No.25-26 Hang Hou Village, Tseung Kwan O
Another trip to Tseung Kwan O! This time, for lunch: to try out the popular Thai restaurant we saw before we had dinner at Lardos just across the road the night before, and to catch some rays at a nearby beach after. Let me just say: to hit the beach after a big ass Thai lunch.. yes, this was obviously a day trip planned by a male, the gender who do not think to concern themselves with the issue of bloated bellies post-foodie fest, a bloated belly that would befall my sensitively female body ever so drastically and be exposed to all by the bikini I would later don. Suffice to say, I did not want to subject the innocent, aesthetically virginal patrons of Clearwater Bay Beach to an overwhelmingly grotesque food baby but I simply had no choice; for one, I could not not nom all the food, for the food was Thai and I love Thai food, and secondly, I was still as white as a char siu bao so a proper tan was absolutely necessary. In any case, all apologies to those whose sunshine I blocked with my food quadruplets on the beach that day. That said, would definitely return here if I’m around Tseung Kwan O swinging to the beach – no matter the gluttonous consequences. This review is about a simple, cheap, yummy Thai joint – with some notable foodie moments, mostly involving their chicken.
After that little disclaimer, I can now present our big ass Thai lunch. The whole meal would’ve been more than enough for four people (just shy of $400 for 3 dishes, the appetizer sampler platter and drinks), or two fatties such as Andrew and myself.
This huge platter was good for four and, at around $150, this was explicitly good value for money. The sampler featured prawn cakes, fish cakes, prawn chips, spring rolls, chicken skewers and chicken wrapped in pandan leaf – all served with the satay curry and sweet chili sauce on the side. Our only issue was with the spring rolls, which had a filling reminiscent of sawdust in texture. I couldn’t – didn’t want to – taste anything past that grainy blandness, so these were left to the side. The fishcake was really yummy, well seasoned, and probably my favourite out of the lot. The chicken in the leaf was actually surprisingly tender, not overdone, as is usually the case with these cooking methods if you don’t know what you’re doing, so we enjoyed these leafy parcels of chicken goodness very much too.
More chicken! Everyone was ordering the Hainan chicken from the lunch menu deals so we thought we’d give it a go too, and we’re so glad we did! The half chicken we ordered was steamed/cooked perfectly; it was so tender and ridiculously tasty with the spicy chili sauce (we asked for a refill of this stuff at least three times). Definitely go for one of the special lunch items here if you’re around at this time as they’re usually cheaper and just as flavourful.
For veggies, we ordered a similar item to what we ordered at Chung Shing Thai Restaurant a while back – cabbage sprouts with salted fish. This was, comparatively, not as good as the one in Tai Mei Tuk – the vegetables were not as cooked through, so the stems were slightly too coarse to the bite, and the seasoning was just so-so, very simple and lacking the depth of flavour Chung Shing has with all their added extras to veg – you know, the garlic, ginger, soybeans, soy sauce, sesame oil, chilis and whatever else. But I guess if you think of veggie dishes more as a side than as a main event, this was passable and still quite tasty.
Lastly, we ordered the pad thai. The portions here are ridiculous! This was definitely enough for 4-6 people, but that didn’t stop me trying to finish at least half of this… The noodles were that gimmicky orange colour, and was generally a little underseasoned, but had a generous amount of sliced fishcakes and prawns, and was easily inhaled when you threw on some of that chili sauce from their Hainan chicken! Lip-smacking.
In all, the Grand Restaurant in Tseung Kwan O is a great place to go for Thai if you’re in the area – one look at all the locals heading there for lunch or crowding the place up at dinner, and you know you won’t be disappointed. However, I wouldn’t suggest making a foodie trip just for this place, as you can find better Thai food elsewhere. This is just a really good stopover before you hit the beach, or if you’re five hours early for your reservation at Lardos (tee hee).