This was a really special surprise. It was our first anniversary, and M had been really secretive about his plans. I was so thrilled when I finally found out! We were led into the bar for a short wait, before being ushered into the main dining area.
I grew up eating this delicious bowl of Yong Tau Foo. Usually, I find it hard to get excited over a bowl of Yong Tau Foo, a dish that (in my humble opinion) belongs to the healthier (and therefore often "bland-er") category. But not here. Even though the line of people waiting can be very intimidating, it's well worth it! At this stall, the offering is a standard bowl of Yong Tau Foo containing assorted freshly made stuffed beancurds and fishballs in a really tasty broth. You don't get to choose noodles to go with it, so what my family often does is order a bowl each, along with other hawker favourites like oyster omelette or carrot cake from other stalls. I love everything about this Yong Tau Foo - everything is made fresh (no mass manufacturing involved), and it's served to you piping hot! If you make me choose my favourite Yong Tau Foo item here, it has to be the fried beancurd with fish paste!
We figured throwing in a meal at an authentic Thai restaurant would allow us to go one step further in completing the dining landscape in Bangkok. In 5 days, we had been to a multitude of street stalls, popular local eateries one and two, foreign cuisine (Japanese), local ice-cream cafe/showroom, even fastfood (we actually made a decision to try kfc, and regretted sorely). It was time for decent dining, however kick ass street food may be.
When I told my friend some time back that I would be doing a short trip to Bangkok, on top of his countless Thai recommendations, he told me I should try Ootoya at Siam Paragon, because it's a really good Japanese restaurant, and the prices are apparently much better here. It's not reflected anywhere in this blog yet, but I love Japanese cuisine. Naturally, I told M about this great Japanese restaurant that my friend highly recommended, and we made our way there for dinner on our third day!
We were on a hunt to find Kai Ton, reputedly one of the best Thai Chicken Rice (Khao Man Kai) stalls in Bangkok. After crossing the street to Pratunam Soi 30 vicinity, we saw a Chicken Rice stall that seemed quite popular, and were led to believe that this must be Kai Ton. Of course it wasn't. Even so, we enjoyed the chicken rice. You must understand this though: I take pride in Hainanese Chicken Rice, one of the more representative dishes of Singapore, so I guess I was almost sceptical when it came to hunting down a chicken rice stall in Thailand. Once again, I was proven wrong! The Thais had taken Hainanese Chicken Rice, added a new element, and made it their own. Granted, the rice and chicken are probably identical, but the sauce makes all the difference. Instead of the garlic chilli sauce and minced ginger we get in Singapore (which, by the way, I really love), we get a dark soya sauce mixed with ginger, chilli, and garlic. This Thai dipping sauce was really tasty and addictive with the chicken rice!
Our Saturday was spent exploring the never-ending maze of street stalls that was Chatuchak. The stalls were so varied, you would probably be able to find almost everything here, from second-hand shoes to local designer tees to homeware to pets. It was great just strolling around and taking in the sights, though the sun tried a little too hard to join in the fun. This coconut ice-cream saved us!
This seems to be a really popular wanton noodle store in Bangkok! Strategically located too, since it's along Pratunam Soi 19, just right opposite the famous Platinum Fashion Mall, the wholesale mall that's really worth a look(; Having just returned from a 3 month stint in Hong Kong, my wanton noodle and char siew standards have shot up pretty high! This version of wanton noodles is closer to the Singapore version, with tiny wanton and the addition of char siew. I actually enjoyed this a lot. The soup was good and I found the char siew really flavourful, even though it's still nothing like its Hong Kong counterparts. I loved adding chilli powder to the soup, there's a sort of kick to it. Strangely, the wantons had a hint of sweetness (water chestnut maybe?) which was pretty unusual, maybe because I'm used to wantons being savoury. Still, this was a pretty good bowl of wanton noodles! Definitely a good rest stop after shopping too, since it was one of the very few air conditioned thai eateries around the area.
The first ever ice-cream and food design showroom I've been to, spotted when M and I decided to check out the Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre (BACC). Icedea has got to be my favourite ice-cream concept store to date! They specialize in creating custom ice-cream flavours for shops and events.
Bangkok is street food heaven! Last week, M whisked me away to Bangkok for a short 5 day trip. We stayed at Citin Pratunam, a budget hotel that happened to be right at the scene of an entire stretch of street food. You can imagine just how thrilled we were.
