When we arrived at The Perkin Hotel, it was around 11:30pm. We settled into our room and knew we needed something to eat, since we had only had the sub-par airplane food for the last 30 hours. We walked out of the lobby and realized we were smack in the middle of quite the nightlife, even for a Tuesday night. The street that the hotel is on was closed down to pedestrian traffic only and lined with bars, clubs and restaurants.
After roaming for a bit, we were approached by the owner of one of the restaurants. He said, “Come on in for a drink and food! We have the BEST american food around.” We immediately stopped him and said “We just landed from New York, american food is definitely not what we are looking for.” He laughed and completely understood. He told us to go back down to the main road and turn left. There would be two restaurants: Relax for a While, and Kai Kee Restaurant. To be honest, we couldn’t even find Relax for a While Restaurant, but we did find Kai Kee.
OMGGG is really all I need to say about this place, but of course you still need all of the gory details. Every storefront and many restaurants in Hong Kong seem to have the entire front open; I’m assuming because it is generally fairly warm. So, the restaurant had an open front with a to-go order counter for pastries and fast food. Then the entrance led you to an open restaurant with the kitchen in the back and booths throughout. It reminded me of a diner setup but the menu was all Chinese food, so it was basically heaven (especially after what we had eaten all day).
I guess it would have been easier if we had learned some Chinese before leaving, probably any of the languages for the places we are going for that matter, but we are resorting to the “point-and-hand-motion” method of communication, and it seems to be working. So, we pointed and the waitress pointed back at us to sit down at any table. The menu had English translations so we were in luck! It also had photos! We perused the menu and decided on the Pork Cartilage Fried Rice, Sautéed Vegetable of the Day, and Pan Fried Noodles with Spare Ribs and Mushrooms.
First came the fried rice. It was a lot darker than the fried rice we are familiar with and was a much larger portion than we were expecting. From the photos, it looked like it was a normal size, enough to share as a side with the spare rib dish. We were given two spoons and two sets of plastic chopsticks and we were ready to dig in. The rice was cooked perfectly and the flavors were unreal! There were pieces of egg, scallion, pork and pork cartilage. The pork was tender and the pork cartilage was a little crispy, but not like the end of a chicken wing. It was a nice variation of texture and wasn’t tough to chew at all, in fact it had a nice crunch. The dish as a whole was on the sweeter side compared to the fried rice in the US. The flavor was similar, but more intense and well developed. We probably would have been fine with just sharing this as our late night snack.
Next to come, was the vegetable of the day. We had the option of regular broccoli or Chinese broccoli. When we ordered the waitress didn’t speak english and basically pointed to two different pictures to give us the choice. It was sautéed in a light oil with garlic and topped with some crunchy garlic as well. The broccoli was still crunchy, but not tough and the garlic was not over powering at all. I think they must of have used sesame oil because it had a very light flavor even though there seemed to be a lot of oil. *Biggest challenge was picking these up with our chopsticks!
Finally, the pan fried noodles with spare ribs came sizzling out on a hot stone plate. Of course, the noodles in the middle were not crunchy anymore because of the sauce from the meat and mushrooms, but the dish was one of the best things that I have eaten in a while. Usually, I order the pan fried noodles with shrimp and vegetables when we go to Vietnamese or Chinese restaurants at home. The flavor is usually pretty good, but this specific dish may have completely ruined my chances of being satisfied at any other restaurant. The flavors were so developed. The sauce was a brown sauce and the variety of mushrooms gave it more depth. The pieces of spare ribs had little bones inside, so we had to be a little careful eating them. We noticed that the locals were spitting their bones out directly on the table and were slightly confused by this. We neatly placed them in our bowl or on the side of the plate, little did we know it is completely normal to just spit them on the table.
We stuffed our tummies here, went back to the hotel for a good nights rest and tried to beat the jet lag. Up next, our first full day in Hong Kong!
Follow Your Tummy…