WHENEVER any Tourist friends come and visit HK, they always believe their Guide-Books and imminently a request of a side trip to 蓮香樓 is suggested, particularly for lunch. And so I've always Obliged if I happened to be here and hopped along for the fun. I really haven't done that during this year though! I OUTRIGHT REFUSED SUCH REQUESTS.
The thing is, if you want to show them real local HK food places, let's not take them to somewhere that's already highly exposed, where they will form unrealistic expectations and it'll turn out disappointing anyway. Its wouldn't be the 1st time either - I've previously noticed some Overseas Foodie's blogs, mainly of the South East Asian Regions and sometimes Western ones, that bag 蓮香樓 no ends. So why take the risk going there for Yum Cha? One must also bear in mind it had originated from Guangzhou anyway before splitting into its own management branch (but then again - one could argue all Cantonese food in HK originated from Canton!).
Eating at a place like 新興食家 might be eating Off the Beaten Track, as its off the radar even for many local foodies, but if you bring your friends here they'll at least get to see real locals residents and Taxi drivers and possibly HK Uni students come to eat early lunches religiously, rather than having fellow young tourists swarming 蓮香樓 all in the hope of catch a glimpse of the past, in an artificial type of way! (Madame Tussaud's is there for a reason!!
) In fact, 新興食家 is also patroned by as many Taxi Drivers as there are HK actors & actresses as evident on the wall's photos! Having first discovered this shop from a Mag a while ago, it took me many months of planning to make visiting here a reality and here's a WARNING: IT OPENS AT 3AM AND CLOSES AT 3:30pm SHARP, AT VERY ODD HOURS. - ITS ONE OF THE BIGGEST ATTRACTIONS! DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT THE FRONT SIGNAGE SAYS! YOU WON'T GET ANYTHING - JUST LIKE I DIDN'T FOR 2 TIMES IN SUCCESSION !
This was surprisingly better than I thought possible at only $9.0 for 4 Pieces. Easily better than the ones I ate just 1 week ago at 添好運!
Skin was better than the melty 龍景軒's too, though the latter wins on prawns quality. Its about on par with 海景軒's version and only slightly behind the less-than-perfect 福臨門's version. To me, lots and lots of prawn dumplings and in fact dim sims are honestly very mediocre in Hong Kong, you might not agree, but I have had better in Guangzhou and Macau and Melbourne recently on average to compare, the mouthfeel doesn't lie. 福臨門 might be 'just' better than most other options, but its all locally-relative and being the HK's benchmark its honestly a bit out of sync with reality, when its only around 3.5 to 4.5 out of 5 Potential Quality as I like to rate things and carries no creativity in its dim sims menu, being roughly 25 years too outdated.... if its 5 out of 5 execution in quality however then that's another story but unfortunately it hasn't achieved its target: flaws presented in little details here and there. Back to the dumping, the Skin here was transparent, slightly 'chewy' and the prawns weren't overly chemically treated and carried bits of bamboo shoots.
SCORE: 7.8/10雞扎 -
I wanted to order their Signature 鴨腿扎 but they ran out at that time. So chicken version will suffice! Consisting of some 魚肚, 雞腿肉(連骨), 冬菇 & even old-school 豬肚, this was wrapped around by beancurd sheets and covered in that gooey chicken stock with gingery and coriander taste. It wasn't excellent but it was good for what it is.
SCORE: 7.0/10臘腸卷 -
Although this is called 臘腸卷 here, the roll they use for the wrapping is more like a flat bread - the 懷舊 style compared to the cyclone like rolls. Its again better than expected but the Chinese sausage was very fatty and fermented in taste, I like it but I don't mind healthier leaner ones sometimes !
SCORE: 7.0/10奶皇流沙包 -
The Signature dessert, which took me 20-30 mins to get my hands on some. These were not overly runny and just right in consistency, leaking out a 'gritty' internal mixture of Custard and Buttery Salted Egg Yolk at the right rate - some might think 流沙包 should flow like a Chocolate Fondant cake, but in reality, both of them aren't meant to leak like a raw egg or lava as its sometimes known. I prefer them Medium. I think it could do better with a bit more salted-egg flavour rather than just a overly cloying sugary and milky custard. The Bun's texture was ok good for this price - come on, $9.0! I've had better elsewhere but that's another review!
***************************SUMMARY: For a Grand Total of $34.00 HKD, I was full to the brim and wanted to share with communal diners! What more could one ask for? Nothing. I can't even buy a poorly made Caffe-Latte at $34 in some restaurants and shops! I can't even get half a Dish of Dim Sim at 金葉庭 (Min @82.50), nor even 1 dim sim dish at Lung King Heen (Min @$53) and Fook Lam Moon (Min @ $55) either! Here, I got 4 pretty good dishes for that price!
THIS SHOP ISN'T HIGHLY IMPRESSIVE NO, BUT THE ATMOSPHERE IS FRIENDLY AND SO WERE THE STAFF AND BOSS, ITS A HIGHLY SATISFYING MEAL FOR ME AND I WILL DEFINITELY COME BACK AND TRY THEIR TURNIP CAKES AND BAKED RICES, POSSIBLY THEIR EXTRA-LONG SPRING ROLLS TOO 1 DAY!
HIGH '3' TO LOW '4'.
Time is Wrong on Signage! Why? Confusing!
雞扎 (2件) & 蝦餃(42件)
Side Room - Messy but Localised and Fun!
Value for Money 5