Monday, December 30, 2013

Aberdeen Fishball and Noodles restaurant Hong Kong

After aimlessly wandering around the Ladies Market along Tung Choi Street, the gang and I decided it's time to feed out tummies with some food but trouble is, we have no idea where to go and would preferably avoid waiting in line. A few turns around the corner and voila, we found ourselves this place. We have never heard of this place before but according to my research, Aberdeen is the fishing suburb of Hong Kong so perhaps there's some yummy seafood inspired dishes there?:)

The interior decor is very modern and I hardly notice any seniors/ older generation groupies here. Most of the diners are young hipsters like us. Not that it matters on an empty stomach, just an observation hehe.

The menu has pictures which makes it easy for people who can't read Chinese order food. There were so many options to choose from and we decided on having something broth-y to rehydrate ourselves with.

Lemon tea ~ The teas in Hong Kong are very aromatic, perhaps because the tea leaves must have been infused in a particular pot of water for hours. One of my travel companies was so terrified of her previous experience overseas that she only opts to drink warm drinks (kills the bugs if there are any!)

I had to have nai chai/ milk tea with ice. So refreshingly yummy!

Toasted bread with butter and condensed milk ~ what a sinful combination but it was soo good. Fats obviously taste good, durh. Farewell days of running after work, hello sweet treats:)

Roast pork loin ~ this was our appetizer and it was also equally delicious. The meat was cooked well and was still juicy. So so good.

Fried grouper with tomato and cheese baked rice ~ I have tried something similar before in Adelaide but it somewhat did not leave me satisfied. This time round, I decided to give it another chance and this must have been redemption for it. My bowl of rice arrived piping hot, with loads of sliced tomatoes and fried grouper fillets topped with a small mountain of cheese. The fish was fresh, no stinky stench attached! Yeeeha!!!

Meatball with vermicelli noodles ~ a simple dish but look at the intense broth colour!

Fishball with vermicelli noodles ~ this must have been the best dish of the night. The fishballs were very spongy and well-seasoned. I am missing fishball noodles from Malaysia way too much after this excursion.

Do give this place a go if you are nearby! I am pretty sure you won't be disappointed..unless if you have actually went to Aberdeen as I have not so no comparisons happening yet!;)

Bakeries in Hong Kong

My body clock must have been fixed to the Australian time zone so much that when I was in Hong Kong, I was waking up at around 6am and zoning out in bed trying to go back to sleep. One morning, I was game enough to wander around the block to soak up some of the early morning vibe and fingers crossed, get my hands on some freshly baked goodies.

It was a chilly morning that day and I was greeted with the morning work crowd aka pedestrians rushing to catch the train/bus to work. I happily strolled into all the smaller streets, hoping to discover more unheard of cha chaan teng/ kopitiams. I did pass by Starbucks but that doesn't really fit the bill, unfortunately:S

I stayed at 75 Waterloo Road which is surrounded by at least 5 bakeries that must have been opened for business since 7am. I popped into all of them, and if I liked what I see, no second thoughts there.

Green tea and red bean polo bun ~ polo bun is an authentically Hong Kong item that did not bypass my radar. I had the original aka not any hint of flavour polo bun a few days ago and was not too happy with it. This time round, I found a flavoured version which was stuffed full of red bean paste. The joys of biting into a fluffy piece of bread and getting a slight crunch from the exterior layer that melts away as you continue to chew.

Egg tarts ~ at just aud$0.90, I could not say no, especially when it just came out of the oven and there are heaps of people entering this particular bakery. The golden egg filling was soft and very fragrant and the crumbly crust was just heavenly.

I have also sampled a random milk bun which had a piece of butter in it. It was equally satisfying although I made the fatal error of sampling it after taking mouthfuls of the green tea polo bun and egg tart. I love how the bread/buns here are all soft and fluffy, like a pillow really!

Mango custard bun ~ an interesting flavour combination that looks too tempting to resist. Soft and slightly tart mango custard filling was yummy...

