Monday, September 11, 2006

Have A Lice Day!

Just got back from HK and feeling canto-fied and greasy. The food this trip was less than memorable apart from porridge and wanton mee at a small hole-in-the-wall in Causeway Bay and lunch at The Landmark. We arrived about 4pm at the hotel on Thursday and went out immediately to look for something to eat. We chanced upon a small coffee shop behind Sogo. It brought me back to my childhood in the 80's, a familiar scene from one of the many TVB series my mum had rented on video. The laminated stools and tables, the old men with white hand towels slung over their shoulder and the old man at the cashier with glasses sliding down his nose keeping a watchful eye on things. No English menus here! I had to rely on mum to order. I had a ling fishball porridge and mum had the wanton mee version. It was the best porridge I've tasted in a long time! So smooth! How the hell do they make it so smooth?! (Mum is hell bent on trying, so we are having porridge over the next few days!). Mum's noodles were pretty good too. Very bouncy with a nice clear broth. I want to say that it was cheap and cheerful but it wasn't all that cheap. It was about HKD50. Cheap for HK I suppose. That night after we attended the wake, all of us went to grab some food at a restaurant near the funeral home. I was unabashed taking photos of all these weird looking seafood while the waiters sniggered near by. The one that looks like a penis is funny! Anyway the food at this place was awful! Everything came with corn-starch gravy! Gross! The fragrant fried chicken was very good though. Oily but tasty.

The next day, thwart by rain, mum and I had to grab a quick bite at the food court in Lane Crawford Times Square before the funeral. I had a katsudon set which came with a drink and potato salad. I love Japanese potato salad! So tacky. This one was exceptionally good. Usually they put too much mayo but this one was just nice. I also liked that it was more like chunky mash than potato cubes. After the funeral we were escorted by bus to lunch at Wan Chai. I'm sad to say that the food there was even worse than the night before. Every dish reeked of stale oil. It was quite disqusting. The next day we encountered more rain. It poured for a good two hours. We had more porrdige at Hoi Wong (Ocean Emperor). It was tasty but not as good as the one we had at..... We had a late lunch at Landmark Cafe. We had to wait for half hour for a table and when we left there were still people queueing. I had lobster bisque to start which was surprisingly fantastic. I guess I wasn't expecting very much when it came in one of those hotel soup bowls. I detected some brandy in the broth. Mmmm. I then had foie gras sushi as my main. The sushi was actually grapes rolled with sushi rice and nori. The foie gras was perched on top with seared mango coulis. It was nice but I was quite full by then after eating mum's chicken, avocado & brie sandwich. Now that is what I would call a real sandwich! There was almost a whole avocado in there. And the poached chicken was moist, tender and tasty. Mum who doesn't like "chis" enjoyed the brie with the chicken. Best sandwich in a long time! Lunch cost as much as a meal in Cilantro's. Crazy! After that I insisted on looking for "really famous" egg tarts on Wellington Street. After I found them, I was less than impressed. I guess this is what good egg tarts are to them. For me I found the aftertaste in the pastry overpowering.

At the airport we had some dim sum at Mei Sum (Maxim). I don't understand why the eggs are bright yellow! Bit scary looking. The chicken treasure rice was very nice! I ate the last one before mum had a chance! Yes I am a good daughter, saving my mother from unwanted calories! I still haven't decided whether HKies are rude or polite. I encountered both extremes. I think overall, they are a relatively more polite bunch than we are. And customer service is of course exceptional. I was told my by Uncle that they launched a campaign to improve customer service recently. I would say they were successful. There are no "duh" and blank expressions when you ask a question, no shrug of the shoulder. Of course, a few years ago this was the same place that I got told not to try on anything because I was too fat! Hahaha!
*blogger is acting up again and I can't post pictures. Fortunately, links still work!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Birthday Buffet

It was my birthday last Friday. I would've posted this earlier but blogger was acting up as usual. Mum was good old mum as usual and whipped up her delicious chicken rice, enough for 30 people (of course, eventhough I told her I was only expecting about 15 people). There were siew yoke, non-spicy vegetarian noodles, spicy vegetarian noodles, tapioca pudding and birthday cake made by sis at about 5pm! I also made white sangria which disappeared rather quickly. It was a wonderful birthday with some of my dearest friends. It was nice that everyone arrived at different times so I was able to spend some time talking to everyone. Best of all, no one really needed any entertaining so I could just sit back and enjoy the good food, beautiful night and the wonderful company.

cookie do-ugh & don'ts

left - wheat flour; right - rice flour
Baking chocolate chip cookies is not exactly rocket science. If Danone and Famous Amos can do it, you can too. However, today I tasted the foulest chocolate chip cookie ever! And I hope I never taste anything as bad as that again! I swear it tasted rancid. Two other people tasted it and we agreed that there was something very "off" about the cookie. I actually took another bite because I wanted to figure out what it was that tasted so vile! I wonder if it was the oil which had separated from the chocolate because it had that slightly waxy hydrogenated taste. The only other explanation would be that the butter was rancid when they used it. Shudder...
Anyway, I was so appalled by the experience, the moment I got home I baked two batches of cookies. One with rice flour and the other using wheat. Check out the difference in texture! They were both delicious and the funny thing was that my family were convinced the rice one was healthier. Delusional! They are equally as bad! But oh so deliciously baaad! Mmmm...