Ho Hung Kee

2 Sharp St. East, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Phone: +852 25776558

We almost didn’t make it here. I hate those streets which have East and West, or North and South sections. Because I invariably end up on the wrong section. Thankfully, Sharp St (both sections combined) is quite short, so after the confusion of ending up walking through another wet market – never a bad thing in Hong Kong, really – and crossing under a major arterial twice, team #fatty finally found the congee we were looking for.

To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect, because @eatnik had found this place in the Michelin guide. Not hatted, but listed with a Bib Gourmand, Ho Hung Kee is known for its congee and its wonton noodles. Perfect for breakfast!

When I think of perfect congee, it’s not that classic stalwart pork and century egg, but rather it’s congee with sliced fish. Simple, restorative, and unparalleled in the purity of flavour, fish congee is one of those comfort foods which evokes for me memories of my mother’s loving care. So it was almost a given that this would be what I ordered.
And congee is always made better with the addition of yao zha gwai (fried bread, or Chinese donut, aka you tiao). The only thing better than carb-on-carb is when one of those carbs is fried. This congee lived up to the hype. It was silky, and smooth, without being at all watery. It sticks to your lips in the same way that a good tonkotsu broth, or runny egg yolk does. One of life’s great simple sensations. The flavour was also great, a good balance between the umami of stock – or MSG, who knows, and who cares? – and the natural flavour of the rice.

@eatnik took one for the team, and ordered the wonton noodles. We did share a bit, but I’m ashamed to admit I certainly was hogging the congee. When the noodles arrived, they weren’t very impressive.

I mean the noodles looked good – and they were – but wherefore art thine wontons? A little digging brought them to the surface, however…
I’m not sure if we ordered the wrong thing here. These wontons weren’t very inspiring. Small, and a little too solid, not a shade on those at Sam Tor. Perhaps we should have opted for the sui gao, another soup dumpling which tends to be larger, and includes a few more ingredients in the filling.
So if you’re in the area, and after some congee, definitely head down, but I daresay there are better noodle joints in Causeway Bay. Oh, and if you’re at all prone to getting lost, here’s a handy map.

Hui Lau Shan

Various locations around Hong Kong
Website (Chinese)

There was one place my friends introduced me to last time I was in Hong Kong. I knew it as ‘the mango on mango on mango place’. We went to the Mong Kok outlet before karaoke, and I thought it was a one off. Little did I know that is was one branch of a pervasive ‘Healthy Dessert’ chain which can be found, often unexpectedly as you’re walking around, in most of the busy shopping districts of Hong Kong. Welcome to the land of Hui Lau Shan.

Now I’m fairly sure Hui Lau Shan is some reference to a place (shan meaning mountain, you barbarians) where they conjure up all sorts of magical healthy desserts. Desserts involving – you guessed it – mango.

In the week that team #fatty was traipsing around Hong Kong in search of wondrous eats, Hui Lau Shan was hands down the most frequently visited place. Most places only warranted one visit. Sam Tor Noodles (coincidentally as the name suggests – it means ‘three more’, you barbarians) demanded three visits. But I went to Hui Lau Shan no less than five times in seven days. And that was barely enough. What’s so good about this place? Mango. Oh, and sugar.

The first time I went, it was just a takeaway mango puree/slushie with tapioca. Gotta keep up the blood sugar levels when you’re shopping, see?

Later that evening, I introduced @eatnik to the joy of Hui Lau Shan. @alexlobov had been before, being a Hong Kong resident, and for some inexplicable reason, wasn’t that impressed. I say inexplicable, because the man has consistently good taste. Apparently not so much in the realm of ‘healthy’ desserts. Anyway, on this visit, I had the sago in mango puree, with mango pieces, pomelo and coconut milk.

An awesome balance of fresh, slightly tart mango and pomelo, with a rich sweetness from the coconut milk (and also no doubt a hefty slug of sugar syrup).

@eatnik had the black rice pudding with mango and coconut milk. This dish is a total winner, as the black rice isn’t too sweet, and gives the dessert the accent of young rice flavours, while the – as we have established – winning combination of mango and coconut does its magic.

@alexlobov had the taro flavoured Hokkaido milk pudding, after being told some other pudding he wanted, involving an oozing peach centre, was unavailable.
The pudding was studded with red beans, and was probably a bit too solid. They skimp neither on the sugar, nor the gelatin, it seems.

