Friday, September 19, 2008

Hong Kong Day 3

Today (28/8/08) we went to Cotton Tree Drive to witness a wedding registration. Unfortunately the cotton trees were not in bloom. It turned out that the garden next to the wedding registrar office, surrounded by concrete and glass towers, was designed by C, Hub's classmate from KK. Cotton Tree Drive is the best wedding registry in HK, the others being offices with no gardens .However, the registrar office was so...old-fashioned and cheesy. It reminded me of those funeral parlors in the US. We decided to take a photo, and here's how old weds look like:

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From there it was a 2 minute walk to Pacific Place (PP). While food is affordable in HK, branded clothes are expensive, unless you shop in Mongkok. If you go to PP, don't miss The Great Food Place in the basement. It is simply awesome, with the best imported foodstuff from all over the world: eggs from Denmark, all kinds of exotic fruits and veg that are so fresh it's unbelievable that they were flown in from other corners of the world, Godiva and Valrhona chocolate counters, and most impressive of all, a tiny corner where you can sit on bar stools and taste their Iberico ham, the world's best and most expensive ham. I was milling around the counter, very tempted to sit down for a taste of the famous ham that is made from a special breed of black pig. The cheapest item was about HK$68/RM31/US$9 but that seemed to be a selection of salami and such made from Iberico scraps. For the real thing, sliced straight off the bone in front of you, the price was about HK$280/RM127/US$38, including a glass of wine but the portion must be very small considering that this ham costs more than HK$20,000/kg, if I'm not wrong. I knew Hub would grumble so I reluctantly walked away. It's better to shop alone . For a no-pain taste of this ham, you can try City Super, an upscale supermarket, which sometimes offer free sampling of Iberico ham. My girl and I had a feast of Iberico ham in City Super one year. We ate and ate, unashamedly thick-skinned were we. I don't know, I just prefer Spanish ham to Italian ever since a Spanish food and wine dinner in TABH long time ago. Spanish ham seem smoother, tastier and less salty.

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I didn't get to Fa Yuen Ga ('Flower St') this year but this window display gladdened my heart. All the flowers are real, the brown ones are dried.

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I thought this photo turned out pretty good.

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Now if I won a lottery, I'd want a Pucci dress. But then I'd be too old so I'll give it to my daughter.

I was craving for wagyu steak, but the queue at Toka, a new Jap restaurant on the basement floor of PP, was very long. Btw, if you want to eat classy dim sum, try Zen on the same floor. Items start from HK$40/RM18/US$5.50 per steamer basket. A & H took me there once, when the place was done up in black, and it was truly good. Again I didn't have to pay and if I had to, I wouldn't eat there even though the dim sum was excellent. Just too over-priced.

So we made the awful decision of going to Taikooshing Cityplaza by subway for Japanese wagyu. There were only 2 Jap restaurants there, one a sushi bar and the other, a regular Jap restaurant but it didn't serve wagyu. I was like a spoilt child, bent for wagyu. Hub was a dear, very understanding. We even walked to Taikoo Place, that new office complex of several buildings where 6th Aunt had her fall but there were no Jap restaurants there except for one old joint in between the office and the mall. In the end, we ended up at West Villa Restaurant in Taikooshing Cityplaza which someone had recommended to me for their roasted pork.

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This is West Villa's famous roasted pork, which is half lean and half fat resulting in moist and tender yummy meat that goes well with rice.

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We tried two of their dim sum (good) and I was still searching for ultimate the cheong fun and gon chow ngoe ho. I was disappointed. The cheong fun was okay but the ngoe ho was greasy and not tasty.

My friend H, when I told her about this restaurant, said that this is a great restaurant for a la carte dishes. So, do keep this in mind.

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This is a seng jen bao (fried bun, sold at every corner in Shanghai) from a small stall near our hotel. It was delicious, and this bao is 2 to 3 times the size of seng jen baos in Shanghai. I think I am beginning to prefer sengjenbaos to xiao long baos.

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Finally, I found the cheong fun I was looking for! This is the same stall behind Ibis Hotel where I bought that skewer of mixed cow insides:

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This is a much more hygenic way to handle cheong fun. Why can't people do that in Malaysia and Singapore?

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Plain steamed cheong fun with sweet sauce, chili sauce, sesame sauce and sesame seeds.

