Monday, September 1, 2008

HK Day 2

We stayed in a 3-star hotel in North Point on HK island called Ibis Hotel. I was dismayed and upset at the size of the room--it's the smallest hotel room I've ever stayed in. I think it was 1/5 of the Jiun Lung Hotel I stayed in last year. The room was so small that the TV and fridge were set into the wall. If you wanted to watch TV, you'd have to pull the tiny box out on a swing. However, in terms of convenience, this hotel is excellent. The North Point MTR subway station is just 60 steps away (important after a long day's walk and when your bladder is bursting), there's a market diagonally across (so I can shop for fresh veg and stuff on the last day) and there are lots of hole-in-the-wall restaurants around. Another plus was that this was where many Shanghainese used to live years ago and there are many shops that sell Shanghainese foodstuff in this area. Best of all, the hotel rooms we booked online were only HK$400 to 450 per night/RM180 to RM200/US$63, very very cheap for HK standards. If you are on a budget and want a decent, clean room just to sleep (no frills like swimming pool--who swims when visiting HK anyway??--or even laundry service) and close access to the subway, this is the best for this rate.

This morning we had breakfast in the market near the hotel. Now I am not the type to eat at market stalls--I just get very uneasy because I imagine all kinds of dirty conditions. But we were told the food court on the 2nd floor of the market (go up by the escalator on the side of the building) is very good for certain dishes, especially at night. Anyway, we sat down and had HK congee and I ordered cheong fun, rice flour rolls, eagerly. A few years ago I had the best rice flour rolls on Fa Yuen Gai in Kowloon but since then haven't tasted anything close to it. I was told by Hub's relative that what I wanted was probably "jin cheong fun" which is cheong fun that is lightly sauteed. But it turned out not to be what I wanted even though it was quite delicious.

Yummy beef congee, HK$8/RM3.60/US$1.20. Very cheap.

Jin cheong fun. HK$6/RM2.70/US$0.85.

The rice flour rolls were soft yet el dente and the light frying heightened the flavors. I forgot to drizzle the chili sauce, sweet sauce (a must!) and peanut sauce (I don't like this with cheong fun) over before taking this picture.

After breakfast, we attended to some business and then went to 6th Aunt's apartment in Tai Koo. You know what happened after that. I shall post the dim sum photos in the next post.

We stayed with 6th Aunt in the hospital until 4:30 pm when she shooed us off. She felt pretty bad too that our time was taken up by her accident. We went off to Causeway Bay, but we were so miserable. Finally Hub stopped at this popular Shanghainese restaurant for sticky rice and salty soya milk which he loves and I abhor.

Salty soya milk.

It was surprisingly (quite) good, thousands of times better than the bowl we ate in Singapore. 'Quite good' because I'm still not used to eating soya milk salty instead of sweet. I think I should think of it as a different dish entirely and then be able to accept soya milk served salty.

Tzi fun (sticky rice) is a sticky rice roll filled with meat floss, ja chai preserved veg and crullers, a fried chinese 'donut'.

This was the best tzi fun I've tasted in a long time but I still won't hanker for tzi fun because there's just too much rice to eat. I wonder if the Japanese stole the idea from the Chinese, refined it (as always) and came up with sushi. Interesting too that tzi fun roll is cut into half and not small sushi slices, just like they do to sushi in Australia.

Dan dan meen is a bowl of noodles topped with minced meat and floss andpreserved veg in a peanut sauce soup.

We both didn't have any joy in eating after the accident so I could only eat 2 mouthfuls of this. It wasn't that good anyway.

Soya bean jelly. Very very yummy.

Shanghainese veg rice (chai fun)--see recipe.

The mother and son sitting at our table (in HK, people share tables, it is that crowded) were eating this and tzi fun so I ordered a bowl which was quite good although if you are new to this you may wonder if you are in a vegan restaurant.

We shopped around Causeway Bay, saw the celebrities, then went back to our hotel. Upon arrival at the hotel, I suggested we eat supper at the North Point Market (the same place we had breakfast) as recommended by a relative. Even though we weren't hungry, I wanted to try as much food as possible...


The food court was filled with noisy people, mostly half-drunk on beer. The recommended restaurant was out of their top sellers: wind sand chicken (interesting!) and steamed praying mantis prawns. Another top seller which everybody was eating was squid-ink spaghetti with cuttlefish balls. The dish looked totally black and unappetizing, but we ordered it anyway.

Deep fried nam yue pork trotters, recommended by the waitress HK$60/RM27/US$8.50.

What did we expect from trotters--there was no meat, just skin and the nam yue (red fermented bean curd) flavor wasn't strong enough. I guess it goes better with beer. I prefer drunken pork trotters anytime.

Vegan dish of fresh straw mushrooms and beancurd sheets, HK$40/RM18/US$5.70. Good but very salty.

I love fresh straw mushrooms which we don't get in Sabah. My granny would cook fresh straw mushrooms for me (and she was a great cook) whenever I visited her in HK.

The squid-ink spaghetti never came, and we were stuffed to our eyeballs so we cancelled the order.


a feast, everyday said...

Did u get the nikon??
Very interesting Shanghainese eats.

Johnathan said...

What's a pork "hock"?

Precious Pea said...

Yeah!!! FInally, lots and lots of food! I had the tzi fan too when i was in causeway bay. I didn't like it cos the rice was a bit too hard for me and Hubby kept asking me not to eat since he knew i always have indigestion prob. The market foodcourt seems interesting. Next time i will give it a try.

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

feast: no, d300 too heavy n d90 not on market yet. have to do another trip!

johnathan: good tt u asked. it was trotters, not hock. trotters are the em, digits, whereas hocks are the upper part of the lower leg. i thnk.

pea: ah, must be d same shop. there's so many places in hk i think it'll take years to check out most of the places.wish i could stay there for a couple of months.

Lianne said...

i did not try so many things the last trip coz did not get so many tips then. have to wait for next one i guess.

wmw said...

I love all the food that you ate in the post!

yhwa said...

Yum~!! i wish i can go to HK for all these NICE Food!!!!!!!!!!! im hungry now @_@

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