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    Guangzhou, China (formerly from NYC)
  1. My friends and I usually go to Lei Garden on Hennessey Road between the Wanchai and Causeway Bay MTR stations. IMO, that's the best branch for dim sum out of the other Lei Gardens in HK. One perk of the location of that particular branch is if you walk from the Wanchai station, you can stop by Honolulu cha chaan teng for an egg custard tart and a panty hose tea. I think canucklehead posted a lot on other restos for dim sum. One more recommendation - you better bring a jacket when you arrive; it's been quite cold here. Supposedly it hasn't been this cold in 50 years. Humidity plus cold is not a good combination.
  2. It's a plain flour tortilla. Yep, fried chicken fingers, hoisin, cucumber and spring onions. Basically they just substituted chicken fingers for the duck meat and skin. I think it was about 8-10 RMB each? They aren't very big; I'd estimate I'd need to eat 5 of them for a meal (yes, I am a big eater). They have/had a value meal where you get a burrito, a side order of the ubiquitous "corn cup with mayonnaise" and a drink for about 20 RMB. That said, if I were to spend 20 RMB, I could get 3 bowls of almost any noodle soup I want - wonton, fresh la mian, etc., and still have change for the bus.
  3. That Peking duck styled fried chicken burrito is pretty tasty. Not sure if it's still on the menu here in Guangzhou. Haven't had KFC in quite some time.
  4. I happen to be in that area a lot because I buy most of my computer stuff at the Wanchai Computer Centre. All I eat and drink at Honolulu are egg tarts and panty hose teas. Coffee isn't bad either. Very rich and flavorful. Ah Leung, I think you'd like it. That day I actually had an egg tart and coffee at 11:30, and then my buddy called and wanted to have dim sum, so we went to Lei Garden. After walking around after dim sum, we went to have another egg tart and ngai cha as a mid-afternoon snack. I'm full just thinking about it, lol. They also have siu mei and other cha chaan taeng items, but never tried it. Service is a little gruff with lifelong waiters, etc., who would never pass any health dept codes but who the heck cares? That's the beauty of the place.
  5. Well, I don't eat like that all the time, lol. Friend was in town and gf's birthday and NYE, so I decided to try different places. I'm also entertaining next week, so will probably hit a couple more places. Will try to bring my camera. The clay pot rice looked very enticing, but I just neglected to order it. Too bad. I did have a clay pot rice today at this restaurant called Xin Li Zhi Wan (New Litchi Bay) in Guangzhou. Food was quite nice. Ordered the daily soup (pork and chicken with green turnip), a claypot rice with lap cheung, yun cheung and lap yook (quite good), some shui dong gai choy (Chinese mustard greens) sauteed with pork fat and garlic (also very good and they use tons of wok hei because the choy was a bright and vibrant green yet was cooked perfectly), an interesting dish of yook baeng (pork and chestnut) with a chopped crab on top. A beaten egg was spread on top of this dish right before it was cooked to meld the flavors together. Quite nice with the crab roe mixing with the egg and off the beaten track. Last two dishes were a lamb pot with bean curd sheets and tong ho choy and some fan shu baeng (sweet potato cake seared on both sides). The lamb had a nice texture and good flavor; the meat wasn't gamy at all. The sweet potato cakes were good, but I had better. Cooked well, but the sweet potato cakes we order in the countryside are much better. Probably because of the freshness of the sweet potatoes? Anyways, here's the kicker - this meal with 3 beers was 320 RMB. This is supposed to be a high class gin joint in Guangzhou, but yet I still get out paying less than 50 USD.
  6. Hmmmm... upon further googling, I found that some information listed Farm House's address as: Farm House Restaurant 農圃飯店 1-2/F, AIA Plaza, 18 Hysan Avenue 銅鑼灣希慎道18號友邦中心1-2樓 Neighborhood: Causeway Bay Phone: 28811331 Cuisine: Cantonese And this is no longer correct. It seems that maybe they used to be in AIA Plaza. But now they are in Ming An Plaza. The pictures look different too. So probably you have been to their location when they were at AIA Plaza. If that's the case, they indeed have moved. But the phone number is still the same though... ← I just had dinner at FarmHouse this past Sunday. I went to the Hysan Avenue address and obviously, it wasn't there. Walked around the block to the left hand side of the AIA building, and it was there. Food was good, had the stuffed chicken wings, a see dan (I thought there was too much soy, but still quite tasty), a slightly sweet pork rib (not sure if they used nam yu?) dish with napa cabbage and a nice fish bladder soup with almond and pig lung. The soup was very nice. We should've ordered a clay pot rice, but didn't. My mistake. Almost every table ordered one. And I didn't refuse the apps. I wouldn't want to, anyways. They were pretty tasty. I also had dinner at Victoria at SHK Centre on Monday, which I thought wasn't as good as Farm House, both service wise and food wise. Ordered a mui choi yuk baeng clay pot rice, steamed garoupa, some roast pork (which they told us that they ran out of 30 minutes after we ordered it, which is ridiculous), crab meat xiao long baos, and a crispy skin chicken (boneless) on top of sliced french bread. You would dip the chicken and bread into lemon, and then dip it into a salt and pepper mixture. Quite good, but for 200 HKD, I don't think it's worth it. We also had yum cha at the Lei Garden in Wan Chai on Monday afternoon. I think this is the best of the Lei Gardens in HK. Dim sum was very nice, as usual. Not cheap, but very good. Roast pork, shark fin dumpling in soup, cheung fun, cha xiu baos on the menu this time around. After Lei Garden and a bit of walking around and buying miscellaneous computer items at Wanchai Computer Centre and 298 Hennessey, we had a see mut ngai cha (panty hose milk tea) and an egg custard tart at Honolulu cha chaan teng on Hennessey Road. Both the tea and tart were very rich and flavorful, with the tart portion of the egg tart imparting a twinge of smokiness. The tart wasn't burned so I don't know how they incorporated a smoky flavor, but I'm not complaining. The richness of the tea cut through the smokiness quite well. Also had a beef and pork liver congee at Law Fu Kee on Monday for breakfast. No youtiao because they ran out. They seem to run out of youtiaos quite quickly at Law Fu Kee. I did have the fried dace balls. As good as ever. On a side note, I got stuck on NYE on Kimberley Road right by Observatory Road at 10:30PM. They closed Nathan Road at 10, and no cabs were in TST at all. Kinda strange and cool to walk in the middle of the street without having to look for cars. But, I had to walk all the way from Kimberley and Observatory back to my apartment (above the Elements mall) and there were loads of people there trying to find a good spot for the fireworks at IFC 2. What's usually a 20 min walk took about 45 min.
