Friday, March 25, 2011

Hong Kong Eats - Part V

When I was in HK, Dad and I would get up pretty early (around 5-7 each morning) and we would go for walks. 

We were right by the coast. I loved the smell of the ocean in the morning. 
It was windy and there was a little chill, but it was a wonderful way to start the morning. 

We were staying at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, so for breakfast, we headed for the cantina. 
I wish I had gotten some more pictures. The two eating areas they had at HKUST were really very nice, clean and served realllllllly tasty food.

We each got soy sauce noodles, jukk (Chinese rice porridge) with pork, peanuts and thousand year old eggs, and milk tea. 
Milk tea is pretty strong and a great substitute for coffee. I actually prefer it. 


This is not Sparta, it's a chocolate shop. And a pretty popular one.

Sky walks, pretty much like sidewalks, but above and over the traffic to ease congestion. 

Strawberry smoothie.

Coffee. We needed the caffeine kick. 
Lychee iced tea and a coconut iced thingy. Both very refreshing. 

Obligatory "V" picture. 

Purcuitto and melon: a winning combination!

Smoked salmon plate. The sauces were creamy and tangy and the bitterness of the greens were a nice way to break through the richness of the salmon and creams. 

And of course we need dessert! There was a tiramisu, a chestnut creme brulee, molten chocolate cake, cheese cake and that triangle thing is actually ice cream. 

We also got snake wine! More for the novelty than anything else.
 I gave it as a gift to my boyfriend. 

And no. We haven't drank it.... YET.

Hong Kong Eats - Part VI

The hustle and bustle of Causeway Bay. We're going in search of spicy crab!

In Hong Kong there are many places that feature Spicy Crab. The place we're going to is called Under Bridge Spicy Crab. 

It originated as a small stall under a bridge, near a typhoon shelter. Around Causeway Bay there used to be a great deal of dancing clubs. I was told that when people came out they bought food from the vendors, one of them being Spicy Crab. 

Behold, crabs! 
Their claws are bound to their bodies, to there is no pinching or loss of appendages when they're moved or scuffle with each other. 

Mmmmm... Eel!

Ah, mantis prawns! They're also known as 'pissing shrimp'... but Mantis Prawn just sounds so much better.
They're weird looking critters and spiny and sharp, but damn, are they good. 


Inside the restaurant. I love the lanterns.

A gathering of family and friends!

Clams cooked up in spices and black bean sauce. The clams were very fresh and had tender, sweet flesh. The sauce was not too thick or thin, coating the clams perfectly. The little bite of spice at the end was nice. 

Water spinach with dried scallops and mushrooms. 
We needed some veggies on the table ^_-

Shrimp, very simply cooked with a little oil and salt. 
Quickly stirfried and served while piping hot. 

The best thing about shrimp being served whole is the head. 
I love, love, looooooooooove eating shrimp heads.

SNAILS! Boiled sea snails, simple and tasty. A little chewy, but tender and rich. 
Snails may seem a little off putting, but don't knock it till you try it. 
They're surprisingly good.  

You pull the little snails out of their shells with a toothpick. 

And it looks like this!
Then you eat it!

The shells really pile up...

TA DAAA!!!! Spicy Crab is made from live crabs, quartered, fried with chinese peppers and served underneath a HEAPING pile of deep fried garlic and scallions. 

It's a little hard to tell that there is a goldmine of sweet, juicy crab under there, but there is.
It's a hell of a lot of garlic. Delicious, delicious garlic... 


That's one massive claw. 

That's excitement right there! 
Or... something else... like hunger? Anticipation? Seafood euphoria?
In any case, she's happy to have it.

Mantis prawns served in a similar manner to the crab. The fried garlic seemed to have a lot more hot chilies than the crab. But that's good, I am very fond of spicy. 

His close-up.

Weird looking dude, huh?

The aftermath...!

To clean our hands we god bowls of tea with lemon in it. It does a good job, and your hands come out smelling nice, despite the seafood.

