Holy Duck! Regional dinner series

Peking Duck always draws crowds to a Chinese restaurant and Holy Duck! have taken it to the next level, with their whole duck feasts that will serve the masses at a reasonable price. Not only this, you can order an array of Chinese meals, primarily duck based but plenty of other quality dishes too. This highlights them to be one of the masters of modern Chinese Cuisine.

In addition, they are now offering diners a journey through China with their regional dinner series. To keep the dining experience exciting, the specials menu will change every two months to focus on a different province. Holy Duck! aim to highlight the distinct characteristics of each region. This month it is highlighting the flavours from Sichuan.

The Hainan Chicken was superb, beautifully poached, soft and tender $22. So good, we wish we ordered a double serve and would love to try this again!

From this menu, we also tried the incredibly Moreish crispy battered golden shrimp, stir fried with dry long chillies, Sichuan pepper, celery and broad-bean sauce ($28).

The duck at this restaurant is a must and we obliged, with a serving of duck pancakes, that left us praising Holy Duck! The roast duck is mouthwatering and succulent. What better way to enjoy the duck than rolling a few pancakes and filling them with generous portions of the delicious duck, greens and hoisin sauce.

Some of our other favourites from the dinner menu were the pork and prawn dumplings as well as the scallops on zucchini medallions.

We loved all of the food we tried and we are keen to return again soon. As the regional dinner series is rotating, we can try some new things then. Don’t miss out on the regions still to come, focusing on Cantonese (Apr/May), Hunan (June/July), and finally Shanghainese (Aug/Sep).

The restaurant is hip, buzzing with diners. It’s a great place to enjoy a shared meal and a few drinks, right in the heart of the vibrant Kensington St.

Holy Duck! Kensington St.
Address:
10/2 Kensington St, Chippendale NSW 2008

Phone: (02) 9281 0080

Stay in touch with Holy Duck!:
Website:
www.holyduck.com.au

Facebook: facebook.com/holyduck.au

We’d like to thank the venue for their hospitality and to originalspin for the invitation to dine.

Holy Duck Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Canton Kitchen – new to Castlecrag

A new modern Cantonese restaurant has opened in Sydney’s North Shore, in Castlecrag’s Quadrangle Shopping Village.  It offers a menu showcasing Cantonese classics with a modern twist, a new take on traditional Chinese food. 

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The dishes on offer have seen chef Jason Chan fusing together traditional flavours with new ones to give it that twist. You’ll find hot and sour, sweet and spice and we personally love that numbing sense, to be found in particular on those chicken wings. 

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The venue is spacious with Chinese poster art adorning the walls and hanging lanterns from the ceiling. It has a fun vibe to it, and a contemporary feel to its decor. They also take group bookings with two private function rooms, and 10 course banquet menus for groups of four and up. We tried much of the food on offer so we are testament to this being a good choice.

We tried pretty much all the food at the tasting, so good, we kept going back for more. The food is brilliant. Below is a list of the menu items we tried. The beef ribs are spectacular, worth the drive there for these alone. Our favourites were the beef ribs, chicken wings, mushroom stir fry, and of course the dumplings!

Entrees

Steamed dim sum platter – we loved the truffle mushroom in particular 

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Silken tofu with house made vegetarian xo sauce & shiso on a betel leaf – this was a crowd favourite

Steamed Venus bay blue tail prawns, garlic and vermicelli

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Hot & Numbing chicken wings – kept us going back and back for more 

Mains

“Typhoon shelter” style tempura vegetables – so interesting! A nice light batter over a variety of veggies

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Sweet & sour Kurobuta pork, pickled lotus root & pineapple / crispy skin and moist meat. Thoroughly enjoyed this one – their version of sweet and sour pork

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The Grandma’s sticky Mongolian lamb ribs were outstanding- melt in your mouth

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The Mushrooms, morel, tofu, sugar snap and truffle was a lovely stir fry. Great as a vegetarian option.

Singapore chilli king prawns, Fragrant sambal, heirloom tomatoes – the sauce is like that on a Singapore chilli crab

The Riverine beef short ribs, black bean sauce, pickled celery & onion was the absolute winner on the night – we would eat this every day 

Seafood Mapo tofu, Lobster, Alaskan crab, king prawns

Canton kitchen special fried rice, chorizo, squid, prawns & saffron – quite a strong seafood flavour to it 

Dessert

Fried ice cream, coconut caramel sauce – extremely generous serving!