The lady had added too much tahini. More sweet sauce would be better. This is still not as good as those on Fa Yuen Gai, but I was happy. The only nagging knot in my heart was that I knew I wouldn't be able to have my wagyu steak and a Vietnamese meal on this trip because there was only 2 more days to go and all meals for those days were already fixed.

12 comments:

Precious Pea said...

Aiyo...i got so many to comment:

i) You went to witness a wedding registration, how come no photo of the bride and groom??


ii) I am extremely interested to check out PP, noted that down. That iberico ham, do they shave it off from a big pig's thigh? The last time i went to City Super, i saw one big thigh on display and the price scared us off. No one was at the counter..so didn't get to try. Bummer!

iii) I live their florists too. They have so much more variety of flowers and i am very very fond of their orchids. The have flora festival back in March when I was there, lots of people so we didn't go.

iv) I make sure i check into Ibis hotel on my next trip...which is ...soon!

Agnes aka Ric3y said...

The picture of you and your hubby looks nice!!! But kinda looked cropped, was trying to click but end up sending me to flickr's signing in page :(

And the flowers are so pretty!!! I bet 90% of them are cannot be spotted in KK here. hmph....

p/s: Pucci.... Gucci's affiliate? lol

Lianne said...

I love Great and City too and came back with their grocery bag! Haha!

I can´t help myself from sampling the free ham too but too bad, they weren´t serving Iberico. There´s another ham which I find really good, and better than Italian Ham, which is Black Forest Ham from Germany. Do try if you get a chance. There´s a lovely smoke flavour to it, and not too salty too.

Christy said...

So nice, looks like you're getting married too...hehehe:) That was a sweet pic!~
And I love the flowers!

terri@adailyobsession said...

pp: i) they were not dressed up, didn't exchange rings n it was a 1 minute ceremony

ii) yes yes, a whole thigh lying horizontally on a stand--must try!

iii) a good time to go for their flowers is around CNY. my friend H always makes apoint to walk at Flower St around CNY, a tradition for her.

iv) be warned, the rooms r very small but still, decent n clean. the bus stop depot for airport n disneyland is right in front of the hotel, can u beat tt? so u can take the no.A 11 bus from the airport for HK$40 per pax and it stops in front of the hotel (u still need to walk across the road). book early n get good rates & sea view. who knows, u might c me there too :)

agnes: thanks, i trip to do a decent crop but it came out blurry which is good too, so no one can see the rages of time on us. er, pucci is not related to gucci in anywat as far as i know. pucci's colorful geometric dresses r dais to withstand time so well tt even dresses from the 60s r still considered fashionable. but so expensive, 5 figure prices!

lianne: black forest is yum but texture diff bc its cooked. lucky u, u can have all the diff hams..there's a ham someone brought back frm europe (he can't rmber where in europe) once n i haven't found it again. it was the most superb i've ever eaten, had texture bet a cooked n uncooked ham. i wonder if u have come across it, if so, pls tell me!

terri@adailyobsession said...

christy: er..lao niang n lao lang?!yes, love the flowers. we r so deprived of all things nice here, rn't we? but we have nice weather, beaches n ppl:)

Danny Ng said...

FYI, your search box is up :)

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

danny: wah, tt's a wonderful search box; i love it. thanks sweetie!

Precious Pea said...

a) One minute thingy? How come so 'kau kei'?

b) I make sure someone serve me the ham or else i won't leave. Their seafood selection there also quite impressive.

c) I wonder if i ever have the chance to be there for CNY as my MIL will freak out if we skip family gathering on CNY. Sigh.

d) Good location indeed. I have stayed in Dorsett Seaview before (wat seaview? where?) at YauMaTei..and i know what 'cramped' is defined. Hahaha! Hope to bump into you then, then i shall follow you wherever you go eat.

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

pp:a) what is 'kau kei'?

c)mine too, i've always fantasized going away 4 CNY & c how she freaks out

d)no, I will follow You :DD

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

pp: d) the hotel faces the strip of sea bet. the island n the mainland. we got the back view (cheaper ma) & the room faced the rooms of some apt. typical hk view but who cares ya, we just want the room to sleep & shower, not sunbathe.

Precious Pea said...

'kau kei' as in 'cin cai' cos you said the wedding registry only one min thing and no dress up. Hehe.

I rather save money on accommodation to eat and shop. Like you said, to sleep only so who care cramp when all i need is a clean toilet and bed.

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