Friday, December 18, 2015

Lions in Hong Kong: That 100 year old toufu stall, the ghost town, and that elusive cuppa

It was a trip to pay some friends a long-awaited visit but the lions soon found themselves inundated with suggestions on the best places to stuff themselves silly on this island. After digesting most of the well-intended recommendations by friends, the lions came away feeling rather underwhelmed. Different palates and notions of value or maybe tourist traps, they mused. Of course including the fact that the concept of comfort food may take on varying manifestations around the world, even within a small region.

Their point exactly? Instant noodles and macaroni be damned. This has gotta be the best breakfast in Hong Kong (to their Lion City palates):   

Assorted toufu pieces and a bowl of silky
smooth beancurd.
That gawd damn heavenly fritter-like piece
of toufu is so delish. Can't be found back home.
Ambience is exquisite. In a hundred year-old shop.
With this as proof.
Cheap, cheap, cheap
compared to the usual cha chaan teng.
Handmade fresh onsite.
They read that traditional stone mills are used
here too.
Fried a la minute. Shiok.
Okay, the lions are really loving the Sham Shui Po area for breakfast.

One of their friends told them to die die must try
the fish siew mai that is not available back home.
Freshly made taukee to bring home anyone?
This zhu chang fen is rolled so compactly that
it packs such a bite. Another different version from
that in the Lion City.
Google: 合益泰小食
The Sham Shui Po zhu chang fen stall.
There was a snaking queue that moved pretty fast.
Having been at the receiving end of rather diffident rude service (some say part of the experience) for a couple of days left the lions in a rather blah and sullen state. They were licking their open wounds forlornly at a few joints, hoping to recuperate with a comforting cuppa. Their friends here had warned them that they might be left rather disappointed by the experience and coffee scene as "most people don't drink coffee here, they drink tea lah". They would have to agree as a matter of personal opinion. They had the best cup at Monocle-feted Common Ground and then it went downhill from there.

The two gems that they really loved (repeated visits within a short span) to retreat to was a boutique that technically wasn't a cafe but hmmm... ...happened to serve drinks and some cakes, and a tea centered cafe that would put all coffee joints here to shame.

Mum's not Home:

Screw the definition, Mum's not Home is such a winner (finding the place is half the fun) the lions just want to spend their lazy days curled up on those cushions strewn carelessly on the floor and take refuge under those lush greens.

The lions loved the Marsala Chai (no pic)
and homemade pancakes here.
The makeshift tables and seating is a charmer
at the little alley way.

The lions did notice that a standard cuppa on this island, like a latte, is pricey even by Lion City standards. SGD9 a cup, too much, no?

Common Ground:


Cupping Room:

The Coffee Academics, Wan Chai:

Stumbled upon Monocle after searching for the now-defunct Amical in Wan Chai:

Some quirky sights:

Filming underway at Yard Bird.
Street Mural.
My Little Prince tram.
I have no problems with vertigo. Meow!
Street Art

Issit us or the standard of Maison Kayser bakes here seem much better than back home:

The Lions Loved... ...

Lin Heung Tea House:
The war zone and mayhem at Lin Heung Tea House.
If you're going to have dim sum only once during
your stay in Hong Kong, this is the place,
says Time online.

The totally unassuming Pork Chop Bun at For Kee near their hotel in Hollywood Road:

See these two furry friends and you'll know
you've hit the right place.

This little round-the-clock dim sum joint's taste of tradition in Kennedy Town (check out Sun Hing):

The Lions were Meh here (too much hype?)... ...

Yat Lok Roast Goose
Tai Cheung's famous egg tarts
Mido Cafe - the backdrop for many films,
much beloved by directors for its well preserved '60s decor.
Ambience was of course A* nostalgic. The grub was ok lah.
The lion downed the "hardcore" boiled lemon coke with ginger
drink here. Quite tasty.

Gough Street's tomato noodles.
Australian Dairy Company's scrambled egg dish
was bathed in salt when the lions were there.
Off day?

Next, a hop to Ma Wan island by ferry to visit friends. They were recommended to pay a visit to the "ghost town" aka abandoned fishing village that would soon be bulldozed perhaps for a Sentosa Cove-like development. A real pity in the name of progress.

An aerial shot of the fishing village by their talented friend.
A replica of Noah's Ark also sits snugly on the island.
A biblical theme park alternative.
A pet ferret!
This neighbourhood kitty has natural stockings.
Wild star fruits!

Ma Wan "Ghost town":

It wasn't as eerily scary during the evening as there were a couple of joggers enjoying the sights. But when night falls... ...perhaps... ...

Went to see some merchandise at Noah's Ark:

Pretty dolls dressed in ancient apparel.

Dinner served was homemade sourdough bread, quinoa, pomelo salad, mussels and an expertly roasted chicken. A homecooked meal finally! They felt so thankful and blessed.

Shopping in the streets and at PMQ:

They also loved walking down Sham Shui Po's fabric street and Fa Yuen Street aka sneaker street.

Bye, bye... ...