Monday, January 5, 2009

Eats in Hong Kong - Cafe Fare

Cafe's are a way of life in HK.
There are also different levels, styles and pricings of Cafes.

One that my friends and I went to was TPK Cafe (again a chain store) in Central. It's dressed up as a classy restaurant - but the food served is normal honky cafe style food.

For instance, there's the baked cream fish with rice, combination rice with egg, and pigeon. I'm a fan of creamy anythingness, so the creamy fish worked well for me. On the other hand, me and pigeon do not go together - I don't like the taste, the texture, nor the imagery that forms in my head when I eat this - so, I just don't, much to the delight of my partner (who now gets TWO pieces).

Then there's the fried beef ho fun, baked portugese chicken with rice, and super large prawns with spaghetti, all of which were quite average. My only complaint is that the fried beef ho fun looked super super soy sauced. Luckily, it still tasted good good :)

Now for my favourites of the night - baked seafood rice and the creamy chicken and mushroom with rice. Very yummy - and very much the average type of food you get at any normal honky cafe. The only difference is the ambiance and the decore of the place - very dressed up! Luckily, the prices weren't too dressed up and were very decent.

Other types of cafes you might find are tucked away in upstairs places - normally with some special theme or fusion of some sort. The Orchard Garden Cafe and Restaurant is a jap fusion (also a chain which might be found in Causeway Bay or Mong Kok).

We ordered our mains (alot of them), and because we saw the next table with deliciousness soup (which came with bread and salad), we ordered a "light meal" each. Soup had a choice between russian borsch (my partner's favourite), and cream (my, and the rest of our table's favourite). And check out the bread! The bread came nice and fresh and hot - and looked like a cute muffin. It was soooo nice and soft and dipped in the soup... mmmm.. very satisfying.

We also ordered 5 mains between the 5 of us, and also 2 snacks. There were 2 pastas, 2 pizzas and curry chicken and rice. I liked my squid ink pasta with salmon and mushies the most - so very very creamy and yummy. The other pasta was supposed to be pesto with salmon, mushies and angel-hair pasta... a bit less yummy.

We also chose two pizza's. Being aussie boys, a bacon, pepperoni pizza was ordered. And to get a feel of the "fusion" we also ordered a wasabi beef and cheese pizza topped with seaweed... mmm... interesting I guess - but fell short of my amazingness expectation as my friend described it as awesomeness.

We also ordered a curry chicken rice. Again, pretty average. Yet, my partner seemed to thoroughly appreciate it.

Snack-wise, we had the potato and scallops/prawn- which is really a scallop sandwiched between mash potato and slightly torched on the top (and accompanied with a bit of garlic). It looked nicer than it tasted. It was quite an odd combination - but I like mash, and I like scallops. So, I guess it was alright :P

Another one of my friend's favourites was the gyoza stuffed chicken wings. Imagine a gyoza (or the gyoza filling) stuffed inside a chicken wing (minus the chicken). Mmm... I like eating chicken more than gyoza filling.

The next place I'm describing isn't really a cafe - more a shanghainese restaurant (again a chain, found in many many places - and so I thought I'd shove it in this post too).

We went to this place after we were fed up waiting for Itamae (a Japanese sushi train). We ordered crab pan-fried buns (very very crab oily... the orangey goodness was spewing out. Good for taste, bad for health!).

A vegetarian dish - mixed veges in fried tofu wrapping. Mmm... oily.

Shredded pork and preserved veges noodle soup. I thought that this was very very average. You could get this type of noodle soup at any random cafe in HK.

And they mixed up our xiao long bao!!! We ordered the normal minced pork one... and they gave us meat and vege... hmm... BUT - it was very very nice and juicy, so much so, that my partner was ok about the extra vege in it~

And lastly (or firstly... as this came out first) there's the drunken chicken. Chicken in HK always tastes more tender than chicken in Australian, H5N1 or otherwise. I think that previously, we would have had fresh fresh chicken, but now, the chicken might have been dead for around 12 hrs (according to my uncle). Tasted good nonetheless~

I've neglected to describe the fast-food cafes you can get everywhere in HK for two reasons - one, I only ate at a handfull. And two, the times where I did eat there, I was with my uncle and I thought that he'd find me wierd if I whipped out my camera at every food place he took me to! (and since he pays for everything for me, I don't want him to think I'm wierd~ ) :P