Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Last Supper

(Here is a picture of roasted baby chicks. They are extremely hard to find. You can sometimes find them in Chiu Chow places. I zoomed in to make it bigger but they are extremely tiny. They taste better than quails!)

It has come time to say good bye to Hong Kong again. Bye Bye Hong Kong. See you in a few months! Thank you for your wonderful New Year markets, shopping, superstions, and of course delicious food!
Hara Sakazuki! I know I've posted on this place before, but it's just too delicious! Above is their salad & pumpkin. 
Tuna & Green Onion Chirashi with udon & steamed tofu.
sashimi platter!

Wow that sure was a lot of food. But of course that wasn't enough. Off to Anytime, yet again. One of my food staples in HK.
This is their Har Lam Chicken Lunch Set. Comes with Har Lam flavored chicken and chicken flavored rice and soup. Those 3 sauces on the right are all for the chicken. Chili, garlic, yum! 
What's better than Lobster Bisque in a bread bowl? Soup in a pastry that melts in your mouth! 
This is their Thai Beef Salad. 
And then it was Dinner Time...
Left is 2 huge salmon heads. Super tasty! Right is a variety of different Chinese breakfast donuts.
Goose feet. It's not my thing but I figured I should take a picture anyways. I don't like chicken feet so I just assumed I wouldn't like goose either. There's just something about eating an animals toes along with fingernails/claws that I just can't do.
  Bakery in Wan Chai. My mom has been raving about this bread forever. She used to eat it as lunch when she worked in HK back in the day. The guy who made it immigrated to Canada and recently came back to HK to make this bread again. And it's delicious! It's like a delicious Krispy Kreme Donut but better because it has no glaze and less sugar!

Fruits are a very important part of our dinners in Hong Kong. No one leaves the table without their fruit. They organize the fruit by color. Talk about OCD.
Left is some delicious tomatoes from Taiwan. They are so sweet and good. Taiwanese usually eat their tomatoes as fruits but these particular ones are definitely not for a salad. My aunt hand carried them back from Taiwan. Super good! Right is a picture of the passionfruit my mom was eating.
Left is some cherrymoya and right is some dragon fruit that had been precut for us. They have purple and white kinds. I like eating the white kind so that the color doesn't get all over the place. 
Here is some fresh, delicious 奶牛果 that my grandma's friend hand carried back from Vietnam. I don't know what the english is for it but these fruits taste like milk. They can also be found in the Philippines. In L.A., we can only find them frozen at the supermarkets. Boo.

She also brought back these awesome cakes from Vietnam. Pandang flavored cakes. They were so good. So much better than my previous favorite place in L.A. This definitely calls for another trip to Vietnam soon!

Hope you enjoyed all my Hong Kong posts. Tomorrow I'm off to Taiwan & Singapore for more eating before i return to L.A. I'll be taking lots of food pictures no worries, but I probably won't have time to upload until I get back. Toodles & Happy Eatings!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Vegetarian Food So Good, You'll Consider Becoming a Monk!

