Hong Kong 2016: Day 2

Sunday, 25 December 2016

DAY 2 in Hong Kong! We didn't have anything particular planned that day—mainly just some easy shopping and walking around—so we slept in a bit before heading out to have brunch at the famous Tim Ho Wan (添好運), the world's cheapest Michelin-starred brand. (Please note that the original Mongkok store is no longer there and has relocated to Olympian City.) To be honest, I didn't really want to eat at Tim Ho Wan because I've actually had it so many times in Sydney, but Shirley was super persistent at eating at the original store, so we went anyways. The menu, surprisingly, wasn't as extensive as the one in Sydney, but that didn't bother us at all because I'm sure the menu at home was changed to cater a more Western taste bud.

We ordered 6 classic dishes between the two of us: steamed glutinous rice with chicken (糯米鷄), rice noodle rolls (腸粉), prawn dumplings (蝦餃), shrimp dumplings (燒賣), beancurd sheet rolls (鮮竹卷) and their well-known pork buns (叉燒包). Overall, the dishes were quite similar to ones in Sydney with very subtle differences, but based on what we ate specifically: the rice noodle rolls, shrimp dumplings, beancurd sheet rolls and pork buns were slightly better (in taste and texture) at the original store than the Sydney (George Street) one. The prawn dumplings were basically the same, but I actually liked the steamed glutinous rice with chicken back at home.

Depending what time you go, there is usually a line outside the restaurant, but it does move relatively fast. We got there at around 11:30am and we only waited about 10-15 minutes—but of course, there was only the 2 of us, so it made getting a table much easier than if we were in a larger group.

After eating, we made our way towards Mongkok (旺角), stopping in a park and some older streets of the city for photos. Unlike Causeway Bay, we find it much easier to shop in Mongkok—Sai Yeung Choi Street (西洋菜街) in particular—because it's just one long street of shops with a wide selection of products from electronic goods to fashion and cosmetics. Mongkok is also where we even found really good currency exchange stores (i.e., with good rates).

If you happen to be in Hong Kong at the moment, you'll also get to see Lego's White Christmas installations at Langham Place (朗豪坊) like we did. Be prepared to bring out your inner child because the structures were pretty impressive :)

For dinner, we went to Manya Japanese Restaurant (滿屋日本料理), a Japanese buffet recommended by Sharon and conveniently located near Causeway Bay Station. Unless you've been before, it's actually quite confusing for first-timers because they don't provide much "instructions" on how to order or even tell you how much the meal was per head unless you ask them. I can't remember how much it was for a person, but I think it was around HKD$300, which is about AUD$40. As for ordering the food, they give you two little booklets and you simply mark which dish you want to order, tear it off and then hand it to a waiter. The food comes out relatively quickly thereafter. They mostly offer sashimi with a very small selection of sushi (I like my rice, heh). However, their sashimi is not of the best quality, but acceptable for a buffet-style meal.

We ended our day by having some Hong Kong-style dessert at Cong Sao Star Dessert (聰嫂星級甜品), located in a rather secluded street near Times Square (時代廣場). However, you will not believe the number of people who are willing to line up to eat at this place! We went at 9:30pm and it was absolutely bustling with people so don't freak out if you find yourself sharing another table with strangers. We ordered a tofu pudding (豆腐花) and what they call a "Happy Paradise" (開心樂園). We wanted to eat some shaved ice, but it was all sold out. I highly recommend the tofu pudding at this place—the soybean taste is really strong and the texture of the pudding is silky smooth. Definitely one of the best tofu puddings I've ever had.

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