My husband Sean and I recently had the enormous pleasure of a trip to Hong Kong and Malaysia and while my credit card will take a loooong time to recover and this old body was PUNISHED but jetlag on both legs, it was a culinary delight.
Hong Kong is just fabulous for food.
From the Michelin 3-star restaurants (R8000.00 for 2 people for a tasting menu without wine and still on the bucket list) to Cantonese street food, it is all yum. The thing is you need to know where to go. Because of the exorbitant cost of property (and just about everything else – think R100 for a good coffee at Coffee Academics), Hong Kong is full of high rises with floors and floors of shops, restaurants and spas.
One such delight is the L Place at 139 Queens Road, Central. We started the night at The Social Place. They serve modern Asian food and we ordered far too much of the most delicious dim sum, flower tea, springrolls, dragon beard kale and other Chinese treats. The food just kept arriving and we weren’t disappointed. A highlight was the “mushroom” dim sum. Delicate puffs of mushroom filled dim sum that looked exactly like – mushrooms!
Up the lift to Ten Feet Tall for a foot massage to end the evening. Heaven.
We spent a few days enjoying The Star Ferry, Soho, Repulse Bay – where our good friends have a breathtaking apartment, a delightful seafront restaurant in Shek’O Beach (worth the drive), and visiting the Big Buddha. Just as we were settling in it was time for out trip to Malaysia.
We began in Kuala Lumpur, famous for the Petronas Towers (very impressive). We stayed at the Mandarin Oriental but asked to be taken to the very vibey Jalan Alor in the Bukit Bintang area – a street full of outdoor restaurants, markets, stalls and massage shops. We found the busiest restaurant (a very good tip – usually the food is excellent) and weren’t disappointed. As usual we ordered too much and ate delights such as Malay prawn curry, frogs (yip), spicy duck and the ubiquitous fried rice. As usual, we ate too much, and ended our night with a glorious food massage – the best we had on this trip and one of my favourite things about Asia.
The next morning saw us on an early flight to Langkawi, an island of Malaysia in the Andaman Sea. We stayed in a remote resort called The Andaman – lovely, quiet and relaxing, but not ideal if you like the bustle of nightlife as it was an expensive R500.00 round trip into Cenang Beach for a taste of local culture and shopping. We did this once and again picked the busiest restaurant for another delicious meal.
On our last night we treated ourselves to an amazing Malay curry dinner at the fabulous Datai Hotel adjacent to The Andaman. One day when we’re big we will definitely stay there! Their traditional kampong-style Gulay House curry restaurant was wonderful – I ate the best naan bread I have ever eaten. I literally wanted to dive into the bowl and float on the thing! The curry was lovely, but I must say that curry in SA is totally comparable to Malay curry – I guess it is our Malay heritage.
We returned to Hong Kong for one more night and an R8000.00 dinner for 4 at Isola at the ICC! Good Italian but OMG – expensive. 1 starter to share, mains for all and a dessert to share with coffees. Oh, and 1 mingy bottle of wine. I have never been more pleased to take my pitiful rands back to SA and I will never complain about our prices again!
All in all a really special trip but my credit card will not be the same for a while.