It started as a friend’s invitation. He was bragging that he would treat our badminton group to a trip to either Davao or Hong Kong. It turned out to be really just a brag—but five months later, our group of 11 badminton fanatics decided anyway to go to Hong Kong.
I was assigned to suggest a list of dining places. I didn’t want anything expensive. But I wanted to surprise the group. It just had to be good food.
Our first meal was around our hotel near Tsim Sha Tsui, a shopping and nightlife district in Kowloon. We strolled along, saw the old Hyatt, and scouted for restaurants.
Most of us looked forward to eating roast goose and maybe pork barbecue. Add some kailan (Chinese broccoli) with superior oyster sauce, and steaming hot and white rice, we’d be happy.
Looking at the glass displays, our attention was drawn to a new place on Lock Road called Hong Kong Crispy Roast Goose restaurant.
We ordered a set menu of half roast goose, two platters of pork barbecue, crispy suckling pig, white chicken, kailan with oyster sauce, crispy pigeon and rice. On first bite, we knew this was a good discovery.
The goose’s skin was crispy, and the meat had a smoky aroma (similar to Tai Hing Roast Goose). The barbecue was outstanding—tender and juicy, while the suckling pig was lean, crispy and oh-so-tasty. But the pigeon was not that great.
Silence fell on our tables as we did serious eating.
Glossy beef strips
The next day, we went to a lunch invite from a friend, Nancy So of Eat Fresh restaurants in Manila, Marikina, Banawe, San Juan and BF Parañaque. I call her the guru of Hong Kong food.
Nancy’s sister, Gina, lives in Hong Kong and is married to an executive chef of a fine dining restaurant in the New Territories.
First to be served was soup with a base of thick, gelatinous and flavorful chicken. Delicious, one of the best soups I’ve tried.
Among the items we sampled, the ones that stood out were an appetizer of pickled vegetable wrapped in tofu sheets, and the glossy beef strips that tasted great when stuffed in a crispy sesame bun.
This trip had a relaxed, leisurely pace so that we skipped some of the other places on my dining list.
One night, we went to Mak’s Noodle for a simple, light meal of wanton noodle soup that had a flavorful broth. The noodles were chewy.
We went to badminton shops, ate along the way, and had fun with some Häagen-Dazs macadamia brittle ice cream at a 7-Eleven.