Monday, November 11, 2013

Hong Kong Eat Eat Eat! - Tim Ho Wan's hometown

Tim Ho Wan is the famous Michelin Star dim sum place that has Singaporeans queuing for easily more than 1 hour at Plaza Singapura just to have a taste, so since we're at its hometown, we have to try it!

When we reached the Tim Ho Wan store at North Point, we had a big shock of our life. "WTH?! Is it closed down already?!" No. Luckily it was not. Apparently we were too early for breakfast (WHAT?!) because their opening time is 10am. So we did some shopping at the nearby supermarket and walked over later.

What the hell is "Pig Silver"?!

THIS has to be the weirdest translation for wolfberries and osmanthus jelly.

We ordered a couple of their famous dishes like Har Kaw (晶瑩鮮蝦餃) with big fresh prawns and chewy skin that is not too mushy, Steamed Beef Balls (陳皮牛肉球) which is really tasty and not hard at all, and Steamed Mala Cake (香滑馬拉糕) which we fell in love with. The cake is spongy and the bits of sugar in it gives an interesting crunch in every bite!

We definitely have to order Cheong Fan, and we chose that "Pig Silver" Cheong Fan (黃沙豬潤腸) which is not really seen in dim sum places in Singapore. It was the right choice. The Cheong Fan is not too thick, and the pork liver is chewy and not overcooked. This combination actually works!

We had to order their famous Char Siew bun (酥皮焗叉燒包) since this is what won them that one Michelin Star right! This is basically a polo bun with char siew, but it is really a bun well done. The char siew is fragrant and not overly sweet, and the skin is crispy and super thin. On the other hand, the Fried Carrot Cake (煎蘿蔔糕) is a disappointment. It is not fried enough and there is too little Chinese Sausage in it.

Overall, Tim Ho Wan is a nice dim sum place with very affordable price. For the two of us, the bill came up to approximately HKD108, which is just SGD18! I bet we'll be here again in our next Hong Kong trip, so that we can try the "Tonic Medlar & Petal Cake"!

Address: 北角和富道2-8號嘉洋大廈地下B,C及D鋪

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Hong Kong Eat Eat Eat! - Ambling at Tai O

We figured out that eating all the good food in Hong Kong is going to put some kilos on us, so we decided to go for some light (emphasizing on LIGHT) trekking at Tai O. Tai O to Hong Kong is kinda like Pulau Ubin to us. When one wants to escape from the concrete jungle and take in some fresh air. The only thing is, getting to Tai O can be rather time-consuming...

There're a couple of ways to go to Tai O
  • Take MTR train to Tung Chung (東涌), then take Bus 11 to Tai O
  • From the ferry point at Central (中環), take a ferry to 梅窩, then from 梅窩 take Bus 1 to Tai O
  • I heard we can go via the cable car at Lantau Island too, but didn't think I want to queue up with the rest of the tourists actually going to the Lantau Island.
We decided to take the ferry route to Tai O, then take the bus-MTR route back, so that we could shop at the outlet mall at 東涌 on the way back. Either way, it takes more than 1 hour and both Bus 1 and 11 rides are rollercoaster-like.

Since Tai O is a fishing village, you can expect lots of shops selling fish products. One such product is the salted fish (咸鱼). Surprisingly, though the shops are hanging salted fishes all over the place, the smell was not overwhelming.

The other popular produce in Tai O that I see lots of local and tourist aunties buying in bulk are dried fish maw (花胶). I was tempted to get some back for my Mom as well, but there are too many varieties of them, and the prices are not cheap too! Figured that I should leave such shopping to the expert aunties...

There's this dried local fish in Tai O called 大地鱼/大口鱼 which look like some tanks have run over the poor fish. If you look close enough, you can still see its teeth! I heard from the local aunties that this dried fish is used for cooking soup. Wonder how does it taste like...

There're stalls selling BBQ cuttlefishes/prawns/small fishes and we tried some small cuttlefishes (Yes we are conservative). The uncle brushed some kinda spicy sauce on the cuttlefishes as he BBQ them and it is really tasty!

Salted duck egg yolks drying under the bright sun. Before.

Salted duck egg yolks still drying under the bright sun. After.

Tai O is also famous for their prawn paste (虾酱), so famous that I was instructed by my Mom to bring back two bottles! When we were there, they have already completed the drying process and were busy shoving them into containers to be further fermented.

