Archive for May, 2009

Cleaning the System

Monday, May 25th, 2009

20090525 Ken Kee Plain CongeeMonday, 25th May 2009, Rain

Ah Sai (阿細) called at around 10am when I was packing up. He suggested that I should clean up my system before taking a long flight. By the way, Ah Sai is an expert in healthy eating and living and has written many articles on 養生之道 (the way to keep in good health).

We met at Ken Kee 根記 and started by pouring down a bowl of plain congee (白粥). I have had so many bowls of congee in the past week but this is the first one that has such a strong presence of gingko (白果). The gingko seemed to have melted into the rice and bro20090525 Ken Kee Vegetableught out the fragrance of rice (米香). The last time I had such good plain congee (白粥) was at an Open-air Food Stall (大牌檔) near the Shamshuipo Ferry (深 水埗碼頭) forty some years ago. Vegetable of the day was “young sweet potato leaves” (番薯苗). If you never have that, try to find it next time you go out to eat; it is among the best tasting vegetable anywhere. To finish the cleaning process, I had a bowl of corn soup (粟米湯) which was also delicious.

Walking out of the Bowrington Road Market (鵝頸橋熟食中心), I had this warm and soothing feeling in the stomach.20090525 Ken Kee Soup

Next time you visit Hong Kong, do make an effort to try a vegetarian meal at Ken Kee (http://www.openrice.com/restaurant/sr2.htm?shopid=18333). Tell them you know Mr. Leung (aka Ah Sai). He eats there so often that they have a dish named after him: “Mr. Leung’s Vegetarian Dish” (梁生齋). An old friendly lady operates this restaurant together with her eight daughters.

You Don’t Have To Starve on a Rainy Day

Monday, May 25th, 2009

Sunday, 24th May 2009, Heavy Rain

After my brother’s birthday party that last until midnight last night, I finally adjust to the time zone here. The only problem is that I will be leaving tomorrow.

20090524 Tsui Wah Cafe Breakfast AThe rain was pouring so I decided to have breakfast near the hotel. Walked into the popular Tsui Wah Cafe 翠華餐廳 and ordered the Breakfast A from the set menu. It consists of Abalone and Shredded Ham with Macaroni 鮑魚火腿絲通粉, Two Fried Eggs and Bun with Butter 煎雙蛋,牛油餐飽 and Hot Milk Tea 熱奶茶. It’s amazing that the set breakfast in Hong Kong hasn’t changed in half a century. I used to have something like that when I was in high school. The only difference is that they did not put abalone in macaroni those days.

Went back to the hotel to play around with various software that convert videos taken with my camera to format suitable for Youtube. At noon, I walked over to Time Square to check out those weird MBT shoes which – according to Tommy the doctor – are supposed to be good for one’s posture and the back. They are not cheap; I can probably get them at a lower price on Internet stores.

The rain was still pouring, the wind was blowing hard and the umbrella that I spent HK$40 to buy from an old man at the street corner the day before was falling apart. (This old man was trying to tell me that the umbrella was made in Japan even though there was big 春桃牌 label on it.) I decided to have some more congee and found my way to Congee King 靠得住靚粥 at Heard Street 克街. Since I haven’t had any luck in finding good Boat Congree 艇仔粥 in Hong Kong in the past year, I gave it a try here. Also ordered Fish Skin 魚皮 to go with the congee. The congee was actually pretty good. This is the first time in a year that somebody actually knows what should be in a bowl of 艇仔粥. The Fish Skin was very 爽 and crunchy. I felt so good about this restaurant that I ordered a dish of Pork Kidney 白灼豬腰. That was a mistake, the pork kidney was too soft and had no taste at all. It’s interesting that when I left the owner said “Thank you for support” 多謝支持.

20090524 Congee King20090524 Congee King Pork Kidney

While I was walking towards the Wanchai MTR station, I remembered that I had not had Kam Fung Milk Tea this time. Turned into Spring Garden Lane 春園街 and was surprised to see that there was no line20090524 Kam Fung Cafe waiting in front of 金鳳茶餐廳. It must be the rain. There were plenty of unoccupied tables, I sat down and ordered my favorite Ice Cold Milk Tea 冰鎮奶茶 and Egg Tart 蛋撻. The milk tea was always perfect so there was no surprise. The egg tart was not very hot and must have been sitting there for a while. When I walked out of 金鳳, my stomach was so full that reminded me of the old saying “Wild Eye Narrow Stomach” 眼闊肚窄.

It was 2:30pm when I got back to the Park Lane. Content that I had my fair share of good food on this trip, I planned to have something really light for dinner. While I was dosing off in the couch, the phone rang. Guess what, Ah Sai 阿細 was going to have dinner with a bunch of gourmet eaters but one of them could not make it. He asked whether I wanted to fill in. Difficult to decide? Not at all. said yes right away. One of Ah Sai’s friends knows the management of many good restaurants and has arranged a dinner at the Shang Place 香宮 in the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel. In case you haven’t heard, 香宮 has a 2-star rating in the Michelin Guide.

Monday, 25th May 2009, Light Rain

Well, Ah Sai has just called again asking me to go out for a bowl of congee before my departure. Will send picture of the Shang Palace dinner in a couple of days after I get back to SF.

Cheers.

