fuck yeah noms

Where:
Cheng Kee Chiu Chow Restaurant (鄭記潮州食家)
G/F, 142 Tung Lo Wan Road, Tai Hang

Phone:
+852 2578 8179 (I don’t really think it’s a booking kind of place though)

Price range:
$120ish a head – take note, we ordered a lot, waiter was concerned we couldn’t finish. Lucky for him, I’m pretty greedy.

The deal:
I found this place by applying high grade Hong Kong tactics – a) it smelled good b) it’s always busy / has a queue and c) full of local Hong Kong people. Conclusion: I want to get in on the hype and join the crowd. This is a totally English unfriendly – no menus in English, no pictorial menu – so get your best HK friend to come with you and go and nom up a Chiu Chow storm. I really enjoyed this – my best HK friend made sure that we ordered all the signature Chiu Chow dishes and she ordered dishes that would offend most gwai lo sensibilities. Fuck yeah props to eating out with Asian friends who want to eat all the more unusual stuff – stewed blood curds/cube, squid/pig ears, oyster congee rice porridge and the oyster pancake. She did ask me if I eat organs – fun fact, the only food I actively dislike is capsicum/peppers. We snacked down on some gwai lo friendly goose too. Anyway, it was all fucking tasty and even better it’s open til 1am – so it’s snacks on for after drinking. Late night factor might explain some of the clientele – my super sweet HK friend looking appalled as she reported that the tables next to us which had HK guys, drinking Blue Girl and snacking down on Chiu Chow snacks were using ‘terrible, terrible language’. However, dat oyster pancake – I want you in my life again!!

The verdict:
Fuck yeah!!!! And in honour of the ‘terrible, terrible language’ guys – fucking mother fucking fuck fuck yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Where:
Yung Kee
32 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2522 1624

Price range:
Got out of here HKD300 each, including drinks

The deal:
Yung Kee is one of those places that won a bunch of awards in the 1960s and is famous for its roast goose and makes its living trading on that.  As one of the people I was with pointed out, ‘Fuck, the Internet wasn’t even invented yet’.  Whenever you mention Yung Kee, someone goes ‘Ooohhhhh THE ROAST GOOSE’.  I’m learning Cantonese and there’s a key phrase called ‘mah mah dei’ which means something is just ok.  Except it’s not really just ok – to say it properly, you also have to pull a face like you’ve just smelled shit and then wiggle your hand in a dismissive fashion which suggests everything was quite far from ok.  That’s how you do the full ‘mah mah dei’ face.  I think this is the perfect explanation for Yung Kee – quick, do the I just smelled a turd face.  Tthe roast goose is good, the crispy chicken is good – but is it any better than other roast meat houses in HK?  The rest of the food is pretty average – salty, oily stir fried meat with capsicum/peppers in various reiterations.  Service was abysmal – despite numerous requests for tea / drinks, the waitstaff just couldn’t fucking get it together.  There’s nothing offensively bad about Yung Kee but I think when you’re in HK, you should be getting some of the best fucking Guangdong food in the world.  Gwai los and tourists will probably continue to enjoy it.  Pro tip – when you go with gwai los and eat roast goose, they will all want to nom down on the breast meat leaving the far more attractive and tastier legs / thighs / bits with bones for you.  Hey round eyes – keep your dry ass breast meat, I’m all aboard the flavour train to dark meat town and you’re not invited.  You know what I give being able to eat both leg pieces – fuck yeahhhhhh.

Verdict:
Fuck no.

Where:
Xia Fei Society
4/F, Century Square
1 – 13 D’Aguilar Street

Phone:
+852 2522 7611

Price range:
HKD200ish each.

The deal:
Shanghainese food is a top tier Chinese cuisine.  Which means it’s pretty fucking good because I think generally, Chinese food is some of the best food in the world.  Fuck yeah China, go you good thing.  Xia Fei Society hits a rare spot in good Chinese food – nice atmosphere, white tableclothes, not too expensive, service isn’t abysmal (and may even be friendly!) and all the dishes taste different.  Their siu long bao (soup dumplings) isn’t the best in HK, but it’s still pretty solid.  Diverse appetizer/cold dish section so you can get a taste of everything.  Make sure you get the pan fried beef soup dumpling too (Chinese name is the ‘au yuk beng’) – but don’t burn your tongue off when you bite through because those bad boys are hot as fuck.  The tofu / meat mince / preserved vegetable dish is fucking tasty too – I asked my friend to tell me the Chinese name, but apparently she hadn’t even heard of it, and said they would just call it ‘tofu’.  Not particularly helpful – thanks descriptive Chinese names which don’t really make a lot of sense.  I’m a big fan of ‘dan dan mien’ (Chilli noodle soup + peanuts + pork mince) but whenever I order it with friends, no one else seems to get that excited about it.  Two of us got out of here for lunch at HKD390 total (no lunch set because it didn’t really seem that good).  Probably better if you phone ahead and make a booking.

