Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pak Loh Chiu Chow Restaurant

Pak Loh is an old school Chiu Chow restaurant in Hong Kong and it boasts to serve the most authentic dishes for many years. Having tried it a number of times I have to say it's pretty average and overpriced.

Cabbage in broth (HK$68). Nothing unusual.

Sliced goose(HK$90). I liked how lean the meat was and that we got a fair amount of quantity. Probably the best dish for the night.

Fried chicken with basil leaves(HK$80). Way too greasy and bland.

Fried pomfret fillets in soya sauce (HK$120). The fish was meaty and had a nice texture but the seasoning was too salty.

Fried egg omelet with whitebait (HK$80). It was not bad in taste but it lacked whitebait - I think there were 3 in total.
We also ordered some steamed melon peel (I have no idea what it was! It's so expensive too at HK$150), a big bowl of minced pork congee (HK$80) and the bill for 4 came to HK$830 with service. Very expensive indeed for this kind of quality!

Pak Loh Chiu Chow Restaurant
23-25 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. Tel: 2576-8886

Yung Kee

Yung Kee is probably my favourite Chinese restaurant in Hong Kong. Food is always consistent and service efficient there - and then there's THE roast goose - what else could one ask for?

One of our favourite dishes: scramble eggs with XO sauce. A simple dish but very well executed.

The legendary roast goose. Sooooo succulent it's worth every single calorie!

The fried rice in Yung Kee is also to die for. Each and every grain of rice was fried to perfection, and look at the size of that prawn!

With a vegetable dish lunch for 2 came to just over HK$400. It's pricy but it's always a treat.

Yung Kee
32-40 Wellington St., Central, Hong Kong. Tel: 2522-1624

Under Bridge Spicy Crab

My third (and much anticipated) visit to Under Bridge Spicy Crab. I would kill to have one of those mud crabs now!!

Since there were 4 of us we got to try all the signature dishes. Here we have boiled spicy whelks in Chinese wine. I didn't think I liked whelks but this was delicious! The sauce was tasty and spicy and somehow the whelks were tender and not chewy. More please!

Our token vegetable dish to make us feel better about eating all these deep fried dishes. Not bad.

Steamed garlic prawns. The prawns were really fresh and tender and they were not overcooked. Too bad I don't like garlic.

The purpose of the visit: deep fried mud crab typhoon shelter style. It's a typhoon shelter tradition to fry seafood in a huge pile of garlic and spices. For someone who doesn't normally like garlic I still find it irresistible.

Look at the size of my crab claw in comparison to the iphone. Hmmmm.........

Steamed scallops. Fresh and meaty.

Another one of my favourites: fried clams with chili and black bean sauce. It's the only occasion where I'd eat the otherwise very pungent black bean sauce. This recipe actually works! The clams were finger licking good.

Another speciality: minced pork and baby oyster congee. A good dish to wash down the rather heavy (greasy) dishes. I was expecting the oysters to be fishy but surprisingly they weren't!

Dinner for 4 with drinks came to just under HK$1400.

Under Bridge Spicy Crab (at least 4 locations on the same block!)
405 Lockhart Rd. (near Canal Rd.), Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. Tel: 2893-1289

New shop with comfortable seating on Canal Rd near Jaffe Rd. - call for details.

Cathay Pacific/Dragon Air

I seem to be eating so much airline food these days so I might as well write about it. My starter on Cathay flight from Shanghai to Hong Kong. It was some kind of apple asparagus salad with cheese - not bad actually.

I picked beef (I always pick beef). While the beef was expectantly dry and chewy (what can you do?) the gravy was exceptionally nasty. I didn't even dare to investigate what's in the thick sauce.
The wine selection was not bad and of course there was the Haagen Dazs ice cream to save the day.

From Hong Kong to Shanghai: some beef salad. Pretty nondescript.

I picked the halibut because it was supposed to be a JW Marriot speciality. Should have picked chicken instead. The fish was mushy and sweet for some reason. Not the best food and I was glad I had noodles in the lounge beforehand.
TIP: definitely go for the Cathay lounge near gate 3 instead of the Dragon Air one. There's a fast and efficient noodle bar in one corner, and in the main lounge there are loads of tables, each with a phone (free local calls) and sockets for all your charging needs.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Henry's travel blog

Guest editor: Henry.

My trip started smoothly and fashionably on the Virgin Atlantic flight. Look: I even had my own seat and seat belt! I felt very safe! Food was good and I got to sleep on the flat bed when I wished (even though I'm nocturnal I need sleep you know).

Me posing in Sicily. Food was good but I was the only hippo there and I felt lonely at times. I'm not really into architecture you see.

Me on the M6 on route to Manchester. Traffic was busy!

A sunny day in Manifold valley. I loved all that grass!

My hike up the cave. It was a little wet but the scenery and fresh air made it worth while.

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

The food in upper class was a whole lot better than economy and the beds are truly flat! We could get used to that for sure.

Shanghai to London. A late lunch was served. My cream of asparagus soup was not bad.

My husband's smoke salmon and blue cheese salad paled in comparison. I was actually worried that he'd get food poisoning!

We both ordered sirloin with mash and veg. Not bad at all.

Dessert was plentiful. Too bad the ice cream was some pappy non-Haagen Dazs stuff.

We had a 11-hour flight but only one meal and snacks were served. What gives? We always get hungry. This time around they had pastrami rolls as snacks and they filled the hole.

London to Shanghai. Flight left at 2:30pm but food was not served till 6. We missed lunch at the airport so we were starving!!
We both picked the cumin soup - very tasty but I'm pretty sure it causes BO.

Steak pie with mushy peas and mash. Smashing!!! Why don't they serve meat pies more often? It's easy and difficult to screw up.

My husband's dessert (didn't ask what it was). He said it was nice. I was too busy "trying" all the different wines by then.

Snacks include chicken tikka rolls and somehing else but we were all ready for bed.
There were so many choices for breakfast I didn't know where to begin. At the end I settle for some pancakes, fruit and yogurt to finish off the flight. Upper class is not a bad way to fly!

Peak District - Leek

A cute and quiet town with a huge antique emporium.

Also specializing in Nemos with collagen lips.

Peak District - Manifold Valley

We began our day with a full breakfast - a big thanks to my husband for cooking. Loved the bacon!

The little country roads which led us to a very small village, Wetton, where our walk began.

Look who's peeking behind the hedge?

Our walk cut through a number of fields with farm animals - I was loving it!

Finding these stiles could be difficult sometimes.

At one point we missed one and decided to climb over a wall. Big mistake. My legs instanly felt like they were on fire.

Bloody nettles everywhere!

There was nobody there except us and the animals.

The theory of predicting rain by checking whether there are sitting animals is not valid. It was a pretty sunny day.

Very peaceful. Definitely a welcoming change from China.

A curious sheep.

Manifold valley.

A stream near Thor's Cave.

Thor's Cave. It's a short hike up - nice view from top.

Our walk took just over 3 hours. We could use some fresh air now for sure.