January 15, 2014

Hong Kong Recap: Favorite Bites, Sweets, People, Etc.

View from the top
Looking down from The Peak.

Last February I went on a press trip to Hong Kong (along with Rachelle Lucas and Cynthia Drescher) sponsored by the Hong Kong Tourism Board. I meant to blog something about it sooner—perhaps, saaaay, last year—but I figured I'd wait until I was finished writing about it on Serious Eats.

And I just did. Finish writing about it. This month. Erm. Well. Better late than never? That's the delusion I buy into so I don't hate myself.

Here's a list of all the posts I wrote:

ROAST GOOSE LEG FOREVER Yay egg waffle! Mongkok Wet Market Egg sandwich Lunch with Rachel Steamed sponge cake
Snapshots from Hong Kong.

That's the greatest number of posts I've ever wrung out of a press trip, although in an ideal world it would've been more. I didn't eat as much during the trip as I would've liked—it wasn't primarily food-focused—but I did well with the schedule I was given and the limitations of the Chinese New Year holiday, thanks to the help of a handful of awesome people.


Michael and me
Michael and me.

Michael Poon was our most excellent guide during the trip—super helpful, accommodating, and knowledgable, besides plain ol' friendly and laid back. Definitely the person you want to be with on your first trip to Hong Kong—he will do whatever he can to make your Hong Kong dreams COME TRUE. I can't believe I almost didn't try Yee Shun Milk Company until I casually told Michael on the last day of my trip I had yet to try steamed milk pudding. Gawd, that stuff is good.

Rachel at Hokkaido Dairy Farm Milk Restaurant.

Fellow food blogger Rachel Balota was my number one eating partner, about as important as Michael in helping me get the most out of my visit. Besides enthusiastically joining me at Yat Lok, Lee Keung Kee, Hokkaido Dairy Farm Milk Restaurant, Mak's Noodle, and wherever else I could drag her, she met up with me during my "layover" back to NYC from Taipei and helped squeeze five more places in my eating itinerary. ...Including McDonald's, at my request. I wouldn't ask just anyone to go to McDonald's. Hope you feel special, Rachel. WE HAVE FORGED A BOND YOU CANNOT BREAK sorry.

Gold coin chicken!
One of Susan's top Hong Kong dishes: gold coin chicken.

Susan Jung is the food and wine editor of the South China Morning Post, and she's been reading my blog since at least 2007. Which blows my lil' mind. I was especially mindblown when in 2008 she praised my blog in an issue of South China Morning Post, which actually took up precious dead tree space and not just digital space. I was shocked when I read that at 23; now I'm 28 and I'm still shocked. I hope Susan doesn't regret what she wrote.

Black sesame soup
Black sesame soup from Yuen Kee Dessert.

I was a bit nervous meeting Susan for the first time. No reason to, of course; she's 100% sweetheart. I joined her, her husband, and her friends Lambda and Peter for a pork-heavy Cantonese dinner at Manor Restaurant (now closed, FFFFFUUU) and black sesame soup at Yeun Kee Dessert. Susan knows what I like because she's thoughtful and awesome.

Popping Golden Man
This is called "Popping Golden Man" because of course it is.

Susana, a sweet TGWAE reader who answered my call to meet up in HK, introduced me to the wonders of Hong Kong dessert shops at Happy Together. HAPPY TOGETHER. She ordered a dessert called Popping Golden Man. POPPING GOLDEN MAN. As for what that entails, it's mango, mango pudding, mango ice cream, mango juice, and Pop Rocks—duh. I went for the self-explanatory Deep Fried Mango Ice-Cream Pancake. God knows why I didn't go for something with a crazy name. Eating dessert with Susana was a refreshing break from my press trip itinerary. Make sure to check out her great blog about life in Hong Kong and travels around Asia!

Crispy bun with condensed milk
Crispy bun with condensed milk, I love youuu.

I didn't think I'd have enough time to meet up with Kar-Yan, who's been reading my blog for years. Looking back, I should slap Past Robyn on the head. You have no idea when you're going to be back in Hong Kong! Make the time. You don't get many readers like Kar-Yan. Thankfully, we were able to meet up around midnight on my last night in Hong Kong at a Tsui Wah across the street from my hotel. We feasted on crispy buns with condensed milk and washed 'em down with Champagne milk tea (aka, milk tea in a bottle that sits in its own personal ice bucket). That's kind of a perfect last-night-in-Hong-Kong for me. Not just any night—it was Valentine's Day! (Kåre, this is all you have to do to make me happy on Valentine's Day. Milk tea + toasted buns saturated with butter and condensed milk.)

I took hundreds of photos in Hong Kong, but you'd have to wade through the bowels of my Flickr photostream to see 'em. ...Or I can just pick a bunch of my favorites and post 'em here. Alright, I'll try that.

Egg custard tart
First egg custard tart from Tai Cheong Bakery at The Peak.
Whoa, car
Damn, gurl, look at those rims.
Signs and stuff
Mr. Beef Seafood Restaurant has seen better days.
Wong Tai Sin Temple
Watch out for falling incense ashes at Wong Tai Sin Temple.
Victoria Harbour
Looking across Victoria Harbour to Hong Kong Island.
Street food by Langham Place
Street vendor in Mong Kok for all your meat/feet/organ meat/etc? needs.
Oh, hey, crowd
Mong Kok, crowded as hell.
Crowded shopping street
Mong Kok, still crowded as hell. This photo was taken at 11:30 p.m. on a busy shopping street.
Some of many offerings and incense for Chinese New Year at my hotel (Langham Place Hotel).
Burning incense at the Hong Kong Well-wishing Festival.
Wish check list
The wish checklist.
2013 Lunar New Year Fireworks Display
Lunar New Year Fireworks over Victoria Harbour.
2013 Lunar New Year Fireworks Display
The fireworks-watching crowd from behind the press area. I felt kind of bad for having a press pass even though I wasn't covering the fireworks for anything. I DIDN'T DESERVE IT. THE GUILT, IT OVERCOMES ME.
More escalators
Going up one of many long-ass escalators ("expresscalator") in Langham Place. I don't think myself as particularly afraid of heights, but my stomach definitely lurched towards my brain when I got to the top of the first set of escalators. Looking down = mistake.
If it's creepy to take a photo of a random old lady napping on the sidewalk, then color me creepy.
Sai Kung
A floating fishmonger in Sai Kung.
Hong Kong Global Geopark of China
Somewhere in the Hong Kong Global Geopark of China.
Rachelle and Michael
Eating street food with Rachelle and Michael in Sai Kung.
Smoggy over Victoria Harbour as the sun says a firey good-bye.
Pricey strawberries
These Japanese strawberries cost about $20 A PACK. And someone's buying 'em.
Waiting for train
Waiting for the metro.
Cable car ride
Ngong Ping 360 cable car ride. It sure is purdy. Hong Kong may be insanely crowded, but on the upside large expanses of nature are easily accessible from the city center.
Cable car ride to Lantau Island
Big Buddha in the distance.
Breakfast of champions at Hokkaido Dairy Farm Milk Restaurant.
Getting on the TRAVELATOR (Central-Mid-levels escalators)! Yup, outdoor escalators on the street. Otherwise getting up there would be a bitch.
Another Travelator view.
Yay fish cakes
Homemade fish cakes at Sun King Kee Noodle.
Last view from hotel room
View from my hotel room window.
Some doorbells
Doorbells, how do they work?
Yee Shun
So much Yee Shun milk pudding...so...very much...[sobs]

Posted by roboppy at 1:32 AM

Tags: asia, hong kong, press trips, travel


love your posts and your photos

Posted by: f at January 15, 2014 5:40 AM [#]

I found a promising-looking milk pudding recipe if you'd like to continue your milk pudding adventures at home ;) http://www.deliciousconquests.com/2011/09/double-skin-milk-pudding.html
I know I'm going to try making it myself!

Posted by: Narters at January 15, 2014 6:40 PM [#]

I REGRET NOTHING. Especially not McDonald's and our holy communion over deep fried taro pies. :D Come back soon!

Posted by: Rachel at January 19, 2014 5:46 AM [#]

f: Thanks for reading!

Narters: Thanks for the recipe! I did try making milk pudding once, but I wasn't very careful and it overcooked. And tasted mostly like egg. And sadness. I'll have to try it again...

Rachel: YEAAH NO REGRETS! We shall eat more taro pies when I return! Or...something else not from McDonald's.

Posted by: roboppy at January 19, 2014 2:03 PM [#]

Hi Robyn, my god, did I write about you when you were only 23? Ages ago! Anyway, yes, we're so sad about the closure of Manor. When you were at McDo's, did you eat the chicken wings? They're so good - and they don't sell them in the States.

Posted by: Susan in HK at January 20, 2014 11:43 AM [#]

Susan: Thank god you got me to Manor before it closed! ;_; As for chicken wings, I didn't try em, but I will keep that in mind for next time. I wanted to go to McD's mostly to write about a burger for Serious Eats. (Aaaand I was curious about that taro pie. Mmm.)

Posted by: roboppy at January 24, 2014 12:35 AM [#]

I've heard HK is really beautiful at night and a lot of food vendors in the street. Thanks for this post. Makes me want to go on a food trip.

Posted by: Cherry at January 27, 2014 5:05 AM [#]

Cherry: Thanks for reading! I hope you get to visit HK sometime!

Posted by: roboppy at February 1, 2014 12:31 AM [#]

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previous entries

» 03/19/14: Taipei 2011, Day 5: Mussels, Fried Oysters, and Extreme Soft Serve in Danshui

» 03/09/14: Taipei 2011, Day 4: Keelung River Bikeway, TAS, Beef "Pie," and Din Tai Fung

» 02/14/14: Behold French Fry-Stuffed Fat Sandwiches From RU Hungry in New Brunswick, NJ

» 01/27/14: Taipei 2011, Day 3: Taipei 101 Food Court and Dim Sum Dinner

» 01/15/14: Hong Kong Recap: Favorite Bites, Sweets, People, Etc.

» 12/02/13: Taipei 2011, Day 2: Shaved Ice Two Ways, 7-Eleven, Shilin Night Market, Etc.

» 11/05/13: My Favorite Places to Bring Tourists on the Lower East Side

» 10/23/13: How I Made My BMO (Adventure Time) Costume

» 10/20/13: Taipei 2011, Day 1: Fried Crullers, Bear Head Doughnuts, Scallion Pancakes, Etc.

» 08/19/13: Indessert, My New Favorite Dessert Shop Serving Tong Sui in Chinatown

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