I went back three more times, introducing the @eatdrinkstagger kids to the wonders of the mystical dessert mountain, and sampling my way through more of the menu, though I neglected to take more photos. I can highly recommend the coconut noodles with mango and fruit salad, however.

In my uni days, I was for a short time obsessed with a movie called The Holy Mountain. It was a crazy psychedelic movie about transcendence and hallucinations. It involved plaster crucifixes and women holding chimpanzees, if that gives you any indication. Anyway, I think I found my Holy Mountain. Its name is Hui Lau Shan.

Tim Ho Wan

Shop 8, 2-20 Kwong Wa Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon.
Phone: +852 2332 2896

This was probably the most hyped and most greatly anticipated destination on the Hong Kong #fatty map. The world’s cheapest Michelin starred restaurant. There are apparently two outlets of Tim Ho Wan now – a second one opened up in Sham Shui Po – but we went to the original in Mong Kok.

We’d heard about the wait for a table, so we arrived early. Tim ho Wan (the Mong Kok one, anyway) opens at 10am. We arrived at around 9:30, to find there was already a queue! When they started letting people in, it was clear that we weren’t all going to fit in the tiny restaurant, but thankfully we got ticket number 5, so it wasn’t going to be too long a wait.

We wandered around the block, and stopped in at a herbal tea shop for something to cool our qi, after witnessing a rather heated altercation between two locals over some parking. They needed something to cool their qi too. Why the hell would people bother having a car in Hong Kong? Public transport is excellent, and cabs are dirt cheap.

We arrived back at Tim Ho Wan, and they were up to ticket number three. Another five minutes later, and we were seated. All up, about a 25 minute wait. Not too bad! Oh, in case you’re wondering, if we had’ve missed our number being called, we would’ve just been given the next available table. A pretty great system, no?

Thankfully, the place mats at Tim Ho Wan have lots of pictures of their specialties. We ticked off the items we wanted to try, after being chastised for not doing so while we were waiting outside – you can get an order form from a little box by the door – and the brusque but not unfriendly lady went off with our form. I must say, I do love a trolley service yum cha experience, but the ordering system does tend to be more efficient.

We were seated up the back near the kitchen, which was at once painful – to see all of that food in such close proximity but not on our table – and cool – too see all that food in such close proximity. But that all didn’t matter so much once the food started arriving.

First up was one of Tim Ho Wan’s signature dishes. Char siu bao (roast pork buns) with a difference. These are baked, with a crumbly cookie topping, like a smaller, filled baw law bao (pineapple buns) or Japanese melonpan.

These were AWESOME! Crunchy and crisp on the outside, and choc-ful of sugar, with a wonderfully sweet-and-salty char siu filling. @eatnik and I split the third one, because neither of us was graceful – or stupid – enough to concede it to the other.
Next up, the cheong fun with pork liver. @eatnik was a little apprehensive about this one, as she’s not the hugest fan of liver, but seeing as it was the only cheong fun on the menu, we pretty much had to order it.
It was pretty good, though I must say the cheong fun we had in Macau was slightly more delicate, and therefore better. Still, check out how translucent these puppies were. Either that’s some expert noodle making, or someone’s cheating and adding tapioca starch to their rice flour mixture!

Next up came the dumplings. First, a Qiuzhou (aka Teochew) style dumpling, with dried shrimp, peanuts and water chestnuts. I love these texturally, but I always find myself needing to dip them in soy, which I think is unnecessary when you have a good dumpling going on.

The next one was the spinach dumpling. Now I was expecting a predominantly prawn-filled dumpling, with some diced spinach. This was the other way around: mostly spinach, with bits of something (was it garlic, lardons, or prawn? I don’t remember!) to add some extra flavour. Unexpected, but kind of genius. These dumplings are full of #WIN.
Then the classic har gow, the standard b which all yum cha joints should be judged. Ant Tim Ho Wan’s were pretty bang on the money. Slightly smaller than the other dumplings, so you get four, these were delicate and yet full of flavour. I applaud the inclusion of bamboo shoot, which provides a nice textural addition to the already firm and toothsome prawn meat. I’m not sure these are the best I’ve ever eaten, but they’re pretty darned good!
Then there was the loh baak gao. I know how to make this, and therefore am unusually critical of every one I come across. Not to say that I won’t scoff them all down without prejudice.
Tim Ho Wan’s version had a nice crispy sear on it, but was a tad on the crumbly side. Which is in some ways a negative, but it’s also a positive, because the crumbling texture was due to the abundance of parsnip in the mix. Hence the flavour was overwhelmingly present, which is a nice change from most loh baak gao, where you can’t taste the parsnip because it’s barely there amongst the glutinous rice flour cement. I could have done with a little more Chinese sausage in this, but overall, it was pretty good.

