Eating around Sheung Wan

We were tired from yesterday’s walk so we decided not to set any alarm. We would wake up when we felt like waking up. I woke up first and stared at the brightly lighted room in shock, thinking that I had forgotten to turn off the lights before I fell asleep. Some seconds passed before my groggy brain registered that it was the sunlight which lit the room so brightly. I turned to look at my phone and it was only 8:30 am. As it was still early hours, there were not many people on the streets but it was already bright and sunny. It looked like another hot day ahead.

I decided to move to the living room and passed by Redhead’s bedroom door which was still closed. My body was aching and it ached most at the back of my legs. But overall, it was better than I expected. Redhead’s TV was not set up yet so I could not watch any TV programmes. I tried tuning the TV but wasn’t successful. So I just lay back on the sofa and read the book I had borrowed from the library. It was so quiet and peaceful that I fell asleep.

Redhead woke up when it was after 10am. We lounged on the sofa in silence for a while before deciding that we should get a move on. There was no food at home so we had to venture outside for grub.

Redhead suggested having dim sum. So we went to 聚點坊點心專門店 (Dim Sum Square). In some ways, it was a little similar to 添好運點心專門店 (Tim Ho Wan the Dim-Sum Specialists). It was a small eatery, about the same size as Tim Ho Wan, and the place was packed. The tables and seats also looked similar in size and shape. Their char siew bun even resembled Tim Ho Wan’s famous char siew bun. Unlike at Tim Ho Wan, we did not have to wait long for a table and was ushered into the restaurant within 20 mins.

I was happily ticking off the items on the menu until Redhead stopped me. “That’s enough,” she laughed. “We won’t have enough space on the table for all of them. If we want, we can order more later.”

First to arrive at our table was the pan-fried turnip cake which was one of my favorite dim sum dishes. I always ordered it when I ate dim sum. The turnip cake was soft and moist. It was a little softer and wetter than what I preferred but it still tasted good and I ate most of it.

Next we had the pork liver siu mai which was just simple siu mai with a big slice of pork liver on top. The pork liver was a little crunchy, especially along the edges which was quite a surprise to me. The siu mai was the traditional type which had a normal flour skin instead of the yellow egg flour skin.

We also had beef meat balls with tofu which was quite nice. The tofu was mixed in with the minced beef so while I couldn’t really taste the tofu, it added to the softness of the meatballs.

The chicken and Chinese mushroom wrapped in beancurd skin was stuffed full of things. Besides chicken and mushroom, there were also fish maw and mock abalone. It was juicy and full of flavor.

I also ordered two types of cheong fun (steamed rice rolls). I decided to try the pork liver cheong fun but sadly the pork liver in this dish had a strong taste and was not as enjoyable as the pork liver siu mai. Redhead tried a few bites and then declared that this tasted too porky for her.

The second type of cheong fun was spring rolls wrapped in rice noodles. It had an interesting texture as it was soft on the outside but there was a satisfying crunch as I bit into the spring roll. This was also very filling and we could not finish it.

We also tried the char siew buns which looked just like Tim Ho Wan’s.

It tasted a bit sweeter than Tim Ho Wan’s version but it was still pretty tasty. I thought this was good enough for me but then, I’m not picky about char siew buns.

Lastly, we had the creamy custard buns which was a recent addition to my list of favorite dim sum dishes.

The custard buns arrived earlier but I kept it until towards the end of the meal. As a result, the insides had started to cool down and harden. But it was still tasty. I liked the salty creamy custard. It was a bit grainy which contrasted nicely with the smooth and soft bun.

After the meal, Redhead and I explored the area around her apartment. We walked to Sheung Wan Civic Centre and went inside to look at the performances available as well as to hide from the heat. Then we went to take a look at the Western Market. The Western Market was three storeys high. There were a few shops and cafes on the ground floor while the second floor was occupied by textile shops. The top floor seemed to be either a restaurant or an area where people held wedding dinners.

We stopped at The Cupping Room for some coffee before returning home. Redhead and I decided to try the tasting set for two people. We were given three bottles containing coffee made from beans from different countries. As the coffee was made using the same method, it was interesting to see how the coffee beans from different places tasted like.

The first bottle was made from the Biloya Natural beans from Ethiopia. It was quite acidic and we did not like it very much.

The second bottle was made from Nueva Armenia beans from Guatemala. It had a strong familiar coffee flavor. It tasted a little nutty and bitter.

The third bottle was Finca Mauritania beans from El Salvador. It had a sweet, almost fruity flavor. There was also a slight woody aftertaste.

Both Redhead and I preferred the second and third bottles. If we had to pick just one, Redhead would pick the Guatemala beans while I preferred the El Salvador beans.

After the coffee, we returned back to Redhead’s apartment. Mao Mao and her husband, Batman, would be arriving today and staying for two nights so Redhead wanted to get the room ready for them. As there were only two bedrooms, we had to play some kind of musical chairs game for sleeping arrangements. We decided to let Batman and Mao Mao take Redhead’s room which had a double bed while Redhead would move into the guest room where I was currently sleeping in. In turn, I would be sleeping on the sofa for those two nights.

I tried to help Redhead change the bed sheets, but after a while, my body ached quite badly so I told Redhead that I had to sit down and escaped to the living room. When Redhead finished changing the bed sheets and pillowcases, she came out of the bedroom and found me fast asleep on the sofa. Of course Redhead did not forget to suan me about this after I woke up from my nap.

