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Reports on Hong Kong dining


Sinbad
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omg, the horror! well it's not going to happen then. thanks all!

unfortunately there are still loads of these endangered beasts in the tanks as you can see. i want to try something i can't get at home, such as this bivalve mollusk. [most likely farmed in WA or BC]. curacha crab mutant is much better than horseshoe crab for sure. looks like a mutated cockroach but quite fleshy. and costs an arm and a leg.

blue blood! :shock:

i've just read it's closely related to spiders and ticks. yikes!

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... as you can see.  i want to try something i can't get at home, ...

Return to Gastronomic Paradise! :@)) 2008.03.07 AMS-LHR-HKG-Northern Yunnan-Northern Sichuan-Macau-HKG-LHR-AMS 2008.04.21 :@))

Such a big plan. I hope you would share your HKG (perhaps Macau too) portion of your trip in this thread! wink wink! :laugh:

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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That's right. You only eat the roe of the horseshoe crabs. I saw them when I was in Sai Kung, and my dad says he used to catch them and his mom would cook them.

I eat practically any kind of seafood, but I put my foot down on the horseshoe crabs. Though to be fair, I don't even eat crab roe.

May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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omg, the horror! well it's not going to happen then.  thanks all!

unfortunately there are still loads of these endangered beasts in the tanks as you can see.  i want to try something i can't get at home, such as this bivalve mollusk.  [most likely farmed in WA or BC].  curacha crab mutant is much better than horseshoe crab for sure.  looks like a mutated cockroach but quite fleshy.  and costs an arm and a leg.

blue  blood!  :shock:

i've just read it's closely related to spiders and ticks. yikes!

Oh, I'm sure you know that bivalve is geoduck. We usually order that at hotpot restaurants, where they'll serve it with little dishes of wasabi, to be eaten raw or dipped for just a few seconds in the broth. Then we ask the chef to cook the stomach salt-and-pepper style.

The edges of the thinly sliced, raw geoduck should be wavey (not straight) - which is an indication that it's very fresh (which is the only way to eat it).

The baby geoducks (about 5cm long) are usually steamed with garlic - very tender and sweet.

Edited by aprilmei (log)
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that's exactly how i want to eat geoduck as i'm particularly fond of sashimi and hotpot. where's this hotpot restaurant in HK and what's called? :) i eat hotpot in China every chance i get but never seen geoducks in their tanks.

i can get baby ones [frozen] here and steam them with garlic and ginger. oh HK is amazing and i can't wait until march 7. i already know what i want to eat the following morning in Central....

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We're back from Hong Kong and thanks to you, had some of the best Cantonese food I've ever tasted! We had only 2 full days in Hong Kong, but managed to pack in quite a few places.

Here are the places we visited:

Red Ant (we got into town late, and after a drink with some of H's friends, it was around midnight before we ventured out for food, and ate at the first place that seemed busy.)

Fook Lam Moon

Peninsula Hotel for afternoon tea

some mediocre hole-in-the-wall not worth mentioning, as the restaurant H wanted to try was closed

Victoria City

a couple of drinking spots in Rat Alley

Yuen Kee

Fentone Gourmet (we stumbled upon the 24 month old Iberico ham and the 36 month old, so we had to get 50g of each to try...and yes, these had the hooves still on them)

a bunch of random bakeries for an egg tart comparison

a place that Bourdain visited for roast suckling pig

Also, I bought a bunch of things from Kee Wah and Wing Kee bakeries--different flavours of pineapple cakes (like honeydew, pineapple with walnut, etc.), green tea wife cakes, red bean wife cakes, etc.

I also found a great bakery called Leighton something...Leighton Bakery and ?? Anyway, it is right near Happy Valley by Causeway Bay. The place looks like a hole-in-the-wall but I looked at what a bunch of the chain bakeries like Aroma and Maxim's were selling before buying a few items from Leighton, because the pastry dough looked so much better. And indeed, I thought the char siu pastry and the egg tarts were excellent here.

The three best things I ate in Taiwan:

-stinky tofu with pickled cabbage and three sauces at the Yong He night market (our friend's friend, who acted as guide, told us that Yong He's stinky tofu is better than the stuff at the other night markets.)

-the $100 chicken soup with bamboo fungus from Seasons Restaurant...impossible to get around Chinese New Year, but H's mom's friend knows the owner and got one for us (and no, the $100 chicken soup is not even near the most expensive version they serve!)

-siao bing you tiao (fried Chinese donut wrapped in pan-fried dough) in a REAL hole-in-the-wall

The three best things I ate in HK:

-crispy brisket at Victoria City

-roast goose at Yuen Kee

-housemade thousand year old eggs at Yuen Kee

pictures coming soon!

Edited by Ling (log)
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.....

-roast goose at Yuen Kee

-housemade thousand year old eggs at Yuen Kee

Welcome back Lorna! Glad to hear you ate well and look forward to viewing your pictures.

From what you described, it sounds like you meant "Yung Kee" in Central. Right?

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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.....

-roast goose at Yuen Kee

-housemade thousand year old eggs at Yuen Kee

Welcome back Lorna! Glad to hear you ate well and look forward to viewing your pictures.

From what you described, it sounds like you meant "Yung Kee" in Central. Right?

The preserved egg at "Yung Kee" in Central is quite good.

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www.finediningexplorer.com/yungkee

Fine Dining Explorer

www.finediningexplorer.com

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Yes, sorry we ate at Yung Kee! That was a fabulous meal.

Henry getting in touch with his feminine side in the Hello Kitty lounge at the Taipei airport, en route to HK.

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OK so back to Day 1, which actually was just a midnight dinner in Causeway Bay at Red Ant.

peking duck "pizza" (the dough was green onion pancake)--surprisingly tasty!

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Henry got the soft shell crab claypot rice. The crab wasn't very crispy due to the steam coming off the rice, but the rice itself was pretty tasty.

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I got the seafood laksa, which I got mainly because I love those shiroyaki(sp?) noodles. I grew up eating them--I know they're pretty popular in America now as well. The broth was forgettable, but there was plenty of seafood.

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The next morning, we got up early to take the subway into Kowloon. We had read that Fook Lam Moon opened at 11am, so we got there at 10:55pm because I didn't want to risk braving the crowds. We were the first ones in the restaurant.

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Let me preface the upcoming stream of pictures by saying we didn't order much (for us) because I had just received some really exciting news that morning, and completely lost my appetite because I was feeling really nervous. Still, it was so funny when the waitress kept trying to take the menu away from me, protesting that I was ordering way too much for two people already! This happened to us several times in Hong Kong. I think our western appetites scared them a bit.

the lovely menu, conveniently in English (I can only speak Cantonese, and not very well at that!)

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The service at Fook Lam Moon was certainly the best I've ever had in a Chinese restaurant. We got the warm hand towels as soon as we sat down, and kept using them because they kept bringing them (this is before the food arrived.) I just thought they wanted us to clean our hands repeatedly. Finally, Henry clued in and said they must replenish them whenever we use them...oops.

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Here are the steamed shrimp dumplings. This was Henry's least favourite, and my favourite. The flavours were very light and subtle so he probably thought it was a boring dish. The shrimp was fresh, the dumpling skin nice and chewy, and there were water chestnuts in the filling as well.

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baked char siu bao

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Oohh...these are always one of my favourite items at dim sum! ham siu gook? It's fried sticky rice flour dumpling with a rich pork/shitake filling

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these were also excellent--fried tofu skin "spring rolls"

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crab roe siu mai...I didn't particularly care for these

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shark fin dumpling in superior broth (serng tong?)

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pan-fried daikon cakes

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egg tarts

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So two hours later, of course my stomach had settled and I got my appetite back. We just happened to be walking by the Peninsula Hotel at 2:03pm and Henry mentioned that afternoon tea started at 2pm, so we decided to check it out.

I guess the trick is to get there BEFORE 2pm.

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We only had to wait for half an hour or so, which wasn't too bad.

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light raisin scones, served with cream and strawberry jam...I had two.

