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Thai

Shop 264, G/F, Tin Sam Estate, Tai Wai

So I started a Facebook page and now – as you might imagine – I’m on Facebook all the time refreshing the page every five seconds, seeing how many people have ‘liked’ the page, commented, seen it… It’s a bit lame; I’m very excitable.  The point is I’m procrastinating a little more than usual, so I have this short snippet of yesterday’s dinner to tide my readers over while I rifle through an excess of foodtography and notes.

Golden Bangkok Thai Restaurant is popular around Tai Wai, so – hoping to stick close to home, the supposed “dark side” – we decided to chow down here.  Compared to the Thai we tasted recently on the island (no name-shaming.. for now), nothing bad could be said about this dark side diner.  We’ve ordered from here before, for takeaway, and were pleased with the green curry, ‘Thai style’ morning glory and other standard Thai dishes, so we decided to get off the beaten track this time.

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18, Nam Kok Road, Kowloon City

Having been to Kowloon City market and sampled the cheap, authentic Thai food there, I was keen to follow up on a recommendation for a proper Thai restaurant in Kowloon City.  Especially after it was suggested that my dearly beloved Chung Shing in Tai Mei Tuk was ‘overpriced’ and ‘overrated’..

To Lung Jie Thai Restaurant I went.  With high expectations.

This was perhaps the first mistake.

We found the restaurant fairly easily, and a few people were waiting outside even at 9pm.  The couple next to us, who had evidently been waiting for a while, were complaining to the host outside about getting the numbers mixed up; they had been waiting for a table for two, but had been passed over with the host thinking they were a table for four.  Oops.  Thankfully, we got in quickly.

Seated directly next to the kitchen, on the one side we were privy to the loud metallic clangs and clatters of pots and pans and kitchen banter, and on the other side: the loud chatter of a standard small HK eatery.  I was getting a headache, and I was starved.  Where was the service?  Buzzing around the restaurant but apparently ignoring us.  It almost seemed intentional.

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My boyfriend’s parents celebrated their 35th anniversary last week.  So, in true filially pious foodie son and daughter fashion, the kids and their significant others planned a dinner worthy of a Michelin-starred table.  Not incredibly romantic when one of the SO’s is caught chewing on the lamb bone in the kitchen (I swear this was not me), but I think this amazing couple had an excellent time.

Having visited Lardo’s and fallen in love with their preemo lamb and beef, A and I went over to TCDeli, their flagship retail outlet – also in Hang Hau Village – to pick up 3kgs of the highest quality Australian lamb.  A special discount for purchases over $500 made this massive Tasmanian grain-fed beauty quite reasonably priced ($470~), and was more than enough for 7 people – contrary to the guy-behind-the-counter’s skepticism.  We opted to keep the bone in for the flavour, but if you’d rather stuff the lamb instead then they also offer butterflied portions.  If one cannot be assed to trek to Hang Hau, then the Meat Market is another option for these kinds of cuts, and more importantly: offers home delivery.  Lazy Hongkies, I know you all too well.

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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.

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G/F, 69 Tai Mei Tuk Village,Ting Kok Rd., Tai Po

AKA The Best Thai Restaurant In Hong Kong

Today was a stupidly sunny day in Hong Kong for a Tuesday.  While many were unfortunately stuck in the office, the boyfriend was on his annual leave and I am – for all intents and purposes – on holiday, making it the perfect time to hit one of our favourite spots in the New Territories, Chung Shing Thai.

I’ve been to this place too many times to count, but to be perfectly honest I never knew the name of this restaurant till I decided to write a review.  I never needed to!  If I’m arranging a dinner with friends in Tai Mei Tuk, it is presumed it will be Chung Shing Thai.  ‘Thai in Tai Mei Tuk’ has become synonymous with this restaurant, and only this restaurant.  I always pass the Papaya joint directly adjacent and feel a little sorry for them, especially on a weekend night when you see people lined up waiting to be seated at Chung Shing even when hardly anyone is sitting in the place beside it..  But that’s just how good this place is.  You will not be disappointed!

We decided to try a couple of different items on the menu. Having been going here for many years, I usually go for the same ‘staples’ if you like: the green curry has a luscious silky sauce with authentic Thai ingredients; the morning glory (tung choi) with garlic, soybeans and chili is so addictive (which is frustrating sometimes because it’s usually the first thing to come out and then you’re just craving more); the whole grilled squid is an absolute treat – tender with a slight char that is so satisfying when you dip the pieces into the standard spicy-sour Thai chili sauce; and other notable mentions are the soft shell crab, the grilled pork slices with the decadent chili sauce, the naan, the skewers… I could go on.  The only thing I was never too keen on was the pineapple fried rice – but I think that could just be because of my aversion to pineapples, pineapples on anything savoury… I can’t, I don’t know, (I’ll rant about this later I’m sure.)

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Being back in London, I felt like this blog was no longer necessary (not that I posted much anyway…).  Most obviously, because I am no longer in Hong Kong, and with that: I am no longer being exposed to such delicious food – food that makes my mouth water and my thighs go weak with a yearning sense of decadent demolishment; food that I sometimes – at first – don’t even want to touch because it sits on the plate looking so pretty and perfect, like a saintly projection tempting me with its velvety, glistening goodness or rugged, handsomely charred edges, bringing me closer with that familiar, fond, faint aroma or overwhelming, steaming pungency.  Food, glorious food.

However, what I am doing in London is cooking.  I was also cooking in Hong Kong, but in London it is more out of necessity, because as an impoverished student of Humanities I am not able to afford the overpriced harvest of London’s dining scene.  Unfortunately, it is quite difficult to get good, cheap fresh seafood here so the dishes I make in London are consequently very different to my Hong Kong choices.  I also cannot afford meat everyday so vegetarian dishes have become quite regular on the menu.

So, I get nostalgic.  And at present, I’m looking at some old pictures of my DIY food porn from Hong Kong.  I know this sounds so housewifely of me but I do love making dinners, especially for my “Sweet Sweet Boyfriend” who loves food as much as I do, if not more…  I sometimes worry he likes my company more for my cooking more than for anything else.  I’ve yet to disprove this, but if he’s full and happy, I guess I’m happy too.

On one of my last days in Hong Kong, we had yumcha at Lei Gardens but decided to go a bit crazy for dinner too.  I took him to the Tai Po food market and we decked out on fat prawns, razorclams, two red snappers and some Thai spices.  I don’t know how we managed to demolish everything you see below, but we did.  I’m not sure if I’m ashamed or proud.

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