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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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19 Hollywood Road, SOHO, Central

The origin of tapas is nothing short of cool for any history buff.  ‘Tapas’ means ‘lid’ or ‘cover’, and food at bars in Spain were, once upon a time, placed on little plates used to cover the glasses of wine or beer or whatever Spanish yuppies were drinking back then after a hard day of siesta.  Other variations include how it prevented the peasants or lower classes, who could not afford a full meal, from drinking on an empty stomach.  However, out of all these explanations for why the Spanish take little meals with their drink, I quite like the story of the once ill stricken King Alfonso X – also known as Alfonso the Wise, and wise he was indeed – who issued a decree that all wine must be served with a small meal.  If he had the reins over LKF, I’m sure we’d find much fewer underage kids throwing up in the public toilets next to Beijing Club.

I would’ve thought tapas would have more presence in HK.  For one, people of Guangdong province are notorious for talking about food way more than any of its neighbours (I’m not even going to give the Northern provinces a second thought), Hong Kong itself is a foodie heaven, and the drinking culture in the more Westernised districts of Hong Kong, like Lanks, could do way more to cater to this Hongkie love for food.  I suppose that’s what we’re seeing with Ronin HK and Three Monkeys in Sheung Wan, with delicate bites (albeit not ‘tapas’) paired with premium whiskies and elaborate cocktails, but with a price tag like 50 bucks for a single skewer of ox tongue, who  is really going to get even remotely full as fast as they get fucked?

This is where Tapeo comes in, and where tapas bars should make some headway in the Hong Kong dining scene.  With the incredibly reasonable prices for Soho and delicious, uncomplicated, authentic Spanish fare, I love this place and will be returning. From 5 to 7 they offer an early bird dinner special, and it is rather small, so booking is a must.  An unpretentious open kitchen greets you as you slide the simple glass doors and settle yourself on their plush, burgundy stools – surprisingly comfortable – and in true tapas bar style, we changed our seats around to talk to eachother as we munched through dishes and chugged our jug of refreshing red sangria.  A jug of sangria is a no-brainer here, by the way.

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Been a while – finally back in Hong Kong for summer, after a pretty grueling year in London.  But you don’t want to hear about this.  I come bearing pictures of food, and hope you will forgive me for my absence.

My mama went to Tai Po market (I, admittedly, was still jetlagged and slept in till 3) and picked up some glorious seafood.  Had some razorclams, mussels, prawns and squid.  In Tagalog, you call squid ‘pusit’, which my boyfriend prefers because it sounds naughty, and it makes him giggle when I ask him if he likes pusit.  Yes, we are children.

Despite the lame anecdotes, this post will hopefully be a little more informational than usual, as I feel I’ve learned a thing or two about preparing and cooking seafood that could be useful to you too.  Definitely no ‘master’, but I do feel a little more experienced with my seafood skills.

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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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