I proud to say today was an amazing day. Not only did I wish eternal damnation onto my worst enemies with the help of this old granny (Click here to see actual video of it), but I also had an amazing vegetarian meal that was so good... I'm considering becoming a nun just to be able to eat vegetarian all the time. Thankfully, even without being a nun I can still have vegetarian food everyday if I wanted to. I have a favorite vegetarian place in Wan Chai in Hong Kong. It's owned by a crazy lady that my sister & I think is the awesome and insane person ever. Only problem with her place is that they have set meals per person and give way too much food-which normally isn't a problem but it is when you are not going home right away and are forced to carry bagfuls of food you were not able to finish. She literally makes you around 10 dishes or more of huge portions. Love her awesome food and her craziness nonetheless. Well last time I was in Hong Kong in December, the fam bam and I went to try out a new vegetarian place called 心齋 (See previous post here) to see if we could find another really good vegetarian place other than "the crazy lady place". The place wasn't bad, but it could not match the place that "crazy lady's restaurant" had in my heart. But today, I am happy to report that that I have finally found a place that will match her. Behold, 大自然素食 in Causeway Bay. I didn't see an English name but 大自然 means Nature so I'm sure the English name should be something to that extent.
We got inside and were greeted with this appetizer of pickled cucumbers and a tip to take our time to order because in 30 mins, everything would be half off! Awesome! Really? Yes! Cheap & Good? Really? Yes!
I was so excited! They had an assortment of vegetarian hand rolls! Remember Gourmet Vegetarian-the vegetarian place I went to in L.A. where I said they had amazing vegetarian hand rolls? (See here) Well this place's hand rolls knocked theirs outta the park! This was their "abalone" hand roll. So good!!!
Left is a fruit salad with walnut roll and right is one of my personal favorites-Salt & Peppered Eggplant. The eggplant dish is supposed to be made with lots of garlic but because this was a vegetarian place they used more bread crumbs to mimic the garlic texture. According to Buddhist, garlic is one of the goods that one should keep away from so therefore this place opted for no garlic to appease their Buddhist customers.
Left is their stir fried peas dish. It's supposed to be made with meat. So this place used some fake meat to give it the right texture. Super good. Tasted as if it was the real dish. I couldn't help it at this point. I wanted more hand rolls! Here's my "salmon" hand roll. It tasted very good. You could tell it was not salmon but it didn't taste like spam or fake meat so I was pleased. The other hand roll is a mango & avocado with brussel sprouts hand roll that does not have rice. My mom didn't want to use up her food quota for the day and convinced herself that eating another hand roll that does not have rice will not make her full.
At this point, we were beyond full. Just then my aunt looked over at another table and spotted something that looked tasty. So obviously we had to get it too! This was toasted bread with cheese and avocado! Delicious!
And then the bill came. It really was 50% off! Our bill came out to $300 something HK dollars, so we only paid $100 something which is a little over $20 U.S. for 3 people! We ordered a lot of stuff too! Most places also charge you per person for drinking tea. They didn't even do that! We'll definitely be back. Finally! A place that matches my "crazy lady" place.
We ended our day with dessert. Remember yummylicious dessert place 石魔坊 ? (Click here) We tried this yam pudding on the left. Right is some sesame tangyuan aka glutinous balls that gramps brought home.

If you're in L.A. and want some good vegetarian food, my fav place there is at Gourmet Vegetarian but of course food in Hong Kong is way better!
Happy Eatings!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Keep The Food Coming! Even if it's from CHANEL or China!

I know what you're thinking. Chanel makes food? They do when you spend all your money there. My aunt is a Chanel fanatic. She has every single bag in at least 2 different colors. Why? Why not? In fact, she's such a good customer that every year on her birthday Chanel sends her flowers and a card. She also goes to pass out red envelopes to all the salespeople for Chinese New Years. If she weren't a dancing queen, I think she would make a better CEO at Chanel. Well Chanel gifted my aunt with 3 boxes of chocolate sticks that were packaged nice enough to be a Chanel purse!
Auntie: "I have a present for you."
Me: "What is it?"
Auntie: "Food... chocolate from Chanel." 
Me: "OMG, this is the most expensive looking chocolate that has ever touched my hands. I have to take a picture of it and keep the box!"
It was white chocolate on the outside with strawberry flavored cotton candy on the inside!
And of course my Aunt also brought home these cakes from Taiwan. Lots of red bean paste steamed inside this cake!
Here's a Taiwanese delicacy-Duck tongue. Sounds gross but it's really not as bad as you think.

On another note, I just got back from a day trip to Shenzhen, China. Funny how right when you cross the border you can smell it in the air. Thankfully I just showered. I smell like cigarette smoke, smog, and China-ness. I can't really explain the smell but yeah it's definitely not pretty! So why did we go? Cheap massages! 3 hours for a little over $12 US. Awesome. And of course. I ate, ate, & ate! 
Here we are at Laurel Restaurant in the Luo Huo Commercial Shopping Center. Left is a fish & preserved veggie soup & right is a taro & pumpkin soup. Both were delicious and remained piping hot during our entire meal because...

They came in these nifty clay pots heated by 2 candles. 
Left is vermicelli rolls with mushroom and sea cucumber. It's definitely more special than the usual shrimp or BBQ pork that most places have! Right is soy milk with chinese donuts. Dip it and enjoy!
If you get to Laurel Restaurant early like 9:30 AM like we did, you can order miniature one single order dimsums. Box 1 is my 1 person order of sharks fin soup dumpling. Box 2 is our order of Lamb with rice noodles and Box 3 is the seasoning for the noodles.
And then it was time for desserts... Left is a sponge cake and right is hot tofu pudding. 

