Category Archives: Snacks

Bite Unite. Kitchen, Dining Space. Chefs for hire.

After our lunch at Maureen’s, we decided to walk off a bit of those noodles. SW suggested we walk up towards the Pak Tai temple where he had noticed a new cafe. 


Just when you’ve walked up as far as you can go on the tarmac, the road bends to the left (straight ahead is a path that takes you up to Kennedy Road). Here was a promising sign under the street sign. It was a blackboard with a fairly simple menu touting coffees, tea and a few pastries.


Encouraged by the menu, we proceeded down the street. Lung On Street really is a beautiful street. The banyan trees, conserved and cared for by the temple, provide shade and a sense of nature’s calm. 


At the end of the street is a cul de sac, and this is where the cafe is located, looking all cool outfitted in black and glass. 

It really reminded me of neighbourhood cafes I’ve been to in London, New York or Sydney. Simple, with some alfresco seating areas and a signboard that isn’t screaming full attention. Nicely designed. 

There was a kids cooking class that was going on. About ten children were creating a ruckus just talking to each other. All equipment had been laid out, they were definitely doing some baking. 


There wasn’t a whole lot of space internally as half of it was devoted to a professional kitchen. There was a proper large stacked oven for breads, pizzas or grilling a whole suckling pig. A nice looking fridge and some pots and pans. Importantly there was a deep wide sink and a work top. Bite Unite offers chefs a licensed kitchen for hire.


Khun Tanarak, the owner, is there as the site also serves as his office (he’s a photographer specialising in weddings). 

I asked him about his choice of location.

“Wong Chuk Hang where most kitchens are, is too far away. Most chefs just need a convenient space to pop in, prepare and get back to whatever else they need to do..”

Since he lives up on Kennedy Road, it is also convenient for him to site his office within walking distance.

He apologised as the coffee machine was under maintenance. Well, that’s a perfect excuse to come back to try the cafe another day.

Doughnut cravings? Where to get your fix in Wanchai

Every once in a while, I get a doughnut (donut if you’re American 😀) craving. Oh where to go for a simple doughnut that will hit the spot? Most local style doughnuts are a bit chewy and leave a lot of sugar crystals all over the place. 

I’ve had ones from the ABC Bakery, the takeaway section at Taste, and the one from Happy Cake Shop on Queens Road East. Personally, I quite enjoy the JCo ones for the airy texture (not chewy or doughy) and it’s “not so sweet” on the palate.

Here are some photos for you to decide where to go for your doughnut fix in Wanchai.

Ground floor deli at Hopewell Center
Very popular choice at the ABC Bakery
Doughnuts are cheap but vary batch to batch
Hit the J Co doughnuts on Hennessy Road

Apart from the texture and consistency of J CO’s doughnuts, they also have a nice cafe setting for you to enjoy your doughnut, elevating it from a grab and go snack in a bag to a pastry status.

Nice warm, spacious setting

It’s warmly decorated, spacious and well lit. There’s also a ramp entrance, a huge plus for strollers and prams.

So here’s the one I had. Non glazed basic doughnut which was an absolute delight.

Enjoying my simple doughnut
Find them at 55 Hennessy Road.

J Co Cafe in Wanchai

It’s on the side of the street heading down towards Causeway Bay, or check out their Fb page here.

J Co Doughnuts on Hennessy Road

Cong Sao Star Chinese Dessert (Wan Chai branch)

I really thought I’d blogged about this dessert place before… so when HP told me he had a cold and was looking for something ginger-soupy, I wanted to refer him to my blog. But, no I hadn’t! That was an article I wrote for another blog in reference to the Cong Sao Dessert branch in Sharp Street, Causeway Bay.

How could I have missed this important little gem?!

Chinese dessert shops are commonly found in Causeway Bay. They are littered all over (also in Times Square, CitySuper food court) with a particular concentration near the bus stops on Canal Street East and on Sharp Street. The desserts usually consist of either shaved ice (cold) with all possible combinations of fruit, jelly, beans, nuts or soya. Hot desserts tend to be creamy or gingery soup bases with a variety of ingredients like ginkgo nuts or snow fungus. 

I have a soft spot for chinese hot desserts, my mother used to make them at home. We would have Cheng tng (light soup) which was hot, sweet and constituted of dried longans, sago pearls, white fungus and fresh ginkgo nuts. This is hard to find here but at least Cong Sao Desserts has some soupy stuff that I’ll resort to when the craving hits. 