Coconut sago, fresh fruit, lychee popping pearls & sorbet topped with Persian fairy floss 

We were so so full by the end, but loved it and and cannot speak more highly of the food on offer. Quality Cantonese food with inspired flavours.

Canton Kitchen:

Address: Quadrangle Shopping Village, 100 Edinburgh Road, Castlecrag NSW 2068:

02 9958 3288

www.cantonkitchen.com.au

Opening Hours: 

Monday closed

Tues- Thursday 5.30pm – 9.30pm

Friday 12pm- 3pm / 5.30pm – 10pm

Sat 11.30am – 3pm / 5.30pm – 10pm

Sun 11.30am – 3pm / 5.30pm – 9.30pm

Canton Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Gardens, by Lotus

Lotus Dining have recently taken up residency in the Chinese Gardens of Friendship, Darling Harbour. It is a tranquil setting, surrounded by a beautiful Chinese themed garden with fish filled ponds and Chinese art, right in the heart of the city.

Relax and unwind in this oasis, perhaps order a tea from their extensive list, whilst listening to the pitter patter of the water fountain. Enjoy the serenity of the dining space, where there are plenty of great spots to select your table and enjoy a bite to eat. Make your preference next to the koi pond or by the fountain or perhaps in the garden beneath the trees.

The tea room itself is an intricate structure made up of wooden pillars and beams supporting a traditional Chinese tiled roof.

Hanging from the roof are decorated carved lanterns. It is the perfect surrounding to enjoy their aromatic, ethically sourced, loose leaf teas at $5 a pot. Mellow cream oolong tea, flavoured with mallow blossom, safflowers and almond pieces was our favourite, or the China lychee, black Chinese tea with mellow sweet lychee flavour was also lovely. There’s plenty of choice and the pot makes for a few cups to enjoy with your dumplings. If you are not into tea, do not fret, there is a range of wine and beer as well as hot chocolate, coffee and milkshakes.

The food at lotus dining is of high quality, with some of our favourite dumplings in Sydney. The steam baskets arrive at the table carrying dim sum delights including the ever popular har gao, these glutinous opaque white parcels give a glimpse of the delicious banana prawn filling inside, with a serving of three, there was a chopstick battle for the extra portion. Defeat was quickly forgotten as we had a variety of dumplings to choose from.

The steamed fresh scallop siu mai with three pieces were great, no hiding the filling within this dumpling, the scallop peeping out, enticing you to eat it promptly.

The steamed shitake mushroom dumplings were in a thin veil, so thin the tasty mushroom and corn filling could not hide from what was to come, satisfying our need for more of these culinary gems.

The most flavoursome of the lot was the Sichuan style prawn and pork wontons, the chili and sesame sauce providing that flavour kick.

Another dim sum crowd pleaser is the trusty spring roll, the king brown mushroom version will please all, especially the vegetarians.

There were plenty of great options to share on the light lunch menu and the prices are very reasonable. We sampled the vegetarian options, all full of flavour and generous portions.

The Salt and pepper classic tofu salad included crispy fried tofu, soft in the middle, with smoked chilli having the tastebuds tingling with joy, this was served with a fresh herb salad at only $13.

The refreshing cold noodle salad was neatly served with the individual ingredients portioned separately, egg noodles, seasonal vegetables, a variety of mushrooms and a soy and sesame dressing that you could add to taste $13 to mix or not mix that was the question?

We also ordered the steamed asian greens sauced with soy and sesame oil a big portion and a simple classic dish at $11

For those of you dining with your family, there’s a kids menu with meals from $8 including popcorn chicken, fried rice or a dim sum basket.

As I’m sure plenty of diners are, we were ready to finish with something sweet and a selection of macarons certainly did the trick. They offer flavour changes and on our visit it was passionfruit and chocolate, these took our fancy at only $8 for 3. The crisp outer shell and soft filling made for a lovely taste and texture.

We also tried the iced lemon mousse, with bits of granola. It’s a sharp cool dessert to settle the meal. This one is also vegan friendly.

Be sure to make a booking, this spot is ever popular with tourists and locals alike. Definitely the best spot in Sydney to enjoy some dim sum, a stunning garden setting with the city skyline as a backdrop. Include the amazing food on offer, and it makes for the perfect lunch outing.

We’d like to extend our thanks to the venue for their hospitality and to The Atticism for the invitation to dine.

The Gardens by Lotus

In the Chinese Gardens of Friendship

Pier st, cnr Harbour St, Sydney

Lotusdining.com.au

Agrarian Kitchen – Tasmania

We went to the Agrarian Kitchen after visiting Mona (Museum of Old and New art). From one quirky establishment to another, Agrarian Kitchen has set up in an ex mental asylum and this time we were committed. The fit out was impressive, keeping many of the original ornate features and sprucing them up.

The dining room had plenty of natural light and a good playlist contributing to a great dining atmosphere.

Once seated, it didn’t even register what this building previously housed. The service here was impressive from the start, with many of the waitstaff greeting us on the way in and showing genuine enjoyment for the restaurant.

They weren’t without error, but dealt with the situation well. An incorrect dessert, which cannot entirely be attributed to the waitstaff, as there was two puddings on the menu. This worked out in our favour as we were rewarded with an extra dessert F.O.C.

With an emphasis on fresh, seasonal and local ingredients, with staff foraging the restaurant garden for ingredients. Each dish was presented nicely with an emphasis on sharing. The flavours and textures of each dish were very notable.

There were plenty of potatoes on offer around town, the Agrarian utilising this ingredient for their potato scallops/cakes, which had a nice crisp batter, and each scallop had a slice of locally sourced potato which they served with a tasty house made tomato sauce.

The pear, prosciutto and stracchiatella was beautifully presented, and a nice cool dish for summer. This dish had a great combination of flavours the sweetness of the fruit, saltiness of the prosciutto and creamy texture of the stracchiatella.

The farmer’s cheese dumpling was a singular pastel yellow in colour, with a souffle like texture with zucchini, olive and parmesan adding a good hit of flavour.

The pick of the bunch was the half wood smoked duck to share. The duck itself was tasty enough on its own, the skin so crisp, so good there was none to spare. It was served with a range of condiments to enhance the flavours, including mustard pickled cherries, which happened to be in season and the sweet damson plum sauce, both combined very well with the duck. The was also served sides including the deliciously crunchy roast russet burbank potatoes and an aussie favourite beetroots with shallots in red wine vinegar.

After this, we decided to share desserts and the salted honey ice cream and fennel pollen was a simple sophisticated dessert which went perfectly with the Belgrove Rye; a locally distilled craft spirit.

A great brunch or lunch venue not to be missed, the restaurant is bright, the service great and the food enticing.

The Agrarian Kitchen and Eatery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Biang Biang Noodles @ Burwood

Biang Biang, known for their store in Chinatown in the Sydney CBD, there’s now a store in Burwood too. With the proliferation of Asian eateries alongside the new high rise developments, Burwood could vy for the mantel of the Chinatown of the inner west. Do your tastebuds a favour and get yourself to Biang Biang for traditional Xi’an street food.

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Biang Biang are noodles, notorious in the Shaanxi province of China, known for their thickness and length. They are in a bowl of soup, often topped with different flavours and toppings, including Chili. There are plenty of different choices.

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We tried their famed fat noodles, pao mo (hot bread stew with beef) which were nice and soft and packed with flavour.

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They also have their own version of a burger. We tried the roujiamo, a crispy pulled pork ‘burger’ – flat bread filled with shredded pork and chilli, served in a little paper bag. You can get plenty of other things too, like vermicelli, dumlings and meal packs.

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They’re big on flavour and easy on the hip pocket, there’s plenty of “biang” for your buck.

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Mama Mulan for your next event!

Having opened it’s doors in June, an elegant interior of free form art provides an irreproachable setting for celebration and purlieu.

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The vision of their menu is one that triumphantly reimagines Chinese cuisine.  The impact on classic dishes many have come to know and love as staples in this food is subtle, yet compelling.   Second generation restaurants you could call them, as the palette  of the multi-ethnic Sydney dining culture is ever evolving.

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(Mud Crab)

 “Mulan” meaning wood orchid or magnolia blossom, said to represent femininity, power and strength in Chinese culture.   Mama Mulan, therefore a place of warmth, love and passion setting the tone of what to expect in your dining experience.  Chef Marble Ng (ex Lotus) has created a menu focused on the Shandong regions of northern China.

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(Signature Dan Dan Noodle soup with pork, chilli and peanut sauce)

The ingot shaped dumplings are preserved in their usual crowd pleasing form.  An appropriate introduction to the Mama Mulan dining experience while saluting the old belief of wealth and prosperity, the handmade pot stickers of pork and cabbage, spicy wontons with pork and watercress and pork xiao long bao set the standard of what to expect. 

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The setting for our dining experience takes place in Mama Mulan’s Den – the largest of its private dining spaces easily seating 16-20 guests.  It attracts alot of natural light and has it’s own private balcony.  

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In contrast, the Magnolia and Blossom Rooms have a roundtable configuration for 8-10 people.  Great versatility in the number of functions and gatherings the space (total capacity 180) can accommodate as we enter the peak planning season of Spring/Summer celebration.

dining

Offering a range of banquet menus and dishes, expect to spend anywhere between $41-$100 for a three course experience.

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There are some very interesting ideas in Chef Marble’s menu.   The sashimi is available only in lobster, the unexpected salad pairing of pear and cucumber, the use of rockmelon in duck pancakes and mushroom as the hero in their spring rolls,  in its ambition to make its mark and cement itself as the definitive in north shore Chinese, they’re definitely playing a different game to many in the area and making us re-think our ideas on this cuisine.

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Location:

The Concourse, Level 1 above Willoughby City Library, Chatswood NSW 2067

(02) 9157 1488

reservations@mamamulan.com.au

Online Reservations:

https://www.opentable.com/r/mama-mulan-reservations-chatswood?restref=53168

Joseph Lloyd, Contributor

images supplied

Mama Mulan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Where to go in Hong Kong over 5 days

A busy bustling city that is so super rich, you’ll see Bentley’s, Tesla’s, Rolls Royce’s and more, some even with P plates on. This wealth means there’s heaps of high end shopping, bars and restaurants. People in Hong Kong are into their hiking and there’s plenty of walks to do and many sites to see. There are also plenty of cheap michelin restaurants where you can get some seriously good roast pork or duck as well as a massive amount of dumplings. Even just walking around, you’ll see plenty of interesting sites.

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Where to stay

We were lucky enough to stay with relatives in Hong Kong, in a suburb called Happy Vally (the racecourse district), however everything is mostly happening in Central or Causeway Bay. We would also recommend Tsim Sham Shui or Jordan as there’s plenty of markets, eateries and shops nearby.

Travel

Accommodation location isn’t too much of an issue as the MTR lines (train) make it very easy to get around from suburb to suburb. There’s also the trams which are cheap, albeit slow, and plenty of buses that make getting around HK pretty stress free. Uber is available and there are also plenty of taxis if you are in a hurry.

You can also get a train (about $125 HK dollars) from the airport (make sure you have cash). When you arrive from the airport, have cash and load up your Octopus card, which you can use for buses, trams, trains and even at shops. We found the train system very efficient and we never waited for a train, they were always there.

On the return leg, if you get the airport express, you can even check your bags in at the train station which makes for an easy trip. On the airport train (30-40 mins) you can charge devices and use the free wifi too.

What to do

Happy Vally Racecourse

We didn’t go here as we weren’t here on a Wednesday, but hear it’s a great race night out. Hong Kong has lots of money and racing is the biggest sport in HK, so we’re hardly surprised they put on a big show.

Tai Kwun

A new heritage and cultural centre in central Hong Kong. It is the old central police station converted into a museum and gallery. It is super interesting and has been done really well. There’s plenty of spaces to eat and drink and rest whilst you’re looking around. Bonus – entry is free.

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Noonday Gun

Located at Causeway Bay, you will find the entrance via the World Trade Centre underground tunnel. Make sure you’re on time or you’ll miss the Gun going off at exactly noon.

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It’s a long standing tradition in Hong Kong, dating back to the site being the first plot of land publicly sold there. It was apparently customary to give a gun salute when entering or leaving Hong Kong until 1941, recommencing in 1947.

Not sure how exactly, but the Noonday Gun has to date raised over 6million for charity. Apparently people can donate to fire it.

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Basically turn up before 12, see the officer in military gear get ready and shoot the cannon. Take a few pics and be on your way.

