Archive | Ask the locals RSS feed for this section

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.

DSC_6282
Continue reading

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

Festive Filipino Food

19 Dec

For the past two months, I’ve been surrounded by people from all over the world, and these people are very talented and well-travelled.  So I decided to talk to them a bit about food, whether it’s from their own countries or the food they’ve found along the way.  Here’s the first of the many recommendations from them. 

As Christmas is approaching, many of us are in the celebrating mood, some expats are preparing to go home to celebrate.  I managed to get  Kiko Rosario, APTN Bangkok Bureau’s Production Manager to introduce me the festive food  in Philippines during the Christmas and New Year.

” Nine days before Christmas, people starts going to the predawn masses and after the masses family usually go to the food stalls set up by the courtyard of the church”, he said

These snacks below are found during the Christmas and New Year and Filipino’s Christmas can not be completed without them.

Bibingka : The rice cake with salted egg topped with shredded coconut. Kiko says that adding butter on top is the best.

Puto bumbong : This is another type of rice cake made from purple colored rice, topped with grated coconut and sugar.  It is served with hot chocolate (my favourite winter treats!)

Queso De Bola : A round Edam Cheese wrapped in red package is another standard fare for Christmas. 

For Christmas in the Philipines, especially for Chinese-Filippinos the Chinese Ham is a part of Christmas Dinner. Kiko also says that for the New Year, there are always 12 kinds of  round food on the table.  “It is for good luck”

My friend’s favourite : Singapore’s Hawker Food

7 Dec

           When I think about Singaporian food, I think Chicken Rice, just because Singapore is famous for it.  Now that I know better having met many Singaporians and visited it several times, Singapore’s local food is much more than the Chicken Rice.  There are Nonya food, Indian food, Malay food and many more.  There are so much varieties considering the compact size of this country!

This weekend, my dear friend Melissa flew in from Shanghai where she currently works in a communication section for an international company  for her best friend’s wedding.  Being a Singapore-Chinese, I asked her what her local favorite food are, and of course she said ” The best food can be found at the Hawkar Stalls” spreading around Singapore.  Here are 5 of  her favourites

 1 )  Chicken Rice :  Yup.. Singapore’s National dish. Mel told me that rice is the secret. The rice is very important and a critical element for this dish.   Her favourite Chicken Rice place is at Hawker Centre in Sarangoon Garden.  Apparently, that place must have good rice. 

2) Chwee Kueh (pronounced : “Chui Guai”) : This is a Chinese Snack consists of rice cake in a Chinese tea-cup size topped with stirred fried  minced pork, minced shrimp and  “Chye Poh” (pronounced : Chai Pow : pickled turnip)with a touch of special made soya sauce. “It is the Chye Poh that makes the different but it also depends on the rice cake itself. It needs to be not too sticky, and some can be lumpy”  Her favourite place is at Tiaong Bahru Market.  Apparently we make this at home too. I promised Mel to send the photo of the Chwee Kueh when we make it.

3) Peranakan Cuisine :  Peranakan or Nonya cuisine is a mixture of Malay and Chinese food and the classic example is Laksa, the noodles in curry sauce. Having Peranakan heritage, Mel said that the best place for Peranakan cuisine is at her house, and after thinking of her favourite Nonya dish, Nonya Cake was what she’s craving for. 

Note : Peranakan food can be found in many places in Singapore. From the  Hawkers to very posh restaurants.

4) Sang Mein :  This is a cantonese style deep fried egg noodles topped with gravy sauce.  It can be found in any Hong Kong Style Hawker Stalls. ” The tip is, it depends on how crispy the noodles is” she said, and after a long pause, ” Pork Kidney is also important”

5) Kaya Toast  with half boiled eggs : This is a typical Peranakan breakfast dish, usually serve with Milk Tea or Milk Coffee.  The original Kaya Toast shop is at Killiney Road called Killiney Kopitiam

So, I think next time when I am in Singapore, I would definitely look for those food instead of  hunting for Chilli Crabs, and of course come back with my own favourite Singaporian hawker stalls.