27 December 2010

Hong Kong Nov 2010 - Day 1 & 2

This is the last of our 2010 travels. We took another family trip in Nov to Hong Kong, this time round a smaller party as compared to the Penang trip, just plus Mum and MIL. It's been many years since hubby and I went to Hong Kong together (I was there 3 years back but that was a work trip) so we thought of making a short 4D3N trip in Nov for dear son to experience the cool weather.
Took an early morning flight on Tiger Airways. Was actually quite worried about managing dear son for the flight since it's a longer flight than previous trips (to Krabi, Penang); he's getting more active and hardly sits still for a minute. We were lucky that the flight was not full so got a seat for him. Managed to nurse him during take-off and he slept for almost 2 hours, giving us a precious 2 hour breather. But the moment he woke up, he was jumping up and down in excitement. Good thing, both his grandmas were around to keep him occupied when hubby and I were tired.

Touched down in Hong Kong around noon time. The hotel we booked was Langham Place at Mong Kok and there is Airport Shuttle Bus that could bring us directly to the hotel. We had around 30 mins before departure so grabbed a quick bite at Pacific Coffee while feeding dear son his lunch.

My first food in Hong Kong - a Summer Veggie Tart. Was attracted to the pretty colours and fillings were bountiful with pumpkin, tomato, capsicum, mushroom, olive and etc. Not bad :d~~

The bus ride took around 40 mins and soon we reached our hotel, the Langham Place Hotel which is conveniently located near Ladies' Market, and connected to Langham Place Shopping Mall and Mong Kok MTR.
Nice sculpture at ground level of the hotel.

Hotel entrance via Langham Place Shopping Mall.
Lobby reception area.

Intriguing modern art can be seen around the hotel, adding fine touches to the elegance of the architect and furnishings.
Each room and suite category has a name, and ours is the Vital Place, equivalent of a standard room. Room size is pretty tight, nonetheless all amenities are in place.
Modern looking and cool bathroom.

It was already way past lunch time by the time we settled down. Hubby brought Mum and MIL out for a late lunch whereas I stayed in the hotel to nurse dear son and let him take his afternoon nap. From the Penang trip experience, we decided to stick as close to his schedule for meal, nap and sleep times as far as possible to avoid a meltdown and difficulty in adjustment when back in SG. Although we got to sacrifice in terms of going places and shopping, our main aim was to enjoy the food and weather and take an easy and relaxing holiday.

Hubby packed Roast Duck and Char Siew Rice for me. Yummy! The roast meats in Hong Kong lived up to their name, the meats were tender and succulent.

In the evening, we set off to The Peak, a must-visit attraction for first-time visitors to Hong Kong (Mum and dear son) for spectacular views of the city's breathtaking skyline at night. What we didn't expect was the horrendous queue at the The Peak Tram Lower Terminus. Well, we had no choice but to queue up for almost an hour. Thankfully, dear son was quite alright since he was sitting snugly in my trusty Manduca baby carrier. We bought the Peak Tram Sky Pass which offered access for the tram ride as well as the Sky Terrace, the highest 360° viewing terrace in Hong Kong.
By the time we reached The Peak, it was past dear son's dinner time and he got pretty cranky since he was hungry. We quickly settled into the first eatery we saw to feed dear son his porridge. Realised later that there were many other better choices. Not that this eatery was no good, just that other choices looked even better.
Hubby ordered mixed curry with rice.
Mum and MIL ordered Fried Chicken with Scallions.
Mine was Grilled Pork and Sausage in Tomato Sauce.

All the dishes were not too bad but the alarming thing was the humongous pile of rice that went with each dish. The rice given per person could feed like 2-3 of us! Well, probably coz all of us don't take so much carbo. In the end, all of us couldn't finish the rice which such a waste!

After the carbo-loaded meal, we proceeded to the Sky Terrace. Unfortunately, it seemed a little foggy that night but still fabulous skyline. Best part was the chilly weather which we love!

We lingered for a while and took several photos, but it was too crowded for comfort so we headed to the shops and wandered around a bit. But upon seeing the super long queue for the tram again, we decided to join the queue and head back since it was also approaching dear son's sleep time. As we were queuing, dear son fell asleep without any fussing probably coz the weather was nice and he was snug and warm in mummy's carrier.

After reaching back to the hotel, I settled down for an early night's rest with dear son whereas Hubby, Mum and MIL ventured out for some shopping at the Ladies's Market.

The next morning, we went for Dim Sum, definitely a must-eat when in Hong Kong right? Have heard a lot about the famous 1-Michelin Star Tim Ho Wan, but decided against it coz (1) didn't think dear son would have the patience to queue with us (2) heard that the eatery is very small, didn't think it would be suitable to bring along a baby. Well, next time perhaps.