Lantau Island

It is the largest island in Hong Kong and has a large tourist site with a village full of restaurants, a huge Buddha statue to be accessed via a walk up a huge set of stairs. We travelled from Central Hong Kong to Tung Chung and caught the 25 minute cable car ride – Ngong Ping 360.

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Your ticket only includes a one way cable car ticket unless you specifically buy otherwise. Then once you’ve looked around Lantau Island, catch the bus back down to Tung Chung station.

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Victoria Peak

This is the highest mountain in Hong Kong and can be accessed via car or you can also walk up the peak. There’s high scale residential (extremely wealthy accommodation) up there as well as some shops, cafes and restaurants and lookouts. It offers breathtaking views of all of Hong Kong. We got a cab up and made the big walk down where we got to the mid-levels area.

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Jade markets

A small market with pushy sellers trying to sell a range of trinkets, jewellery and plenty of jade items. Make sure you bargain as they start super high and you can bargain them down very easily.

Lively foot

We went to Lively food in Happy Vally for a ‘Shanghai massage’ – basically a foot massage where they remove all your dead skin and make your feet super smooth. You can get these at many places around the city as well for about $150-200 HKD.

Cat Street

We are not entirely sure why it is called Cat Street, but if you are interested in Chinese art; sculpture, beads, wall hangings and more, head here for a street with a number of shops selling this stuff with not too much of a hefty price. The lane is only short and only a handful of shops but it is interesting to go and take a look.

Lamma Island

You can take a ferry to Lamma Island and walk from one end to the other along a solid paved path and as you take this walk, you will pass by some beaches and seafood restaurants. Unfortunately the whole time we were in Hong Kong it was raining, so we had to adapt our plans slightly. Instead, we caught a fast ferry provided by a restaurant and went over to the island to Rainbow seafood restaurant and had a great seafood banquet menu and some beverages too. This is the perfect location to visit in a group for a boozy lunch.

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Where to eat?

As mentioned there are plenty of cheap Michelin Restaurants you can visit. There are also a number of upmarket restaurants in Hong Kong.

The China Club

We were lucky enough to visit the exclusive China Club in the old Bank of China building. The food at the China Club was tasty and super expensive, overpriced for what it was. But this was made up for by the setting, an ornate dining room with plenty of character. The art in this establishment was very cool and there is an awesome rooftop bar view with a stunning outlook over Kowloon bay.

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Yum Cha

This restaurant can be accessed via a lift and found on the second floor of the building (which is a hotel). We came here for its playful twist on yum cha and emoticon inspired dumplings. Unfortunately a number of the menu items were note available (like the doggy buns and moustache dumplings). We ordered the piggy pork buns which were super tasty. The other dumplings we ordered were all sweet – the pineapple birds, which came in a mini bird cage, hot custard emoticon buns and flower red bean buns.

Other

See our other blog on cheap Michelin eats here.

Where to drink?

Mizunara the library

If you are into fine whisky and cocktails and have some dollars to spend, Mizunara the library is highly recommended. This is a sophisticated Japanese run bar with leather armchairs and a private Japanese garden. Mizunara has a quality whisky selection including some select cask produced especially for the bar. We tried the trifecta of Mizunara the library cask whisky, the Mars heavily peated Komagtake single cask 60% was an excellent dram full of flavour yet super smooth for a whisky with such a high ABV.

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Mizunara also has a list of specialty Championship cocktails, many of which have been award winners at national and international cocktail competitions. The “Spring Harmony” which won the World Championship Cocktail competition at the all world Open Cup of 2015 was super impressive. Made using Hi gn flavours of tea, cherry brandy, elderflower and lemon. Quite possibly the best cocktail I’ve ever had and we understand why this won the competition! At $230 HKD (almost $50 Aussie dollars, it would want to be good.

Foxgolve

As super modern yet retro bar in Hong Kong that gives a nod to the prohibition style of architecture, disguised as an umbrella shop. Accessed via the 2nd floor of a printing house in Duddell street, you will be greeted by some staff and press an umbrella and in you go to this thriving  speakeasy style bar with jazz musicians. Cool cocktails, and a range of food too – we ate the truffle and parmesan fries which were delicious. You will find this a cool place to visit. Impeccable service here too.

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Finally…..

Hong Kong is such a busy place with plenty to see and do. This blog is really only touching at the surface but we had a great time and hopefully this helps you in your trip to Hong Kong.

