Nathan Road, the most tourist-trodden road in Hong Kong.
We were to meet Hub's cousin James and his daughter Queenie at 8.15 for dinner. James is a top financier who works at the IFC Building in Central. That was perfect, because that's where the best wonton noodles, Tsim Chai kee( I spelt it Jimjaikee in my earlier post), is located. We went from the mainland where Jordan/Tsimshatsui is located to Central on HK Island, by subway undersea. Costed HK$9 per person. You can notice the difference between HK and China: there are Chinese and English signs, people dress better, everybody speaks Cantonese. You'll hear young people speak English with a Canadian accent, a result of the massive migration in the 90s when HK was to be returned to China. Nobody spits. Or smokes. The buildings are classy, Gucci is everywhere...
Yi said I seemed like a different person in HK, suddenly full of energy. Ha, this is one of my favorite cities. When I was 12, I came to HK to visit my maternal grandparents and Aunt Rosa and was totally taken by the city's pace and materialism. It was both love and hate, because I wasn't used to big crowded cities. But I've now been to HK more than 20 times, and I just LOVE it!
Anyway, back to the wonton hunt. We had a hard time finding Tsimchaikee, walking long distances and climbing up stairs built into steep alleyways. We walked along Wellington St, to where the restaurant should be, but it wasn't there! In its place was a nice-looking restaurant with the same name.
She said "Mak's serves the best wonton in HK" while I said "Isn't Tsim the best ??"
A helpful lady waiting by the road directed us to a restaurant right in front of the new Tsimchaikee and told us "That's Makenkee, where all Hong Kongers go. The wontons are small and price is steep but the soup's unbeatable." I was torn. It was 7.10 pm, dinner was in an hour and we didn't have much time to get to the IFC Building. Tsim was full, Mak was empty, at dinner time! I strode into Tsimchaikee (with Hub and Yi following) and you can see what we had:
Tsimchaikee (77 Wellington St, Central), excellent noodles at unbelievably low prices!
My hands couldn't stop shaking at the thought of eating my favorite wontons...but you can still see that a bowl of wonton noodles soup is only HK$14 (MYR7/US$2) which is probably the cheapest in HK. Looking closely at the menu, I now see we should've ordered item no. 5, noodles with 3 toppings, for only HK$22!!! Aww!
I looked across and saw somebody eating blanched Kangkong with fuyee (fermented beancurd) sauce (a must-try, its so so yummy!), and raised my hand to order one, but Hub and Yi physically restrained me...
Soup wonton noodles
The biggest wontons ever! The wontons were crunchy, savory-sweet with a slight smoky flavor (will talk about that later), while the noodles were super springy, and the soup delightful. Ahhh...
Soup fishball noodles
You'll need to open your mouth really wide to munch on these things. Unlike most commercial fishballs, these ones tasted homemade, with a good bite, sweet-savory taste and flavored with dried tangerine peel.
When Hub was still licking the last drop of soup in Tsimchaikee, Yi and I dashed across to Makenkee and ordered a bowl of their wonton noodles.
Mak's Noodles (Makenkee)at 98 Wellington St, Central
Right across from Tsim's, but with only 2 tables occupied. Why??
Mak's wonton's were elegantly small and very tasty and the noodles were also excellent but, wait a minute, can it really be that I find the soup slightly better than Tsim's?? However, the portion is ridiculously small--that is a rice-bowl, not a noodle-bowl like Tsim's. Yet it cost HK$27, almost twice as Tsim's. Hub and Yi couldn't taste any difference and pronounced Tsim the winner.