Then, the chicken’s feet. A yum cha staple, which challenges novices, and some people never get the hang/point of, chicken’s feet – or more properly foong jao (phoenix’s talons) – are another means by which I like to judge a yum cha experience. The skin – it’s all about the skin, people – should be soft and slightly saggy, and have soaked up all of the flavour in which the chicken’s feet have been braised.

Tim Ho Wan’s were a little on the solid side, the collagen not having broken down enough, and the skin still sticking to the bones too much. The flavour of the braising liquid was great, but it could have done with some more time cooking. Perhaps coming for breakfast wasn’t such a great idea, as no doubt the batch of chicken’s feet would improve throughout the day.

Stuffed eggplant came out next (yong ke qie). Not to be too harsh, but I wish we’d ordered something else. There wasn’t enough oil in this dish to make the eggplant soften, and while it wasn’t bitter, the eggplant had a rather off-putting taste. The filling wasn’t much to write about either, so I won’t.

When the Haam sui gok (literally salty water dumplings, but better known as football dumplings here in Australia) arrived, I was excited, even though I was already starting to feel full. These were for a long time my favourite item at yum cha, because of the crispy shell, the yielding, gooey, sweet dough casing, and the classic salty minced pork and mushroom filling.
I was a little let down by Tim Ho Wan’s haam sui gok. The dough wasn’t that chewy, and there wasn’t much filling inside. Still, by that stage, it didn’t really matter, and neither did the pork and peanut congee we also ordered, which needed salt and wasn’t very amazing.

So yeah, overall, it’s well worth visiting, and at around $140HKD ($20AUD at the prevailing exchange rate) for two to stuff yourself stupid, you’d have to be another kind of stupid to pass it up.

Four Seasons Claypot Rice

46-58 Arthur Street, Yau Ma Tei
(between Temple Street and Nathan Road)

Back when I visited Hong Kong in 2000, I met my mother’s cousin Suit Ying for the first time. It was one of those overwhelming love-and-admiration-for-my-family moments. She was a taller, younger, more gaunt version of my mother. She had then recently been granted residency in Hong Kong, after a few years in a refugee detention centre (she had arrived in Hong Kong from Viet Nam as an illegal alien). She has a huge smile, and was full of laughter and quite clearly excited to see my mother again, after about twenty five years.

We met up with her near Temple St Market, because she was working at one of the little claypot rice restaurants which were springing up all over Hong Kong at the time. I don’t think it was Four Seasons, but it was over a decade ago, so I can’t really be sure. In any case, claypot rice was all the rage back then. And while it’s no longer so trendy, there are still quite a lot of places that specialise in it.

When researching places to eat in Hong Kong, of course @eatnik and I asked friends (and scoured their blogs). Both Phil and Jess had whet our appetites not only for claypot rice, but also for Four Seasons’ now famous oyster omelette. Oh, it also helps that Anthony Bourdain also recommended the place.

We met up with the @eatdrinkstagger kids, who were also holidaying in Hong Kong that week. Expect to see a lot of cross-posting over the next few weeks between them and me. There was a little confusion as to where this place was, partly because google maps’ print functionality blows chunks, and partly because we were too lazy to enter addresses in our notes on our eating map. In any case, some quick smartphone usage and guidebook map referencing later, we found the place. Having been warned about a line forming pretty early in the evening, we opted for a blue-rinse special dining time of around 5:30pm. Which meant we walked into a half-full restaurant, and had an excuse later for supper.

So, of course, the first thing we ordered was the oyster omelette. We got the large, which was quite simply humongous. The picture doesn’t really illustrate it very well.

Never fear! After the previous day’s performance in Macau, I wasn’t going to let more food go to waste! Between the four of us, we managed to finish it off. The omelette is more like a fritter, really. Crisp and crunchy, with a generous serve of fresh oysters scattered throughout the batter, and a handful of spring onions  thrown in for good measure, or just to make it slightly more aesthetically appealing, I’m not sure. I love oysters, and this omelette was full of them. The only problem I had with the dish was that the chilli sauce that it was served with was really salty. I would have preferred a chilli sauce with more vinegar in it, but I’m quibbling here.

