Travel: Our Macau/Hong Kong Getaway (6D/6N)!

Follow our 6 day, 6 night adventure in these lands of amazing food, awesome culture and astounding sights. See how we ate, shopped and laughed our way through Macau and Hong Kong! :)

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Travel: HK Day #4 - A Symphony of Lights @ Tsim Sha Tsui & Mak Man Kee Noodle Shop 麥文記麵家 @ Jordan


Note: This post was jointly written by Adam & Wendy because there was just too much to say! :)

And also, Gong Xi Fa Cai to all our dear readers - in the spirit of Chinese New Year, we figured we'd bring back some posts about Hong Kong! :)

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After spending an exhausting day at Ocean Park, all we wanted to do when we got back to the apartment was shower and sleep! We did shower, but we didn't have much time to nap before it was time to head out again. Thus far, we've spent most of our time exploring Hong Kong Island, so much so that it was definitely time to head over to the Kowloon side. Zhen Han had made arrangements to meet a couple of his friends there, so off we went to meet our next tour guides. =D


Dinner was on the itinerary of course, but before that we had one more sight to see after alighting at the Kowloon MTR station. No it's not the Clock Tower at the start of Salisbury Road (I don't know why Wendy put this picture here or what I'm supposed to do with it =D)... just walk ahead a little more after you see this landmark and its...


...the A Symphony of Lights (幻彩詠香江) show at the Victoria Harbour waterfront! 

Every night at 8pm, throngs of people flock the Victoria Harbour waterfront to witness the grand spectacle of 44 skyscrapers taking part in a light and music show. We The girls got distracted at H&M on Canton Road and when we finally reached the waterfront at 8pm, on the dot, the place was already packed - hence, the blurry pictures because Wendy had to tiptoe over everyone else to take a picture of the flashing laser lights! 


Wendy grew up seeing Hong Kong in TVB dramas so visiting the harbour and seeing the iconic panoramic view of the Hong Kong night skyline was something very special for her. However, even for me, it was a great experience being able to enjoy am amazing view like that, let alone one with flashing LED & laser lights accompanied with music. Definitely, go early to get a vantage point/good seat for the show. :)

For those interested in the narration of the story of the lights, there's narration broadcasted over speakers at the Victoria Harbour waterfront at Tsim Sha Tsui, where we were, or if you're on Hong Kong island instead, it's available at the promenade outside the Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai. The narration is in English on Monday, Wednesday & Friday; Mandarin on Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday and finally, Cantonese on Sunday.

Isn't it a sight to behold?
The A Symphony of Lights show lasts about 15 minutes and most of the crowd disperses pretty quickly, so we were able to go right up to the railings and take some pictures. 

Happy faces after a very enjoyable experience! =D
When it was all over, I think we were all pleased as punch that we had not missed the chance to see this spectacle with our own eyes. KL may be a vibrant city, but Hong Kong really is in a class of its own. When might we ever see buildings like KLCC synchronizing lights with other nearby buildings to create such a wonderful tourist attraction? =)

After the light show, we took a cab to Jordan for dinner. At the time we didn't know it, but Zhen Han's friends Tiffany and Cecilia were taking us to 2 places on our To-Do Food List!


We had read much about Mak Man Kee (麥文記麵家) and it's noodles (particularly the har zi meen we had tried so hard to find in Macau), so to be brought there without our knowing was a wonderful surprise! We're most grateful to Tiffany & Cecilia for taking us there, because if we had tried to find the place ourselves we would have taken the train and tried walking around.

