[Hong Kong] Trip Report

Just returned from Hong Kong on Labor Day. I don’t usually write reports, as I rarely remember the names of the places we eat at. I’ll just post some pictures of the more delicious bites we had on this trip.

We tried some chiu chow this time. Goose intestines, fish maw with loofah, chiu chow style fish jook. We also had a oyster pancake that was on a crispy pancake, unlike the Taiwanese version. Tasty.

Fish noodles (noodles made of fish), rather unusual.


For nostalgia sake, we had lunch at the Lung Wah Hotel in Shatin. Had their signature squab, of course!! Their squab costs easily twice what other Hong Kong restaurants charge. However, the birds are significantly larger and meatier.

The fried chicken cartilage was delicious. We had this dish again in another restaurant.

I’m not into the Michelin hype. My wife had tried Tim Ho Wan before, and thought the dim sum was tasty and the price was reasonable. Fortunately, the wait was only a half hour, which is about my limit for queues.

The char siu bows were different, and very good. Delicate, but in a good way. The siu mai were perhaps the best I’ve had in years, the meaty ingredients really shined.

No trip to Hong Kong is complete without a few bowls of won ton mein. Among other won ton joints, we tried the new Mak’s location in TST. Polite service and clean, almost unbelievable!!

, almost unbelievable!!

Finally, had some Hong Kong Style chow mein, in Hong Kong.

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Do you happen to remember the name of the Chiu Chow place? or the location?

Which branch of Tim Ho Wan did you go?

I also ate quite a few bowls of won ton meen. My bowl of Mak’s was at the Peak branch and I liked that one much as well. Their quality seemed to be quite consistant from branch to branch as I sensed little differences from the Central branch. Glad to hear the TST branch is doing well taste-wise.

I always ordered 2 bowls at Mak. In my defence, it’s so small even for me (and I’m not big or tall) and so delicious!

I’m missing real Cantonese food now and HK is not on the horizon…

The Chiu Chow restaurant was Hop Lee @ 259A Temple Street in Jordan. The fish congee was good and different than the typical creamy Canto style. The rice grains were still intact and distinct, the fish and flavors were very clean. Leeks/ramps stir fried with larger size dried shrimp were well done, I don’t usually care for dried shrimp (the more common ha mai). Partial menu below, more items (presumably more interesting) written on wall.

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We ate at Tim Ho Wan in the IFC in Central. No atmosphere to speak of, but the food was tasty and fresh, and the queue was tolerable at 1:30pm on a Saturday. If they can replicate the quality/taste and approximate the menu price here in the Bay Area, they would have a two hour wait every day.

A couple of random musings:

Is it just my imagination, or has the cost of Hong Kong food gone stealthily higher without my notice? I’ve been going to HK once or twice a year for the last 20 years. I recall how I had always thought the food was a good bargain, if one stayed away from the more extravagant places. Now, the prices at the mid and lower level are on par with San Francisco. Or maybe the sticker shock was because we had just flown in from Saigon. We ate very well in Saigon, and the tickets were less than 50% of Hong Kong.

Secondly, the mainland invasion seems to have abated. In January, our taxi driver said that tourism was down because of the near freezing weather at the time. Its not anywhere near freezing now, and the sidewalks are still negotiable. There was actually some personal space between the folks while walking MongKok. I hope this trend continues, I like it!

We were even able to get into Four Seasons Claypot rice. We strolled by, with the intention of smirking at the fools queuing up for two hour line for rice. When we saw an open table for 3 without a wait, we jumped.

Don’t know if ong choy was in season, or available year round. We had it multiple times this trip, and it was good every time. Four Season’s version was spot on.

My “assorted” sausage and meat rice was two lop cheongs, only??

I’m glad that we finally got to try Four Seasons. However, our favorite is still a place around the corner. The Chinese name is Sun Ho Ho (New Good Good).

  • Credits to my wife for supplying the names and addresses. :slight_smile:
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Yeah, I used to wonder why on Earth they served wonton mein in a tiny rice bowl???

Now, Mak’s and the like are for a quick appetizer/snack before a real meal, or for siu yeh (late night snack). I love the snap of the shrimp in the wonton, and the bite and chew of the noodles. The wonton mein in my area do not bear even a faint resemblance to the (dare I say?) authentic HK product.

Certain size wonton noodle used to be called 細蓉 (small noodle), defined as certain weight of dry noodle + 4 wontons (or 2, can’t remember). Its meant for snacks and therefore served in small bowls. Few HK wonton noodle bowls are served that way any more- customers complaining that they are still hungry after a bowl.

As a vacationer, I appreciate the small size as I can pop in for a bowl as I get hungry and not have to commit a full meal. Although I can understand that for a working HKer, such a small bowl can be impractical if you are on a lunch break trying to fill up.

Its not your imagination- that was my impression from my recent trip as well. Granted it was a bigger jump in prices for me as I don’t travel there as often as you do. But yes I also got the impression that now HK and SF are pretty on par with each other in prices nowaday. Whereas in the past I tended to find eating in HK provided great value.

Now a quality bowl of wonton noodle is ~$40. 3 years ago, it was about $32. 25% jump right there.

How did that one taste? Was it meant to be two lop cheongs only? Seems a little sparse… Definitely a candidate for soy sauce.

Well, THW is opening in NYC. Since they are on expansion craze, it shouldn’t be long before they make it to the Bay Area.

Re-reading the table card, the item was listed under the “single choice pot rice” section. On lower cost items, we never complain, only laugh at any English translation errors.

Two lop cheong with rice and ong choy, that was just enough to whet the appetite for the next restaurant.

BTW, what’s the difference in style/ taste between Four Seasons and Sun Ho Ho?

Since I’ve only had SHH twice and Four Seasons once, I can’t give a true differentiation between the two. My SHH rice had great “nuong” (socarrat) both times. As seen in photo above. To me that really makes the dish. At the end of the bowl, I added some of the complimentary broth of the day to the crust and enjoyed a very satisfactory rice soup.

The one bowl I had at Four Season barely had any crust, although my wife says her lop cheong and chicken rice had some. I didn’t notice a great deal of crust at the bottom of my aunt’s bowl, neither.

Hmm, little crust? Then that’s just rice in a thicker ‘bowl’. What’s their claim to fame I wonder.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold