Wednesday, November 28, 2012


My family loves noodles. My family loves soup. We eat noodles with or without soup and vice versa. You get the picture. When they visited me last week we slurped and inhaled and gulped and we could have done this indefinitely, but they did have to go back home to Manila.

Yup we are suckers for famous places

dumpling noodles

wonton noodles

token vegetable

spicy pork noodles

Ippudo special ramen

Ippudo Tonkotsu ramen

  Commercial break: My eldest enjoying his green tea froyo from Yo Mama. 
Now this has nothing to do with noodles, but I just have to say it. Yo Mama's dark chocolate froyo (a seasonal flavor) has got to be one of the very best froyos I have ever tasted. I wish it were available all the time.

Ho Hung Kee (since 1946!)
2 Sharp Street East, Causeway Bay
They have swanky new digs at Hysan Place, but it lacks character. I prefer the original, cramped premises.

MY FAVORITES! (C for Claypot Rice)

They probably don't wash the warped plastic tea pitchers. They pass these on from a just-empty table to yours, assuming there's hot tea left in it. You wash your utensils and drink the same tea from the same pitcher. Sometimes, when it's full house inside, you have to eat on the street. Good thing then it's located in an alleyway. BUT WHO CARES? The place is bad-ass, the food, kick-ass delicious! All claypot orders took ages to arrive. Steam was billowing from underneath the covers and you could tell from the aroma this was going to be worth it.

The world's largest, cheapest teapot

Utensils taking a dip in hottish tea

Crunchy, garlicky broccoli
Fried squid with spicy salt, I think I ate 3/4 of this plate!

Bestseller: Chicken claypot rice. A bowl of thick soy sauce is served alongside.

Our favorite: pork rib with black beans. You pour the soy, it sizzles, you wolf it all down.

So-so: beef with egg. I generally don't like beef that's been tenderized to death.

Tutong! Socarat for non-Pinoys.

Look at this place. The people just kept on coming in. They have hotpot too!

Beside the restaurant this man was pricking Mr. Pig

Marketman of Zubuchon uses the same technique

Kwan Kee Claypot Rice (bookings are a must!)
Shop 1, Wo Yick Mansion, 263 Queen's Road West, Western District
2803 7209

Monday, November 19, 2012


My travel mantra has always been, eat where the hungry, all-knowing locals eat. Before my food- loving family flew in I made a list of HK cheap eats, 3 pages long. An exaggeration, given the limitations of time and tummy space, but we tried our very best.

For breakfast one day- dimsum at my favorite non English-speaking, noisy, full of octogenarians, decades-old restaurant.

cha siu bao 

tripe, so soft and slippery

thin-skinned dumplings, beautiful to behold

I can eat 5 of these babies in one go

I don't remember what's in this, I do know the wrapper was a tad too thick

Mushroom, chicken and bok ni (white fungus)

steamed fish ball, Cantonese style

this picture can't begin to depict the rowdy, bustling, local character of this place

dimsum carts

cutting up my favorite haam sui gau (fried glutinous rice dumpling with pork)

Lin Heung Tea House
160 Wellington Street, Central
2544 4556

Friday, November 16, 2012


When on a trip with 2 hyperactive kids who take pleasure in repeating the lines "are we there yet? we're bored" and "let's go back to Disneyland or (insert any theme park name here)! Now!", you learn to ditch your carefully researched list of places to eat. You learn to grin and act as if greasy, highly salted, sad looking theme park food is the yummiest on earth. You learn that McDonald's has a wagyu beef burger, which isn't half bad, and Taco Bell has a Doritos taco, which is sooo bad ... for your waistline, that is. You memorize the room service menu because you're so bushed from theme park hopping you can't even muster the strength to eat out.

On a recent US trip our first few cities were all about the kids, the theme parks, the rides and shows. Towards the tail end of the whirlwind journey we got so zoned out and were looking forward to a long, scenic Pacific Coast highway drive passing by Monterey, Carmel-by-the-Sea, and ending in San Francisco, where THANK GOD THERE ARE NO THEME PARKS HOORAY! :)

On this part of the trip my painstakingly prepared list was whipped out of my bag so often, it acted as our road map of places to go. Out of about fifty places we were able to try quite a few. One beautiful morning I was determined to cram as much as I could down my gullet. I only had a few hours at the San Francisco Ferry Building Saturday Farmers Market, and I desperately wanted to eat everything in sight.

Of course I couldn't, and obviously I didn't, since I'm still here now, writing this corny blog, instead of trying to recover from a food-induced coma.

At Big Sur's Nepenthe, Monetrey cheese and two others plus quince jam and toast
Top: Crispy calamari with moreish fried leeks at Grasing's Coastal Cuisine
Bottom: Dungeness crab cakes with red onion cucumber salad and basil aoili.
Fish of the day: Salmon

Blue Crab Risotto- pearl pasta, spinach, asparagus, tomatoes, lemon sauce. Amazing!

My heart started to beat really fast upon seeing the summer sale sign
I could stay in here for days!

Stop the food porn first and smell the flowers...

and the fruits (heirloom tomatoes are fruits!)

and the organically grown baby carrots

the bunch of happy tomatoes

the bread display at Acme Bakery

...and back to regular food porn programming. It had me at "Tasty Salted pig Parts."

I wanted to hug them all!

I ordered the Mess Piggy on Day 1, and the Mufuletta on Day 2

My son loved his salumi cone.
 He doesn't eat ice cream, by the way. This is his "ice cream".

The pickled peppers of Mess Piggy I could snack on every single day

Why hello there, you sexy thing, you. Layers of tasty salted pig parts

Some refreshing sorbet action

Belgian style Leige waffle from Blue Bottle coffee
I saw them from afar, I inhaled their fragrance, I walked over hypnotized

Oh Roli Roti porchetta, you make me forget my name

This guy was happy to show me his "insides"

I stared lovingly at these babies while waiting for my order

I was happy. Very, very happy. I can't say anything else at this point.

Korean taco at Namu

Cooling mint tea at 4505 meats

I really had no room for their best damn cheeseburgers
after the porchetta, taco, ginger snaps at Miette and Humphry Scolombe
salted caramel ice cream. Really. REALLY. But what the heck...

Crab cake at Boudin, the corn relish on the side was the bomb!

The famous clam chowder in a humongous sourdough bread bowl
Cioppino, we got addicted to you in San Francisco. Tsk, tsk tsk. The best we had was at a small cafe in Little Italy

48510 Highway 1, Big Sur, California 93920
(831) 667-2345

6th Street and Mission, Carmel
(831) 624-6562

Ferry Building Marketplace

Boudin Bakery
Pier 39, Space 5-Q
San Francisco, CA 94133