 places but it would be a good excuse for me to revisit Hong Kong in the near future again.

As soon as we got off the ferry from Macau to Hong Kong, we started the food trip with a good bowl of beef brisket with wanton noodle at
Mak's Noodle located at China Hong Kong City. Mak's Noodle is also listed in the guidebook so for those who are interested, do try their Wan Tan Noodle which is excellent! I am not going to talk much about Mak's Noodle since I have blogged about them during my last trip. If you are interested to get more information on their outlet, please refer to my post on Mak's Noodle.

I remember watching a TVB food show featuring claypot beef and egg rice 2 years ago but sadly I didn't manage to get the address cos it was written in Chinese. I was jumping with joy when it was featured in the guidebook and it became the first destination in my list of 'must visit' eateries.
a

They do have menu in English but ordering was made easy cos all I did was showing the waitress the guidebook and then told her I want the four recommended items featured in the booklet!
b

Now that I am going through my guidebook again, I found out that I ordered the wrong beverage. Yun Yong (Coffee+Tea) was recommended but I ordered Milk Tea instead. Nevertheless, it was a good glass of rich, aromatic milk tea. One of the best I had on this trip.
c

It was obvious that claypot rice is their specialty since everyone was having a claypot each. Funny thing was, everyone was having different fillings except the famous beef with egg. Seems like their Pak Ku Gai (mushroom and chicken) version is a hit as many who came after us ordered the dish but was sold out. They also have other fillings such as meat pattie, frogs, eel, chicken feet, chinese sausages, waxed meat and etc. My mission was to try the Beef and Egg Claypot rice so I am not going to leave without sampling it. It was such a beautiful sight when it came; sizzling claypot of grainy white rice covered with semi-cooked beef topped with runny raw eggs. This was the sight that captivated my heart when I saw it on TV two years ago.
d

According to the guidebook, "the rice grains are added to hot water before it boils, then cooked over a gas stove for about two to three minutes before baking in the oven. The baked rice is then put on the stove at high heat for one to two minutes, before cooked minced beef is added. Lastly, the raw egg is added onto the rice before serving."

Now, the verdict....honestly, it didn't taste as great as it looked. No doubt, beef was tender but it was evident that tenderizer was used, something that I never quite enjoy when I dined in Hong Kong restaurant. Personally I find tenderized meat lack of natural sweetness and taste. Tastewise, the beef was well marinated and its juices (or should I say the marinade sauce?) infused the rice. Slightly on the bland side, a few dash of soya sauce is needed to enhance the overall flavour. I was a bit disappointed cos the Claypot Eel Rice at my next table looks so much better than my beef and egg rice. Sigh...next time I guess. One pot of rice generously serves 4 rice bowls. I reckon it is just nice for 2 person to share especially when you intend to try other food.
e

The Beef Sandwich is also highly recommended here. It was good especially the soft fluffly white bread. The fillings consists of corned beef omelet which is quite tasty but because they gave too much fillings, it was quite salty for me. I love the white bread, would be so perfect if steamed and smothered with butter and kaya.
f

Lastly, freshly baked egg tarts! I was lucky cos a new tray was brought to the front of the shop as I walked in. I ordered one to try and it was immediately served. Not too happy since I prefer to savour it as dessert but am so glad they brought it to me first cos within 10 minutes, the empty tray was brought back to the kitchen!
g

Fresh from the oven! The crust was really flaky. I might be wrong but I suspect lard is used cos it certainly have a very nice lardy aroma. The egg custard was piping hot and very smooth. I made a mistake of having my milk tea before savouring the egg tart, hence I barely could taste any sweetness in the tart.
h

Although the Beef and Egg Claypot rice didn't live up to my expectation, it satisfied my curiousity. If you are interested too, Wing Hop Shing is located at:

Wing Hop Shing Restaurant
Ground Floor, 113-115 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan
Tel: 852-2850.5723
Opening Hours: 6 a.m. - 4 p.m. (closed Sundays and first three days of CNY)

Friday, February 06, 2009

EATING MY WAY TO HONG KONG

Yes.....a long long awaited holiday and my first holiday for the year too. Flying off to Hong Kong early tomorrow morning and should be reaching Hong Kong by lunch time. Armed with my food bible, I aim to cover at least half of the 50 must try snacks listed in the booklet. All the eateries are recommended by HK famous foodies. Am just so so so excited!
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I already knew what to have for lunch! Oven-baked Claypot Minced Beef Rice with Raw Egg served at one famous restaurant in Sheung Wan. Such a killer picture, don't you agree?? Drroooll~~~
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