Of course, we also tried the claypot rice. We ordered (from left to right) the traditional classic:chicken with Chinese sausage, as well as frog and mushroom, and pork spare ribs with eel and soy bean paste.

They weren’t all that exciting. Though to be fair, we probably didn’t douse them with enough soy sauce. My favourite was definitely the ribs and eel, partly because soy bean paste is such an underrated condiment, but also because it was probably burnt a bit more than it was supposed to be – you want a little of the rice to burn to form a crunchy layer on the bottom of the claypot – which ended up giving the eel a great smoked flavour.

We also ordered some tung choi – a.k.a. eng cai or kangkung or rau muong depending where in Asia you are – which was simply boiled and given a quick stir fry, with a dollop of fermented bean curd as the sauce on the side. Nothing special, but great comfort food. Oh, and fermented bean curd is also another hugely underrated condiment.

The jovial middle-aged lady who took our order also suggested that we might like to get some soup, and recommended the gai choi soup with tofu, pork slices and century egg. It was a wonderfully cleansing way to end the meal, after all that oil from the omelette, and a good introduction to century egg for the @eatdrinkstagger crew.

All up, this meal ended costing us about 40HKD each. Yup, less than $6AUD. Another reason why I freaking love Hong Kong.

Wong Chi Kei

After our little detour via the wet markets, @eatnik and I headed up the hill to the ruins of St Paul’s. Not really because we wanted to see the ruins – I’d seen them twice before – but more because I wanted to show @eatnik the wonder that is Jerky Street, which leads up to the historical church facade.

Jerky street (Rua de Sao Paulo) is lined with, well, jerky vendors. Predominant here is the bak gua style of jerky, though you can find the other ‘dried beef’ style too. Along this street, you can also find many almond cookie shops, and shops selling Portuguese egg tarts. It’s all very touristy, but in a tasty way.

After sampling our way up and down Jerky street, we wandered back down to Senado Square, and headed for Won Chi Kei. Again, this was another recommendation from Petite Crystal, who posted about a crab congee. As a self-respecting Chinese man, I could hardly bypass that!

The place was pretty easy to find – it’s right opposite the McDonald’s – but we weren’t sure as we walked in if it was the right place, mostly because the ground floor seating is pretty limited, and I was under the impression it was a pretty big place. But there’s more seating upstairs. You’ll still probably end up sharing a table with strangers if you’re less than a group of four, however, because it’s pretty busy. I guess the crab congee’s no secret, though Wong Chi Kei is pretty well known for its noodles too, apparently.

While we waited for our food to arrive, @eatnik and I sampled the chilli oil, something that was fast becoming a team #fatty habit. We were most impressed by the chilli oil here. It was salty and smoky, with a nice slow burn, but not too much initial heat.

@eatnik had the gon loh mien (dry-style egg noodles) with pig’s trotter. She wasn’t too impressed with the dish, and having tried a bit, I don’t quite understand where Wong Chi Kei’s reputation for noodles comes from. It was pretty lacklustre. And the pig’s trotter, though it had good flavour, was a bit on the tough/dry side.
When the bowl of congee came, it didn’t look like much. The crab was almost completely submerged, and I had to dig around before I found any of its bright orange shell.
There was what I’m pretty sure was an entire miniature crab in this bowl. There’s not a lot of meat going on, and it was pretty fiddly, but the crab meet was wonderfully sweet. The good thing about crab as a main dish is that you can go in with you hands; it’s a little more difficult when there’s no plate, and you don’t want to get hot congee all over your fingers.
The congee itself was nice and smooth. Years ago, a friend told me one of the secrets to good restaurant-quality congee: evaporated milk. It makes the rice porridge smoother, and well, more creamy. I’m not sure whether Wong Chi Kei use evaporated milk, but the congee was certainly very smooth and creamy, with that tendency to stick to your lips which good congee has.

Eyes bigger than our stomachs – read greedy here – we also made the mistake of ordering the ‘Eight treasures’ – what looked on the menu like a mixed entree platter. And it was, after a fashion… though there was nothing fried about this mixed entree selection.

Instead, it was a selection of braised and boiled items, pretty much all of which you could order with noodles. Chicken wings, shiitake mushrooms, sui gao, wontons, cuttlefish, and more of that not-so-great pig’s trotter. In the end, in a performance heaped shame upon my family, and would have saddened my mother to tears, we managed only to eat about a quarter of what was on this combo platter. I felt very guilty leaving that much food as we left.

Zhu pa bao

Continuing our adventures in Macau, @eatnik and I thought it might be prudent to go for a walk in between breakfasts. Because after the cheong fun we were cruising for crab congee. So we wandered across Senado Square, and down a side street, where we stumbled upon Ying Dei market (opposite St Dominic’s Church).

We wandered through three storeys of market stalls, sort of like a multi-leveled department store version of your average market. The first two floors were butchers of all sorts, including those selling live poultry and fish. This fellow was searing the hairs off a pig’s trotter, with the most impressive kitchen/butcher blowtorch we’d ever seen! He very obligingly posed for a shot when he saw our pyromaniac delight.

Photo courtesy of @eatnik

We wandered through another two floors of fruit and vegetables, and fresh tofu, which brought back memories of the markets in Sai Gon. There’s a slightly off-putting smell about a tofu stand, but the fresh stuff tastes so good, it’s worth it.

Finally, we reached the top floor, which was a cooked food centre – pretty much like a food court or hawker centre. There was a large range of food on offer – soup noodles, fried noodles, congee and various types of dim sum. But on our way in, I had spied an old lady, who looked like she worked in the market, biting into what looked like a pretty scrumptious zhu pa bao; that’d be Mandarin for PORK CHOP BUN.

Macau’s Pork chop buns are regionally famous. To be honest, I hadn’t heard of them before I went to Macau a couple of years ago, and at that point I didn’t get around to trying one. It sounded a bit pedestrian and McDonald’s-esque. Basically, it’s a deep-fried or pan-fried pork chop, in a bun. From what I understand, it should be no more, no less. Although it’s common to have the option – as with most things in Asia – of adding a fried egg to that.

Anyway, the little old lady was happily munching on her zhu pa bao and chatting with the owner of the stall from which she bought it. Another little old lady, though she wasn’t nearly as ancient as her customer. The fact that the older, munchier lady didn’t have all her teeth bode well, I thought, for the tenderness of the pork. So I ordered one, sans egg, and we sat down to see if I’d made a mistake.

The zhu pa bao arrived on a little homely plastic plate, resting on a serviette. The bun was soft and dusty, and like most bread in Asia, a bit sweet. The inside had been toasted and lightly buttered, and the pork chop itself was covered with just enough oil to make it glisten. This pork chop had been pan-fried, in case you were wondering.
The pictures really don’t do it justice, but every bite of this puffy morsel was pure joy. Cushioned by the fluffy, sweet bread, the pork chop would yield at the moment my teeth made contact with it, resisting only slightly, before succumbing to my toothy embrace, and giving up a moisture which neither @eatnik nor I could really ascertain one way or the other as meat juice or fat. But at that point, we were both beyond caring.
The pork chop was well seasoned, but not overly salty. The overall flavour impression I got was of pure pork. Not in that heavy, dry roast pork way, but in a sweet, tender, juicy, only-just-cooked way. I’m salivating just remembering the joy of that pork chop.

Sometimes it’s the little detours which you take, unexpectedly and on a whim, that lead to the greatest experiences when you’re on holiday. While we hadn’t planned our Hong Kong/Macau trip down with military precision, we had a pretty jam-packed google map of places we were aiming to hit. This tiny little stand in a local wet market wasn’t one of them. It also isn’t one of the places in Macau famous for zhu pa bao, but I’m oh-so-glad we found it!

Macau Cheong Fun Joint

Big props go to Petite Crystal of My Little World for posting about this place. Not really knowing where to go for food in Macau, I googled ‘macau breakfast’ and came up with a great entry on her blog.

So following her advice, @eatnik and I went down to Senado Square, and followed the map to Rua Dos Mercadores (see map below). About 20 metres from the intersection with Ave de Almeida Ribeiro, is a little doorway to a laneway called Patio do Cotovelo.

Inside, is a little breakfast joint which dishes up cheong fun (steamed rice paper/noodle), brisket noodles, and congee. We were only there for the cheong fun, though the locals seemed to chowing down on everything there quite happily.

I was a little at a loss with the menu – my recognition of characters isn’t the best in the morning – until one of the little ladies working there graciously started reciting everything to me. She clearly had other customers to serve, and I was in the way! I ordered the two types of cheong fun on offer – the plain, and the zha leong (steamed rice noodle wrapped around a Chinese donut).

As you would expect from a place that is renowned for their cheong fun, the rice noodle was thin and tissue-like. The plain one unrolled at a touch, and there was none of the claggy gelatinous texture which you get at a lot of yum cha places, due usually to over-steaming, I believe?

