Saturday, September 20, 2008

Vietnam in Kowloon

Kowloon City, to my mind, is a place steeped in history, hard to find and reach, the Thai quarter of HK. It means fantastic, cheap food; but it also means planning and coordination on my part such as: getting friends together, traveling far from HK Island, searching for the right restaurant.

As usual my OC-ness got the better of me. After eating there last night I realized it wasn't so far after all. Think: a short 10 minute subway ride from Central station to Mongkok on the red line, then a transfer to the green line for another 10 minute ride to Lok Fu, then a HKD16 cab ride to the restaurant. Searching for the right restaurant was a breeze. I had my usual arsenal of magazine clippings and recommendations from those in the know. The only thing that required planning was getting people to go with you so you could order tons of food without looking like a glutton and straining the limits of your stomach. Yet even that was easy. I mean, who can live in HK and say no to an invitation to dinner?

So off we went, 3 friends and I, to try out this Vietnamese/Thai restaurant with 4 branches within walking distance of each other (I thought that privilege was reserved for 7-11 and McDonald's).

What did we order, us 4? Crab in chili sauce, fried soft shell crab, beef cubes with tomato rice, shrimp balls, garlic vegetables, and chicken/pork satay.

fried soft shell crab: a generous portion that was not greasy, seasoned lightly, a gem!

crab in chili sauce: yummy but lacked heat!

beef in tomato rice: looked better than it tasted


the menu

Garisberg and San Mignel beer, anyone? Or maybe you want some Pesi-Coca.


What else did we want to order but did not have room for? Tom yum soup (weather was too hot though), vermicelli with crab meat (crab overload!), shrimp and pork rolls (we only saw it after ordering so much already), fried frog with salt and pepper, lamb ribs, all manner of curry and noodle soups.

Evidently we ordered too much and had to suffer a period of moaning and groaning. We walked a few blocks of Kowloon City after the meal and promised ourselves we would be back, to try Combo Thai (Thai/Viet), a hotpot restaurant, an incongruously located French bakery, a place known for typhoon shelter crab.

Read up on Kowloon (Walled) City!