Hong Kong Eats: Hoi Yat Heen & Wing Lai Yuen Sichuan Noodles

Now that I'm on the track in writing for Hong Kong Eats, I have just realized how much a glutton I was in Hong Kong. Seriously, it's always just been eating, eating and non stop eating! While the walking around instead of taking a car is a huge difference from what you get in Malaysia, I'm still amazed that I didn't come back looking like a ridiculous pig. Thank you, God.

HOI YAT HEEN (海逸軒)

Placed on the second floor of Harbour Grand Hotel, Hoi Yat Heen is naturally the Chinese kitchen of the 5 star hotel in Hung Hom. They're fairly well known for their Guangdong dishes but most importantly for the meticulous pieces of dim sum that they dish out while you get a glimpse of the seafront as well as what could be known as the Hong Kong skyline.

This is the sign to look out for!

Where you don't get the sea view, unfortunately.

Bright, spacious and grand.

The little people you see there is my family looking out at the sea.

 This is what you get to see from Hoi Yat Heen!

Hoi Yat Heen became our brunch pick of Day 5 because Uncle Eddie's sister, Aunty Jane had just gotten back from Bangkok and we decided to sit down for a bite to eat together. It was also in Day 5 that I realized I have drank more Chinese tea in a matter of the few days in Hong Kong than I ever do in a month while in Malaysia. 

Really long spring rolls. That's Aunty Jane in the background.

Case of the missing fried prawn dumpling!

Roast pork...or what's left of it.

I suppose when you're a restaurant in a 5 star hotel, even presentation matters. I never quite understood why everything came in such quaint white plates and had its fancy placements when the only thing we would do is stab our chopsticks into it and bite anyway. While the spring rolls looked interesting, it was unfortunately a little less warmer than I thought. Plus, it was hard to share without looking like a barbarian where you grab a bite and give the rest to someone else. The fried prawn dumpling could have done with a LITTLE less flour but was still nice nevertheless. No roast pork beats Wong Kee to date but this does deserve some recognition for the crunchy skin. Meat and fat wise, I'm still vouching over Wong Kee.

Fish fillets with pepper and salt. I think.

Shrimp dumplings or "har gow" in Chinese. This had a twist of scallops too!

The most common fare in dim sum: Char siew pao!

I had expected saltiness from the fish fillet with pepper and salt but it was seriously overly salty for my tongue; so much so I refrained from any of it after. I think you need to pair that off with rice to really enjoy it. The shrimp dumplings from Hoi Yat Heen was actually pretty good and I would know because I love shrimp dumplings. In fact, they've even topped it with a little bit of scallop and fish roe making it even better than an ordinary shrimp dumpling. It's like everything I love being thrown into one and made into perfection. Is this a dream or was that my reality? *Swoons* Their char siew pao was fairly decent too with the bun not being overly thick or the fillings too measly. 

Steamed glutinous rice wrapped in lotus leaves.

Oh and I just needed to point out on how much dried scallops was in the glutinous rice! The love of my life; scallops! 

Yam puffs. Daddy's ultimate favourite.

Steaming hot and wobbly egg tart!

In case nobody already knows, I absolutely love scallops. Yes, I have an exquisite taste for all things expensive and scallops is just one of the many things that my tongue has a liking for. The glutinous rice in lotus leaves was not overly sticky and the aromatic dried scallops worked its magic from the inside, making this the best dish of the brunch as an overall for me. Daddy has always had a liking for yam puffs and the ones at Hoi Yat Heen proved itself to a decent fair although he claims he has still had better ones. Egg tarts are always made to order so there is a 10 to 15 minute wait to it and when it came out, the filling was still wobbly and scalding hot. Unfortunately, I felt like the egg filling had far too much butter too it and that completely covers the better part to egg tarts; the scent of eggs. 

Desserts! Clockwise from the top: Steamed egg ala creme brulee, boiled pear, mango sago with pamelo, black sesame glutinous rice balls in ginger soup and steamed milk.

No meal is complete without good desserts but unfortunately, the only thing good from above was the mango sago with pamelo. The steamed egg ala creme brulee and steamed milk definitely lost out to Australia Dairy Company in terms of smoothness and aroma while the boiled pear is much better when mummy prepares it at home. I suppose it's the amount of ingredients you throw in that makes a difference. There were only 3 pieces of glutinous rice balls in that tiny bowl and they weren't of the best fare either because the black sesame wasn't of a good par. Well, they tried.

Hoi Yat Heen
2/F, Harbour Grand Kowloon,
20 Tak Fung Street, Hung Hom
Open from Mondays to Saturdays at 11 AM - 11.30 PM
Open on Sundays and Public Holidays at 10 AM - 11.30 PM

WING LAI YUEN SICHUAN NOODLES (詠藜園四川擔擔麵)

My Google skills has been put to good use with this restaurant as I only realized while I was typing that I didn't know the name of this place! We just kept calling it the "dan dan mian" place because that was what Uncle Eddie called it. Located inside the Wonderful Worlds of Whampoa (It's the name of this whole series of malls around Whampoa Garden), this restaurant serves up good noodles to those who seek it. In fact, we had to leave our names and wait till we were called up to get a table.

Dan dan mian or dan dan noodles. This is the spicy variant with minced meat on top.

And this is the non-spicy variant of the dan dan noodles served.

Pork dumplings in red oil. It's not chilli oil though, just red. It is called the 紅油抄手

Much like its name suggests, the dan dan mian is in fact really chewy. In Chinese, the "dan dan" is pronounced in such a way to express its texture that retaliates as you bite into it and isn't soggy to death. Uncle Eddie was right when he said the spicier one is nicer but we were scared off by the fact that they said it was authentically Sichuan. The pork dumplings also deterred me in the beginning when I thought it was sitting in a bowl of chilli oil but it turns out it is just the colour of the oil. Delicious but odd to stare at.

Fried eel! I called this the unagi dish because I am a little of a Japanese fanatic like that.

Pork...but chilled and jelly like.

True to its colour and looks, the fried eel dish was very flavourful although you may need to stop between a few mouthfuls to catch your breath on how thick the taste is on your tongue. While it promised to bones, I still caught one or two in my mouth but that's fine when the dish is that delicious. The pork however was a complete "blergh" experience to me. I took a bite and gave it up. It was cold and made in this jelly like texture along with some porky smell and some fatty layers, I couldn't take it at all. Talk about weird food and I will show you that.

Duck. Quack quack.

Fried sticky rice cake with vegetables.

Don't let the top of the duck fool you, it is decent to taste when you have it in your mouth! I'm not a tremendous fan of ducks but I figure that this isn't too bad of a dish if you simply enjoy the course of flavours to partake in a little dance on your tongue before you swallow it to smithereens. For a lover of sticky rice cakes, the dish from Wing Lai Yuen definitely gets my praise. It wasn't too disgusting to chew on and neither was it too stiff to bite into; getting that just right consistency as I enjoyed. The vegetables were obviously a distraction, I hate vegetables but you can easily pick out the right pick when you look close enough at the whites!

Wing Lai Yuen Sichuan Noodles
102 - 103, 105
Whampoa Gourmet Place (Site 8)
Open daily from 11 AM - 3.30 PM and 6 PM - 10 PM

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