Where to get cheap Michelin rated food in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a vibrant city with plenty of places to eat and drink. You will find upscale fine dining, cheap eats and chain stores. We are travelling on a budget and thus needed to go for inexpensive options. We are also obviously into our food, so we wanted these cheap options to be good nonetheless. Here is a list of all the places we tried that were under $20 AUD (some under $10) for Michelin starred restaurants.

The term “Michelin Star” is used to award quality restaurants around the world.

Yat Lok 

34-38 Stanley St, Central

Off Pottinger St and parallel to Wellington St is this Gem of a restaurant. A tiny little restaurant that is very popular and famous for their roasted goose. A great chance to get one back on the pond enforcer. We obliged ordering the roast goose with rice, a simple looking dish that was super tasty, even the rice impressed. We also ordered the roast pork noodle soup, the soup topped with little cubes of joy, the pork belly perfectly prepared. Both were incredibly good!

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Tsim Chai Kee

98 Wellington Stt

A limited menu at this place specialising in noodle soup with a few different toppings. They do one thing and they do it very well! You can order different toppings including; wonton noodle, fish ball noodle or sliced beef noodle or you can get all three. The three toppings noodle: wonton, fresh mince fish balls and sliced beef. Really good food here, super casual and cheap (around $40 HKD a bowl)

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Wang Fu 

65 Wellington st Central 

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This is a Beijing style dumpling spot. Very casual and cheap prices (less than $100 HKD for two servings). We had the traditional ‘Goubouli’ pork buns as well was then pork and cabbage dumplings. Sarah prefers the Cantonese style dumplings, but Kurt really liked these. The Goubouli buns were delicious, four for under 40HKD what a bargain!

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Lee Kum Kee

Percival St Causeway Bay

From outside there is no English writing to be seen, but head inside and they do have an English menu. A casual and super cheap restaurant and the staff are really lovely here. They do a snake soup set of Duck liver sausage with snake soup and rice. But they combo’d the duck sausage with BBQ pork, we suspect they didn’t think we’d like the duck liver sausage.

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The snake soup was not as scary as it sounds, no scales or fangs. The soup itself is very meaty, a hearty stew with thin slivers of kaffir lime leaf adding a flavour kick and a freshness. If you like duck liver, the sausages here will give you that distinct flavour, only intensified ten fold, very tasty.

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Probably the best bbq pork we’ve eaten whilst HK. The snake soup was interesting and quite enjoyable. Definitely worth checking this joint out after watching the noon day gun being fired nearby.

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Sun Yuen Hing Kee

A range of meats and unfortunately they were out of the suckling pig. We got bbq and roast pork and it was cold and not that great. Came on a bowl of rice. I think your best bet would be to get here early in the day. The lady isn’t very friendly, quite abrupt, however you aren’t here for the service, bring the meat! Super cheap food, but there are better places to eat.

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Kai Kai dessert 

29 Ning Po St, Jordan, Kowloon

A place for local desserts. A range of sweet pudding choices that can be served hot or cold. We tried the black sesame soup and Mango Sago. The mango sago is the pick and will have you fishing around with your spoon for the mango chunks. Worth a visit if you like this type of dessert, not really our cup of tea.

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I love you dessert bar 

Haven St, Causeway Bay

We walked over 70km’s whilst in HK and stumbled across this gem of a dessert bar. Super small and in a street full of boutique little dessert and coffee shops on Haven st which is a good spot to sample some of the cool local cafe culture. This place specialises in dessert, souffle pancakes in particular. There are a few topping options and we went for the ice cream, strawberries, cream and honeycomb. Hands down the best pancakes I’ve ever eaten. So fluffy and out of this world good. We also tried a millefuille – a wafer like dessert filled with a cream and custard middle. This was nice but certainly overshadowed by the pancakes. This is super cheap and a great spot to get your sweet fix in HK. Only a small joint and don’t go too late because they sell out.

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Look up Michelin awardees here

https://www.viamichelin.com/web/Restaurants

 

Holy Duck @ Castlecrag

Holy Duck, what a great name for a restaurant! Specialising in Modern Chinese cuisine, and that oh my, that duck. This is what you come for. Castlecrag is the home of the second restaurant of this name, with first in Kensington Street Chippendale.

