Thursday, December 15, 2011
(Closed as of February 2013)
No visit to Hong Kong is complete without tasting its congee, either in the restaurants or the streetside eateries. Although I very much prefer the restaurants because then, chances of the porridge being cooked in a non-meat stock are higher. Often, the restaurants produce really delicate and dainty versions of congee which I really love, like with scallops or fish slices with no bones.
The friends swear by the dependable Lee Yuen Congee Noodles (利苑粥面專家) for an authentic feel of Hong Kong street eats and Cantonese congee, chok. They even suggested shopping at nearby Sogo to work up an appetite. At my look of horror, the group decided it would be better to split- half to shop and the other half to explore the area on foot. Yes. Much more palatable. Why would I want to be indoors in a mall when the weather was so good for walking around outdoors without breaking into a sweat?
As we walked into the tiny shop, we were all riveted to the ancient cash register on the counter. It apparently still works! How very quaint. Darkened and probably rusty with age, the color kinda matches the ummm...dirty ceiling and greasy floors. Authenticity? All checked. None of us dared to take a photo. Woman manning the cash register looked fierce.
I was pleased to find plain congee on the menu. There was fish porridge too. But I suspect they've all been cooked in pork stock rather than vegetable stock. That taste of pork was unmistakable. Okaaay, never mind, screw it. Not bothered to clarify. Wrong setting for it. I might even be scolded for being 'troublesome'. A couple of mouthfuls and I chucked the porridge. Then I turned my attention to the century eggs. Those were pungently acrid and piquant. Perfect.
Lee Yuen Congee Noodles
539 Lockhart Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong