Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Hong Kong: Day Three

We decided to have a proper breakfast on our third day in Hong Kong, which was basically milk pudding from Yee Shun Milk Company. Unfortunately, they were closed (at 9.30am - atrocious), so we had breakfast at one of the diners nearby.

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These diners are really interesting - quite different from our usual coffee shops, even though you can grab a quick meal of toast, eggs and coffee at both. Hong Kong diners offer all kinds of set meals, from sandwiches to hot dogs to more traditional stuff.

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I decided to go traditional and ordered a bowl of wan ton noodles, which surprisingly arrived with no visible wan tons - they were all buried beneath the stringy noodles. The noodles were excellent; thin and springy, with remarkable bite that characterises hand-made noodles, almost impossible to find in Singapore these days.

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What was even more amazing than the noodles, though, was the wan ton. I don't think anyone hand-makes wan ton anymore, let alone wan ton as incredibly delicate as these were. The skins were smooth and gossamer-thin, not like the rubbery rubbish you get here, and the fillings were bursting with flavours from the pork and shrimp.

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We took a day-trip into neighbouring Shenzhen, and had the worst meal of our trip - a char siew rice with barbecued meat that was almost pure fat and swimming in oil, proving that it's not just the shoppers who get ripped off in China.

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Disappointed that we'd missed a chance to have some delicious milk pudding, we headed back to Yee Shun Milk Company for tea.

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I sampled their egg custard, which was excellent - all silky smooth and chilled, neither too eggy nor too characterless. Yee Shun also does a steamed milk pudding with two skins, which I didn't like as much; but it's a great casual spot to meet friends over a comfortable pudding.

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Dinner was at the Tsim Sha Tsui area, a place with a name like Happy Garden Noodle Restaurant or something. I ordered a bowl of char siew noodles. While the noodles weren't as mind-blowing as the ones I had for breakfast, the generous portions of char siew, each marbled with a nice ripple of juicy fat, more than made up for it.

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Deciding to be adventurous, we ordered a roast pigeon, which turned out fabulously. Unlike roast chicken, pigeon has less meat, but is also less oily. It was the first time I'd had pigeon, and fears of bird flu notwithstanding, it was actually pretty delicious.

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