Scenes from hong kong, december 2018

today was my first day in hong kong. started out with pan-fried dumplings and xlb at crystal jade in the airport. a few hours later, prawn wonton and noodle soup at tsim chai kee with barely any wait. came out and saw there was no wait at all at mak’s noodle opposite and so went in for second lunch (it would have been rude not to; also, these are not massive bowls of soup). mak’s is a little bit more expensive and the wontons are much smaller but their soup is much tastier with deep prawn flavour. i’d love to say that the less touristy, non-michelin star place is better but i have to give it to mak’s.

spent some time wandering the green market right by my hotel.

dinner at kau kee. long line but it moved very fast. beef tendon curry noodle soup. very good.

then a nice hour and a half at ginger–a whisky bar right next door. drank a bowmore 15 bottled for ginger and a couple of other local whisky bars and a mortlach 10 bottled for aroma taiwan. there’s no whisky list; you point and ask. i was prepared for for high prices but was rather reasonable at $41 (us) with included service charge.

i’ll be putting up pictures on the blog at some point; will link when i do.


off to a good start!

Friend highly recommended some cheap eats for my next trip
Tung Po for dai pai dong food
Kwan Kee for claypot rice

Also some nice pics from this blog

Hitting the ground running!

it’s the only way to go.

and now, courtesy jetlag, here’s a big slideshow of pictures from day 1.

eating update:

yesterday i queued up at maxim’s palace, city hall with a friend who lives here. she’d insisted that if we got there by 11 the wait wouldn’t be too bad. well, we were greeted by a crowd that makes sea harbour look deserted on christmas morning. we had to wait two hours and fifteen minutes! the dim sum was very good. if it were being served fresh from the kitchen and not on carts, it would have been head and shoulders above the best of the sgv. however, because it’s served from carts not everything we got was in optimal condition. the things that were were really good: congee, char siu baos that were clearly freshly made, chiu chow dumplings. but most of the things that weren’t were on par with or slightly better than the sgv’s best. and the shiumai and hargow, i would say were not as good as the best versions of sea harbour or elite.

for dinner my friend dragged me to her favourite thai place: chilli club in wan chai. it was very nice but not as good as l.a’s best. had fun dodging the night life of wan chai after dinner while trying to find a cab.

this morning, i woke up and went up the hill to law fu kee for congee. got the sliced fish congee and it was great! right next door is cheung hing kee who specialize in pan-fried juicy dumplings and it seemed un-neighbourly to not give them some custom as well. i can confirm that their pan-fried juicy dumplings are quite good.

came out and it seemed foolish to not make a third breakfast stop, considering tai cheong bakery is right across the street. it was a very wise decision as a batch of egg custard tarts had just exited the oven. so fucking good.

i then walked about 6 miles in an effort to knock a tenth of the calories off. down to the star ferry, across to tsim tsa shui, then to the museum of history, and back to the ferry, back up to central where a taiwanese place caught my eye as i was getting off the mid-levels escalator at wellington and wondering about lunch.

it’s called teawood and specializes in beef noodle soup. got a bowl of hand-cut noodles with brisket, tripe and tendon. and an order of spicy pig ear strips to be safe. both quite good. the most remarkable thing about this place, however, maybe that they give you water on the house and there are multiple napkins on the table. this is a first for me in hong kong outside a fancy restaurant (though tea wood is far fancier than the likes of kau kee or mak’s noodle). even last night’s thai place sold water to us by the bottle.

dinner tonight will be at a vietnamese place in soho called chom chom. my friend is insistent on taking me to her favourite places and so even though i would rather be doing all cantonese all the time, i’m going along with her desires.


I always love/hate eating with locals in Hong Kong because often times they are tired of Cantonese food or they don’t wanna travel far for their favorite places. My uncle never even leaves the island LOL, I think I know Kowloon side better than him and he’s been living there all his life (60+ years)

Any plans to hit up roast meat places? I assume you are so I’ll just wait for the photos.

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was plotting a return to yat lok tonight (with someone else who lives here and has never been). but the work lunch i just got back from was a bit heavy so i’m not sure…

as feared, i was not up to yat lok on tuesday after all. instead we went to a new place called 65 peel–a hipsterish bar that features craft beer from hong kong and has a fusiony small plates menu. the beers were good and the food was even better. so much so that i’m going back tonight. more on this place soon.

also really enjoyed chom chom on monday night. last night went to kwan kee claypot rice in sai ying pun. the claypot rice was good but the star of the meal was a dish of stewed eggplant in spicy sauce.

in noodle soup/wonton news, i’ve also eaten at mak an kee and samdor (both off queen’s road). hit lung king heen for the executive set lunch today (very, very good). and i’ve been eating congee for breakfast every day at law fu kee.

also on the blog so far:

a look at fruit and veg at roadside markets and stalls.

a report on tsim chai kee and mak’s noodle.

today on the blog i have a detailed report on this meal with lots of pics. tl;dr: maxim’s palace is worth a stop for the experience but you have to go on a weekday or right after they open on the weekend.


You are one patient person! Make an online reservation next time at one of the Lei Gardens next time to avoid any wait!

that’s what we’d done the last time we were in hong kong. the pitfalls of dining with locals.

And the advantages!

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indeed. as mentioned: chom chom and 65 peel were very enjoyable and on my own i would have scorned them to go eat more noodles and wontons.

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On my first trip to Tokyo; friend I stayed with who’s wife is Japanese thought it would be a cool idea to order “Japanese style” seafood pizza from Domino’s for my first meal. :roll_eyes:

Fortunately my friends in HK are hardcore foodies.

Our friends in Rio run the gamut and we love that. One even turned us on to a great FRENCH bakery and a creperie :slight_smile:

a quick look at kau kee and my bowl of beef tendon with e-fu noodles in curry (as good as advertised).

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report on a five day congee residency at law fu kee with some thoughts on “eating like a local”.

chôm chôm: hipster vietnamese in soho

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more wonton-noodle soup in central at mak an kee and samdor.

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fish, crustaceans and more at the wet market in sai ying pun.

65 peel in soho is another hipster’ish place. they’re primarily a beer bar, featuring a lot of local brews. the beer is decent, but it’s the food i really liked–enough to go back a second time in one week. that food could be described as fusion but it’s of a different order than fusion in the u.s.

and i finally got my write-up of the executive lunch set i ate at lung king heen up on the blog today. the tl;dr is as follows:

“I preferred our more expensive lunch from 2016. Nothing at this meal was less than very good but at the price I would rather pay a little more to eat a la carte. Of course, that’s only really possible if you’re not dining solo. No one expects value at a Michelin 3 star restaurant but with the Executive Set Lunch it feels like you’re only getting a glimpse of what they’re capable of, while still paying a lot.”

more details and pics on the blog.

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