After a good night’s slumber, we began the 2nd day adventure with much gusto. Following a local’s advice, we took the minibus again nearby our guest house in Yau Ma Tei. Looking around me, I saw many old buildings cramped with residents. Even though HK is a very developed country, there are still many ancient buildings around especially in residential areas.
Yau Ma Tei, HK
Our first destination of the day was Hoi Keng Congee shop. “Hoi Keng” actually means sea view in English, just in case you want to know how to pronounce the name in Cantonese. Honestly, being illiterate in Chinese words could sometimes be a big challenge in HK because most of the local restaurants only display their names in Chinese. Hence, I had to ask around where “Hoi Keng” was and I pronounced it the wrong way, raising eyebrows of the locals. After describing to them that I was expecting a place that sells porridge, only then they knew what I was referring to!
The milk tea was smooth and thick, and rich with the flavour of tea. But we’re in HK, so glorious milk tea is synonymous to Hongkies. Since I was Chinese illiterate, I couldn’t read the menus (sigh!) and I had to try my luck at ordering common dishes such as the ‘pei tan sau yuk chuk’ or Porridge with pork and century egg. And it turned out to be amazing! The porridge was not too thick or watery, and it was savoury with pork broth and meat. Very generous with century eggs as well! I fell in love with it and told myself this place deserved a second visit!
Porridge with pork and century egg
Continuing with my episode of ordering, I saw someone at the next table eating this, so I pointed the same thing to the waiter. It was a plate of Chinese crullers wrapped with rice sheet or ‘cheong fun’. The crullers were very darn good. I thought it would have been better without the ‘cheong fun’ though, as I wanted to dip them into the hot porridge and the ‘cheong fun’ just didn’t fit well.
Chinese crullers wrapped with rice sheet
Saucer asked for recommendation from the waitress and she actually suggested him to try their Western set instead. Apparently, it was pretty good. So he became adventurous and ordered this set that contained pork chop, fried radish (loh bak kou), baked beans and egg. The pork chop was pretty fragrant and well marinated, but otherwise, the other stuff were just ordinary. I guess it’s still the best to stick with just porridge and crullers here. 🙂
The crullers displayed at the entrance always had me salivating! Simply humongous!
Hoi Keng has several branches but I visited the one at Argyle street. I had a hard time looking for this shop even though I followed the address given in websites. If I’m not mistaken, I couldn’t find 103 in Argyle street! I don’t know, maybe something wrong with my eyes. Anyway, fret not, for I have noted a landmark to make it easier. It’s McDonald’s! Just look for McD in Argyle street and Hoi Keng will just be a few doors away, you won’t miss it. 🙂
Hoi Keng Congee Specialist
Hoi Keng Congee Specialist
G/F, 103, Argyle Street,
Mong Kok, Kowloon
Next up, we headed to the MTR station to go to Wong Tai Sin, the famous Hong Kong temple. The good thing about this temple is that it’s accessible by MTR. There’s a station by the name of Wong Tai Sin itself, impressive.
Wong Tai Sin MTR station
It was a Sunday, and it was hot! We were walking towards the temple in zig zag, following the path formed by the metal barricades.
Wong Tai Sin entrance
Once in, we saw a row of shops selling joss sticks and candles for worship.
Shops at Wong Tai Sin temple
Joining in the crowd, I also purchased a packet of joss sticks and candles at the price of HKD10. Look at Saucer holding it!
Saucer with our purchase
Why was that girl looking at me? :S
Walking towards the temple, we saw a HUGE crowd in front of us.
Crowd at Wong Tai Sin
Towards the prayer hall, the smoke from joss sticks started to attack us, our nose, our eyes, our hair, everything! There was no escape from it!
In front of prayer hall
witch and Saucer
I then proceeded to light up our joss sticks at one corner and once I turned around, lo and behold, I was almost encapsulated by the thick and strong smoke from the joss sticks. It was suffocating and I was coughing away, not to mention losing my sight temporarily. Man, it was definitely a challenge walking through the prayer hall without getting myself burnt or blinded by the joss sticks and the smoke. The funny thing was, there was this guy on loud speaker just standing nearby, asking people to keep MOVING. “Move on, move on, no need to us so many joss sticks. Each one 9 sticks is good enough”. *LOL* I couldn’t stay that long even if I wanted to, in case my lungs started to malfunction due to lack of oxygen.
Crowd at prayer hall
Walking back towards the entrance, we saw this group of monks? lining up in their robes in front, almost like preparing for a parade. Only then, it prompted me to ask a local nearby, what was happening? And then she told me, it was “Wong Tai Sin tan”, which means “Wong Tai Sin big day/festival”, which only occurs once a year. So THAT explained the crowd! I guess we’re lucky that we happened to be there on this day and were able to witness this parade.
Parade of the reds!
