Top spots for lunches in Central, Hong Kong

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Having been working in Hong Kong for 6 months, I thought I would share my top lunch spots around Central, Hong Kong. The infamous two foodie streets of Wellington street and Stanley street are full of top spots for breakfast to dinner; the nearby Gough Street and Gage Street makes it such a good place to explore around for your quality and affordable lunches!

Lok Heung Yuen Coffee Shop 樂香園咖啡室 蛇竇 – 中環機利文新街8-12號地下
The photo above is the infamous place for rice with scrambled eggs and cha siu. To make it even better, you order it with an iced HK milk tea. Everyday this place gets a super long queue at lunch, ideally is the place to go for one or two as this get you into the restaurant faster. Take out is not the same as eating it straight after its cooked. Not to forget to grab the Chinese version of chicken pie which is so gorgeously baked!

IMG_5593Law Fu Kee 羅富記粥麵專家 – 中環德輔道中140號地下

The famous Law Fu Kee is the place to be for the best affordable smooth congee. A classic match is to have a bowl of plain congee with some fried soy chow mien, yet I went for their beef congee with a small plate of deep fried fish balls … what a lunch!

IMG_3743Gyotaku 魚作 – 12/F, 11 Stanley Street, Central, Hong Kong

I never get to understand why restaurants are opened in some hidden building blocks, how could you get customers if no one sees this place!? Gyotaku is the same, I found this place on Openrice after loads of positive review of their foods quality. I went a good few times and their set menu for lunch is pretty reasonable with a main and dessert. Tea is in house. The sashimi don is my top choice but their beef stew rice is equally popular!

IMG_3110Kau Kee Beef brisket 九記牛腩 – 中環歌賦街21號地舖

How can I not mention this famous beef brisket place, said by this name, this is the famous place with a long queue waiting for its famous beef brisket noodle. I have tried both plain beef brisket and curry beef tendon brisket with noodles or flat noodle. My perfect bowl is curry beef tendon brisket with flat noodle. 咖喱牛筋腩粗麺. Done!  Don’t be surprised when you give your order and the waitresses have no responses, they are taking your order without any expressions… ah! and when you ordered an ice milk tea, they will call out their shorthand 涼茶 (Bitter tea!) and this is what makes Hong Kong culture totally different to anywhere else!

IMG_2582麥奀雲吞麵世家 – 77 Wellington St, Central, Hong Kong

My favourite place for my bowl of wonton noodle… you know the traditional way to serve a bowl of wonton noodle is where the noodle goes above the wonton. When you see your bowl arrived but without any wontons, don’t panic just dig under your noodles. I had many return visits at this Wellington branch and later on my favourite combo becomes wonton noodle with beef brisket plus a plate of Chinese broccoli, less oyster sauce. Viola!

IMG_6351新景記粉麵 Sun King Kee Noodle – 已結業

Its such a dilemma, good to see Sheung wan redeveloping but yet its so sad to see good old traditional shops and restaurants closed down. Sun King Kee is a prime example that got closed down by this cycle… It still deserves a mention! I went to visit a lot at its final month of business. The good old place for a hot bowl of fishballs ho fun with a bottle of vita milk…  Hope it will reopen one day!

IMG_2602Lan Fang Yuen 蘭芳園 – 中環結志街2號

A lot of people says this place went downhill as it got famous, I think it can be a hit and miss on the days you dine in this place. The must have is their famous milk tea, I often orders mine in iced milk tea, less sugar and ice! And the next thing is their famous dried instant noodle served with pan fried chicken thigh/pork chop…. there are loads of other choices on their menu and I have had the best deep fried french kaya toast to date in this place!!! Oh and not to forget their pork chop bun are pretty famous too!

IMG_5670威記粥店 Wai Kee Congee Shop – 中環士丹利街82號

You have the luxury choice to visit Tasty in IFC for expensive congee lunch, but if you want affordable and reasonable congee and deep fried dough then this Wai Kee would not disappoint you. A bowl of plain congee and deep fried dough in rice roll comes less than 30 dollars. Additionally speaking, the only place that I managed to get 牛俐酥 (a sweet fried dough) in around Central which are made freshly everyday at their shop.

IMG_5606麵鮮醬油房 周月 Shugetsu – 中環歌賦街5號地舖

This place is located in Gough Street, the hipster street in Sheung wan. A small restaurant and again a long queue at lunch. By the window there is a noodle machine to demonstrate their freshly made ramen noodle. I decided to go for the famous Abura ramen instead of their signature plus soy sauce egg; you mix a raw egg in with the meat, bean spouts and the sauce at the base of the bowl. Some people might dislike the al dente texture of the ramen but who likes soft noodles?? A must on Gough Street.

IMG_5307橋香園雲南桂林過橋米線 – 中環威靈頓街91號地下

You might have walked past this place so many times and see this place. Its next to a shop that sells DIY items.This place is famous for rice noodles with mixture of toppings of your choice at its reasonable price; you also get to choose your spicy level for your soup base. I went for enoki mushroom, beef and bean curds, my favourite! Just a word of warning, this place is quite small so be prepared to share table with others during lunch hours after queuing.

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玉葉甜品 Leaf Dessert  – 中環蘇豪伊利近街2號 2 Elgin Street, Soho, Central

This place located in the weirdest place in Soho area, at the end a steep road! Even the table and stool are sitting at an angle so when your bowl of noodle arrives, make sure its not rolling down the table. It has pretty much of basic choices of noodles with beef, wonton, trotters etc and what they are also famous for is their bowl of sweet soup and rice ball dumplings with sugar nuts mixture. The location wins more than the food, personally I think this is a good place to absorb the local culture.

IMG_2830勝香園  Sing Heung Yuen – 中環美輪街2號排檔

If you had the Kau Kee beef brisket then you will have seen this place too, its diagonally opposite it. The famous place for tomato base noodle, personal top pick is beef macaroni in tomato base with an added egg then order a toasted bun with condensed milk on side…the perfect lunch! The UPS of this place of this place is there’s no queue, how do you fight for a space? Stand next to the potential leavers and sit on their seats as soon as they have left…. and yell at the ladies for your order. The local HK culture is amazingly unique!

The list above may not hold all the top quality spots around Central Hong Kong but consist of places that I find special and worth giving a try if you’re in town. Love every single bits of Hong Kong eat out scene!

After six months of being an expat in Hong Kong

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If someone tell me I would get given the opportunity to work in Hong Kong. I probably wouldn’t believe it… until my firm did really gave me  this opportunity and until the point i have to pack my bags and on the plane that it really hit me .. it really is happening!!

I can truly say it was definitely a great experience to be in Hong Kong and being an expat. I suppose I cannot say I lived as an expat fully, as I can speak the local language fluently… I lived a life between a local and an expat. Did a lot of activities and exploring Hong Kong that I have never get to experience and see during my childhood…..

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The arrival and having to adapt to a new culture and new lifestyle can be a little overwhelming but yet, you will be surprised how quickly one person can adapt and adjust so quickly..  and I love every single new experience that I have had.

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My favourite area must be Sheung Wan located in the Hong Kong Island area, I often spend my lunch time with my camera exploring the scene and looking for great foods to eat. I love how close everything is and very easily access…. how there’s an uphill slope, how all the small traditional shops still exists and I hope they will never creased!, how the wet market brings a different vibe of HK, how it have a balance of Chinese and English shops/restaurants combine together….

and most importantly, this area gave me an extensive list of locations to try out all the foods that i can try while i am out there!!

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And really glad to be able to stay at where I used to live in my childhood, having the time to explore and eat around the neighbourhood.. memorising my childhood, my primary school.. the wet market that my mother used to take me which has changed into a modern wet market…. The supermarket looks a lot smaller than what I though… that back door at McDonald still opens for entrance…  the 7-11 that I can easily pick up any snacks or a drink…

… a lot and a lot of things that you absorb and observes that words can not be used to explain what you have actually felt!

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While I was there for work, my other purpose was to be a tourist of this city….I can’t express how lucky i am to get the time to explore this city. The islands and villages that i get to see, the temples… …. i can say i have went through different area of HK this time at least on MTR wise I did, maybe not every single locations but sufficient for the amount of time that i have had…

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Dining on the street… in London, you seat out for the breeze and sun. In HK, you’ll eat dai pai dong for the local delicious wonton noodle.. !

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That yummy golden french toast in Kam Wah….

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Another amazing things of Hong Kong is how easy you can grab foods on your way home …beside the main meals, classic snacks are to die for, particularly the egg waffle that the photo below …. you often have to queue at least 5-10 minutes for a freshly made one. And that day i jumped the queue… as customers went off did not show up on time! ha!~~~

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Don’t ever think only London have markets… HK have a few decent markets beside the famous wet market! The flower market, bird market, Temple street Night market, Ap Liu Street Eletronic market, Sneakers Street, Woman Street market and Fish Street…. all these are amazing scenes in HK that everyone include local should explore and enjoy! And of course, i went and visit every single one of them!

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Have you ever seen such shop full of marinated meats for BBQ????

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Beside the short winter in HK, you have to enjoy the warm humid weather that this city gets to offer…. I left in early May and the weather was at 28 degree approx…  their summer gets to pretty high like 35 degree. While you can in the pleasant time frame before the peak summer, make sure you enjoy the beauty nature that HK gets to offer…

I love hiking in HK. I didn’t get to do every single trail I want to try…but i did a few with friends or on Meet Up Hong Kong Hiking Group… You will regret if you never go and explore this part of HK!!! Best trail probably is the well known Dragon’s Back but others are equally amazing at its own rights! The most memorable one was probably the Tai Mo Shan hike that I went for sunrise, but I didn’t get to see the sun…. !

