Hong Kong Eats: Spring Deer Restaurant & Cafe De Coral

So this is my final Hong Kong Eats until the next time I travel to Hong Kong and I have a lingering hatred for the fact that my posts about this holiday is ending. I had just about as much fun reliving every moment as I had while I was there in person and to have to bid goodbye to these posts is like boarding that flight back to Malaysia again. And that really sucks. But like all good things, this too shall come to an end. And one of the ends shall be with this post. I will have a Hong Kong Adventure Day 10 sometime around though. Just to come back to reality...really.

SPRING DEER RESTAURANT (鹿鳴春飯店)

Before I get along with writing about Spring Deer Restaurant, I just want to clarify that I am all for the movement to stop the consumption of shark's fin. It is a cruel act; to capture and attain the fins of such aquatic life just for the sake of eating. However, our meal was bound to a set of which we ordered and a change in items on the set isn't a common practice in Hong Kong. I'm sorry of this post offends any of the activists in the movement to stop the consumption of shark's fin. And I'm sorry to the sharks who had to be in this meal. I really, really am.

The entrance is...a staircase because Spring Deer Restaurant is located on the first floor.

 Tada! Nothing like an old school, majestic signage on the wall!

Supposedly open from many years back, Spring Deer is a restaurant that serves really good Peking duck and even more for the show they put up where the chefs would prepare and dish out the Peking duck in front of the eyes of the guests. I guess it's quite the gimmick because you get to see your food come to your table and it gets served as is.

Still sporting such old furniture...

And an old style do up in the entire restaurant.

The first thing I noticed about the restaurant was how old it looked. The tables were set in the most "Chinese" way as I would put it whereby all tables and chairs were squeezed to the brim in order to accommodate more people who walk in. Their waiters were noticeably all above their 50s but that isn't a matter at all because they were somehow more polite than the younger ones. You could tell from that that the older generations are always more courteous when it comes to services.

Our set menu. Things are red from top to bottom, right to left in the most traditional Chinese way.

An appetizer of pickled cabbage and carrots.

 Not your ordinary peanuts; these were oddly crunchy and really yummy without the bits and pieces getting stuck in the gaps of your teeth afterwards!

Beef, sea urchin and vegetables.

Deep fried prawn cooked in Thai sauce.

Another confessional moment: I don't quite like beef nor sea urchins. I used to think that it was wrong to eat beef because we prayed to Kuan Yin at home but it turns out that it's all in your mind. Remember the comic about doing bad but praying for good? It's the same hypocritical thing. But perhaps it was the fact that I didn't take it from my younger days that has made me into someone who hardly takes beef unless it is very necessary. Hence, the first dish was skipped by yours truly. The deep fried prawns had more batter than prawn but the sauce was pretty appetizing to boot which makes up for the lack of seafood inside. 

Crab meat with egg whites and vinegar.

Buns to compliment the dish above.

I think my uncle would kill me when I say this but this was probably the best dish of the night and is probably also the least costly dish on the menu. The crab meat was properly mixed with the egg whites and the splash of vinegar it had made for go for seconds thirds fourth... I lost count on how many helpings I had. I figure that soonest I have that laid down, you'll know that it really was good. Unfortunately, I wouldn't say the same about the buns because they were pretty much rock solid; I could have thrown it at someone (Figuratively, not literally!) and it would have given them a bruise. 

Double boiled chicken soup with shark's fin. 

Fish in sweet and sour sauce while the head was dipped in salt.

Again, I am going to stress that I am all for saving the sharks and that I really despised the fact that we had this on the menu. The soup was really thick in the scent of chicken and the shark's fin had absorbed such essence too obviously. We couldn't quite finish the entire pot of soup however so I hope the staff behind the kitchen had a feast instead of wasting away such sacrifices the shark has had to make. I feel guilty, I really do.

While the fish was supposedly sweet and sour, there was only one word that could describe it perfectly. Sour. It was as though someone had given lemons to the chef and he drenched it all over our fish; secretly grinning for the horror he is putting out to his customers. To make matters worse, I really don't like fish so I thought about how it would be delicious since it was prepared in the sweet and sour way resulting in me taking about 3 pieces of it. If you're feeling sleepy, this is the perfect dish for you! 

Warm and toasty buns.

I think the only valid words here are: bacon strips, bacon strips, bacon strips...

And this is how you eat it with the buns!

I suppose those aren't really "buns" per say but I have no idea how to describe "man tou" in English. A good twists away from the sweet and sour fish, the bacon strips blended really well with the buns that soaked up the pork juices immediately. Every bite was made of fluffy buns and pork goodness, I can hardly express how amazing it was. 

"Popiah skin" was served for some odd reasons.

Alongside to scallions and cucumbers.

Then this sauce came along.

To be honest, I had forgotten that Spring Deer Restaurant was famous for their Peking Duck by this time of the dinner. I mean, there were so many other things that we've been eating and suddenly they come along with these things on our table? 