Hokkaido milk bun ~ I don't know what the original milk bun tastes like but this is pretty good, in my humble opinion. Milk custard in a bun sure did surprise me as I was not expecting it. Was not too sweet for my liking too!:)

Overall, I was impressed by the quality of the baked goodies here, considering that they are not too expensive as well. I did weigh myself after the trip had ended and found that I have in fact, lost a bit of weight. Must have been because the buns are not heavily loaded with butter/ other fatty ingredients which probably contributed to their feather light textures. If only I could go back...someday maybe:)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Pierre Herme Hong Kong

When I found out that Pierre Herme was in the vicinity of the mall that I was in, I bee-lined to the directory to suss out which floor it was on. I had been on a macaron diet for months now and could not wait to sink my teeth into one. I did not manage to snap pictures of the shop but it is pretty posh. Pretty displays and a very distractingly delicious looking front counter filled with macarons.

The macarons are sold based on sets of 3, 6, 12 or 24. As it was a once off event, I thought that 3 macarons won't satisfy me so I opted for 12 and I got to choose the packaging cover. Mind you, all of the boxes are so pretty but I stuck to the one which would remind me of Hong Kong (think of it as a souvenir!). They were pretty expensive macarons, much more than the average macaron in Melbourne (and the ones in Melbourne are pretty good too!) but as I mentioned before, a once off event. No second thoughts.

There were so many flavours to choose from which left me starstruck and so, the shop assistant offered to help me pick a few flavours, taking into account which flavour I prefer. She did provide me with a little leaflet of what flavours were in the box. Always helpful:)

Look how carefully packed the macarons were. I was zooming around Hong Kong and must have bumped into a few things along the way but thankfully for the plastic cover protecting the macarons, not a single crack was detected! Mega love!

It would be difficult to elaborate on all the flavours because all of them are equally good. A slightly crunchy outer layer with a very very moist inner shell texture, filled with some of the most delicious, robust flavours I have tasted. Pierre Herme's signature rose macaron is a must try and I am sure the shop assistants will point that out to you:)

Overall, I was in sugar heaven. Just look at that to-die-for texture. A must try in Hong Kong of you are a macaron fan like me:)

Australian Dairy Co Hong Kong

I do not usually crave for western food outside of Australia (because I think the Aussies do an excellent job themselves!) and when I got dragged to line up outside here, I was not expecting a lot. I have seen pictures of macaroni and cheese and egg sandwiches, which to me, are food that I can easily whip up at home for a fraction of the price.

My friend did convince me to try their steamed custard pudding and milk pudding which were on my list of things to try in Hong Kong so I obliged. The 3 of us managed to squeeze ourselves in ahead of the other crowd of people but that's most likely because the waiting staff can seat us with other diners (table sharing is a common practice and I honestly love the idea of mingling with the locals=P)

Steamed milk pudding, steamed custard pudding and nai chai/ milk tea ~ Was sooo good. The milk pudding had the right amount of sweetness to it and it was so easy to digest due to it's light texture. The custard pudding was a bit more sweeter than the milk pudding but still equally yummy whilst the nai chai had a strong tea flavour to it (add sugar to your liking).

A word of caution, the service in this place is really fast. Basically you eat quickly and pay on your way out. They were not cranky or anything when we took a bit longer compared to other diners but we did feel a bit rushed. If dining in does not sound tempting to you, perhaps consider doing a takeaway?:)

Lee Keung Kee North Point Egg Waffles Hong Kong

Day 2 in Hong Kong begun with a stroll around Nathan Road in Tsim Sha Tsui in search of a famous egg waffle shop. From memory, this delicacy originated from a food hawker, in an attempt to not let his broken eggs go to waste (I did a bit of google-ing to source out the origins it!). And so, we have eggettes. They were not very expensive at all considering that it is meant to be a light snack and not a wholesome meal on it's own.

Although, if you are craving for something a bit more, this tiny shop has a little corner dedicated to selling fishballs in a curry or clear broth. Have not tried it but I reckon more people head here for the eggettes;) Expect a queue for these waffles but it shouldn't take too long unless someone in front of you orders a dozen of them.

My verdict? It is a different type of waffle that is not meant to be filling and it has a pocket of air in every little "egg". Slightly crunchy and slightly soft on some parts. Not something that I would be craving for and considering that it is a bit out of the way for us, I may be too hungry before I get there. On the flipside, heaps of clothing stores nearby for your shopping pleasure. Will have to blog about my completed Hong Kong itinerary once I finish blogging about all it's glorious food:)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Oo's Kitchen

The boy was craving for Asian food that is similar to what we usually get back in Malaysia and so when a friend recommended him to try out this place, he was begging me to come here. Me being me was in my care-free after work mode so anything yummy is welcomed.

The dine-in area is not particularly big but it can comfortably seat 20 diners. Menu-wise, it's kept simple and straight to the point aka no beating around the bush for authentic favourites. However, I do caution some diners that there are a few dishes that may be a little too pungent/ overpowering to handle and hence, please do check with the waiter/waitress when placing your orders.

Okra stir fried in sambal ikan bilis/anchovies ~ the chef made all the dishes that we had that night based on a family recipe that had been passed on from generations ago. All the sauces are made from scratch, which, is not an easy task and at times, it can be difficult to source some of the best produces in Adelaide. No shortcuts allowed and I think this made Oo's Kitchen stood out from the crowd. We wanted this okra dish to be spicy and the chef happily obliged, without making it too spicy that is;) Was delishhh!

Nyonya fish ~ Barramundi fish cooked in a sweet and sour sauce, infused with a variety of spices and herbs. We had a generous portion of sauce with our fish, which we had no problems lapping it up with our steamed rice. Best consumed with rice, not noodles, please.

Sambal petai ~ this was something that dad used to make when I was much younger, much to my dismay. I was not a big fan of this vegetable and often wonder how could mum binge on them. It seems that growing up had somehow made my tastebuds more "mature"? Nevertheless, this dish is a must have especially if you're from southeast Asia and for the rest of my readers, order this at your own risk. It is an acquired taste but satisfying once you appreciate it:)

Lamb kalalay curry ~ slow cooked meat always brings back childhood memories and nothing beats having soft, melt-in-your-mouth meat pieces with rice. For those of us with braces or recently had oral surgery, this is probably your saviour.

Durian puff ~ the boy was in the mood for something sweet (surprise surprise) and given the choice between durian and kaya puff, there was only one clear winner. Thumbs up for using real durian here as it did made a huge difference. The creamy and rich durian filling was the perfect way to end our dining experience here:)

  Oo's Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Fruit mince tarts recipe

After coming home from Hong Kong, it feels as though Christmas and New Year is fast approaching! I have a few more Christmas recipes to try out but doubt I'll be able to make them up in time:( Oh wells, I'll try again next year..don't really want to deprive myself from have a relaxed Christmas break from work!

About a month ago, I made some fruit mince mix which consisted of about 500g of raisins/ sultanas, 100g of pitted prunes, 50g of dried currants, juice and rind of 1 orange, 100g of dried dates, 50g of cherries and about 80ml of rum. I think you can definitely mix the fruit portions to your liking or even use a different fruit as there's not really a fixed fruit mince recipe (I tried googling and eventually got confused!). I did, however, allow the fruit mix to marinate with the rum in the fridge for a good few weeks before using them.

Pastry ingredients:
300g plain flour
60g cornflour
200g butter
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 egg

Place the butter and flour in the food processor and blitz until it resembles a crumb like texture. Add your sugar and egg, continue to blitz until the mixture comes together. Cling wrap the pastry and allow to rest in the fridge for 1 hour. Roll out your pastry into the tart tins and refrigerate for an extra 30 minutes before blind baking in the oven at 160C until it appears to be almost done (still slightly blonde in colour).

I chose to under-bake as I had to bake it again after adding the fruit mince (which, by the way, had the right amount of intoxication and fruity sugar taste to it). Bake for an extra 10 minutes using the bottom heating grill before switching to the top heating grill. Bake for an extra 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Dust with a bit of icing sugar (this Christmas treat is not sweet at all, a very suitable treat for adults) and serve with a bit of ice cream if you like:)

Merry Christmas, folks!! Enjoy this festive season with loved ones:))

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ho Hung Kee restaurant and Paul Lafayet Hong Kong

When I arrived in Hong Kong, I did not expect to be hunting for Michelin star restaurants or cafes but so happened that a fellow friend of ours found it difficult to restrain herself from these places. Not that it blew a hole in my wallet (thankfully!), but it was a tad tricky to locate especially with our not-so-detailed maps. We stumbled upon Ho Hung Kee restaurant, by accident, after giving up on our quest and settling to browsing the shopping centres in Hysan Place. I hardly look at the directory maps in shopping centres but I bet she was over the moon when I pointed it out excitedly to her.