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The restaurant is located in the shopping square, unassuming from the front, apart from the large lit up sign directing us to Holy Duck. Once inside, the restaurant opens up into a large dining space with the decor of a traditional Chinese restaurant. With large round tables making Holy Duck the perfect place for a group dining experience and the white lined table cloths adding a touch of class. We were here on a Friday night and shared the restaurant with many families and couples sharing a meal together.

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With an interesting mix of interesting cocktails to choose from, a great way to start the meal whilst deciding what to eat. The holy drink is a favourite – an exotic mix of flavours that will refresh you and get the tastebuds ready for the meal ahead. It is made with vodka kaffir lime lychee, ginger and coconut water.

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The food at Holy Duck was absolutely brilliant. The steamed dim sum platter the perfect start. With an assortment of of tasty dumplings including; prawn har gow, vegetable dumplings, chicken sui mai and prawn and chive. These were possibly the best dumplings we’ve had in a long time.

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A revelation was the pink salt and black sesame egg and spinach tofu. An contrast of flavours and textures that will blow your mind. Crisp fried outer crust and soft centre of the tofu combined with the pink salt and sweet toasty black sesame.

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But the show stopper was the signature crispy duck. You can hear the crispiness of the fried duck as you break through the skin to reveal the tender, moist flesh. This will leave you with a slack jaw muttering Holy Duck, we reckon this is how they named the restaurant. This fine specimen served with a make your own pancake kit, complete with julienne cucumber, thinly sliced shallots and hoi sin sauce.

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To finish, you are left with a tough choice do you do dessert and what do you order?
Of course you do and it is a difficult choice. The silky vanilla panna cotta with honeycomb with contrastingly decadent black sesame ice cream. Pretty much like having two desserts in one, perfect if you like to share.

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Be sure to visit Holy Duck, you will be in for a treat. There is a great range of modern and traditional Chinese cusine. The signature crispy duck is a must.

Holy Duck Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hulu: a progressive Chinese restaurant

Hulu Restaurant is a progressive Chinese restaurant, recently opening their second restaurant in Darling Harbour in the King St Wharf precinct. It is a large waterfront space, freshly renovated with quality wood finishes. The space is nicely styled with leather chairs in black and teal and large round marble tables with gold centerpiece and, to keep partly with tradition, a lazy susan to complete the show. Perfect for a group dining experience whethere it be a work function, family get together or a catch up with friends.

We start with our drink orders and they have a list to suit all. We decide on the mojito and berry crush cocktails.

We are soon also fronted with some of their signature dim sum, the tasty pan fried Mushroom and the cute little nemo dumplings filled with prawn and fish, a school of clown fish looking dumplings, served in the steamer. Then the deep fried pork buns: a true revelation. We love the usual fluffy steamed pork buns, but these are next level and made fresh in house.

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After whetting our appetite with the dim sum, the meal continued with a seafood offering of Garlic king prawn, the sweetly toasted garlic enhancing the flavour of the prawns, giving added texture. Hulu also specialises in crab, with the chef continually experimenting until reaching perfection. Utilising his French cooking background and Malaysian influences to create the Hulu green crab in cream. The perfectly cooked crab presented in a bowl of decadent and rich cream and served with mantou buns to soak it up.

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Lucky we were dining in a group, as sharing the meal allowed us to sample much of the menu. The cashew chicken was served in in a fried taro bowl, the tea smoked duck with an intriguing smokiness we haven’t experienced with duck. The home made tofu with enoki mushrooms and eggwhite suace another option rich in flavour.

It was a spectacle when the pork belly arrived, wrapped in leaves, foil and backed in a clay casing. This pork dish with all of its layers would be perfect for a foodie pass the parcel. The outer clay casing opened up at the table, the pork unwrapped and carved in front of us at the table. The flavor of the pork intensified by the 8 hour cook time.

With plenty of food sampled, a light dessert was in order. The osmanthus cake was a jelly dessert with a tea flavour. The sago and melon dessert impressed with its freshness, a great palate cleanser.

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We enjoyed our visit to Hulu King Street Wharf. A great location, plenty of space and some tasty modern Chinese food. Thanks for the dining experience and hospitality.

Hulu at King Street Wharf
19 Lime Street
King Street Wharf
Sydney
Ph: (02) 9299 9889

Hulu at King Street Wharf Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato