Where to Eat in Hong Kong (Part 2)

Click HERE for the first part of our Food Trip in Hong Kong.

 

DIMDIMSUM DIM SUM SPECIALTY STORE

G/F Tung Choi St. Mong Kok

When we arrived at the place, there were about ten people waiting in line outside the small restaurant. Similar to Tsim Chai Kee, DimDimSum only has a few tables inside. At first, we hesitated to fall in line, but because we saw that it was recommended online and we noticed how the people patiently waited for their turn, we got curious. In less than ten minutes, we were given a table for two. Surprisingly, the service was fast! They were able to serve all of our dishes in less than five minutes. However, I think they didn’t understand our request for chili because after asking three times, they still didn’t give us chili. Hahaha.

We ordered the ff.:

*Steamed Shrimp Dumplings (HKD 27 / PHP 175)

*Pork Dumplings with Crab Roe (HKD 23 / PHP 150)

*Deep Fried Wontons with Sweet and Sour Sauce (HKD 19 / PHP 123)

*Steamed Spareribs with Black Bean Sauce (HKD 19 / PHP 123)

*Milk Tea (HKD 15 / PHP 100)

I recommend everything we ordered except for the Deep Fried Wontons with Sweet and Sour Sauce. It wasn’t worth the money since it was 10% shrimp and 90% fried wonton wrapper. Their milk tea is a bit expensive for me. But, it wasn’t too sweet or too bland, so it was a good ending to our savory meal.

 

STARBUCKS AT DUDDELL ST.

13 Duddell St., Central

I discovered this branch while I was preparing for our itinerary a few days before our trip. It was a must-visit place for me because of two reasons: 1) I love Starbucks; and 2) It was a very unique branch since the interior design gave a cultural experience of Hong Kong. Hidden along Duddell St., this branch was surrounded by tall buildings filled with high-end branded shops. We didn’t expect to find it there, but we were very excited to spend at least an hour inside their lovely store. I wish Starbucks could build more stores around the world which show fusions of the countries’ and Starbucks’ cultures.

 

MISTER SOFTEE

Ice Cream Truck

We saw a truck of Mister Softee near the clock tower at the southern shore of Tsim Sha Tsui while we were waiting for our cruise at Aqua Luna’s ship. You can pay for the ice cream using cash or the octopus card and you can choose to have it in a cone or cup. The ice cream was very light. It wasn’t rich or very creamy too, but, it was a pleasant snack to much on while strolling around the place.

 

MAXIM’S CAKES

Inside and beside various MTR Stations

We wanted to eat a light breakfast before going to Disneyland because we knew that we were going to ride a few rollercoasters. While we were walking inside the MTR station in Mong Kok, we saw Maxim’s Cakes and decided to give their products a try. We didn’t buy the cakes though, since it was 8:30 in the morning. We did, however, enjoy eating their Sausage rolls. I liked the taste! The texture of the sausage was firm and chewy. The bread roll wrapped around the sausage had a sweet and salty taste too. It somehow reminded me of Bread Talk’s sausage rolls.

 

YUM CHA

Nan Fung Tower, 2/F, Nan Fung Place, 173 Des Voeux Road, Central

Yum Cha is  one of the famous restaurants in Hong Kong featured in Instagram! They have found a way to creatively produce savory and sweet steamed buns. We dropped by their branch in Central in the afternoon and enjoyed taking photos and eating the Custard Buns (HKD 49 / PHP 320) and Pork BBQ buns (HKD 49 / PHP 320). Between the two, we enjoyed the Pork BBQ buns more because we just weren’t fond of too much custard.

The Pork bun is similar to Pork Asado siopao in the Philippines, while the filling of the custard bun tastes very much like a thick and creamy egg yolk paste. Do note that they DON’T serve house water. You’ll have to pay HKD 30 / PHP 195 for a teapot of hot drinking water. If you’re willing to spend this, it’s better to just buy a pot of tea to go along with your steamed buns. Moreover, I liked the interior design of the restaurant. It was very clean and spacious. We even sat at a table beside a huge window overlooking the busy street below.

So, there you have it! If we had more time, we would have ordered other recommended food in Hong Kong such as the egg waffles, French toast with condensed milk, pineapple buns, roasted goose, and street food. We really enjoyed the experience of discovering food in Hong Kong. I hope you get to try the food that we tasted! If you have other suggestions, let me know what you think too, so I can try them next time!

Where to Eat in Hong Kong (Part 1)

Going around Hong Kong was a fun experience for me since I got to taste different flavors in a number of cities. Here are some of the restaurants and stores we visited during our stay.

TSIM CHAI KEE

98 Wellington St., Central

Tsim Chai Kee has been earning Michelin stars since 2010 and is still one of the most sought restaurants in Hong Kong. Without a doubt, it has one of the best wontons in the country! I still remember how the flavors exploded in my mouth after eating the plump and savory wontons in their noodle soup. We ordered the King Prawn Wonton Noodle (HKD 29 / PHP 188). However, unfortunately, the broth was bitter for me. Imagine overcooking onion leeks or chives in the broth and tasting its bitterness with every slurp. Nonetheless, the delicious wontons made the experience unforgettable! If ever you’ll visit this restaurant, you’ll probably share your table with strangers since the place only has around 8 tables inside and is very much visited by locals and tourists.

Tsim Chai Kee is situated right across one of its competitors, Mak’s Noodles. Although, we weren’t able to try the latter one because it opened at a later time (11 am). Based on other reviews, Tsim Chai Kee has bigger wontons compared to Mak’s. Next time, I’ll make sure to drop by!

 

GUANGDONG ROAST RESTAURANT

37 Dundas St., Mong Kok

This was located a few streets away from the Airbnb apartment we stayed at. The staff couldn’t speak English that much, but with the help of a few hand signals and their menu card, we were able to order a bowl of Wonton Noodle Soup (HKD 35 / PHP 227) and a plate of Roasted Duck with rice (HKD 57 / PHP 370). Both dishes were delicious! I liked the broth of this wonton noodle soup more than Tsim Chai Kee’s and their wontons were also very delicious. I liked how they did not skimp on the shrimps. There was a whole, freshly cooked shrimp in each steamed wonton. Aaaahhh! I love Chinese food! The service was also quick. We had our dishes in less than 5 minutes.

 

EMACK & BOLIO’S

26 Cochrane St., Central

My friend had a discount voucher for this ice cream shop, so while it was drizzling, we stopped over and got ourselves a cold and creamy treat! Of course, I got the usual flavor (Cookies & Cream), but I paired it with a waffle cone which was covered with chocolate and crushed Oreos. They have other crazier options for their waffle cones, but because it was too much for me, I chose the Oreo Overload.

 

TAI CHEONG BAKERY

35 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central

One of the go-to stores in Hong Kong is Tai Cheong Bakery. Their freshly baked egg tarts are delicious! I am not a fan of tarts, but I enjoyed eating this one! The egg flavor was just right and the tart’s crust was savory. It also had the right amount of salt and sugar. The light filling can be likened to gelatin. I really wanted to bring some home to the Philippines, but I wasn’t sure if they would last the trip. Now, I regret not being able to buy more of the egg tarts.

 

TAI HING

Shop G25, G/F, Grand Tower, 639 Nathan Road, Mong Kok

For my late dinner / early midnight meal, I passed by Tai Hing because I was thinking about Hong Kong’s crispy roasted pork. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to clarify that I wanted the single serving, so I ended up buying the whole serving of crispy pork which was good for 2-3 persons. I ate it with a cup of white rice and their mustard sauce. I wasn’t a fan of their mustard sauce though. But, I liked how they served the good parts of the pork. There was more meat than the fatty part. Plus, the thick skin was delightfully crispy! I would have liked it more if the skin was saltier. But maybe it was because I was just used to eating salty lechon skin in the Philippines. I heard good reviews of this restaurant. Hopefully, I can go back and give their other dishes a try!

Click HERE for more restaurants and food stores we visited in Hong Kong.

3 Things I Learned from Winning Cathay Pacific’s Spiral Buffet Contest

It has been a week since I had my first dinner buffet at Spiral Manila. If you know me, you’ll agree when I say I love buffets. Every time our family stays at a hotel, my younger brother and I always come up with strategies to help us maximize the buffet. So, when I recently won two free tickets to Spiral Manila’s buffet, my heart (and stomach) leaped for joy!

The Challenge: Cathay Pacific posted on their Facebook page, “Share your favorite food shots from your #LifeWellTravelled adventures and include a short description of the dish to get a chance to win lunch or dinner for 2 at Sofitel Plaza Manila’s Spiral!”

The Judges: Eight members of Cathay Pacific Airways screened the entries and chose two winners for this food photography contest.

