Macau: the meal that made the trip

I’ve left this in my written drafts for so long I think it’s time to finally complete and publish it…

Well, Macau. Prior to this trip I had never been to Macau despite having been to Hong Kong a couple of times. This joint that Hysan brought us to was situated at the second storey of a local market and we had to walk through rows of butchers to turn into a canteen where this place was located. Even with its obscure location, this was incredibly popular and we had to wait a good 20 minutes before we were seated!!

How it works: you tell the bosslady what you feel like eating, she goes downstairs to the seafood stalls to shop for whatever’s fresh, comes back and shows you the goods (she literally shows you what’s in the bags, yes), and then magic happens.

This, my friends, is the greatest crab porridge in the history of mankind. I could totally do without the crab but man, the porridge!! How they managed to get the right mix of the taste of the crab & the sea & not overwhelm with fishiness is really remarkable. Hands down, best thing I ate of the trip (bake cheese tarts are second).

How lucky were we to get the last plate of 鱼饼 for the day! The closest phrase to describe it in English would be ‘fish pancakes’ but that makes it sound so unappetising. This was crack, and I suppose if deep fried beancurd skin and fish cake had a baby, this would be it. Sarah could not get enough of this!

img_3235Speaking of Sarah, she was craving sweet and sour fish (time away from home etc etc) that very day and had requested for the bosslady to make the dish. Bosslady was reluctant at first as she didn’t want to deep-fry stuff in her stall. HOWEVER, after finding out that we were from Singapore, but mostly due to Hysan being a total aunty-killer, bosslady was so excited and promptly made an exception for us!!! She was also very impressed by Singapore’s cleanliness. But I digress – this sweet and sour fish was not your typical neon orange sauce coated deep fried gunk. The sauce was sweet (not really sour), and I was really impressed by how bosslady and the bossman came up with this sauce from scratch. This was a surprise, unexpected favourite. The fish was soft (I think it was steamed as opposed to deep fried) and with the magic sauce, I think this was interesting, in a great way. I am just very impressed by how bosslady and bossman have no menu and customers can request roughly what they feel like having and bosslady and bossman both decide how to make the best out of the ingredients of the day.

img_3226img_3234 I suppose this is nothing special – steamed scallops with plenty of garlic and glass noodles but it’s been ages since I had it. I am a garlic fiend so I liked this too. Let’s just say I could have warded off an army of vampires after.

img_3232Between the 5 of us we paid about S$40 each per person, which is relatively pricey, objectively speaking – but I think the experience, interaction plus cost of ingredients was well worth the trip to Macau AND the price of the food (and I’ve yet to factor in the labour cost). Plus, I would go back just purely for that crab porridge.

Bosslady had told us that we should have called ahead to make reservations so that she could reserve the best seafood for us. Now we know. I would highly recommend this place – canteen-style seats, in the middle of a wet market, but so much heart poured into the food. It doesn’t get more local / authentic than this.

Thanks for the great day out, Onyee, Hysan & Sarah. Can’t wait to see everyone again!

Address:  1/F., Patane Temporary Market, Avenida Marginal do Patane, Macau

P.S. All these people on Openrice cannot be wrong.


Hong Kong: Mott 32

I had high expectations for this one – it had been on my to eat list for about a year already and I had read loads of reviews about its famous iberico char siew!

Mott 32 is located at the basement of the Standard Chartered Building, a quick ten minute walk through air conditioned buildings at the cluster of offices at Alexandra House. Mott 32 evokes a Great Gatsby / Roaring 20s feel. It is very cool.

When we got there, the front of house unhelpfully told us she couldn’t find Sarah’s reservation. After 10 minutes of going back and forth, we found that Mott had mistakenly reserved it for 27 April instead of May. Still, they didn’t offer us a seat until we asked to be given a free table. Not a good start…

..but nothing a bit of iberico char siew cannot make better. This slab of char siew was seriously glistening (I kid you not) and because I was in the company of Sarah’s colleagues I couldn’t snatch it all up for myself. I really wanted to. Because it’s iberico, it also happens to be super duper pricey at hkd 350.

I think my favourite was the snapper  spring roll with dill – it’s fried but not too oily, and surprisingly, it works. I’ve never had a fish based spring roll, the taste was v clean on the palate and I felt like I could scarf down 3 more.

The quail egg iberico siew mai was quite a fun surprise with a runny quail egg in the middle. I’ve been told that this is actually a vey traditional dim sum fish, but again, I’ve never tried it! Love quail eggs, love iberico, so I loved this.
Obviously as Mott 32 tries to distinguish itself from other ~modern~ counterparts, the cheung fan (rice roll) has to be unlike the rest. We shared a cod fish cheung fan and honestly I don’t see why dim sum places don’t use fish in their rice rolls. I suppose it also in part is due to cost.

IBecause we dined in a group of 4, and most of the dimsum were in 3s we had to specially request that they serve us in a portion of 4. Mott wasn’t super accommodating on that, and the attitude was pretty brusque. One Michelin or not, this is really quite off putting & in Hong Kong’s competitive dining scene, I might actually choose to spend my money elsewhere, even with that super sick iberico char siew.

