Dim Sum Day

On our last day in Hong Kong, I wanted to make up for the disappointing dim sum at Luk Yu Tea House, so we set out to try Lin Heung Tea House as my favorite during my 2008 adventures and nostalgic Hei Yuet Seafood Restaurant (we spent a few mornings eating here during level 8 typhoons as well during our 2008 trip) as my back up plan in case Lin Heung disappoints. Well, I’m sad to report back that both did not impress this time around (nor the last in 2011). We started at Lin Heung and then bailed across the street to Hei Yuet. Texture, flavor, temperature all not on point.

Lin Heung Tea House
160 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong
Traditional Push Cart Style – Share tables
(South side of Wellington, right on the corner of Wellington and Aberdeen St)

Lin Heung Sign

Shrimp Cheung Fun Cha Siu Bao Siu Mai Traditional Push Carts

Hei Yuet
162 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong
Order from a check off menu – no push carts
(This address is misleading, the entrance is actually from Wellington St, right across from Lin Heung)

Hei Yuet Exterior

Menu 2 Menu 1 Trio Fried Taro Cake Mah Lai Go Shrimp Cheung Fun Xiao Long Bao

Conclusion: My memories of perfectly made dim sum keep my hope up at these two locations. Will still go back on our subsequent trips.

Tip for dim sum: There are bowls and boiling water for you to rinse your eating utensils and bowls and plates before eating. Don’t be shy. Do as the Romans do.

To make up, I tried to satiate my search for the “yummy” by going to Mak’s Noodles, having some fresh fruit from the abundant fruit stands and a Hong Kong Style Waffle. The waffle was just what was expected – extra crispy/chewy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Then we were off to Hong Kong airport where we indulged in our last meal at Maxim’s in the awesome Hong Kong Airport food court of their noodles and roast duck.

Fruit Stand Hong Kong Style Egg Waffle (???)

[CFG Hong Kong Dining Tips: 1. Be ready to share a table with strangers. 2. Don’t expect to make “small talk” with the stranger – they might look at you weirdly. 3. Don’t idle. Make your decision quickly. 4. Be ready to pay up and get out. Most casual restaurants you pay at the cashier when you’re done, unless you’re somewhere fancy. In that case, once the check is delivered, they will stand there and wait for you to pay, so be ready to pay as they stare at you (yes, awkward for us Gui Lo’s). 5. Don’t expect friendly service. Just efficient Service. They might just bark at you, but don’t take it personally. The cashier might throw change at you, but I wouldn’t take that personally either. They’re just trying to get you out the door for more business to come in. “Mo Juo Zhu Sai lah!!” – Don’t get in the way. 6. Oh yea, it is customary to NOT tip unless already automatically added on.]

Bleh: “Yut Pet”

Luk Yu Tea House
24 Stanley Street, Central, Hong Kong
(South side of Stanley St between Cochrane St and Theater Ln)

Sign

Entrance Check Trays

Okay, so I got this tip from CNN Travel. Let’s not listen to CNN Travel for this one. It’s a famous old tea house, where the dim sum ladies wear trays instead of carting the food around. While it is famous, it is not tasty and rather with it old and stale decor, the food seems old and tired as well. The beef meatball was mushy and bland. Siu Mai and Ha Gow (Shrimp dumplings) were both bland and not “song”/springy/bouncy in texture. The cha siu bao filling was way too sweet, and bun itself was actually too soft. The egg tart filling was not silky smooth like it was cooked too fast or too much egg, and what’s with the 1:1 crust to filling ratio?

Meatball Cha Siu Bao Har Gow Siu Mai Egg Tart

$ to Value Ratio: 5/5 Beeps, around 130-200 HKD.
Yummy Factor: 1/5 Beeps
Texture Satisfaction: 2/5 Beeps
Average beeps: 2.66 Beeps

Conclusion: Overall, my feeling is everything was just “yut pet.” In Cantonese, if food is soggy or looks bad, sometimes you say looks like “yut pet yeh” – looks like a pile of mush. Sorely disappointed. How you going to make me look bad in front of my dim sum loving husband?

