Monday, March 30, 2009

[Hong Kong 2009 CNY] Honeymoon Dessert

Day 3

Honeymoon Dessert 滿記甜品
Langham Place
Various locations in Hong Kong

Honeymoon Desserts @Langham HK
Located next to Chi Kei

Pomelo & mango cream
Pomelo and mango cream 楊枝甘露

Black sesame & walnut soup
Black sesame soup and walnut soup with dumplings 湯丸配芝麻糊加合桃糊

The black sesame buay pang (not aromatic) and walnut paste was weak. But the dumplings 湯丸 were very good. It was sweet and savoury, I guess there is salted egg yolk in the filling.

Honeymoon Dessert is easily accesible and that comes with a price. Expect to pay premium over other traditional dessert shop.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Princess' 4th Birthday

Happy Birthday to my precious!

Since you adore animals, we decided to go to Australia Zoo this year.

Then we had a delicious dinner at Manor.

Followed by a fantastic ice-cream cake from Shlix (panna cotta and cookies flavour with meringue for decoration).

Except for the heavy downpour in the morning at the zoo, it was otherwise a perfect day.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

[Hong Kong 2009 CNY] Chi Kei at Langham Place

Day 3

Chi Kei
Langham Place

This place is famous for their wanton noodles.

Chi Kei @Langham HK
The lady under the sign jus wouldn't budge. She saw me, looked at me with my camera, pointing and she ignored me and continued to stand there.

Desperate to be famous hor, auntie. Unfortunately I am not a reporter or any famous blogger.

Chi Kei@Langham HK
There were also set c and d possibly e and f too. I couldn't care less.

Wanton noodle @Chi Kei HK
Wanton noodles

Bleh, ummm, this may be a legendary bowl for some but our palate beg to differ.

Pork chop cutlet@Chi Kei HK
Pork chop with black pepper sauce

Chop marinated beautifully but ruined by the person who cooked it. The thing was dripping in oil. Urghhh......

My Hong Kong based friend later told me this place is a tourist trap. No locals would step inside. Orz, no wonder there are so few reviews on Open Rice.

If you're a tourist to HK, don't say I didn't warn you. But then again, you might like the food here to death. Taste is a matter of preference.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

[Hong Kong 2009 CNY] Peking Garden Restaurant

Day 2

北京樓 Peking Garden Restaurant
梳士巴利道3號星光行3樓 3 Salisbury Road, Star House Level 3
尖沙咀 Tsim Sa Tsui

Met up with some of my Uni buddies.

G chose Peking Garden as I told her I wanted something similar to the restaurant they brought me the previous time I was in Hong Kong which was also Peking Garden but at Jordan branch.

I remembered the food was very good. To be honest, I am not familiar with Hong Kong, let alone where to go for good food. I'd have preferred to eat somewhere less grand (aka less expensive), more typical Hong Kong restaurant where only the locals would go.

Peking Garden was very grand, a huge restaurant and the patrons were 90% tourists :-(

Needless to say, touristy place, touristy prices and touristy level food. Like, you can't really say the dishes are not good but they are not fantastic either. You are really just paying for the decor and service.

Beijing roast duck@Beijing House
Peking duck 烤北京填鴨

Duck was dry and flavourless. The crepes keep getting torn >_<

For the second course we opted for san choi bao 生菜包鴨肉鬆 (not pictured). Bad decision. The stir fried duck and vegetables were incredibly salty. I had to eat a lot of these +_+ as my friends kept serving it to me, orz.......

Then when the following dishes came, I can't really taste them, orz........

Sweet & sour fish @Beijing House
Sweet & sour fish 糖醋桂花魚

The dish was barely warm when served -_-". No impression whatsoever as I can't really taste *sob*.

Beancurd @Beijing House
Stir fried beancurd with seafood

Again, can't taste so can't really say. My friend G liked the beancurd being silkenly smooth. I thought the dish was so bland like plain water *_*

Perhaps the dishes were so lacklustre, K decided to order more from the menu. She said she'll order me some yummy food. Oops, was it too obvious I didn't like all those food before. Gosh, I am really sorry, I did my best to eat as much as I can. Um, if she's game, I'm on.

So she ordered meat & veg dumpling (not pictured) thinking that it will come in a bamboo steamer. But it came boiled and sat on a barren plate, looking unappetizing. But for me, the plain boiled dumpling was the best dish of the night.

Souffle balls @Beijing House
Souffle balls 高力豆沙

Not as good as I remembered *sob*.

The standard of this restaurant had really gone down hill (a steep one), heh.

It was a treat from my best buddies so bill unknown. Thank you so much for your hospitality.

I wanted to treat them to Haagen Daz after dinner but it was late when we finished and Princess/everyone was tired. I should have asked them as later, I got no chance to visit *sob*

OK, I must confess, I kept comparing the dishes to Tam Chai noodles I had earlier. I know they are worlds apart but I kept thinking, 'oh, if only this tastes half as good as the Tam Chai noodles........'

My bad, my fault and blame it on my buddy San who got me hooked :P

Friday, March 20, 2009

[Hong Kong 2009 CNY] Tai Leung Dessert House

Day 2

大良八記 (Tai Leung)
白加士街43號地下 (Parkes St)
佐敦 (Jordan)
(Various locations in Hong Kong)

After a satisfying late lunch at Tam Chai, we went searching for desserts.

I was looking for Australian Dairy Milk Company in particular but when we arrived, alas, it was closed for the Chinese New Year and reopens in 3 days' time.

Very well, we proceeded to Tai Leung which is just next door? If not, it was close.

Time for some traditional Hong Kong style desserts.


The shop was real tiny, altogether about 6 to 7 tiny tables.

It also sells some dim sum items and rice dishes which is rare in sweetshop. So you can sit down have a full meal before sampling the delectable desserts.

Black sesame sweet soup with black sesame paste filled dumplings 芝麻糊加湯圓

The soup has a nice consistency, neither too thick nor too thin, just right for my liking. Sesame aroma is prevalent. Level of sweetness is just right, according to Big King. I would prefer it to be a tad sweeter, I am eating, after all, a tong (sugar/sweet) sui (water/soup).

The dumpling balls were good too. The thickness of the skin is to my liking, I like a bit of chew.

Princess loves this dessert, both the soup and the dumplings, she kept asking for them the next few days :P We fought for the last drop XD

Steamed milk and egg white custard 燉奶

This is a personal favourite of mine. I like the hot version while Big King prefers the cold. Tai Leung's version is decent. The custard was smooth but the eggy taste (蛋腥味) is a bit strong.

Total bill only came up to HKD24, bargain!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

[Hong Kong 2009 CNY] Tam Chai Yunnan Restaurant

Day 2

Tam Chai Yunnan Restaurant
(Various locations on Kowloon island)

I don't suppose they have an English shopname, I just translate as close as possible. If you can't read Chinese and want to have a go at the sour and spicy Yunnan vermicelli, just look out for the shopfront in my photo below.

The restaurant is located just off Nathan Road before/after Yue Hwa department store depending on which direction you are going.

If you take MRT, get off at Jordan station. Look for Yue Hwa department store exit and continue to walk past Yue Hwa (you have to cross a traffic light, walk straight) then take the first left turn into an alley, voila, you are there.

Tam Chai shopfront

This was what greeted me when I went for a second visit before our flight *loud sob*.

Sour & spicy vermicelli 酸辣米線小辣 (price depending on how many sides you choose)

Upon recommendation from my equally food-loving buddy, I ordered the vermicelli in sour and spicy soup base with chicken, cuttlefish ball (I love all sorts of meat balls), extra portion of pickled vegetables. There would already be small quantity of beansprout, chives and beancurd stick in the soup base. 'Numb and spicy' soup base also available if you fancy.

I only remembered about the cha jiang (meat sauce?) after I ordered. Unfortunately the a-che (waitress) was unable to amend the order >_<, yikes.

You can choose the level of spiciness for the soup. I opted for mild (as I can't take overly spicy food) which, is not spicy at all. Must try the medium next time.

Oh, back to the taste test.

OH MY GOD, easily the tastiest food I have had in a while. I love all sour dishes like tom yum, sweet & sour whatever, assam dishes. But this, this is so much better than all of them!

The chicken slices were so smooth, the pickled veg so flavourful, the soup is out of this world.

I still drool whenever I think about it. I can't stop thinking about the vermicelli later that day and the next day, till, well, another delicious meal at Wu Kong! But then that is another post altogether.

You got to try this restaurant if you like sour and spicy kind of food like me.