Mui Kee again! 妹記

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

After playing a round of golf on a hot sunny day and having a delicious and fulfilling dinner at Chat and 20090523 Mui KeeElizabeth’s luxurious home in Discovery Bay yesterday, I slept all the way through 5 o’clock this morning. Since it wasn’t raining too hard, I set out for Mui Kee 妹記 again at 7am.

This time I ordered 及第粥. The congee base is 鮮甜 as usually. 粉腸 are very 爽 and 嫩, pork liver (豬潤) are 爽脆.

Total cost was HK$27 (HK$21 for congee and HK$6 for fried dough). Round-trip MTR fare from Causeway Bay to Mongkok is HK$21 (HK$19 if you use Octopus). Does it make sense to spend the cost of a bowl of congee on transportation to have a bowl of congee? Of course, it’s worth a plane ride.
Watch the following video to see how 生滾粥 is prepared:

妹記生滾粥品
香港九龍花園街市政大廈4樓熟食中心11-12舖
電話: +852-2789-0198

SFX Gathering at CCC

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

After a Japanese dinner at Irori 酒處 with PoKing in Causeway Bay, I walked over to Craigengower Cricket Club (紀利華木球會 easier pronounced as CCC or 3C會) in Happy Valley to join a group of old SFX’ers.

Sang Kee Congee 生記

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

This morning I woke up at around 4:30am just in time to watch the last half an hour of the UEFA Cup Final. Ate my two oranges and slept a little bit more. It was raining but went out to have congee at Sang Kee 生記 anyway. The Fish Belly & Pork Liver Congee 魚腩豬潤粥 tasted very good but the congee base was not as good (鮮) as that of Mui Kee 妹記 yesterday. If you are near by, Sang Kee is a good place to go for a quick breakfast.

http://www.openrice.com/restaurant/sr2.htm?shopid=3023

Sang Kee ASang Kee B

Congee Again

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Mui Kee BI’ve been in this time-zone for four days but still need a few more days to fully adjust. This morning I woke up at 4am, ate two oranges and started to surf the web and report on what I ate yesterday. At 7am, I wasn’t hungry yet but felt the need to eat something just because it was the “normal” time for breakfast. Struggled for about 30 seconds and decided to go to Mui Kee 妹記 in Mongkok 旺角 instead of Sang Kee 生記 in Shuang Wan 上環 for congee.

The legendary Mui Kee is located in the Fa Yuen StreeMui Kee Dt Market in Mongkok. Take the MTR and it is only two blocks from the B2 Exit. Based on the recommendation of my personal gourmet advisor Ah Sai 阿細, I ordered a bowl of Fish & Meatball Congee 魚片肉丸粥少肉丸加底 and walked over to another vendor Yat Sing 日升 to buy an order of Shrimp Rice Noodle Roll 蝦米腸粉 to go with the congee. When I came back to Mui Kee with the Rice Noodle Roll, my Congee and Fried Dough 炸麵 were ready. The fish is very fresh and the congee 鮮 and 綿. My limited vocabulary definitely does not do justice to the congee and rice noodle roll but I could feel the sincerity 誠意 in the cooking. Compared to 生滾粥 here, what they sell at chain stores such as Ocean Empire 海皇 cannot even be considered as congee. I noticed that there is also Japanese on the menu.

Mui Kee FCongee: HK$31
Fried Dough: HK$6
Rice Noodle Roll: HK$11

It was 8:15am when I got back to the hotel in Causeway Bay. The temperature was already 28C outside and my tee shirt was wet – time for another shower. Looking back, I don’t know how I lived through those days when I had to wear a suit to work everyday in this weather.

A One Pork Chop Noodle 阿一豬扒酸辣米線

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

A One Pork Chop NoodleTook the ferry from Macau to Hong KChicken & Pork Chop Noodleong, checked into The Park Lane and took a nap before joining Ah Sai (阿細) for a good dinner he promised. Ah Sai is my high-school friend and neighbor who loves to run around Hong Kong enjoying good food at restaurants most of us would not find.

We took the “E” Exit at the Shau Kei Wan 筲箕灣 MTR station and the A One PorkMushroom & Pork Chop Noodle Chop Noodle 阿一豬扒酸辣米線 on East Road 東大街 was only 3 minutes away. We were lucky to find a table for two without waiting but the restaurant was quickly filled up while we were waiting for food. I ordered Chicken & Pork Chop Noodle 雞絲豬扒米線, Ah Sai ordered Mushroom & Pork Chop Noodle 冬菇豬扒米線 and a bowl of Leek Dumplings 韭菜餃 to share.

The pork chop was among the best I’ve ever had. It’s crispy on the outside, tender inside and absolutely no “smell of ice” (雪味). The soup tasted great and I couldn’t detect any trace of MSG. Looked around and noticed that everybody had pork chop. If you go there, make sure you don’t arrive too late as they only Leek Dumplingsserve 100 bowls of pork chop noodle each day. The Leek Dumplings were also very good. Service was great too. The owner (老闆娘) was quick to take care of all the tables and very friendly.

Total cost: HK$87 (HK$32 for each bowl of noodle and HK$23 for the dumplings). Tips not necessary. Ah Sai suggested that we went to Gun Kee 根記 in Wanchai to have some vegetable and a bowl of soup. I had to take a pass as there was no space in my stomach.

P.S. I am sorry that the pictures are little bit blurry. I guess the camera of my phone does not work well in the steam coming out of the noodle.