The light at the end of the food tunnel – 1st day in Hong Kong Part 1
It’s regretful that I blog about my 1st day in Hong Kong as an initially disappointing experience. I take total responsibility for not getting a booking somewhere nice and had a very disappointing 1st breakfast and an average 1st dinner. My sister and I woke up at 6.30am, excited about our food expedition and after going through many dim sum restaurants I decided for a classic, Luk Yu Tea House. Go there for the 1930s décor, their char siew roasted pastry and nothing else. The vibe is great with their heavy ceiling fans, rich dark wooden chairs and selection of dim sum carried by staff on tin trays. I kept ordering dish after dish, hoping that it’ll get better, but it did not. It’s been in the family for generations, so maybe it’s how traditional Hong Kong Yum Cha should be… The taste of the selections are very delicate, but there was just something about the texture that was just not satisfying. Luk Yee loves to use dried mandarin peel in their food and most dishes had it. There is nothing wrong with mandarin peel, but have it in too many dishes and I’ll start wondering where the chef’s creativity has gone to. The skin of their steamed chicken rice rolls were thick and slightly chewy, though the chicken filling was very tasty. Luk Yee’s egg tarts…..3/4 pasty, 1/4 egg custard, it was tasteless and the pastry was slightly under cooked. This was one dessert that did not bring a nice finish to a meal! It was even more disappointing that we only had 10 dishes and 2 bottles of water, and the bill came to close to $500HK which is very expensive! One thing I must say though is that the service staff were very helpful and attentive. No photos of the dim sum, unfortunately.
Walking around full but dissatisfied, we stumbled upon one of the best fish ball rice noodle soups in Hong Kong at Sun King Kee Noodle! Both of us were very full, but we just had to try it! Sun King Kee is located just beside the well known Dragon Restaurant (Anthony Bourdain has given their roast pork his thumbs up) and is very unassuming. The sign is only in Chinese and we felt that we could not get more authentic than this. They do have a menu in English at the side of the serving area to assist in ordering.We met an Israeli couple who were touring the world and helped them with their order. Sun King Kee do have a menu in English but where we helped was assuring them that the food was great and that they had to try the beef tendon sauce.
You have to try the fish cake and fish ball noodles. The soup is nicely flavoured with fish bones and carries a sweetness that comes from the lettuce they use. Both the fish balls and fish cake are made from 4 kinds of fish and have a homemade texture to it. They are not too bouncy which means that not that much flour is used. One thing you must have in addition is their beef tendon sauce. It’s the only sauce simmering away at the side of most fishball noodle stalls and this one was very tasty and held all the beef goodness and slight thickness of a nicely reduced sauce.
The lady boss was very friendly and was telling us about how the beef tendon sauce is really a labour of love as it takes 1 whole day to make. I made sure that I did not waste any and drank it all up. You can choose to have it on the side like I did (more to fully taste it) or a splash could be added into your fish ball noodle soup.
Sun King Kee Noodle also has a selection of condiments that allow you to further flavour your soup. The choices included red vinegar, soya sauce and this chilli sauce. Honey would have really loved their chilli sauce, it’s so hot that it’s what we Singaporeans will call “super shiok!”. Meaning that it really has a real kick to it! Consume with care.
We had their wantons, but their fish cake and fishballs were the stars of the day. Note that this was our 2nd breakfast but the food was so good that we cleaned it all up!
Sun King Kee Noodle Shop
G/F Gage St, Central
Tel: 2541 6647
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Tags: hong kong