Fruit for the dessert is always nice. Juicy watermelon is a great way to end a finger licking meal.

Hong Kong Eats - Part IV

While we were in Hong Kong many mornings looked like this:

It was technically winter there, kind of like winter in FL, misty, a little chilly and still pretty humid. 
A lot nicer than the midwest, in any case :) 
Sweater weather > Coat weather. 

That day I went around with my cousin. We stopped to get some noodles first, which looked pretty good....
 However, the noodles were over cooked an fell apart in our chopsticks... Not the best. According to my cousin Anson, it usually wasn't like this.

After abandoning our disappointing fare, we met up with my grandmother. 
We went somewhere else, mainly for something to drink and a little snack. 

Anson recommended I try this:
 It's bread fried in butter (really tasty, soft on the inside with the perfect crispy outside) with condensed milk on top. Sweet, rich, crunchy... what's not to like?

 Lemon tea. It's rather popular in Hong Kong and is very light and refreshing. 
It can be served in hot or cold form. 
That day was relatively warm, so we went with the iced. 

Ahhh, Hong Kong style French Toast. 
I featured it in one of my earlier posts, and now here it is again!

Two thick slices of bread with a generous amount of peanut butter or condensed milk in the middle, dipped in an egg-milk mixture, then deep fried for crispiness and then eaten with syrup. 
Oh hells yes. 

I walked around with Anson for a while longer while my grandmother went back home. 
We talked, window shopped and sipped coffe until it was time for dinner. 

Around 7 we headed back to the apartment for a nice home-cooked meal. 
My Uncle, Grandmother and Anson :)
 Me and my relatives <3

I forgot to take pictures of the soup... but this is the stuff that went into it. 
Typically, a soup is served at the beginning of the meal. 
It's just the broth, so the stuff that went into the soup is strained out and served separately. 
It's usually a mild soup and is very comforting. 

 One of my favorite dishes in the world! It's called 'jai' and is traditionally eaten on New Years. It's a Buddhist dish and is comprised of vegetables and tofu. The weird looking black hair-like stringy stuff is mermaid hair (also known as black fungus or hair vegetable) which is a fungus that basically looks like hair. As weird as it looks, it's delicious. 

My Grandmother and Aunt taught me how to make this a few years ago (when I was like... 14) 
and though I can make it decently, my grandmother makes it best :)

 Mmm... Steamed fish! Served with light soy and sliced ginger and green onions. 
Very simple, but very satisfying. 

After dinner my Uncle drove me home, with my Grandmother and Anson coming along.
I was laden with foodstuffs; lots of leftovers from dinner and these fruits:
 (These aren't actually all the fruit, we had a lot more. I just thought this looked nicer)

At the top is dragon fruit. 

The red fruits are called 'rose apples' and are one of my favorite fruits when we visit Hong Kong. 
They're crunchy and have a subtle sweetness with a hint of clove. It has about the same flesh to water ratio as a watermelon, so it's super juicy. 

In the middle is what is known as a 'custard apple' or 'soursop', more on that later. 

We also had mangoes and starfruit. The mangoes were so ripe and they smelled incredible.  

 Sliced star fruit and rose apples. 

I'd never had a soursop before! Dad was very excited to show us (me, my sister and her boyfriend). He said they were very hard to get when he was little. 
I had been curious about the fruit since earlier that day when my grandmother bought it for us. 

The outside looked scaly, but upon touching it, it was soft and slightly spongy. 

 Dad held it in his hands and just pulled it apart!

This is what it looks like!  
It was very soft on the inside, but still a bit firm.
The most memorable thing about this was the taste. 
It was really sweet...Sweeter than packets of sugar or honey. 

The fruit has a mild strawberry taste and notes that are reminiscent of a pineapple, 
but it was so sweet that it was hard to eat more than one piece in a sitting without a cup of tea.   

Aaaaand here is Hong Kong at dusk, on a grey day. 

 Also, the turtles of Hong Kong :) They're so very cute and they're EVERYWHERE.

More soon!