The Winning Entry: I submitted a photo of Coconut Milk Ice Cream in a coconut shell while I was cruising along the Floating Market in Bangkok, Thailand.

By God’s grace, a few weeks after I submitted the entry, Cathay Pacific’s marketing team sent me a message on Facebook saying that I won! Woohoo!!!


THREE THINGS I LEARNED FROM THIS:

1. DON’T BE AFRAID TO TRY

In my 20+ years of existence, I have never won a prize from joining contests online. I figured that it would be difficult for me to win since it would mean competing with hundreds or thousands of people. But, for some reason, the moment I read about the mechanics, I immediately joined the contest and submitted my best options.

If I belittled or doubted at that time, I would have missed out on the privilege of winning tickets to a buffet for the first time! Because of this experience, I am learning to step out of my comfort zone once in a while and take more risks in trying new things.


2. PRAY AND WAIT EXPECTANTLY

After submitting my entries, I knew that it would take a few more weeks before they would announce the winner. So, I literally couldn’t do anything more about the contest except to pray and wait. I remember telling God that I didn’t have any experience in winning from online contests. But, I also told Him that if ever He does allow me to win this time, I want to honor Him with it.

Lifting dreams and desires up to God helps me remove any worries or discouragements. It also allows me to have opportunities to trust and hope that He is able to provide, if He thinks that it would be for the best.

3. SHARE BLESSINGS WITH OTHERS

While I was thanking the Lord for the surprise blessing, I remembered my friend, Hiro, who was leaving the country in a few weeks. Instantly, I knew that he was the one God wanted me to share this prize with. So, to celebrate this simple victory and to serve as my friend’s despedida, we ate at Spiral Manila’s dinner buffet.

The place was beautiful. Of course, the spiral staircase will capture your attention. But, the details of each cuisine in the buffet area were impressive. Not to mention, the servers would always make sure that our glasses were filled with cold water and that our napkins were neatly folded on the table while we were getting refills of food. We couldn’t believe that we were enjoying the dinner at Spiral Manila without paying a single centavo that night — not even the parking fee. All by God’s grace!

I loved the variety of food in the place. I couldn’t help but compare it with the other hotel buffets that I’ve tried in Manila, so far. No doubt, this has the most number of cuisines available. Also, they made the experience pleasurable by using unique plates, platters, and bowls for their food. They even have a room dedicated to all kinds of cheese and cold cuts. Oh my. Hahaha! Unfortunately, our stomachs couldn’t take in everything we saw that evening. But, it was definitely a wonderful and relaxing experience.

We went there at 6 pm and stayed until 10:45 pm, just before the buffet area closed. Towards the latter part of the evening, we were also serenaded by beautiful and classy music from a live band.

Hooray! Thank You, Lord! Thank you, also, Cathay Pacific Airways for making this possible. :)

 

THE BONUS

Before the night ended, I even got a bonus from my friend. He wanted to congratulate me by giving me a gift and encouraging me to develop my skills in photography. It was funny because he first gave me a clue (“relaxation”) and asked me to guess what it was. Immediately, I said “The Spa GC!”. He laughed at how specific my answer was and then he continued to joke about it and asked me to guess again. I explained to him that going to The Spa for a full body massage was my guilty pleasure. I wasn’t really proud of it because I knew that it was expensive. But, every time I think of relaxing, I really imagine going to The Spa. Hahaha. After a few minutes, he got his wallet, pulled out a gray card, and gave it to me.

IT WAS A 2000-PESO GIFT CARD FROM THE SPA!

AGAIN, I COULDN’T BELIEVE WHAT WAS HAPPENING. Hahahaha! Of all the gifts!!! I told him that God really knows my heart’s desires. Haha! Down to the last few moments of our evening, we exchanged more gifts (song, photos, and a book) and stories with each other; thanking God for the buffet prize, our friendship, and for His goodness and faithfulness in both of our lives.

Well… Sometimes, you win. Sometimes, you lose. But, in any case, I realize that it still boils down to how our hearts respond when it happens. Because He graciously allowed me to win this time, I sincerely want to publicly acknowledge His goodness and grace.

