Hong Kong & Macau 2014: Day 6 Going Home Part 3

DAY 6 (CON’T)

Some background on Ho Hung Kee. Apart from their one michelin star rating, its founder Ho Wing Fong used to be a disciple of Mak Woon Chi (of Mak’s Noodles – the very outlet that begin it all where Hong Kong’s wanton noodles are concerned). Talking about legacy planning, Ho Wing Fong’s son has branched out himself to open up the Tasty Congee & Wantun Noodle Shop 正斗粥麵專家 – you may have seen Tasty outlets at IFC and the Airport Departure Lounge as well.

Processed with Moldiv

They used to be located at Sharp Street before escalating rentals in Causeway Way (considered one of the world’s most expensive places for commercial real estate) resulted in their move to their current Hysan Place outlet. Read about it here …… Being in more sparkly surroundings in Hysan Place (right down pat to the mind boggling gold prints that dominate the walls of the shop itself) also means higher prices as compared to a stand-alone shop front like Mak’s or Tsim Chai Kee 😛

My early lunch ……

2015-03-10 14.48.44

Ho Hung Kee is known for its signature wanton noodles, stir fried rice noodles with beef (i.e. friend beef hor fun dry version) and congee …… but for god knows what reason (I don’t know myself :P) …… I ended up ordering their dry tossed noodles with wanton that cost me around HKD80. Having ate a really good and shiok dry noodle in Macau just the day before, this version pales a lot in comparison (to be fair – there was no shrimp roe in this noodles).

But at least I ate in a Michelin star restaurant. Haha!

After my lunch, did a slow walk down the building with all my bags/barang barang from level 12 (12F). Ended up walking into a bookstore – eslite that spans 2 storeys (levels 8 to 10) …… and walked around a bit.

2015-03-11 11.32.13

All in all, Hysan Place is pretty big, with many retail outlets and food outlets, and its wide spaces make the place a good one to explore. Furthermore very strategically located right opposite Sogo (which is always perpetually crowded). Will love to explore Hysan Place more in my future trips, heh ……

As there is still time before getting to the airport (target to reach around 3-plus) ….. decided to take a tram back to Central area. As the tram stops right at the main road, it makes a easier walk around Central as versus to navigating the underground walkways linked to the MTR station.

Back at busy Central, its close to 1pm, where throngs of office workers are out for lunch!

IMG_8415

Walked back into the twisty small streets in Central …… and the next mission is to hunt down the legendary egg tarts at Tai Cheong – whcih is located at Lyndhurst Terrace.

While I am aware that Lyndhurst Terrace is 1-2 streets further up from Wellington Street (based on memory), it proved to be a pretty tough find as I spent a good 20 min walking up and down, and trying to figure out where exactly Lyndhurst Terrace is!! Recalled that Tai Cheong is located quite near the Central Mid Levels Escalator itself but I guess carrying multiple bag loads of stuff + walking up and down steep roads tires one out faster and you can’t think properly as a result 😛 …… Turns out its just round the corner from Gage Street (near Lam Fong Yuen) after all!

2015-03-13 18.52.52

My original intention was to buy a box and hand carry back to Singapore (hence going at this hour as versus to doing it earlier in the morning while on the way to Hong Kong Station). However with after the twisting and turning to find the place, plus already having a lot of bags (and with more things yet to be bought), changed my mind about getting a box back to Singapore …… and instead bought just one egg tart to try for myself. It was a good egg tart, yes without doubt as the crust is buttery and crispy (without being flaky), while the custard is sweet and creamy …… but somehow or another, it did not wow me as much as the Lord Stow’s egg tart I had the day before in Macau 😛

After my quick egg tart break at the bench near the escalator at Wellington Street (where Tsim Chai Kee is) …… walked back down to Yung Kee and got the century eggs. Trudged on with the even heavier load of bags now (now that I have an additional 3 boxes of century eggs) and walked down to IFC and to Lane Crawford to do one last search of a limited Jo Malone perfume for S (sold out already) before heading off to the airport.

