Dumplings etc. (Hong Kong, December 2018)


A quick roundup of small meals/bites that even I don’t have the energy to blow up into individual posts of their own. First, breakfast on arrival at Crystal Jade’s branch in the Hong Kong airport. This is where we had our first and last meals of our trip in 2016 and there was no way in hell I wasn’t going to eat there again right after landing. A bit of disappointment here as I was looking forward to a bowl of their excellent congee—what could be more restorative after a 15 hours flight?—but discovered they’d recently taken congee off their menu at the airport. It’s just a small selection of noodle dishes and dumplings now. Well, the dumplings themselves were not disappointing at all. I got an order of the pan-friend dumplings and an order of their XLB. A pretty good first meal in Hong Kong. 

Though if I’d eaten my first meal at Cheung Hing Kee I would have been pretty happy too. In fact, I ate there on my third day. And the dumplings I ate there constituted my second breakfast after my first bowl of congee at Law Fu Kee. I came out and noticed that there was a dumpling specialist right next door (they had not opened yet when I entered Law Fu Kee) and it seemed un-neighbourly to not go in and try their fare as well. Especially as their specialty appeared to be pan-fried Shanghai juicy buns or Sheng Jian Bao—basically pan-fried XLB. These apparently got them a mention in the 2016 edition of the Hong Kong Michelin guide and a steady stream of my fellow tourists seemed to be coming by to try some. It seemed rash to swim against the popular tide and so I got an order. They were very good indeed.

Emerging from Cheung Hing Kee, I realized that I was right across the street from the Tai Cheong Bakery. We’d eaten their excellent egg tarts as well as other pastries in 2016, and even though I had already eaten one breakfast too many I felt it would be unbearably rude of me to give custom to the establishments across the street from them without even going in. How would I ever show my face in Hong Kong again? So I went in and discovered that a fresh batch of egg tarts was emerging from their oven. One of these entered my belly in short order. So fucking good. I guess on my next visit I should go across to Macau and try the Portuguese-style tarts there but if the Tai Cheong egg tart was the only one I could eat for the rest of my life, I’d be happy. They have branches elsewhere in Hong Kong, by the way, but this Central location is the original.

Herewith the pictorial evidence of my lack of restraint.

All of this was very reasonably priced indeed. Other than the airport Crystal Jade’s axing of congee, I have no complaints. I also had no complaints of my last meal in Hong Kong (well, other than during my layover on my way back to the US from India). That was at the Hong Kong Station branch of Tim Ho Wan and involved the longest line I stood in on this visit—but it was worth it. I’ll have that last food report from Hong Kong next week. Before that there’ll probably be another Bombay report this weekend.

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