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Polo Bun, or Pineapple Bun is one of very typical HK food which is not only locals' favourite but also tourists' must-try. Some may think it is a bun with pineapple filling or flavour, but they are completely wrong! It is actually a sweet round bun with crunchy crust on top, and has nothing to do with the pineapple! I guess why it's called Pineapple Bun in Cantonese, is because of the crust which looks a bit like a pineapple.

You can find Polo Bun in any bakery shop in HK. However if you wanna try one of the best, you must not miss the Polo Bun of Kam Wah Cafe located on Bute Street in Prince Edward. It is a very popular traditional local style tea restaurant which is always packed with people.

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Their famous items are Polo Bun, egg tart & HK style tea with milk. The restaurant has always been covered in different local magazines. It was weekends when I went there last time. Fortunately to get a table right away when I arrived but had to share the table with others. Well, it's a very normal phenomenon in local tea restaurant anyway. I've ordered 2 kinds of Polo Bun and a cup of hot milk tea for my afternoon tea.

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Couldn't wait to try their famous Polo Bun with Butter (HK$6) at first! It's freshly baked and warm, with a cold thick slice of salted butter stuffed in the middle. Crunchy top and soft bread plus the rich buttery taste, without being too sweet, this is what I called a heavenly taste that I've never tasted anywhere else before! It's served on a plate and a fork. Suggest you not to mind the manner and leave aside the fork, use your hands, open your mouth wide and give it a big bite, you will be very satisfied! (Eat as soon as you can, don't let the butter melt completely otherwise you can't taste the real taste!)

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Tried another version of Polo Bun - Polo Bun with Pork Chop (HK$14), which was really a surprise. Never thought of Polo Bun can be eaten with salty things like pork chop, but it's proven a perfect match. The pan fried pork chop was boneless & tender enough to bite together with the bun with no difficulty. With some lettuce & mayonnaise inside just like regular filling of a burger, I was really amazed with this new twist of a traditional bun. Again, eating this bun, I would suggest you to eat it in the most natural way, use your hands and widely opened mouth even fork is provided.. ;)

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To match with the Polo Bun, a cup of hot tea with milk is a drink that cannot be missed. Kam Wah's hot tea with milk (HK$12) is very smooth with rich aroma of the black tea. The proportion of milk and tea is balanced and just right that you won't feel sticky in the throat 'coz of too much milk.

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It was a classic simple local tea restaurant, so don't expect too much on the service. Staff are all very busy but still friendly and very efficient. Suggest to visit on weekdays off-peak hours (avoid lunch time at 1-2pm) so you wouldn't need to wait for a table, but overall their turnover is quite fast and I think it won't need too much time to wait even the restaurant is full. Sit down and look for the menu on every table & walls around. Price range is very reasonable and affordable. Highly recommended!! :D

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Website : N/A

Address : G/F, 47 Bute Street, Prince Edward

Remarks : No 10% service charge is needed

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Starbucks, McCafe, Pacific Coffee... Bored of having a cup of coffee in ordinary coffee shops that you can find in every corner of Hong Kong? Try this theme cafe located on Cameron Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Snoopy fans even shouldn't miss it out!

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Once step in the staircase, my eyes were attracted by the lovely Snoopy and friends figures standing in the showcase along the stairs. In the cafe area, WOW~ everything was so "Charlie Brown"!!! :D

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Like other coffee shops, it's also self service in Charlie Brown Cafe. One little difference is after placing order and pay at the counter, you'll be given a stand with number. Put it on your table, after a while, your food will be delivered. I had a very standard 3-course meal for my lunch that day : Starter + Main Dish + Dessert + Coffee. Total bill was HK$172, but the portion was good for 2 persons.

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Starter - Wardolf Chicken Salad (HK$38). An ordinary salad with celery, apple, chicken, lettace, walnut, raisin and mixed with mayonnaise. Taste was not bad, but not impressive...

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Main Dish - Mixed Veggie & Egg White with Mixed Rice in Pumpkin Sauce (HK$46). A very refreshing and healthy choice. Taste was OK, just feeling a bit weird with the sweetness of pumpkin sauce when eating with the rice, 'coz I use to think rice should be eaten with something salty?? Maybe this is just my own habit anyway... :P

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Dessert - Charlie Sampler (HK$60). This was the STAR of my lunch!!!! And it is one of the most popular items in the cafe too. It was a combo of 3 different kinds of dessert : Creme Brulee, Coffee Mousse & Breading Pudding, each serving in a tea cup with very beautiful garnish that I just didn't want to destory them!

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All three desserts were very nice indeed. Bread Pudding was soft enough, the bread absorbed the egg custard and the flavour blended well altogether. Coffee Mousse was very aromatic (you can smell the coffee~), and I was surprised when I scooped to the bottom, there was bit of coffee cake & nectar! Creme Brulee was quite impressive too. The flavour of egg was very strong and the texture was very soft & smooth. There were those tiny vanilla seeds that made this a quality cup of creme brulee.

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Coffee - Cappuccino (Size Tall, HK$28) To me, it's already a good cup of coffee. :)

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For some of you who are either big fans of Snoopy or cake, perhaps you can think of ordering a slice of cake with your favourite character on~ As the Chinese Mooncake Festival is coming next month, a box of Trio Moon Cake (HK$138) would be the best choice for celebrating this festival in Hong Kong!

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It's a nice place to chillout and have some refreshment or afternoon tea after a half-day long walking and shopping. Like many other coffee shops, magazine shelf and free WiFi are available. Price range for drinks is HK$20-40, starter & main dish is about HK$20-50, cake slices is about HK$29-35.

Website : http://www.charliebr...com/address.htm

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Hi everybody~ It's been quite a while that I haven't written for something hit'n hip in town. So I'm gonna start a blog here and will write about things that I think you guys would be interested. Hong Kong is a food paradise, so the first blog is all about food. Here you go~ :)

Matchbox Cafe, Causeway Bay

The first featured cafe I'd like to introduce is a newly opened Cha Chaan Teng in old-fashioned decor located in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Island. It's easily accessible with about 10mins walk from Causeway Bay MTR station.

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Cafe Entrance

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Walking in the cafe, it's like going back to the 70's!

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Besides A La Carte menu, they offer 2 main meal sets that are available for the whole day : The Old Days Tea Set & Special Meal Set. Both sets are very popular amongst all customers that you could see nearly all tables are ordering these sets.

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The Old Days Tea Set includes half piece of buttered toast, scrambled egg with ham, roasted pork (what we called "cha siu" in Cantonese) with spaghetti in soup and a cup of coffee or tea.

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The toast was so crisp on the crust with a generous layer of butter on top. You could even "smell" the butter!

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Another great surprise on a very ordinary food item that you can eat in nearly every cha chaan teng. The spaghetti was cooked just right, soup was not the one just with MSG and the roasted pork was tender.

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A cup of typical HK's style hot coffee, smooth!

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Special Tea Set is more suitable for sweet-teeth~ It includes a banana & walnut hotcake, chicken pie in pea soup and a cup of coffee or tea.

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Hotcake with slices of banana & walnut, with some caramel toffee sauce, perfect match of all tastes. This item is not an ordinary one that you can find in other cha chaan teng, so do try it if you are fond of sweet~

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This is a very special item that perhaps you can only eat it in Matchbox Cafe. It's a mixed flavour of salty & sweet, with a bit of sweet on the pie pastry, a bit salty in the creamy chicken filling, mixed with slightly salty pea soup.

Other than these 2 famous set meals, there are other typical cha chaan teng a la carte items like baked pasta, fried noodles & rice, sandwiches & soup noodles. Price range of main dishes is about HK$30-50. Do try their hotdog if you still got some space in the stomache, it's a famous item too, but I had to give it up 'coz I was so full after finished the whole set... :P

Website : http://www.cafematchbox.com.hk

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It's been a few years that I haven't patronised Chee Kei 'coz there are just too many noodle houses out there. When I was shopping in Tsim Sha Tsui the other day, I saw this newly opened branch of Chee Kei on Lock Road. Since I couldn't think of anything to eat for dinner, so just popped in and had a light dinner.