  7. I actually think it depends on what kind of Cantonese food you are ordering. For luxurious items such as shark fin, abalone, etc., HK is tops. But if we're talking other stuff, I think the Guangzhou and other sub-provincial cities, i.e., Shunde, are better. Guangzhou's cheung fun, freshwater fish, veggies, chicken and pork dishes, etc., IMO are generally superior to Hong Kong. Luxuriant ingredients are where HK excels. That said, I don't know where the heck the ingredients in China have been, or where they are purchased, so I just put my head down into the trough and try not to think about it.
  8. Maybe I should try to order a black coffee next time so I can compare Starbucks vs. a cha chaan teng. I usually drink my Starbucks coffee black. That way the milk is out of the equation. Next week.
  9. I love seeing people getting dirty looks from cashiers trying to get people to leave. If they give me a dirty look I'm going to ask them if there's food stuck on my shirt or face. Sometimes it's a little too much. You're barely done with your meal and they want you to get up, pay, and leave. I understand turnover, etc., but you can't sit for a minute? Ridiculous. I'm not singling out Australia Dairy, but there are quite a few cha chaan teng's in HK that do this during lunch hour. ok, rant over! That said, those scrambled egg sangys are pretty damn good. I'm going to have to try a club sangy next week. Wash that down with a sheung pei nai and a cup of HK style coffee and that's a perfect snack.
  10. Yep - Da Liang and Sha Wan are both famous for their milk products. From stir fried milk to sheung pei nai and gurng nai (ginger milk). Whenever I'm in the area I always try to make a pit stop to have one of the aforementioned desserts. Only about 5 RMB per bowl (about 70 cents USD), so I usually treat whomever I'm with!
  11. thanks, insomniac. I will look it up. I actually have a couple friends whose families have been in the States since the 1800s, but they don't know anything about their history.
  12. I looked into it. I was really tempted to try it. But unfortunately most of them (at least those that I checked) would not entertain parties of two. The minimum is like 4 or 6. There were only the two of us. The rest of my family are economic eaters and would never pay that price tag (e.g. HKD300 to HKD500 pp) for dinner. So... next time I will drag my high-school buddies along to try them. But then it might mean I need to treat them. The uncle from Gold Mountain they called me. ← That's the beauty of Hong Kong. You can get a really good meal for 100 HKD without much difficulty. When I'm in New York we would go eat and spend about 50 USD per head for a standard meal and it's not a big deal. If I was in HK (let alone GZ) doing that, my gf would kill me. There are just too many options and price ranges - which is a good thing. Ah Leung, does Gold Mountain refer to the Gold Rush in NorCal and the immigration of Chinese settlers in the late 1800s? Or is that just a nickname of some sort?
  13. That sucks that US customs regs are so stringent now. I'm headed back to New York in February and I'm sure my mother would've liked me to bring some stuff back. Oh well - saves me some money. As for buying stuff in HK, I'm mostly regulated to being a valet (I carry the bags) with respect to clothing. I usually wait till I get back to New York to buy clothes because of sizing and style. I really only buy electronics and computer equipment in HK. Yeah, I would never be able to bring the little lady hiking. The only hiking we ever do nowadays is visit farmland earmarked for development and factories in China, if you can call that hiking. Looking forward to your next reports. Did you try any private kitchens this trip around?
  14. I think the key is the condensed milk. It gives a creamy, smooth taste, sort of like Vietnamese coffee. I actually like the Vietnamese coffee more than the HK cha chaan teng coffee. A bit stronger and smoother. I have heard that cha chaan teng's put a dash of salt in their coffee. The one thing I don't like about the HK teahouse coffee is the slightly sour aftertaste. That sour aftertaste is not as strong in Vietnamese coffee. Don't know where that comes from. Have you tried Cafe du Monde coffee with chickory? That's what most Vietnamese restaurants in NY use for their coffee. Tastes almost the same as those cha chaan tengs, in my opinion. Just make a pot of that and use condensed milk. I think that might be a close approximation to what the HK teahouses offer. I like both HK teahouse and Starbucks coffee; it really depends where and what I'm doing. If I'm in a mall, then Starbucks it is. If I have time to relax, then I'll go to a cha chaan teng.
  15. I think that if there's too much filling, the baos don't come out right. Sure, they'll taste great, but there might be a soggy texture at the bottom of the bao and they won't keep well. I agree for the most part that if you want more flavor, use a stronger flavored filling but you don't necessarily have to add more filling. Does that make any sense? I have seen baos here in GZ that are ridiculous in ratio - I'd say 90% dough and 10% filling. Sort of like they used a chopstickful of filling. I'm not complaining, though - at some places the baos are a little more than a nickel each.
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