Hong Kong: Getting Out of the City to Yuen Long and Lau Fau Shan
One day I went to Yuen Long. It’s where my mom grew up in the New Territories in Hong Kong. I still have family there and I followed my aunts and uncles to Ho Ming Kee, a large restaurant that had an impressive wine display in the back left corner. They featured Chinese BBQ (aka the roast meats) as well as standard lunch items like wonton noodle soup.
I had read about a Michelin rated noodle shop in Yuen Long called Ho To Tai. But that shop was small and my aunt didn’t seem to like that one.
While the wontons were a bit meh at Ho Ming Kee, I loved the springy noodles. Ah, these were so good!
Yuen Long is known for their shrimp roe noodles. You can buy boxes of this dried stuff at this restaurant. They come generously sprinkled on those springy noodles.
I’ve had wonderful Chinese greens before but even at a simple shop like this one, the Chinese broccoli was spectacular. It just tasted real, like how I would imagine all Chinese broccoli should be. It reminded me of the time I had a tomato in Armenia. It also makes me sad (mad?!) we can’t get actual tasty vegetables in the US.
When my aunt asked me what I wanted for lunch, I defaulted to my usual noodle shop order, duck and wonton noodle soup. As it turns out, they don’t do such combos in Hong Kong. Or at least not in this restaurant. So we got half a duck to accompany our lunch.
We also had fried rice. It was a good lunch for the five of us.
Ho Ming Kee
G/F, On Ning Building, 2 Ma Miu Road, Yuen Long, Hong Kong — 852 2475 0529
Later that evening after I heard about the sausage shop my aunts worked at and had a tour of Yuen Long, we headed out to Lau Fau Shan which means Floating Mountain.
Lau Fau Shan is a fishing village west of Yuen Long and it took about 45 minutes by bus. Once we got there, we followed the main street to a restaurant about a five minute walk from the main taxi stand.
The idea is you buy various seafood and take it to a local restaurant to cook for you. I saw tanks of lots of delicious seafood including mantis shrimp which is locally known as “pissing shrimp.” These shrimp spray you as you pick them up. Sadly we didn’t get any but hopefully the next time I visit Hong Kong.
We went to Choi Fung Seafood Restaurant. There were a few large tables and big groups were happily eating. My uncle knew the owner so he had called ahead to have her buy the seafood and prepare for us.
These are known as the double shell crab. I’m familiar with soft shell crab but these are caught just before they molt that tough outer shell. This was one of my favorite dishes. I just loved all the roe inside.
I love razor clams and this was the best dish. Cantonese seafood is relatively simple. Sauce is sparing and you allow the fresh fruits of the sea to really shine. I could have ate half this plate myself and I made a diligent effort to!
We also had these lovely scallops (though I wondered if they were really big clams since the shells were so smooth). Topped with vermicelli and garlic, this reminded me a bit of Vietnamese food. Or could it be the Chinese brought this style to Vietnam? I’ll have to ask a food scholar about that one day. The shellfish was big and juicy and I made sure to scoop some of the sauce onto the noodles.
We had a fish done two ways. As you can see, it must have been a very big fish to create two dishes! One way was to stir fry with celery. I liked this better as I could really get the fish.
You had to be careful with the fried pieces of fish as there were bones and such.
I don’t think I’ve ever had fresh abalone from a Chinese restaurant before. It’s always been the dried or canned can. I loved this dish!
The shrimp had the heads removed — aw! I wondered why since most Chinese love to eat the heads as well. In any case, this was probably my third favorite dish. These were simply stir fried with soy sauce and chiles.
Like the lunch earlier in the day, I was wowed by the veggies These were the best greens! Ugh, again I bitterly complained about the tasteless veggies in the States. I might have to grow my own!
In traditional big Chinese meals, you get the carbs in the end. Just in case you weren’t full, here’s your chance to fill up. We had shrimp and BBQ pork fried rice. I was full so I only tasted it. I’m already dreaming when I can have another seafood dinner like this.
Choi Fung Restaurant 彩鳳酒家
(loosely translated as Colorful Phoenix Seafood Restaurant)
The reason why I went to Hong Kong was for a wedding. One of my cousins got married. I haven’t been to a Chinese wedding banquet in a long time and never in Hong Kong. It was so interesting to compare a wedding in Hong Kong versus the American Chinese ones I’ve gone to.
There were over 12 courses and I wasn’t quick enough to snap pics of all the food. So here are the highlights.
We had the most tender suckling pig to start.
I once loved shark’s fin soup as a kid but it’s banned in California now. And now fake shark’s fin is available widely. Even in Hong Kong where people love fresh seafood, have the trend gone towards fake shark’s fin.
One of my favorite dishes was the dried scallop stuffed into squash. I fell in love with Chinese greens during my stay in Hong Kong and these baby lettuce heads were delicious.
Show me a person who doesn’t like food. Okay, if you find someone, you must tempt them with these fried crab balls still attached to the claw. Imagine a crab cake but bouncier, like a fish ball. And about four times as large. Deep fried. And you have this magnificent creation.
As a kid I looked forward to wedding banquets for the abalone and mushroom dish. I am happy to report this was wonderful as well.
We had a slew of other dishes including a very good crispy chicken and filling yee mein.
Then we had wedding cake, cookies, Chinese desserts plus tea.
At Chinese restaurants, often dessert is a plate of sliced oranges. I was impressed by the whole oranges being offered to guests to take home!
HeiChinRou6/F, Phase VI, 392 Kwun Tong Road
Hong Kong — 852 2954 8000
MTR: Kwun Tong, Kowloon
© 2018 The Minty
*** For my Hong Kong posts, I will provide the address in both English and Chinese as well as the MTR (subway) stop if available.