Sunday, August 21, 2016

SAR, China - Hong Kong – 4 Days 3 Nights (Part 2 - To do/see,to eat)Day 2

To do:
Ngong Ping Cable Car, Lantau Island and Tai-O
11 Tat Tung Road

I almost always go Lantau island except for the first visit in hong kong. A slight difference this time is a side visit to Tai-O. To compact all the places together does seem to be a bit of a rush on hindsight. Also, we left our hotel rather late and arrive at Tung Chung Station slightly before 12 pm. There is already a queue formed at the cable car station but not so scary that its huge damper to my plans.

We are advised to hop on the bus to Tai-O immediately upon arrival at Ngong Ping village and do our sightseeing of Tai-O before taking the last bus at 5. 30 pm. Last cable car to depart Ngong Ping village is 6.30 pm.

The ride to Tai-O on bus 21 is comfortable. We reached the place at 1.30 pm and proceed to look for our boat ride that was pre-booked. The signages wasn’t very clear and we are doubting if we can locate the place to board the boat. Fortunately, the street vendors are helpful and direct us accordingly.

I was hoping to see the Chinese white dolphins (the dolphins are actually pink in colour) but today’s not our day. The boat trip is not unlike the boat trip in Vietnam Mekong Delta and its something you can choose not to do on this trip. Upon alighting, we walked around Tai-O and sampling the food along the streets and at Tai-O Heritage hotel. 

The place is very laid back and relaxed. We can see many people going about their daily activities and preparing the local dried seafood and the salted egg yolks.
We tried to catch the bus at 4 pm so that we have more time at Ngong Ping village. Even though the bus is in the bay, we still had to wait in the hot sun (there is no shelter for bus 21) till the bus supposed leaves at 4.xx? No fixed time indicated so we waited for about 20 minutes before heading back.

The first thing I did when reached is to climb the Tian Tan Buddha and walk around at the top. Everything else seems quite the same. Nothing much has changed since the last visit.

By the time we head down to Po Lin Monastery, the Tian Tan gates are pulling close and Po Lin Monastery look quite empty as well. We took a quick prayer and left.

On this trip there is noticeable a lot more cows (lantau bovines they are called) at the square. They are quite docile and will ignore you when you pat or take pictures with them. But I’m still apprehensive. 
 On the trip back we are accidentally rewarded with the beautiful sunset. What a great way to end the day.

Hong Kong Pulse 3D lightshow @ Hong Kong Cultural Centre
10 Salisbury Rd, Hong Kong

There is the PULSE light show for the month of August, curious i went to take a look. Its a quite a dissappointment. The only plus point is the night view across the river from kowloon.
To Eat:

Yee Shun Milk Company
港澳義順牛奶公司 – 3.2 stars, budget
63 Pilkem Street, Jordan, Hong Kong

Our first stop is at Australia Dairy Company. There is a queue formed at the main door when we reached. Hubs didn’t want to stand and wait in the hot sun so we decide to go somewhere else. On the next block we spied and saw this place since its similar to Australia Dairy Company and we have never tried this before we decided to give it a go.

We took a set meal (comes with macaroni, butter with bread, eggs and coffee)  and also added a bottle of milk and a bowl of steamed milk egg (cold). I overheard the other table ordering the Pork bun and was also keen to try but was also sadly dissappointed. The best pork bun is still from Macau.

To me the steamed milk egg is a little disappointment though its soft like tofu, it’s a little bland.

The macaroni is over cooked, soggy and tasteless. Though the 2 fried eggs are superb and fresh. So is the hotdog, it saltier than usual but still considered very nice. This started my love relationship with eggs in HK. I ate eggs everyday thereafter.

Tai-O Lookout – 3.7 stars, mid-range
Shek Tsai Po Street, Tai O, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

We had quite a long day and have been walking along the streets for roughly an hour. Our destination is Tai-O heritage hotel. We had a quick tea break there.

Service is great, we requested for window seats and they invited us over as soon as other guests vacate the seats.

We ordered a Crispy bun with Tai-O shrimp paste marinated pork chop and for drinks is the lookout classic mangrove special. Classic mangrove special is made of mountain begonia juice, apple juice and lemon juice. Begonia fimbristipula 紫背天 is a miraculous tea tree leaf from Phoenix Mountain of Lantau. This item is listed as phoenix tea and one of the must try items from Lantau.

While the marinated pork chop is decent, the signature mangrove juice is not that impressive. Pretty colours but taste a little odd.  But along of streets bottles of this tea is sold, pick the one that is red. Its taste really well more sourish and hence refreshing.

Street food in Tai-O – budget
Along the way back to the bus stop, I stopped to buy the shrimp paste.

Bought some moji like gueh (豆沙糯米滋 red bean moji,花生甜茶果 peanut gueh) and regretted that I didn’t get more! The豆沙糯米滋 red bean moji is very well made. The flour is soft and tender. Should have bought more.

The one I queued the longest is charcoal baked eggette. It is crisp and yummy only while hot.

We also bought 2 very large squid balls. Its fist sized and yummy.

As it has been such a long day and we are dehydrated we also bought the begonia water in RED.

