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.]

Famous Roast Goose

Yung Kee Restaurant
32 Wellington Street, Central, Kong Kong

Chopsticks

The reason why I chose Yung Kee Restaurant for dinner is for two reasons. 1. It is “famous” for its roast goose 2. I wanted to give hubbie a break from sharing tables with strangers. This place is definitely a fancier restaurant. You can make reservations, which I highly recommend because it is popular. With this meal was in a more fancy environment, meaning cloth napkins, well trained staff with a smile (what…? a smile? That’s a rarity in Asian countries), and definitely more pricey, you would expect perhaps even tastier food than our 60-200 HKD meals? Read on my friends.

1. The abalone soup was good. The soup was delicately flavored with the essence of abalone. The abalone itself was tender to the bite and had a sweet seafood essence.

Abalone Soup

2. XO Stir fried beef – xo sauce with anything usually makes it tasty. The spiciness from the sauce kicks it up a few notches and the good wok hei flavor gives it depth.
3. The chicken and roast goose were good, but I would say that our lunch at Yat Lok Restaurant, with way cheaper prices was better. The skin of the goose was on the soggy side. The chicken was pretty tasty and the green onion/ginger sauce enhanced the chicken essence. The only complaint with the chicken was that it did not seem organic, so the chicken did not have a “zou di ji”/running-on-ground/organic chicken taste and texture. Perhaps, that’s an upgrade request?

XO Sauce Beef Chicken and Roast Goose Onion & Ginger Sauce

4. Stir fried fresh veggies in broth (pea shoots) – fantastically flavorful! Kids should be fed this and they would be eating loads of veggies without needing the coaxing from their parents.
Dou Miao

Dessert!
Chinese style sesame pudding – it was smooth, creamy and not too sweet. Very good! I ate mine and hubbie’s.

Black Sesame Pudding

$ to Value Ratio: 2/5 Beeps, around 1200 HKD.
Yummy Factor: 3.75/5 Beeps
Texture Satisfaction: 3.75/5 Beeps
Average beeps: 3.16 Beeps

Conclusion: Good to try once as a tourist. Otherwise, go off the beaten path for better and cheaper food.

[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.]

Breakfast: Hong Kong Style

North Garden Restaurant
1-3/F Hung Kei Mansion 5-8 Queen Victoria street, Central, Hong Kong
(Remember to look up and carefully at signs that are grouped together to find what you’re looking for, “1-3/F” meant that we had to walk upstairs to the restaurant)

Menu North Garden Restaurant Exterior Sign

Everyone seems to be in a rush in Hong Kong. Just looking around, swarms of people are going in every direction with an end location(s) in mind. Where are you people hurrying to at all times of the day? Is this how Hong Kong breakfast had to evolve to keep up with the frantic pace of Hong Kong citizens? So, breakfast items have to be quick and full of flavor (not necessarily in the healthiest way) for these busy individuals to get in and get out? For example, common items paired together are white toast, spam, ham, and sausage with a highly caffeinated Hong Kong style milk tea or a mix of coffee and milk tea, called Yin Yeung.

On our first morning in Hong Kong, I took hubby to have breakfast at North Garden Restaurant. We went to the chain location in Central, HK around 10:30 am to be in between breakfast rush and lunch time rush because you definitely do NOT (I repeat do NOT) want to be stuck in lunch time rush with all the business staff. It is pretty much impossible to find a seat let alone a table to eat at.

When in Hong Kong, you must have the milk tea. It’s different than your usual boba milk tea. That boba milk tea from the US is weak sauce. This milk tea will put some hair on your chest because it is incredibly caffeinated. It jazzes me up so much I go zipping around and then you’ll find me moping and emo’ in the corner and crashing from my caffeine high. (…but that’s just lightweight me where I get affected by everything even in small amounts.) You can choose to have it hot or cold or as mentioned previously add some more zip and have it with coffee – yin yeung style.

Iced Hong Kong Milk Tea Hot and cold Hong Kong milk tea

White bread with a pat of butter, fry an egg over easy, add a slice of ham, spam and ramen, and satay sauce with ramen

Buttered white bread, fried egg, ham Spam and instant noodles Satay sauce and instant noodle base

$ to Value Ratio: 5/5 Beeps, holy moly it was cheap! I wish I saved the receipt, but I don’t think it was more than 50 HKD, which is about $6.60 US!!!!! for two people!!!!!
Yummy Factor: 4.5/5 Beeps (Salty Deliciousness)
Texture Satisfaction: 5/5 Beeps (I like fake meat and processed noodles)
Average beeps: 4.83 Beeps

Conclusion: Good for a quick refuel and some zip for Hong Kong style milk tea.

[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.]