Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day 3-4: Breakfast at cafe TOO in Island Shangri-La- Central, Hong Kong + Sickness

Island Shangri-La Cafe Too: Logo

A lesson for all: when traveling, try to stay healthy and not get sick. Becoming sick takes plenty of time away from your vacation!

Juices and Milk
Plate 1

What seemed like a picturesque morning in Hong Kong on the third day of this trip did not turn out so well for me. Picking up the food, everything tasted great but then, sickness started to appear and the day ended completely in the hotel room.

Contemplating what might have caused it was confusing, as there were not many obvious suspects of where this sickness could have come from. But later, it became more obvious that the room's air temperature gauge was quite off, typically still staying hot although we had set it to a low temperature. So promptly the day after, we requested a room change which was done without complaints!

Mushroom/Vegetable Soup

The next day, my condition went up for the better. Still, just to play safe, I took only light choices from the buffet. Plain congee with lettuce and some pieces of bread with honey isn't exactly a buffet seeker would want, but for me it was quite tasty. Our server definitely noticed my lack of eating; he did not include my meal as part of the check! 

Being a better condition this day, I decided to get a light lunch with a companion-- this was quite difficult as most places did not offer any vegetarian options or if they did, they were salads of which I did not want that day. In this process we walked all over the surrounding area-- not only just Pacific Place, but also Admiralty Centre, Queensway Plaza, and United Centre. The other malls were essentially several entry points to office buildings, but they offered plenty in food and shopping that were not too expensive. There were plenty of major chains like Canteen (operated by Maxim), Bistro Delifrance, Kee Wah Bakery, Tai Cheong Bakery, Fairwood, McDonalds, and Cafe de Coral. Several markets were also located in these malls, like Park and Shop's MarketPlace and 7-Eleven. Overall, this walking experience was great in learning about the surrounding area--we would know where to get some food that was more reasonably priced nearby--but we did not actually get any food from any of the vendors! Instead, we headed down to the Admiralty MTR and got a Avocado and Parmesan Sandwich (45 HKD) at Pret a Manger and a Pumpkin and Raisin Bread at Maxim Bakery (11 HKD).

So much for walking for more than an hour right? But walking around the surrounding area was a very fun experience. We enjoyed our "lunches" in the hotel room with a hot cup of Boh tea (the orange flavored variety)-- both were great, with the avocado and parmesan sandwich nicely seasoned and pumpkin and raisin bread soft and sweet with plenty of candied pumpkin and raisin. However, the Maxim's pumpkin and raisin bread had preservatives and food coloring--most large chains in Hong Kong have one or both of these in their products, so read the ingredient list!

cafe TOO at Island Shangri-La
Pacific Place
Supreme Court Road
Central, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2820 8571

Find the rest of the posts in this series at this trip's TRIP INDEX. 

P.S. Sorry for not posting often this month; it has been very busy. Look back hopefully for a post in two weeks!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Day 2: Chiu Hing Noodles House- Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Chiu Hing Noodles House Exterior

Not really inspired to buy anything at the Wan Chai Computer Centre, we headed off for some food, walking around to find some restaurants nearby. After walking several blocks, we saw a restaurant with So Sze Wong (蘇施黃)'s of TVB's So Good's picture plastered on the wall-- having watched Ms. So so long on TVB, we thought, "why not try one of her visited restaurants?" So, we walked in and had a seat.

Chiu Hing Noodles House Menu
Chiu Hing Noodles House Menu Board

There were menus inside on each table highlighting all the noodle options in English and Chinese; on the wall was a larger menu written with Chinese characters only, with some more options other than noodles like congee and various plates.

Fish Balls + Special Topping Noodle Soup

Since this noodle house seemed to feature their fish balls quite a bit, that was what we ordered. This noodle soup was a special that was listed on a piece of paper- some spicy meat sauce (?) with fishballs and mai fun noodle soup. It also came with a cup of soy milk which although was refreshing, the cup did not exactly smell so great. (cleanliness issue?) I did not try this bowl of noodle soup, but it looked decent. It was primarily different from the regular fish ball noodle soup due to the additional scoop of sauce.

Fish Ball Noodle Soup

Now this was the regular fish ball and fish tofu noodle soup, with wide rice noodles (ho fun) selected as the choice of noodle. This was very light and refreshing; the fishball and fish tofu were very tender and bouncy with plenty of fish flavor while the rice noodles were very thin while still retaining a bite.

Beef Tendon+ Fish Noodles Soup

The beef tendon noodle soup however was not very good. I did not care for the special fish noodles (noodles made out of fish meat) that specifically ordered in- they were quite salty and quite unappetizing in taste, with a mealy texture. My companions thought the rest of the soup was also quite salty in contrast to the regular fish ball noodle soup.

Overall Chiu Hing Noodles House was average- the fish noodles were quite a disappointment but the regular fish ball noodles were decent and a light bite. Sanitation was also another issue with the soymilk's cup smelling awkward. There are however multiple locations in Wan Chai all on Hennessey Road and maybe this location was not the best of the multitude? I can't even recall which location it is so no address, but it was right next door to some other restaurants (Hong Kong Style Cafe/Japanese).

JW Marriott Hong Kong

After the meal we started walking and somehow we reached Pacific Place without even needing to look at a map!  I simply recalled how the ding ding tram went the way we came towards Wan Chai and we were set. Along the way back we passed by this JW Marriott...

Bank of China Tower

...and saw this Bank of China Tower too.

Wan Chai District Sign
Thank you for visiting Wan Chai District

But what was more interesting were these Wan Chai signs which were right located across the street from the JW Marriott. We had never seen these signs before and so took some pictures while waiting for the traffic light to turn to our favor.

Pacific Place- My Christmas 2010 House

Back inside Pacific Place, it was quite empty, but there were still plenty of people taking pictures of their family at the Christmas tree. Seem empty to you? During the weekends and holidays this section of Pacific Place was bursting with activity with at least thirty cameras turned on for taking pictures of family and friends.

Find the rest of the posts in this series at this trip's TRIP INDEX.