Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hong Kong Day 5 Dinner Part 2

This is TWW's famous pork oil rice. It comes steaming hot in a medium-sized claypot. The rice is top grade white rice, fluffy individual grains that aren't too soft or too hard. Served with the rice are superior soya sauce and pork oil.

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Perfect rice.

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Drizzle the pork oil. The more the better.

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Then the soya sauce.

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Mix the rice thoroughly.

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I ate every single grain, like my ma always told me to.

What's my verdict? How can anything so simple taste so good?! I tasted the rice individually, then the soya sauce and the oil before mixing them. The rice of course was beautiful top grade rice. The soya sauce was slightly umami/xien/savory sweet, making me wonder if there was msg in it. But it was the oil that stumped me. Why was the pork oil so light? When we make pork oil out of pork fat at home, the oil usually comes out dark golden in color with a distinct pork oil flavor. TWW's pork oil was very light (must've used very small heat to slowly coax the oil out) in texture and color, and the pork oil smell was not there. Yet that bowl of rice tasted beyond my high expectations. I think the secret lies in cooking the rice to perfection, and because when food is so simple, it must also depend on quality ingredients. Highly recommended. Hub and I cleaned a bowl out each.

Anyone of you ever eaten rice done this way before? A and Hub both remembered childhood days in Shanghai when this was the way rice was commonly eaten. This was the first time I've eaten pork oil rice. My kids eat a similar version (taught by their father): butter and Bovril mixed into piping hot rice. It is yum too, but the flavor of the Bovril and butter is heavier than pork oil rice. Ming came up with a version of Bovril and butter with spaghetti and it is damn good.

TWW's most famous dessert is ma lai go (Malay cake), which, like I said in my post on TWW last year, is not a Malaysian creation. I'm guessing that it was a HK chef who came up with this and gave it the exotic name. Most ma lai go are golden-brown in color, an allusion to the brown-skinned Malays, but TWW has kept its ma lai go a yellow color. Ma lai go should not be confused with chinese sponge cake because the former has lard while the latter is devoid of fat. There is another cake, usually served in dim sum places, called the chin chen go (1000-layer cake) and it has several, not thousands, of layers. I was surprised to see that TWW's ma lai go had several layers-- ma lai go is usually one solid block with no custard in between.

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Tww's ma lai go is softer than cotton puff, lightly fragrant with lard, eggs and some flavor I can't quite tell. Ma lai go is probably the only cake which you eat with chopsticks if you want to practise HK dining etiquette.

So that's TWW and its fantastic food. If you go there and your stomach allows it, try their house noodles too. It is super fine and crunchy. A bought me two boxes. Am keeping them for special occasions.

17 comments:

a feast, everyday said...

d ma lai go is calling to me. When is ur next trip?? I'll follow u...

Precious Pea said...

1) Aiyoyoyoyo!!! From the picture i can already tell how good the rice is. I remembered watching this food show by TouTou on oil lard rice, while the pig is roasted vertically, all the oil drip downwards and collected using a bowl. I wonder if the restaurant featured is TWW. Wasn't a food back then so never pay attention.

2) We do have the ma lai go with custard here in KL that is pretty good! Oh, we also have lard rice here but sure cannot compare to TWW

3) Yah, same question, when?

triShie said...

wow..i've NEVER seen rice as beautiful as that!! and i've never heard of eating the rice just like that... it's 10:31pm and i could practically feel the urge to reach out into the photograph and grab that spoon!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I had a full breakfast, yet, I still drool when reading your post. I can smell the pork oil rice. Please bring me next time.
R

JLim said...

stumbled upon your blogs & now loving every minute of it..savouring the food online

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

feast: i think i'll follow u instead since u r the constant traveller

pp: u know, i think u have the recipe. tww's oil must be frm roasting a pig. oil rendered frm frying fat is thicker & has a stronger smell. high 5 girl!

i am waiting for yi. she has to delay coming back bc of ming. but it'll be fun to meet up. how long will u be in krabi? must be so exotic there.

trishie:haha, the real thing is absolutely yum.

r: u ever had this b4? not a sabahan thing right?

jlim: thank u, ur blog's very interesting too. ur post on 19/9 called 'chinese wisdon' made me cry. i'm thinking of the many times i'm harsh to my older boy. wish i had been more patient n understanding.

