Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cafe food in HK

Cafes (Honkie style or otherwise) are EVERYWHERE in HK. Some franchised, some one-offs. Some good, some dirty. I guess you really need to know where to go. One of the best cafes which is famous for it's "pantyhose" milk tea (絲襪奶茶) is Lan Fong Yuen (蘭芳園). It's been around for ages, since the 1950s, and even though it's been renovated in past years, it still has those tradition honky cafe wooden tables and folded up chairs.

We each ordered a 'lo ding' (撈丁) on this occasion. 'Lo Ding' is pretty much mixing sauce and marinade together with a famous brand of instant noodles. The noodles are quickly boiled, drained and tossed in a wok before the marinade is put on. My partner ordered one with chicken wings, egg, and cabbage. He said that it was just average - probably not enough marinade mixture. Mine, on the other hand, was a ginger and shallot soya-chicken fillet with cabbage. Mine was excellente~ Soooo yummmy!!! I got such a huge plate AND managed to polish it all off! Mmm... I love instant noodles :). Sitting at a shared table, I saw lots of people ordering tomato and potato soup based stuff as well - that must be the new "in" thing at this place - but I prefer my instant noodles :)

'Lo Ding's

And as for my milk tea? Superb! Smooth, silky and really rich in tea flavour. Really good - better than most honky cafes.

Lan Fong Yuen famous milk tea

We also went to a Jap style cafe called Suzuki Cafe. Situated inside Langham in Mong Kok, it was quite busy, especially around the lunch hour. My partner and I ordered a set each. My partner ordered a spaghetti cabonara with a 'hot spring' egg whereas I ordered a soft shell crab pasta with mentaiko. This was served with a drink of our choice and a creamy seafood bisque. The soup was nice, but my main was YUM! The pasta was creamy, but not overlly so. Soft shell crab was crunchy and not bad at all, and the fish roe added an extra crunch element to my pasta. My partner's cabonara was pretty average. The hot spring egg was simply just a runny poached egg - which I guess is pretty decent. Drinks-wise, I had a green tea latte whereas my partner had a mango malt. The mango malt is WEIRD. Like a mango milkshake but runnier and made with malt vitasoy. No my type of drink, but my partner liked it.

green tea latte and mango malt
creamy seafood bisque
spaghetti cabonara
soft shell crab pasta with mentaiko
You know how we have Pepper Steak in Sydney? Well, in HK, it seems like the new hip thing for youngsters. But because we've had Pepper Steak in Sydney, we opted for the shop next door - Pork Pan. I ordered a pork katsu with cheese, whereas my partner ordered a Kurobuta Pork Katsu. I thought that my cheesy pork katsu was a little bit odd. It probably would have tasted better with real cheese (like, Tasty or Mozeralla) compared to processed Kraft Singles tasting cheese LOL. My partner's pork, on the other hand, was really really tasty and really really tender. Not bad at all! Accompanying the pork katsu, we had a choice of rice - rice with tomato or rice with egg, as well as a fried egg on top, some veges and some cabbage. Also coming with a drink, from my memory, the total came to less than AUD$10 each meal. Not bad eh?

cheesey pork katsu
Kurobuta tonkatsu

We also had an experience at a random cafe on the street. We ordered a char kway teow, a random beef intestines rice noodle soup, and hainan chicken rice. Honestly, the food at this random cafe was a little on the oily side and the taste was pretty average. Just as well I think - as I don't remember the name of this cafe :P

char kway teow
beef intestines noodle soup
hainan chicken rice

We also had a casual dinner at Man Fai (文輝墨魚丸大王). This place is pretty famous for it's cuttlefish balls and fish balls - AND it's super super packed. You have to eat super quickly and you're packed into a very little space. But the food, I have to say, is pretty damn awesome :) My partner and I both ordered the 'four treasures' noodle soup - I had mine with flat rice noodles, my partner opted for thin rice noodles. The four treasures are basically, fish ball, cuttle fish ball, fish meat dumpling and fish paste slices. We also had chicken wings (on request by the partner). It's sooooooo yummy. I live in Aberdeen when I stay in HK and Aberdeen is famous for it's fish balls. And although the fishballs here are not as awesome as the ones in Aberdeen, I find that the noodle soup is better, possibly because it's got a huge heaping of seaweed in it which I think adds the finishing touches to any fishball noodle soup.

chicken wings
'four treasures' noodle soup

Last but not least on our cafe tour, we had a quick lunch at Tsui Wah (翠華餐廳). My partner ordered a mixed grilled set. This came with russian borsch, garlic bread, a drink, and a HUGEEEEEE hotplate of pork, chicken, beef, and sausage with veges and either rice or spaghetti. I was stupidly amazed by how huge this set was (and again, it's only around AUD$10). I tasted his food - it was AMAZINGLY yum!!! The all the meats on the mixed grill were super tender and tasty.

milk tea
russian borsch
garlic bread
mixed grill set

My choice for the day was a seafood fried instant noodles. OMG - it was like a mountain on a hot plate. It was sooooooooo good. The instant noodles were super yum. Slightly singed on the outskirts, but soft and tasty in the middle. I'm salivating just thinking about this.

seafood fried instant noodles

I simply love eating at cafes in Hong Kong. Not only for their price and their variety but also for their quality. It's usually soooo yummy and I really wish we had some awesome ones here in Sydney :)

Lan Fong Yuen 蘭芳園 - Main shop: G/F, 2 Gage Street, Central, Hong Kong,
Tel: +825 2544 3895
Man Fai 文輝墨魚丸大王 - 22-24 Jardine Street, Causeway Bay
Tsui Wah 翠華餐廳 -


Maria said...

First of all.. fold-up chairs in HK cafe's? I feel nervous already. I'm always scared they'll collapse. I've never been to Hong Kong and truthfully I'd probably like to go just for a foodie experience!

The Russian borscht looks a little unauthentic.. Only because I used to have Russian friends and their's was always purple-ish because of the beetroot content.

I love the idea of economical dining. My teenage girl doesn't like noodle dishes but will happily eat soup dishes with noodles.

bbsnoopy said...

I think that all the food in HK - be it thai or viet or italian or anything really - has been slightly modified to suit Honky tastes. The super authentic stuff possibly won't sell.
But HK is like - foodie and shopping heaven :)