Monday, May 18, 2009

Hong Kong dinner dining

This may look like a lot but we actually had
even more dishes for dinner that night ;b

My mother returned to Malaysia this afternoon after a one and a half week visit that was in part a veritable eating orgy. Among the highlights was a mid-week hot pot dinner with three friends that lasted several hours, over the course of which we ate items as diverse as pigeon, beef, eel, tofu skin stuffed with shrimp, fried fish skin (that's crispy when dry but Hong Kongers like to soften by dipping into soup), corn, fish balls with cheese inside them, and squid ink spaghetti which we had to squeeze out of a tube as well as cook ourselves!

Last night, after we had what will be our last dinner together in months, I got to recounting where we had had dinner together during this recent visit of hers. The list reads as follows: Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, Yau Ma Tei (Temple Street, to be exact!), Macau, Heng Fa Chuen (where we had the hot pot dinner), Sai Wan Ho, Tin Hau, Tsim Sha Tsui, and Central. In other words: Without consciously intending to, we actually had ended up dining in a different area of Hong Kong (and even further afield -- i.e., Macau) every night for the past one and a half weeks!

On further analysis: it really does go to show how convenient it is to travel around and about in the Big Lychee -- and how, for the likes of me, this really looks to have become the rule rather than the exception. As I told a friend some time back, post leaving Malaysia (which, like large swathes of the US, is so pro-car) and coming to Hong Kong, I feel like I have legs again...

Additionally, from a food(ie) perspective, I guess this all goes to show that good food can be had far and wide in the territory but, also, that certain favorite restaurants are ones that I do feel are worth traveling some distance for. ;b


Anonymous said...

That looks like quite a feast. I'll pass on the pigeon (I can't help thinking of them as flying city rats), but I'm dying to try the fried fish skin!

Regarding public transportation in HK, it's got to be one of the best (and funnest) in the world. My favorite mode is the double-decker street car. It may be slow, but it's cheap and a great way to see the city. And HK's subway stations are amazing: colorful, deep underground labyrinths with a surprising amount of public art.

ewaffle said...

Based on reading your blog for awhile, including many of the archived posts, Hong Kong sounds like a walkers paradise especially from one who lives in the insanely car-centric Detroit metropoltan area, the largest metro area in the western hemisphere without a mass transit (trains and subways) system.

It must be taxing at times-- difficult to walk quickly on packed sidewalks in the financial district during rush hours or noon, perhaps--but that would be an easy trade-off.

We used to get hot pot in Chinatown in both Chicago and New York although much less complex--the tofu skin stuffed with shrimp makes me hungry just thinking about it.

Lilly said...

An eating orgy like that sounds divine. How are you, I lost all my blog links at one time and its taken me ages to find everyone again.

YTSL said...

Hi duriandave --

Aw, don't dismiss pigeon so easily. I happen to think that they're the tastiest birds of all -- even more so than goose and duck, forget chicken! (FWIW, because my mother also is not a pigeon fan, that night, I got to have two whole pigeons rather than just one! ;b)

Re fried fish skin: that should be easy enough for you to find and partake of on your next visit to Hong Kong. :)

Re the tram (aka double-decker street car): one of the things I love about it is the number of movie associations it has. (Among the most memorable for me: "Nomad" and "The Longest Summer" :D)

Hi ewaffle --

Have to say that Hong Kong is *the* most walkable (big) city I know. And public transport-friendly and filled too.

As for the madding crowd: when it gets to me, I make for the hills and other sections of Hong Kong's countryside!

Hi Lilly --

Long time no see! I'm doing okay, thanks. Guess I should check out your blog again before too long too. ;)

Glenn, kenixfan said...

That looks awesome!

The tray of garnishes (?)/condiments reminds me for some reason of similar trays -- small cups rather -- of chutneys when eating Indian food.

I would use the tamarind chutney on just about everything even if it needed it or not.

You never have shark's fin soup? Besides dim sum, that dish is associated with Hong Kong in my mind. Whether reality is something different, remains to be seen.

YTSL said...

Hi Glenn --

I know what you mean re the garnishes/condiments but the difference with Indian food is you're supposed to add it to the soy sauce that's the base. (For Indian food, love the tamarind chutney but also the mango! For the hot pot, I like both fresh and fried garlic and cut red chilli peppers!!)

As for sharks fin: urgh... sorry, count me out -- both for ethical and taste reasons. :S