As Batman and Mao Mao would not arrive until 7pm, we decided to go for some tea. We went to 川善茶居 (Sinmei Tea) which seemed to be known for their matcha drinks and cakes. The place was furnished with different styles of furniture which seemed to be the popular decorating style for hippie cafes. No two tables or chairs was alike. It was packed with young people but we managed to get a recently vacated table in a corner. Throughout our visit, we kept hearing two types of music, an English song and a Chinese song, playing at the same time. The result was not nice and it gave a chaotic and messy feeling.

I had the matcha snow white which was matcha, milk and vanilla ice-cream. It was quite thin and the matcha taste was mild. I like my matcha drinks to taste stronger so I was a little disappointed.

Redhead had the soy matcha which was matcha with soya milk. It had a light taste and Redhead did not seem to mind it much.

We also shared a matcha angel cake. The cake was light and moist with a layer of green tea frosting. I liked the cake better than the drinks because I could at least taste the matcha.

We went back home and waited for Batman and Mao Mao arrived. After they had settled their luggage and rested for a while, we went for dinner at 尚興潮州飯店 (Shung Hing Chiu Chow Restaurant), a Teochew restaurant, which Redhead had called and made a reservation at 8pm. It was a good thing she did because the restaurant was packed with people.

We were shown to a recently vacated table in the upstairs room which was packed to the brim. We ordered four dishes and was going to order a 5th dish when the face of the elderly waiter changed. He curtly told us that four dishes were enough for now. Mao Mao joked, “Well, this restaurant has no service charge so don’t expect any service.” (But actually I think the restaurant does have service charge.) Addressing me, Mao Mao said, “You should write in your blog that black faces from the staff are given free of charge.” Thankfully while the service was not very good, the food was delicious.

While waiting for the food to arrive, Redhead and I told them about our long walk yesterday and how I lost my appetite. Since I had displayed eagerness for dinner, Mao Mao commented that I must have regained my appetite after seeing them. Redhead immediately retorted, “What do you mean? That Polar saw my face and lost her appetite, is it? Humph!” This resulted in the rest of us bursting into laughter.

The first to arrive at our table, besides the bowls of rice, was the braised goose. It came with a saucer of slightly tangy sauce. The goose meat was soft, smooth and flavorful. The braised goose was good enough to eat on its own but I liked to dip it in the sauce for every other slice, which added another layer of flavor.

We also ordered the oyster omelet which was one of Mao Mao’s favorite dishes even though she does not eat oysters. The oyster omelet at Shung Hing was done well. The whole thing was like a crispy pancake dotted with little plump oysters which burst and filled your mouth with briny juices. It is best to eat this dish when it arrived at the table as it would not taste as good when it had turned cold.

I liked the chicken and tofu in claypot. The chicken and tofu were flavorful and soft. I kept scooping spoonfuls of the savory sauce and pouring it on my rice.

Lastly, we had Teochew oyster porridge which Mao Mao asked for. There were plump oysters and minced pork in the porridge which gave the soup a lot of flavor. Mao Mao said that the soup was so tasty that she was happy to just drink it without eating the porridge ingredients.

As it turned out, I had not fully regained my appetite yet. I was the first to declare that I’m full. The dishes were tasty and we tried our best to clean up the plates so that the grumpy elderly waiter would not look down on us for not finishing our 4 dishes.

After dinner, we went to buy hot milk tea from 翠華餐廳 (Tsui Wah Restaurant) which Batman said was good. I shared a cup of cold milk tea with Mao Mao because the night was still very hot. Mao Mao also bought her favorite Mrs Fields cookies which were cheaper after 9pm. Mao Mao said that she would buy Mrs Fields cookies every time she came to Hong Kong as there were no outlets in Singapore.

Back in Redhead’s apartment, we took turns to bathe as there was only one bathroom. Mao Mao ate her Mrs Fields cookies accompanied by Tsui Wah’s hot milk tea. She claimed that the very sweet cookie and the unsweetened milk tea go very well together. She made me try a small bite but I wasn’t convinced.

Meanwhile, my phone became the WiFi hotspot as I am the only one with a local data plan. Mao Mao told stories about their China trip while I was busy playing Zookeeper Battle on my phone.

“This Polar! She keeps playing games on her phone, so anti-social,” Mao Mao complained.

“Hey, this is from the person who uses my bandwidth to play Candy Crush,” I retorted.

Places we ate today

聚點坊點心專門店 (Dim Sum Square)
Address: G/F, 88 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan
Tel: +852-28518088
Opening hours: 10am – 10pm (Mon – Fri); 8am – 8pm (Sat – Sun)
Nearest MTR station: Sheung Wan

The Cupping Room
Address: Shop LG, 287-299 Queen’s Road Central (Entrance on Clevery Street), Sheung Wan
Tel: +852-93161980
Opening hours: 8am – 5pm (Mon, Wed – Fri); 8am – 6pm (Sat); 10am – 6pm (Sun)
Nearest MTR station: Sheung Wan

川善茶居 (Sinmei Tea)
Address: 5/F, CS Tower, 50 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan
Tel: +852-36908238
Opening hours: 11:30am – 7:30pm (Mon – Sun)
Nearest MTR station: Sheung Wan

尚興潮州飯店 (Shung Hing Chiu Chow Restaurant)
Address: G/F, 33 Queen’s Road West, Sheung Wan
Tel: +852-25448776
Opening hours: 11am – 1am (Mon – Sun)
Nearest MTR station: Sheung Wan

翠華餐廳 (Tsui Wah Restaurant)
Address: G-2/F, 15-19 Wellington Street, Central
Tel: +852-25256338
Nearest MTR station: Central

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