Sunday, 13 April 2014

Yee Tung Heen, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Yee Tung Heen is a Chinese restaurant nestled on the second floor of the Excelsior hotel in Causeway Bay, where my wife and I were for a Sunday yum cha lunch. 

The spacious table was neatly set up as expected in this type of establishment. The picture shows the table layout with condiments and Dragon's Well tea on a warmer. 
Table Setting
We proceeded to order off the dim sum dishes menu, with the Siu Mai and Har Gow arriving first, shown below. These classic dim sum dishes usually come in fours in normal restaurants but were served as threes here. These were well made and tasty dumplings, with good portions of meat inside them. A twist in the design of the bamboo steamer was that it was of square form, rather than circular.
Siu Mai and Har Gow
Next was the Rice Flour Roll of three different fillings of beef, barbecued pork and prawn. This is another popular dim sum dish that was done well here at this restaurant; with a good roll that was not too sticky, wrapping a hearty filling. The picture shows the dish before the accompanying soy sauce was draped over it.
Rice Flour Roll
The Spring Rolls followed after. Again the portion was slightly smaller than in other restaurants but it made up in the presentation (apologies for not rotating the picture) and quality as the outer was golden brown and crispy and the inner packed with tasty shrimp.
Spring Roll
We were still hungry after eating the above and I ordered Chicken Feet to fill me up more. This dim sum staple was in a nice black bean sauce and of a decent sized portion, in comparison to the previous dishes ordered.
Chicken Feet
Our last dish was Sesame Roll as dessert. Our first impression was that this was small, with only three pieces for the price of $45. However it was well crafted (the photo cannot make out the detail) and tasted good, which rounded off our meal nicely.
Sesame Roll
The food here was pretty good, although they could have been a bit more generous in the portion size and setting was very plush. Service was attentive and very professional for a dim sum restaurant. Dishes are pricier than standard restaurants in the city but not too bad value. If you want some upmarket dim sum then Yee Tung Heen is worth a visit.

Food: 4/5
Presentation: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Setting: 4/5

Overall: 16/20

Total Bill: 318.60HKD, about £13 a head. This included a 15% credit card discount. 

We ate: All of the above.

We drank: Dragon's Well Tea.

I wore: Casual jeans and hooded top, which were probably a bit too casual for this venue.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Tuck Room, Happy Valley, Hong Kong

I was not going to write anything but my experience at Tuck Room for dinner the other night led me to write about this place. Due to the sudden decision to write, there are no photos unfortunately.

It seems to be a wine bar / cafe and looks to be a fairly new place that is located in a back alley from a side street so hard to find, which was evident from the lack of people there when wife and I visited.

We may have been the only customers as when we walked in although there was a gentleman playing on his laptop and not really ordering.

The waitress took our order, then disappeared into the kitchen, so it appeared to be a one-woman show running this place.

My pasta dish came first, of which the pasta was not cooked long enough. It was served in a thick tomato sauce, which was not that good and also surprising as it was not green in colour as the menu noted the pesto sauce. This was only pointed out by the cook-waitress after we queried her. There was also a grand total of five shrimps. Generally, a disappointing dish.

The fish and chips for my wife came a few moments later. This staggered receipt of food was probably due to the fact that there was only one person cooking. It was served in a small thin plate, which looked nice but impractical for eating. The breaded fish portions were small and only the chips tasted nice and seemed to have been made in-house, but they may have come out of the packet.

I am not sure what Tuck Room is meant or trying to be. It has a wine night advertised and cigars are on the food menu, which they should probably concentrate on those two items rather than food. Western food is more expensive in Hong Kong so quality needs to justify the amount one spends but value for money and general enthusiasm of staff (considering this is a newly opened venue) is lacking here. 

Food: 2/5
Presentation: 3/5
Service: 2/5
Setting: 3/5

Overall: 10/20

Total Bill: 300HKD, about £12.50 a head.

We ate: fish and chips, shrimp pasta.

I drank: Iced caffe mocha, which cost about £4.

I wore: Down jacket.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Hokkaido Dairy Farm Restaurant, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

I found myself in a food court on a Sunday for this quest and out of the various outlets available I opted to try out Hokkaido Dairy Farm Milk restaurant.

I would say this place offers Hong Kong cafe style food. From their menu I decided to go for their Hokkaido Signature Set. Cash was exchanged and without too long a wait was presented with my food in its plastic and paper ware.

The food court was busy and I ended up walking a fair distance from the counter to find a seat.
Hokkaido Signature Set
The set is like a breakfast meal from a local cafe. There was a bowl of macaroni in a translucent, chicken stock, brothy soup base that tasted good enough; with barbecued pork slices topping it off, which was nice. The eggs were fried sunny side up as requested, which were still runny and the ham was slightly cooked. The thick white bread was lightly toasted, which I combined with the egg and ham to make a pleasant sandwich. 

I ordered tea as my drink for the set, which tasted like Hong Kong style cafe tea with evaporated milk, which to coin a phrase, is not really my cup of tea. 

My meal was filling without being anything special taste-wise. Service was efficient as with most food courts in Hong Kong. As it is in a food court of a popular shopping centre, due to its convenience I will likely visit again to give another item on their menu a try.

Food: 3/5
Presentation: 3/5
Service: 3/5
Setting: 3/5

Overall: 12/20

Total Bill: 42HKD, about £3.50.

I ate: Hokkaido Signature Set.

I drank: Tea, that was part of the set.

I wore: Leisurely track suit top.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Cafe 69, Koh Samui, Thailand

We are still in Koh Samui but having a later quest for this entry.

The Cafe 69 is a restaurant I had read good things about and is located within a five minute walk from our hotel in the Bophut area of the island, so I thought my wife and I would give it a try for dinner.

We did not book but luckily there was an outdoor table available for us which was fine in the cooler night temperature. It was not long until the venue was full, with the waiter asking patrons to return later, proving its popularity.

The menu consists of Thai food and the have specials on a board too. You can also request the chef to try to rustle something up for you if you cannot find it on the menu, which is a really nice touch.

Drinks were ordered first and shown below are my lime soda and my wife's young coconut.
Drinks. Lime Soda on the left, Young Coconut on the right
We had the following food items, which were received in the order below.

The pomelo salad with beef arrived as our first dish, which was a great starter. The bitter-sour citrusy pomelo pieces mixed in with well cooked beef portions and chilli spices worked a treat.
Pomelo Salad
Tom yum gung soup was served next. This had an excellent flavour, was not too not too spicy and packed with prawns and cherry tomatoes. The bowl was deceptively large and so made it very filling soup.
Tom Yum Soup
The fried rice is shown at the foreground of the picture below. The dish came with finely chopped apple, pork floss, salted egg and chicken pieces to the side for it to be mixed up with the rice. This made quite a good combination when all mixed in. 
Bottom - Fried Rice; Top - Lettuce Wrap
The top of the above picture shows lettuce, rice roll and chicken mince. The mince and rice roll are placed in the lettuce, which is then made in a wrap. There was a sauce to accompany that gave it a little spicy kick that was nice. The only comment here is that could have provided slightly more lettuce, unless we did not spoon enough mince into the wrap.

It is not cheap in terms of Thai prices but the food tasted great and all dishes are well presented. Service is friendly, attentive and prompt. Even with the risqué sounding name, the restaurant is not decked out in erotic paraphernalia but modern furnishing. This place is rated the top restaurant in Tripadvisor and it is easy to see why; if you are in this area, definitely eat here.

Food: 4/5
Presentation: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Setting: 3/5

Overall: 15/20

Total Bill: 1000THB, about £10 a head.

We ate: All of the above.

We drank: Lime Soda, Young Coconut.

I wore: Shorts and flip flops.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Coco Splash Water Park, Koh Samui, Thailand

Sawadee. This greater Hong Kong lunchquest is from Koh Samui, Thailand. 

The good wife and I were at Coco Splash Water Park and we had lunch there to break up our time playing on the slides. 

They have seats dotted around the main entrance and kitchen and food is ordered at the counter and brought to ones seat. We were sat in an outdoor bamboo booth that provided shade from the 30 degree sun beating down on us.

The menu has both local and western style offerings. I opted for a cheeseburger to eat and lemon ice shake to drink.

The burger arrived without too much of a wait. It was well presented, in fast food outlet terms, with a little flag like one would get from a top steakhouse restaurant, which was a cute touch. The beef patty was of good size and tasted fine, with standard vegetables and sliced cheese to complete the contents. The sesame seed bun was slightly toasted for a bit of crunch. Fries were standard and thin, similar to western fast food outlets with ketchup and mayonnaise given out as condiments.
Cheeseburger & fries

It is the only dining option at this place but the food was reasonably priced and good enough for me to finish and provide sustenance for water filled fun. 

Food: 3/5
Presentation: 3/5
Service: 3/5
Setting: 3/5

Overall: 12/20

Total Bill: 400THB, about £4 a head.

I ate: Beef Cheeseburger.

I drank: Lemon Shake, a sour and refreshing Slush-puppy drink, shown below.

I wore: Swimming Trunks.
My drink order

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Haagen Dazs, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

I am in a Haagen Dazs cafe in Causeway Bay for this entry, which was a bit of a break from the Chinese cuisine I had been eating during the Lunar New Year period, and also more at afternoon tea time, rather than midday.

There was a small wait for a table due to the number of patrons that day. After we got a table the waitress gave us various menus to choose from.

My order of the Belgian Dessert Set is shown in the foreground of the picture below, which was nicely presented on white crockery. There were a couple of Belgian Waffles draped in a chocolate sauce, with a scoop of strawberry flavoured ice-cream and some strawberry and banana to garnish as well. The waffles were thick, warm and sweet enough, with the ice cream and fruit complimenting well. The ice cream was their own brand, with a creamy texture and nice wee bits of strawberry mixed in as well. Overall a very satisfactory dessert snack that was rounded off with a good cup of tea and cream.

My wife had a Paris Brûlée, shown in the background of the photo, a dish that came with three scoops of ice cream, which satisfied her needs.
Our Order
The waiters are friendly and service efficient. It is clean enough, although tables are small and they can get crowded with food as shown in the photo, but you get used to this in Hong Kong. 

From the Germanic - Scandic name, it came as a surprise that the chain was founded in America, after reading it up on Wiki. There are a few branches around Hong Kong so far to say I will be visiting again, albeit maybe for just an ice cream only. 

I also recall them having a branch in Edinburgh years ago but that has since closed so no opportunity for a compare and contrast...

Food: 3/5
Presentation: 3/5
Service: 3/5
Setting: 3/5

Overall: 12/20

Total Bill: $203.50, about £9 a head.

We ate: Belgian Dessert Set, Paris Brûlée.

I drank: Tea by 'Bontea', which came with the set.

I wore: Bally shoes.

彩龍, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong

This entry dates back from  Christmas Day. My wife and I went for an early lunch with the in-laws, followed by a hike as it was cool and sunny that day. 

Food was had at Choi Lung (phonetic translation) restaurant that is situated half way on the highest mountain of Hong Kong, Tai Mo Shan.   

It uses a canteen service in that they have food counters where you choose your item but then it is noted on your ticket in order to pay at the end. There is no queuing system so is a little disorganised but it is not anarchy. Tea is also served by oneself.

There is a decent selection to choose from, and we selected a variety as shown in the picture below. Starting from the top at the twelve o'clock position, there was Watercress; Black Sesame Roll; Steamed Quail Egg Dumpling; Spring Roll; Large Steamed Bun, Steamed Cake; Deep Fried Milk; and Prawn Rice Roll.

Our food
Most of the items that were taken were standard dishes when visiting a dim sum restaurant. The exceptions to this were the black sesame roll or 'photo film' as it is called due to its appearance, which has a sweet glutinous taste. The Egg Dumpling is rather like a wonton dumpling with a cute little egg on top. Deep fried milk is something I had never tried and not sure how they make it (it may have come from Scottish cooking techniques?). However is was inoffensive.

Although not pictured we had more food with barbecued pork buns and choi sum taken later.

It's not particularly clean but the food it prepared professionally enough, served with basic plastic plates and bamboo steamers, and service is really by oneself.

Some things were good to eat, some OK. It's not dirt cheap but not that expensive either. Due to the location of it being halfway up a mountain, it is unlikely I will be frequenting this place. However, it is worth a visit if one is in the area.

Food: 3/5
Presentation: 3/5
Service: 3/5
Setting: 2/5

Overall: 11/20

Total Bill: $278, about £5.50 a head.

I ate: All of the above.

I drank: Pu-er tea.

I wore: Hooded Top.