'Robber' chicken wings 土匪雞翼 HKD15 for 3

This is easily Princess favourite. She hog the plate after I gave her a small piece to try (it was a little spicy). She can't take spicy food (well, according to her) but she eats KFC's hot wings, mild curries, spicy mentaiko :P

I only stole half the wing and Big King a tiny teeny weeny little strand of meat before she screamed and declared the wing were all hers. Oh well.

The total bill came up to HKD5X including 2 drinks (hot milk tea and iced lemon tea) and a packet of tissue.

This will be on my MUST EAT list whenever I visit Hong Kong.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

[Hong Kong 2009 CNY] Hong Kong Disneyland

Day 2

We made our way to Hong Kong Disneyland by MRT after a lacklustre breakfast at the hotel (it was inclusive in our hotel package).

When we arrived, @_@ oh mighty god. So many people. We queued for over half an hour just to get the tickets. Then queue for a bit more to enter. We were each presented with a chocolate gold coin in red packet at the entrance.

I think 95% of the visitors were from mainland China. Yeah you might have guessed. Rude encounters everywhere we went. From queue cutting to spitting publicly (once near my feet, ewwwwww :-(), sneezing and coughing into your face. Pushing and tugging and shoving (with ELBOWS +_+) trying to catch a glimpse at the parade.

A very trying and testing time for me. I told off a queue cutting woman when she snaked her way BESIDE me from back of the queue and she told to my face,'we are indeed queuing.' After delivering this 'honest confession' to me, she snaked right through to the front. Yeah, that is queuing for them. We were the dumbo perhaps, according to them. Heh, bunch of dumbheads, they must think to themselves, queuing ORDERLY.

Normally, I wouldn't lose my cool but when every rides require a queuing time of AT LEAST 45 minutes, it is just not pleasant people are doing this to you and all the others who abide the rules and law.

HK Disneyland Parade
Disneland's Chinese New Year Parade

By 3pm, I have had enough and decided to leave the place. I didn't have lunch (Princess and Big King had a wanton and roast pork noodle soup for lunch at the foodcourt), so off we went in search of some good food to help me forget the stressful encounters and scenes at the park.

Jordan, here I come!

[Hong Kong 2009 CNY] Suzuki Tokyo Cafe Bisto

Day 1

Suzuki Cafe has various locations across Hong Kong. It serves Japanese/European fusion food.

Since we were staying at Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel, we dined at the Harbour City branch which is just outside LCX.

We were there for dinner as we arrived late afternoon.

Those fusion pizza pictures looked really promosing but Princess wanted pasta :-(

Pasta mentaiko cream@Suzuki Bistro HK
Pasta in mentaiko cream sauce topped with soft shell crab HKD72

Mentaiko pasta is our family's favourite way of having our pasta. I use those pre-packaged mentaiko cream sauce from supermarket. They taste very good, do not be put off by it being in a packet. I normally get the S&B brand spicy mentaiko.

Suzuki's version is decent albeit a little too creamy for my liking but Princess loved it.

Soft shell crab was mushy which is usually the case with them being previously frozen. I still can't forget the fresh ones I had at Singapore's Imperial Treasure done salt and chilli style. It was mind-blowingly good. Sister must be nodding vigorously in agreement now :-)

Pork belly rice@Suzuki Bistro HK
Pork belly rice in stonepot HKD75

Big King's order, er, hmm. Ordinary. Me and Princess only tasted 1 teeny weeny mouthful. Big King had tummy upset the following day @@. Phew, 好險.

Expensive place with rather mediocre food and drink. There must be better options in the mall. I think the bill came up to HKD239 inclusing 10% service charge and 2 drinks *_*


After dinner, we walked around Harbour City. The place is massive, with over 700 shops!! Needless to say we never cover the whole complex in the 4 days we were there. It could do serious damage to one's credit card!

But I have no interest in any of the chain stores or those luxury brands so its a bit of a waste really to have splurge the money on the hotel.

The location of the hotel is not fantastic apart from the fact that it is in Harbour City as the closest MRT station (Tsim Sa Tsui) is about 10-15 minutes walk. But for me with little Princess, a good 20 minutes what with roadworks and all. After coming out of the MRT station and walking for a bit we had to use the tunnel (due to road closure) which involves travelling up and down a lot of stairs.

