Edible Hong Kong (January 2015)

Our first meal in Hong Kong was dim sum, or more accurately, yum cha, morning tea.

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Lifting the lid on your teapot is a signal that you need more hot water added to the tea leaves.

 

Yum cha has the same food but slightly less expensive for breakfast and the diners are all sitting at their round tables reading the morning papers. We ordered our favorites: steamed pork buns, steamed shrimp dumplings, and fried leek dumplings, all  just as good as we remembered. In our favorite dim sum restaurant near our old Kodak office, the servers pushed around carts with half a dozen varieties of dim sum and shouted out what they had to offer. We didn’t understand many of the names, but they would lift the lids and show us. We usually passed on the chicken feet.

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Steamed barbecue pork buns

 

We had some “seasonal vegetables” later. We often used to have meals with our Hong Kong colleagues, who were great at ordering. When we asked what we were eating, they didn’t know the English term so it was always just “tsai” or seasonal vegetable. At the wet market we could just point for our selection.

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Seasonal vegetable

Quite unexpectedly, we found a Geneva favorite in Hong Kong. Le Relais de l’Entrecote was our go-to spot for steak-frites. That’s all they serve for an entree.

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The menu looks much like we remember from Geneva, complete with French (correctly spelled).

Not much to offer for our vegetarian daughter.

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First course: a rather simple salad, lettuce, a bit of frisee, and walnuts

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The main attraction: very tender, thinly sliced steak smothered in a secret mustard/pepper/? sauce with French fries. No ketchup on the table here, just as in Geneva.

They do, however, have more than 20 dessert options. Michael’s only choice has always been the profiteroles with a marvelous chocolate sauce. Here they also have a lilikoi sorbet, also delicious.

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Profiteroles with great chocolate sauce. (Fair Trade? Who knows?)

The restaurant has been open here for five months. The concept of one entree is a bit slow catching on. But everything seems to follow the Geneva model quite well. The waitresses are in black and white French maid outfits, although they do look a bit uncomfortable. The green-brown sauce is a secret, even to the waitstaff. The steak is delicious and comes in two servings; just when you think you’re finished, the waitress brings the second half of your meal. Very good! Chris told us there are now 10 Relais de l’Entrecotes around the world. We may have to adopt a Mark and Sue Real style goal of seeing them all. Actually eating in them all!

Back to more traditional Chinese food…we took the ferry to Lamma Island, one of our favorite spots for seafood. Here you pick your own fish as it swims in a tank. Out of tradition we had a steamed garoupa, with ginger and spring onions. We also had prawns with minced garlic (enough garlic to please even Kathy) and several big beers. The experience was great, but rather tame compared to the old times. We used to go to Aberdeen and negotiate for a ride over on a small sampan, rather frightening on the rolling waves in the open ocean.

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Not from Lamma, but these fish were still flapping on the counter at the North Point wet market.

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These sweetbreads were almost as fresh.

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In contrast, this is all kinds of dried seafood, including several varieties of seahorse.

 

We had produce from a corner stand. The Philippine mangoes are delish. Satsuma are in season and smell as good as they taste. When Gail, Vic, and Karen came to Hong Kong, Gilda served five different fruits for breakfast five days in a row, with no repeats. The normal plus rambutan, lychee, starfruit, longan, mangosteen, custard apple, passion fruit/lilikoi (purple in Hong Kong) and its cousin, dragon fruit. No durian, too smelly!

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Can’t beat Hong Kong produce.

Best of all was a fantastic meal with our former coworker, Catherina Fung, and her husband Jeff (the runner in the Standard Charter race).

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Catherina has not aged in 20 years.

 

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Here’s Jeff. Thanks for the lovely dinner!

 

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One Response to Edible Hong Kong (January 2015)

  1. Linda says:

    I can still remember those chicken feet dim sum! Yuck! We thought they were messing with us Gweilos!
    Paul loves profiteroles! We need to find that restaurant!

    Like

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