Dinners and tea-goers, time is up!

Hong Kong is a crowded and fast paced city, so much so that even dining out is not a very enjoyable and relaxing thing. In some restaurants, particularly those that are popular, dining time is divided into two sessions, one from 6pm to 8:30pm, with another from 8:30pm onward for 1.5 hours. If you want to reserve a table, you have to indicate which session you go for. Not fun. I suppose this happens only in Hong Kong.

I heard that the best British tea in town is served in Langham Hotel (8 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui). So I gave it a try. It is a very cosy place with comfortable and big cushioned chairs, and three-tiered platters are served filled with delicious nibbles with a wide selection of tea. Besides the platters, warm scones are also served. There is even live music.photo (77)It could have been more enjoyable if not for the limit of the tea time to 2 hours only on weekends (from 2:15pm to 4:15pm and from 4:30pm to 6:30pm, two sessions).

Even going to tea is timed in Hong Kong!

New food concept: Ramen food court

I chanced to know that there is a Japanese Ramen food court in Hong Kong. It is located in the basement of Prudential Centre (恒豐中心), at Jordan MTR Station Exit E. photo (51)

The food court is called Ramen Champion, featuring a number of Ramen stalls which boast Ramen of distinct styles and varieties. Ramen lovers will love this place.

It is certainly a high-end food court. I ordered a bowl of Miso Ramen for HK$60, which was  among the cheapest of all offerings by the Ramen stall I had chosen to patronize. photo (50)But I must say the soup base was very rich and yummy, and I liked the fact that the noodle bowl was full of bean sprouts, corns and bamboo shoots. Judging by what I got, the price is okay.

The food court has used the technology now popular in Japan’s and Korea’s food courts. Once you enter the food court, you will be given a card which you use for ordering your food. You pay when you leave the food court by producing the card at the cashier. Also, after you order your food, you will be given a device. The device will give signal when your food is ready so that you can wait for your food with peace of mind.

Where to eat Cantonese style roast meat

If you are a local, you would know Tai Hing Roast Kitchen (太興燒味). The restaurant is famous for the dishes of Cantonese food barbeque pork (叉燒) and roast pork (燒肉). It has about 40 branches across Hong Kong so it will not be hard for you to find one.

I have not visited the restaurant for quite some time.  Recently I visited one and ordered barbecue pork and roast pork for lunch.

With drink, the set lunch costs HK$54, which I think is expensive. All prices have gone up in Hong Kong anyway. The last time I visited Tai Hing, it costed about HK$30 for a plate of rice with roast meat. What a price now.

However, if you want to have a taste of Cantonese style roast meat, visiting Tai Hing would be an easy way to satisfy your wish. The bbq pork is not outstanding, but the roast pork is worth trying for its crispy roast skin.

Check out here for all the branches of Tai Hing Roast Kitchen.

The best Coffee Milk Tea in town?

You may have heard of Hong Kong signature drink, Hong Kong style Milk Tea. How about Hong Kong style Coffee Milk Tea, called Yuanyang (鴛鴦) in Cantonese, literally meaning love birds, signifying a love affair between coffee and milk tea. It is a drink that combines coffee and milk tea, served hot and cold typically in Hong Kong style tea restaurants.

Local food industry holds competition in making the best Hong Kong style Milk Tea annually. This year, a competition in making the best Hong Kong style Coffee Milk Tea was first held. A master from a restaurant called Shui Wah Restaurant (瑞華餐廳)has won the competition by preparing the best Coffee Milk Tea in town, with 20% of coffee and 80% of milk tea. The normal formula is half half each.

Upon receiving the award, he commented that Hong Kong style Coffee Milk Tea is best to be had together with Hong Kong style toast. You may want to give it a try. For me, Hong Kong style toast, deep fried bread, is way too oily. And I love Milk Tea more than Coffee Milk Tea. My preference would be Hong Kong style Milk Tea with pineapple bun (菠蘿飽).

Shui Wah Restaurant: 1-3 Yin Chong Street, Mong Kok (entrance at Fa Yuen Street)

See here for review of the restaurant.

Cafe at Hong Kong Arts Centre

If you want to have some harbour view and a quiet corner to sit for coffee or some snack, this may be the place to be. The cafe is situated at the fourth floor of Hong Kong Arts Centre.

Pumpernickel is known for its bread. It has a few branches with one at Hong Kong Arts Centre which seems to me doing slow business due to the location (Hong Kong Arts Centre is at the edge of Wanchai). The best time to come is during the tea time (3pm onward) on weekdays when the cafe offers tea set. The food is good value and the place is quite, with few people, and some open view of the harbour.

photo taken during a weekday afternoon

Another advantage of visiting this cafe is that you can take the opportunity to see some art exhibitions at Hong Kong Arts Centre which to me is one of the most vibrant arts places in HK.

Tel: 2588 1001
Address:4/F, Hong Kong Arts Centre
Opening Hours: 11:00-21:00