At least I have a fairly good idea what places to avoid (both hotels and shops) next time I go to Hong Kong.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

[Brunei CNY2009] Sky Lounge at Brunei International Airport

Just so you know, there is not a domestic terminal in Brunei.

After several days of bingeing, it was time we set off for the most exciting part of this journey.

Hong Kong Disneyland. Every child's dream.

BUT, as a third time visitor, it was a nightmare for me -_-'' , while first time (in Paris) was exciting, second time (in LA) a bore.

We were invited to Sky Lounge as we agreed to test drive the 'online check-in' at the airport. Which, did not work XD.

Sky Lounge
Osim in Sky Lounge

Princess enjoying her juice, croissant and yogurt.

Sky Lounge buffet
Buffet station

They were serving breakfast when we arrived, about 11am. I had a cup of freshly brewed coffee and a bowl of chicken porridge.

At 11.30, they cleared the breakfast items and served lunch.

Had a quick look and decided to try some dim sum items.

Dim sum@Sky Lounge
On my plate: sushi, sweet & sour fish, siew mai (pork dumpling), seaweed roll and a cold beancurd roll stuffed with imitation crab stick, seawood and fish paste.

Also on the menu were fried rice, fried kway teow (rice noodles), stir-fried mix veges and some beef dish and a tray of cold cuts.

Not fantastic but decent.

[Brunei CNY2009] Li Gong at The Empire Hotel & Country Club

Family get-together dinner before bro-in-law flew back to Singapore.

We opt for 10 pax set menu at B$400++

First came the salmon yee-sang (not pictured). Salmon pieces were so tiny you have to fish for it. Given the dim lighting, probably not a good idea to 'search'.

Next we were served sharks fin soup (not pictured). We found few measly strands, again the dim lighting made it difficult to make out what is what XD.

Buttermilk prawn@Empire
Buttermilk prawns

The 'buttermilk' strands were tasty and not at all oily. The prawns were fresh and springy and cooked to perfection. Sprinkling of almond flake was a nice touch.

A very well executed dish.

Dried oysters n mushroom@Empire
Dried oysters, shiitake mushrooms, moss and broccoli

This was ok, not outstanding. I was the only one who ate 2 of the oysters.

Crispy chicken@Empire
Crispy chicken with prawn crackers

Chicken nicely seasoned but a tad dry.

Steam fish @Empire
Steamed fish with herbs

We got seabass for the fish. I am not a fan of freshwater fish. Got muddy taste, eeyer.

Fried rice in lotus leaf@Empire
Fried rice in lotus leaf

Second highlight of the night. Despite the un-appetizing picture, this is a very good fried rice with separated grains and just-right seasoning.

Princess enjoyed this very much but shun it in the first place when she saw the dark fried rice (made worse under dim lightling).

But once she tasted it, she ate with gusto and kept asking for it the next few days :P

For dessert, we were served sweet sticky cake rolled in dessicated coconut and red bean soup with lily bulb (hard and bitter >_<)

After dinner, I don't think the food served justified the hefty $450 which we paid in the end. Though some party had already decided the same thing even BEFORE we started ordering.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

[Brisbane] Cleveleand Point

I have procrastinated long enough on this post.

I hadn't have much anticipation when Big King told me he wanted to do this Redlands scenic drive.

But once we got closer to the coastal region, I kept asking,'Where's the sceneries? Where??'

Oh well, maybe I am not a 'scenery' person -_-''

The day got worse when we got the worst service ever in my entire life at the Lighthouse fish & chip takeaway.

The girl behind the counter was cold and felt hesitant and disinterested to serve us. Then she lost our ticket/order. Hah, very convenient, I must say.

The lady who was behind me in the queue had the cheek to tell us she was BEFORE me when she got her food before us. Seeing that, we politlely enquired the staff. That said, she quickly fled the scene, my guess is, she left with our order too. You should have seen her, it was like she couldn't wait to leave the place quick enough.

So they said they would start cooking our food straight away after our enquiry. Still,took another 20 minutes and we had waited 40 minutes by that time.

When it came, wrong order!!

I am totally fuming by this point! Grrrrrr....

Then we ate. Frozen fish, frozen prawns, frozen scallops, frozen calamari. All previously FROZEN. So much for a seaside fish and chip takeaway. Bleh.

Cleveland Point at Sunset

Cleveland Point

Lighthouse@Clevelend Pt

Lighthouse menu@Cleveland Pt