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They have Set Menu which are quite value for money. From HK$42, you can have a bowl of noodle/congee with choice of boiled vegatable/Chinese dessert/side dishes. It was weekend night when I visited, so it's quite packed. Lucky that I got a table without waiting. :)

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Ordered 2 meal sets, one is Set A - Wanton Noodle + Boiled Vegetable (I've chosen Choy Sum), HK$42.

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The portion of Wanton Noodle is not very big, I think it's good enough for a lady, gentlemen may need to order some more side dishes. Wantons were of smaller size, not as big as a ping-pong ball that sold in most noodle house. Taste & texture of wanton was not bad though, with fresh shrimp nicely wrapped. Noodle was cooked well, slightly chewy and not too soft. Taste of Soup was just right, not too salty and with a slight hint of shrimp seeds.

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Set B - Sampan Congee + Side Dish (I've chosen Deep Fried Mud Carp Fishball) HK$48, was fairly nice. Though the congee was not outstanding, the Deep Fried Fishball was just fantastic!!!! It's freshly fried that I couldn't eat it right away when it's delivered to our table 'coz my mouth just couldn't bear the heat!! It was a bit crunchy outside ('coz of the vermicelli coating) and very chewy inside, served with the fresh oyster sauce (don't dip too much 'coz the sauce is quite salty...). This one is for sure a must-try if you dine in Chee Kei!

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They are giving out HK$8 cash coupon with every HK$50 spent in the restaurant, which you can use for your next patronage (limited to this Tsim Sha Tsui branch only). Just around HK$50 per pax you can enjoy a meal in the restaurant which is recommended by Michelin Guide. It definitely was a satisfying meal with great value.

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Website : N/A

Address : G/F No.37 Lock Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

Other Branches :

- Shop 10, Level 4, Langham Place, 8 Argyle Street, Mong Kok

- Shop No.F27, Telford Plaza, 33 Wai Yip Street, Kowloon Bay

- 84 Percival Street, Causeway Bay

Remarks : No 10% service charge is needed, Chinese tea is provided free of charge.

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Lucky Dessert, Mongkok

Hong Kong style dessert is one of the must-try for tourists visiting Hong Kong. Except the big brands that generally known by most South-East Asian visitors like Hui Lau Shan and Honeymoon Dessert, Lucky Dessert is a new star. While Hui Lau Shan is famous for mango desserts, Lucky Dessert is famous for desserts made of durian. I guess most people who can't stand the smell of durian is going to stop reading from here, are you one of them? Haha.. Don't browse away first! Read till the end or you will miss something delicious!!

The branch I visited was located in Grand Tower, Mongkok, a very convenient location. It was about 4:30pm on Saturday when I arrived there. Perhaps it's not the "peak hours" for dessert, there was very few people inside so we could get a very fast service (Peak hours for dessert is after dinner, at around 9-10pm or 11pm on weekend).

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Tried their famous Durian Delight 榴槤飄香(HK$28) and a new product - Ginger Steamed Egg flavoured Snowy Ice 薑汁燉蛋綿綿冰(HK$45).

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Durian Delight is a twist of another Hong Kong's famous dessert - Mango Sago with Pomelo 楊枝甘露, so it also contains sago and pomelo, then used durian to replace mango.

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It's just a small bowl but quite stomach-filling due to the durian. From below picture, you can see it's mainly made of durian puree. I like it so much 'coz I am a fan of durian, and they use Thailand durian which is sweet & creamy. If you're also a durian fan, you must not miss it!

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Snowy Ice came with a big pile of it garnished with 2 sesame stuffed dumplings & some sweet red bean paste. This is a new taste 'coz generally snowy ice is with fruity flavours like strawberry, mango and so on...

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Taste is quite refreshing, with finely ground flaky ice that you can clearly see the thin layering. It melted slowly so it didn't become watery even after we had finished more than half of it. Worth to try even the price is a bit high, or you can try other fruity taste which is with lower price of HK$39.

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If you still get space in the stomach after dinner, it's really a good place for dessert. Other than those I've tried, they also get some traditional HK dessert like Tofu dessert 豆腐花 and Grass Jelly dessert 涼粉, price range is HK$20-40.

Website : N/A

Branches :

  • Shop 10, G/F, Grand Tower, 639 Nathan Road, Mong Kok
  • G/F, 25-27 Soy Street, Mong Kok
  • G/F, Lee Theatre Plaza, 99 Precival Street, Causeway Bay
  • Shop 5, G/F, Fu Tung Shopping Centre, Fu Tung Estate, Tung Chung
  • Shop No.9-10, L10/F, Enterprise Square Five, 38 Wang Chiu Road, Kowloon Bay
  • G/F., 92 - 93 Sham Tseng Tsuen, Sham Tseng (Main Branch)

Remarks : Chinese menu only but with pictures.

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Have heard about this "Dai Pai Dong" style tea restaurant for long, I finally got the chance to try out this famous Sing Heung Yuen on a sunny breezy Saturday. It is a small & simple local tea restaurant with all tables at outdoor. This kind of very old style Dai Pai Dong restaurant is extinguishing in Hong Kong because of the rapid urban re-development and licence renewal problem. By the way, what is Dai Pai Dong? To beautify it, you may say it is like alfresco dining in western countries in a more down to earth way, without fancy decor & furniture but only a few simple collapsible tables & chairs, one or two big electrical fans and some canvas shades. A place that is fair enough for having a fast meal only. It was around lunch time when I first arrived, and there was a long long queue which is very normal for Sing Heung Yuen especially on weekend. Now you know how famous it is... I gave up and changed my mind to have a late afternoon tea at 5:25pm instead, no more queue as it's close to their closing time already.. :P

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I tried their 3 famous items: Beef Noodle in Tomato Soup (茄牛麵)HK$22, Lemon Honey Crunchy Toast(檸蜜脆脆)HK$8 and Lemonade with Salty Lime (咸檸七)HK$12. Talk about the drinks first, it's actually a mix of crushed salty lime & lemon, topped up with Sprite or 7-Up. However I think the one here was a bit too salty, but still refreshing.

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Came after the drinks was the Beef Noodle in Tomato Soup which is one of their signature dishes. The tomato soup was very concentrated with quite a lot of tomato puree, which made it a bit too sour for my liking. I prefer it to be slightly sweeter. Slices of beef were nice, tender enough and tasted good. Noodle was just Nissin instant noodle, not that special but was cooked to a perfect texture. There are also many variety that you can mix & match with the tomato soup such as fried egg, sausages, luncheon meat, ham, macaroni and so on.

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Lemon Honey Crunchy Toast is another signature dish. It was freshly made of toasted Hong Kong style baguette, spread evenly with lemon honey. Tasted quite good with its crunchy texture and a balance of sweet & sour. Except lemon honey, they also have kaya, jam, peanut & condensed milk, butter & condensed milk...etc.

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A bit inconvenient if you're not able or not good at reading Chinese, 'coz the menu is written in Chinese only. Perhaps you can just look around what people are eating around you, and let the waitress know what you want to eat. Waitresses are quite friendly and would be happy to help.

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Website : N/A

Address : 2 Mei Lun Street, Central

Opening Hours : 08:00 - 17:30 Mon - Sat, closed on Sunday and Public Holdays

Remarks : Avoid busy hours like normal lunch time on weekdays, and almost the whole day on weekend.

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Weather is getting cooler and dryer these days in Hong Kong, despite the hot shinny mid-day sun. It's time to have something warm. Claypot rice is one of the popular and good choices to keep you warm~ To find nice and famous claypot rice, you must go to Temple Street where there are a few restaurants specialising in it. Amongst all, Four Seasons Pot Rice on Arthur Street (parallel to Temple Street) is the most popular one with long queue all the time.

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There are 4 main types of food at Four Seasons : claypot dishes, soup, deep-fried oyster pancake and boiled vegetable. All are at very economic price. They also got English menu available, do ask for it if you're not familiar with Chinese.

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I tried Beef & Pork Ribs Claypot Rice and Chicken & Pork Ribs Claypot Rice (HK$23 each), Boiled Pak Choy (HK$8) and a small portion of Oyster Pancake (HK$20). You can choose from 1 ingredient claypot rice (HK$18) or mix and match 2 ingredients for HK$23. Quite a large pot for me, I felt very full after eaten 2/3 of the rice...