We went to a nearby restaurant recommended by the hotel concierge. Hong Kong people really love yum cha, the restaurant was crowded despite it be rather early in the morning.

The menu was really extensive, with separate menus for weekend specials, chef's special etc and we had a hard time deciding what to order. Thinking that portions should be petite like those in SG, we ordered a bit of every thing to try. Alas, we over-ordered coz the portions were bigger -_- The sizes of Siew Mai and Har Kow were like 1.5 times that of SG's O_o.
Braised Chicken Feet - nicely braised, chewy texture yet tender. Thumbs up!
Deep-fried Beancurd Skin Roll - very crispy skin with juicy fillings. Nice!
Coconut Po Lo Bun and Chicken Bun - The Coconut Po Lo Bun was quite unique due to the coconut filling, but we still prefered the Char Siew ones. The chicken bun was so-so only. Actually ordered for dear son to eat (the bun) but he ate only a bit -_-
Har Kow in 2 different fillings - prawn and peanut with veg. Although the Har Kow skin looked thick, it was quite chewy yet soft texture. Yum! Prawn filling was fresh and juicy. The surprise was the peanut with veg filling, quite unique since the peanut was crunchy and complemented the skin well.
The Siew Mai was fresh and juicy as well.
I love the Steamed Garlic and Black Bean Spareribs. The meat was very flavourful and tender.
Chong Fun with Char Siew. The serving was huge! Skin was firm yet soft with generous amount of filling. Sauce was pretty old school type of soy sauce.

There were just SOME of the dim sum we ordered :p In the end, we were so full that we skipped lunch. After the sumptuous brunch, we went back to the hotel where I nursed dear son. Then, we set off to Lantau Island Big Buddha. We didn't go Lantau Island during previous visits to HK so this is a must-go place for us this time. First, we took the MTR Tung Chung Line to Tung Chung Station. From there, we walked to the Tung Chung Cable Car Terminal which was just 5 min away from the station. Again there was a long queue of people waiting to purchase the cable car tickets and to board the cable cars. Luckily weather was pretty cool so we were ok with the queue. If it was hot and humid, we would seriously consider turning back. We bought the Crystal cabin tickets with glass bottom floor which is slightly more expensive than the Standard cabin. Since we were already there, might as well enjoy this special feature. Good choice since the queue for the crystal cabins was slightly shorter.

It was quite an enjoyable and scenic 25 min ride from the Tung Chung Cable Car Terminal to Ngong Ping Cable Car Terminal. Along the way, we saw people tracking along the hills towards Lantau Island. We guess it would take them some 2hr to reach? Hats off to them!
Approaching Ngong Ping, we could already catch a glimpse of the Big Buddha in the distance.
Getting nearer, side profile of the Big Buddha. Could already feel its magnificence.
We reached! Weather was really nice and cool there.
Throngs of visitors scaling the stairways towards the Big Buddha.

The view from the top was magnificent, with an air of serenity.

We heard that the vegetarian meal is good but we were still too full from the Dim Sum so had to skip it.
Instead, opted for some Tau Hway (Soy Beancurd). Seems to be the specialty here as there are many stalls claiming that they have the best beancurd handmade with spring waters.
The bowl above was with ginger juice and the one below plain. The beancurd was without sugar and we could add red sugar ourselves according to personal preference. The beancurd was very smooth (much smoother than those regular ones we eat), even dear son liked it. We took the opportunity to feed him his lunch together with the beancurd.

We also bought this Egg Ball snack made from flour and egg. Quite nice, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

After hanging around and shopping for a while, we decided to head back to avoid long queue later on. Upon reaching Tung Chung, we shopped at Citygate Mall, an outlet shopping mall for branded and luxury goods such as Coach, Burberry.

Thereafter, we returned back to Mong Kok for an early dinner since we missed lunch earlier on.
Dinner was at this Roast Meats eatery near our hotel. Roast meats is another must-eat in HK, isn't it :)

We ordered Roast Suckling Pig on my request. I love roast suckling pig and we seldom get to eat it in SG. The skin was really thin and crispy and meat very tender. LOVE LOVE LOVE!
Roast Goose Meat is another must-order. The goose meat was fragrant, very tender and succulent; so much nicer (but more fatty) than duck meat. We also ordered some char siew which was very good as well.
Some greens to balance the hefty meats.

After the satisfying meal, hubby and I brought dear son back to the hotel for his dinner and settled him for bed whereas Mum and MIL went shopping. And when they were done, they helped us look after dear so that we could go Ladies' Market.

Hubby and I were glad to have some time-off from dear son. We strolled around Ladies' Market, but didn't buy much except for a few items for dear son.

As we walked around aimlessly, I spotted this eatery which I recalled is quite a famous dessert stall especially for its steamed egg custard pudding.
It was very good indeed. Smooth and silky with rich taste of milk. Happy!

With that, we ended our day 2 in HK.

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