Friday, January 23, 2009

Hong Kong Part 1!

Nei Hou Ma? Greetings from HongKong! Its a chilling 10degrees today and was forecasted to go even lower during CNY. Not as if I mind the weather though, I still go about food-hunting in a winter jacket!

Beef Brisket Noodles (~HKD 30, SGD6.00)

This is usually the best-missed dish upon touching down, which also means what I craved for the most during the miserable army outfield days. The beef brisket in HK is simply divine with melt-in-your-mouth fats and tender chewy lean meat. The rubber-like noodles is a trademark or you can opt for the more familiar horfun or beehoon.

Furthermore, this is not limited to a specific shop, but almost any teochew noodle house that you can easily find around the corner! (I already got 2 right under my block)

鸡蛋仔 (Egg-shaped waffle) (~HKD12, SGD2.40)

One of the old street snacks of HK, the good ones had outrageously long queues. Its made of simple egg and flour mixture which was much like our green waffles, but of a much richer egg taste with crispy skin and soft fluffy interior. Nice to get one of these while exploring the streets of HK!

Local fast food joint breakfast set (~HKD23, SGD4.60)

I don’t touch just any fast food in HK, but only local specialites like 美心快餐 and 大家乐. This is one of the breakfast sets that came with fried noodles, beef sausage, ommelette, ham macaroni in soup and a choice of hot drink. Better than a Big Breakfast in my opinion!

Iced Milk Tea

First of all, you could hardly get a bad cup of milk tea in HK, because almost everyone here grew up drinking it and is an expert in one way or another. But the 太兴茶餐厅 chain had made a name for its iced milk tea by pre-chilling the tea and serving it with a bowl of ice outside the cup, which made sure your milk tea remained cold throughout without diluting it. Simple, but ingenious!

Stir fried Instant Noodles with Pork Chop, served with choice of hot drink (~HKD37, SGD7.40)

Want something heavier for teatime? Have a stir-fried instant noodle! This became popular a couple of years back and had since stayed on the regular menu. There’s 101 ways to mix and match this and you can surely find your favourite type!

That’s all, for now!
Sunday, January 18, 2009

Lai Lai Beef Noodles: Value Dinner Set!

Have you been to the new Jurong Point yet? They expanded so much that I seriously spent >5 minutes brisk walking from one end to another! So with more shop spaces come more dining options, which really make you spoilt for choices at this mega mall.

I was meeting my girlfriend after her lessons and we were quite unsettled for dinner, so we walked around and saw Lai Lai having some attractive dinner combos. If I'm not wrong, this is their 2nd outlet with the 1st one at Liang Seah Street. I liked the openness of the outside area which was alfresco-like but with the aircon and by the time we left, it had one of the longest queue among the row of restaurants!

Iced Bubble Red Milk Tea

A tad too sweet for me, I still prefer the more full-bodied hongkong cafe type. But they got nice chewy pearls though.

Dry Beef Shin Noodes and Fried Brinjal with Pork Floss ($13.90 with milk tea)

I opted for beef shin only as I'm not really a fan of tendons. The beef was well braised in the light gravy and came out tender and flavourful, while the taiwan noodles I chose was delightfully "Q" (chewy/springy, in a taiwanese slang) and smooth, abit like udon but not as thick. There are also other noodle options available such as potato or glass noodles. One of the better beef shin noodles around!

The brinjal was breaded, deep-fried, sprinkled with pork floss and thankfully served hot. A rather tasty combination!

Pork Meatball Vermicelli and Pepper Salt Chicken ($11.80 with milk tea)

The gooey vermicelli was on par with the Shilin Market Street Snack franchise (sadly, cannot-make-it chicken cutlet) and was rather to my liking, tasting even better with a little drizzle of pepper and vinegar. But I will find out how exactly authentic this is when I go to Taipei in March!

The marinated chicken cubes were savoury and tender, but I don't really know what was the accompanying green and how it enhanced the taste. However, I thought it went well with their unique chilli sauce which was full of crunchy scallions!

Total bill for 2 was $30.25, which I think was rather worth it with a satisfying main, good range of sides and a cooling drink. You can even top up $1.50 for an additional dessert of the day, but I was rather full to find out what it was.

Note: I'm flying off to Hong Kong tomorrow for 3 weeks! Updating might be delayed as I don't have a stable internet connection over there, but I will still try to keep up with my weekly update on hongkong food galore!
Sunday, January 11, 2009

老黄酿豆腐: Best YTF Yet!

My girlfriend told me about this YTF store at North Bridge Road Market that tastes better than my favourite 高记 chain, so I got to check it out if its really true.

First thing first, the queue can be rather long and you had to wait a considerable amount of time for your YTF, as I was issued a number chip when submitting the order to the friendly owner. Fine with me, good food does take time!

YTF with Minced Pork Noodles (30-50cents per piece, minimum order of $2.00)

The first sign that excites me was that they used the same type of noodles as 高记, the thin mee pok look-alike that wasn't common among YTF stores. The springy and smooth texture was simply delightful. Though plain on its own, the delicious minced meat topping was salty on purpose to be mixed and eaten with the noodles. I could have been satisfied with just a large bowl of this and lots of minced meat!

Being hakka YTF, minced pork was used instead of fish paste, pan fried before being put onto the shelves. When serving, they were careful to seperate the fried items from the boiled ones. The items were generously stuffed and I particularly liked the brinjal which was a perfect match with the seasoned meat. If you want something really porky, the homemade meatball was fried to a golden brown and very yummy too.

The boiled stuffs like the kangkong and taupok came in the soup, which was rather tasty and rich in soy bean (making a guess here) flavour. Still left me a little thirsty afterwards, but seriously, I havn't found one that doesn't.

I forgot to take a photo of the homemade sweet sauce and chilli sauce, which was another reason why 老黄 was so popular. The sweet sauce was slightly watery and only sufficiently sweet to add flavour. Same goes for the chilli sauce that doesn't overwhelm you with spiceness but instead just adding touch to the already addictive noodles and items.

So yes, I had finally found a YTF store that toppled my previous favourite one (sounds evil)! The perfect combination of noodles, minced pork stuffing and homemade sauces hitted the right spot for me and made it my current number 1 recommendation for YTF!

Maybe at least until I try the famous Ampang YTF?
Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Noodle Place Restaurant: Comfort Congee!

A friend gave me a cash voucher for this small chinese eatery at Centrepoint, which must be used by 2008. So being a typical "kiam peng" me, I gave it a visit for a weekday dinner.

Honestly speaking, this place reminds me of Crystal Jade greatly, from the cantonese-styled menu to the experienced staff, it beared a very striking resemblence. Nevertheless, we ordered something simple while the crowd built up around us.

Century Egg & lean meat porridge (~$8)

The porridge was just the way I like it, thick and smooth, with sufficient flavouring and ingredients at the same time. This will be something I crave for when my stomach calls for something light and warm.

Stir-fried Seafood Hor Fun (~$12)

Served with a pleasent black pepper sauce. The hor fun was topped with capsicum, onions and various seafood. Nothing too outstanding, but still rather tasty to our liking.

Homemade Soy milk (~$2)

This came interestingly in a large bowl-like mug, you can taste the richness of soy bean but was a little too sweet for me.

The bill for two was about $16 after a $10 cash voucher discount. The food was respectable, but overall nothing to scream about. With its limited menu and comparable price, I think I will still prefer Crystal Jade for my porridge fix.
Friday, January 02, 2009

Pineapple Tarts for Sale!

Happy new year everyone! This year's CNY is especially near, so I'm using this space to promote some homemade pineapple tarts!

I think all of you know by now that my mom's a great cook, and she can bake too! Actually she had been doing this for the past few years for personal comsumption, but the feedback from friends and relatives were that it tasted really good and suggested she make a business out of it, so thats what she is trying out now!

The tart dough is made from scratch with good quailty butter and yeast, baked to a slight golden brown. Although the fillings are not personally grinded from pineapples, she chose a trustable supplier and blends in her own ingredients to make the texture and flavour even more palatable.

Each is like an oversized eraser and fits comfortably in my palm. For your information, this is the only kind she makes as we find the type with fillings on the outside too dry for our taste.

One bite into this thing and you can taste the rich buttery flavour of the crust. Its smooth texture sets the tart crumbling easily, while the generous filling is a joy to eat as it is not overly sweet and slightly juicy, going well with the outer layer.

The tarts are selling at $15 for a container of 24 and $18 for a larger quantity of 30. You can drop me a message here or email me @ for more details. She has already received a substantial amount of orders so it is better for you to preorder earlier. I can arrange a sampling session if you are really interested!

How about it? Give it a try for something different this CNY!