Motormouth’s Life in Hong KongAugust 1, 2015 | 2,671 views
Wake up to a steaming hot basket of fluffy Char Siew Bao perhaps?
In the blink of an eye, or without even batting an eyelid from the successive barrage of tragic news back home (the past week has been nothing short of dramatic for the Malaysian political scene!), I have spent a good week in Hong Kong now; finally settling down although not entirely separating myself from this nomad life. This will continue at least until October, I foresee, but the past 12 months have prepared my body and mind enough to sustain the continuous travelling and moving about.
How have YOU been my dear readers back in Malaysia?
Truthfully, despite the fair number of warnings that the weather in Hong Kong can be terribly hot and humid, even many more times than Malaysia or Singapore, this past week had been rather mild to begin with. Heck, the night breeze was also cooling, and the indoor air conditioning at full blast somehow made the outdoor more welcoming than terrifying.
I wished that I could have brought my camera around for food reviews from Day One, but the first two days at work were packed with activities, even needed to travel to Macau for a good few hours and coming back past midnight by ferry. So, no new food photos this week, but I can give you a brief rundown of what’s good and what’s not so far.
Here we go.
Comfort Food for me are the predictable fares yet never-get-bored of them – Polo Bun and Milk Tea from various ‘char chaan teng’ (Hong Kong style cafes)
Eating out can be a pricey affair in Hong Kong; comparable to Singapore in restaurants and malls, but there is no hawker food centres selling individual meals like chicken rice for SGD2.50 in Singapore. Most meals would come to HKD30+, with lunch around the busier districts at HKD50+ and dinner at that price or double of that in cafes or ‘dai chow’ places. Let’s not talk about the real diners or the Michelin-starred ones yet.
While I am still on the lookout for an apartment to rent, the price per square feet that you get on the Hong Kong island can be a mind-boggling eye-opener. Space is indeed a luxury in Hong Kong, but this in return, has cultivated innovation to maximize the use of space, in line with the perseverance attitude of the working class heroes.
Not much of a culture shock in any way, moving from Singapore where gradually the directions of both countries could meet someday.
Thick, succulent cuts of caramelized Char Siew and crispy skin roasted pork are excellent choices from Lei Garden; this picture was taken last year at their branch in Times Square, Causeway Bay. 9 months later, here I am contemplating on my next visit during the winter months for their ‘lap mei fan’ (claypot rice with preserved meats)
The saving grace, or you could put it as the HIGHLIGHT of my days in Hong Kong so far have been the amazing food.
From Tai Cheong egg tarts @ their Tai Koo branch within minutes from the office, Tai Hing milk tea, Tsui Wah’s “nai yau G” (crispy bun with condensed milk), Kam Fung’s brilliant egg tarts and Wing Wah wanton noodles @ Wan Chai, to random everyday fares from nameless outlets (okay, most in Chinese and you know a banana like Motormouth would have issues reading them, let alone remembering the names), a hearty, juicy burger simply named Burger and duck fat fries from The Butcher Club and authentic Thai fares from Spice House in Wanchai, as well as classic Cantonese dishes from Choi’s Kitchen in Tai Hang.
Even more options if you are not in favour of bland macaroni with ham in soup, a classic Hong Kong style breakfast may include crispy you tiao with warm soya bean milk, and pan fried radish cake (lor bak gou)
Grocery shopping is quite easy; the proliferation of Wellcome, Park N Shop and AEON supermarkets especially in the most strategic locations (near to Park Lane Hotel in Causeway Bay, there are at least 3 or 4 Wellcome outlets within walking distance, and the nearest is a 24 hours outlet!). Some imported fruits are relatively cheaper than the counterparts in Singapore or even Malaysia; for instance sitting in my fridge now is a box of cherries from USA; at only HKD40 (about MYR20) for 750g!
So far, I have only been taking MTR or taxi, but the bus, mini bus and tram services are quite convenient from what I heard, but the traffic during peak hours can prolong the trip.
And if you are a person who shuns big crowd, then I guess Hong Kong’s not really the place for you. In prime locations such as Central, Wan Chai and Causeway Bay (let’s not bring Mongkok into the mix!), walking around without bumping into another person takes skills and patience. If you are in a rush, then good luck walking around the areas on weekends or Friday nights.
Grilled NZ Prime Tenderloin with Mushroom ravioli and black truffle jus, taken last year at The Peak
So far, time’s not permitting for exploration yet. Although summer time is the best season to explore the outlying islands, beaches, or outdoor activities. Maybe after I have finally settled down in my own apartment and hunting for a unit is no longer plaguing my mind.
On that note, property hunting in Hong Kong is an art; and a rather enjoyable activity if you have the time and patience (plus energy) to run through a dozen within a day. Of course, with time still on my side, I am taking things slower than average, and casually checking in on areas where I would be interested in setting foot on.
If you love to cook and observing the camaraderie of the folks at the morning markets, then make way to your neighbourhood wet market; sometimes housed indoors with a food centre on the upper floors as well. Taken above was the scene at North Point wet market
The Hong Kong Museum of History is an indoor spot for history loving buff; with a minimal entrance fee (HKD10) in Tsim Sha Tsui. And no, those pictured above are NOT myself nor my colleagues in Hong Kong.
Soon, one of these weekends I am going to explore the beaches, temples and smaller districts of Hong Kong again; the photo above was taken near to Repulse Bay from 2 years back
And so, I cheated my way through this post today with not a single photo taken during the past 7 days. Still frustrated with my camera issue, and planning to buy a new one perhaps, yet not sure which model I would go for. Or even should I consider buying one here or in Malaysia. Well, Sham Shui Po nearer to Kowloon is a wonderland for tech geeks, from what I understand, and there are a number of interesting eateries there as well. Maybe it makes sense for a detour off the Hong Kong island one day ……
Happy Weekend everyone. And please, stay safe back home in Malaysia.