Mak Noodle 麥奀雲吞麵世家– 3.5 stars, budget
51 Parkes Street, Jordan, Hong Kong
There is an outlet at Mak noodle in Jordan which we spotted in the morning. I wanted to find out if the noodles in HK taste any different from the outlet in SG. I ordered their signature shrimp wanton noodle while hubs ordered the pork trotters (nan ru zhu shou) noodle.

The bowl where the noodle is serve is still very small just less soupy and more noodles. 

Taste wise the noodles didn’t taste any different from the SG version. My friends insisted that the noodles taste better in HK because it made from duck eggs (not available in SG) and has higher alkalinity. I really really can’t tell the difference.

The pork trotters that Hubs ordered taste great and it’s a good alternative.

Australia Diary Company澳洲牛奶公司熱燉奶 – 4 stars, budget
47 Parkes Street, Jordan, Hong Kong
Super horrendous long queue at 10 am on Sunday morning!

I was elated when I saw no queue at night and I finally can get to eat my hot steamed milk pudding! The steamed milk pudding is as good as I remembered. 

Unfortunately, the service standards are also as bad as before. The waiters are impatient and rude. Sigh, some things just never change.

Hubs ordered milk and more eggs with bread. His verdict the milk is better here.

Friday, August 19, 2016

SAR, China - Hong Kong - 4 Days 3 Nights (Part 2 - To do/see,to eat, to stay)Day 1

To do:
35 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong

Visit to this place is impromptu as the original plan is to visit an art exhibition ParaSite Internationl Residency at Wing Wah Industrial 藝術空間. This place is only open from Wednesday to Sundays from 12 pm till 6 pm. After browsing PMQ from 1 pm – 4 pm which left no time to visit Parasite. 

There are mostly apparels and household items. Some very small art exhibits. In essence, it reminds me abit of the old Heeren in Singapore. Suitable for those who like to browse and explore. 

To Eat:

Little Bao - 4 stars, mid-range

66 Staunton Street, SoHo, Central, Hong Kong

This place is quite small and packed. The reason we are visiting here is because of Asian food channel recommendation and the food shown on TV look so appetising that its on my must try list.

I like the décor and atmosphere of the place. Food is served within minutes of the order. Truffle fries is different from Singapore as it has only a pinch of truffles and topped with minced meat and mushroom. This gives the fries a touch of Asian flair and yet unique.
I ordered the Szechuan Chicken Bun while Hubs ordered the Pork Belly Bun. Both are unique in flavours but I like the chicken bun better as I felt the fried chicken is a better complement to the bun than the pork belly.

The Pork Belly Bun is soft, tender and juicy is also another perfect option. Servings are a little dainty and it might require at least 2 buns to fulfil those with an appetite of a bowl of rice. I think its a good idea to serve buns like a burger. That's the main reason for trying this place.

One Dim Sum 一点心– 4.8 stars, budget 
Shop 1 & 2, G/F, No.15 Playing Field Road, Prince Edward, Hong Kong

This place is quite small and packed, most importantly, it’s a Michelin star restaurant. We reached the place late as we are catching up on our much needed sleep and only dragged ourselves out of bed at 8 pm. There is an existing queue and we had to wait for quite a bit and finally its our turn at 9 pm. I think after us there is no longer any waiting time to be ushered into the restaurant.

We ordered a total of 9 dishes after some googling. My favourite is the sesame balls while for hubs it’s the beef meat balls. All the dishes are restaurant standard and super yummy.

 The steamed minced beef balls is Hubs favourite dish. Its juicy and well marinated.

My favourite dish is this! Deep fried sesame balls! The flour is very chewy but the out crust upon frying is very crispy. Yums!

We both agreed that this steamed sui mai is very good! Definitely one of the few best we have ever eaten.

The soup is tasty to drink but as its soup of the day it all depends on what they are brewing for the day.

Barbecued pork bun is great too. Originally wanted to try their barbecued pork bread as it seems to be very recommended. Unfortunately, it was sold out and we opt for this as the alternative. The filling though is sweeter than in Singapore.
Fried egg stick with honey is really unique and special. Never had this anywhere else. Though nice but having too much of it can get over indulgent and decadent.

A very good dessert to wrap up the meal is the mango custard roll as its light and delicious. Very refreshing taste as the mango is wrapped in flour and coconut.
The egg custard bun is no bad but i still prefered the dainty ones we have at crystal jade.
Among all the dishes, this is least outstanding. I will order something else instead of this.
The entire meal is served with light palate Pu-er tea. 
Total damage here is HKD 183 (SGD 32). Its super value for money for the quality that we are having.

To Stay:

Novotel Hong Kong Century Hotel
238 Jaffe Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong

This place is spacious with comfortable beds. There is adequate pillows that is of different softness/firmness. The TV channels that I was watching is not very sharp but I wasn’t too particular as I wasn’t in room most of the time and we always hit the bed when we return to room. Room is made up and clean every day. This is one of the better hotels I found in Hong Kong.

An added bonus is the free wifi access in rooms and at the public areas. I am a sucker for free internet access and it’s the game changer when it comes to booking of rooms.

We accidentally booked the premier lounge access but didn’t get to utilise it fully for the breakfast, hi-tea and cocktails. We love the sunny side up so we did try to have it for breakfast every other day. As most of the food that was planned for this trip is a little lacking in vegetables and fruits, I try to have my serving of fruits there daily as well.