March 31, 2014

Slightly Peckish: Breakfast in Hong Kong

by Sakura

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I’m not ordinarily a breakfast person, I’d rather get an extra half an hour of sleep instead. However, if I’m going to have breakfast, I want it to be special. And in Hong Kong, we were only looking at two options: congee and wonton noodle soup. The thing I love about Asia is that you find people eating all sorts of substantial dishes for brekkie. My kind of people. So off we went hunting.

Our first big breakfast was congee. My friend did some checking on Open Rice and found a local joint famous for its congee in Mongkok.

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The interior of Fuk Kee was small and basic and we were the only foreigners there. And there was free tea on tap.

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We ordered two bowls of congee; one with pork and century egg and the other with fish and prawn.

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I’ve been pretty squeamish about eating century eggs — my friend tried to make me eat them as a student years ago, and to her horror, I spat out my piece. But I’m all for second chances.

We got some fried dough to dunk into the congee because you must.

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The pieces of fried dough soaked up the liquid and were the best bits of the dish. How I love them.

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The small pieces of century egg looked menacing but they were deliciously salty and I was surprised at how much I liked them. Of the two congees, my favourite was the pork and century egg one hands down.

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Surprises will never cease. There were slivers of ginger in the congee which balanced the saltiness and lent a freshness. I approve.

Often century eggs can be a bit funky but my friend was surprised at how good it tasted here.

We also got a plate of prawn cheung fun as a side order.

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These were spongy and silky and were as good as in any dim sum joint I’ve been to.

Our breakfast on my last morning in Hong Kong was wonton noodle soup. This is one of my favourite Chinese dishes but I never get to eat enough of it just because it’s so simple and I always end up ordering something else. Because it was my last day there and we only had one breakfast left, we decided to try two places and share a bowl each.

Both places are famous for their wonton noodles but are unassuming little places with extremely reasonable prices — you wouldn’t be able to get a plate of noodles let alone peanuts for the price in London.

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Tsim Chai Kee is famous for its wonton noodle soup and at HK$34 ($4.50) for noodles with three toppings, it’s a steal.

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We got two wontons, a fresh minced fish ball which was huge and sliced beef. It’s pretty substantial for one portion. The thin egg noodles were springy and it was delicious.

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The fishball was quite fishy and wasn’t my favourite but the beef slices and wonton, with a hint of sesame oil, were spot on.

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The lady chef was friendly and the restaurant was doing brisk business even though it was still so early in the day.

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The second place we tried, Law Fu Kee, was much smaller, cheaper and with Chinese menus under the glass on the tables. There’s no English here but the staff are helpful if not overly smiley.

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On either side of the entrance, one cook dealt with wontons and the other with congee — very efficient.

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We got a simple wonton noodle soup here.

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The small bowl came brimming with noodle and soup, with a couple of wontons hidden underneath. The broth was much lighter but this didn’t diminish the amount of flavour in the soup. The wontons were so silky and delicious and the egg noodles had just the right bite. It was a smaller portion than Tsim Chai Kee and if we hadn’t had our previous ball, one to share would have been too small. Although both were delicious, I think overall I preferred the wonton noodle soup here.

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I’d been bugging my friend to take me to a wonton joint and she took me to two superb ones. Wonton noodle soup rules!

FUK KEE
104-106 Fa Yuen Street
Mong Kok
Hong Kong
T: +852 2385 1230

TSIM CHAI KEE
98 Wellington St.
Central
Hong Kong
T: +852 2850 6471

LAW FU KEE
144 Queen’s Road
Central
Hong Kong
T: +852 2543 3881

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