Address: Standard Chartered Bank Building, 4-4A Des Voeux Rd Central, Central, Hong Kong







So I was supposed to do my workout today but it was 7.30pm when I realised I hadn’t done it.. of course I had to skip it cos the prep for stir fried beehoon was going to take a while. Idk why I suddenly decided to make this, I guess it’s cos GROCERIES ARRIVED TODAY and I had to use the chye sim that had been sitting around in the fridge. This is not as awesome as the vegetarian beehoon back home but it’ll suffice.

Vegetarian Beehoon (no quantities for this because I really just went with my gut)
beehoon/rice vermicelli for those who don’t know what beehoon is (enough for 3 people)
3 eggs, beaten (+1 if you like more fried egg)
shiitake mushrooms (i used dried ones)
2 carrots
chye sim (as much as you like)
220g minced pork (more if you prefer)
garlic/soy sauce (light + dark)/shaoxing wine (optional)/sesame oil/pepper

1. Soak the beehoon for 30 mins. Marinade the minced pork with some light soy, pepper and sesame oil. Soak the mushrooms. KEEP THE MUSHROOM WATER.

2. Meanwhile, slice the carrots into strips, cut the chye sim, beat the eggs! After mushrooms have softened, cut them into strips as well.

3. Heat some oil on the pan/wok, fry the egg. Then cut it into strips. Set aside.

4. Heat some oil, add garlic and pan fry a little. Add the carrots. Add some mushroom water so the carrots can cook faster. When they look like they are 50-70% done, add the minced pork.

5. When minced pork looks like it’s almost done, add the chye sim and mushrooms. Add the beehoon at the same time. pour in mushroom water (don’t pour all) if beehoon looks too dry. ADD SOY SAUCE (LIGHT + DARK) to beehoon. I generally add more light soy cos it gives it taste, dark soy gives it colour. Add Shaoxing wine if you like, make sure it evaporates! Mix, mix, mix!


Ocean Tr235ure

I really have to get a move on all the backlogs that I’ve chalked up before I went to Italy before I even start on all the Italian food which is -omg-. Yeah, no single adjective can describe how awesome the food in Italy is.. safe to say I had some pretty memorable meals in Italy. Anyway before I left for Italy I rounded up a couple of people to go to Ocean Tr235ure with, having heard so much good things about it, notably Mabel and Genia’s ravings about the duck. Anyway thanks to Max & Calvin who came down to try Ocean Treasure (not going to type ‘Tr235ure’ because it’s too much work) during their exam period!!!

Samsui Chicken: Cannot beat the one at Soup Restaurant back in Singapore. The garlic accompaniment was good, but the dish is forgettable. We had to order a chicken dish that wasn’t spicy so we ordered this. Well, the cooking is not bad but overall this dish just isn’t that amazing.

Beef with Yam: If you don’t like yam, you shouldn’t order this for sure. Surprisingly, the yam gives the beef another dimension of flavour. Like, I never thought yam could work with beef, but this dish really grew on me. At the end of the meal I thought it was worth ordering again, it was not bad!

Roasted duck, Peking style: I LOVE DUCK PANCAKES! Okay the duck here is pretty good I guess, but I’m not any duck connoisseur so I can’t really tell. The duck silvers were tender and well done. I think someone commented that we should have tried the crispy duck instead of this original style 😦 Nevertheless, the duck was good. I guess I kind of expected more from all the ravings I’ve been hearing. Still, this is good stuff.

Salt and Pepper Pork: This was a surprise! I was amazed the pork wasn’t chewy, was kind of expecting it to be. Instead of slabs of pork, they cut it into thin slices so that it isn’t too tough. The mixed vegetable medley that was stir-fried with the pork really gave this dish a visual impact, and was also what made this dish perfectly balanced. Love this!

Tofu in Salted Egg Yolk: This was the star of the day. Don’t judge a dish by its looks man. This dish is just mindblowing. And it’s so simple! Just salted egg yolk and tofu. We drenched our rice in the salted egg yolk and it was so, so, so good. It’s not even that salty, that’s the best part. It was very light!! I could actually just eat plain rice with this dish. Omg okay getting really hungry thinking about it right now:(

For the 7 of us, it was a really good meal I think. I was pretty satisfied after that, but big eaters like Calvin Chia wasn’t 😦 Ocean Treasure is definitely pricier than most of the other Chinese restaurants here in Manchester and it’s easy to see why – the decor is way more posh than any other Chinese restaurant. It was a tad difficult to find, not being inside the AMC building itself but rather at the side entrance where the casino was. I was dress in a tank and havaianas and I felt a bit underdressed.. but it was 26 degrees that day! For 7 of us it cost way less than £15 per person, I can’t remember how much exactly. Service was prompt and efficient, with the wait staff being fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese. Before I left the manager d00d gave me a name card and suggested reservations in the future. I think I’d definitely be back here. I like the ambience and the food is really, not bad 🙂

Ocean Tr235ure
Great Northern
2 Watson Street
Manchester, M3 4LP