Friday, October 29, 2010

Hainan Restaurant (海南餐廳) - ♕♕♕♕

海南餐廳 in Central used to be known as 金葉海南餐廳.  Started-up by a Mr Chan, a Hainanese native villager who lived just one village away from the famous Hainanese owner 莫履瑞, who had brought over his Hainanese Chicken recipe to Singapore and ended up contributing to making it the Lion’s City best known signature dish via Swee Kee’s (瑞記) influence…

While Swee Kee and its successors ended up evolving the recipe slightly to become a Singaporean Chicken Rice version, here Mr. Chan insisted on keeping more or less to the original Hainanese recipe.  He has recently sold his shop to a different owner but the main chef decided to stay and remains the same as before, ensuring consistency.

A bit of explanation about real Hainanese Chicken,
and how it was originally served Warm and with Bones intact..

Lemon Tea ~

Hainanese Chicken Rice Set ~

Chicken was a little tough and not overly flavourful,
and it comes with bones attached and was served warm,
as is traditional in Hainan…

Authentic Hainanese Chicken rice are served as balls,
rather than as rice.  But nowadays, BOTH are considered accurate…

In Hainan, originally there’s no Dark Soy Sauce like in Singapore.
The most authentic and only sauce to accompany a Hainanese chicken is made with Chili (紫天椒), Chicken Oil & Garlic, like the version here..

Chicken Soup here, is cooked with 冬菜 Pickles and Chicken Gizzards/Innards,
otherwise it could be served with the chicken meat itself instead.


Price: $80 Per Person + 10%
Score: ★★★★☆☆

Address: 上環干諾道中130-131號誠信大廈地下
(G/F, 130-131 Connaught Road Central, Sheung Wan)
Phone: 2581 9191


Classified - ♕♕♕♕

The expanding Classified brand previously launched their Cheese Room and Mozzarella Bar with great fanfare, and lately they will be busier than ever as they have scheduled to open 3 more new outlets in Saikung, Central and Tai Hung, with apparently more branches to come.  That’s on top of their existing Classified Mozzarella Bar and Classified Cheese Room, as well as The Pawn, Press Room and SML, etc.

New Central Store’s entrance..


The Menu differs slightly from its Wanchai Mozzarella Bar and its Sheung Wan Cheese Room store…

Cheese Counter – from all over the world

Desserts Fridge

Grilled Organic Chicken Salad -
With crisp bacon bits and ‘very’ raw, inedible avocado wedges and mixed mesclun salad and baby asparagus  ~  7/10

Chicken pieces were a bit cold and bland. 
Bacon bits were of crispy type.

 Beef Salad
Asian Rare Beef Salad -
I don’t know if its only HK, but the beef served in a salad in most countries I’ve visited should be served Hot, if nor Warmed.  Here they are refrigerated cold.  Having said that, I don’t mind it cold, if it was less cold!  It goes well with a sesame soy dressing and watermelon (non-compressed of course!)  ~  7/10

Beef was cold, but nevertheless tasty..

*Chicken and Mushroom Penne -
This actually isn’t available at this branch, but it is at Classified Cheese Room, its other branch a 10 minutes room from here.  May be they could think about introducing more pasta or risotto dishes at this branch as well…

*Artisanal Cheese Platter -
This was consumed at Classified Cheese Room as well,
and here, they offer basically the same stuff..

VOSS Mineral Water, with bottle designed by Calvin Klein -
A lovely Sparkling Mineral Water from Norway  (large), order this from some greedy steakhouse restaurants and it’ll set you back $80 +10%.  But not here, its much more reasonable at $48 for 800ml and very refreshing ~ 9/10

This layout to me, seems slightly Americanised for some reason,
but I love that central communal table.


Price: $120 Per Person + 10%
Dinner Score: ★★★★☆☆

Opening Hours:
Mon – Fri:   07:00am ~ 23:00pm
Sat:             08:00am ~ 23:00pm

Address: 中環干諾道中8號交易廣場3樓313號舖
(Shop 313, 3/F, The Forum, 8 Connaught Road, Central)
Phone: 2147 3454

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Shun Hing Hong (順興行) - ♕♕♕♕

This groceries shop normally only operates as a Dried Seafood or Bird’s Nest supplier.
Come during its off-peak hours around 2:30pm to 4:00pm however (official hours might be 2:00 to 6:00pm, but its not very trustworthy, believe me!!) and one surprisingly finds a long queue lining outside that prematurely rolled-down steel gate, yet people still wait patiently outside to stock up on their Thousand Year Old Duck Eggs or Salted Duck Eggs ~ its supposedly the same batch supplied to HK Michelin restaurants within the same area at just a fraction of the price, the same eggs as served in Yung Kee 庸記.

There’s a queue here always, after around 2:00 to 2:30pm.. the latter is the safer bet

This lady is polite but obviously, she doesn’t need your business.
She’s always working at her own, very slow snail pace….
That’s my allocation of Thousand Year Old Duck Eggs right there..

Cantonese, Thousand Year Old eggs…

皮蛋 -
For some reason the batch I had a year ago tasted slightly better, much runnier than this recent batch - hence a marking down in its score.  These also carried more ammonia taste ~ 7.5/10
*Resource photo from Yung Kee:
Usually, its best eaten with Pickled Young Ginger,
which are similar to Japanase Gari!

Instead of pairing them with the Pickled Ginger bought from 九龍醬園 located close to here, it can also pair very well with Dried Pork Floss…


(I think this Photo was never meant to be shown… Shoosh!)

Price: $15 Per Person for 4 Eggs.  A Bargain.
Score: ★★★★☆☆
Opening Hours:
Mon – Sat:   14:00 ~ 18:00pm
Note: its more like 14:30 ~ 16:00pm these days, to be safe

Address: 上環永樂街61號地下
(G/F, No. 61 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan)
Phone: 2544 1911


Quezon Pinoy Food Express - ♕♕♕

In this Filipino take-away shop with a few branches in Wan Chai, you can find a few express eat-out items, as well as their Balut duck eggs with embryo/fetus still attached inside.  Compare this version to a Hong Kong version Duck Egg clicking here!:  Link: Shun Hing Hong’s Thousand Year Old Eggs

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Take away food to be self-picked from vats

2 Types of Duck Eggs available…

Balut Duck Egg peeled from bottom up -
Needs to be cooked for around 7-8 minutes first…


This to be eaten by sucking out the juice, with either a dash of lime juice and salt,
or with a bit of red vinegar added.  A well known Vietnamese or Filipino cuisine dish.
(*The taste is pretty strong, not for the faint hearted)


Price: $20 Per Person
Score: ★★★☆☆☆

Address: 灣仔駱克道146-148號裕安大樓地下C2號舖
(Shop C2, G/F, Yue On Building, 146-148 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai)
Phone: 2528 4633

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Madam Lim's Laksa (林太叻沙 XO 魚湯米綫) - ♕♕♕

Madam Lin, hailing from Singapore originaly is one of the owners of this newly opened Laksa Specialist shop in Shau Kei Wan, situated adjacent to a well known Suburban Street in Hong Kong which provides a variety of international cuisine dishes.   The Laksa soup here is fairly authentic and quite close to true Singaporean style, befittingly so, as Madam Lin also owns one of the main suppliers of wholesale 醬料 sauces business within Singapore.

The Laksa is made from a correct proportioning of Laksa leaves, Lemon Grass, Coconut Cream, as well as Lin’s own secretive special sauces..  The Laksa soup base is highly commendable and welcoming - but its their other items and lack of cooking accuracy which deducted a few crucial points in the process!  Nevertheless, this shop is still only in its baby infantry stage as it was still Soft Opening as of my visit and review.   I hope my comments will be treated as being constructive and can help them to flourish 1 day….

Still Soft Opening by the time of this review..

黃金帽子 -
Golden Hat, is a crisp basket topped with julienned veggies and a sea prawn,
adorned with a sweetish chutney sauce.  A little too plain ~  6/10

炸釀星州腐皮 -
I was expecting this to resemble something like a Lobak, or along the line of an Ampang ‘stuffed’ creation like a Yong Tau Foo. (I miss that stuff so much during my time living in Malaysia).  This came out to be some layered Beancurd Skin wrapped around shredded carrots and whatnot, strictly vegetarian, and a bit too crunchily hard  ~  6/10

The Laksa sauce tray – looking very authentic indeed…

林太叻沙 (半油麵, 半米粉) -
We awaited this Signature Laksa dish with anticipation!  We ordered this with half-half noodles, which I’ve accustomed to when living in the region.  It comes with Tofu, Prawn Crackers, Fish Balls, Prawns and Pippies instead of raw cockles steeped in alcohol. The latter is a welcome change and a good alternative solution.  This was quite coconutty and fragrant, but the noodles were overcooked, and somehow it wasn’t hot and spicy enough ~  7/10

酒香 XO, 魚湯浸娃娃菜 -
The XO referred in here is confusing.  It is not relatable to Cantonese XO Sauce, but it actually implies that its slightly alcoholic only, much like a chinese rice wine. This was quite alcoholic in smell to be honest, and topped with fried shallots, its not for everyone unless you like alcohol with your veggies  ~  7/10


羅漢果龍珠茶 -
Siraitia grosvenori tea with Longan fruit, this was soothing and enjoyable ~ 9/10

A fairly Limited Menu for now….

Price: $115 Per Person + 10%
Dinner Score: ★★★☆☆☆
Opening Hours:
Mon – Sun:   12:00 ~ 22:00pm

Address: 筲箕灣東大街42-52號金來大厦地下H舖
(Shop H, Golden Mansion, 42-52 Shau Kei Wan Main Street East, Shau Kei Wan)
Phone: 2884 0111


Cheuk Yuet Cake Shop (卓越食品餅店) - ♕♕♕♕♕

Cheuk Yuet is an old-school Hong Kong sweet pastries shop in Sheung Wan.
It has re-created quite a few traditional Cantonese specialty items,
but it’s their Chess Piece Cake and Pudding which really stands out amongst the rest...

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Very well known in this vicinity, for its traditional types of HK Desserts..

A few of its pastries with different flavours..

棋子餅 (蓮蓉) -
Looking like a Chinese Chess piece, this miniature cake with lotus seed paste is perfectly smooth and not too cloyingly sweet.  This would make for a pretty good petit four in Cantonese cuisine? ~  8/10

豬仔餅 -
They have these baked pastries moulded in either a Buddha’s shape, or a Pig, Fish or a Young Chicken shape. By total chance, I ended up getting the PIG – the most well-known of them all within Hong Kong.  A bit crunchy, almost like a Chinese cookie ~  7/10

Cantonese Puddings

砵仔糕 -
Almost everyone in Hong Kong knows what this Pudding with Red Beans tates like, but apparently the most traditional type are served in China Porcelain containers.  Most modern versions however took a shortcut and are served in white bowls.  Here – this shop not only retains the most traditional way of serving them, but its nicely chewy and not too sweet for once!  Definitely the best Porcelain Pudding in Hong Kong I’ve tried so far ~  8/10

Price: $9 Per Person
Score: ★★★★★☆
*Bargain. Bargain. Bargain.  All 4 items above only costed me $9, or below USD 1.20!

Opening Hours:
Mon – Sun:   8:00am ~ 19:00pm

Address: 西環皇后大道西183號地下
(Queen's Road West, No. 183 Ground Floor)
Phone: 2540 0858



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