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.

Siam 1

65 Koornang Road, Carnegie
Phone: 9571 7334

Second dates are an interesting proposition. The awkwardness of the first date is gone, and conversation feels like just that, a conversation, rather than a job interview. Things are more casual, and I feel, enjoyable. Second restaurants, I imagine, would be a similar proposition.

When @msihua suggest I have my second date at Siam 1, I did a little research. It’s the younger sibling restaurant of Little Thai Princess, which seemed a little formal for me, as far as suburban Thai restaurants go. Still, Little Thai Princess’ menu looked good, and with many items also included in Siam 1’s menu, as well as @msihua’s assurance that the ambiance of Siam 1 was appropriate for a second date, I made a booking.

She was right. Flattering (read dim) lighting, and a warm, intimate atmosphere was pretty spot on for date setting. However, the constant staring of the waiter named ‘Trainee’ (well, that’s what his name badge said) at my date, to the point of making my date uneasy; and the proximity of the couple next to us having a mild domestic, these things were not so great. Still, I digress. This is a food blog, yes?

We started off with the son-in-law eggs. I recounted both versions of the story behind the name of this dish, and my date preferred the more, um, bawdy version. You can see why a second date was on the cards, right? Anyway, a son-in-law egg is one which has been boiled, then deep fried.

The eggs were nicely cooked, and the tamarind sauce had a nice balance of sweet and sour. I liked the copious forest of herbs which covered the dish, as the herbs brought a freshness to the dish which can sometimes be a little heavy, with the sugary sauce and the dense yolk. I’ve seen these in Thailand with a runny yolk, but haven’t tried them that way. I imagine it would be a different experience, though something tells me not necessarily better. I do like a hard boiled egg, though.

Next, we had the ‘Crying Tiger beef salad’. The rare beef was a little on the medium side for me, but the marriage of the toasted rice, fiery chilli and tart fish sauce dressing worked perfectly.

We also had a fish salad (it was barramundi, I think?) which was quite similar in ingredients – with a meat substitution, of course! – but without as much heat from the chilli, and a slightly sweeter dressing. Again, nicely done.
We rounded out the meal with a red duck curry, which was good, but probably a little too mild, and a little too sweet, for my taste. I did like the fact there were lots of vegetables along with the sizeable chunks of duck.
Overall, I had a great night at Siam 1. Part of this was definitely to do with the company, but the food also played a large part. I’d definitely go back again, even if the prices are a little on the high side.

Siam 1 on Urbanspoon

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…

Peach and Honey Tart: Cookbook Challenge (Stone Fruit)

So I’m trying my hand at this cookbook challenge again. I think I managed to cook one item last year. Maybe I’ll do two this year?
Anyway, the idea behind the challenge is to actually use those cookbooks which we buy, and then promptly never look at, but sit proudly on our bookshelves. A better explanation of the challenge from April. This year, the onus has been lessened, and we’re only required to cook one recipe every fortnight. Phew! Also, Penny has set up a forum over at for those participating.
The first theme: stone fruit. I received a cookbook from my new house-mate for Christmas. He’s quite the baker, and had noticed a gap in my cookbook arsenal (though to be fair, I don’t think he perused the complete Margarret Fulton book – lots of baked goods there! – so he found a baking cookbook which he thought might be suitable. He said something along the lines of “the recipes aren’t too hard, and the chef is a good-looking guy!”. Eric Lanlard even has an endorsement from Liz Hurley on the cover, so he must be the bomb, right?

I decided to make the Apricot and Honey Tart, only apricots have been rather lacklustre this season, so I thought I’d just substitute peaches. The interesting and strange thing about this recipe – and I read it three times over to be sure – is that there is NO HONEY in it!?!? I’m thinking that might be some sort of glaring error. Because seriously, the title says Apricot and Honey. Anyway, I followed the recipe, except for the fruit substitution.

The other confusing thing about this recipe is that it calls for a baking sheet, but then the picture is in a rectangular tart tin. Quelle bizarre! Again, I followed the recipe, only the filling was clearly not solid enough, so I built extra walls out of puff pastry to contain it.

To be honest, it didn’t taste that great. The cream cheese mixture was too cinamon-ny, and although there was a nice punch of peach, it lacked sweetness. Perhaps it needed honey?

Outram Park Bak Ku Teh

Until my recent fleeting visit to Singapore, I’d only ever tried bak ku teh once. It was in Melbourne, and I wasn’t very impressed. Perhaps when it said ‘herbal soup’ I didn’t quite expect it to be those Chinese herbs which my mother used to force me to drink when I was sick as a child. In case you’re wondering, I still take Chinese medicines when I’m sick, but thankfully the medicines my sister prescribes are mostly in pill or powder form now. Ah, generational change.

So after a night of drinking with my cousin in Singapore, I was a little hesitant when he and his friends were all excited about going out for bak ku teh at their local, the way we’d grab a souvlaki here in Australia on the way home. I mean, I was in Singapore, where’s the char kway teow? Surely that’s the greasy drunk’s food of choice? My cousin explained that this particular bak ku teh place didn’t do the traditional, medicinal style bak ku teh, but rather a more straight pork soup, dosed with loads of white pepper. So I went with it, even though my body was craving the oily goodness only char kway teow could assuage. When in Singapore, right?

The bak ku teh came out in little bowls, with the classic pork rib, as well as a few other offal-type bowls which I was most complicit in ordering. From left to right: pork rib; pork kidney; pork liver.

There was also some marinated dried tofu skin, and some salty cabbage dish which was not so great.

To accompany these dishes, you could either have the traditional steamed rice, or some rice vermicelli. Being a bak ku teh novice, I stuck to the rice.

While I would still probably have preferred a char kway teow, I have to admit the bak ku teh thing is quite satisfying after a night on the booze. In a similar way to the hangover food of the gods, pho, it simultaneously replenishes mineral salts and rehydrates. Yeah, that’s what I tell myself. Let it go. The other great thing about the bak ku teh experience is the fact you sit down as a group of drunks and share a communal meal together. And when it comes down to it, drinking’s all about bonding, right?