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It took about 5-8 minutes for the claypot rice to be served, as it was cooked to order. It's steaming hot! Be careful of the heat when you open the lid~! I couldn't wait to pour some sweet soya sauce on the rice and enjoy it right away! Rice was cooked just right, not too dry, except those at the bottom & around the edge, which is usual for claypot rice. Beef and pork ribs were cooked well too, with the right tenderness. Tried a bit Chicken from my hubby's pot of rice, yummy and tender too. I think the spirit of a claypot rice is the soya sauce. The one here at Four Seasons was well balanced, so it didn't make everything too salty even you pour too much.

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Boiled Pak Choy was unexpectedly nice too! It was served plain without any sauce. I thought I need to eat with the claypot rice soya sauce, but didn't expect that it was already seasoned with some salt when boiled.

Oyster Pancake is another must-try there. There are small portion of 2 pieces(HK$20) and big portion of 4 pieces (HK$40) available. If you've a few more people to share, you need to order the big portion. It was extremely yummy!!! With quite a lot of small oysters inside the crunchy batter made of duck eggs, freshly deep-fried and served with some chilli sauce (not very spicy), I haven't had such a good oyster pancake for long! :D~

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You can also try the claypot rice with some special ingredients like frog & eel, with a bit higher price. Feel heaty after having the oyster pancake? Order some soup to freshen up~ It served with a vintage aluminium pot and you can get HK$3 off for the soup when ordered with the rice. Be there earlier if you plan to visit at weekends night. There was a long long queue outside when I finished my dinner at 8:30pm...

Website : N/A

Address : 46-58 Arthur Street, Yau Ma Tei

Remarks : They only provide hot tea for free but not selling other drinks. Bring your own soft drinks if you want. No plus 10% service charge.

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Eggette is one of Hong Kong's popular street snacks. It's mainly made of egg, flour, milk and sugar. You can find them in those street snack stalls in Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui and Causeway Bay. This one is quite a famous one as you can see from the picture below, it's ever on the CNN's gourmet list. The stall was originated from North Point, that's why it's called North Point Eggette, with branches in Jordan, Tsim Sha Tsui and Wanchai. However it seems that the original North Point branch & Jordan branch are the best amongst all, as there is always crowds of people in front of the stall.

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Their order handling is very systemic, I can say... You place your order, pay and then you're given a number tag. Wait there for barely 3 to 5 minutes, when your order is ready, they will call your number. Just give them your number tag to get your freshly made eggette~

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It's very warm once I got it, a bit soft if you quickly eat it when it's still warm. After it's cool a bit, it became crunchy at outside and soft at inside. Very rich in egg aroma and not too sweet. But just too "hollow" or empty inside...

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With the price HK$13 per piece, it's considered a bit expensive to me 'coz normally it's HK$10 or even lower. I just think if you happen to pass by there, it's not bad to give it a try. Otherwise, you can try it at other stalls, provided it's freshly made, it won't be too bad anyway.

Website : N/A

Address : G/F, No. 178, Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

Other Branches in City:

  • G/F, No. 492, King's Road, North Point **Main Branch**
  • G/F, No. 2, O'Brien Road, Wanchai

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Honeymoon Dessert is always one of my favourite places for dessert after dinner, due to its convenient locations (many branches!!) & good quality (food & environment). Comparing with Lucky Dessert, Honeymoon Dessert got more branches and wider variety as well. Their signature dessert is Durian Pancake, but we didn't have it that day 'coz we were thirsty and wanted to have something with ice~

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I've ordered Snow White Sago 白雪黑珍珠(HK$26) for myself. It's very good value for money as it contains many different ingredients but only costs HK$26! There are mango, banana, sweet potato, atap seeds (a kind of Southasian fruit), basil seeds (the tiny black seeds) and dried longan with sweet iced vanilla coconut milk. All ingredients mix and match to produce a very harmonious taste! But I felt very full after having a bowl of this 'coz too many ingredients.... Anyway, I would highly recommend this one!

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My hubby ordered the Mango, Pomelo & Sago Sweet Soup with Grass Jelly 楊枝甘露涼粉(HK$29). The Mango Pomelo & Sago Sweet Soup (楊枝甘露) is a famous Hong Kong style dessert that you can find it in many dessert shops. The one made by Honeymoon Dessert is very good. The mango & pomelo they used were sweet enough, while in some other dessert shops, the mango is even sour and/or not enough pomelo added in the sweet soup. This is a good choice if you want to try Hong Kong originated dessert.

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Website : http://www.honeymoon-dessert.com/

Branches : Too many to be listed. Please check official website for details.

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Focus is not just on its delicacies but the foodie star behind the scene, the owner, Leung Man To (梁文韜) otherwise known as God of Gourmet (食神), delights everyone with variety of mouthwatering Chinese cuisines. I was so grateful that before heading off to my hiking at Kadoorie Farm in Tai Po last Sunday, I got to try their Dim Sum with a bunch of hiking buddies. I was the last to arrive when the first round of Dim Sum was ready on table, quickly settled myself and started taking pictures on the food. Having located in a remote area, this restaurant incorporates a neighbourhood atmosphere with all its waiters & waitresses being so friendly to such an extend that a waitress stopped me from taking picture on the Fried Chinese Dumpling (咸水角) before she cut them into half so that they appeared like a blossom flowers in my picture.... Thanks to her!

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Unlike other Chinese restaurants, fame of Tai Wing Wah are proudly reflected on the walls with framed photos of him, newspaper and magazine clippings.

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When come to their Dim Sum, they're just impeccable in general. A must-try Dim Sum is their signature Steamed Egg Custard Mai-lai Cakes (奶黃馬拉糕). The cake was fluffy and rich of custard flavour. Another Dim Sum that impressed me was the Braised Chicken Feet (鳳爪). Not many Chinese restaurants can make a well marinated Chicken Feet with the right texture as Tai Wing Wah!

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Tai Wing Wah is not only famous for the great tasted gourmet, but also the uncommon old style Dim Sum that can hardly be found in Chinese restaurants nowadays. Like the Spring Roll Cheung Fun (春風得意腸粉), by just reading such a beautiful Chinese name on the menu, I really couldn't imagine that it's actually a Cheung Fun (Rice Roll) with Spring Roll inside! It's special enough but the taste could not make me WOW... It might be better if the filling of spring was not yam or anything starchy. Another old school Dim Sum was the Chicken Big Bun (雞球大飽), you will know why it got this name after looking at its size. It looks like BBQ Pork Bun (叉燒包) but the size is almost a threefold and with 3 or 4 different fillings inside, like Chicken Wing, Chinese Dried Sausage (臘腸), BBQ Pork and Chinese mushroom.

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I ordered my Hubby's favourite Fried Chinese Dumpling (咸水角) in the last round. Again, it didn't disappoint us as it really tasted great with the crispy-soft wrap outside, and yummy filling with strong Dried Shrimp (蝦米) flavour.

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Overall, most of their Dim Sum are tasty and up to my satisfaction. Though the location is quite far away from the city, I still highly recommend you to try it out if you happen to go to Yuen Long to get the Hang Heung Wife Cakes. Oops, forgot to tell you that another famous Wife Cake brand - Wing Wah is indeed owned by Mr God of Gourmet! So, do remember to arrive Yuen Long earlier to try the long-lost village style Dim Sum of Tai Wing Wah before you grab the Wife Cake~

Website : http://www.wingwah.com/

Address : 2/F Koon Wong Mansion, 2-6 On Ning Road, Yuen Long

Dim Sum Price :

  • Mon-Fri : 06:45-11:00 & 14:00-16:15, small, medium & large at flat price of HK$11
  • Mon-Fri : 11:00-14:00 & Sat, Sun & PH (whole day), small HK$11, medium HK$13 & large HK$16
  • All-time : Special Dim Sum HK$21 & Top Dim Sum HK$24

Remark : Plus 10% service charge

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Tai Cheong Bakery, Wanchai

Egg tart is one of the famous Hong Kong's desserts/snacks which is a must-try for all visitors and with no exception, our last British colonial governor, Mr Chris Pattern, loves egg tart too! Tai Cheong Bakery suddenly became famous after Mr Pattern called it the best egg tart in the world. Now, it has grown to be a reputable and expanding local brand with branches covering most of the busy areas in Hong Kong and even Macau.

