Saturday, August 18, 2007

HK Summer & More Eats

Taking the Airport Express to Tsim Sha Tsui. It's faster and cheaper to ride since the MRT system is easy to understand. It took 25 minutes from Chek Lak Kop to Kowloon. Then it's like a 10-minute bus ride to the hotel. Only because we had to drop off some others at their respective hotels.

Cool, cruel summer and La Nina.
We arrived with the Summer Shopping Festival two-thirds done and with intermittent rains and a hot summer sun that wrecks havoc on the health. But make no mistake… it was hot in every conceivable way from the slashed prices to the pretty girls in season wear, and down to the events that make Hong Kong such a happening place.

When you fill out the Disembarkation Card for immigration purposes, there’s a question that asks why you’re flying to the former Crown Colony of England. We always check the box that indicates holiday/pleasure. And that for us and I’m sure many others as well an understatement.

Time was – when I was younger – going to Hong Kong was a “reloading run” where I hunt down the books, CD’s, and DVD’s I didn’t have. I didn’t buy too many clothes. I only indulged myself occasionally in Calvin Klein jeans and Giordano as my brand clothing of choice. I normally prefer tiangge stuff than shop at trendy stores and malls. But I’ve really been satisfied with Giordano ever since time immemorial. So I guess that doesn’t make me a fashionista at all, eh? Hahaha!

Over the last seven years, traveling undertook a different meaning for me – chalk that up to age I guess. I began to better appreciate the various cultures, history, and cuisine. I started to look beyond the traditional budget conscious fastfoods like McDonald’s and KFC (as a means of saving my few dollars for more materialistic loot) for the somewhat more pricey restos. But teka minute, does that mean that traveling is better suited to when you’re older?

Vietnam & Thailand Spice Village
Prat Avenue in Tsim Sha Tsui happens to be one of the few streets in this shopping district without stores. What it has are numerous small restaurants and bars, a betting station, and a three star hotel in Guangdong where I’ve stayed frequently for its proximity to Nathan Road and those all-nighter food joints.

Nestled between a pair of bars – just a literal stone’s throw away from Guangdong is the Vietnam and Thailand Spice Village. It’s a small and cozy restaurant no bigger than a small Starbucks. But the food is… delicious and at affordable prices. In fact, this is our second time here.

Here’s what we ordered:

Guay Tiow Pad See Yu $52
Fried Noodles Chinese style
Mixed with your choice of pork, beef, chicken, seafood

Moo Pad Takai Ob Neay $48
Deep fried pork with butter and lemongrass

Strawberry Sago $15

Rua De Macau
A lot of the restaurants in Hong Kong serve a variety of ethnic cuisine. All the more to cater to a wider client-base I figure. One the way back to Hong Kong from Macau, we skipped breakfast. So by the time we arrived in Sheung Wan around noon, we were famished. And it turns out there’s a pretty popular restaurant in the Terminal, Rua De Macau Chef where they serve a mixture of Chinese and Portuguese food.

We were lucky to get a table right away coz within a few minutes, the line was getting kilometric.

What we ordered:

Baked Short Ribs Macau style $40

Baked Pork Chops Portuguese style $40

Each meal comes with rice and they serve free tea.

Okay. This is for the budget conscious. But I make it a point to try out a branch in every territory because of the differences in the menu. For example, the McDonald’s in Philadelphia carry cheese steaks. The McDonald’s in California have fajitas. In Australia, the burgers don’t have pickles (Aussies hate them I heard from the Manager of the McDonald’s in NYC’s 42nd Street).

While watching people gamble in the Sands casino, I checked out the McDonald’s inside and they had this on their menu:
• Tiramisu Sundae Parfait (yum!)
• Mango Fruit Sundae
• Milo (yes, Milo!) McFlurry
• Mango Fruit Punch

What we were not able to try:

Atomic Patty the Great Burger Shed

Yes I know it sounds like some Japanese anime film but this is Hong Kong’s answer to Brothers Burger or the Bite Club. It’s located at the basement of the California Tower in d’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong. It’s that trendy expat eatery that I mentioned above.

New Korean BBQ Restaurant 2/F Lockhart Road, Wan Chai or at VIP Commercial Centre along Canton Road (the road where Harbour City, Gateway Arcade, and Ocean Centre is located) in TST.

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