6 (Sun) July 2014
Steamed Shrimp Dumplings
at One Dim Sum
-Mong Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China-
Mission to Fiji + Personal Deviation (Day 8 of 8)
In transit. Layover in Hong Kong, on my way to the Philippines. Wednesday to Thursday, I was in Fiji with a WHO team to facilitate a government workshop on strengthening laws to address noncommunicable diseases. After an extra day on my own dime to go diving and relax, I’m heading back home.
With 16 hours until my connecting flight, from 0420 to 2030, I have plenty of time to look around.
One Dim Sum is a Chinese restaurant. Located a couple blocks east of the Prince Edward metro station. Specializes exclusively in dim sum. Immensely popular, always packed within and queued without, both with tourists/expats and locals. Current ranking on TripAdvisor: 3 of 4,367 restaurants in Hong Kong.
Anticipating a long line, I went anyway – for brunch, dim sum’s peak hour – wanting to eat somewhere somewhat famous for at least one meal, figuring that any place worth its salt would require a wait.
I was right about the line but thankfully not about the wait, because I was seated immediately, being solo, at a table with a party of three already eating – must be a Chinese thing, because I was accorded the same treatment at other busy restaurants in Taipei (see for example 5.112 Half Calf Tendon…).
The food was excellent. Nothing particularly special, everything strictly traditional, but simply done right. The Steamed Shrimp Dumplings (har gao), prime example, were expertly constructed with the most exquisitely silky skins encasing perfectly seasoned chunks of shrimp, possibly the best that I’ve ever had. At this point, I could’ve gone back to the airport, fully satisfied.
Incidentally, as far as I can recall, this post is the first to feature a brunch dish.
I had to work off breakfast and brunch, to make room for lunch, so I visited the Hong Kong Museum of Art.
Surprisingly and disappointingly little to see, not worth documenting.
For lunch, I went to Crystal Jade in IFC Mall, where I’d been blown away by the xiaolongbao a few years back (see generally 2.332 Sauteed Gailan with Ginger), the standard by which all subsequent experiences with the dish have been measured. Haven’t been able to stop thinking about it, itching to go back and confirm whether it really is as amazing as I remember.
No, not quite. While the skins were fine, I found the stuffing a bit salty. I now believe that the xiaolongbao at the Crystal Jade branch in Hyundai Department Store in Apgujeong-Dong, Seoul, may be superior for their more balanced flavor (see generally 3.187 Xiaolongbao).
Back at the airport, in the Cathay Pacific Lounge, I nibbled a bit before boarding.
In principle, a noodle bar is a spectacular idea, so very Cantonese, a most appropriate way to say goodbye to Hong Kong.
Alas, the food didn’t deliver on the promise. The worst food that I’ve ever experienced in Hong Kong, which I didn’t think capable of such atrocities.
As always, I am grateful for and respectful of the opportunity to travel internationally, whether for fun or for work, whether on economy or business class, especially business class, including airport lounge access.
No matter, as I would soon be boarding a flight back to Manila on Hong Kong’s flag carrier Cathay Pacific, renowned as one of the best in the industry for in-flight dining. Even better, I’d be flying business class.
Alas, the food sucked.
Overall, I was disappointed by the meals on all 3 legs of this trip flown on business class, including Korean Air, Fiji Airways, and Cathay Pacific Airways. Let’s hope the next one goes better.
Over the course of 16 days, through a combination of personal and professional travels, I was in 12 localities across 7 countries, eating and documenting at least 1 meal in each of them.
Today is Day 16 / Locality 12 / Country 7.
(For additional posts, see 16/12/7.)
(See also FOODS.)
(See also PLACES.)
(See also BUSINESS CLASS LOUNGING.)
(See also BUSINESS CLASS DINING.)