Instead of getting onto the Airport Express straight at Hong Kong Station, itchy fingers me decided to hop onto the yellow line (Tung Chung line) instead and took 1 stop to Kowloon. Would have loved to have afternoon tea at Sky100 (ICC) and/or at Ritz Carlton (right on top of ICC) but given that it will be quite a bit of walk to get to ICC from Kowloon Station/Elements Mall ….. there is no time for it. Contented myself with going up to Union Square for a brief look see.

2015-03-13 20.48.59

Union Square (on top of Kowloon Station and Elements Mall) is surrounded by various high rise condominiums and hotels (W Hotel) and ICC. There were also a lot of property agents stationed there while I was snapping away on my camera 😛

And so, this marks the end of my trip as I hop onto the airport express at Kowloon to head onward to the airport, and back home to Singapore!

Hong Kong & Macau 2014: Day 6 Going Home Part 2

DAY 6 (CON’T)

Left Causeway Bay MTR Station and decided to get to my next planned destination – Wing Kee. Am pretty keen to check out this very much raved about pushcart noodles before I leave Hong Kong …… and thought this might make a pretty good early brunch after my less than satisfactory breakfast.

First, gotta look for the address, as the outlet is located at Sugar Street (one of the many small streets within Causeway Bay).

P1040686

Directions given were to turn at Yee Wo Street ….. which is the road further down left after exiting Causeway Bay at the Sogo Exit. Got onto Yee Wo Street ….. but kept walking until I ended up at Jardine side. Had to google map quite a bit before realizing that Sugar Street was just right after the pink bridge. Ahh …. the pink bridge was the landmark 😛

So finally got onto the right street after 15 min of walking to and fro ….. only to find that Wing Kee is closed. None of the reviews which I managed to google online mentioned that it will be closed on a Monday, sigh. So much after all that walking :S

P1040687

Walked away in disappointment …… and decided to head back towards the direction of Sogo. As I was walking back towards Sogo, I realised that Park Lane Hong Kong is on the same side of the street as well …… and that in one of my quick researches done prior to trip, RIVA and The Deck is located right on top of Park Lane itself. Arghh, totally missed out on that when I was in Causeway Bay the Friday before (could have gotten myself drinks and enjoy the sunset lah!)!

Nevertheless, since I was already in the vicinity, no harm going up to take a look 😛 + Needed a toilet break as well. Took the lift right up to the 27th floor, and found the place. Was open to have an early lunch here, only to find out from the restaurant captain that they only start operating at 12 noon. The captain was nice enough to let me (and a few other tourists who also came up to take a look) to walk through the restaurant and to the outdoor deck for a panoramic view of the Hong Kong harbour and to take some pictures, heh!

2015-03-05 00.02.22

The outdoor deck wasn’t too big (rectangular shape at best) with a couple of seats. But pretty cosy.

2015-03-05 01.31.30

The panoramic views from the outdoor deck itself not only gives you a clear bird’s eye view of the Hong Kong harbour (facing Kowloon) …… at the same time, you can also see the Hong Kong Yacht Club and Victoria Park/Causeway Bay Sports Ground on the left corner. As you can see, it is a nice clear day, where the sky is a nice blue, with fluffy clouds in the sky. What is less apparent is the above 30 celsius temperature, a pretty hot and sticky day once again.

Time to go as I have gotten the million dollar views and the pictures I wanted. I’ll definitely be back to watch the sunset and to sip a cocktail in my next trip 😀

As I left Park Lane, I realised that Ikea was also located in the building itself, at the shopping arcade corner. Got back to Sogo B2 Basement to do my foodstuff shopping (before the peak crowd trickles in at 12 noon). Got the Maxim Mooncakes (2 boxes of their famed custard mooncake, which I set out to buy this trip as it is literally mooncakes galore all over Hong Kong) …… and the usual wife biscuits from Hang Heung (unlike the pre-packaged ones from Wing Wah which can be found at the airport, the ones from Hang Heung are freshly baked at their Yuen Long main factory, thus can only hand carry).

It was close to 1135 Hrs when I left Sogo. With 2 heavy shopping bags, a sling bag and one more small bag (bro’s filter) in tow, decided to have an early lunch nearby Causeway Bay (as versus to taking the MTR/tram to Wan Chai) before going back to Central. Thus Hysan Place – strategically and conveniently located right across Sogo, became a very convenient choice. Furthermore, its air-conditioned 😛

Since I was in Hysan Place, decided to check out Ho Hung Kee for lunch. Did not really plan to visit Ho Hung Kee …. only for it to end up as the one and only Michelin Star rated (officially that is) eatery that I would visit throughout this trip.

