Monday, December 31, 2012

Pissing Shrimp & Squid Ink Noodles

Hey all! I just got back from Hong Kong and am currently back in Los Angeles for the time being. So let’s recap another one of my meals then. Shall we? 

 Let me introduce you to mantis shrimp. In Cantonese cooking, it’s nicknamed the “pissing shrimp". Literally translated into Chinese as 攋尿蝦, (lài niào xiā ) due of their tendency to shoot water when picked up.

 I personally refer to the shrimp as the shrimp on steroids. Them babies look huge! After it’s cooked, its meat tastes more like lobster than shrimp. That was a lot of fun!

Next up is my do-it-yourself squid ink noodles that I had during hot pot/shabu shabu! (Please note I’m not engaged. Those are my Aunt’s hands.) 

 We got to squirt the ink into the shabu shabu pot and make our own noodles. I love playing with my food! In retrospect, we shouldn’t have made one long set of noodles. We should have stopped and given it a break because once the noodles cooked, it was hard to separate it and divvy it up later.

 Squid ink is high in cholesterol so I wouldn’t recommend having it too frequently. I love squid ink anything. One of the best ramens I’ve ever had was a squid ink ramen from Japan. This was more of a novelty thing just so we could play with our food.

Happy New Year! May your stomaches be filled with delicious foods this upcoming year!

Happy Eatings!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hairy Crab Crossandwich, Anyone? Hong Kong Edition

Let me introduce you to one of my new favorite places in Hong Kong: Hysan Place. Sure it has floors and floors of shopping that exceeds the Times Square nearby, but I love it for its bakery!
 Urban Bakery has tons of tasty breads, cakes, and pastries like any other Asian bakery. Sure, their cranberry cheese bread is good, but the best part of Urban is their… croissants! I’ve never been a fan of eating croissants. Why, you ask? The crust has to be perfect for me. It should be toasted and flake off as you take each bite. Damn skippy, it should!
 How can you not love a bakery with a sign like this? Bonus points! Well, Urban’s croissants are amazing. They are so good and in demand that they sell out everyday. Their usual flavors include Ham & Brie and Langoustine. If you’re a foodie though, you know that it’s currently Hairy Crab season, which is the best of the seasons we have each year! Ha!
 Well Urban Bakery has added a new, seasonal “crossandwich”! Ha! Aren’t they clever with the name? Love it! Feast your eyes on the amazing Hairy Crab with Caviar and Chives! As the sign says the crossandwich is “handpicked seasonal hairy crab crossandwich tailor made for foodies searching for the extreme”. *Raises hand*
  Review: The crossiant in itself was absolutely delightful. I could eat it all day. I have to admit that although I love Hairy Crab, it didn’t make for the best flavor croissant. I would go with the Ham and Brie if you have a choice. I’ve had that multiple times and that remains my favorite flavor. The Hairy Crab is in demand because it’s special right now. I think it’s worth trying just because it’s kind of gimmicky? Is that a word?

 Well, Urban Bakery is still a win! Here are the other croissant choices available currently.

Put them on your to-visit list whilst in Hong Kong!

Address: Jasons‧Food & Living, B2/F, Hysan Place, 500 Hennessy Road, Causeway

Happy Eatings! 

Friday, December 14, 2012

New Favorite Themed Restaurant in HK!

Hello, Readers! I’m currently in Hong Kong, again. I’ll be returning to Los Angeles soon. Until then,  I’d like to share a new restaurant that I’ve been enjoying.

 I may have found my new faveorite themed-resturant in Hong Kong. Am I a bit biased because of my family’s Singaporean roots? Maybe, from the menus to the detail in the paper placemats, Shiok! is at the top of list.
So how do you even pronounce that? You’ll have to ask a Singaporean but according to Urban Dictionary, shiok is “used to convey a feeling of sheer pleasure and happiness”. Shiok! is located in the new Hysan Place on the 11th floor of the Food Court. What makes this place memorable is really the branding and thought put into everything.
 Everything had a Pop Art Comic on it. Even down to their placemats! I loved it!
 Onto the food! The food is pretty good. Certain items could have been more authentic, but how could you not love their Pop Art style comics? And bottomless refillable garlic/ginger sauce? Yes, please.
 This was their Bak Kut Teh aka Pork Bone Tea Soup. The color of the soup is supposed to be dark, dark brown. In many Singaporean and Malaysian customs and traditions, women who had just given birth are encouraged to drink this herbal, medicinal soup to restore their nutrients from childbearing. True, authentic Bak Kut Teh can be hard to stomach. It can taste like Traditional Chinese Medicine. Although not the most authentic, this Bak Kut Teh was tasty.
 And of course what kind of meal would be complete without the quintessential Singaporean drink, Milo? This is a Milo Godzilla drink. For those that don’t know Milo is essentially many Asian countries’ version of Ovaltine of Nesquik. Very popular in Singapore, Milo Dinosaur is a cup of milo with an extra spoonful of powdered undissolved Milo added to it and  Milo Godzilla is a cup of Milo with ice cream or topped with whipped cream. Both can be ordered hot or cold.
 Back to the food at Shiok!…Here was my order of Chai Tow Kway aka fried radish cake. I was sad to find that they only had the black kind. This traditionally comes in black and white.
 Here was my order of Hainan Chicken Rice. It was pretty good. Again, not the most authentic, but the bottomless sauces made up for it. Many places are stingy with their chicken and chili sauces!

Shiok! only had one kind of laksa. Their seafood laksa was on point. I enjoyed that you could choose what type of noodle you wanted. Laksa is a spicy noodle dish that is popular in Malaysia and Singapore. The soup base is made with curry.
All in all, I enjoyed my experience at Shiok! The booth was well thought out and executed. The location was convient. You can’t get to the 11th floor directly so I suggest taking the elevator from the ground floor to the 10th floor, which is a joy to walk through anyways. The 10th floor is the famous Eslite Bookstore, formerly only available in Taipei, Taiwan. From that, take one flight of escalators to the 11th floor. Also, there’s a Honeymoon Dessert Booth close by to end your meal! It’s perfect!
Many of the better Singaporean restaurants I have frequented in Hong Kong are very far away and expensive. For me, true Singaporean food should be hawker-style. It’s hard to justify spending the big bucks when you know an old lady roasting a satay in the middle of the street is one of the most savory things you can ever have!

And with that considered, I quite enjoy Shiok! It’s cute, modern, and fast. Of course it can’t come close to being in Singapore, but for being in HK it’s A-OK in my book!

11/F,Hysan Place, 500 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay