All posts filed under: Chinese

Lee Lo Mei: Creative Hong Kong Food with Quality Ingredients

Learning that a plate of rice rolls (cheung fan/腸粉) at Lee Lo Mei would cost HK$138 initially made me roll my eyes at a potentially overpriced gimmicky spot. I was skeptical as to whether foie gras and truffle would actually be a meaningful upgrade to the traditional cheung fan, which is already delicious with simple char siu or minced beef. I mentioned these feelings while having brunch at Mamasita’s Cantina five floors up (same restaurant group) one day, and a friend insisted that the food was genuinely really good, while acknowledging the slightly high prices. So I finally checked it out for myself, and could not agree more with the summary that it’s pricey but it’s good. Charmingly Colourful Dai Pai Dong Decor Lee Lo Mei’s use of the Hong Kong dai pai dong theme is hipster-ish borderline cliche, though perfectly in line with their menu offering. They used better quality foldable tables and stools to recreate that local street vibe, but the consequence of uncomfortable seating is admittedly a questionable compromise for cute decor. That said, half of the tables had better chairs – …

Bing Sheng 炳勝, Guangzhou: Best BBQ Pork You’ll Ever Have

It was not the first time I was taking the direct two-hour train ride from Hung Hom to Guangzhou. But my previous visits had been pretty uneventful, so it was no surprise that my mother would be in shock when I told her my plans: For what… What is there to do in Guangzhou?  This time I was going there to eat the purportedly best BBQ Pork/Char Siu at Bing Sheng Restaurant – frequently cited to be one of the best restaurants in Guangzhou. Char Siu – High Expectations, No Disappointment You know how it goes, high expectations are bound to lead to disappointment. Despite being told beforehand that “this is not the best char siu I’ve had, it’s the best I’ll ever have” – honestly, it could not have been more hyped up for me – I was still immensely impressed. We ordered the two types of char siu: black/dark and crispy. We were divided on which one we loved more and I say it’s always mandatory to order both. Each piece of the black/dark char siu was a piece of perfection. …

Dragon Noodles Academy: Peking Duck, Lobster Noodles and More

It’s always been a mission to find good quality Chinese food around Central which offers comfortable seating (to entertain visitors, for example), yet is not extortionately priced, excessively formal or terribly outdated. Dragon Noodles Academy seems to fulfil this particular demand quite perfectly. That said, I actually just came here on a random week night after the gym… so it can be pretty casual too. The Newest Hip Chinese place-to-be The decor of this place makes it a hip spot-to-be, yet the seating wasn’t claustrophobic like many hip restaurants are in Hong Kong these days. It has a good dose of excessive Chinese-y designs: think lion dance heads, wing chun props, golden dragons on the wall etc. At the same time, it still felt casual enough – the overly formal settings at some higher end Chinese restaurants tend to make me feel uncomfortable. They also have two semi-private large round tables, which can accommodate up to 12 people. These spots are perfect for slightly laid back work lunches or dinners. Lobster tail soup noodles (HK$149) They have a whole section of different …

Duddell’s: Perfectly Crafted Michelin-starred Dim Sum

Expectations will always run high when dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant. In spite of that, none of the dim sums at Duddell’s were less than perfectly crafted. Though too fancy and a little pricey to become a regular yum cha spot for regular people like me, it’s definitely worth a try if you want to spoil yourself one weekend or impress some visitors. Alternatively, for dim sum that’s less fancy, see my Guide to Hong Kong Local Food, for genuinely good and local dim sum spots in Hong Kong (that won’t break your wallet). The most flavourful Har Gau Har gau (shrimp dumpling) and siu mai (pork and mushroom dumpling) are the two mandatory dim sums to order for any yum cha gathering. Siu mai is usually my favourite dim sum, but this super flavourful har gau had big, fresh and crisp shrimps inside with a strong mushroom flavour to it too, ultimately winning my heart from the “standard dim sum choices” (none of which were standard at all though). On the other hand, while …

Guide to Hong Kong Local Food

Do you ever have visitors in town but struggle to recommend a good and truly local Hong Kong restaurant? I do and it’s probably because the last 10 meals I had before that would’ve been Italian, Thai, steaks, xiao long bao, Spanish, French, fusion and some other fusion. While there’s an abundance in variety of excellent quality international food in Hong Kong, there’s of course an even better offering of local cuisine. But here’s at least a concise starting point with places which cook truly local food, is affordable and accessible. 1. Dim Sum (go “yum cha”) Most signature to Hong Kong cuisine, dim sum is usually eaten for breakfast or lunch and hence is usually served til 2:30-3pm. Most five-star hotels surely do it right (and amazingly), but it also costs an unreasonable fortune and you know that’s not where true locals go on a regular basis. The truth is, we hesitate to recommend our actual local spots because they are usually dirty, serviced by rude staff and inconveniently located near our homes. One of …

Gourmet food delivered to your door or desk with foodpanda

Food delivery used to equate to regretfully eating one too many pizzas, KFCs or McNuggets. For the sake of health and my waist, that’s probably why I haven’t ordered delivery in years. But recently foodpanda has caught my attention; it’s an online food delivery service, where you can order restaurant food from a pretty impressively large number of outlets (at least around Central). They deliver it to your door (or office building, in my case). With the weather getting a little more unbearably hot, humid and stuffy by the day, I have increasingly less willingness to sweat 15 minutes in Central to find a good lunch spot. Ordering through foodpanda is one way to address my heat-averse problems. It’s also a great alternative for those who have to often eat at their desks. Ordering from Social Place (L Place) So the other day I ordered dim sum from Social Place and had it delivered to my office. The food quality was surprisingly close to what you’d get at the restaurant. I expected a little bit of sogginess (from the steam) in my bun …

Mak Man Kee: Must try wonton and shrimp roe noodles in Jordan

I missed my stop to Tsim Sha Tsui one lunch time and randomly ended up in Jordan. There were many restaurants to choose from but for no particular reason, we ended up at Mak Man Kee Noodles. The place got super packed after sitting down for 10-15 mins. When our wonton noodles came, we had a feeling this place was a lot more popular than we had known! Shrimp roe noodles *must order* I always purposely go to one cafe in Macau (皇冠小館) that famously serves delicious shrimp roe noodles, so I was excited to see this on the menu at Mak Man Kee Noodles as I rarely do at my usual go-to wonton places in Hong Kong. Actually, these tasted pretty similar to the one I had in Macau. Shrimp-only wontons On the menu, these are called shrimp-only wontons, but I have a feeling a teeny bit of pork was in it, just to lump the whole thing together. The shrimp in the filling was pretty massive and had a welcomed crunch when bitten into. It was wrapped …