That would have been a mistake though, because Jordan has many parallel roads and it's possible to miss one shop out of many. Our advice to visitors is to follow what we did and take taxis there too. The money spent saves on a lot of time and hassle.. =D


The shop inside isn't very big, just like most Hong Kong coffeeshops. When we got there it was already about 9pm, but the place was still packed like dinner time. Thankfully we found 2 booths at the back for all 8 of us, we got to sit and eat in comfort. =D


The menu at Mak Man Kee is plain and simple - everything can be summarized on one framed picture on the wall! As a noodle shop, they really only do different types of noodles and no rice dishes. There are no English names, so if you can't speak / read Chinese I would advise you to at least bring pictures of what you want to make ordering easier. =D


Since we came so far for the Prawn Roe Noodles (虾子捞面, har zi lou meenHKD39), obviously this was going to be on our list. The noodles is plain except for a generous sprinkling of prawn roe on top. Basically it's like the normal wantan mee that we get at home except that Mak Man Kee's version is far springier and the prawn roe gives it great flavour. Having the noodles on its own might not feel very tantalizing, but add it together with....




...a generous bowl of beef and that's when you realize why Mak Man Kee has become a must-go destination for all foodies in Hong Kong.

The Braised Beef Brisket with Chu Hou Sauce (淨柱侯牛腩, chu hau ngau lam), was an excellent dish! Chu hou paste is generally a bean-based concoction of soybeans, sugar, garlic and ginger, and a popular ingredient in Cantonese beef brisket dishes. Here, the flavour had been so well absorbed into the juicy, tender beef bits and the sauce made a perfect companion for the dry Har Zi Meen. It doesn't look very appetizing when served, but pop a piece into your mouth and any doubt there was about the quality of this restaurant flies away.

This was brilliant on its own (HKD 50 for a big serving, HKD 34 for small), or on top of wanton soup noodles (柱侯牛腩面, HKD 27), which we also had (greedy, much?). :D


Beef isn't everything at Mak Man Kee. What they're really famous for are their Prawn Wantans (首创全虾云吞, har wan tan). Over here in KL, the size of our wantans get pathetically smaller every year, especially if it has prawns inside. It's amazing there are even shrimp that small! But at Mak Man Kee, I get the feeling the wan tans served haven't changed in size over the last few decades, because the size is so big! 


These Prawn Wantans are so big that each one is filled with at least 3-4 shrimps inside. A bowl of just prawn wan tan that costs about HKD 26 is well worth the price. I would gladly pay the equivalent in RM if I could find this here. The wantans are filled to the brim with flavourful, bouncy prawns and the soup is also very clear, and goes well with the noodles in case you don't fancy the more salty beef. It was so good, we ordered another serving after we had finished the first!




The Nam Yue (fermented beancurd) Pig Trotters (净南乳猪手, nam yu chu sauHKD 50 for a big serving, HKD 34 for small) is another popular dish on the menu, but unfortunately neither of us could appreciate it, so this was largely left to one or two others to finish off. The bones were big though, and each piece had a good amount of cartilage and fat. If that's the definition of a good pigs trotter, then this should probably get 5 stars. =D




Mak Man Kee also serves seasonal hand picked vegetables (拣手油菜) and the recommendation from Tiffany was to order a simple dish of boiled Chives (韮菜花, gao choi faHKD14). It might seem impossible for vegetables to impress, but the deep green chives at Mak Man Kee really do with its freshness and natural sweetness; nothing like the dry, flat ones you get here. It comes with a small dipping plate of oyster / hou yau sauce (油) for flavour, but it tastes just as good without.




Being famished after the Symphony of Lights show and having craved some authentic Hong Kong-style wantan noodles before our trip, we happily devoured every morsel of food ordered... in record time! Some say Mak's Noodles is a better bet, and I'm sure others have many other wantan noodle preferences, but for us, Mak Man Kee was a tasty experience and highly recommended!

Made from flour and eggs alone, the noodles here are light and bouncy and the wantans are a few classes above what we're used to here. That, coupled with the other great dishes on the side, make Mak Man Kee Noodle Shop a recommended eatery. :)

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A Symphony of Lights | Site
Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront,
Kowloon

Mak Man Kee Noodle Shop 麥文記麵家 | Openrice
G/F, 51 Parkes Street, Jordan
(佐敦白加士街51號地下)

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