30 December 2010

Chuan Spa, Langham Place Hotel, Hong Kong

During the 3rd day of our holiday in HK, I took a couple of hours off from dear son to indulge in a pampering spa treatment at the Chuan Spa, located at Level 41 of the hotel.

Have visited Chua Spa during my work trip 3 years back (was not staying at the hotel and travelled all the way just for the spa) and was truly impressed with the spa ambience and treatment. So this time round, it was a must-do for me, especially since we were staying at the hotel itself. I'd rather sacrifice my shopping time than miss this!

Entrance to the spa.
Pre-spa relaxing at lounge area. A warm cup of tea was served while completing some particulars.
The view was spectacular. Previously I was there at night and it was even nicer with all the city lights.
Chuan Spa's philosophy of harmonising the 5 elements of the body with spa treatments.
Could see the sun setting in the distant.
Free flow of hot tea.
After completing the questionnaire, was brought to the female changing room. A personal locker was assigned.
The changing room has everything, bathrobes, towels, shower, amenities, sauna and steam rooms, jacuzzi.
After changing, I was brought to another relaxation corner.
I love this relaxation corner, where I could enjoy some tea and cookies before treatment commerced.
The cookies were yummy!
Water feature along the corridor, the sounds of flowing water always have this calming and therapeutic effect.
Spa treatment room. My treatment was a 60min Chuan Harmony massage. The therapist was very skillful in her massage techniques and soon I drifted off to sleep. Alas 60min was all too short!
After the massage, was led to the post spa relaxation lounge.

Warm tea with chilled fruits was served. A totally blissful way to end the massage, with refreshment, nice view and comfortable lounge bed. The price doesn't come cheap though, but who cares? I was on holiday :p

Chuan Spa - Hong Kong
Level 41, Langham Place Hotel,
Mongkok, Hong Kong
T (852) 3552 3510

28 December 2010

Hong Kong Nov 2010 - Day 3 & 4

Day 3 - as usual dear son woke up bright and early at 7am *yawn*. After washing up, we headed out for breakfast. Spotted this eatery selling porridge and noodles.

But no porridge available yet, so we settled for noodles.
Mine was Shrimp Dumpling noodle. The noodle was very chewy and dumplings fresh. Not bad.
Hubby ordered some chicken feet and pork noodles. Couldn't remember what Mum and MIL ordered.
A nice cup of tea with milk to warm up my body.
Was elated to see this 'Can Dan Ji' (aka luncheon meat with egg sandwich) on the menu and I had to order it as I love this sandwich very much! It's comfort food for me and made me a happy gal =D

After breakfast, we strolled to the open market which is just nearby.
All of us love browsing at local markets and made it a point to visit local markets during our overseas trips if there's a chance.
Array of dried goods.
Live chicken and duck. I don't think we can find this in SG anymore?
Pork stall, look at all that meat.
All sorts of root veggie.
The greens here look so fresh and 'green' *envy*
Jap cucumber, so pretty.
A different species of bittergourd.
The Choy Sum was so fresh!
Live fish for sale.
This bloody sight looked a little morbid early in the morning though. In fact, I took a photo of some bloody fish heads that were still moving but decided that it was a little disgusting and cruel to look at.
Coagulated pig's blood! I missed this which is no longer available in SG. But we didn't get to eat it this time.
Buckets of beancurd.

After the market tour, I went back to the hotel to nurse dear son and let him take his morning nap while hubby brought Mum and MIL to Wong Dai Xin Temple. After dear son woke up, I met them up at the MTR station to go to Central to shop for dried seafood. Dried seafood is famous in HK and there are streets in Central with at least 50 stalls selling all sorts of dried seafood like scallop, sea cucumber etc. Naturally we bought quite a fair bit. We had lunch at Central and continued shopping till afternoon.

Then hubby went off by himself to look at fishing tackle shops while Mum, MIL, dear son and I went back to the hotel. After I nursed dear son and let him take his nap, mum and MIL helped to take care of him while I went to Chuan Spa for a massage.

Will blog about Chuan Spa in another entry.

After a soothing massage, returned to the hotel room and discussed with the rest the plan for the evening. Hubby, mum and MIL went shopping/dinner first while I stayed back to feed dear son his dinner, nurse him and let him sleep. After they were done, mum and MIL helped to take care of dear son while hubby and I went for dinner.
As it was getting a bit late already, we went to a nearby mall and settled for sushi at this sushi restaurant Sushi One.

A very pretty marine tank in the middle of the restaurant, feast for the eyes while we feast on the sushi,

Ordered some interesting looking sushi and dishes not seen in SG's sushi restaurants.
This was salmon, cucumber, peach and black roe wrapped in cucumber. Quite unique and refreshing.
Agedashi brinjal, similar to agedashi tofu.
Some grilled items, chicken, chicken wing, mushroom and zucchini with cheese. Nice!
Tempura sweetcorn. I liked this, especially with the wasabi thousand island dip. Why don't SG restaurants serve this? Or perhaps there are, just that I didn't know.
Tamago. Thick and sweet, I like it!
I think this was Ika with salmon.
Inari sushi with crabmeat.

Overall, the sushi quality was pretty good and price-wise cheaper than SG surprisingly. Quality somewhere between Sushi Tei and Ichiban Boshi but at Sakae Sushi's price.

After the dinner, I went back to rest while hubby went for a massage at a spa near the hotel.

Day 4 and final day.

Morning was OTOT. After dear son woke up, hubby and I brought him out for breakfast. We found this buzzling little eatery selling porridge and chong fun.

The porridge was very smooth and silky. Hubby absolutely loved it!
The Chong Fun was quite smooth as well (not the dim sum type) and dear son liked it too. It seemed that everyone who came in would order one bowl of porridge with a plate of chong fun. Maybe that's the way HK people enjoy their breakfast.
Next to the porridge stall was this Roast meats stall. We decided to pack some roast pork and chicken for our dinner since it would be late afternoon by the time we reached SG.

With that, we went back to the hotel, packed up, checked out and took the Airport Shuttle Bus to the airport, shopped a bit before boarding the plane bound for home. Dear son had a meltdown and cried before the plane took off as he missed his morning nap and milk feed. Actually that was my intention, hoping to nurse him and let him sleep. Unfortunately, he was overtired. Oh well, thankfully he felt asleep while the plane took off and sleep for almost 1.5hrs. The remaining time, we tried our best to keep him occupied with food, snacks and books. It was so tiring!

All in all, it was quite a pleasant vacation. We didn't do very much but still, enjoyed the weather and the food. Well, probably will go back HK again, next time, I must explore more food places!

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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