After the smokey experience in the Temple, we went to the mall just next to the Temple for a breath of cold air. And food! 🙂 We had lunch at Cafe de Coral, one of the fast food chains in Hong Kong.
Cafe de Coral interior
It was our first encounter with HK style fast food chains, and after some observation, we noticed that we had to go to the counter and order first. After paying, we’re given some coupons/receipts whereby we could use them to claim our food from the kitchen counter inside.
People lining up to claim their food
We ordered the chicken and BBQ pork rice, which was again, huge in portion. This time, we only ordered 1 plate since I wasn’t really hungry. The rice was enough for 2, seriously. The chicken and BBQ pork portion was also pretty generous and thick.
Chicken and BBQ pork rice
Mango sago drink
Cafe de Coral is located at the ground floor of the mall next to Wong Tai Sin. You will see it once you enter the mall, without fail. 🙂
Escalator near the entrance of the mall
Cafe de Coral @ Wong Tai Sin
We also did some shopping after the meal. Or should I say, Saucer did the shopping! *LOL* He managed to find a really good bargain at G2000 store for a black coat. Guess how much? Only HKD230! That’s about RM110 only! *gasp* Here is him posing with his new buy. 😉
Saucer with G2000 shopping bag
Next up, we took the MTR to Shatin. This was the mall (another mall?) just after exiting Shatin MTR, called New Town Plaza. It was actually a good excuse to go to malls on that day because it was raining the whole afternoon and evening! How unpredictable! We didn’t shop much at this mall, but noticed Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream and tried it out. I have always heard of this ice-cream before but it’s not sold in Malaysia, so we bought one scoop at HKD30! :O
Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream stall
I forgot the flavour of the ice-cream but it was extremely rich in chocolate, caramel and generous with nuts! I went crazy over them. Very good and sinful. 🙂 But expensive, no doubt.
The New Town Plaza has this Snoopy World on the 3rd floor, outdoors. Since it was still drizzling, I only managed to take pictures from the shaded area.
What’s this guy’s name?
Snoopy school bus
Peanuts family welcoming you 🙂
There was also a jazz band performance going on at the mini auditorium outdoors.
Jazz band performance
Nearing dinner time, I actually planned to look for Keung Kee roasted pigeon. Since it was raining still, we decided to change our plans.
Wet evening at Sha Tin
So we took the MTR from Shatin and headed back to Mongkok for dinner. 🙂 Wan tan noodles here we come! Big, fat juicy wantan with gigantic succulent prawns in warm and savoury soup on a rainy night. Ahh, blissful.
Wan tan (prawn dumplings) noodles
Big fat wan tan
We had the noodles at a random stall we passed by around Mongkok area. Anyone knows how to read the name of the shop below?
Wan tan noodles stall
Again, we walked through the streets of Ladies market and Fa Yuen street that night. Saucer made another purchase at Fa Yuen street, also known as the ‘sports shoe street’. He bought the first pair (notice I used ‘first’, which means there was more to come :P) of sandals there since he was complaining of aching feet after a day of walking.
Then, we stumbled upon the big bright red and yellow signboard which was almost at every corner of Mongkok, Hui Lau Shan Healthy Desserts! The yellow is synonymous to the mango colour, which is also their specialty for desserts. Everything has something to do with mango.
Hui Lau Shan menu
We ordered a glass of herbal tea since we were thirsty to the max! Also to combat body heat after walking continuously for 2 days straight.
And who could miss out on their famous mango desserts? We had this mango pudding in mango juice with extra mango (HKD30). Even the ice-cream was made from mango. Simply mouth-watering.
Mango pudding in mango juice with extra mango
Hui Lau Shan was always packed with people, it’s fascinating.
Hui Lau Shan Healthy Desserts
And finally, our last meal before we retired for the night. Lok Yuen Beef Ball noodles! Only Saucer had this as I was already too full! Initially he wanted to order just a bowl of beef ball noodles, ala carte, but the waitress told us that we could top up HKD7 for a drink or a plate of vegetables each. Which was actually cheap by HK standards! So we topped up these 2 items and ordered ice milk tea and Kai Lan.
Ice milk tea
Lok Yuen beef balls were firm and slightly bouncy, not as bouncy as a ball though. But the soup and noodles fared pretty well, according to Saucer.
Beef ball noodles (HKD29)
The famous beef ball
I, on the other hand, was targeting the kai lan instead. Somehow the kai lan in Hong Kong is very much fresher, greener, bigger and tastier! And only HKD7 for this portion, it was a wonderful deal!
Kai lan with oyster sauce on the side
Lok Yuen Beef Ball King
Lok Yuen Beef Ball King
G/F 150 Sai Yang Choi Street
Mong Kok (MRT station D2)
And with that, we were satiated and retired to sleep. More adventure awaits on Day 3 and beyond!
*Note: Read the rest of my Hong Kong Escapade here!