Cute seating, with quaint spiral stairs leading up to the second floor
Yes, it's bye bye Hong Kong and hello Singapore. My 3 month stint in Hong Kong has come to an end, and now I'm back. There were actually a lot more places I would have loved to cover in terms of Hong Kong eats, but either I didn't take photos, or I couldn't retrieve them from my camera's built-in memory because I lost the camera cables long ago and have been relying on my memory card reader since the beginning of time. Yep I brought my camera out without my memory card and had no choice but to rely on the built-in memory. Now the photos are stuck. It's excruciating, having the photos, but no way to get them out, and therefore no way to share them with you.. These days, I'm also toying with the idea of doing eating/travel guides for the places I've been to and covered in this blog, namely Macau and Hong Kong, but currently time is not on my side, so they are probably gonna take a while. Well anyway, here I am, back in Singapore, chilling out with great friends, and having ice-cream.
I was a pretty lucky girl in Hong Kong. Shortly after M left, two of my good friends flew over to visit me! We had one of our meals at Tao Heung, a typical Cantonese Restaurant that also does Steamboat (which smelled really good). It was a small meal because we had planned to snack away at Mong Kok afterwards, and our first dish was eggplant with minced pork. When egg plant is done right, it can be so right. The best egg plant I had so far was in a small village in India. Here at Tao Heung, the dish isn't amazing, but reasonably tasty.
Hong Kong is quite the noodle lovers' heaven. Look at this beautiful concoction of sweet fish soup with tender braised pork belly! Actually there were lots of healthier choices of toppings available, including fish balls, fish slices, beef slices, etc, but I just couldn't resist choosing pork belly. Apparently, the milky colour of the soup is attributed solely to an ardious preparation process of the stock, and not because of the addition of milk. Impressive! The fish stock was fresh and sweet. Yummy. It's a healthy and tasty bowl of noodles, if you don't choose pork belly that is!
Beef and Egg Claypot Rice (Wo Dan Ngao Yuk Bo Zai Fan), 40 HKD
Have you tried the Beef and Egg claypot rice at Wing Hap Shing Restaurant? The minced beef is diced by hand, and very well seasoned. Mixed together, the yolk adds flavour all round, and the whole dish is simply delicious. They are quite generous with the beef - there is more beef than it seems, and the portion is good for 2 light eaters. The only gripe I had was the lack of crispy charred rice at the side that I had expected. I wonder what the problem was. Perhaps the pot wasn't hot enough, or perhaps the rice wasn't cooked in the claypot. Still, this is really good grub!
In fact, this place has been featured in the media, and the restaurant is famous for this particular dish! You know, it's probably not something I'd travel half the country for, but since this place happens to be right below my house (almost), I have no issues at all(: It's a great place, with a relatively healthy and suprisingly tasty bo zai fan.
P.S. The second time I went, I tried the gong zai min, and the man can yuk (luncheon meat) version my friend had was good!
Wing Hap Shing Restaurant
G/F, 113-115 Jervois Street
Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2850 5723 / 2850 5726
I was just looking for a snack at the Saint Honore Cake Shop near my house one afternoon when I stumbled upon this. So unexpected! I was really excited as I took my first bite, but I couldn't detect the slightest hint of squid ink in the bread. Bummer! Good idea though! Very cool, makes me feel like trying this out at home.
Lobster Bisque in a Slom Jar
And look at this! Isn't this a fantastic idea? It was pretty rich and delicious too. Had this at the quaint Caffe Habitu at Causeway Bay. No lobster meat in this one, except for the mini lobster I suppose, which I figured wouldn't be worth the effort(: Another great inspiration! Now, if only my Hong Kong place had a functional kitchen. I'm itching to get back to my Singapore kitchen to try things out........
I was sent on an errand, really hungry, stumbled upon this old school char chan teng, and figured I'll give it a shot. There were various "western" pastries on display, but the pastries were really more chinese than western, not that it's necessarily a bad thing! Some of the cookies were reallly cute. I wish I took pictures.
When you're out living alone, you start dreaming of delicious home-cooked meals, right? The thing about eating out in Hong Kong is that you really don't need to worry. People in Hong Kong don't waste time. You can get a quick meal of noodles, fried rice, or dishes with rice, in many proper eateries scattered across the city in about the same time and efficiency as any fast food joint. Obviously, even with the possibility of msg, this option far outweighs the nutrition of a big mac!
Lantau island. I don't know about you, but I always thought that Lantau island was an island-in-name. You know, like how Singapore's an island. I mean, it's the name that pops up most often, it's the largest island in Hong Kong, it's where the Hong Kong Airport is located, as well as the rather classy Tung Chung Outlets, you can almost smell tourists in the air, how can you believe that there's an island life going on here? Well as it turns out, there is! At Tai O Village at least.