HK 2013 – Eating in Wan Chai – Joy Hing Roasted Meats & Capital CafeNovember 23, 2013 | 5,884 views
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BBQ Pork (Char Siew) and Poached Chicken Rice with a condiment of mashed ginger and scallions; drenched in a fragrant sesame oil (HKD25/RM10/USD3 per portion)
Wan Chai is a metropolitan area on the northern shore of Hong Kong island; 2 stations to the east of Central MTR on the Island Line. Once again, accessibility of prime areas like this is never an issue in Hong Kong; whereby everything is literally a door or two away; what more with the extensive MTR lines connecting districts, towns and even outskirts of Hong Kong. Furthermore, every station has several exits; some almost a dozen, so that you don’t have to find your way on the streets amidst the smog and traffic.
I once wrote about Kam Fung’s egg tarts and milk tea in the Best of Hong Kong Egg Tarts series, which is also located in Wan Chai, on Spring Garden Lane. This time around, we have plans to dine at one of the locals’ favourite BBQ meats specialist; Joy Hing BBQ and thereafter, a taste of black truffle scrambled eggs at Capital Cafe.
Joy Hing BBQ Roasted Meats @ Hennessy Road, Wan Chai is a firm favourite among the locals; especially blue-collared workers around the business district during lunch hours. Be wise, as the shop can probably hold a crowd of 20 or so, hence come for lunch after 2pm or better yet, dinner.
Alighting from the MTR at Wan Chai station, take the A2 exit and walk east-bound along Hennessy Road. This is a mighty long road, and one of the main street of Wan Chai. You will walk past Fleming Road, and keep going until you reach the next junction of Hennessy Road – Stewart Road. Turn left and you will see Joy Hing on your immediate left. Can’t miss the dozens of ducks, geese and chicken hanging from the metal hooks, and a delightfully greasy aroma in the air.
Unlike most eateries in Hong Kong or Macau, the people running Joy Hing are naturally friendly; without the air of arrogance that has been so synonymous with most famous outlets. Obviously, you might have to share a table with other diners if you’re in a small group, as the tables can seat a maximum of 4 pax comfortably, and even at that you might have to wait for a bit.
The serving counter was an amazing, clock-work style of precision and efficiency. There were dozens of people coming in every other minute, and dozens more packing away the roasted delights.
Ordering here ain’t that challenging even to someone who can’t read Chinese like me. There is a menu on the wall, with all the items listed in Chinese and prices for each portion. However, you can easily glance through what they have left at the counter; and pick any combination you like.
Roasted goose, ducks, poached chicken, Char Siew (caramelized BBQ pork), Siew Yoke (crispy skin roasted pork), suckling pig, Chinese sausages, liver sausages, etc. If you still feel at lost, or not sure how to pronounce the names in Cantonese, just ask for recommendations.
They will usually recommend the Three Treasures (Sam Pou); Chicken, Duck and Char Siew.
Each portion you order comes with a rather hefty amount of white rice, and sauces according to the meats you ordered. For instance, the plate of poached chicken and Char Siew came with a delectable yet pungent side of mashed garlic and scallions; complementing the chicken really well. You don’t need chili sauce (which they don’t have anyway) or chili oil to go with the meats.
The roasted suckling pig rice (HKD56/RM22/USD7) is by far the most decadent item on the menu, and you certainly get your money’s worth here!
The Char Siew at Wan Chai is their most popular item; however don’t come expecting half fat, half lean cuts caramelized to a dark, sweetish finish like the ones here. Instead, the large chunks of Char Siew (have to use chunks as the portion is huge) were relatively lean yet tender, and not as melt-in-mouth as you would expect.
We found the roasted pork and goose to be merely passable, and not the best by a far margin. Just so happened that we had a platter of really good Char Siew and roasted goose the night before in Macau. (more on that later)
There seemed to be some renovation works at the front of the shop, hence pardon the unclear picture. You can read more about Joy Hing on Openrice
After the overload of proteins at Joy Hing, we walked a short distance across Hennessy Road over to Kwong Sang Hong Building on Heard Street for a cup of milk tea and some light bites. Yes, light bites after a heavy meal …. there’s Motormouth for you.
Capital Cafe may look like an instant classic, but the concept is new. Combining retro ‘cha chaan teng’ (coffee shops) favourites with a slightly modernized outlook (and full air-conditioning), Capital Cafe attracts the younger crowd, evident from the demographic of the patrons that evening.
“Nai Yau Zhu Zhai Bao” (Creamy Piggy Bun or named Toast Bun French Style in the menu – HKD12/RM4.80/USD1.60) is a firm favourite of many Hongkies; crispy toast buttered and drizzled with condensed milk. And of course … the omnipresent milk tea (HKD17/RM7/USD2.20)
The menu on every table has English interpretation, a welcoming sign for tourists instead of shutting off visitors and catering only to locals. Not unlike Australian Dairy Company, Capital Cafe also prides on their most premium item on their menu; the Scrambled Eggs on buttered Toast but topped with shavings of black truffles (HKD37/RM15/USD5).
Both items we sampled were excellent, though priced at a slight premium over the usual cha chaan teng fares; but nothing that seemed exorbitant.
Like rockstars, the waiters at Capital Cafe are dressed more for a concert than as waiting staff; hair dyed in a multitude of bright colours, and shirts untucked against a backdrop of movie and concert posters on the walls tiled with black and white mosaics.
Probably the ONLY place in Hong Kong thus far serving their scrambled eggs with black truffles, Capital Cafe upped the ante vs the conventional ‘cha chaan teng’ in Hong Kong. How far can they go? Let’s see in a few years from now.
JOY HING BBQ ROASTED MEATS
Block C, G/F,
265-267 Hennessy Road,
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Shop B1, G/F, Kwong Sang Hong Building,
6 Heard Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Phone:+852 2666 7766