In Penang, we have many restaurants in Hongkie style. Kim Gary and those copycats are some of them. However, nothing beats eating at those tiny shops in Hongkong with super stressed out stall owners and grim looking patrons. Really…that’s the image I have of Hongkong where most people are so stressed out, in a hurry and impatient.
But that’s the beauty of Hongkong. A place steeped in tradition and yet, so modern. People are probably caught between the slow pace of authentic Hongkong and the super fast pace of modern Hongkong, they do not know which time zone they are in.
Hubby and I woke up on a lazy Sunday morning and explored the backlanes and tiny streets. The kids were still sleeping so the two of us have plenty of time to sample the foods. Our first stop was the congee shop. It doesn’t matter where it is located or what’s the name. There are plenty of such traditional breakfast place around Hongkong. Just follow the steam and smell.
This place we went to specialise in yu tiao or yau char kuay or fried cruellers. They also sell chee cheong fun. Hence, the chee cheong fun wrapped yau char kuay and this minced beef stuffed chee cheong fun. Hubby and I took one bite at the chee cheong fun above and were telling each other how weird Hongkies are because their foods are so plain!
After having eaten the chee cheong fun dipped in soya sauce, I only noticed the woman at the next table pouring all sorts of stuffs on her plate. That’s when we discovered peanut butter (watery type), sweet sauce (thim cheong) and chili sauce plus sesame seeds to flavour the chee cheong fun. Doh…..
I saw on the menu a congee call sampan congee. It sounds nice so I ordered a bowl. It has minced beef, squid, peanuts and other stuffs. And guess what? I forgot all about adding the yau char kwai into the ‘jook’! All because I was trying to impress my hubby how sampan congee got it’s name. I had watched on TVB series of Charmaine Sheh (I think?) cooking sampan congee in a sampan so I was busy telling him about it to remember the rule of having nice porridge, i.e. add sliced yu tiao into them.
Overall, the yu tiao in Hongkong isn’t as nice as those in Penang because they are much ‘meatier’ and not so crispy. However, the jook or porridge or congee is delicious because it is so lemak and smooth. As for the chee cheong fun, it is fun for a while but I love my Penang stinky hair-ko chee cheong fun most.