Ok back to the mission. Wan Chai.

Cong Sao Desserts is on Tai Wong Street East, just a few steps away form the Pawn. 

Cong Sao Dessert Wan Chai
It takes up the ground floor shoplot of the Wen Ding restaurant, a standalone building that has benefitted from a gazetted public seating space on one side and an easement for loading to J residences.

Situated on ground floor of Wen Ding restaurant

It’s surprisingly spacious… well I suppose the tables are quite small and they’ve maximised the space with stools, but the point is that it’s designed for the maximum number of people to do a quick dessert “in and out”.


On the pavement, a standee advertises their happy hour promotion. Essentially you get 10% off if you come off peak hours between Monday to Friday between 1-6pm. Good to know.

Here’s their menu, you can plan what you’d like to have in advance.

Hot dessert items
Cold dessert items
More cold dessert items

HP, for a fluesy friendly dessert, I would recommend the ones below ticked in green.

Teppei Syokudo – Japanese Fast Food to fit a budget

After a Saturday evening swim at Morrison Hill Pool, we were wondering where to eat. I knew that suggesting katsu curry rice would always be a sure bet with SW. 

The SCMP recently featured Teppei Syokudo and I thought it’d be nice to support the Singaporean business and get our tummies filled. 

Finding the place was a little tricky. The SCMP’s map is inaccurate and google maps puts it in the wrong place. So here’s the right location where you’ll find this eatery.


The food is not presented on any fancy dishes- unlike the photo shown in the SCMP’s news article, in fact it comes on disposable plastic ware. I think this was a tad disappointing (after all, look and feel for “restaurants” is such an important part of customer experience), but I’d like to think that whatever they save in washing up goes into quality staff and food. 

As I’m presently on a No-Raw-Fish diet (by the way, this place is famous for its sushi rice bowls topped with salmon, roe and scallops) that look like this,


we decided on the Curry Katsu and the Don Katsu. Both pork. No shellfish and not raw.
The katsu curry came first. 


Then the don katsu.


It looked like small-ish portions but once you start eating, it does fill you up. Although if you’re a big eater or just super hungry, you might need to add on another portion. 


The pork cutlets were well cooked, tender and excellently breadcrumbed. The rice was also tasty and cooked just right. The curry sauce had mushrooms in it and wasn’t too thick with cornstarch (this is a good thing). I wish they could be more generous with the red pickles though. Love those.


The drinks selection in the fridge had much to be desired, I think they could make more of an effort to provide clients with a few more choices. We just had a bottle of water.


There isn’t much seating space, you’re relegated to about a total of ten barstool seats placed on either side of the joint. They definitely want you to eat and get out of there. Or takeaway I guess. 

Overall, not bad for a cheap dinner but our small person didn’t like the environment and barstools. So if you’ve got a kid tagging along, probably best to buy and eat in Wan Chai Park while your kid runs amok in the playground.

Gourmet supermarket opens at Lee Tung Avenue

The basement walkway of Lee Tung Avenue is finally starting to fill out. When I first went there, it was a desolately narrow construction zone full of renovating shops and workmen wheeling concrete in wheelbarrows and carrying tiles with ropes in the most dangerous way possible. 

A rather narrow back entrance only accessible by small escalator (they should have put in a passenger lift)

A signboard alerted me to a new tenant, Gourmet supermarket which stated that the date of opening was 30th June. I saw it by the escalators next to the Vivian Tam shop. Curious, I thought I should head down to take a look. 

The narrow escalators led me down two floors into the basement back door to the supermarket and into the wine section. 


The Gourmet footprint is probably less than 3000 square feet in terms of customer purchasing areas, but it is well designed in terms of corridor aisle space for trolleys and a decent looking deli counter. There’s fresh sushi sold by the roll, sandwiches, salads and pastries.

Italian deli selection
Salads and sushi rolls
Sandwiches and accompaniments
Pastries and sweet things

There isn’t a huge selection in the supermarket but it consists of the main essential groceries for breakfast and daily meals. So you’ll find the usual packaged foods and a reasonable selection of fresh vegetables and fruit, although nowhere as extensive as Taste across the road. However of what there is, the packaging, display and possibly quality might be slightly higher than those at Taste. 


