Posted by: jyunbugspeaks | July 23, 2012

Jyunbugspeaks in Hong Kong:Good foods at even greater convenience pt.2

So the last time I wrote we were tasting everything from small bags of noodles to spring rolls in lettuce to Hong Kong cafeteria style fast food joints and now the adventure continues with something that is very special to me. Sushi. I know this category is a love it or hate it kind of food. I love it. Here in Toronto we have All-You-Can-Eat establishments cause we love it so much (I’ll talk about that in a future blog) but for now in Hong Kong, sushi rules. What makes sushi in Hong Kong so special? I think it’s how it is presented. Not presentation as in properly trained sushi chef preparing and presenting it’s dish, no Japan rules in that department but I’m taking about presentation according to the lifestyle. Over here in Hong Kong it is presented on a conveyor belt system that moves pre cut and prepared pieces of sushi/sashimi to the customers that are seated around the restaurant. Don’t for a second think that the quality of the cuts of fish are compromised when presented this way, no you would be wrong. The sushi is very fresh, cut and presented in serviceable quantities (meaning they don’t make so much of it that it’s sitting on the conveyor for long periods of time). They make daily specials of different types of fish so if you are adventurous you can grab a giant sea shrimp with a dollop of sour creme fresh (yes I said creme fresh) or smoked duck (my personal favourite) sushi. Don’t knock it until you have tried it, is all I can say. Even if you don’t see anything you like you can order it a la carte from a menu and it will be made fresh in front of your eyes. What I love about this style of sushi is that you can eat however much you want whenever you want it. Don’t like what you see? Just wait for the next round of sushi to come by. You just keep track of what you eat and how much. Each plate is colour coded so you can see exactly how much eat plate is worth (range from $9 HK to $32 HK –  that’s $1 to $4 CDN). Once you’re done grab a waiter and they will calculate the cost and boom you’re out the door with all of them saying “sayonara” in unison as you leave. Fast, easy and cheap. Like I said before the Hong Kong lifestyle at its best. Bonus: the hot water-spout for your green tea powder is conveniently located right beside the wasabi and ginger containers. Sweet!

At the beginning of our trip we made a promise to each other that we would not eat at the same place twice. We broke that rule at this amazing shabu shabu and sukiyaki restaurant called Mou Mou Club. Never heard of it? Basically it’s a Japanese style of cooking your food, it’s called shabu shabu (meaning you slow cook your beef or meat by gently swaying it in the broth). The waiter will ask you what type of broth you would like. There are a variety of broths like miso or soya sauce but we chose a basic clear chicken one and a vegetable one. You start off by getting all your foods from several stations and all of it is raw. Even the meat. You can get Australian wagu beef (basically free-range cows), pork, lamb, an endless variety of fresh vegetables (everything from Napa cabbage to mushrooms to potato slices), several kinds of fish cakes, tofu and seaweed. Once the broth is boiling you slowly dump your veggies and tofu into the broth and let it simmer, cook and absorb the flavours. Once the veggies have soften, you can then take the slices of meat and slowly cook it. Drop several slices in a metal basket with a handle or just one at a time with your chop sticks, it’s your choice. The meat is so thin and tender that it cooks in seconds. This type of eating is different from the other establishments that I spoke about in that you take your time eating as you have to let the foods cook before you can eat it. This allows you to have deep conversations about where and what to eat next : ) I found that the wagu beef was so tender it melted in your mouth and what makes this place so good was the sauces for you to dunk your cooked food into. One had a sour vinegary taste (great for veggies) and the other had a mild sesame flavour (excellent for your meats) which counter balanced each other. Bonus: they have an all-you-can-consume custom-made sundae station, if you’re into that.

Well our next gastro journey took us to somewhere I am slowly getting use to. You see my girlfriend is a vegetarian and luckily most establishments that we have visited do have that option but I felt it was only fair we try a vegetarian restaurant. Surprisingly for a nation that prides in eating everything pork, there were a lot of vegetarian restaurants. At one such restaurant called the Loving Hut where we met an Australian expat who recommend an online vegan restaurant guide called the Happy Cow. We found one just a couple of blocks from our hotel called the Sino Vegetarian Restaurant and with the help of the guide, we had a wonderful vegetarian meal. Kudos to the chef as I must say for a person who has eaten his fair share of meat, the gluten substitute was very convincing in the taste and texture department.

It looks good right? It tasted horrible as there wasn’t any tomato sauce on this just corn, mushroom, broccoli and cheese!

Unfortunately the only knock against Hong Kong that I could find during my food odyssey was that they can not make a decent pizza. I mean a mind-blowing ‘zza that has the sauce made with San Marzano tomatoes, fresh buffalo mozzarella and crisp basil leaves on a thin crust. I don’t mean Pizza Hut as many locals seem to think over here. That shit should have stayed in North America but alas my search continues….I personally think that would be a great pizza business that would take off like crazy. Think about it, get a real authentic pizza master from say, Rome or Milan and whisk him to a newly built pizza joint that has an authentic stone oven. Next get fresh and simple ingredients and make him create a good dough and I guarantee it would be a hit and there would be a line up for blocks. How would I know this? Hong Kong people love new things and they love it even more if it’s authentic and original and are willing to line up for hours just to have a taste of it.


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