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In one lazy weekend afternoon, I passed by Tai Cheong Bakery's branch in Wanchai, and I had a sudden crave for something sweet and crispy... so I entered the shop and picked the 2 famous items - Egg tart and Chinese Sugar Puff~

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I tried the egg tart with puff pastry (there is another type with cookie pastry). The egg custard was warm and smoothly soft with rich aroma of egg, ate with the light crispy flaky pastry, it was just wonderful! :D~ How to see the good-or-bad of an egg tart? See the layers of the puff pastry, the thinner and more layers it gets, the more flaky it becomes. Most of the time, the quality of pastry determines the quality of whole egg tart. If it's too thick & not flaky enough (applied on puff pastry based egg tart only), no matter how rich and how good is the egg custard, it cannot be called a good egg tart.

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It was my 1st time trying the Chinese Sugar Puff in Tai Cheong Bakery. Myself is not very fond of fried thing which tasted sweet (I use to think fried food should mean to be salty, haha...), but heard that Tai Cheong's sugar puff is very famous so I gave it a try. It didn't disappoint me though, the puff was soft inside, with crispy crust coated with sugar. It's fried, but not oily at all, I think this is what differentiates Tai Cheong's sugar puff from other bakeries.

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If you happen to pass by any branches of Tai Cheong, don't miss the opportunity of trying the best egg tart in the world, especially when you see it is the freshly baked batch!

Website : http://www.taicheongbakery.com (Chinese only)

Price : Egg tart HK$5 (sometimes got promotion for HK$3.8 each) / Sugar Puff HK$5

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Another popular restaurant recommended by Chua Lam (蔡澖) and some say it's owned by him. We made reservation before our arrival and what really impressed us was their polite attitude towards customers. As nowadays, waiters from popular local restaurants as such are either impatient of taking order or shouting at you while directing you to their "preferred" table (yeh, it's "theirs", not "ours"!). For me, great food should come with great dinning atmosphere and services... well done! ;)

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As usual there are few dishes, which are the must-try in any restaurant and over here, Rice served with Lard and Sweet Soy Sauce (豬油撈飯) is one of their signature dishes. Normal bowl of rice costs HK$10 and this special bowl cost an extra of HK$5 for the sauces. If you've more people, you may order their jumbo version. Since the sauces are served separately, you can adjust it to your preferred taste. Undoubtedly, the rice was quite tasty with some lard mixed and remember don't dress it too much with the sweet soy sauce, this will overwhelm the fragrance of lard.

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Probably the highlight of the dinner was this super-iconic dish, Fried Pork Organs (招牌炒豬雜 HK$68). It was very delicious and shall give double thumb up to it given the difficulty of cooking all these organs with different length of cooking time. It was well-fried to good texture on every piece with heavy dose of ginger and spring onion to mitigate the unpleasant smell of pork organs such as intestine, liver, etc. Trust me, even those of you who're quite resist to organs might love them from now on... haha!

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Honey Pork Ribs (蜜味東坡骨 HK$65) is another popular one but was slightly too sweet for me. The ribs have a very good proportion of meat texture and it's easily separated from the bone. With no excessive honey, this dish could be awesome.

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Chua Lam's Fried Veggie with Salty Fish Sauce (蔡澖鹹魚醬炒時菜 HK$55), a rustic and yet delicious dish. We chose Kai Lan (Chinese Kale) as our choice of veggie. The saltiness of the dish was well balanced and the salty fish sauce was aromatic enough to have us cleared up the whole dish.

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Website : N/A

Address : 10 Jordan Road, Jordan, Kowloon

Branch : G/F 17A Nga Tsin Wai Rd, Kowloon City, Kowloon

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To enrich your visit to Hong Kong, savoring of typical Dai Pai Dong (open-air food stall) culture shouldn't be left out of your itinerary. As this type of dining culture is extinguishing, only a few official one are still existing. If you followed my blog, you would have noticed that we had featured a handful of them before and this was actually our dinner after a day in Ocean Park. It's located on a narrow avenue next to the Mid-level escalator in Central, so it's almost impossible for anyone to miss it. Oh yea, do bear in mind that Dai Pai Dong has its unique characteristic, untidy and relatively inhygienic environment, so if you're well-heeled, you may wanna think twice.

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What really surprised me was their friendly attitude towards customers as I never confront any impressive service from such kinda operator all these while. Menu is available in Chinese and English so definitely not an issue for English speaker. Sing Kee was quite crowded when we're there and the picture above is just showing a side of it and there is also another side, which is slightly dimmer, was also packed with people.

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Since we're at Dai Pai Dong, just wanted to kick off with some dishes with great "wok hei" (鑊氣), which literally means "wok air" that instilled in dishes cooked using extremely hot wok. Chinese believes food is much tastier or rather flavourful when cooked in such a way.

Fried Rice Noodle with Beef (乾炒牛河 HK$48) is a very common dish in Hong Kong and also my favourite dish to order. As expected, the Fried Rice Noodle with Beef was definitely a thumb up dish and was well stir-fried with dark soya sauce. The beef was superb with some fat that brought out some mild chewy texture as a whole. Overall, it was neither too oily.

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Another common dish in Hong Kong, Sizzling Chicken in Pot (啫啫雞煲 HK$45), is one of the signature and popular dishes in Sing Kee. It's a great sizzling hot dish but in my opinion, certain part of the chicken was kinda lack of thorough penetration of flavour but the pork liver has 100% won my heart with no question.

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Stir-fried Clam in Black Bean and Chili Sauce (豉椒大蜆 HK$47) was very delicious. I could even taste some Chinese wine added during the stirring process that planted a very mild bitterness to the dish. All the clams were well cooked to a perfect texture.

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White rice was our side dish to go with the clams and Chicken. Don't put too much expectation on the rice itself as it was slightly stickier than normal, but I love the vintage "cock" bowl, which made an even better Dai Pai Dong dining experience.

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Website : N/A

Address : 9-10 Stanley Street, Central

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Don't get it wrong, it's not the Roasted Goose specialist, Yung Kee Restaurant at Central. This Yung Kee is located at Sham Shui Po with 2~3 separate shops down the same road. The queue starts on their main shop and you'll be assigned to the specific one if table is ready there. Just like those popular restaurants in Hong Kong, you shouldn't expect available table on time if you're there at dinner time and you have to queue! As clearly reflected on its name "小菜王" in Chinese, Yung Kee is famous for typical Hong Kong dishes that serve with rice and of course, they do have their iconic dishes that people are heading for.

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Compared to those with similar business background, I just couldn't be that picky on their service but out of my expectation, it was reasonably good! Personally, I was quite surprised to see their pricing tactic on the menu, it has wide price range between their signature dishes and other common dishes under the same category... Signature dishes don't mean they're exclusive but they're still common with fantastic popularity. As usual, we always dine out in duo, so sharing table isn't new anymore.

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Veggie Roll (招牌齋菜卷 HK$68) is one of the must-try, I would say it was a great dish. Even it was drenched with gravy, the crispiness of pre-deep fried rolls was still retained upon serving. The stuffed veggie was fresh & compact and the dish portion was a little too much for 2 persons. The roll was getting more flavourful when it soaked up the gravy in mid of our meal.

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Spare Rib with Salad Sauce (招牌沙拉骨 HK$68) is their signature dish and also a typical Hong Kong dish that serves in many places. It's not really spare ribs but pork chop indeed. Obviously, the pork chop was marinated with some curry powder beforehand and thus adding exotic flavour to the dish. Dressing it with salad sauce has given slight sourness to the dish and even without the dressing, the ribs tasted as good. I like it very much :P!

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By its name, Special Yung Kee Dish (小炒王 HK$68) has to be its super-duper signature dish and yes, every table has one and even more on sharing tables hahaha... These are Chinese Chives (韭菜) fried with flavourful dried shrimps. No doubt, it was a simple dish but was fried to a perfect stage of flavour. The chives itself was fresh, otherwise, it could be really stiff in texture.

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Another popular dish that we've deliberately left out of our order is their roasted pork (HK$128) as we overheard our neighbour customers saying it was "tasted bland and nothing impressive at all". Therefore, too risky to give it a try and moreover, these 3 dishes were more than enough for us~

Website : N/A

Remark : No service charge; Tea charge HK$2/head.

Address : G/F, 118-120 Fuk Wa Street, Sham Shui Po

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Last stop of my recent food hunt in Sham Shui Po was this little humble store, Kwan Kee, which is renowned for its home-made Put Chai Pudding (砵仔糕) and array of Chinese steamed pudding & cake in different flavours. It's also frequently featured in local TV programme and definitely a must-visit shop whenever you're in Sham Shui Po.

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Put Chai Pudding (砵仔糕 HK$5) is a traditional Cantonese snack, which believed to have over a hundred year of history and Kwan Kee's for sure is one of the best in town. Some may criticise the small quantity of beans but for me it's just perfect. The pudding was soft as it's supposed to be, and the beans were also precooked to a soft texture, which blended so well with the soft pudding.

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White Sugar Cake (白糖糕 HK$5) is another old-fashioned Chinese cake originated from the Ming Dynasty. It is made of rice, white sugar, yeast and water, sound simple but it's not easy at all to make one without sourness and Kwan Kee's is the first that I tried without even a bit of sourness! Texture was perfect as well, which was firm but not too hard. Another must-try from the store.

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Red Bean Pudding (紅豆糕 HK$7) was slightly overpriced and quite a disappointing piece of cake indeed. It was way too soft and sticky like a rotten steamed cake or a piece of half-way-done jello. Despite the crappy texture, it's still tasted fairly nice with moderate sweetness and adequate amount of well cooked red beans to enhance the cake's flavour.

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As we arrived there late and some of the cakes were sold out, they've put the last batch of cakes & puddings into plastic bags individually...so standard of hygiene is acceptable. I think it'd be better if we could arrive earlier next time and try the fresh batch. :)

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Website : N/A

Address : Shop 10, 115-117 Fuk Wah Street, Sham Shui Po

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Do you like congee? Some people might not like it due to its plain taste or just dislike it 'coz it makes you think of being sick? :P (We Chinese use to eat congee when falling sick 'coz it's soft, hence easy to swallow and digest) I like to eat congee very much, even on a steaming hot day in mid-summer, having a bowl of congee is quite refreshing 'coz under high temperature, people generally don't have much appetite to eat too full.

I found this congee & noodle house in a quite newly opened shopping mall, i-SQUARE, located in Tsim Sha Tsui, which was built after demolishment of the former Hyatt Regency Hotel. Praise House is on the 7th floor, where the UA Cinema|IMAX Theatre located.

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The interior decor is of Chinese style, with fairly spacious environment, it gave me quite a pleasant dinning experience. Service quality is nice, with efficient & courteous staff.

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They are offering promotion on 2 popular items : Fresh Crab Congee in Claypot (HK$28, was HK$48) & Celebrity's Dried Shrimp Seed with Tossed Noodles (HK$25, was HK$45).

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I decided to give them a try, plus a platter of Roasted Pork & Barbecued Pork (HK$78)

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My order arrived very soon, the first to come was the Fresh Crab Congee. It's still hot like boiling with steam coming up when served. There was a whole crab cut in pieces in the congee, though the crab was not a big one and you could only eat some meat from the claws. Congee texture was just right, soft enough but not too watery. Taste was just nice too, not too plain but not too salty, with a slight sweetness of seafood. Overall it was fairly nice with such a price~!

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2nd one was the Shrimp Seed with Tossed Noodles. What is Shrimp Seed by the way? It's actually the egg of female shrimps, dried and cooked, then toss the noodle together with spring onion oil, served with a small bowl of yellow chive soup. It was quite plain indeed, without any meat or veggie but just noodle and the tiny shrimp seed... Anyway I wasn't too hungry that night, so it's OK for me. Taste was alright, not too salty, texture of noodles was just right too.

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The last one was the platter of Roasted & Barbecued Pork. I just wanna say, the Roasted Pork was the STAR of the dinner that night! It was from the pork belly part, so it's very tender, with nice proportion of fat and meat in one bite. The skin was very crispy & crunchy!! Conversely, the Barbecued Pork was a bit disappointing... Taste was nice, with a bit fat & meat in nice proportion, but some part of meat was not tender enough.

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Meat in red colour on the left is Barbecued Pork, the one on the right is Roasted Pork.

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It was a nice dinner afterall, as the crab congee and shrimp seed with tossed noodles were extraordinary cheap! That price is even cheaper than some of those noodle stalls in Mongkok! For other a la carte dishes, price is fairly reasonable too. With the service standard & environment that Praise House provides, this price is absolutely value for money and worth for a try.

Website : N/A

Address : Shop 705, 7/F, i-SQUARE, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon (Tsim Sha Tsui MTR Station Exit R & H)

Tel : +852 23682202

Branch : Ngan Shing Commercial Centre, City One, Sha Tin

Remarks : Plus 10% service charge, compulsory HK$2 tea charge per person

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As the ending of summer holiday, Mid-Autumn Festival (also known as Mooncake Festival in some countries) is around the corner! Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the key Chinese festivals in the year. According to the Lunar calendar, the Mid-Autumn Festival will be on 22nd, September this year. We locals will start to be busy with choosing mooncakes and researching for the lower price during this time.

Besides the traditional and ordinary mooncake with lotus seed paste & salted egg yolk, there are more and more different kinds of comtempory mooncakes coming out in the market in recent years. One of the contempory mooncakes which is getting very popular, is Egg Custard Mini Mooncake. There are various brands of Egg Custard Mini Mooncake in the market with more or less the same selling price, amongst all, the two most popular brands are Peninsula Hotel and Kowloon Hotel. Unfortunately, Peninsula Hotel Egg Custard Mooncake voucher have been sold out in mid-August, I am not able to introduce this one of the best egg custard mooncakes for you all. For the one made by Kowloon Hotel, some people said it tastes better than Peninsula Hotel, but for me, I think it's a bit too dry.

So, this year, I choose to try the egg custard mooncake made by one of the Michelin Recommended Restaurants in Hong Kong - Tsui Hang Village Restaurant.

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It is a box of 8 mini mooncakes, this is a regular quantity for egg custard mooncakes. Seperated in 2 layers, with 4 mooncakes in 1 layer. 2 mooncakes in 1 pack to keep its freshness.

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Each size is about 4.5cm in diameter, 2cm thick. Why can't you find Egg Custuard Mooncake in regular size like the traditional lotus seed mooncake? This is because the natural texture of egg custard is not hard and firm enough to hold the shape in regular size. :)

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This is my first time trying mooncake made by this restaurant, but it did not disappoint me!!! Surprisingly the taste and texture are even better than Peninsula Hotel! The salted egg yolk is finely mashed and mixed well with the custard, so it won't be too dry that you can see lumps of egg yolk falling out when you cut it in half, nor it won't be too oily that you can see the yellow oil of salted egg coming out from the paste. Taste is very nice, with taste of salty and sweetness mixed in good proportion. Texture is very fine, so it's soft and smooth.

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Overall I am very satisfied ^.^ Pre-order special price is HK$135 per box (special price until 15SEP only, original price is HK$198), a market price. If you are interested to bring some to home as souvenir for friends and family, suggest you to buy it on your last day or 2nd last day. Then store it in the fridge to keep its freshness. It usually lasts for a week or two. Heat it a bit in microwave before serve, just 10sec would be enough to soften the custard for you to taste the softness and smoothness of the custard~! :D~

Website & address : http://www.thvr.hk/address.asp

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Located in the Wyndham Street above Lan Kwai Fong where upscale restaurants and bars are clustered, Goccia was one of the participant restaurants for the Hong Kong Restaurant Week 2013 from 25 February to 3 March. Eating at the participating restaurants during restaurant week means enjoying the most without breaking your wallet. For a 3-course meal lunch at this classy restaurant, I've only paid HKD158 per pax (excluded 10% service charge)... Isn't that extremely reasonable in Hong Kong?

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The name said it all, Goccia consists of a dining room on the first floor where we were seated, a spacious outdoor terrace on the same floor and a hip bar at street level. Apart from the comfy dining environment, staff are all friendly and well-trained with professional fine dining services.

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3 types of Italian breads were served in the bread basket and again, my favourite grissini was not included :( . All breads were fresh though they're not warm, but the pre-mixed olive oil & balsamic vinegar being served aside was too oily! The bread could only soaked up the oil but not the vinegar when it was dipped... I think it's better to have a set of oil-vinegar bottles on table and let us mix for ourselves.

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One of the starters was Tian of Tuna with Avocado and Fresh Chili, which was best described by one word, FRESH! The layer of diced raw tuna lying on a bed of fresh avocado puree was extremely fresh and unseasoned to reveal the natural flavour of the fish. Avocado puree was barely seasoned too, so it created a genuine natural buttery taste when eating with the tuna.

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The soup option of starter was Asparagus Soup with Truffle Caviar. Finely blended asparagus carried a delicate veggie taste but that of truffle caviar was not too outstanding. The soup was only lightly seasoned to retained its natural sweetness and the grassy green colour did leave us a healthy impression.

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Olive-crusted Sea Bass Fillet, served with Eggplant Puree and Sundried Tomato Pesto was one of the mains and to my surprise, it tasted a bit like the canned fish with black beans that sold in supermarkets! The fish itself was smooth and tender which was a contrast to the crispy olive crust that brought a little more savory taste to the fish.

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Lamb Breast Stuffed with Oregano and Chili served with Spicy Tomato Sauce and Lemon Zest won my heart in this meal. Lamb breast was so tender, which melted almost instantly in the bite and the spiciness & tinge of tanginess from lemon zest has nicely neutralised the pungent smell of lamb. The creamy buttery potato mash has also put a smile on my face and I loved it sooooo much!

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Coffee and tea were served in a lovely LAVAZZA cup, which definitely uplifted my pleasure of drinking. LAVAZZA coffee was no doubt aromatic and with a rich layer of crema atop. It's slightly too strong for me so I've left about 1/5 unfinished...

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Earl Grey was as nice but nothing much to be highlighted.

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Felt strange that the dessert, Cinnamon Ice Cream with Wild Berries and Yoghurt Sauce, was served after tea or coffee. The cinnamon flavour was intense but not overwhelmed, and the yoghurt sauce has brought a hint of sourness to beautify the taste as a whole.

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It was truly a pleasant and enjoying dining experience at Goccia and I'll surely look forward to the next round of Restaurant Week!

Website : http://www.divinogro...taurants/goccia

Address : G/F & 1/F, 73 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong Island

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Living a hustle and bustle city life, it's important to pamper oneself on weekends or holidays. When time is not allow to have a relax holiday overseas, I often choose to treat myself something beautiful and delicious locally (which is a cause that I can't loose weight... haha...). What is the best way to enjoy and be relax in a summer afternoon? First came to my mind was - enjoying it in an elegant way like those English noblewomen at the good old time!

Afternoon Tea Set at The Lobby of renowned Peninsula Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui is a very good option, and a popular one for both locals and tourists! Arrived there at 3:50pm, the queue was long and even queue outside the lobby area till the hotel shopping arcade. If you wanna try this famous high-tea then gotta be patient 'coz NO reservation is accepted for afternoon tea. Queue was moving steadily, and when I got my table finally, it's already 5pm...

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Environment was perfect. Grand English decor, elegant silverware & table setting, and the classical music playing in the air by a live band casted an old world glamour over the scene. One thing destoyed the perfect ambiance was the old lady on the table next to mine... She kept talking non-stop in "high volume" really killed my mood!!! >_< Isn't Peninsula Hotel a classy place which should be different from a typical noisy Chinese Restaurant? I'm not judging people by their behaviour, but just wanna say, one should behave properly according to the environment otherwise it's only losing one's own face...

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I've ordered an afternoon tea set for 2. Price for 1 is HK$268 and for 2 is HK$398 (plus 10%).

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In English afternoon tea set, there are usually 3 courses :

  • Scones - Served with jam and Devonshire or clotted cream
  • Savories - Tiny sandwiches or appetizers
  • Pastries - Cakes, cookies, shortbread and sweets

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We use to eat the scones first when they are still warm. Scones were superb! Not dry at all and when eaten with the Devonshire clotted cream & fresh strawberry preserve, perfect match!

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Savories in the middle and pastries on the top were just nice, not very impressive indeed... But they did make some ordinary items extraordinary, like the cucumber sandwiches, which has ever been praised by a local gastronome Mr Chua Lam, were very refreshing with fresh and crisp cucumber in between the soft cotton-like bread. Pastries were mainly sweet snacks like mini macaroons and mousse cakes. Amongst the sweets, I think the most ordinary Portuguese egg tarts were the most outstanding item on the top.

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Oops... Forgot to talk about the tea which should be the star of an English afternoon tea! I've tried the Earl Grey and the Lychee Black Tea, both were of high quality. Earl Grey was good to be drunk either plain or with milk and sugar, it's not too strong so you can taste the rich aroma when drinking it plain, and you can taste the smoothness when drinking it with milk and sugar. The Lychee Black Tea was introduced by the waiter serving us. It didn't disappoint me 'coz it's not too strong either, and with a special and natural aroma that definitely not from artificial flavouring. I prefer to drink it plain. FYI, free hot water refill service is available, so you can probably just sit, chit-chat with friends and take your lovely time there for hours if you arrive early.

Though the food didn't surprise me much, it's a good luxury experience in an 80 year-old legendary 5-star hotel. Worth it or not really depends on what you demand. If you demand more on taste and quality of food, Peninsula Hotel might not be the best choice although it is one of tourists' favourites.

Website : http://www.peninsula.com/hong_kong/en/default.aspx#/hong_kong/en/Dining/The_Lobby/

Remarks :

  • Plus 10% service charge.
  • Dress code is smart casual for afternoon tea time.
  • No reservations accepted, so arrive early to avoid long queue especially on weekends.

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After awarded as 1-star of Michelin Starred Restaurant, Tim Ho Wan Dim Sum Specialist has suddenly turned from a small restaurant with no fame to a famous dining place that many visitors included on their must-eat list. I was always curious on how delicious their dim sum are to make them on the Michelin's list, so I decided to pay a visit to this world's cheapest Michelin Starred Restaurant.

I heard there are always long queue waiting for table during meal time, especially on weekends or public holidays. Therefore, I chose a weekday afternoon to avoid the crowd. Coincidently it was a rainy day before the approach of Typhoon Fanapi, I could get my table right away when I arrived. The restaurant is quite small but still, tables were mostly occupied even under such a bad weather. I was amazed and even looked forward to their dim sum.

P.S. They give out 130 numbers in every morning so you don't need to queue outside the restaurant ('coz the environment there is frankly, not suitable for long queue...) Just come back before 3pm to "redeem" your table...

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Let's talk about the must-try first : Pastry Baked BBQ Pork Buns (3 pieces) HK$12. This is a very unique version of BBQ Pork Bun. The usual one we use to have in Chinese restaurants are wrapped in normal Chinese white & fluffy bun, while this one is wrapped by pastry. A little bit sweet & crunchy, make it like eating a Mexico Bun with BBQ Pork inside, like a fusion of East & West. Overall taste & texture were not bad though, it's a brand new taste for me, yum~

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Other dim sum that I've tried are :

  • Steamed Prawn Dumplings (Ha-Gau) HK$18
    Excellent value for money as price was relatively cheaper than usual. Quality was up to standard, but the taste was just not my cup of tea...
  • Steamed Beef Meatballs HK$12
    For me, this is another must-try item that I highly recommend you to try! The meatballs were very tender with slight aroma of Chinese celery, served with Worcestershire sauce. Good!
  • Steamed Chiu-Chow Dumplings (Chiu-Chow Fan-Guo) HK$10
    It is a kind of steamed dumpling with pork, yam bean, peanuts & Chinese celery. Taste not bad but again, for me it's not that outstanding. Some Chinese restaurants can make one with better taste...
  • Steamed Deer Sinew HK$14
    Another item that I never tried before! Deer sinew... sounds weired, isn't it? Actually it's something widely used in Chinese medication and it's good for skin (lots of collagen!). Taste OK, quite chewy but not as chewy as beef sinew. Can give it a try if you dare~ haha... XD

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  • Deep-fried Glutinous Dumplings (Ham-Shui-Kok) HK$12
    No good... fairly disappointed indeed! It was freshly fried with crunchy outside, but the taste was just not the one I used to eat... The dumpling's skin was a bit sweet that I didn't appreciate at all, and the filling was not the usual taste. You can say it was their new innovation or improvement on traditional taste, but I just don't like it... and I think it's over-priced a bit.
  • Pork Liver Rice Rolls HK$15
    A new thing for me too, price is very reasonable but again I didn't like the filling - pork liver. It was quite hard, maybe due to over-cooked. The rice roll itself was still OK, soft and smooth. Just the pork liver has ruined the overall taste. Perhaps you can try other filling of rice rolls like beef, prawn or BBQ pork, they may be better.
  • Garlic & Pork Spring Rolls HK$12
    This one tasted good though it looks like a very normal item. Very crunchy on the wrap, taste of the filling was great too. Served with Worcestershire sauce.
  • Steamed Sponge Cake (Ma-Lai-Gou) HK$10
    Impressive taste & texture. It's very fluffy & soft, with appropriate level of sweetness. Recommended~

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Spent HK$121 on total bill of 9 dim sum items including the tea charge for 2 (HK$2/person), it was very value for money despite the taste on certain items. Maybe due to my over-expectation, I personally think it was not as good that could make me "wow"... Some other Chinese restaurants do make better dim sum with more or less the same prices, but maybe with a far better dining environment. Frankly, the shop in Mong Kok is very very small that can barely seat 40 pax only. Tables are small too, if you decide to dine there, better split your order in several times. Service was not too bad, but don't expect a starred service 'coz it's just local style service, like what you get from a local tea restaurant, you get what I mean... So, for those who have tight schedule in the itinerary, I don't suggest you to try dim sum at here 'coz you can have something at similar or even better standard outside.

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Website : N/A

Address : Shop 8, Tsui Yuen Mansion Phase 2, 2-20 Kwong Wa Street, Mong Kok

Branch :

  • G/F, 9-11 Fuk Wing Street, Sham Shui Po
  • Shop 12A, Hong Kong Station (Podium Level 1, IFC Mall) , Central

Remarks : No 10% service charge, avoid meal hours on weekdays & whole day on weekends, order sheets in Chinese only.

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Coverage in local newspaper :

The Standard 13 Jan 2010

The Standard 16 Aug 2010

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I've known this restaurant long time ago, back during my school days, I often went there for lunch or tea with my classmates. At that time, it was not as well-known as nowadays, so it was far less crowded and we could always get our table right away and took our time to enjoy our meal. From its name, you probably can't think of it as a tea restaurant, can you? Haha... In fact it's a kind of very traditional tea restaurant, serving very typical food items & meals that a traditional tea restaurant serves. After the bloom of the Internet, boost of food blogs & gourmet commenting websites on the Internet, this old style tea restaurant has suddenly become a new star in the gourmet world.

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Without a fancy menu and modern decor, countering changes with consistency is their strategy to cope with the dynamic food & beverage market, and it's proven a success to keep return business with its consistency in food quality and to attract new customers with its traditional menu. I am not lying, their menu has NOT been changed even a bit since my first patronage over a decade ago! The menu is just very simple, having all basic items that a typical tea restaurant should have, and some of their renowned items like Steamed Milk Custard & Steamed Egg Custard. This time I've ordered what I used to ordered in the past : Steamed Milk Custard & Steamed Egg Custard, plus 1 Tea Set.

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Tea Set (HK$28, available from 12nn ~ 10:30pm) includes :

  • Buttered Bread (Options of Plain Bread or Toast)
  • Eggs with Ham (Options of Sunny-side Egg or Scrambled Egg)
  • BBQ Pork with Soup Pasta (Options of Macaroni or Spaghetti)
  • Hot Beverage (Options of Tea with Milk/Tea with Lemon/Coffee/Horlick/Ovatin...etc. Plus HK$2 if you opt for the cold one)

My recommendation on options are : Toast + Scrambled Egg, which are the 2 must-try especially Scrambled Egg! Without over-cooked, the egg was so smooth and tender, rich in egg aroma that you just want to eat some more! Toasts were great too, they're thick and fluffy, spreaded with butter evenly on the whole surface that you can taste the butter in every bite. Thumb up! However, the BBQ Pork with Soup Pasta was not so special comparing with the one from Matchbox Cafe, as the BBQ Pork was too thin & tasteless (obviously they just buy it from outside but not freshly made by themselves), and the soup was a bit too salty... I've chosen Hot Tea with Milk for my beverage, which was also no surprise when comparing with the one from Kam Wah Cafe. It was not as smooth, maybe the tea-milk balance was not done as good as Kam Wah Cafe.

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Most people come here for their Tea Set (or rather say, for its scrambled egg), but for me, their Steamed Milk/Egg Custard are a pair of superstars! I had a hot one for milk custard and cold one for egg custard, 'coz the hot milk custard can give you a softer and smoother texture, with stronger aroma of cow milk! Steamed Egg Custard is also my all time favourite in this restaurant, it's with very rich egg aroma and you can taste some almond flavour in it. These 2 items are truely must-try items here, don't miss them when you go there next time!

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Price range is very "friendly" on their menu, though the menu is not so tourist-friendly 'coz Chinese only. There are several things that you have to note, that you're advised to avoid peak time like weekdays' lunch & dinner time, and also the whole day on weekends & public holidays, otherwise you have to queue up for tables! Tables & space are another concern in the restaurant, you may be asked to place your beverage order for the meal set only after you finished the food. An important thing that I have to get your attention, is SPEED... Why? 'coz the turnover rate in this restaurant is really high (I mean it!), I heard that people use to finish their food in just 15mins during peak time! So be prepared to feel a bit pressure if you're there during peak hours 'coz the waiters would kind of urging you to finish quicker, haha... Anyway, I think tourists may get some "privilege" on that...

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Website : N/A

Address : G/F, 47-49 Parkes Street, Jordan

Remarks : No plus 10% service charge. Avoid peak hours. Be fast...

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Located right on the opposite of Australia Dairy Company is this fairly new kid on the block, and it was so obvious that everyone passing-by were starring at the long queue outside Australia Dairy Co. Anyway, we just wanna get a comfort place with air-conditioning for lunch on last sunny weekend.

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Apparently, we're attracted by its decent or rather "clean" interior and simple menu. Though it's a small restaurant but offering a very relaxing ambiance and friendly services. However, availability of English menu is in question. -_-

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Cold rice vermicelli is always my must-order dish in any Vietnamese restaurants. Under its category of cold rice vermicelli, there are a few side dishes to go with and I've chosen spring rolls (春卷凍檬 HK$42 for single side dish and extra of HK$8 for each additional one). The freshness of salad used is always the essence of the dish and yes, all ingredients used were of optimum quality and I love the texture of their vermicelli, which was cooked to a firm and bouncy texture, great job! The deep fried spring rolls were fresh and crispy but didn't stand out much in flavour. The fish sause vinegar dressing is another essential element to judge the overall taste of this dish and the one served here was good with the sweet-sour balance exactly to my liking too.

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The name of the dish sounds a little irrelevant to any dishes in Chinese, "火車頭" with direct English translation, front-end/head of a locomotive to express powerful, strong, mighty... whatever~! To be specific, I would simply name it as "Combo Deluxe". It's a big bowl of rice noodle in soup with sliced beef, beef balls & beef brisket at HK$59 and it's also declared in menu that they're using grade A beef from Canada. There're 3 types of rice noodle to select from and mine was 金邊粉, which is quite similar to flat rice noodle but slightly narrow in width. The soup base was flavourful and neither too MSG infused, and the beef balls were superb to me with firm texture on the outer layer and a little softer inside, which was quite impressive when I gave it the first bite. A thumb up dish to go!

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The Vietnamese coffee (HK$25) is always fun to make than to watch. It's nicely prepared in the kitchen, so can't involve much in the process. -_- The coffee was very strong and after mixing it with condensed milk, it was darn silky smooth.

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A very Summer looking drink, which looks very similar to Mojito, Mint Special (薄荷特飲 HK$26) came in the right time in the menu. Basically, it tasted like a cream soda mixing with sliced mints or non-alcoholic version of Mojito, a very refreshing drink!

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Website : N/A

Address : Shop 3-4 ,G/F,56 Parkes Street, Royal Commercial Centre, Jordan

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I'm sure most of you have heard of the Wife Cake (or "Lo Poh Beng" in Cantonese), which is one of the famous Hong Kong's snack/souvenir. Besides the well-known Kee Wah Bakery that having a lot of branches in every corner of Hong Kong, Hang Heung is another big brand for traditional Chinese bakery products. Wife Cake is their specialty, while they are also good at making tasty mooncake as well.

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To buy the most freshly baked Wife Cake, I'm afraid you have to spend quite a while to their main branch in Yuen Long, a remote suburb area in northwest New Territories of Hong Kong. It takes roughly 45mins - 1hour to reach by MTR from downtown area.

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A box packing is provided for half dozen & 1 dozen of Wife Cake. Very good for bringing back for sounvenir. Apart from Wife Cake, they sell other freshly baked snacks as well.

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Different from Kee Wah, Hang Heung's Wife Cake (normal size HK$4 each, mini size HK$3 each) is more flaky and the crust fall off easily... Therefore, you have to take extra care if you want to bring them back to your home country. Their filling tasted great!! Sweetness was just right, not too sweet, chewy and more filling than Kee Wah's Wife Cake.

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I also tried their soft pan-fried mochi with red bean paste filling & egg custard filling (HK$3.5 each). Both are not too sweet, soft & very chewy too, but taste was not that outstanding indeed... Better stick to their famous baked pastry snacks like Wife Cake and I heard their Century Egg Pastry is good too.

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If your itinerary is tight and have no time to visit Yuen Long, you can still buy their Wife Cake from some of their branches/counters in other areas :

  • G/F, 34 Fau Tsoi Street, Yuen Long
  • B/F, Jumbo Sogo Department Store, Hennessy Road 555, Causeway Bay
  • Shop 1, G/F, 579 Nathan Road, Mong Kok
  • Shop LG-103, apm Millennium City 5, 418 Kwun Tong Road, Kwun Tong
  • Shop 151D, 1/F, New Town Plaza Phase 1, 18 Sha Tin Centre Street, Sha Tin

Website : N/A

Address : G/F, 64 Castle Peak Road, Yuen Long, New Territories

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Canton Deli, as clearly mirrored on its name, offering delicious Cantonese cuisine or so to speak, local delicacies since Cantonese is the dominating community in Hong Kong. Noticed its existence for quite a few years but never appear in my priority list, and finally thanks to the highly recommendation from my friends and sis... I just did it! :P

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Located in the must-visit shopping mall, Harbour City, which is really convenient for tourists to simply drop by for a fabulous Chinese meal. Given the quality of the food, it definitely worth every penny.

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After browsing through the menus, it's still worth to go for their Giant Grouper set for only HK$318 (excluding 10% service charge), with a choice of Giant Grouper dish out of 6 and 2 choices of additional selected dishes out of 15, since an ala carte of giant grouper dish is already priced at HK$200+. Normally, dishes available in set always come in smaller portion but this isn't the case in Canton Deli and their set portion is good for 3~4 persons , so it's kinda too much for 2 of us.

Our selected giant grouper dish, Sauteed Sliced Giant Grouper with Vegetables (碧綠龍躉球), was delicious and it didn't carry any hint of unpleasant smell of fish. As it's a giant grouper, the texture was slightly stiff or firm as expected but 100% acceptable, so don't expect it to be really soft and juicy like normal steamed fish. In fact, I quite like the chewy skin attached to the edge, producing a good combination of chewing texture to the fish. Flavour wise, it's just lightly seasoned with salt and all the natural flavour was retained, which was awesome!

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Grouper again? yes but in claypot, Stewed Eggplant with Diced Grouper and Bean Curb in Clay Pot (斑粒茄子豆腐煲) was delicious too but nothing really spectacular about the dish to be honest, except all the ingredients in the claypot were sizzling while served and flavour was well-managed.

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Deep Fried Pork Ribs in Plum Sauce (冰梅烤小骨) is a signature & must-order dish in Canton Deli. The ribs were deep-fried to a crispy crust and enveloped in plum sauce, which was sweet and making it a tempting dish to arouse your appetite. Even with deep-fried, the inner texture was still remained juicy.

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Website : N/A

Address : Shop 3303, 3/F, Gateway Arcade, Harbour City, 17 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

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Caffe HABITU, Wanchai

Been writing on Hong Kong's local delicacies for quite a while, let's talk about something non-local but pretty good~ When you walk, walk and walk non-stop for more than half a day during your time in Hong Kong, sometimes you really need a nice place for a short lunch, tea or coffee break, don't you? Caffe HABITU would be a very good choice if you are tired of Starbucks or Pacific Coffee.

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The branch I visited last time was located on Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, which can be accessed through subway of Admiralty MTR station, and is close to an emerging gourmet spot - Star Street. It is a very cozy cafe with quiet and relaxed environment. Different from Starbucks, you can feel a rather young, friendly and "neighbourhood" atmosphere at Caffe HABITU.

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Not only coffee, tea, cakes and sandwishes, they also serve coffee cocktails and a variety of dishes like pizza, pasta, risotto, nachos, and all day breakfast. I tried one of their iced coffee cocktails - Whisky Coffee Shaken (HK$52), and also their signature coffee - Oolong Latte (HK$38). The Whisky Coffee Shaken was unexpectedly refreshing! Though it's alcoholic, the alcohol level was very light that made it a good drinks for a hot afternoon. Portion of whisky, milk & cream were nice, everything mixed well with the coffee but not overwhelming. You can taste a good coffee with just a hint of whisky. Bravo~ On the other hand, Oolong Latte was a bit disappointing... It's served hot and tasted like an ordinary Cafe Latte 'coz I hardly tasted the flavour of Oolong tea. I think a cup of normal Cappucino would be better.

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Besides the drinks, I also had a pizza and pasta for my late lunch. Tried their Pizze Salmone (HK$82) with smoked salmon, mascarpone cheese, leomn zest and red onions with dill & capers, which was amazing delicious! It's the Italian type of pizza with thin and very crispy crust, a total different taste from those stomach-filling thick and fluffy American type of pizza crust. Smoked salmon was fresh, without any bad smell of fish and not too salty. Topped with the red onion and right portion of cheese and herbs, it's such a refreshing taste.

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For the pasta, I ordered the Linguine Vongole (HK$68) which was Linguine with clams, garlic, chilli and basil in white wine sauce. However the pasta was just so-so only, not impressive... Perhaps I should try the Spaghetti Carbonara that they claim to be the best in town.

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Though it's self service, their staff provided good and friendly service. To visitors, Caffe HABITU may not be as convenient as Starbucks and Pacific Coffee. But why not just keep it in mind and drop by if you happen to pass by one of their branches? :)

Website : http://www.caffehabitu.com

Branches :

  • Opposite Pacific Place Three, 8 & 10 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai
  • Hutchison House, Shop G22-27, 10 Harcourt Road, Central
  • 77-79 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai
  • Cityplaza, Shop 22B, 18 Taikoo Shing Road, Taikoo Shing, Island East
  • Elements Mall, Shop 1001, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon Station
  • Space No. L1, 2/F, Leighton Centre, 77 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay (HABITU the table, 10% service charge is applied for this branch only)

Remarks : Self service (hot dishes delivered to you by staff), no 10% service charge except Causeway Bay branch.

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