|Restaurant:||Trusty Congee King (Heard Street)|
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🥢 #鳳城水餃麵 $48
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The Bads: Nothing much except for a small complaint (we ordered cheung fun by pointing at photo - which shows the small portion - but got the big portion instead)Damage: We (2 persons) ordered a main each, a side dish and a vegetable. That came up to HKD185 (with 10% included), or HKD92.5 per person. A note is we're a bit too full (but still managed to finish everything), so we could have ordered less.
This is my second time coming here. From what I gathered from HK friends, this shop is the common recommendation (from their list of a few) for congee on HK island. It also has Michelin recommended (not starred). I feel like I need to set this clear first - my idea of perfect congee is 1) rice is all "dissolved" and not retaining its shape, 2) not too watery, 3) water and rice doesn't separate, 4) has adequate seasoning (salty and a bit of sweet), and 5) toppings must be good. Those are my standard which is based on what I grew up with in Thailand. HK's congee usually doesn't have the 2) and 4) part. I think it's usually too watery and doesn't taste much. This shop is still a bit watery (better than others) but taste great.
What we ordered;
Of course, we came to a congee shop so we ordered Congee with Pork Liver, Pork Kidney, and Meatball (the name as in menu) at HKD58 + 10% (c. HKD54). As I described above, the congee part is still the best in Hong Kong in my view, mainly because it's very well seasoned. Although the name suggested only liver and kidney, we found pork stomach too, which I'm not complaining because I like it but feel like it should be more clear. The liver and kidney are fresh, don't smell, and very well cooked (not raw and not overcooked). The meatball (minced pork ball) is a bit under seasoned in my view but then again, I'm using Thai standard for this. I will recommend this particular one, especially because of the liver (if you're up for offal).
For another main, I ordered a beef lo mein or Beef Brisket Dry Noodle at HKD52 + 10% (c. HKD57). It came as a bit of a surprise to me that I didn't really like this dish. To be clear, it's not at all bad but I feel it could be better in all factors. There is a soup that comes with it which is a nice touch, but I really think this is a bit too salty. It has plenty of "seafood" (which I think mainly dried shrimps) flavour but I personally think it's too much but believe this is what HK people likes. The beef brisket is very tender (I will say it's almost melt in your mouth), but I think it is a bit too fatty and needs a bit more sweet. The noodle has good texture, a bit crunchy as you would expect in this kind, BUT - and this is the point for me to not like this dish - I feel like there's still residual flour in the noodle. It's not like I can see the flour itself but when that mix with water/heat then it leaves a bit of after taste and slimy / starchy feeling. I think overall it's still good but maybe better to order soup noodle, not dry.
We then proceed to order (rice noodle roll) Cheung Fun at HKD30 + 10% (HKD 33) which is NOT on the English menu, but I saw it on the table paper. You'll see in the photo with sauces (lower left corner of the paper) that it is showing a smaller portion. When I ordered, the waitress didn't ask if we want big or small portion, and I assumed there's only one. When the bill came (before food served), I saw 大 (big) in front of the name (I can only read some Chinese), but didn't think much thinking it's part of the name. So, all-in-all we got the BIG portion and I feel like the waitress should have asked, especially we ordered quite a bit of food. Point deducted from this! lol..... anyways, the dish itself is great, soft but still a bit chewy texture. But at the same time, I feel like it's quite normal. It's better than what you'll find on the street stall, but not by much. So no point in come here to order this dish.
I almost gave a smiley face in this review but because of that Cheung Fun experience I feel a bit off by the service (maybe they thought, this guy speaks English, so he must have money?..... maybe not?), and also that dry noodle. It's still a great place for congee though so that's what I'm going to recommend. Below are all menu photos. Enjoy!