We have heard so much about the famous mochi (糯米糍) at Tai O so we bought two to try, one which contains salted white beans, the other with sweet peanut. They do taste good, but personally I still prefer the ones at Jiufen (九份), Taiwan.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hong Kong Eat Eat Eat! - Macau breakfast in Hong Kong

On our first morning in Hong Kong, we decided to grab breakfast from the Macau cafe across the street from our service apartment. All Hong Kong cafes have choices of Set A, B, C... breakfast sets, usually consisting of some macaroni or noodles, sandwiches, egg and a cup of coffee, tea or yuanyang. But mind you, these breakfast sets are way bigger than our kaya toast + half-boiled eggs + kopi set!

What you see in the picture above are 2 breakfast sets. One that is consisted of a bowl of beef macaroni and bun with ham and egg, the other is the plate of buns, sausage and egg. But SERIOUSLY, Hong Kong?! Like WHO in their right mind (or stomach!) will eat a bowl of macaroni AND think "hmm... I think I should be full if I could have just one more bun"?!

Quantity apart, the food here is really good. The beef macaroni (羅宋湯通粉) is full of flavor, and not stingy on the beef and vege at all. A really satisfying bowl to kick start your day. The buns (豬仔包) are surprisingly good as well. Crispy on the outside and soft inside! They do know how to bake good buns! The only thing we didn't like was the sausage, which was kinda hard and a bit too salty. As for the drinks, we ordered coffee and yuanyang, which are of course better than any that we have in Singapore!

In another visit, we packed their famous Portuguese egg tart as snack. It is nice, with thick crispy skin and thick and fragrant egg custard. But not as nice as those we had in Macau itself, maybe partly because it is not "burnt" enough? But still, it was one good snack.

Address: 銅鑼灣謝斐道477-481號肇明大廈地舖A連1樓

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Some Safety Videos can be Interesting to Watch

With so many of us traveling so often, flight safety demos can become too boring to watch and some of us might even be guilty of ignoring. So some airlines have taken an extra step to ensure that their passengers are paying attention!

Virgin America

Air New Zealand


Cebu Pacific

And even the airport security and safety video can be done in a creative manner, as proven by Taoyuan airport in Taiwan.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Hong Kong Eat Eat Eat! - 何韻詩 Memento Live 演唱會 2013

这次去香港的主要目的是看何韻詩的 Memento Live 演唱會,也是我第一次大老远的去到香港紅磡体育馆看演唱会。



从很久以前就开始听何韻詩唱歌。因为从小就喜欢梅艳芳,也很自然的注意到她的这个唯一的女徒弟。看2006年的Live In Unity演唱会时,只觉得何韻詩很象是年轻版的梅艳芳。到了2009年的Supergoo演唱会时,终于学会欣赏何韻詩,开始看到了她独特的一面,开始爱上了《化蝶》、《光明會》、《幽默感》、《金剛經》,和Ten Days In The Madhouse里的每一首歌。到了今时今日的2013年Memento,听何韻詩开唱已经成为了视觉听觉上的高级享受!Quote朋友说的那句,何韻詩的歌喉不是盖的咯!


Source: From another Goofan on Youtube!

以前在新加坡看香港歌手的演唱会,总觉得就是一场show。很华丽,但却不象五月天那样令人感动。但看何韻詩的Memento演唱会,我不止看到了华丽的舞台舞蹈服装(比如唱《韻律泳》时的“临时游泳池”),也看到了她很戏剧性的把一首歌演绎出来(比如上面讲的梁祝+贾宝玉),更加很感动的听到她把自己的心声说出来,然后很简单却零距离感的边弹边唱。真的是good show!我感动了!


Monday, October 28, 2013

Hong Kong Eat Eat Eat! - Eating snake

After over an hour's delay at Singapore airport, by the time we reached the Causeway Corner service apartment, it was already 4pm. Way way after a normal lunch time and we were really really starved! So after checking in, we wanted to eat at somewhere near. Really near. So we went to 蛇王二 downstairs.

蛇王二 is famous for two types of dishes: snake soup (duh!) and roasted dishes, so we ordered both.

We ordered 叉燒烧鸭飯 (char siew and roasted duck rice) and it was really as good as we heard. The 叉燒 is fragrantly roasted and not too sweet. There's fair amount of fat in it so it is not dry at all. The 烧鸭 is even better! It is as fat and moist, and definitely more fragrant. It's really not easy to find such good 烧鸭 in Singapore, and if you find one, you usually have to pay through your nose! The only complaint is that I would prefer more sauce on my rice.

