honk honk sugar


one day i will stop pretending like life after hong kong
doesn't exist. but today is not that day. today i am dreaming
of black sesame gelato that is rich but not too sweet,
that is a little bit smokey and filled with full black sesame seeds,
and that makes you pray you won't immediately run into maestro or your kindergarten best friend and her entire family {that actually might have happened} before you have time to floss, 
lest you have a massive black speck in your teeth.
...and i am also reminiscing over the egg custards 
that cost the equivalent of about 50 cents,
that i ate on a boat. that were extremely eggy tasting.
and, of course, the little cake from ms. b's that was 
worth every bit of the embarrassing amount that i spent on it.
{it is not every day that a boutique cake shop has a vertical 
garden on the exterior.}
the sweets that i ate in honk honk were never too sweet.
they always kept their distinct flavor.
even their 16 handles equivalent {where i got 
blueberry mochi on black sesame, almond, and taro yogurt}
kept it's tasty integrity. 
it was subtle... and fascinating...
-yeh!!!

sweet places i lurved:
xtc gelato: marry me, black sesame gelato
australia dairy company: sweet warm {almondy??} egg custard
ms. b's cakery: go, if even just to look and drool

yardbird {hong kong}


referencing momofuku to describe a restaurant is like a tv show being advertised as "sex and the city meets whatever whatever." does that make any sense? in other words, it should just never happen. but of course the possible exception arises when a restaurant on the other side of the world kind of resembles noodle bar, has a forward-thinking asian-influenced menu, and leaves the vegetarian guest with few options... and so one has to ask, at which point chef says "no i h8 david chang." for real, that happened. 
the vibe was so so hip. it was like an alternate universe: an entirely western staff, hong kong's most casually stylish people, and a local beer selection of rare asian brews whose names escape me but hey this isn't the distilled life. oh and did i mention i went there on thanksgiving? so at least i had bird: hong kong chickens! and more parts of the chicken than i ever thought i'd eat. chicken oyster, chicken liver, chicken liver mousse, chicken neck... it was a nose-to-tail yakitori dream feast. additionally, i ate cauliflower for the second time in my life. k.f.c., or korean fried cauliflower-- it was more like if panda express did cauliflower in that melty saucy delicious fried way. i liked it lots. the chicken meatball skewer was accompanied by a special sauce with an egg yolk floating around, and the chicken liver mousse was served with milk bread {!!!!} those won me over. the chicken oysters were tasty, but texturally confusing. in my excitement that me and my two dates secured two of the last orders left for the evening, i think i et them too quickly to really appreciate them :-( the sweet corn tempura balls were fun, and the chicken and egg fried rice was pretty delicious. the meal involved a ton of really moist, really tasty chicken. it was almost too much animal, but it made me excited about chicken. excited about chicken!
i mean who gets excited about chickens when you can get excited about pigs?
and i'm glad he did because it was a tasty meal.
-yeh!!
{that is a chicken oyster}
yardbird is in sheung wan, hong kong. 

honk honk sandwich


imagine your girl {the queen of everything doughy}
craving a crusty baguette like its the rose cafeteria honey mustard. maybs it was the jetlag, maybe it-- no actually it was because crust really does not exist in hong kong. in the grocery stores, yeah, bread has a dark brown layer around the edge, but the texture never changes. in restaurants? forget about it. twice i was tempted to ask them to leave the crust on, until i realized that, wait this is actually miraculous. {because crust is just one of those things i am obligato about since i turned eight and learned the meaning of tact...} so for my entire time in hk i didn't ask questions and indulged in extremely simple sandwiches on milk bread. none of them had mustard, but that is another story. here is a run down on the sammies i ate in hong kong:

pork, mayo, tomato {lan fong yuen, top photo}: hopefully you are either with someone who knows, or are thinking logically when you walk by a really long line that seems to be snaking around behind a rando milk tea stand. because you don't want to miss this little pork bun that looks like it should be in a happy meal, but tastes like you need eight more. 
egg, mayo, tomato {deli & wine, second from top}: something got lost in translation when i ordered this at breakfast time, expecting a breakfast sandwich. it was, in fact, my first exposure to egg salad.
egg {australia dairy company, third photo down}: by the time you've done your time on line, been hurried through a room packed with hong kongese families that is reminiscent of a jewish deli, sat at a tiny table with strangers, and directed to a menu completely in chinese, you are ready to shit your pants. but if you've done you're research, or have eyes, you know just to get the scrambled eggs with bread. you have no idea where these eggs are from or what is in them, but they are hands down the best scrambled eggs you've ever had.
beef brisket, special peanut sauce, steamed buns {crystal jade, bottom photo}: shocking. i would fly back to hk just to eat these.
ok.
can someone talk to me about why some countries are all about crust and others just aloof to the whole thing?
-yeh!!!

things filled with things


it's a smiley face!
my goal was 100 in one week. is that disgusting?
after 30 in three days, i forfeited. but do you want to hear what that included?
more soup dumplings than i ever could have imagined
super secret nepalese dumplings
black sesame buns
sugar-coated pork buns
fried steamed buns
red bean dumplings
vegetable buns where the filling isn't all just stupid cabbage
...
and they were all so flavorful, and the bun textures had such great integrity, and the soup dumpling soup was so sooo yummy. i mean, for real is soup dumpling soup ever that yummy in the states? or are people just gaga enough over the idea of soup in a dumpling that they don't care if it forgot its flavor? 
omg you guys, how am i still alive?
-yeh

{where i ate these dumplings, in order from my most favorite to still my favorite but not as much}
crystal jade i know, it is totally a big chain. but they had me at their special peanut sauce steak buns.
tim ho wan their sugar-coated pork buns were so good i could have died, but after three i felt like butt and just actually wanted to die. however, when i recover i will figure out how to make them.
din tai fung DTF! 
super secret nepalese place you kind of just have to hope that you end up at a certain bar with someone who knows someone who will make a phone call. at which point a whole ton of dumplings with a garlicky sauce will be delivered. hopefully.