Mid-Autumn Festival is near- time to have moon cakes! Traditionally they are made with lotus seed paste and salted duck egg yolks. However, there are many variations of moon cakes as well as people in Hong Kong get bored easily. The most exclusive ones are allegedly made by Spring Moon 嘉麟樓 at the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong. It is limited edition which means every year, people queue for hours and it is usually sold out way before the festival. The price has gone up by nearly double this year to HK$485 (GBP40) a box!
So is it really worth the hype? Check here to see the answer >>
Yauatcha, Kai and Hakkasan are the three Chinese restaurants which currently hold 1 Michelin star in London. They are in my good book, however, they are no way as charming (and cheap!) as One Dim Sum 一點心- a tiny little dim sum restaurant in Hong Kong, which recently received a Michelin star in Hong Kong & Macau’s Michelin guide.
Photo above shows the shop front of One Dim Sum- The bright red Michelin sticker is dwarfed by laminated signs in Chinese stating the that the toilet is for the use of customers only and that they are recruiting waiters. (!) Possibly the only restaurant in the world where they draw more attention to toilet usage than the Michelin star award. Hmm, it shows an interesting sense of priority.
What truly is astonishing was the value. A meal for 3 people, that left us all more than comfortably full, for HK$160 (£12.60)! That was under £4.20 per head for a meal!!
Proudly on display was also a laminated colour photocopy of an interview with a Japanese magazine about their signature dish- Chinese rice cannelloni 布拉腸, which was prepared the traditional way, ie. by hand pulling with plain cloth. Continue reading to see what food you can eat at this Michelin starred restasuruant >>
Yes, we eat snakes. Traditional Chinese medicine books noted that snake is good for us, especially during winter time. It helps you to be stronger against the cold.
There are many ways of eating snake. I remember seeing snakes being taken out from baskets and being butchered alive on the street in Hong Kong when I was little. Their gall bladder was taken out and dipped in a small glass of transparent alcohol. The
killer seller then gave it to the onlooker (usually men) who offered the highest price for it. It is believed to be good for manhood. These days, open snake slaughtering is banned as it is considered to be cruel and unhygienic. We usually have snake in the form of soup.
A good snake soup should have lots of snake meat. A lot of restaurants offer snake soup during winter time but the soup tends to have more chicken meat than snake meat. It is kind of cheating as chicken is obviously cheaper! It is better to have it in snake specialist shops, among which Snake King Hip is the best. It is a broth made from 5 different types of snake Continue reading >>
Geoduck is not a duck. It is a salt water clam. In Chinese it is called 象拔蚌- ‘elephant trunk clam’ as it has a long and chunky siphon, which looks just like an elephant trunk. It looks a little ugly but it is yummy! I am surprised Heston Blumenthal, chef of Fat Duck ( 3 Michelin starred restaurant and one of the top 3 restaurants in the world) and Dinner (his new popular venture in Mandarin Oriental, London) have not used them for his quirky Fishy Feast already!
The best way to cook geoducks is to have them steamed with garlic, spring onion and glass noodles. It is tender and the fresh garlic complements very well the natural sweetness of the geoducks. The glass noodles enhance the texture in the mouth.
Alternatively, geoducks can be enjoyed as thinly sliced sashimi. They are naturally sweet. The texture is a little similar to Continue reading about Geoducks >>
This is a promotional mouse pad for the first 3D erotic movie in Hong Kong. It has become a popular ‘souvenir’ at the Chinese New Year Flower Market out there.
What a creative use of silicone!
French Toast is one my favourite Hong Kong Cafe food. It was inspired by the French pain perdu. The Hong Kong version is to use a thick slice of white bread, soak it in beaten egg mix for a few minutes until it gets ‘saturated’, and then deep fry it till golden. The finished ‘toast’ is then served with butter and golden syrup. They complement each other very well.
I know this dish has even more calories than my other favourite, pineapple bun with butter. But it is very tasty!
As a fast moving city where every minute counts, Hong Kong loses a lot of cafe which makes French toast the good old way now. Most cafe ‘cheats’ by putting peanut butter between 2 thin slices of bread Continue reading >>
Pineapple bun with butter 菠蘿包 is one of my favourite Hong Kong Cafe foods. Interestingly, pineapple bun 菠蘿油 actually contains no pineapple. It got its name thanks to its distinctive crust, which consists of a thin layer of sweet crumble that ‘dissolves’ in your mouth. They crumble layer on top of the bun is usually in the shape of a little dome. The bun looks like a pineapple, hence its name.
Pineapple bun is yummy on its own. But I simply cannot resist putting a slice of cold butter inside a freshly baked warm pineapple bun. I love having a bite just before the before the butter melts completely. The contrast in texture, taste and temperature is sensational! Continue reading >>
Chinese mochi, aka sticky rice dumpling or 糯米糍, tastes the best when eaten on the day it is made, according to Master Tse, who has over 40 years of mochi making experience in Tai O, a village island on Lantau Island, Hong Kong. This is also one of the secrets why his mochi is better than the others- the unbeatable freshness. He makes a batch of mochi every morning using fresh ingredients. He would only make extra according to demand. He emphasizes the importance of selling only mochi freshly made on the day. Generally speaking, if consumed the next day, the snow-white outer skin of the mochi, which contains mainly sticky rice, will harden and badly affects the eating experience. Master Tse’s mochi has a signature outer skin that is chewy but does not stick to your teeth. (Note: Most mochi tends to stick to the teeth, which makes it less enjoyable to eat)
What is inside a mochi? There are traditionally two different fillings: red bean paste as well as crushed peanuts and shredded coconut. Personally, I like the latter more as it has a more interesting texture in the mouth. On the day I visited Master Tse, he was making a bespoke batch which has both fillings! Here is how he did it:
My grandmother said she used to make her own mochi too though she has given up since as it was hard to handle the hot sticky rice dough. Continue reading >>
I love roast goose. The best roast goose is cooked the Hong Kong way. In London, they replace the goose with its smaller cousin- duck. It is just not the same.
Geese have a crown on their head. There is also a signature net pattern that distinguishes themselves from the ducks. Of course, they are also larger and more meaty. In Hong Kong, the best place to have roast duck is at Yue Kee in Shum Tseng. Every time I visit Hong Kong, I HAVE TO pay a visit there. There are other roast goose restaurants nearby. Some even have better decorated dining areas but they are just not as good.
Every day since 1958, Yue Kee‘s roast geese are ready at 11:45am. Continue reading >>
We closed out 2010 by taking a ride on the new DHL Hong Kong Balloon.
It’s a ride in a tethered helium balloon, launched from a park in West Kowloon. We were lucky enough to be one of the earliest passengers as they were carrying out a soft launch. It’s a truly awesome experience.
It was a little frustrating as we weren’t aware that for safety reasons the balloon will only fly when the wind is below 15km/h. So after our first trip to the grounded balloon in the morning, we were told to return in the afternoon, when they expected the wind to have died down. Luckily it did, so up we went. Continue reading >>