P1040707

Hong Kong & Macau 2014: Day 6 Going Home Part 1

DAY 6: MONDAY 25 AUGUST 2014

Last day of my holiday!

My flight back to Singapore was an afternoon flight (flying off at 4-plus) …… which leaves me some time in the morning and early part of the afternoon to finish off some shopping before heading to the airport.

Bye bye to my ‘home’ for the past 5 days ……

IMG_8398

IMG_8399

Targetted to leave the apartment around 0930 Hrs and cab to Hong Kong Station to do a Airport Express check-in before proceeding with the rest of my intended agenda. The wait for a cab was an exhausting one in the hot weather though. Waited a good 20-odd min (with my luggages in tow) before eventually going downslope and finally getting a cab at Caine Road for that short ride to Hong Kong Station. Thinking about it now, I may be better off doing a slow slow walk down the Mid-Levels escalator and onto the overhead bridge leading to Hong Kong Station instead, Ha!

Nevertheless, got to do my Airport Express check-in (Note: this service is only available for major commercial airlines like Cathay, SQ ….. and not for the budget carriers like Tiger and Jetstar). Quite busy even at 10-plus in the morning!

P1040673

Got the check-in done and decided to go to the Tim Ho Wan @ B1 for a hearty dim sum breakfast since I only managed to have a char siew bun only from Tim Ho Wan throughout the trip. But the quene is such a damper :S

P1040676

Managed to find a corner Maxim outlet for a quick breakfast instead. Unfortunately, both sandwich and coffee were mediocre :S

2015-02-22 21.40.03

Guess something to fill the tummy is better than none! Look foward to having something tastier when I get to Causeway Bay in a while 😛

While walking through the underground linkway from Hong Kong Station (IFC side) to get to Central MTR side (in order to get to Causeway Bay), spotted 3 huge Manulife billboards (work-related, I know). Manulife has a huge market presence in Hong Kong and I really liked the way they have designed the billboard to make retirement planning visually appealing and easy to understand/relate to ……

Processed with Moldiv

Power of advertising continues upon reaching Causeway Bay MTR. This is the huge Maxim billboard that I have been seeing continously throughout my trip 😛

Processed with Moldiv

Hong Kong & Macau 2014: Day 5 Macau Spectacular Part 1

DAY 5: SUNDAY 24 AUGUST 2014

Today is day trip to Macau! Do not have any concrete/detailed agenda apart from having tickets to watch House of Dancing Water at City of Dreams (Cotai) at 5pm.

But definitely no late start unlike the day before (Saturday). We decided the night before that we will cross the harbour to Kowloon to have breakfast at Mido Cafe (which we didn’t get to do so on Friday) before making our way to Macau.

Reached Yau Ma Tei MTR / Temple Street around 9-ish and got to Mido Cafe at the edge of Temple Street itself (exact address – 63 Temple Street). Mido Cafe is what we would term as a typical old school cha chaan teng (tea cafe) as they started operations way back in the 1950s …… with the 1950s style decor still well preserved.

2014-12-20 17.08.19

The top right photo (of the lady sitting by the window engrossed in her smartphone) was from a instagram post that I uploaded. The cafe interior itself is a part of classic old Hong Kong …… and makes for pretty good photography and instagram-ing 🙂

Despite Mido Cafe being said to be a good place to spot a HK celebrity having his/her breakfast here, we did not have much luck in celebrity spotting though 😛 …… But SM did note Mido is really old school Hong Kong right down to the tiles. 2 visits later only did I notice the tiles …… which in turn made a nice pattern.

P1040604

And now for the food proper. Very extensive menu with easily over 200+ items but we were very clear on what we came here for – their signature French Toast! Since it was SM’s 1st time here, we also ordered another one of their signature items – Baked Spare Rib with Tomato Sauce Rice (which I have not tried before as my previous visit was sorely for French Toast).

