Monday, June 27, 2011

Food Glorious Food

Somehow my fourth week in Hong Kong ended up revolving around food. (not that I'm complaining!!) So I’ve decided to dedicate an entire post to the delicious, and often “different” as I like to say when I try something I don’t like, delicacies of Hong Kong.

Delicious = Sea food, Dim sum, Sushi, Dumplings, Shrimp, Mutton, and of course, Egg tarts!! I could go on forever...

"Different" = Fish balls, Ostrich, Ox tongue, Sweet potato jello, Chicken head, Fish skins…

Since day one of this adventure I vowed to keep an open mind about the food of my new home. I made a promise to myself that 1. I would try everything and 2. I would not resort to fast food…aka McDonald’s!! Luckily that hasn’t been an issue so far since I seem to be able to eat almost anything. Hmm…I have to put on a bathing suit in 2 weeks. Maybe I’m not so lucky.

Last week my two lovely coworkers, Connie and Catherine, took me to a special Japanese restaurant called Morihachi Yakiniku. We got to cook our food right on the table! They laughed at me when I double-checked each piece of meat to make sure it was no longer raw. How does that saying go again? You can take the girl out of California but...I think you know how it goes. :)

Enjoying an "egg cup" at Morihachi Yakiniku!
Cat and Connie, the two GREATEST coworkers I could ever ask for! <3
My lunch...raw beef, pork, and wild mushrooms with garlic butter!
On the grill!
Dessert - black sesame ice cream...yum!

On Tuesday after work, Margaux and I ventured over to our favorite Ladies’ Night spot in Soho (Remember the lychee martinis?). Once again their “Ladies” cocktail of the night did not disappoint! Mango Daiquiris with chocolate on the rim, accompanied by almonds and strawberries. Double yum! After one delicious drink, we left in a rush to meet the rest of the group for dinner. Too bad the food wasn’t free as well…

These were free. It's good to be a girl!

On Wednesday I was honored to get an invitation to the Harilela family annual staff party. I stayed late at work and giggled with my coworkers while we shared a tiny mirror to fix our hair and make-up. You might be wondering why I’ve mentioned a staff party in my post about eating. Well let me explain. This party was ALL ABOUT FOOD. Let me repeat: ALL ABOUT FOOD.

Grand buffet tables lined the walls of the elegant ballroom, and each tray contained a completely different type of food. There were flavors ranging from traditional Chinese dim sum all the way to an Italian pasta bar, with everything in between. I’d say it was enough food to feed an army! I’m sure this won’t surprise you, but of course I had to try it all.

My coworkers laughed as I sat down with a glass of white wine, vowing to stay until I had tasted absolutely every single dish. For some reason my enthusiasm always makes them giggle. So I couldn’t let them down!

Luckily I had a partner in crime. Cat decided to take the challenge with me! It took us eight plates to reach every station. EIGHT PLATES!!!! But it was so fun, and a night I will cherish forever. I only allowed myself one teeny tiny bite of each dish (excluding one extraordinarily good piece of chocolate cheesecake…shhh don't tell!). I was completely stuffed at the end to say the least.

Course #1: Soup, bread, and wine!
Course #2: Chinese
Course #3: Indian
Course #4: American & Thai

Course #5: Italian
Course #6: Fruit 
Course #7: My Favorite!!! Dessert :)
Course #8: Egg Tarts
When I went to get dessert, they were all out. One of the servers noticed that I was trying to taste
everything and actually delivered 2 fresh egg tarts to my table as soon as they were ready! Everyone laughed. 
Cat teaching me how to "properly" eat an egg tart. You have to eat the whole thing all at once!
Course #9: Ice Cream Bar

Course #10: Coffee (I actually couldn't drink more than one sip...)

The food was to die for, but my favorite part of the evening came from spending time with my amazing coworkers outside of the office. They are all incredibly kind and generous and I couldn’t have asked for a more welcoming group of people to work with everyday. It was a beautiful night of friends and food…I’m a lucky girl!

Connie <3

Aida, the darling woman who makes the coffee and tea!
All the ladies at the end of the night! <3
Then on Friday I had another delicious (and fun!) meal. I went to a Chinese “Hot Pot” restaurant, pronounced something along the lines of “Da Bean Low” in Cantonese. I met Margaux and Meiling in East TST after work to try Meiling’s favorite Hot Pot restaurant. I’d describe it as Asia’s version of The Melting Pot. It was just as entertaining and yummy too! We spent two and a half hours cooking everything from spinach and mushrooms to lamb and fish dumplings. Margaux and I didn’t end up going to LKF until midnight because we were so unbelievably full! It was such a fun night.

Our appetizer, fish skins. They were..."different."
Hot pot before food!
Hot pot after food!
See that plate of pink goo?! We turned those into fish balls.
I loved these little mushrooms!!
Such a fun dinner! Thanks Meiling!

All in all it was a week of wonderful food! Don’t worry I did more than just eat this past week, but for some reason I only felt like describing my meals? And I guess I can’t publish this post without mentioning the multiple early morning gym sessions I forced myself to have after going to bed on a VERY full stomach, multiple nights in a row. This morning left me feeling…still full. Sigh.

I think you’ll all understand why I’m trying not to eat as much this week…

Coming soon – a post about this weekend’s trip to Lantau Island to see the big Buddha!! Also, in only four days I leave for Beijing to see the great wall! I’m so excited!

Still missing everyone at home… XO

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