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It makes me very happy to have met the people that i have managed to met… colleagues, friends of friends… university mates that i have not seen for ages since we graduated, friends from London… and friends that i have known from online for over 10 years!! You guys were amazing….. I’ve enjoyed the every single moments that we get to spend together…

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How often you get to see scene like this?

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Hong Kong made its name with tram on the HK Island.. ding ding as the local would call it. You will be surprised how many types of transportation that this cities offers…from metro, bus, taxi to tram.. there’s also small red or green vans that cut short the times you will need to go anywhere! I still did not get a chance to sit on the tram from beginning to the end terminal yet… one day! i will …and must do this!

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And finally…. I can’t thank you my bestie Heidi enough for making my HK stay this amazing! I am super glad to have get to known her a lot better than anytime within the 14 years of friendship that we have had!!!   The x amount of first times that we have had together, the x places that we have been and activities that we did together…  our fei jai food tours, our extensive collection of that past 6 months selfies…… our cover photo, our lunches together, our encouragement for each other… thank you and thank you!!!!

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Every time I look back at my HK photos and how much Heidi are there to be part of this amazing journey makes me smile and treasure this 6 months we have together even more and more…  the gorgeous Heidi is yet to come and I really believe you can achieve that!!!! Can’t wait for the July to come so I get to see this girl again!!!!

Hong Kong you’re amazing and I am I will be back soon again…! xxx

Irish apple crumble cake

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I really think the downside of me going into a supermarket is that I will pick up anything and want to make them straight away. Just like the other day, I saw some cooking apples… I cannot help myself but to get two large ones, at that time I cannot decide what to make… but da ta… here is one of my favourite.

Irish Apple crumble cake by Donal Skehan
Serves 6-8
110g butter plus extra for greasing
150g soft light brown sugar
2 large free range eggs
210g plain flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon of milk
300g peeled, cored and sliced cooking apple (Shouldn’t be more than one large one)

For the crumble topping:
50g of vanilla sugar (or substitute with caster sugar)
50g of plain flour
50g of butter

Preheat the oven to 180°C, grease and line a 20cm cake tin with a removable base. With an electric hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until they are incorporated.

Fold through the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon until you have a thick cake batter. Stir through the apple and pour the batter into the cake tin. The batter will be thick, so use a spatula to spread across the base of the tin.

Using a handblender with a food processor attachment, blitz the ingredients for the crumble topping until you get left with rough crumbs. You can also do this by hand in a bowl using your fingertips to combine the ingredients together. Sprinkle the crumble topping on top of the batter.

Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Original recipe link ==> http://www.donalskehan.com/2014/03/irish-apple-crumble-cake/

Bones, Paris

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This quality meal was actually a last minute decision to go, we got there and found out that it doesn’t open until 1900 and does not have additional capacity to include us. We spoke to the lovely oriental looking lady of our issues and we got seated!!!!!

The best thing out of this one day trip and really enjoyed it with my girlfriends, the downside of me is that I kept on watching the time and worry that we will miss our train back to London. (Sorry girls!!! we need a more relax trip together next time!)  Our train was already the last scheduled train so if we do missed it, we will have to sleep overnight in Paris on the street haha~~~

Big BUT… its all worth it for the rush back into the Eurostar station! The photos above surely justified our experienced. The cure duck breast, how often do you see cured duck breast but just ham? The stuffed snail on a bed of sea salt. The raw tuna with some green clean broth. The nicely smoked egg with chicory on a spoonful of sauce. The rare beef with some green and a side of rabbit strew. And finally, the cherry sorbet with mixed berries and elder flowers…

No words can describe the actual taste buds’ sensation, you really have to be there to enjoy the dishes..

Girls, I am very that you two have made up after the little historical hiccup. And I am very glad to have you both in my life, even though we might be in different parts of the world but whenever we do come across together, we surely do treasure every moments that we shared … xxx
now… where shall we go next together? ….

Bones Paris
43 Rue Godefroy Cavaignac, 75011 Paris, France
+33 9 80 75 32 08
Opens from Tuesday to Sunday, 7pm.

See. Iceland. v.

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Of course, you have to take a photo of this amazing sight!

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Ka cha… smile!

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You know…  its sweet to see a couple standing side by side and admire the same thing

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always end up taking some of this views…

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breathe taking views…

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we took a route and walk closer towards the waterfall

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booo.. the nature voice of the fall was soooo grande!

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a huge flood of tourist, like myself, standing by the waterfall…

there are some more photos… i really do like sharing my travel photography but then i am getting to a point that i feel like sharing the photos seem meaningless in a post. I need to make it more exciting and motivate to myself to post my travel journals…

See. Iceland. iv.
See. Iceland. iii.
See. Iceland. ii.
See. Iceland.