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puff pastry stick with a crisp meringue sheet baked on top

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We split the savories down the middle, but they weren't too interesting. The sandwiches were smoked salmon+cream cheese and cucumber. The mini quiche tasted like pizza (seriously, it was cheese and tomato sauce), and there was salmon Wellington.

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The sweets tier were a disappointment. Actually, Henry liked the two cakes since they were chiffon cakes with cream and fruit (which are pretty much the polar opposite of what I like in a dessert--rich, fudgy, and chocolate), and the cheesecake was unbelievably bad (very dense and eggy.) The truffles were fine but too sweet for my tastes (the dark one had white chocolate on the inside.)

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This arrived on the side, and was much better. It was a green tea tiramisu with hazelnut croquant.

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They had a lovely tree with red packs on display upstairs.

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All in all, it was a really fun experience and I would recommend it, but the food shouldn't be your primary reason for going.

Edited by Ling (log)
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After walking around Kowloon and gawking at all the jewelry stores, we took the ferry back over.

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all the malls were decorated for Chinese New Year

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Sunday night in Causeway Bay. I loved the vibe in this city.

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You guys were right--the street food in HK couldn't even begin to compare to what we saw in Taiwan, but it was still better than anything I've seen in Vancouver or Seattle. :smile:

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So we took the subway back to Kowloon around 9pm and the restaurant Henry chose for dinner was closing, so we grabbed a quick dinner at a hole-in-the-wall.

roast duck on rice

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roast pork on rice

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I mentioned that I had gone looking for Chinese pastries during this trip, and found some the next morning that looked good at a rather run-down looking bakery in Causeway Bay called Leighton Bakery.

The egg tarts looked especially good and were hot out of the oven.

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I subsequently sought out a few other bakeries but these egg tarts turned out to be the best on the trip. Very flaky, and the custard was not too sweet (though sweeter than one other bakery I checked out that I'll post about later.)

We went to the large mall in the area (I forget the name, but it's not SOHO and it's not Island Beverly) and it just so happened that there were a bunch of photographers and press waiting for the lion dance to start. So we grabbed a seat upstairs (and drank some truly horrible coffee from what I believe is a Singaporean chain--Pacific Coffee Co.?) and took in the show.

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See the dancers balancing on the poles? The poles are about 8 feet high, at least. They were jumping around and doing stunts on them. Great show!

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They also brought out a dragon.

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Dim sum today was at Victoria City. We agreed this was some of the best dim sum we've ever eaten!

a little dish of fried fish on the table

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I practically had this whole pot to myself, since neither H nor our friend really enjoyed it.

Tripe and tendon!

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we got a "safe" dish of noodles for our friend in case he didn't like anything I ordered, but thankfully he liked the vast majority of the items

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fish maw with eggs, bean sprouts, and dried scallop on top. DELICIOUS! This is the first time I've had fish maw outside of soup.

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excellent plate of fried rice noodles, also with dried scallop on top

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Henry always needs to get his daikon cake

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We got two plates of the roast suckling pig (yes, yes, the waiters probably thought we were pigs ourselves)

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crab dumplings with lots of soup inside...H thought these were just OK, I liked them a lot

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I don't usually order these at dim sum because I've had some bad ones (really heavy, leaden pastry), but these were FANTASTIC! They are filled with char siu. We got two plates!

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this was my mistake--this is a dish of black moss, tongue, and dried oyster. I thought the three ingredients would be somehow blended into a dumpling filling or something but they arrived like this and it wasn't bad, but not something I'd order again

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fatty slices of crispy (fried) brisket! Oh joy! Came with a sweetish soy sauce on the bottom of the plate. We all loved this dish as well.

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egg tarts were mediocre

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Henry and his friend Jonty had a few drinks at the Peak while I went shopping in the Soho area.

Here are some pictures they took:

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Before dinner, Jonty took us to Rat Alley (is this also known as Snake Alley?) for drinks.

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I forget what I drank--a Mojito and something else. Henry got some sort of daiquiri, I think.