[CFG Hong Kong Dining Tips: 1. Be ready to share a table with strangers. 2. Don’t expect to make “small talk” with the stranger – they might look at you weirdly. 3. Don’t idle. Make your decision quickly. 4. Be ready to pay up and get out. Most casual restaurants you pay at the cashier when you’re done, unless you’re somewhere fancy. In that case, once the check is delivered, they will stand there and wait for you to pay, so be ready to pay as they stare at you (yes, awkward for us Gui Lo’s). 5. Don’t expect friendly service. Just efficient Service. They might just bark at you, but don’t take it personally. The cashier might throw change at you, but I wouldn’t take that personally either. They’re just trying to get you out the door for more business to come in. “Mo Juo Zhu Sai lah!!” – Don’t get in the way. 6. Oh yea, it is customary to NOT tip unless already automatically added on.]

Dim Sum Treasure in Henderson

East Ocean Dim Sum & Seafood Restaurant
9570 S Eastern Ave
Henderson, NV 89123
(702) 567-4800

Happy Chinese New Year! Here’s to a year of delicious food.

Here’s our newest dim sum find in Vegas and they were suprisingly delicious! Our go to used to be Ping Pang Pong in the Gold Coast because it was the best among mediocre Vegas dim sum. Now East Ocean Dim Sum, a gem over in Henderson, is the much better option. Textures were chewy when it was supposed to be chewy, crunchy when supposed to be crunchy and mmmmmmm flaky and buttery when supposed to be flaky…… mmmmmmm

It offers the surprisingly tasty dim sum, helpful staff in a large and seemingly clean restaurant, AND the bonus is that it is smoke free. =)

Conclusion: It is a 30 minute drive across town for me, but I will travel to eat.

Update: 09/2012 – word on the street – This place’s dim sum quality has gone down the hole.

GAO Mei bao Ha gow Shao Mai Rice noodle Egg tart Taro

Sesame bits

Din Tai Fung
1108 S. Baldwin Ave
Arcadia CA 91007
626.574.7068

It’s been about a year since my last Din Tai Fung (DTF) visit, and to our delight, there are new dessert options!

On top of the usual red bean dumplings, there are now a plethora of other red bean dessert options along with black sesame desserts.

This is the sesame bun. I have a preference when it comes to pretty much any food, so when it comes to black sesame desserts, I want to see my sesame bits.

DTF delivered and I ate.

20111124-120807.jpg

Chewy. Tasty. Chewy.

Chang’s Hong Kong Cuisine
4670 South Decatur Boulevard
Las Vegas NV 89103
(702) 362-3663

Chang’s is usually the go to for dim sum after Ping Pang Pong in the Gold Coast. This weekend it seriously disappointed with the siu mai (shrimp/pork dumpling), ha gow (shrimp dumpling) and my beloved flaky egg tarts but it saved itself with one of my fav’s – Fried rice noodles in XO sauce. The rice noodles themselves offer a great chewy texture, but when fried with XO sauce, it lends itself a good kick from the XO sauce and crispy, yet chewy texture. mmm mmmm

fried rice noodles in xo sauce by cravingsofafatgirl

1.3.2013 – Update – Rio’s KJ’s is where it’s at for Dim Sum

Super super!

Super Super
Hong Kong International Airport

Maybe I’ve been deprived of good chinese food in Las Vegas, in particular, chinese breakfast. I just had pretty decent porridge with fish balls and chicken in sticky rice (lui Mi ji/luo Mai gai). Also, the hot milk tea was so fragrant with the tea taste and creamy smooth from proper preparation that we did not need to add an sugar.

[pictures TBA]

Conclusion: i love real chinese food! very satisfying and comforting albeit being couped up on the plane and airport for 24 hrs and counting….

Flaky, golden numminess

Kee Wah Bakery (in 99 ranch plaza)
150 W Valley Blvd
San Gabriel, CA 91776
(626) 280-2515
www.keewah.us

Jim’s bakery (SE corner of garvey and garfield) was closed for relocation so the hunt for egg tarts lead us to Kee Wah bakery in the same ‘hood. I always have a preference for the flaky crust vs. the cookie crust because why? Duh, I’m a texture whore, and I was not disappointed by Kee Wah Bakery. They had two choices, the regular flaky crust or the portuguese one. We went with the regular flaky one, though I think it was a win-win situation.

The filling was fluffy, light and not too sweet, and the crust was so flaky and buttery, it was difficult to not get it all over the place, on our face and look like cookie monster. The messiness factor gave it extra puntos for sure. =)

kee wah bakery egg tart kee wah bakery egg tart
Conclusion: I was not sad that Jim’s was closed that day. Kee Wah Bakery, you saved the day!