Sunday, July 19, 2009

Street Food in Shenzhen, China

Kelly and I ventured to Dongmen, Shenzhen during our last week in Hong Kong. We took the train right up to Luohu Station in Hongkong, and crossed the border to Luohu, Shenzhen. After that, we took the train (their train tokens are in the form of plastic coins like casino chips!!) to Dongmen where we (or at least I) were in cheap cheap heaven.
We had dimsum lunch at Luohu Commercial City and thereafter adjourned to Dongmen where we had tea-desserts at Zhen Shan Mei Desserts Shop (Dongmen, Shenzhen, China). It was only after we ordered our desserts did we realise we were having milky desserts in China. Mmm.
We ordered steamed milk with black glutinous rice with coconut. This is an ingenious combination, the nuttiness of the glutinous rice with the smooth custard blended with coconut.Kels had steamed milk with yam. We liked that the yam was soft and mashy.
The fried durian dumplings were good too - crusty layers of pastry with dense durian paste. If only it was straight out of the fryer...
We then stopped over at Mai Xiang Biscuit shop (Dongmen, Shenzhen, China) whilst we were shopping...

I had the beef biscuit but I think the one I had at Qing Zhen Islam Food in Hong Kong was much juicier.

The street food smells at Dongmen were most enticing and our curiosity was piqued...

The curry powder fragrance from the curry roasted potatoes were much too much to bear so we had one...this was AWESOME! Chunks of fried salty potatoes dusted with curry powder it was a joy with every bite.

The next day Kelly kindly accompanied me to Dongmen, Shenzhen again (my appetite for shopping is insatiable too) and after Macs lunch, we continued on our street food saga again...
Every one was eating takopachi and we had to try too....its so much better here than back at Singapore - the crisp outer layer gives way to chewy balls of flour and was perfect with the teriyaki sauce and alot of seaweed powder...
This was at another street food stall and Kelly had the ma-la noodles and it was most spicy...
I had another round of takopachi and this was SO MUCH BETTER because of the generous coating of teriyaki sauce and seaweed!!

I also had the tau Kua with chilli sauce and this was rather ordinary - but I like the idea of having steaming taukua right out of the pot.
We had a craving for the biscuits we had the day before so we tried Da Mai Baked Biscuits (Dong Men, Shenzhen China). Look how they store their biscuits in baskets!
I tried the Green bean biscuit and this is like warm and toasty tau sa piah.
After all that food thirst got the better of us and we tried Dakasi Bubble Tea (Dongmen, Shenzhen, China). Notice how the drink is mechanically shaking away most vigorously !!
Resulting in the most foamy milk tea we ever had! Damn now I wished we stayed longer in China all their street food was such a change from Hong Kong.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hong Kong: Tai Yuan 大牌檔

On our second day in Hong Kong, our friends wanted to take us to try Tai Yuan (Fo Tan, Hong Kong) this street side food stall,, or what Hong Kongers call a 大牌檔 and they warned us that although the food is delicious it'll be really oily and unhealthy, and that the place is a little unhygenic and we might get diarrhoea if we're not conditioned to the food...but of cos being the greedy folks we were, we just took it on.
This place is really near a university and it is really popular with the students as a supper joint as it is cheap and opens till late. At later hours, the 大牌檔 even expands its territories to take over the nearby bustop and road.
Pretty much like the Singapore Zi Char setting actually...
This is not your typical oyster omelette - I realise oyster omelette is different in different countries - Singapore's taste more eggy, Thailand's taste more gooey and starchy, Korean's pancake tastes more floury, whereas in Hong Kong there's alot of minced dough and egg, and was rather oily. The crispy bits were the best, though. Our Hong Kong friends missed the ones in Singapore alot.
I liked the fried chicken in lemon sauce the most.
I was rather afraid of the diarrhoea inducing lala so I didn't really eat this..
Fried Octopus was most fresh, usually I don't like creatures with tentacles cos they're too chewy for my liking.
Beef ribs soup to cleanse the palate..
This was the best dish of the night, beef stew with vermicelli. The stock was robust and the meat inside extremely tender.
The much needed fiber..
Our friends are such regulars the free flow porridge was in fact, truly free!
And of cos at the end of the story you'll wanna know what the outcome is and no we didnt get Salmonella.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Hong Kong: Quickie Brekkie at Australia Dairy Company

Australia Dairy Company is one of the quickest place to have your breakfast. The queues are long for the place is really popular but the turnover rate is rapid... So true to the nature to this place, this entry shall be a chopchop one too!

Queueing to get in even inside...
You can order a breakfast set like above - my came with fresh hot milk. Warm thick toast and scrambled creamy eggs. Mm.
Basically from the time you sit down and if you order rightaway you get your food in 10 seconds, down it, and get out. Its amazing how orderly the whole routine runs for each customer and you can imagine the minimal service and attention you get. You have to be loud to be heard, you share tables if your group is too small, and your plate gets taken away almost after the last morsel is eaten.
Kels had a set with macaroni and ham.
Kelly's milk tea
My warm milk which i...
dunk buttered toast in....It was most decadent, soaking buttered toast in warm milk!
Of cos we had to end off with dessert so we ordered a steamed egg and this turned out much too much like custard for our liking.
The steamed milk was a little like the version in Yee Shun's. Tastes extremely homemade, and has this aftertaste of powdered milk but we loved it.
All the bowls of steamed ____ to be eaten!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Best of Hong Kong: Icecream and Gelato

XTC Gelato is our favourite ice cream haunt in Hong Kong - the first (of many) times we tried was at Tsim Tsa Tsui's ferry terminal.
Rose petal, chilli chocolate, mango coconut (43HKD)

Whilst it was obvious which tasted like bandung and another which tasted like mango pomelo sago, the chilli chocolate was really unique for the tingling sensation as the dense chocolate icecream trickles down your throat.

HK milk tea, crunchy pistachio, chilli chocolate

And the chilli chocolate was nice enough to warrant another repeat try... Kelly likes the HK milk tea though, while I favoured the crunchy pistachio - I like almost anything with nuts.
We must say that the QC was a problem - the first time the serving was gigantic but this time round it wasnt up to our (already marked up) expectations.

Milk Top (Sogo, Causeway Bay) originates from Japan and we give it tops for unique, light ice cream flavours.
Expensive desserts we never got to try...
Red wine, maple (25 HKD)
Both flavours were very light - red wine was mildly alcoholic whilst the maple tasted of honey laced syrup.

We also tried royal milk tea but it was too light for our liking - all the yuan yangs have primed our taste buds for stronger doses of the tea.
For stronger flavours I like Da Dolce (New Town Plaza, Shatin, Hong Kong) - my favourites include 99% dark chocolate, after8, bacio kiss, hazelnut caramel, roasted almond crunch. The oriental flavours black sesame, coconut and the interesting-sounding cheesy mixed nuts was a little too light for my liking.
after 8, pistachio, roasted almond crunch

My favourite from this trio was not the nutty ones, surprisingly. The after 8 had flakes of chocolate mint made this such a refreshing treat.
Mama mia gelato (Mungkok, Hongkong) was a place I tried when I was bored shopping in Mungkok (Yes the shopping wasnt that fantastic)
There were many unique flavours there..
But i settled for the strawberry cheesecake which was a new flavour - this was a really chewy icecream with digestive bits and strawberry swirls.
And if you roam around the Hong Kong streets enough you are bound to see one of these Mister Softie vans parked around the roads.
This is a milkier, softer version of the Ikea soft serve and is very very addictive.
When the wind gets too strong (like the harbour terminal), you get the leaning tower of mr softee.
And this is the infamous Icecream cone from Ikea (Shatin).
And who can forget Haagan daz!!
Chocolate Hazelnut Brittle, unavailable here. Its like a nutella icecream with bits of waffle crisps.
Have you seen triple scoops in Singapore? Have you had a triple scoop served in a pint before? well I've only seen double scoops and never served in a pint before. We had baileys, tiramisu, and chocolate hazelnut brittle. Baileys rocks my world.
Other rocking flavours include dulce de leche and cappuchino truffle. Bring it over from Hong Kong!!