Hong Kong eats in Autumn

(NOV 2013)

I headed to Hong Kong with Y during early November as she had to go there for work, and I discovered some new Hong Kong eats – mainly local ones this trip, which our good friends there brought us to. The weather this trip was much nicer, was starting to get cool, even though it averaged around 24 degrees celcius, there was a nice & gentle wind all the time, especially in the Mid Levels where we stayed with YW and AL. So much better compared to the hot humid summer that I experienced in July.

Relaxing in YW and AL's guest room.
Relaxing in YW and AL’s guest room.

Zhejiang Heen 浙江軒
1-3/F, Kiu Fu Comm. Bldg
300 – 306 Lockhard Road
Wanchai, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 28779011
www.zhejiangheen.com
Email: zjh@zhejiangheen.com

Given I am in Hong Kong in this time of the year, it was only appropriate that we eat hairy crab, since it’s Hairy Crab season! AL and YW brought us to this classic Shanghai restaurant in Wanchai called Zhejiang Heen. My favourite Shanghai restaurant has always been Jishi (the old location) in Shanghai, but I welcomed the idea of trying one in Hong Kong.

It was a mine field navigating through the menu, so I left the ordering to AL. The most memorable dishes were:
1. Pickled radish(醬香蘿蔔) that was one of the cold dishes served at the start. Have no idea what they use to pickle it, but the taste was unique and very appetizing, and the texture of the radish had a crunch to it. I just couldn’t stop eating it!
2. The Hairy Crab – I didn’t want to order too big a one, as it’s so hard navigating through it especially with my furry paws, needed help from the rest to help me open up the crab. It was very fresh, and the roe had a natural sweetness to it.
3. The eel dish that was cooked in a sauce was delicious too, the eel meat was so tender.
4. The crab roe noodles – a must order dish everytime I am in a Shanghai restaurant, didn’t disappoint me.
5. Brown rice pudding – this is a truly classic Shanghai dessert – only order if you have a group of 6 or more, as it’s pretty heavy going since it’s glutinous rice. I loved the retro touch that it had with the candied fruit on top.

The wierd thing was how 2 staff started to shout and quarrel in the restaurant while we were still dining there towards the end when we were having our dessert. We were the last table there but still felt it wasn’t so professional. Somehow we were all amused with it rather than annoyed, it was a signal to us to leave the restaurant to let them continue the quarrel.

Pickled radish (left) and sorry forgot what's the dish on right.
Pickled radish (left) and sorry forgot what’s the dish on right.

Smoked eggs
Smoked eggs

Crispy Eel
Crispy Eel

Eel cooked in sauce
Eel cooked in sauce

Hairy crab - the hero!!
Hairy crab – the hero!!

Crab roe noodles
Crab roe noodles

Black glutinous rice pudding 黑糯米八寶飯
Black glutinous rice pudding 黑糯米八寶飯

Date cake 椰棗拉糕
Date cake 椰棗拉糕

Ban Chiu Hin 品潮軒菜館
G/F, 19-21 Lion Rock Road, Kowloon City, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2383 2911 or call Dee Wong at (852) 9152 3188

Restaurant signage from outside
Restaurant signage from outside

TW another friend who lives in Hong Kong and really knows the knooks and crannies of all great local restaurants brought me here. It is a real old school Teochew restaurant in Kowloon side, and he ordered so many dishes, that the 8 of us were close to rolling out by the end of the dinner. I only featured the dishes I loved most, but we ate much more than what you see below.

The star dishes here I would have to say was the:

  1. Cold Crab – simply prepared, served chilled, the meat was so fresh, sweet and succulent!
  2. Cold fish – In Cantonese, the fish we ordered sounds like “Lab Yu”, served with a salted bean sauce that we dip in – apparently it’s rare and only available at certain times of the year. Be sure to always ask them regarding seasonal fish as it can be interesting.
  3. Braised goose with feet and goose liver – I never ever eat liver in Chinese cooking, but the liver here was so sublime, it’s like a Chinese answer to foie gras, yes no kidding, there was no gamey taste at all that liver typically has, and the braised goose was really tender. I have had some inconsistent experiences with the braised goose at another favourite restaurant in Hong Kong called Sheung Hing, so was happy the one here was done so well.
  4. Conch or a large sea whelk – the meat was amazingly tender, cooked in a light sauce, such that it doesn’t overwhelm the natural taste of the flesh.
  5. The eel soup was soo good, and tasty, it had a lot of bones to navigate through but the soup was so tasty and felt very nutritious.
  6. Oyster Omelette (the 3rd pic from the bottom) – oh my, this is one super yummy well fried oyster omelette, I realised I hate eating those in Singapore, there’s way too much starch and it’s way too oily with not enough oysters. This was chock full of oysters and was pan fried well without feeling too oily and was crisp on the edges. A must order!
  7. Fried noodles with sugar and vinegar – a classic Teochew dessert – they panfry it really well here, crispy and thin enough.
  8. Taro Paste or what we Singaporeans know as “Orr Nee” – here they fry the yam before steaming it, and one of the managers let us know on a little secret that they do put some pork lard inside which explains for its fragrance. So sinful but so good! To share the calories, just order 1 bowl and share amongst everyone. That’s what we did among the 8 of us.

Cold Crab
Cold Crab

Seasonal fish served with salted bean sauce
Seasonal fish served with salted bean sauce

Assorted braised goose platter (goose meat, liver and feet)
Assorted braised goose platter (goose meat, liver and feet)

Mixed platter
Mixed platter

Conch
Conch

Eel soup
Eel soup

Oyster Omelette
Oyster Omelette

Fried noodles with sugar and vinegar
Fried noodles with sugar and vinegar

Orr Nee or Taro Paste
Orr Nee or Taro Paste

Pang’s Kitchen 彭慶記
G/F, 25 Yik Yam Street, Happy Valley
跑馬地奕蔭街25號地下
Tel: (852) 2838 5462

Located in Happy Valley, this restaurant feels more like you are going to someone’s home for food. It’s good, comforting family style Cantonese food, without the fuss of the more formal restaurants. I first came here a few years ago, when TW brought me and Y’s family here, and I came back this time around with Al and YW, with Pang’s Kitchen just having received a Michelin Star this year.

What they are famous for is the strawberry pork ribs. Yes I know it’s so strange because we only know of the typical sweet and sour pork ribs, well this is their spin on it, but cooked with strawberries, and I would go back there anytime for this, it’s one of their well known dishes! For me this time, I don’t think I enjoyed all the dishes we ordered. The best were the ribs, the green beans with minced pork was done very well, and ohhh I loved the razor clams with glass noodles. I would not say every dish here is of Michelin Star grade but overall it’s a pleasant restaurant to dine in.

You can attempt to read the Cantonese menu :)
You can attempt to read the Cantonese menu 🙂

Strawberry pork ribs!
Strawberry pork ribs!

Braised Dongguan pork with vegetables
Braised Dongguan pork with vegetables

Green beans with minced pork
Green beans with minced pork

Razor clams with glass noodles
Razor clams with glass noodles

Garoupa with corn sauce
Garoupa with corn sauce

It was sad to bid farewell to my good friends, but looking forward to seeing them and their first baby next year in Hong Kong!

View of Happy Valley from my lovely host's apartment balcony.
View of Happy Valley from my lovely host’s apartment balcony.

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