Agnes aka Ric3y said...

Ouh that is a bowl of nice rice!!! Pork oil and soy sauce with rice YUM! :D

Denise ^ ChiCkyEGG said...

Bovril and butter with spaghetti ??
I want to try this! how's the proportion like? 1T butter & 1 T Bovril?

irene-serenity said...

oh,my stomach is growling oredy! i cud smell the food...
i've seen Hugo presenting the pork oil soya sauce rice on tv AFC...
also reminds me of the soya sauce oil of fried fish which also taste good when mixed with rice...

mike c said...

Very interesting, this pork oil rice. Never had pork oil b4, but I remembered my mom used 2 mix lard + light soya sauce in hot plain rice, it tasted heavenly then. We also used Bovril + butter @ times, but our simplest way was (still is) light soya sauce + butter, sometimes cracks in an egg & blend well with the hot rice. My girls still have not found the virtue of this concoction, but lately they have come around w/ ‘strange’ oriental food tt they used 2 dislike. I guess their taste buds are slowly maturing.

mike c said...

Very interesting, this pork oil rice. Never had pork oil b4, but I remembered my mom used 2 mix lard + light soya sauce in hot plain rice, it tasted heavenly then. We also used Bovril + butter @ times, but our simplest way was (still is) light soya sauce + butter, sometimes cracks in an egg & blend well with the hot rice. My girls still have not found the virtue of this concoction, but lately they have come around w/ ‘strange’ oriental food tt they used 2 dislike. I guess their taste buds are slowly maturing.

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

agnes: didn't expect u to want to eat tt!

denise: i will ask him & tell u (he's sleeping now).

irene: we are a bunch of pork eaters aren't we :)

mike: hi, how r u! hmm, soy sauce with butter?? r u trying to make alexa run away frm home?!

looks like ur girls won't grow up to be burgers eaters only.good job on them :)

wmw said...

Great stuff! Love the rice and the ma lai go...on the other hand, I love quite a lot of stuff. LOL!

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Johnathan said...

Wow, this pork oil rice is so so so deceiving! Looked so plain that I wouldn't even treat my pet pom "Bon-Bon" with it. So really Terri, you missed out the "WORD" as to what makes it a to die for like what Seto in Singapore would rate "Die Die Must Try!". Of course, unless it is something so hard to describe that one must see (Or in this case taste) to believe.

I am truly grateful that you did the Hong Kong trip way before I do so I can safely plan my own makan-sutra itinerary when I am there. Oh ya, btw, D90 has hit Singapore market and I wonder if you have got urs in Hong Kong.

How do you travel around in Hong Kong? Do you cover large geographical area or you just linger in Hong Kong Island itself? I am wanting to go Lamma Island and Cheung Chau. Wanted to try the "pun choi" (Basin vegetable) there. Hopefully l know where to get these.

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

johnathan: it is hard to describe, just tt for something so plain, it surprisingly tasted good.

oh, i would love to try poon choy in hk too. my friend yolanda said u can find it in many restaurants in hk & kowloon. poon choy started out as a stew of leftovers :)

bc i've been to hk so many times (frm when i was 12), i don't bother to go to ocean park or stanley market & all those tourist places. i spend my precious time shopping, eating, shopping..hope u have a great time in hk! oh, i couldn't get the d90 then bc it wasn't out yet. have u tested it? what do u think? i hear it's great but heavier than the d80 :(

redstrawbs said...

Hey, I'm going to go HK soon and woud like to know the addres of TWW!! I was hunting all ovr google for TWW but there's no sign of it :(( Your pictures of the ma lai go are heavenly!!!

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