Monday, 2 January 2012

Hong Kong 2011 Part 2

Happy New Year 2012 everyone.

And on to the continuation of the Hong Kong travel blog...

Day 2: Breakfast

We went to Luk Yu Teahouse in Central for an early yum cha (they open at 7 a.m.) breakfast session. So excited to try all the new things you normally would not find in the mainstream yum cha places. But, being chickens that we were, we finally succumbed to our usual routine of har gow, shu mai, bai kut, loh mai kai etc... . There were some unusual dumplings that we tried (though we didn't know what's in them), but in the end of the day, 1/2heart and I agree that the whole fare was nothing special.

And they are expensive.

It was pretty quiet when we popped in, and we enjoyed looking at the locals sipping their tea, spending hours of their time chatting away and reading newspaper. (the food is secondary). As for us? We ordered, ordered, and ordered, ate quickly, then left. :P

We love the egg tart though; they definitely get it right in this department. The portion is bite size - small enough to be taken per piece into your eager mouth. And the pastry, delicate egg custard mixture inside, the sweetness just melt in your mouth.

Luk Yu Tea House
24 Stanley St, Central, Hong Kong

Day 2: Ngong Ping360 and the Big Buddha

We arrived at Tung Chung station at precisely 10 a.m. and after getting distracted by the local 7/11 (yes, I know, we are weird), we joined the long winded queue at the cable car station at around 10.15 a.m. Mind you, correct me if I am wrong, but the station opens at 10 a.m., and the queue was maaaddd... . 

I slapped myself for not buying the ticket online and just bit my lips when I saw all the smarter people jumping the queue with their online ticket receipts... . The journey to the other side took around 20-25 minutes. 

And when we got closer, the buddha could be seen saying hi from the distance.

Upon arriving at Ngong Ping village, it was packed as well, of course, though luckily it's a bit more spread, so we could take our time visiting the shops (and resisting buying some trinkets), before heading towards Po Lin Monastery for our lunch.

After passing through the gate above, we were greeted by 12 guardian statues of the chinese zodiac. So naturally, I took a picture of my zodiac's guardian statue:

My 1/2heart's zodiac is 'horse', but he was less than impressed when he found out that the guardian statue was not holding any 'cool' weapon, but a big cone shell instead. Haha. 

We had lunch at Po Lin Monastery. They offer set vegetarian menu. Nothing to shout about, but oh God, the portion! I have never eaten that much veggies in one go in my life. And although the set we bought was just for 'two', I bet that could easily fed 4 people. 

From top in clockwise direction:
Soft Tofu with corn & peas, Vegetarian Spring Rolls, Celery & Cucumber with artificial meat, Black mushroom with Bok Choy

(wise words to think about)

There is also a smaller food stall in the monastery vicinity (just keep walking past the main lunch area, and you will see another stall selling vegetarian meat and various vegetarian dessert), which we missed since we were too full. So off we went to lighten up our vegetable belly by burning some green calories... relatively easy and short walk to the Wisdom Path and the not so short climb to the Big Buddha. I really love how the hills and mountains seem to stretch endlessly, and looking at the various walking paths available, it looks like a good place to spend an extra day or two just to do the bush-walking.

After the exercise, off to Honeymoon Dessert we go (located at Ngong Ping Village).

Durian rice cake and Mango Sago dessert. 

Day 2: Dinner at Shui Hu Ju

We had dinner relatively late (around 8.30 p.m.), since we got stuck at Citygate Mall (Tung Chung MTR) after returning from Ngong Ping. I thought I wouldn't buy anything at Citygate, but oh boy, how wrong I was. All those shops and on-sale signage beckoned me to come hither and coaxed me to burn some cash... .
And so, swipe and swipe the magic card away, I did.

Anyway, for dinner, we went to Shui Hu Ju, located at Central. Finding this small restaurant was a challenge, with uphill cobestoned pathways and small alleys (all the while carrying my Citygate loot). 
The main attraction here (I said 'main' because every table in the restaurant seemed to have one of this dish) is the deep fried black chicken with chilli. Now, I am a self-proclaimed chilli-nazi; and I have to admit that this dish is burningly hot - but not really the kind of hot I prefer (Indonesians and Malaysians would know what I mean). I usually like the spiciness that would make my tongue numb and where the taste lingers inside my throat and warm up my belly for the long minutes after devouring the dish.
As for this dish: it is hot, granted, but more of Szechuan peppery hot taste. It would burn and make you choke, but the sensation quickly dissipate. 

Nevertheless, it is quite an interesting dish. 

Duck and Cucumber salad. Refreshing and yummy appetizer

The Deep Fried Black Chicken with Chilli

The leftover chilli

Spicy Eel. ( It is hardly spicy... more to sweet and sour... . )

Shui Hu Ju
68 Peel St, Central