2014-12-20 17.25.29

Verdict – the French Toast is as good as ever, with a good amount of maple syrup. As for the Baked Rice – the portion was huge (considering it costs HKD58) with plenty of spare ribs. The tomato sauce itself had a nice sweet flavorful taste without being too heavy and melted really well with the cheese. Surprised to find that they actually use buttered rice – which gave it a very nice texture together with the small omelette bits inside the rice …… together with the spare ribs (tender and well marinated, and surprisingly with minimal bone) it made a great combination. Of course we ordered 1 bowl to share as baked rice is rather excessive for breakfast 😛

Had our fill and it was the MTR back to Sheung Wan …… and to the Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal. We decided to go back to Sheung Wan for the ferry as the MTR reaches the terminal directly, as versus to taking the ferry at Kowloon (Canton Road) where we have to reach by cab. Furthermore, there are way less sailings as compared to the Terminal at Sheung Wan.

Back to Sheung Wan …… and on our way to the ferry terminal proper, we spotted a Lan Fong Yuen outlet inside Shun Tak Centre (where the ferry terminal is located). If we knew the existence of this branch outlet, we would have eaten here instead and not spend time going to Temple Street / Mido Cafe.

IMG_8367

After some initial confusion at the Ferry Terminal itself, we ended up getting tickets from a travel agent and ended up paying slightly more to get on the earlier 1145 Hrs ferry (as versus to us quening at the TurboJet Ticketing counter itself).

And so, off we head towards Macau!

Hong Kong & Macau 2014: Day 4 More Foodie Adventures Part 4

DAY 4 (CON’T)

More of the Lamma Power Station as we approach the topmost point of the hike ……

P1040570

P1040572

Also managed to spot a tiny waterfall on the hilly side of the hike path ……

P1040571

And the next checkpoint – the Hilltop Pavillion.

P1040573

We decided to take a short 5 to 10 min walk cum water break here. Interestingly, there are some enterprising locals who had set up makeshift stalls selling drinks and snacks (to the hungry hikers) ……

P1040574

One last look (and last picture) taken from the top end of the hike. The walking trail starts to go more downhill and no more picture taking as we target to reach the end of the hike before sunset.

IMG_6622.JPG

And finally Sok Kwu Wan in sight!

IMG_6628.JPG

Note: We actually skipped exploring the Kamikaze Caves along the trail leading to Sok Kwu Wan as our target was the seafood restaurant given the light dim sum lunch we had. Heh!

Sok Kwu Wan, otherwise known as Picnic Bay, is the Eastern Village of Lamma Island, and also marks the end of the walk/hike. Just like in Yung Shue Wan, there is also a Tin Hau Temple (no pictures) …… and further down the road, are the row of seafood restaurants that you see in the earlier collage.

Settled on Rainbow Restaurant (the very 1st restaurant right after passing by Tin Hau Temple) for our long awaited seafood dinner as we have eaten there before (so no issues with food quality) + also Rainbow has a private ferry that will bring us back to Hong Kong Island after our meal.

We got a seat at the open air veranda …… at a corner rather than looking out towards the sunset as those prime tables have already been taken.

Processed with Moldiv

And what can be better to reward ourselves with a beer after a good walk/exercise in the hot summer heat …… while looking out to the sunset ……

Processed with Moldiv

Note: Sunset is rather late during Summer time …. closer to 7pm.

We decided to order a set meal for 2 (around HKD296) as the set meal includes the yee fu noodle with lobster which SM wanted to try. Noted also that their set meals are more economical as compared to ordering ala-carte, although the portions for the dishes are bigger when you order ala-carte, based on the experience from my previous visit.

Processed with Moldiv

Some snaps of our dinner. There is definitely more than 5 dishes but we were too busy eating and talking rather than taking photos 😛 …… Btw, the yee fu noodles was alright, nothing really mind-blowing. But otherwise a pretty decent set meal dinner for the price we paid.

P1040597

Hung around the street a bit more while waiting for Rainbow’s private ferry (the 1950 Hrs ride) to bring us back to Hong Kong Island. One last look at the restaurant before we leave.

