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.