I bought a pack of peaches, yet to try them, will let you know.

Gourmet front entrance

Gourmet is open 8am-10pm daily. This is similar timing to Taste across the street in Hopewell Center’s basement. Taste is open 8am – 10.30pm daily. 

Breakfast at the Hoko Farm, Hennessy Road

If you’re a guest at the Ozo hotel or you need a place to have a meal or a drink off the tram line, Hoko Farm might meet your small snack needs. It’s basically a dressed up Hong Kong style Cha Chaan Teng

  
Bright interior decor with a fun feel makes this a good place to head to with kids. There’s a ramp access to the restaurant, you can wheel your stroller right in. 

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The restaurant is quite large, you can choose to sit on the left or the right of the entrance, the right has wall-bench sofa seating which works well for children and larger groups. 

  
The menu for breakfast is quite limited but the afternoon menus seem more extensive. I went for the featured breakfast set.

    
It reminded me of a McD’s breakfast… Pancakes which were slightly stodgy, a skinny sausage that was over condimented and undercooked, a twisted up omelette which looked appetising but had a tad too much water in it. (Ok, I am fussy about my breakfasts, I admit it.)

The pancakes are served with some syrup in a small pan handle bowl which is a nice touch. When I asked for butter, it came partially melted in a similar bowl which worked great for dipping the pancake pieces. I had to ask for the sausage to be re-cooked as it came positively pink inside when cut. The staff did replace the sausage and topped up my cup of hot lemon water.

It was a mediocre breakfast but the small person enjoyed it tremendously and pretty much polished everything off. I can’t really complain very much, the service was decent and the price was equivalent to what I would pay at any other HK style cafe.

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She also loved the mural. 

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Ok so here’s the menu in case you’re in the neighborhood and want to give this place a try. 

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Here’s where it is:

On the ground floor near Caffe Habitu and after the 759 snack store.

  

Ada Curry Fishballs and other Hong Kong snacks on Lockhart Road

My former Bodycombat instructor KevinL from Kuala Lumpur (KL from KL, haha) came to visit just before Christmas with his friends Vincent, Janelle and Nikki. They stayed in Mong Kok but I managed to get them to come over to Wan Chai for the morning. 

After a high caloried breakfast at Kam Fung Cha Chaan Teng, where between them they must have tried every variation of noodle and bread combo, we headed for a short time to the swings across the street. A short burst of energy to entertain the little one and a quick look around Wan Chai market got their tummies rumbling again after barely half an hour. 

“I remember a really damn shiok curry fishball place in Wan Chai” said Vincent. His eyes were bright with enthusiasm and suggestion. “Ya ya lets go find it” quipped Kevin. “I recall its near Wan Chai MTR”.

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So our little war party of six made our way threading through the hoardes of shoppers browsing Tai Yuen Street. 

At the MTR exit, Kevin pointed at the overpass indicating that we head up. “It’s over on the other side, near California Fitness” he said.

I encouraged them to look on either side as we made our way above Hennessy towards the Convention Center. 

Vincent got quite excited once we got into Lockhart, “I think that’s it” he pointed down. We descended via the newly installed glass elevator to street level and crossed the road.

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A shoplot stall comprising of a few sections selling everything in Hong Kong fast food you could want to eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner is available here. It looked like a place that catered to the late night denizens, clientele and possibly taxi drivers plying the area for their trade. In the daytime it was relatively quiet. At 11.30amit looked like they were just opening up the stall for lunch business.

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Small steel vats contained various bubbling soups. One of these contained the curry Fishballs that they yearned for. The serving lady ladled the curry soup with its contents into a styrofoam bowl and supplied each bowl with a wooden skewer stick. 

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Each of them got their own bowl while I pinched a fishball of Kevin just to try ( I was still stuffed from breakfast…).

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Was it as they remembered? Kevin and Vincent ruefully said that the Fishballs used to be bigger and better textured. But they enjoyed the curry soup and slurped it all up while on the pavement. 

I wish there was a more decent place in Wan Chai that sold Hong Kong snacks more stylishly. A place where you could really bring guests and sit down to enjoy talking and savouring the snack. If they put one in the Blue House, I think that would really draw the crowd.

See you next time Kevin and co.!