This is when we took a break to get a massage. ya da ya... and then we ate some more.
We then proceeded to go sit our butts down and eat more because obviously dessert doesn't count as another meal. Left is a ginger milk dessert and right is a double boiled milk dessert. The main difference between the two is that the latter has two layers of milk and no ginger taste. The hard part about getting this dessert right is making sure it is made with really good milk so that it tastes extremely smooth. 
And then we ordered more. What? Did you think that was going to be enough? Left is black sesame soup. The middle is a peanut & sesame roll that is also a dessert and last is milk egg tarts. They were all very tasty!

Tomorrow is a big day. If you recall in one of my earlier posts (here), I told you about giving your worst enemy a living hell and wishing baldness and other horrible things upon them aka Hong Kongese style voodoo? Yeah, the day has come. Tomorrow it's going down. I'm gonna make sure my worst enemies become bald and maybe even worse... never get to eat good food ever! *gasps* Just kidding kids. Remember it's just superstition and that hitting your enemy's name with a shoe wishing them eternal damnation does not guarantee that it will happen... but I'm just gonna do it anyways you know... to promote and help stimulate the Hong Kong economy for the old grannies that have nothing better to do. Word.

Happy Eatings!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Anytime, Anywhere

There's a restaurant that serves a whole lot of everything in Causeway Bay called Anytime. It's the most awesome place ever. 1) Because of their awesome fruit tea 2) Because of their escargot. Yesterday, my grandma took us to lunch and insisted that we go to Anytime. Anytime has become one of her new favorite places to go since it's near her dance studios. They have so many different dishes you can order a new one each time you go and you still won't be able to finish their menu. Check out my favorites from them in my last post eating there. Click here.
Here's their cream of mushroom soup that Grandma got. The bread that came with it was super hot. Yummy.
Here's their delicious stir fried beef & tomato rice. Think Panda Express's beef and broccoli but way better!
Here's grandma's favorite Black Sesame Milk Tea.
In addition to those, we also ate escargot and fruit tea! See here!
And when we got home, we were surprised by more food! My cousin dropped this off. It's a Malaysian style cake dessert thingy their friend bought them from Singapore. Butter & Blueberries. Yum!
And even better! One dessert wasn't enough. Check out them buns my aunt brought back from Taiwan today! The white ones are pork and veggies and the brown one on the left is taro and the brown one on the right is sesame. So freaking good! The black sesame has additional black sesame paste inside that comes squirting out with every bite. And the pork veggie buns are sooooo good!!!! I could eat them all day. And I personally hate taro but the bun was so good even I ate some. So glad my whole family loves to eat!

Happy Eatings!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Waking Up Is Hard To Do!

Today's lunch was supposed to be lunch at my favorite Japanese place in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, I couldn't get my butt out of bed before they closed since Japanese places always have their siestas in the middle of the day. For the record, it wasn't cause I was lazy that I couldn't get out of the bed, but rather because it was so freakishly cold that I couldn't get out of bed. Anyways the end result was that I missed my Japanese food and had Ding Tai Fung again. Click here to check out my last post on them. I'm only going to post the new dishes we tried from them today.
Spicy pork vermicelli with chili sauce. Amazeballs!
Look at all the ginger. I hate ginger but the only time I'll use it is with vinegar for xiao long bao. By the way, we got the crab roe xiao long bao today as well.
Left is my order of "dan dan" mian aka Taiwanese style noodles in spicy, peanut sauce. Right is stir fried peas.
These are the black sesame buns I really wanted to try last time. They were delicious! The second picture is really smokey. That's how hot it was inside!

