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Hong Kong- Love At First Bite

8 Mar

I’m going to journey back to Hong Kong for one last post about food,

(Oh, Hong Kong, you lovely island of culinary delights!)

and what better way to kick things off than with Hong Kong’s most celebrated food- Dim Sum!

Dim Sum and I have had a very short, but intensely committed relationship, which began at first bite during our trip to Shanghai last year.

(Indeed, this is a photograph of my very first taste of a Cha Siu Bau at Crystal Jade restaurant.)

So, of course, when G and I landed in Hong Kong, I decided we agreed that our #1 priority was to consume Dim Sum as frequently and as obsessively as possible.

Note: stretchy pants were a MUST WEAR for completing this mission.

Sadly, our camera broke midway through our trip (while I was rabidly snapping pictures of food, mind you), so I only have a few photographs that capture our Dim Sum frenzy.

These photos were taken at the famous Maxim’s Palace, a majestic banquet-hall-of-a-restaurant with a beautiful panoramic view of the city.  The food was delicious & abundant, but I must warn you that eating at Maxim’s usually requires a wait (we drooled for 20 minutes before we were seated) and it felt a bit too touristy for my hole-in-the-wall likings (Hong Kongers, what do you think? I may be wrong about this one).

Another great Dim Sum recommendation for those of you traveling to Hong Kong, is Tim Ho Wan.  Tim’s restaurant is much less fancy than Maxim’s, BUT what it lacks in decor it makes up for in (perfect) taste & a Michelin star (!), not to mention- LOW prices!

Hong Kong dim sum

Image from CNNGO.com, click photo to read the full article

And while we are on the topic of low prices, I want to tell you a bit about the Australia Dairy Company.

This canteen came highly recommended by various interweb sources, stating that Australia Dairy serves the BEST scrambled eggs… but I’m afraid to tell you that this is not at all exactly true.

Don’t get me wrong, it was extremely fun to experience canteen-style dining in Hong Kong, but food-wise, it wasn’t really what we had anticipated.

 We rolled into the restaurant at 7:30 am, expecting to be the first people in the door, but the place was already packed with hungry locals.  We were hurriedly seated at a table with a sweet couple who recommended the restaurant’s famed breakfast order of scrambled eggs with white bread toast, accompanied by ham and noodle soup.  (And we just had to add-on some egg pudding because it’s DELIGHTCIOUS, and who doesn’t want a 3 course meal at dawn?)

We ordered, a minute later, we ate (yes, that is exactly how long it took to get our food), and then we were puzzled.  We didn’t get it- what’s all the hype about?   THE BEST scrambled eggs?!  That’s a strong statement.  And I disagree.

Moving on!

Wait, did I just post a picture of Pret A Manger, spotted and hearted at an underground Hong Kong metro stop?

Yes, I really did.  Please don’t judge, you have no idea what tears of joy this Pret kiosk caused as G & I perused the bountiful sandwich assortment.  (Seoul is not big on my-style sandwiches.)

And while I’m confessing my foodie sins, I shall also admit to you that we dined at the famous ramen chain, Ippudo…

located in a mall.  A freakin’ mall.

I know, for shame.  But my word, that is some amazing ramen.

In fact, I would say, it is the best, Jerry, the best.

***

Okay kids- it’s bed time for this hungry dumpling.  Until the next one!

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WanderLOST in Hong Kong

13 Feb

Today we are going back in time to where I last left you (HERE)- the great island of Hong Kong.

Our 4 day trip to Hong Kong was an awesome urban adventure.  G & I spent most of our time doing my favorite city activity- getting completely lost in a general direction.  Now, I realize that most people try to avoid getting lost, but in safe cities like Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul, there is nothing better than going hunting for treasure in the narrow back alleys.

While we didn’t find any treasure per se, we did discover some really bizarre interesting spots.  For example, during our direction-less stroll through Kowloon, we found the Goldfish Market, which is basically an entire street crammed with shops selling exotic fish.  Sadly, we weren’t allowed to take too many pictures, but I was able to snap one of G meeting his match – this fish didn’t back down.

Only a few steps to the North-East, we encountered an equally unexpected exotic delight- a local bird garden.

The garden (which, come to think of it, was really more of a street and less of a garden), had at least 100 stalls of different birds being displayed and sold.

And while the bird watching was pretty exciting, the people+bird watching was even more fascinating…

Hey, I’m not judging…to each their own, right?  (Hashem knows, you could find me cradling a Marc Jacobs bag any given day of the week.)

Some other great walkabout gems were simple street signs with personal significance:

Tamar, my baby cousin’s name &…

Edo, oh my sweet smarter brother!  I was literally jumping for joy at the sight of my family in Hong Kong- these signs were definitely my favorite finds of the day.

Wait, no, I forgot about these…

But me thinks the delicious food of Hong Kong deserves a post all of its own – get your appetite ready.

Hong Kong Colada – A Tropical GetAWAY from the City

6 Dec

Celebration!

My broken camera (actually, G’s camera that I broke…lovingly) has magically fixed itself & now I can finally share some pictures from Hong Kong.

I have so much to tell you about our trip, mostly re: food, food and food (as usual), but I’ll start off with our most impressive and awesome Hong Kong activity- hiking the Dragon’s Back trail.

**Directions at the bottom of le post**

After two days of stomping around the high-rising city, waiting in lines (for eats, not museums…sorry dad) and pushing our way through markets, G and I decided it was high-time to nature-up & do a short hike called, Dragon’s Back trail.

The hike was nothing short of perfection- like a direct IV of gorgeous, straight to the system.

The trail was clearly marked and rather easy (an unexpected delight, after some of my more complicated Korean hiking experiences), so the 2 hours of walking were spent completely devoted to devouring the dramatic views of the South China Sea.

And the cherry on top? We had little hiking cheerleaders, who held signs of encouragement before the steep inclines.

I need to hire these ladies to cheer for me at the gym…

Anyway, the hike was over way too quickly (2.5 hours if you take your time and snap A LOT of photos), and G & I were not near ready to return to the hullabaloo of the city… so we opted to follow the trail to Shek O, a small beach-side village nearby.

I’m not sure what I expected (Maybe an extension of the city’s bustling downtown with a small beach attached?), but when we reached Shek O, I couldn’t believe my eyes- we stumbled upon a lazy, tropical, beach town in Hong Kong!

I had no idea this type of paradise exists only a few metro stops away from the city.

We sat on the beach for hours, reveling in our fantastic elastic (minute 1:25, if you watch the video) beachy discovery,  saddened only by the fact that we didn’t bring our bathing suits…

But the mocktails made up for it.

And thus ends my prescription for the antidote to city-life.  (If you ever need it.)

***

Directions:

To reach the trail-head, take the MTR to Shau Kei Wan Station, exit #A3.  From there, walk toward the Shau Kei Wan bus terminal and hop on Bus 9 (headed to Shek O).  Get off at Cape Collinson Road.  The bus should take about 15-20 minutes total.

The hike is approximately 4.5 kilometers long.

At the end of the trail, you can either take a taxi to Shek O, or head back to the bus terminal on Bus 9.

Easy as pie!