A few things to report back from recent trip. Thanks Charles and many of you who regularly contribute to this area.
In general, we had a great eating all around, from street snacks to high-end places. Here's some worth commenting on:
1. Of the wonton noodle shops we visited, I found Good Hope Noodle to be the most satisfying and well-balanced; bite and chewiness of the noodle, gentle but satisfying dry-shrimp based soup, and the delicious plump wonton were trifecta. The others, Mak's (the dry-shrimp broth bit too overpowering and noodle not as bouncy), Tsim Chai Kee Noodle, and Lung Kee Wonton were quite good as well. Our least favorite was Tasty Congee & Noodle Wantun Shop as both broth and noodles just did not have the liveliness we had elsewhere. When compared to the best ones I've had in the states, wontons and broth come close to ones I had in HK, but clearly the noodle is unmatched that of ones I had in HK especially at the Good Hope Noodles, and their scallion noodle is also fabulous.
2. Yin Lung Heen (Ritz): We had a disappointing dinner here, and perhaps I am not as versed in high-end Chinese as my experience is limited. If my memory serves me right, we had red braised pork, roasted (ok) goose breast (dry), braised sea cucumber, jellyfish salad, roast pork, chicken with quail egg inside and caviar, and a few more vegetable dishes. Friendly service, but not very well orchestrated meal overall and most importantly the food was not quite impressive.
3. We went to two Japanese Omakase places, and both were clearly head and shoulders above ones I would get at the leading places in NYC or SF. We really really enjoyed Sushi Yoshi very much, where Osaka style meets subtle French influence. We were very full at the end of the meal as we did lengthier tasting. The other was Sushi Shikon, which is Tokyo/Edomae style. Both had wonderful creative use of the fish and making sauces out of abalone innards to taste with the steamed abalone as well as small serving of rice after that to scoop up all the goodness of sauce. The atmosphere was more intimate/crampted at Shikon as it is smaller place, and at Yoshi bit brighter/modern but louder with in/out of young patrons during the meal I assume to be for smoke breaks. Both places were packed with youngish crowd of late 20s to 30s). Only Yoshi served tomago at the end of the meal, and it was different than all others I've had; almost spongecake consistency (it all disintegrated once in the mouth) and quite sweet.
4. Yan Toh Heen (Intercontinental): this was a great meal though we did not have a full dim sum due to preordered peking duck. The soup dumpling came in a small pot with broth which was very soothing, and few other dim sum stuff was very good as well. Peking Duck was outstanding with two row trays of condiments came out to try various flavors, and duck was taken back for preparation of lettuce wrap also very delicious. The skin on peking duck here was impeccable, gently crackling, with just touch of chew and well flavored and rendered.
5. Amber (Landmark Mandarin): I had to try one French place and it was a great meal. They are closing down for several months to reinvent themselves and to open a winebar in another space where there will be more than 100 BTG offering per the server. I would rank this place at the top of any other recognized French places in the states, and at MS1 bordering 2 in France. Their wine program left much to be desired unfortunately especially their stemware; their grand vin wine tasting at $500 was served on very basic "standard tasting glass" less few.
6. Kam Wah Cafe's french toast, pineapple bun, and milk teas were very good for small breakfast, and while I may not seek out the same place as I think there are many other places that does this just as well it was worth it for the first time visitor feeling the busy morning of HK (mother and son, salarymen, tourist, school kids all jammed in sharing table together). We went to another this time a random HK style cafe where we had great beef brisket noodle soup with ramen-noodle, and another pineapple bun with milk tea. I miss that already.
7. PAK LOH CHIU CHOW RESTAURANT (Elements Mall): unplanned visit and grabbed a few things as we were staying close. Interesting tea service in the beginning of the meal and at the end. Not very memorable but deep fried small anchovies were great. After here, we wanted to try more Chiu Chow places but didn't get around to. There's a good Chiu Chow in NYC called Bo Ky if anyone ever come t his way.
8. Tonkichi (IFC): unplanned visit as it looked very good but that's where the good ended. Good quality pork but quite oily fried. Servces Kimchi but didn't satisfy my hunger :(
9. Unfortunately I can't remember the name and none of my photos shows it, but in Causeway Bay we visited a fishcake noodle shop that serves fried fish (eel?) skin on the side that one dunks in the soup that was just great. A hole in the wall, though plenty of yelp/TA/Michellin stickers adorn the place. Thin rice noodle was heavenly as I've not had rice noodle texture like this before. Around the corner from here was curry fishball shop that was quite satisfying; again, can't remember the name.
9. Daily Fresh Soy Bean Milk in Sheung Wan: very fresh tasting and just perfectly diluted. Had this warm and brought back memories from childhood.
10. Last but not the least Sing Kee on Stanley Street: this was probably the most anticipated Hong Kong Dai Pai Dong style meal. Photos included below says it all. A memorable meal.
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