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is Godʼs will for you in Christ Jesus.” -1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:16-18‬

Until the next contest! :)

Cafe Seolhwa: Bingsu Date with my Sister

My sisters and I have been roommates ever since I can remember. Whenever I’m with them, I can honestly say that I feel very much at home. I guess it’s because I’ve spent more than two decades making good and crazy memories with them, having pillow talks, playing imaginary drums on our bellies before going to bed, and sharing our clothes, shoes, accessories, and bags with each other. However, ever since we started working, we somehow slowly drifted apart. It was ironic because even though we saw each other every morning and evening, we didn’t have the same closeness and bond that we had before. But, by God’s grace, He still gives us opportunities to develop our relationships at home. One of the major highlights that I experienced recently was the 9-month bonding that my eldest sister (Camille) and I had since last August. Looking back, I realized that it was one of God’s opportunities for us to get to know each other’s hearts more.

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It started when our company transferred to another city last Summer. My sister graciously offered to bring me closer to work and to wait for me everyday since her workplace was also in the same area. I was hesitant at first because I knew that it would be a hassle for her. Picking me up from work everyday meant that she would wait for 2 hours in the afternoon and patiently go through the heavy traffic during rush hour. I was also hesitant because I was used to having my alone time (which my introverted self sincerely enjoyed) to and from work since I was employed almost four years ago. However, because commuting to and from our new office would cost more (considering the time and effort), I agreed to our carpool arrangement.

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This went on for months and even though we didn’t know how long we would be doing it, my sister continued to help me in this aspect. (Thank you, ate!) A few weeks ago, we had some changes in our transportation and schedule and we eventually decided to end our daily carpooling adventures. When it was finally sinking in that we weren’t going to work together and that she wouldn’t be waiting for me anymore, I suddenly had a separation anxiety. We had nine months of driving along C5, watching sunsets together, spotting stray cats and dogs on the streets, talking about the blessings and victories after a long day at work, ranting about stressful and discouraging situations, enjoying the sights of rainstorms and lightnings, taking turns in driving the car home, being silent when we weren’t in the mood to talk, sharing our hearts’ dreams and goals, treating ourselves to fastfood, and playing new songs in the car.

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It was definitely a wonderful set of experiences that my heart will treasure forever. Even though I was hesitant at first, I saw God’s grace at work in our hearts and in my relationship with my older sister. During the past months, we not only had our ultimate bonding experience but she was also able to make good use of her daily waiting time by developing her skills and craft in calligraphy and painting. Also, because of our carpooling adventures, I was able to experience the wonders of walking around the city where our office is and discovering interesting finds like free Krispy Kreme donuts in the morning, new photography sights, and making friends with strangers (e.g. Sweepers, policemen, etc. in Bonifacio Global City) on my way to work. It was also a good cardio workout for me as I enjoyed a 30-minute walk to the office while listening to my favorite songs. Somehow, God still allowed me to have my alone time which filled my heart.

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I know that sometimes we may not fully understand why God allows things to happen in our lives. But, through this experience, I am reminded and encouraged to trust in Him as I welcome changes. From the start, God knew that this would be good for my heart and I’m glad that He allowed my sister and I to share special moments together on the road.

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To celebrate our 9-month adventure, I treated my sister to one of my favorite dessert places in town. This is one of the few and quite expensive treats that I sincerely want my family members to try. I fell in love with Café Seolhwa’s bingsu when I first tasted its soft and sweet shaved and milky ice that melts in the mouth. The flavors that I’ve tried so far are the Mango Cheese bingsu and the Berry Cheese bingsu. I wouldn’t mind ordering them again and again. The only branch I’ve tried so far is the one located inside Bonifacio Global City. I love the artworks inside the store, the Korean music playing in the background, and the awesome presentation of bingsu desserts. One regular size of bingsu costs around Php 240, but it is already good for sharing (2-3 persons). For more details, you can click on the link at the end of this post.

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In the near future, I hope that I can bring the rest of my family there too. But, for this month, I had the privilege of enjoying both flavors with my eldest sister. Hooray! Sometimes, it still feels a bit weird not travelling home with my sister. But, I guess it’s time for me to move on (haha!) and welcome new changes in my life.

Maybe, it’s time for me to have new adventures with my other siblings as well. :)

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To my eldest roomie at home, thank you for graciously, unconditionally, and patiently driving for me and waiting for me for the past nine months. Like what Justin Bieber said in one of his songs: “You know I love you. You know I care. Just shout whenever and I’ll be there!” HAHAHA. See ya later, alligator!

CAFÉ SEOLHWA

https://www.facebook.com/seolhwabingsu/

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About Me

My name is Nicole Obligacion and I started this blog because I was inspired by Hebrews 10:24 and Hebrews 3:13. I love to eat, cook, bake, read the Bible, and encourage. :)

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