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Going veg

5 Jul

I have been eating vegetarian at home for some time now, as I get plenty of meat as it is whenever we eat out, which is most of the time. And considering this week I have practically no lunch appointments (I know, what a loner I am…) I thought I might as well go where few have ventured before, and that is to some vegetarian restaurants in Wanchai. By no means am I an expert in this area, but fortunately I do know of two places with good, affordable vegetarian selections.

First up – I went to Loving Hut Vegan Cuisine, which I had visited once before for dinner and was curious to see what it’s like on a weekday lunch. Surprisingly, business was good this time, yet not too full. After considering the wide range of dishes available, I settled for a typical vegetarian fried rice with some kind of special herb called heung chun (香椿). Portion was big, and came with a side of veg. All in all, I was satisfied, though feeling a little bloated from all that starch. I should try something else next time.
An interesting point about this place is it actually is an international chain, with all over the US, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and has some affiliation with a spiritual teacher called the Supreme Master Ching Hai and they place videos from this network that have subtitles in so many languages they take up more space on the screen than the video itself. Go check out ‘supreme master ching hai’ on youtube and you’ll see what I mean.

Next up, finding myself again without any lunch appointments today I ventured a second time to this other place called Happy Veggies. [More to come, with pics too]

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Pet-Friendly Places

5 Jul

Hong Kong doesn’t rank very highly on pet-friendliness, but there are the odd restaurants here and there that somehow manage to get away with allowing customers bring along their pets. The local food and hygiene authority pretty much rules out all pets in any establishment that serves food, but most places with outdoor areas allow pets as long as they don’t wander inside. Then there are ‘dog cafes’ which have cropped up around the city areas, but I have yet to find one that decent food. Below are two places we’ve been to recently which have decent, Chinese fare and even allow dogs!

This first place is out of the way from town, in an area called Shum Tseng, that’s famous for roast goose. As with any area famous for a particular dish, all the shops selling roast goose in this area claim they are the original and best. Though I do have my personal favourite amongst the lot, having our dog with us this time limited our choices somewhat. I had heard this other place called Fu Kee has decent goose and with their spacious outdoor covered area the choice was clear.

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Lunch in Central

17 May

Ironically, I don’t have much to talk about lunch in Central because typically I like to get away from the financial area to avoid the workday rush hour in favour of more variety at more affordable prices elsewhere. There’s a saying in HK that Central is 搵食艱難, which can mean either it’s hard to “find a meal” or “make a living”. You either have to make a booking, which would mean somewhere upwards of HKD200, or find yourself spending most of your lunch hour in a queue for something easier on the wallet. Of course, there is the alternative of bringing something back to the office, but I like to go for a walk after a long morning at the desk. Being a creature of habit, today I headed out in search of new culinary delights in Wanchai.

Just over the weekend I stumbled upon this chic-looking vietnamese place just at the edge of Wanchai and a stone’s throw from a tram stop. Though it isn’t within my typical budget for a meal in this area, around HKD100 for a set, I wasn’t up for wandering further and was curious to check it out. Not being much of a food critic, I’ll just say the chicken salad with cabbage, beef brisket stewed with tomato and mung bean coconut drink were all satisfying and surprisingly good.

A final word on lunch in Wanchai is generally I would expect a meal for about HKD30-50 but with all these swanky establishments cropping up these days and the rising food costs perhaps it’s time revised my lunch budget.

Places I’d try if I had the patience to queue

16 May

Maybe I’m just not enough of a foodie to queue, but if I do one day find myself itching to stand for hours for a bowl of ramen or dimsum or scrambled eggs I would go to these places:

Butao – renowned for its authentic pork-stock ramen made by an authentic Japanese ramen chef. Apparently they only serve something like 100 / 200 bowls a day and unlucky individuals at the end of queue are denied their reward if supplies run dry before they get a seat.

http://www.openrice.com/restaurant/sr2.htm?shopid=48338

Tim Ho Wan – I heard of this place from two independent sources, one from Singapore and one from Australia, completely unknown to each other. How disgraceful of me! Apparently it’s the cheapest Michelin one-star restaurant in the world. One of those small-sized dim sum places that are cropping up around the place these days as an alternative to the more traditional ‘Jau Lau’-style Chinese restaurants.

http://www.openrice.com/restaurant/sr2.htm?shopid=30806

Australia Dairy Company – Back when I last ate here, must have been up to 10 years ago, I had no recollection of any queues and thought this was just a regular milk pudding place. Then all of a sudden I recently hear it’s always been a big hit and the queues just never go away. Apparently they also do a mean scrambled egg with real Aussie milk. I wonder what people go for – the pudding or eggs… must be the milk pudding. I mean how good could scrambled eggs possibly be?

http://www.openrice.com/restaurant/sr2.htm?shopid=90