Portuguese tarts Lord Stow’s bakery – Macau

I sat there with a sweat dripping out of every pore. My feet were sore from excessive running in inappropriate shoes. My face was red and flushed and I might have annoyed a few people along the way. Yet I felt deeply satisfied with the resulting box that laid in my hands.

How did it all come to this?

60 minutes earlier

We were heading out for the morning after a night of R ‘n R staying at the luxurious Lisboa hotel. The plan was simple – buy our ferry tickets for our return trip to Hong Kong, hunt down Lord Stow’s bakery and then head back to the hotel just in time for our 1pm late check out, allowing time to wildly throwing everything back in our suitcase.

Me being as stubborn as I am, wanted to go to the original Lord Stow bakery hidden somewhere amongst the not so main streets of Macau but when Google, phone reception and the taxi drivers were not helpful in finding the store, we had no choice but to run wildly towards the Venetian hotel (I knew there was a store there), which seemed very far away and time was ticking.

Inside the Venetian was an awesome canal with gondolas paddling up and down between all the fabulous stores, there are gorgeous paintings everywhere all over the ceiling and there were human statues, magicians walking around performing tricks but there was no time for any of that, we were here for one thing – PORTUGUESE TARTS!

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It would have looked like four crazy tourists running in multiple directions and there might have been a bit of running around in circles but we finally found it!20131123-002057.jpg

Warm Portuguese tarts from Lord Stow’s bakery ($8.00 HKD per tart).20131123-002206.jpg

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The pastry is so flaky looking with beautiful imperfect brown spots.20131123-002617.jpg

The custard was so delicate and silky smooth, which a great contrast to the crispy flaky pastry. Oh my goodness, there is a party in my mouth.20131123-002659.jpg

You can see the pastry is swirled at the bottom and you can really feel that in the texture when you bite into it.

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Even the next day when the tarts were all cold, they were still amazing and while sitting in a five-star hotel looking over Macau just made the experience just even better.

While you’re in Macau, you have to make this as one of your ‘absolutely have to do’ things on your list. I would suggest going straight to the Venetian hotel and take time to browse around the mall and float down the canal in a gondola and not frantically scramble to check out of your hotel room.

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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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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

HK food adventures

Only just landed in HK, already had cubed pigs blood on my table, ate delicious congee (with dough sticks of course) watched a lady make rice noodles from scratch, shared in 6 desserts, walked past a fridge full of bound crabs, walked through a market and then ended up having a midnight snack with drinks. Good night world. I’ll explore you again tomorrow. #hkfoodadventure #food #foodie #foodblog

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