Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hong Kong Western Style Food (Cha Chaan Teng)

Well i cant really say Hong Kong Style Cuisine, can i. Hong Kong Cuisine has its earliest influence from Cantonese Cuisine. And Cantonese Cuisine is one of China's main school of food tradition. It has gone round the globe. Cantonese are superb cooks and their cuisines has a certain level complication and refineness.

Cha Chaan Teng are more of Hong Kong daily cafes (our version of kopitiam). Melbourne and Sydney have them way in 1998 when i was still doing my undergrad. Maybe i am a little out of date but Hong Style Food and this cha chaan teng culture thingy seems to recently hit KL and Penang with a force like typhoon or is it the tail already. Well it is for sure ever so slightly sweeping to Kuching (why Kuching always last ah? Wat's wrong with Kuching ppl?!!!). Kuching had one Causeway Bay Cafe while in KL you can see them in all major shopping malls.

My verdict is the food are actually fusion ~ of east with west mixture in ingredients and/or cooking methods. The food are Hong Kong version of western food and the Hongkies had definetely created a style of their own. The world are eating them. And they are interesting cause they are different from our usual nasi lemak, fried rice, roti kahwin, kolo mee etc.. but most of all can distinguish them from others.

In KL, we ate this eatery called Food and Tea. We were drawn at first by its neighbour Uncle Duck which has promotion everywhere in Times Square. We walked past Food and Tea. Got to Uncle Duck, look at the crowd which is almost non, then the menu, we back tracked.

Rule no 1: when not sure where to eat: FOLLOW THE CROWD. Food and Tea has them.
Rule no 2: when not sure wat to order: Order what the chef recommended and take a peep at your neighbours' to see the actual product. (Those of you if you see me at a restaurant and i just look through you, well sorry, i m more likely looking at your food than you)

French Toast (Sai Tohsi) ~ Nice and crispy on the outside loaded with melted butter and soft on the inside. Definetely not healthy but hmmmm...yummy

Crispy Salad Rolls ~ Nice and crispy also. Really good in the first few bites but gets a little too creamy after a while (gelak)

XO Sauce Vermicelli ~ Dried prawn taste a little heavy which does not go well with rest of the food

Siew Jap Pai Kuat (Pork Ribs in BBQ sauce) ~ Nice this dish with big pieces of onions and the sauce is sweetish. Rice and a small dish of beancurb hot and sour style is the accompaniment

Spagetthi with meat balls ~ meatballs only got 4 and they are hard. Spagetthi is too floury like got too much starch and the sauce is slightly too garlicky for me

Baked Cheese Rice with chicken cutlet ~ Greg loves this. Very lightly fried rice with egg topped with fried chicken cutlet and topped with cheese. Good combination!

Drinks ~ Spectacular in look but taste so-so

Well after our KL trip, i m kinda hooked on this cha chaan teng style food. As least for a while to to come and had been reverse engineering some of the food we ate. Check out our previous blog. Well, greg will have to bear with it for a while. Not that he has choice.

Both of us are definetely looking forward for our January Hong Kong trip where we hope to try real genuine hong kong cha chaan teng style food. Therefore we dont want to grade this cafe yet because dont think we have taste the most authentic ones. But they are ok nice for a franchise, where you can definetely eat there if you run out of places.

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