The thin silky layer of cheong fun wrapped around the crispy donut in a good zha leong creates a great textural combination. It’s an old favourite of mine when done well, and it certainly was done well here. I like the fact that there’s also a temperature contrast here, as the donut is cold when wrapped with the hot cheong fun.

I was very lucky, because at this point, @eatnik had decided that the next week was going to be a struggle for her if she were to try to match me bowl for bowl in the eating stakes. So I got to eat more cheong fun than was equitable!

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Chiu Hing Noodles House

G/F 109 Hennessey Rd (supposedly, but I remember it being on Jaffe)

We were supposed to be hunting for congee. The first place we stopped in at didn’t have any. Apparently my eyesight is so bad that I confuse pictures of bowls of rice noodles for pictures of bowls of congee. I still maintain that the pictures were rather faded, so the contrast was completely lacking. And what is congee if not a rice noodle soup without contrast… hrm, I might have to rethink that one.

Anyway, this time around, we did find a place that had congee, but for some reason only beef and beef offal-based congees. @alexlobov was after fish congee, so that was another fail on my part. Somehow, despite him having lived in the area for a couple of months, it fell to me to find a congee joint. I guess I did have the advantage of being able to (sort of) read Chinese, but clearly that doesn’t help.

Anyway, we gave up, and settled on noodles. I chose the beef offal noodles, naturally.

Check out those righteous chunks of tripe! And less excitingly, the slices of liver were pretty good too. Again, I need to comment on the fineness of the egg noodles in Hong Kong. Seriously, it’s like they have next generation technology which isn’t available in Australia! I might have to learn to make them myself.
@eatnik had the ‘fish noodles’, which were noodles made out of fish paste. It’s like having fish balls, and noodles, but in one! Genius! It was also one of the shop’s specialties. She also got rather excited when she found there was lettuce in the soup. As you’ll come to see over the course of the remaining #fatty posts, vegetables can be a little rare in Hong Kong fast food.
These ‘noodles’ were great. They had a light, springy texture, and tasted fishy without being too fishy. Kinda like a good fishball. But more about good fishballs later…

@alexlobov had the wonton noodles. He didn’t seem all that impressed, but then he seems to compare all wonton noodles against the might of Tsim Chai Kee. Again, more about that later.

As you can see, I liked my beef offal noodles… a lot.

Yo! Noodles

City of Dreams, Macau

When you’re running a little late to a show, sometimes compromises have to be made. Like eating in a casino. It’s not the first time I’ve done it – though last time I was considerably less sober – and it probably won’t be the last. I mean after all, if gamblers feel like subsidising my food with their hard earned coin, who am I to refuse?

Yo! Noodles is nestled in the City of Dreams casino, somewhere between the Hard Rock Hotel, and the Grand Hyatt. Actually, to be honest, if you asked me to find it again, I would have great difficulty. That place is like a very spacious maze. Anyway, the main draw card (I think?) of Yo! Noodles is not, in fact, the exclamation point in its name which requires you to get excited when mentioning it, but rather the fact that everything on the menu is 28MOP (that’s Macanese Patacas, roughly equivalent to the HKD). That means all the dishes are around 4AUD. That’s not necessarily cheap by local standards, but it’s pretty cheap to me! However, all drinks are also 28MOP, which is a touch on the pricey side if you’re not drinking alcohol. Luckily, we were.

So I had the seafood vermicelli salad. I think it was supposed to be Thai style. Only there was neither enough lime nor fish sauce for it to be much more than bland. It was only redeemed by the use of those sneaky-type chillies which make their presence known only halfway through eating the dish.

@eatnik had the tom yum soup, which she found quite agreeable, but she didn’t really elaborate when I asked her how it was, so it mustn’t have been that good?
Ms A, who works in the building (not for the casino) had pretty much sampled the menu in her tenure at City of Dreams, and ordered the Hainanese chicken rice. I have to admit, that chicken did look succulent and juicy, almost enough to forgive the atomic orange chilli sauce.
After the show we headed back into the casino to a bar, and after one round of sensible cocktails, we moved on to the flaming ones…


I’m currently at Melbourne Airport while I wait to board my flight. I’ll be hitting Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau and Penang over the next two weeks, so look forward to some distinctly Asian posts; not that my posts don’t skew that way enough, right?

I’m not sure how much time I’ll have between meals and snacks to update, but I’ll try my best!