We managed to escape the dinner crowd in time and were comfortably seated. The menu is quite simple and fuss-free. There are not many options that had me going gaga over so I just stuck to the recommended dishes which were the wanton mee noodles. Serve was quick but as it was not busy then, we were not rushed out the door hehe:)

The sister opted for char siew (roast pork) with her wanton noodles. Long strands of noodles were slightly difficult to separate with a pair of chopsticks but we managed to sort ourselves out in the end. I am not a die-hard fan of wanton noodles and found this to be decent, especially if you just want to have a quick bite after bracing the shopping crowd. Note, this place is located high up Hysan Place and not the surrounding area (we tried looking!).

We then proceed to wander around the malls and lo-behold, I found Paul Lafayet, which houses some notorious French macarons that I could not resist sinking my teeth into. The shop is pretty tiny and I doubt this is the best place to catch up with friends over coffee but for takeaways, why not?

The display is pretty and clean. Nothing too extravagant for the eye but still tantalizing for the soul.  I could not takeaway all the different flavoured macarons, knowing that they will end up squashed in the train station and I certainly did not want to blow my budget on the first day in Hong Kong!!

Had a chocolate and raspberry macaron which came in a set served with coffee (the sister had the coffee). Flavour wise, it was yummy and there's still a slight exterior crunch to it. Would have liked to taste more flavours but sadly, time did not permit any of that to happen. Till we meet again someday?:)

p.s: it has been 5 days since I started experiencing Hong Kong withdrawal and it's even more nasty knowing that I have to blog about the places I went to. If only I could turn back time ah wells...

Monday, December 16, 2013

Tim Ho Wan

Hello peeps! It's been more than a week since I last blogged because...I have been away in Hong Kong!!! I loved every bit of adrenaline I get from breezing through the streets and alleys in search of food and a good bargain. I have been google-ing up for some of the city's best bites and managed to narrow down the selections to what is most convenient for the gang.

First up would be Tim Ho Wan. This Michelin-star restaurant had recently opened up a branch in Singapore and created a buzz among the Singaporean foodies. We opted to go to this branch (which is not really the original branch) as it was nearer but still had to wait for a good 20 minutes before we could squeeze in! The place was packed full of people. We sat next to a group of Singaporeans who were obviously there to review the place.

I have learnt that you may need to push through the crowd to get a ticket otherwise everyone else will. Tables were not very big but they suffice with a lot of dim sum plate organizing and team work with finishing off the food.

The trick here is to be fast. Read the menu and tick the dishes that you want before entering so that they can serve you quickly.

Chicken feet with black bean sauce ~

Har gao ~ the bunch of us had our favourites to pick and this was one of them. The prawn dumpling's skin was very sticky but thin at the same time. It tasted similar to a few restaurants that I have stumbled upon in Malaysia.

Seafood dumpling ~ same sticky skin characteristics as the har gao and tasted good and it is comparable to some of the ones in Malaysia.

Fried radish cake ~ not too oily and had the right amount of radish in it (unlike some of the excessively flour-y ones that I have encountered). Was yummy.

Congee ~ apparently Hong Kong is famous for their porridges so the sister opted to give this a try. It was silky smooth and the rice grains were not too hard. Did not mind it at all but I think my dad does put up a good congee himself haha.

Chee cheong fun ~ not too bad at all. Thin rice pastry layer enclosing prawn fillings. Once again, another comparable dish to the Malaysian version.

Siew mai ~ the pork meat used here did not have that strange undesirable smell that you may encounter in some reastaurants and overall, was good.

Pork buns ~ ok, this one was definitely different. The outer bun layer must have been fried to achieve that golden gloss and the meat filling was piping hot once we bite into it. The amount of pork gravy used was not excessive and was neither too stingy. A must try here:)

Steamed custard pau ~ can never say no to a good custard pau and although the custard used here was a little lumpy for my liking, it still tasted yummy:)

Jelly ~ cannot remember the name of this one but it was delicious and probably a very unique jelly flavour. It was not too gelatinous (aka extremely hard type of jelly) and was neither too jello like as well. Held itself pretty well when we pierced into it. A must have indeed!