Delicious. I really don't know what I'm going to do once I get back to L.A. The Ding Tai Fung there will never be able to compare. In fact, I think the one in HK is actually better than the one in Taiwan as well.
Later at night... Grandpa brought some some egg tarts & wife cakes.
Here are some egg tarts and wife cakes from Tai Cheong in Causeway Bay. The egg tarts were okay. The wife cakes were blah though. I've definitely had better from Taiwan. 老婆餅 literally meaning wife cakes is a traditonal Chinese pastry with flaky skin. It's made with winter melon, almond paste, and sesame. There's an awesome legend behind it where basically a husband reunites with his wife after making these cake pastries after she was sold off as a slave. Ya da ya da. It's supposed to be romantic. Just eat them! Too bad the ones from Tai Cheong kinda sucked.
Talk about false advertising on the box. Grandpa should have know better. Anything with English on it can't be awesomely good. It's just a fact. You'd rather eat stuff that you don't know than eat something that is perfectly translated because that equals commercialized! Word.

Happy Eatings!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bad Service, Street Food- Whatever, Bring it on. Feed Me!

This weather is seriously getting ridonkulous. It's 9 degrees Celsius which is a little over 33 Fahrenheit. I'm wearing 2 pairs of pants, socks, a scarf, 3 shirts, & a huge jackets, with boots while my friends back home are tanning at the beach in their bikinis. Did I mention I hold a heating pad in my hands at all times? I'm an actual valley girl, you know like in the movie Clueless & anything weather under 70 does not float my boat. Sigh... Well despite the wind, rain, & full on crapalicious weather Lunar New Year celebrations were still in full swing. Above is a picture of lion dancers going to stores in the mall trying to get some moolah in red envelopes, praying on people that want to start off the new year right to give them a few bucks. Genius! Inspires me to put on a lion outfit and prance around for money... maybe next year.

Here's a recap for the past 2 days. I did a lot of reeating at places that I like so if I already posted on those foods before I'll just link to my previous post instead of reposting pictures to bore you.
Place 1:北京水餃皇: I don't think they had an English name. This was a random place we ventured into in Wan Chai. Worst service ever! Seriously! We ordered our meal and then the waitress comes out lady and says the chef left so we can't make 2 of the 3 things you ordered. Uh, ok? So we chose another dish. Oh wait, we can't make that either! Then I just turned and asked them what can you make? Anyways, though I'll never recommend this place at least it's a good lesson on different types of Chinese food. This was a Beijing/Shanghainese place. However, the shanghainese dishes I ordered were too hard to make so let's just consider this a Beijing restaurant. Left is "dam dam mian" The soup base is spicy but the noddles are a little thicker than "la mian/ramen" and a little more soft. Right is a picture of soy milk. I like mine hot and sweet. At least they did something right!
Here was their breakout dish that- surprise! they were able to make. It's panfried lamb dumplings. I love lamb. Some people don't like the taste cause it has a very distinctive taste to it. It's definitely an acquired taste!

Place 2: Han Fa Lau in Causeway Bay is a repeat from before. They actually have decent snack food but I only go here for their desserts.
The redish color soup in front is Hawthorne soup with sago. Look at my previous post on it for more info. The yellow cake-like dish in the back is panfried water chestnut cake.

Place 3: Jasmine in Kowloon Tong is a re-eat as well! Click here for my previous post on them. They are one of my favorite places in HK mainly because they have the best BBQ baby piglet. Sadly today when we got there, they were sold out. =[
These are the new dishes we tried in addition to our usual that we get here. Left is a veggie dumpling. Middle is a sharks fin soup dumpling with fish stomach. Sounds gross but its delicious. Also if you are back in L.A., just go to a nicer dim sum restaurant and you can find sharks fin dumpling soup. It's super good. Left is our dessert of fried milk. Honorable mention for their amazing sesame eggplant, which we also had. You can see it in my previous post as well. We'll definitely be back before we leave since we didn't get to have baby piglet. Such a disappointment. We transfered 3 different subway lines to get there! Boo! It's ok, the eggplant itself is worth it!

Place 3: Cart on the street
Quail Eggs! Yummy!
This is also from the side of the street. I guess it's technically considered a restaurant in that they have plastic chairs and a table but that's about it. You can find this anywhere. This is peanut butter toast with condensed milk. Ah! Lovely! It's worth a clogged artery or two.

And to finish today's post off, here's a picture of cakes from Zoe's. It's actually an old picture from the last time I was here which was I guess less than a month ago.
I don't love them or hate them. I just think they are overhyped. I first learned about them in a magazine review. I'd rather have me some 85C or JJ's Bakery back in L.A.!

Happy Eatings and enjoy your perfect weather! I'm jealous!