And then the 蛇羹 (snake soup). We ordered the set meal, which consists of 蛇羹 (snake soup) + 臘味飯 (duck liver sausage rice) + 油菜 (vege). The main dish 蛇羹 tastes fresh and not gamely at all. Perhaps due to some herbs added to the soup. There're abundant snake meat in the soup so it feels really worth it to the kiasu Singaporean in me! And I guess snake tastes like... chicken?

As for the 臘味飯, I dare say that the 潤腸 is the best I've eaten so far! The skin is crispy (like how?! Did they fry it?!), and the meat is really fragrant and moist (yes, I noticed that I've been repeating these two adjectives...). This is the kind of 潤腸 that you can eat with a bowl of white rice! But the 油菜 can be skipped. Apparently most roast meat restaurants in Hong Kong like to serve a plate of blanched lettuce with a big spoonful of oyster sauce on it, but I'm really not a fan of it.

Address: 銅鑼灣波斯富街24號

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Hong Kong Eat Eat Eat! - Staying at Causeway Corner

This time round at Hong Kong, we stayed at a service apartment in order to save cost. I was kinda skeptical when I was booking the Causeway Corner as I didn't really find many bloggers writing about them (in fact, none!). But since its comments on Tripadvisor was pretty decent, I decided to give it a try. And boy am I glad that I gave it a chance!

First of all, and surprisingly, the room size is actually as big as some hotel rooms, no kidding! We can even open up two suitcases at the foot of that huge comfortable bed! Facilities wise, the room comes with a microwave, an empty mini-fridge, kettle (but no tea or coffee so you'll have to BYO), safe, LAN cable and... wait for it... FREE fast and furious WIFI!

Since this is a low budget service apartment, don't expect a bathtub lah. But still, the bathroom is spacious and the shower area is definitely big enough to move 360 degrees! One thing though, I don't like the smell of the shower gel. But that can be easily solved at one of the many Watson shops.

Finally, and most importantly, the location. Seriously, I don't think many hotels can beat the Causeway Corner's location. From the airport, we took the Airport Express train to the Hong Kong station at Central, then took the free shuttle and alighted at Excelsior Hotel and walked over in about 5 minutes. QED. The Causeway Bay MTR Station C exit is literally across the road from the service apartment, and there're two 7-11 shops nearby. Food wise, we're spoiled for choice. There're numerous cafes and restaurants around the area, and even a dessert shop downstairs! Oh, and there's even a supermarket across the street. Now try beating that!

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Bangkok Winter still hot! - Three Pad Thai's

The very dish I've wanted to eat in Bangkok even before my trip is Pad Thai. It's one of my favourite kway teow dish but sadly, most of the ones I find in Singapore is either not authentic enough or too over-priced.

So in this short trip to Bangkok, we had as many as three pad thai's!

Chatuchak Market

Maybe because Chatuchak Market has too many tourists around, while the stuff in the market are pretty cheap, the pad thai on the roadside stalls is definitely not roadside price. And taste wise, it's really nothing fantastic. I heard that the pad thai at Kaoshan Road is really famous, so maybe we'll try that next time!

Black Canyon

The last meal I had in Bangkok was the pad thai at Black Canyon in the airport. It is supposed to be their award-winning dish. While the pad thai is indeed not bad in taste, it's not as good as the one we had in Mango Tree, and for about the same price, they're not as generous with the prawns.

Mango Tree Bistro

Okay, this is one pad thai that I'll go back for. It is tasty and not too sweet, and the prawns are really fresh. The kway teow is Q and not mushy! And most importantly, I can smell and taste the wok-hei!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Bangkok Winter still hot! - Wat Arun and Wat Pho

You can't go to Thailand without visiting any temple, and this morning we visited Wat Pho and Wat Arun.

Wat Pho the "Reclining Buddha Temple" is the largest temple in Bangkok. Besides the huge gold plated reclining Buddha, there're other little temples within the ground with even more Buddha images.

After Wat Pho, we took a short boat ride across the river to Wat Arun, also known as the Temple of Dawn, which is famous for their prangs (Khmer-style tower). These prangs are beautifully decorated with bits of porcelain and some still look very colorful after all these time.