Once back at Central Piers, we ended up getting MORE FOOD …… Tim Ho Wan BBQ Pork Bun, Condensed Milk Bread from Tsui Wah before making the slow walk back up the escalators! We also realised that we have been eating lots the entire Saturday …… thus explaining the title of Day 4’s entry 😀

Hong Kong & Macau 2014: Day 4 More Foodie Adventures Part 3

DAY 4 (CON’T)

Initially went on a wrong detour when we followed this group of tourists off a shortcut, only to meet with a dead end at the residential area slightly off the Yung Shue Wan Main Street. But we managed to get back on track by following the road signs and direction markers …… and kept going straight after going past the 1st major landmark – the Tin Hau Temple.

2014-12-06 17.41.57

Walked into Tai Yuen Village and a short while later, we reached our first ‘rest stop’ – Ah Por Tofu Fa!

2014-12-06 18.07.06

This tofu stall has legendary status on Lamma Island itself (check out this review here) and there was a small quene when we reached. A cold, chilled beancurd would have been perfect given the warm and sticky weather …… but business was so good that the cold version is only sold out. Nevertheless, the warm version was also just as good 🙂

P1040557

Another short 10 min walk and we are at the next major landmark of our walk/hike – Hung Shing Yeh Beach! A pretty good crowd at the beach given that its Summer Season right now in Hong Kong.

2014-12-06 18.25.29

Also chanced upon the Herb Garden located at the corner from the beach area …… and caught my first glimpse of the Lamma Power Station.

P1040562

P1040563

We decided not to stop by the beach and so continued the walk uphill towards the next landmark. Now the walk starts to steepen as we go gradually upslope. This is also when we are feeling the effects of the hot blazing afternoon sun while tackling the steep upslope 😛

P1040565

Thank god for some greenery (around the hilly area) ……

Lamma Island 1

Hong Kong & Macau 2014: Day 4 More Foodie Adventures Part 2

DAY 4 (CON’T)

Chatted with the massage shop lady boss for a short while as SM was finishing up the neck & shoulder portion of the massage while I only did sorely foot massage. Then we walked back towards Hillier St. for a quick bite @ Dim Sum Square.

IMG_8348

For a small, slightly out of the way food place (check out my tripadvisor review here) …… Dim Sum Square does boast of a decent crowd of locals and even backpackers. Didn’t have to wait too long for a seat/table (shared). Only ordered 3 plates as we were still quite full from breakfast, but the dim sum was freshly made and cheap/value for money! Will definitely recommend this place to anyone intending to make a HK trip soon 🙂

2014-11-30 14.00.17

Then back to the apartment for a short rest/siesta before heading out …… this time round to Lamma Island for a short hike, then seafood dinner!

The journey to Lamma Island involved taking a ferry from Central Pier (Pier 4). Pretty fast ferry ride – around 30 mins. We mentioned that living in Lamma Island is probably a good and cheap alternative for some since the ferry ride daily to Central is about 30 mins …… while at the same time, one gets to enjoy a slower pace of living amongst more natural surroundings. Didn’t bother too much about photo taking at the Central Pier itself as it was a repeat visit for me. So just used the portable wifi to catch up on twitter/whatsapp while waiting for the ferry to arrive 😛

Did manage to snap one precious shot on the ferry ride to Lamma. Gorgeous, clear blue sky and great weather (slightly warm though) to boot ……

IMG_8354

We took the 350pm ferry, and reached Lamma around 420 to 430pm. Glad to see the clear blue sky …… which means no rain to create havoc on our walk/hike (although weather forecasts had predicted stormy weather throughout the duration of my trip) ……

2014-11-30 14.04.53

Same as my previous trip back in year 2009, we took the common route by taking the ferry to Yung Shue Wan …… and starting the walk/hike from Yung Shue Wan Main Street.

Yung Shue Wan, also known as Banyan Tree Bay, is the Northern Village of Lamma Island. It is also the main town of Lamma Island where many cafes/restaurants, shops, and residences/houses are located. Not much pictures as we quickly walked through the street as our main target was to get to the end of the hike/walk at Sok Kwu Wan (Southern end of Lamma) by sunset (around 6 to 630pm). Did note however though that 4 years on, there has been a lot more development to what used to be a quiet, if slightly sleepy street as I now see a wider variety of cafes, organic food shops, bristo/higher end fine dining restaurants, and even art galleries and craft shops lining up the main street. Would probably have time for further exploration if we had reached Lamma earlier ……

2014-11-30 17.07.44