Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hong Kong : The day we went to the heartlands of 牛頭角

Openrice.com is such a fantastic hungrygowhere website for the clueless as it ranks eateries by categories. Egg waffle, or zidanzai is a signature Hong kong snack Kelly and i grew to love, so clearly, there was reason to do a search on hungrygowhere and out churned out this little street stall 無名炭爐雞蛋仔 (牛頭角下邨第9座食街對開(球場旁), Hong Kong), in 牛頭角- right in the heartlands in North Hong Kong.
雞蛋仔 Zi Dan Zai, is actually a 3 D waffle - instead of the usual sunken in squares you get in Western waffles (in Prima Deli) or those Belgian waffles, you get popped up circles.
What is unique about this stall is that their waffles are all placed on this charcoal grill after they are made, giving it a really unique, smokey taste.
We really loved their normal waffles - the batter was rather buttery and delicious, and has a charcoal grilled aroma. In Hong Kong, the waffle filling is a very creamy peanut butter and alot alot of white sugar, making the peanut butter very "gritty" and delicious !
And this is their amazing zidanzai... and after going around trying zidanzai from all over, we realised the density of those little bubble pops (reminds me a little of a more palatable version of umm, bubble wrap) is different in different stalls - some stalls specialise in light, airy versions, some half air and half dense cake, and others - like this stall, very dense inside.
Its like eating a very big, interconnected kueh balu..
Then Kelly led me to this dessert stall, 肥媽甜品粉麵小食 (牛頭角下村14座, Hong Kong) infamous for having a mystery hunk who helps his mom run the stall....but we asked him to help us take a picture (of ourselves) instead of taking a secret shot of him...doh...
Okay im damn sad now, after searching thru openrice.com, i realise this stall has folded....its such a gem i think its so wasted!!
There is Durian Steamed milk and mango sago pudding. The durian steamed milk was quite amazing, its like a durian custard. We realise Hong Kongers have a fetish for durian too!! And this marries their all time favourite steamed milk with durian. The mango sago pudding was not bad too.
They also have a fetish for this durian dumpling roll - we had this at Honeymoon desserts too.
But the difference is that the durian flesh here is much more than Honeymoon dessert's, which was full of cream. You can find this back in Singapore too, at Far East Plaza (level 2)
After that string of desserts we finally decided to head for proper food so we settled at a cha chan teng, 興記茶餐廳 (牛頭角下村10座11-12號, Hong Kong). Kelly the food leader recognised the picture of a shack and brought us here....and in we went, to a very old school cha chan teng.
Do you notice the chair seats are rather unusual? Anyway, the eateries in Hong Kong all have this table format - and sometimes, when you have to share tables, you share the same seat with your food partner, and may end up having to face total strangers - never understood why circular tables a la Singaporean hawker centres are a rarity in Hong Kong.
The black pepper chicken rice was fantastic. The chicken cutlet was freshly fried and was most crisp. Again, mopped up most of the pepper sauce with the rice. I need to find a replacement for this back in Singapore!
Kelly had Butter bread with omelette...
And Pork chop with maggi noodles - which she wished the meat wasnt soaked in the noodles...
Had my usual Yuan yang (although he didnt really understand my order)
We passed by another eatery which was really crowded at first and was really tempted to queue for dinner but then we became wiser and chose the above (cos the long long queue was like for a zi char stall and there was only 2 of us). Then we passed by another fried dough fritters stall and couldnt resist.
What is really unique about the dough fritters in Hong Kong is the Fried French Loaf. This is amazing, your normal baguette dipped in egg batter and fried - its sweet, savoury, with soft bread right in side.
I still like my sesame dough fritter - though this one was empty and extremely doughy inside. Miss my peanut filled dough fritters ! Those at Rochor Tau Huay at Selegie Road rocks my socks man.
It was a pretty interesting excursion to the heartlands - similar to Singapore - the corridors thru the flats were extremely claustrophobic with flats lining both sides of the corridors (and some were pretty dark and dodgy as well) , and the coffee shops and zichar concepts are really similar too - except that the Hong Kongers really eat at all times of the day, keeping these eateries up and running through the nights. Its a dream for all who indulge in supper.

No comments: