Foodnotes, Travel

Hong Kong eats: Yung Kee

Despite its fame, we never had any intentions of dining at Yung Kee. I know, it’s famous blah blah blah but somehow none of us were terribly keen on the idea of eating there.

Unfortunately, we found ourselves in Central one evening, too tired to go anywhere else for dinner. Since we were in the vicinity, we decided to try our luck at the restaurant to see if we could get a table. We ended up waiting for 20 minutes! Bugger that!

But well, we were starving and our legs were like lead so we decided to stay and wait. Finally, we managed to get a table at about half past eight.

Hmm, what can I say about the food? It’s overhyped. Seriously. We had the so-called famous roast goose and it was…nice. Not great, certainly not as delicious as the one we had in Lei Garden. Everything was good but just lacked that certain wow factor.

The century egg starter was really nice though, especially when eaten with the slices of pickled ginger provided.

Yung Kee Restaurant

Our fish maw soup was a little bland, lacking the omph of a perfect Cantonese boiled soup.

Yung Kee Restaurant

The roast goose was nice but hmm I felt that I needed to dip it into the accompanying sauces for it to be palatable. With the Lei Garden roast platter, I was happily popping the meat into my mouth straight from the plate.

Yung Kee Restaurant

Okay, okay, so if I didn’t have Lei Garden to compare, maybe I would like Yung Kee too. Honestly, the food was good. Just don’t go to a Michelin-starred restaurant early on in your travels – it ruins your palate for everything else!

Foodnotes, Travel

Hong Kong eats: Yee Shun Milk Company

For this fantastic find, I have the lovely Miss Ene to thank.

I texted her back in the hotel room and she replied, You MUST go to Yee Shum Milk Company! Now, who am I to not listen to a fellow foodie’s advice? She’s even listed the directions of the outlet nearest to our hotel so one fine afternoon, we popped by for tea before Cousin Wan went to wash and blowdry her hair. It’s a complicated story. Well, not really. She just doesn’t wash her own hair so every time we go on holiday, she will be busily sourcing out hair salons to shampoo her coiffure. V vain but also v Fabulously Gorgeous.

The steamed milk with ginger was Super Duper Awesome. See, I love ginger. And this bowl of steamed milk was so gently pungent and smooth. I was happily slurping it down.

Cousin Ching had a bowl of chicken wings and beef noodles. That lady sure can eat. And she is so tall and slim! V v v jealous.

I decided to have a light snack and opted for the pork chop sandwich. It was YUMMY. The chop was nicely crisp on the outside and moist on the inside. Deep fried goodness, mmm.

Foodnotes, Travel

Hong Kong eats: Lei Garden

While conscientiously doing my research (remember, PhD in Googling), I came across loads of accolades for Lei Garden. And whoa, it turns out that the restaurant is actually a one Michelin starred eatery! Reservation, made.

Turns out, it truly lived up to its name – this was the best meal we had by a MILE. Actually, make that five.

When we popped in for dinner at the IFC branch on a Wednesday afternoon, the restaurant was bustling and PACKED. V impressive. Service was certainly not shoddy, which was a major plus. ‘Twas a good thing that cousins and I have mothers who are fabulous cooks: we share the same appreciation (read: greed) for good food and so off they went, ordering up a storm. Lucky me! I just ate. And ate. And took pictures.

Delicious stir-fried beef with uber tender meat. No tenderizer here, for sure.

Fish maw with webbed goose foot. Claw? Whatever. I didn’t expect to like the goose foot but it was amazing! Tender and full of flavor. The fish maw was so moist and tantalizingly plump.

Double platter of roast goose and roast pork. Mama Mia! The fats, the fats! They be yummy! Everything was melt in your mouth sinful, and the skin of the roast pork was so SO crunchy. We loved, loved, LOVED.

No pictures here but we also ordered a simple soup of pork ribs and corn and it was the best soup we have had. The broth was thick and chockfull of goodness. We immediately felt v healthy and nourished and glowy.

Did I mention that it was the best meal we have had in a while? No surprises then that I felt like a pudgy ball of fats, ready to roll home, after dinner. But of course we didn’t. We shopped at IFC Mall for a bit, where Cousin Wan picked up a gorgeous pair of Repetto x Opening Ceremony flats for a princely sum at the expense of the poor staff who were waiting to go home.

Terrible Singaporeans we were!

Foodnotes, Travel

Hong Kong eats: Tai Ping Koon

Okay, let’s take a break from all these infertility shit and go back in time to when we went to Hong Kong for a holiday. I miss the food and looking at these pictures, I am one starvin’ marvin.


Confucius say (in Hong Kong accent), when you go Hong Kong, you must eat.

Oay, so obviously Confucius never said that and obviously, one must eat wherever they are, be they in Hong Kong or Timbuktu. But it must be said that our trip was planned solely around shopping and eating. Cousins and I did lots of research (Googling on my part and word of mouth on their part) and the result was that we were v fed and v happy.

The first port of call was Tai Ping Koon. As with most cha chan teng in Hong Kong, Tai Ping Koon has a heritage that would make Singaporean restaurants blush. Stepping into the eatery reminded us greatly of Shashlik – it’s so old school and cosy, with elderly men as their wait staff. Thankfully, these waiters aren’t as grumpy as the Shashlik ones, though I always say that Shashlik is the one restaurant that I would actually go and expect to be given grouchy service. ♥ Shashlik.

Back to TPK. We were starving after the flight at 4pm but didn’t want to ruin our appetites for dinner so we decided to share two tea sets: the beef hor fun (dry) and chicken wings in Swiss sauce. They were YUMMY!

Nom nom nom.
Am v fond of the beef hor fun and chicken wings, so much so that we went back a second afternoon for a late lunch. This time, we each took a beef hor fun set plus a side order of chicken wings – all eight of them wings! Slurped up every morsel of the food and washed it all down with milk tea. The Swiss sauce was v addictive, am going to try and replicate it at home.

Pictorial evidence!

Old school tea house
Beef Hor Fun
Chicken Wings in Swiss Sauce
Milk tea
Foodnotes, Two of Us

Down by the riverside

The very best dates are often those that just happen.

We ended up at Robertson Quay, where we indulged in sinfully hearty burgers (Bar Bar Black Sheep) and stopped for coffee at Kith Cafe.

My favourite beer in the world! A colleague saw me with a plastic cup of beer at an office party (v classy) and said, I didn’t think you are the sort to drink beer. And when I asked her why, she replied, You always look so put together, you look like the girl who drinks wine. Well, WHY did I buy that new epilator? I’m gonna embrace my inner beer drinker and stop shaving my legs and armpits! Oh, and not shower for three days.

Coffee followed by beer. Mmm hmm. This is one liquid diet I would happily follow EVERY SINGLE DAY. Oh what the heck, let’s throw teh-si into the mix too!

We. CANNOT. Get. Enough. Of. Bar Bar Black Sheep. I had the blue cheese burger and it was divine. I still prefer the mish mash, airy feel of the Cherry Avenue outlet though.

New coffee hangout for us, yay! Also, they use a lot of chalkboards in their decor. I have this illicit love affair with chalkboard so they automatically go right up my favourite list.

Foodnotes, Friends

Eggs, Bubbly & Company

I was going through some of the pictures that I had shot recently (ALL CRAP! URGHS!) when I realised that I hadn’t gone through these.

Back in May, we headed to YC’s apartment for brunch where he fed us with eggs, toast, champers and cheese. It was a lovely, delicious spread but we were really hungry after that. Mr Thick likes his meat, not just the by-products from nice animals like chickens and cows. We headed to Aston’s after leaving his place to feast on steaks. Mmm.

But it was fun! We must do this again soon.

Eggs and toast
Array of cheeses
Bubbly makes me happy

Looking through these pictures makes me realise how much I love my prime lens. And how I need to get used to the weight of Mr Thick’s 30D pronto, if I go ahead and buy the 60D to replace my trusty-but-sold 400D.

More pictures on my Flickr page.

Health Goddess

Food revolution

Have you heard of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution?

If you have not, you should go read about it. In a nutshell (see, I am trying to stop using “basically” in my sentences), Jamie goes to Huntington, West Virginia, to try to change the relationship that these Americans had with food. He picked that city because it has the highest rate of obesity, heart problems and diabetes in the US.

When we first started watching the show, we were HORRIFIED. The elementary school that Jamie was working on was feeding little children unhealthy food like pizza and chicken nuggets. And that was just for breakfast! It was just AWFUL seeing the wee ones scoff down the processed food so happily and heartily. And in another episode, none of the children knew their vegetables. They had all the names of veggies like potato, tomato and cauliflower mixed up, and they had never even laid eyes on them before. The lady in charge of food services in schools even acknowledged that fries counted as a serving of vegetable.

It was UNBELIEVABLE. And it made me realise just how blessed we are.

The government, despite all its badassness, has done a marvellous job in promoting healthy eating.Our mothers are used to working with fresh produce and meat. When I was young, I hardly ate out or had fast food because my mother believed firmly that no food is better than home-cooked food. We seldom bought frozen food products because she knew that they were probably full of chemicals and preservatives that aren’t good for us.

As a young adult, I am conscious of how much my mother’s beliefs are influencing me. Sure, I had chicken rice today. But I removed all the skin and the fat, I didn’t finish the rice, and I ordered an additional serving of vegetables. I am human, I have cravings for sinful foods too but I believe firmly in moderation.

Unfortunately, this is something that is not shared by my food-loving, weighty husband. He is lucky to have a mother who loves to cook for her children and is a great cook. The problem is, she can be undiscerning with the way she prepares her meals. Most of the time, the meals are meat heavy and can be deep-fried. I was also very concerned when she bought us a packet of MSG when we first moved into east end.

My in-laws adore their son, obviously, and they are very fond of feeding him with lots of food. It’s their way of showing their love. They make jokes about his weight – he’s roughly the size of a barn. NOT. YET. – but deep down they don’t really care because they love him.

But I do. It’s something that I am working on, and it’s because I love him too. I think our relationship with food needs to change.

Anyway, if you could catch Food Revolution, please do. It’s hard hitting, mind-boggling and very, very inspiring. And it’s wonderful that a chef like Jamie Oliver is trying to change the world, one step at a time.