Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for March, 2010

Does everyone already know about Yo Go in Causeway Bay? Very well, then, perhaps they do. But for what it’s worth, I also wanted to rave about this new, exceptionally-wallet-friendly fro yo newbie. The quick-and-dirty verdict? It’s great.

W, G, and I visited on a weekend afternoon. The place was decently crowded, and one of the (few) drawbacks was apparent: lack of seating. Anyways, once we arrived, the friendly sales clerk gave us the lowdown: First, pick a frozen yogurt (or mix and match). Yo Go seems to have at least three or four permanent flavors, including original and strawberry, and one featured flavor on rotation. That weekend, the special was lychee.

Toppings galore at Yo Go

The second part is the most fun: toppings. The store is dominated by a long counter with scores of tempting toppings, from assorted fruits (like kiwi and pineapple) to sweets (chocolate chips, oreos, etc). Since everything is charged by the gram, you don’t have to restrict yourself to one or two toppings. It’s your chance to go crazy! I personally¬†got one serving of original and one of lychee yogurt, along with mango and white chocolate chips on top. The yogurt here was awesome – at least as tasty as Berrygood’s. In fact, I’d venture to say Yo Go is better, because there are more options to choose from on a daily basis. The original is a nice balance of sweet and tart, and it’s not too watery, the main sin of some other places I’ve tried. I think what really makes Yo Go a winner for me, though, are the toppings. The option to have unlimited toppings is a dream come true for indecisive types. And the best part is, since you’re charged by weight (have I mentioned this before?), it’s definitely the best value-for-money in town.

Now if only they could squeeze in a few more chairs…

Yo Go
106-126 Leighton Road
2895 1116
Cost: $15 HKD/100 grams

Read Full Post »

In Hong Kong, coffee chains like Starbucks and Pacific Coffee are an espresso a dozen. So when P and I were thinking of a local cafe to visit last weekend, we were kind of stuck. That is, until I remembered that one of my friends used to work at a delightful place called Cafe Zambra, located in Wan Chai. I read on openrice that their baristas made some of the best latte art in town, so after a short consult with P, we were on our way.

You're the cutest harbinger of death I've ever seen!

Zambra is in (what I consider) the tucked-away part of Wan Chai. That is, it’s not crammed between two girlie bars selling more than just beer; it’s not particularly close to the Star Ferry Pier, and it’s not close to Southorn Playground and the Tai Yuen street market. It’s on Jaffe, in between Wan Chai and Causeway Bay, and walking there you pass several quiet(er) streets until you happen upon the two-storied glass building that houses Zambra. Immediately, the open space put me at ease; there’s something about light and room to breathe that always makes me feel good. The interior is larger than it seems, as a small staircase towards the back leads to an upstairs seating area. And of course, like any good coffee shop, they’ve got free wi-fi.

The coffee itself is quite good (they’re known for their specialty beans, collected from all over the world), and it’s even better decked out with latte art. When the waitress brought our drinks up, P had an awesome skull design that defied our previous understandings of latte foam. Zambra also has a tempting selection of light snacks (sandwiches, salads, and couscous!) and desserts. The standout is the banofee pie, which I did not have on this visit, but on a previous occasion. The sticky, sweet, crunchy, gooey pie is truly addictive. Hurry to this gem-of-a-cafe next time you feel an indie (and I-wanna-pig-out-on-pie) vibe coming on.

Cafe Zambra
239 Jaffe Road, Wan Chai
2598 1322
Cost: ~ $30-40HKD per coffee drink

Read Full Post »

I didn’t intend for this blog to get updated only once a month, but somehow, that’s become the format. I honestly would have written sooner had I not been inundated (in a delightful way) with friends and family from out of town. Having visitors always means an excuse to try new places, and since I had two sets of aunts/cousins come through from the Mainland, they were more interested in trying the local Hong Kong standouts. Here’s the best of our eating adventures:

TAO HEUNG

Sweet on the outside, sweet (and savory) on the inside

I met my two aunts for early morning yam cha at the Tao Heung in Maritime Square in Tsing Yi. I’d actually heard about this chain from my HK colleague C/G, but never had an opportunity to try it. The quality of dim sum is nearly as high as – if not equal to – that of Tim Ho Wun, IMHO. Only, instead of the deep fried cha siu bao, Tao Heung specializes in pineapple cha siu bao, which has the outer consistency of a pineapple bun, and the inner filling of sweet cha siu. A must-order! The ha gao were also plump and juicy, and the chen pi niu wan, or the beef balls with soybean sheets (better-tasting than it sounds, I promise) were also winners. The best part about the whole experience was the price – the three of us ate for around $150, and we had a feast!

Bodacious beef balls

I also went to Tao Heung in Wan Chai with my other aunt and cousin. The quality stayed consistent, only they didn’t have pineapple cha siu baos on offer. Maybe it’s just a weekend thing? The decor at the Tsing Yi branch looked more modern, but for some reason, the atmosphere at the Wan Chai store seemed more “Hong Kong”. In addition to the good food, you can hobnob with all the elders reading their newspapers over their dim sum. How’s that for authentic?

Tao Heung
Shop G04, G/F, Maritime Square (Tsing Yi)
2433 1103

2/F, CNT Tower, 338 Hennessy Rd. (Wan Chai)
2838 3097
Cost: ~ $50HKD/person

YUE KEE RESTAURANT

The most savvy Hong Kong foodies know the best roast goose can be found in the village of Sham Tseng, in the Tsuen Wan district. I had the privilege of getting in on this secret when my aunt and cousin visited. Apparently, when they came to Hong Kong in 1999, their local friend insisted on taking them to Yue Kee but, due to various circumstances, they never made it. Since then, my poor aunt has been waiting ten years to try this legendary roast goose.

You're adorable! Too bad we came to eat you.

I was determined not to let her down, and we set off to Sham Tseng, with little idea of where we were going. Getting there turned out to be surprisingly simple – take the Tsuen Wan line (red line) to Tsuen Wan and take minibus 96M (get on underneath the parking garage opposite Tsuen Wan station). A short (and curvy) ten minute ride will take you to the restaurant district. There are about a dozen roast goose establishments in the area, but since Yue Kee has been there the longest (since 1958) we made a beeline for it.

We've waited ten years for this goose!

We ordered a set lunch: at $208, it included a portion of the goose, choice of two dishes, and goose soup. It was more than enough for us three ladies, and we were glad we’d decided against getting a half order of goose! The bird was indeed yummy, as it was chewy, but not overly so, and perfectly complemented by the crispy skin on top. It was especially good paired with the apricot-ish glaze/dip that was put on the table.

Eggplant just like Mom used to make

My favorite out of the two dishes we ordered was the yu xiang qie zi, or stir-fried eggplant. It was served in a clay pot, which kept it warm throughout our meal. The eggplant wasn’t too soggy and oily, as is easy to do with this dish, but firm without being too tough.

At the end of the meal, my aunt declared the food was worth ten years.

Yue Kee Restaurant
9 Main Street, Sham Tseng San Tsuen, Sham Tseng
2491 0105
Cost: ~ $70 HKD/person (for lunch)

KAM FUNG

A staple in the Wan Chai area for decades, Kam Fung always has a line a thousand people long when I leave for work in the mornings. No doubt they’re queueing up for one of the cha chaan tang‘s signature pineapple buns or piping-hot egg tarts. I went for a sit-down breakfast with my aunt and cousin last week and was not dissapointed.

Just part of the breakfast sets

First off, be warned that their breakfast sets are big. My cousin and aunt both got a set and each got a bowl of noodles with accoutrements (ham for my cousin, preserved veggies for my aunt). They also each got a pineapple bun, fried egg, and a slice of ham. A drink was included – all for $28 HKD. I got a pineapple bun and a cold milk tea, and was more than satisfied. The crust of the pineapple bun was crispy, sweet, and flaky, and the inside was fluffy, almost like a croissant. It was definitely filling, and tided me over well past lunchtime.

I pine for this pineapple bun

My favorite aspect of the place is the way it feels like it’s been there forever. And my favorite waiter is an old, short, balding man who looks like he’s been there since the start. He knows I don’t speak Cantonese but on the instances I try, he jokes back in Canto, and I just have a gut feeling he’s making fun of me.

On a side note, the first time I went to Kam Fung, my friends told me to order the chicken tart, and egg tart, for which they’re also famous. I forgot what they taste like, but if my memory serves me, the egg tart wasn’t the shortbread crust like the Tai Cheong variety; rather, it was more flaky, the layers of dough peeling off delicately in your mouth. Try both tarts and the pineapple bun when you visit!

Kam Fung Restaurant
G/F, Spring Garden Mansion, 41 Spring Garden Lane
2572 0526
Cost: ~ $28 HKD/person for a breakfast set, or $12 HKD/person for a pineapple bun and beverage

Read Full Post »