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This was the meal I've been waiting for! Yung Kee is has been around since the 1940s and they are famous for their roast goose.

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housemade thousand year old eggs--the center was quite thick and runny, and the taste was stronger than the eggs I've had in the past. Absolutely delicious. They served it with pickled ginger.

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The famous roast goose! The meat was much gamier than duck. One of our friends confessed he didn't really enjoy it, but H and I loved it!

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The fish maw soup was excellent, though one of our friends stopped eating hers when I told her what it was. :unsure:

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fried rice

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pea shoots with garlic

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deliciously fatty char siu

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the menu said the restaurant won some sort of big award for this dish...it's pig's trotters made into a terrine (heavy on the five spice), and jellyfish

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fried free range chicken with deep-fried quail's eggs

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grouper with yellow chives...this was one of my favourites as well

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prawns in XO sauce

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We ended the night at another bar called "Lei Do" (translation: "Here").

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We were staying with a friend in Happy Valley which just so happened to be steps away from this little store.

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We poked our heads in the next morning and were rewarded with this find:

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(notice the hooves!)

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Iberico ham, 24 months and 36 months

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Of course, we had to try some of each!

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This is the 24 month aged ham. The texture is softer than the 36 month one--this one is just a bit drier than prosciutto. Also, it is not as sweet or nutty. H preferred this one.

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I much preferred the slightly drier, nuttier 36 month ham.

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We went back to Leighton Bakery and Fast Food Shop

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for a char siu pastry. The pastry dough was very sandy, like sable dough, only richer tasting (I'm pretty sure they use lard.)

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I forget what these are filled with, probably chicken?

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wife cakes

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Chinese hams hanging in a store

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preserved geese and ducks

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We then dropped off our luggage at the train station so we could explore.

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I think Bourdain ate suckling pig at this restaurant during Cook's Tour.

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the markets were certainly cleaner than the ones we saw in Taiwan...

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...though the lack of refrigeration would probably freak some people out

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The other night at Yung Kee, a friend of Henry's had told us that there was a bakery at the bottom of the Escalator Alley that was famous for the their egg tarts, but since she can't read Chinese, she didn't know what it was called. She told us there was a line out the door everyday for these egg tarts, and that a famous Chinese dignitary got one everyday. So I made H follow me around as we poked our heads in bakeries at the bottom of Escalator Alley, and even though there was no line here, I got an egg tart because the pastry looked pretty good.

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The egg tart was pretty good, and I would definitely recommend it for people who don't like things that are too sweet. The custard was barely sweetened at all.

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I went back to the suckling pig place and bought a pound of the roast suckling pig, and asked the lady there if she knew where I could find this famous egg tart place. Good thing she knew--we had been walking in the opposite direction!

This is the place. I can only read the first two characters so I can't tell you the full name, sorry!

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There was a line maybe 15 people long when I got there.

So here is the famous egg tart! This one is very buttery (the smell of the butter is so intense, it almost smells artificial!) The custard is also a little sweeter than the ones from Leighton and Yu Yan. The crust is not very flaky; it is more like a very rich shortbread dough.

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big bite!

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H wanted to try the egg white tart too for comparison. I didn't like it very much, though it was good for what it was. The dough had wheat flour in it too.

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I also got a wife cake, which I trashed after two bites. It was kind of stale and hard. I wouldn't recommend this. Everyone else in line was only getting egg tarts so I guess that's a sign to avoid everything else!

Sorry I forgot to rotate this picture, but here is the roast suckling pig place. I can only read the "dragon" character, and then the last two words are 'restaurant'. Dragon ______ Restaurant. That's all I can do, sorry!

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a pound of roast suckling pig

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The skin was perfectly crispy, and the ratio of fat to meat was 50-50.

So that concludes our trip. The things I neglected to photograph were the various pineapple cakes (the Kee Wah ones are good--the shortbread-like crust is thick and I can taste some almond extract in it as well), and the wife cakes from Wing Wah (which are delicious, I can see why they are famous!). I haven't opened the package of pineapple cakes from Wing Wah yet, but I'm sure they'll be delicious too.

(Now where do I post my Taiwan pictures? :wink: I have a bunch of them, but a lot of them are home-cooked food from New Years.)

Edited by Ling (log)
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big bite!

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Bravo!! You were there for only two days? You must have been eating every 2 hrs or so! :biggrin:

I think you should change your avatar to the picture above, it says it all!! Brilliant crisp photos too.

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Great report and photos, Ling! Where do you put it all?

I have to get to Hong Kong one of these days. My son was there a couple of years ago and loved it. He can't wait to return.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

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Great report! I have a minor question for you, Ling.

When you say "green tea," is it safe to assume you're talking about Chinese green tea and not Japanese powdered macha?

And are desserts or baked goods made with Japanese macha common in HK and Taiwan?

Edited by sanrensho (log)
Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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Great report and photos, Ling! Where do you put it all?

I have to get to Hong Kong one of these days. My son was there a couple of years ago and loved it. He can't wait to return.

Neither of us gained weight on this trip, surprisingly. I think it was because we had to do a lot of walking!

sanrensho: The green tea was matcha, unless there is a powdered Chinese green tea that I'm not aware of. They photo on the package of the green tea wife cakes from Wing Wah show the brush used when preparing matcha (along with a cup of matcha) but the ingredients label just says: "green tea powder". I did see matcha desserts sold in Taiwan as well (matcha cheesecake, matcha mochi) so I assume it's popular, at least in the last few years!

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sanrensho: The green tea was matcha, unless there is a powdered Chinese green tea that I'm not aware of. They photo on the package of the green tea wife cakes from Wing Wah show the brush used when preparing matcha (along with a cup of matcha) but the ingredients label just says: "green tea powder". I did see matcha desserts sold in Taiwan as well (matcha cheesecake, matcha mochi) so I assume it's popular, at least in the last few years!

Thanks for the clarification, Ling.

The reason I ask is because I've always been disappointed when buying "green tea" goods from our local Chinese bakeries here in Vancouver (and moon cakes from HK).

I never detect much macha flavor, so I had assumed they were referring to the use of "green tea" as a broad category, rather than Japanese macha.

Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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Sorry I forgot to rotate this picture, but here is the roast suckling pig place. I can only read the "dragon" character, and then the last two words are 'restaurant'. Dragon ______ Restaurant. That's all I can do, sorry!

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Lovely report, Lorna! Way to go!

The restaurant name you mentioned... In Cantonese it sounds "Lung Kee". Lung is "dragon". "Kee" is sort of an adjective that signifies it is the name of the business. (Remember Yung Kee where you ate at?). So if you were to translate their restaurant's name, "The Dragon Restaurant" would be it!

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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(Now where do I post my Taiwan pictures?  :wink: I have a bunch of them, but a lot of them are home-cooked food from New Years.)

Taiwan is included in this same forum, as it is considered part of China.

Perhaps post a separate thread and name it "Reports on Taiwan dining" and let the forum moderators merge it with other ealier spotty posts on Taiwan dinings as they see fit?

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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Taiwan is included in this same forum, as it is considered part of China.

Don't tell anyone from Taiwan that! :wink:

While it may be true that many mainland Chinese (including my parents) fled to Taiwan when the Communists took over; Taiwan can only be seen as part of China as interpreted by the Chinese government. The food, culture, language, etc. of native Taiwanese differ immensely from those of the mainland Chinese. In fact, the current ruling government of Taiwan seems intent on remaining independent from China, despite the wishes of China. As far as I understand, should China attempt to re-take Taiwan by force, the US have already pledged to come to Taiwan's aid.

That being said, this appears to be the appropriate forum for posting about our trip to Taiwan. Far be it for eGullet to address international diplomacy through the naming of their forums.

Sorry to ramble on off-topic. I just wanted to continue my string of being censored. :biggrin:

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big bite!

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...[snip]

I think you should change your avatar to the picture above, it says it all!! Brilliant crisp photos too.

Ditto! You still manage to look cute! :biggrin: Great report, thanks. Looking forward to food in Taiwan.

TPcal!

Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

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