Quack quack, folks.

The trick into eating this dish is to smear the sauce over the "popiah" skin, have a stalk of scallion, a slice of cucumber then put a piece of meat only to roll it up and take a huge bite off it. Unfortunately for us, the skin was overly thick and doughy, so much so at least 30% of it was stuck in my lower retainers. The Peking duck was also just ordinary as is and I didn't find that it was that special a dish to begin with. Maybe it's just me but I was just not impressed.

Assorted vegetables with bacon strips!

Vegetable dumplings.

I have been cheated! 

For those of you who read my posts often, you should know that I am no fan of greens. While everything else came with meat, I had expected these dumplings to also be filled with pork or chicken at the very least but no! One bite in and all I was greeted with was greens, greens and more greens! While it really didn't taste THAT bad, I am still no fan of greens. Things remain unchanged, I don't like greens.

Our dessert wasn't the normal variant of sweet soup but instead came this doughnut looking thing. 

And there was red bean paste inside; albeit minimal.

My aunt went on about how this was her absolute favourite, being really delicious and fluffy. It was true though that it was fluffy and had the texture that of a lighter doughnut than any usual thing you get outside. It was also warm on the inside and slightly cooled on the outside which made it quite yummy to have from the start. It could have used with a little more red bean paste though because if you look in the picture above...WHY SO SELFISH?!

Oh and here's a bonus picture I took at Spring Deer Restaurant. Laugh with me because he looks so good, will you?

 He tried to rock my hat. Someone tell me if he has succeeded?

Spring Deer Restaurant
1/F, 42 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Open daily from 12 PM - 3 PM and 6 PM to 11 PM.

CAFE DE CORAL (大家樂)
Welcome to the last restaurant / eating establishment I have to brag about during my trip in Hong Kong. Cafe De Coral is pretty famous all around the country as another a fast food place (In Hong Kong, these restaurants are called fast food joints. Not McDonald's and such!) for those who seek something filling, affordable and quick. Life in Hong Kong is generally all about rushing and being efficient so you'd probably feel like killing the waiters and waitresses in Malaysia when you're back.

Spot the happy signage. For some reason, I think that they've got this really cheerful colour scheme going on so it attracts people to walk in.

You'll see lots of these uncle-looking people inside catching up on news in Cafe De Coral.

 Because the place is generally well lit, clean and have more than enough seating for everyone.

AND they already had their Christmas decorations up! It was only the 15th of November!

I suppose when we left, tons of establishments were already putting up or have already set their Christmas decorations for the year. I think that's freaking amazing considering how Christmas is still a whole month and 10 days away but they're so in the mood for the bells to jingle and Santa to...use the lifts. There are no chimneys in Hong Kong. *Coughs*

 Some of the choices you'd get from Cafe De Coral.

Setting down your orders from where the menu is...

Then walking to the end of the shop to get your food!

The staff were dressed in a stewardess-like uniform, I thought it was really cute. Oh and I really need to talk about this amazing system they have! You know how when you're ordering food in the local McDonald's, you would have to queue, order and wait for your food right there? So what does that give you? An even longer queue and a messy walk away with your food because tons of other people are waiting to do the same. 

In Cafe De Coral however, you actually get to order your food in the store front then head on to get a seat and wait till you hear the ladies at the back calling out your order to pick it up. By the way, the wait wasn't long at all so it's practically like efficiency level up with no back logged orders and no extremely lengthy and snaking queues! I am crazily amazed and mind blown by how smart these Hong Kong people are. Call me a bimbo but I haven't quite seen something like this to date in Malaysia.

I wanted toast, scrambled eggs and sausages!

And it comes with milk tea in a set!

Daddy's porridge with pork strips, peanuts, and century egg.

It came along with a drink and side dish of steamed radish cakes.

We were really lucky to have gotten one of the last breakfast sets because when we got our food, the staff were already busy changing the menu to the food they offer for lunch. If you look in the picture above, you'd notice that the menu was simply hung up on a rack so they're interchangeable between meal times and it looks really creative to boot. My meal including the drink was only HKD 21, which is fairly cheap considering the fact that we're in Hong Kong. That sets off to about RM 9 locally and I thought it was decent. 

Excuse me while I insert a very tired picture of mum and I.

The food in Cafe De Coral in general is decent and I suppose you can't quite go wrong with fast food selections like these. However in Malaysia, this would be considered quite an upper-classed meal so that's the whole difference in feels when you're on a holiday. I wish we had our meals here more often though because they had quite a number of sets to pick from and I wanted to try more than just what we had. Unfortunately, our meal at Cafe De Coral was also the last meal in Hong Kong throughout this trip so...better luck next time?

Shop G15-6, Whampoa Garden Site,
1, Wonderful Worlds of Whampoa,
121 Baker Street, Hung Hom
Open daily from 6.30 AM - 10 PM

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