Thursday, June 30, 2011

Noodles, liver and tofu - A mini Sham Shui Po food crawl

Inspired by Jason's post on Lau Sum Kee, one weekend, Jen and I went to Sham Shui Po, western Kowloon, just a little further west from Mong Kok.

The morning before we were due to meet, I trawled Openrice and the wider internet for tips on where to go - because we weren't gonna go all the way out there* just for a plate of noodles!

*ok, it's not that far - very convenient by MTR actually.

My Sham Shui Po "map", if you could call it that. How about "Artist's Representation of SSP"?
So I drew up a crappy map (I would have printed a Google map, but I don't have a printer at home... is that weird?) and wrote the names down in my kindergarten-Chinese handwriting and set off.

Lau Sum Kee
48 Kweilin Street

Lau Sum Kee is known as one of Hong Kong's last remaining wonton noodle shops that still kneads their dough using a huge bamboo pole.

How it works: there's a huge bamboo pole on a lever of sorts that goes above a table. Dough is put on the table, under the pole. The noodle maker rides the pole and bounces on it rhythmically to flatten out and knead the dough. (However I say it, it sounds scandalous, but trust me, it isn't. Or don't trust me and watch the Youtube video above.)

[edit: thanks to Miki in the comments below for reminding me to say that you can't actually see anyone doing this at Lau Sum Kee - well, at least we didn't when we went... Also, another place that supposedly does bamboo noodles is Wing Wah in Wanchai. The noodles there are less bouncy and more pasta-like though, and similarly, I never see no poles.]

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mission Chinese Food Event in Shenzhen

I seldom write about one-off events, as I try to make this blog as useful as possible, but this one-night-only pop-up event in Shenzhen by Mission Chinese Food triggered some pretty interesting things that made me think more about where modern Asian/Chinese food is going.

If you're a foodlover from the States, or are kind of crazy and read about food way too much, you've probably already heard of MCF, or even been. They went from Mission Street Food to Mission Chinese Food, doing fusion-y Asian American within an actual Chinese American restaurant in the Mission district of San Francisco. I'd never eaten there, but from what I could gather from the interwebs it's boldly flavoured, nouveau soul Asian - which I would really have liked to eat at this event in Shenzhen, but at the same time I thought it might be a little odd - bringing soul-Asian back to Asia*.

Aside from the food itself, I want to talk about what this meal by Mission Chinese Food (hereafter MCF because I'm lazy) meant to me.

I didn't really know what to expect, but luckily there are adventurous folks like Gary and HK Epicurus, who were more than willing to come along, so across the border we went.

Clam/geoduck sashimi/carpaccio

The first thing that came out were slices of giant clam (though I think it was geoduck) on vinegared(?) melon in tomato essence, dotted with parsley oil and shiso. It was a clean, elegantly presented dish served to us in individual portions - so we pretty much knew for sure we weren't going family style.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Cantopop - Organic is Good Business

... but little else.

I know it's not fair to judge a restaurant after having tried 2 things at the opening cocktails and one lunch, but as far as judgment on a purely personal am-I-gonna-come-back-if-I-had-a-choice grudge goes, my mind is pretty much made up for now.

Sous vide char siu and egg rice
About 3 years ago, when "organic" hit our local wet markets, my mom bought some choi sum for about 1.5x the price of normal choi sum, and stir-fried it for us for dinner one night, without telling us it was organic. As we dug our chopsticks into the jade green mountain of veg, I still remember dad and I saying almost simultaneously, "hey this choi sum is good, where did you get it?". In the dark days prior to this moment, we had sadly gotten used to the taste (or lack thereof) of a proper choi sum. This one was a sweet, fresh, juicy (oh yes) awakening for our palates.

Since then, when people say, "all that organic and healthy stuff is bland", that's the example I quote. I do believe that organically farmed vegetables have great potential to be hyper-tasty.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Coo-coo for Claypot Rice - Choi's Kitchen (See Fong Choi)

Eel claypot rice
It's probably the wrong time to post about claypot rice as we're diving headfirst into Hong Kong's hottest months. But I don't want to have to wait another half a year to post this! Besides, claypot rice this good is worth a little sweat (and I'm pretty sure that despite looking like a neater daipaidong, they have aircon).

Friday, June 03, 2011

40 hours in Singapore - 3 Hainanese Chicken Rices

Yet Con
I found it pretty amazing that I managed so much on my 40-hour trip to Singapore without feeling physically disgusting or even having to pop any PPIs. This post is about the three chicken rices I had over two days (for other stuff, like a bak kuh teh I never thought I'd like but ended up loving, see here).

Yet Con
25 Purvis Street
+65 6337 6819

Chicken - Yet Con
I wanted to come here on my last visit, but arrived too late (8pm). This time, I came at 3pm. Believe it or not the restaurant was still 40% full.