Heng Hing Roast Inn

We were braving the Belconnen markets on Christmas eve eve with everyone scrambling to get their fresh seafood, fruit and groceries done before the big day by going there to eat lunch but I wanted to try something different/had a chance of opening.

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Lots of large photos and choices so you know what you’re getting.20131224-065145.jpg

Duck noodle soup with rice noodles ($13.50). Not an overly salty broth with the duck juices and skin lending itself for a bit of flavour while the soup made the duck not too salty. A great balance.

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Beef brisket with noodles ($13.50). In the typical Chinese braised sauce. I was rather impressed that this fatty tender cut of meat was cooked authentically.

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Combination chow mein ($16.50). Ever since Hidden dragon shut down I have been forever hunting down a good chow mein that has crispy egg noodle, not the tiny shards of fried stuff that is constantly being served everywhere and I think I have found one! A thick rich gravy covering a crispy egg noodle nest which was slowly absorbing the sauce.

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Roast pork and roast duck rice plate ($13.50). This is my ‘go to’ dish with a whole meal including vegetables is on one plate with my favourite two roast meats. The roast pork pieces are cut smaller than I’m used to and I found the meat had dried out a bit (they are supposed to cut the meat just before serving) but the succulent roast duck made up for the disappointment. I know what I’m getting next time!

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A very casual place to get some great authentic Chinese food and in the convenient spot where all the fresh produce is held. I wonder how good their laksa is… Hmmmm.

Venue: Heng Hing Roast Inn

Address: Shop 12A, Belconnen Fresh Food Markets, Belconnen

Phone: (02) 6253 4888

Opening hours: 8:00am – 6:00pm Wednesday – Sunday

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Koi Kei bakery – Hong Kong

I must admit while I was doing my shopping rendition of Home Alone’s “we slept in!”, 20131118-224558.jpgI didn’t think of going out of my way to hunt down a Koi Kei bakery, it was just a happy coincidence that I came across a shop front on my way to purchasing Hello Kitty shoes.smileys-hello-kitty-130611 

I stepped inside and cookie boxes were flying off the shelf like they were free. I found myself being drawn to the egg rolls (my fav) but my fear of being patted down in customs only led me to sample them. In fact there were samples of almost everything in the store. A helpful sale assisted recommended several things which were fabulous and helped me hunt down cookies that I didn’t know the name of (that is the trouble with eating something all during your childhood without reading the packaging).

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Buying almost $900 HKD worth of cookies and candies means getting one of the biggest bags that they had. They were very clever to wrap the plastic handles with bubble wrap which made holding this very heavy bag much much easier, it was not so clever of me to get these cookies in the middle of my shopping trip. 
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There is never a quiet moment in Koi Kei bakery, with people always coming and going. Chances are, you will see at least one person holding a Koi Kei bakery bag while walking in the street /traveling on a ferry /going on a plane .

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My favourite pick of the bunch: almond pastry. I had never had these before and I was very impressed, so much so that I bought 4 boxes, although none were for me.  I chose the handmade type over the machine-made candies/cookies.20131118-222659.jpg

Buying several kilos worth of cookies means that they threw in a few peanut candy freebies.20131118-222710.jpg

When I tasted these, I was amazed by how much ginger taste you could pack into a cookie. These are going to a friend who certainly loves ginger.20131118-222721.jpg

And of course I couldn’t leave the bakery without getting some peanut candy which is what they specialise in. They have so many types, I almost was full from trying them all – crunchy, chewy, peanut, almond, white sesame, black sesame and coconut, they have it all!

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I really wanted to try their Portuguese tarts while I was in Macau but as fate would have it, we just didn’t have good timing. These are a lovely treat as souvenirs (easy to take as carry on) or just good for general snacking. I would recommend you come and try everything, if you don’t like anything you could just leave, but I’d like to see you try to resist.  I took my bag of precious cookies as carry on with no trouble.

My Eat wish list before I leave Hong Kong

1/. Hotpot rice
2/. Egg waffles
3/. Cookies from Koi Kei bakery << I ate a lot more than I anticipated
4/. Beard papa sweets
5/. Lemon iced tea
6/. Cold milk tea

Beard Papa’s – Hong Kong

While I was in Hong Kong I had to see my Daddy, my Godfather and last but not least Beard Papa.  I had just a few hours before we flew back home so I ran there with several kilos of shopping bags dangling from each arm, a dehydrated body and very tired legs but I wasn’t going to let that stop me from tasting the very delicate and delicious cream puffs that is Beard Papa’s.

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I think the best ‘shape’ to get is the Paris brest($18.00 HKD) as it has a great cream to pastry ratio. All pastries were made fresh that day and when I took a bite,  I remembered why I had craved for it for so long.

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If you are in Asia or the States, you have to hunt this franchise down, I know I’ll be googling for the closest Beard Papa’s every time I travel.

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My Eat wish list before I leave Hong Kong

1/. Hotpot rice
2/. Egg waffles
3/. Cookies from Koi Kei bakery
4/. Beard papa sweets
5/. Lemon iced tea
6/. Cold milk tea

My last supper

When someone fleetingly mentions hotpot rice as an option for dinner, my eyes light up. I love hotpot rice especially the ‘not good for you glued on rice’ that gets stuck to the bottom of the pot.  That’s it. In my mind we have chosen what we are eating for dinner because in that instant, I have promised my stomach- hotpot rice.

