After a long day at Ngong Ping 360 and shopping at CityGate, we were all starting to wish for a little lie-in the next day. But we didn't have time for that because we had to head to our destination for the day, Ocean Park!
So once again we were up bright and early to make our way over to the Wan Chai MTR for further transit to Ocean Park. Along the way we stopped for our long awaited "ZH Brekkie", our code name for the breakfast that Zhen Han had promised to buy us before the trip! He knew of this place called Ocean Empire Food Shop (海皇粥店) that did good porridge and zhar leong (炸两 which is fried Chinese crullers wrapped in chee cheong fun or rice noodle sheets) according to him, so that's where we ended up. =)
As is the case with most restaurants in Hong Kong, Ocean Empire doesn't have much seating space because of it's small outlet. Thankfully we got there after the morning breakfast crowd had left, so we could eat in peace.
Ordering at Ocean Empire is quite straight forward; usually everyone has the same stuff for breakfast. The Chinese name for Ocean Empire actually means porridge shop and not food shop, and that's exactly what we started with! We had the "Sam Pan" Congee, also known as teng zai juk (艇子粥, HKD 18.50) above and the Thousand-Year Egg & Shredded Pork Congee or pei dan sau yuk juk (皮蛋瘦肉粥, HKD 20.50) below.
It certainly didn't disappoint. I like my porridge slightly watery, but not until it's like drinking water. The porridge at Ocean Empire was exactly how I like it; these Hongkies just get me, you know what I mean? =D The consistency of the porridge was smooth and full of meat.
Another popular dish at Ocean Empire, the Turnip Pudding (萝卜糕, HKD 12.50) a block of steamed pudding made of shredded turnip and rice flour, served with soy sauce and sesame seeds. Wendy and the others really fancied because it was soft and bursting with natural turnip flavours. Not something I fancy however, as I'm not big on turnip.
We thought it good to try the Dried Shrimp Rice Sheet Roll or cheong fun with har mai (虾米肠粉, HKD 13.50) here as well. Another example of how cheong fun in Hong Kong is nothing like what we get here in Malaysia (just like what we got at Lin Heung Kui).
While we are more accustomed to lots of filling like big prawns or barbecued pork in our cheong fun, in HK they rely more on sauce and the original taste of the cheong fun to carry the dish. However, this dish was a little plain; the cheong fun was a little too thick and the sauce too salty for my liking.
But the real highlight at Ocean Empire is the zhar leong (炸两, HKD 15)! For some reason this is not a common dim sum dish in Malaysia although it seems so simple to prepare. What I had tried before in places like Canton-i wasn't as nice because the cheong fun was too thick. Here though the cheong fun was nearly thin as paper and really smooth, giving just a subtle addition of texture to the freshly fried, crispy yao zha guai. After dipping in black sauce for extra saltiness, it becomes the perfect breakfast snack that never seems to be enough..=D
For drinks, soya bean is the most popular. A cup of fresh soy milk (豆漿, HKD 8) will wash everything down perfectly.. =P
|More fried treats to be taken away!|
We do recommend you give Ocean Empire a try for their zhar leong and porridge if you're ever in Hong Kong. What's also really helpful is that their menu is bilingual so there will be no problems for English speaking visitors. A simple yet highly satisfying breakfast that recharged our batteries in preparation of the long day ahead at Ocean Park. =)
Ocean Empire Food Shop 海皇粥店 | Openrice
Basement & G/F, Simsons Comm. Building,
No. 137-139 Johnston Road, Wan Chai