Verdict:
Fuck yeahhhhh.

Where:
The Square
4/F, Exchange Square II,
Central, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2525 1163

Price range:
HKD250 a head, including dessert.

The deal:
One Michelin starred Chinese restaurant in Exchange Square.  I am not sure how much weight I put on this Michelin star process as I sometimes get the feeling that HK hands out Michelin stars like candy though.  Not to say that The Square isn’t good, but is there really any sense in comparing the one Michelin starred Amber or the one Michelin starred Tim Ho Wan?  I sometimes feel that that Oprah Winfrey was working for the Michelin Guide and blew through HK – ‘YOU GET A MICHELIN STAR! AND YOU GET A MICHELIN STAR!!! AND YOUUUU GET A MICHELIN STAR!!!’.  Stopped in here for lunch for a mixture of dishes + dim sum and was expecting to be stripped of all my money.  Despite this fear, it was pretty good value.  A FWHKP (First World HK Problem) is getting dim sum fatigue, when you get burned out on dim sum because you’ve been to a few and they all almost taste the same and are of similar quality.  However, The Square’s dim sum was above normal HK standard so it was pretty fucking great.  A+ would buy from again.

Verdict:
Fuck yeah.

Where:
Restoration
1F/63 Wyndham Street
Central, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2536 0183

Price:
HKD3500 for 4 people (that includes 2 bottles of wine for HKD1500 and a HKD200 tip).  Dining would be cheaper if I wasn’t such a lush.

The deal:
I had feared that Restoration might be one of those hipster restaurants which were all form and no substance but we were surprised on the upside.  My friend and I had purposefully neglected to get entrees because we wanted to leave room for dessert.  Do not go here with shy friends or tight pants – example of what we ordered:  16oz double cut pork chop cooked in duck fat, blackened catfish stuffed with jumbo lump crab, Andouillie crusted fish and the BBQ duck and a side of jamabalaya.  Even my carnivorous husband agreed that he would have happily ordered the fish.  Given it was fried in a lot of butter, we can’t be surprised at his verdict (true fact – we have an acronym we use in emails/text messages, MFCAH – Massive Fat Cunt At Heart). Takes one to know one because I’m also a MFCAH and I pretty much sabotaged this ‘leave room for dessert’ theory by ordering a main serving of fried chicken to share.  Here’s a tip – it’s pretty much a massive chicken half.  It was fucking delicious though, not going to lie – my friend declaring “I imagine this is what KFC used to taste like in the 80s’ vs the greasy pieces of shame and regret it is now. All of our mains were sensational and we sat there, stuffed and happy.  I would have been quite happy to not have dessert but I was fixated on the pecan pie which is one of my absolute favourite sweets (yet to have a good one in HK).  My friend ordered ‘The Ridiculousness’ (cookie sandwich with ice-cream) without trying to use the horrendously stupid name.  ‘I’ll have the cookie ice-cream sandwich’ she said, the waiter proudly announced ‘Oh, you mean THE RIDICULOUSNESS’.  Here’s the rub – The Ridiculousness was Ridiculousness Not Ridiculous but Ridiculousness Average.  If you give such a crazy name to your dish, it’s really got to be ridiculous – like chocolate chip cookies stuffed with so many fucking choc chips that the thing is barely bound together by dough, topped with a shit tonne of Chocolate ice-magic and ice-cream full of bourbon, cookie dough and real vanilla beans  (vs 2 cookies and some average ice-cream which it was in real life).  The pecan pie was also disappointing.  Dessert at Restoration was like when you’re having a great night out in HK and then you decide you want to kick on and before you know it, you’re in LKF staring up at the Stormy’s sign, sucking down jelly syringes at 4am on a Tuesday night as Living on a Prayer blares in the background and The Good Thing becomes The Bad Thing.  If I went to Restoration again, I would get in a cab before my friends declared we should kick on to dessert and wake up refreshed and without regret.  Restoration isn’t cheap however, mains are around HKD250 and we walked out with a bill of HKD3500 for 4 people (that includes 2 bottles of wine for HKD1500 and a HKD200 tip).

The verdict:
Dinner = Fuck yeahhhhhhh
Dessert = Fuck no!

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