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A Hong Kong trip is not complete without cramming into one of those busy street cafés with all the locals, sitting on little stools (hoping that it doesn’t collapse under your weight) and ordering cheap food where the wait staff all yell to each other to put orders in.

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The menu is huge, covering everything from typical Hong Kong cafe food (French toast and Horlicks drinks) to noodles and stir fries. There is a separate mini menu for hot pot rices, I can’t decide which one to choose so we order four to share. All the hot pot rices came out ridiculously hot (you can see the steam coming off in some of the photos) and had soy sauce for you to add according to your taste.

Hot pot rices are one of the token dishes you have to eat in Hong Kong when the weather gets cold (the air con was on so high it was simulating Winter inside that cafe, we could even see our breath!). All the rice absorbs the juices from the topping and also has a ‘charcoal flavour’ to it at varying levels depending on how close your rice was to the edges of the hot pot.

Pork spare ribs with black bean sauce hotpot rice ($48 HKD) Chinese sausage extra.

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I dug a little further down and could start seeing the rice that has stuck to the side of the pot. Mmmmmm…20131113-085344.jpg

Minced pork with salted fish hot pot rice ($48 HKD) Chinese sausage extra. I might not eat too many ‘traditional Chinese’ things but I have missed salted fish, OMG so good. Om nom nom.20131113-085403.jpg

Chicken with Chinese mushroom hot pot rice ($48 HKD). 20131113-085416.jpg

Beef with egg hot pot rice ($48 HKD).20131113-085431.jpg

Some pots were stickier than others and I couldn’t really dig with my chopsticks or plastic spoon.20131113-085442.jpg

So I grabbed my metal spoon from my drink and started using it as an excavation tool – success!20131113-085451.jpg

Washed it all down with some refreshing lemon iced tea. Two ticks with one meal! Three down, three more to go:

My Eat wish list before I leave Hong Kong

1/. Hotpot rice
2/. Egg waffles
3/. Cookies from Koi Kei bakery
4/. Beard papa sweets
5/. Lemon iced tea
6/. Cold milk tea

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With just over 24 hours before we fly back home, I have developed a list of things to eat before I die go back to Australia. Fingers crossed and mouths open that I can satisfy all my cravings before I leave!

1/. Hotpot rice
2/. Egg waffles
3/. Cookies from Koi Kei bakery
4/. Beard papa sweets
5/. Lemon iced tea
6/. Cold milk tea

I have already satisfied my craving for- French toast, silken tofu desserts, congee and fried ‘oil sticks’.
**list may or may not change when I come across something delicious that I forgot to add to the list.

Tim Ho Wan Michelin star restaurant – HK

TimmyC and I venture on our own for the first time away from anyone that had a clue about how to navigate their way around Hong Kong, people had more important things to do like organise a wedding (I’ll get around to it one day) and for me, I had one thing that I really wanted to do- find the cheapest Michelin star restaurant in the world and eat there (yes people have different priorities in life, clearly).

Even though Tim Ho Wan was tucked away in the streets of Sham Shui Po, the Internet and google maps made it possible for noobs like us to (eventually) get there with not much hassle. There are several locations but I wanted to go to where it all started.

I almost walk past the front door even though I was strategically counting the street numbers anticipating the thought of delicious dim sims. It is very simple shop front- a few chairs for patient people in the queue, newspaper articles printed on the side of the window and stuck on the poorly lit door you could see the Michelin guide stickers for three years running if you squint hard enough in the dim light. I was greeted by a friendly face who pushed past the front doors to revealed a brightly lit area with the hustle and bustle of patrons and waitresses in a small dining room. TimmyC was still a few steps behind and I could hear him ask if I had gotten the right place as I drifted into the light. Oh we had gotten the right place alright. There was a mix of locals and tourists who have come to see what all the fuss was about, and I was now one of them.
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They have a very simple menu which makes it easier for me to choose from.

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Har gow steamed fresh shrimp dumplings ($25.00 HKD). One of the few dumplings that I preferred steamed, served nice and hot straight from the steamer, the prawn was pretty good but it needed some sriracha.

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Steamed rice with chicken’s feet and spare rib ($19.00 HKD). There was not much fat on the meat, that could be seen as a good or a bad thing depending on how you like it. I really enjoyed the soy sauce they put on the top but I think Australia has better steamed rices with tastier meat.

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Famous pork buns – baked bun with BBQ pork ($17.00 HKD). It has the bun surface of a fresh warm and crumbly pineapple bun (there is no pineapple in a pineapple bun, I’ve always found that deceiving) encasing a warm moist filling with the sweet and salty tastes of BBQ pork. A very unique dish with a very delicate texture, you can tell by how squished it looks when I hold it in my chopsticks and without trying not to sound like an ad, I can’t believe it is baked!

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The service was efficient, dishes arrive promptly whenever they are ready and are taken away just as quick once you’re done. We went around 4pm, so this was more of a snack rather than a meal, hence only ordering three things and no queues. I tried to order a variety of things, the famous BBQ pork buns, steamed rice which I don’t go without every time I go to yum cha and something steamed/dumpling. Overall I found it a bit overrated, I believe that there is better food in Hong Kong for just as cheap just without the prestigious rating, I would even prefer the steamed rice from the humble Marigold in Sydney, but at least now I can say I have been and it did only cost me $65.00 HKD (less than $10 AUD).

Venue- Timmy Ho Wan aka Timmy’s to locals
Address- 9-11 Fuk Wing Street, Sham Shui Po