Monday, December 20, 2010

The good junk - Lan Fong Yuen

Think Chinese Nando's
Lan Fong Yuen is/was one of Hong Kong's most famous daipaidongs - I say was because it's now spawned two permanent stores*, and only a couple tables occasionally on the street. The classic green cart is still there though, complete with stools on which people used to squeeze themselves for a 3.15pm milk tea. (I don't know why exactly but 3.15pm (or "3-o'clock-3" - 3 o'clock and the long hand on the '3') was always known as afternoon tea time in HK).

Sure, their HK-style milk tea, the heart and soul of a snack-style daipaidong, is good, but not my fave - maybe a little too stringent (I like For Kee's), but what I come for is their pan-fried chicken with spring onion 'oil' on instant noodles (蔥油雞扒撈丁). The noodles are served 'dry', i.e. without soup, spaghetti-style. While I don't care much for the wax-covered instant noodles, what they do to the chicken is epic, not that I know exactly what it is that they do. My guess is that it's white thigh meat, salt-and-peppered, maybe msg'ed, flash fried in hot oil and finished off with a hefty pinchfull of spring onion (been in hot oil just enough to release flavours but not to fully cook). The result is a tender, juicy, junky, Nando's Chinese-ified chicken.

I also tried the noodles in soup one afternoon - the 'soup' just made everything soggy and diluted. Go soup-free.

Yes, those are instant noodles and frozen "vegetables" but that's beside the point
*Some people say the original shop is better, honestly, I'm not good enough to tell the difference...

Lan Fong Yuen
2 Gage St. (original with cart out front), and 4a-6 Gage St. (new)
Hong Kong
+852 2544 3895

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  1. I'm so ashamed that I lived in HK half my life from the 70s to the late 80s, and did not know about this place until after 2002, and it's on my to-try list whenever I will visit again. At least this place is still around!

  2. Goodness, you had the same thing I had the one time I visited Lan Fong Yuen. It was good, but just like any other food places in HK, I always have the nagging suspicious that there are better things out there.