Friday, June 12, 2009

Tung Po Kitchen @ North Point, Hong Kong

There comes a point (during the Hong Kong trip), when you say enough is enough, show me what the true locals eat. The "tai pai dongs", the wet market, dodgy alleys and the gangsters, bring it on.

So it was.

Situated 2-3 floors up of the wet Java Road market, North Point lies Tung Po Kitchen. Exiting the MTR station, we were bought to the "other side" of Hong Kong, away from the glamarous lights and shopping streets to a more crudely put "dark back alleys". Walking up the stairs of the desserted wet market, we were wondering if the place was used as a set for the gangster movies where the " ku wak chai" would be waiting there with beer bottles, ready to start a fight.

Then we were greeted with this.

A big crowd of what seemingly looks like locals. The chit chatting, eating and drinking all synchronising to a loud environment that makes you feel like you have finally experience the real "tai pai dong" experience. Of course, this wasn't exactly outdoor but warmly air-conditioned.

Well maybe not. Having a menu with english words and japanese characters means tourists! Tourists with no taste too, apparently looking for fried rice noodles.

We started off with a cabbage and glass noodles in broth. Flavoured by the evident pieces of browned garlic, it was a welcome after all the meaty meals.

This may be a tai pai dong, but they do serve squid ink meat balls spaghetti. Mere novelty at best really with a hint of chinese flavours. i mean what else would you expect from a tai pai dong trying to serve you pasta?

Gou Zhai Ngap ("Doggy Pot Duck") or in another words, braised duck in what looks like a dog's plate. This with rice was like honey to bees. Oh wait, should i start a contest on my own and invite people to come in with their killer phrase?

Deep Fried Garlic Pork Knuckle was another dish that would have fit oh so well with beer. Cut into pieces of easy picking, the mixture of gelatine, fats and meat can send you straight to heaven.

Not having eaten alot of beef tendons throughout the trip, we ordered a beef pot. A mixture of meat, tendons and white raddish served in soup. Some found the meat too strong but oh well, more for me.

After eyeing these huge mantis prawns, we knew it was a must order eventhough the price was like HKD120 per prawn which assembled back to its original size was probably around 30cm? The salt, pepper and garlic was pungent and too strong to eat alone, eventhough i certainly had fun digging at the chunks of meat.

Another signature of this place is the lotus glutinous rice with duck jus. Just like any wedding banquet when the rice dish comes towards the end, we can do nothing but stare at the huge mountain of rice and in this case, lots of flavour absorbed from the leaves and lots of ingredients too. This we could barely finish half.

Address and contact details:

Address: 2/F, Java Road Market Complex, North Point
[Nearest railway: North Point MTR, Hong Kong]
Tel: 2880 9399 (booking essential)
Opening hours: 5:30pm – midnight

Rating: 3 stars out of 5 stars. Yes it definitely has taken in the hype from the media over the many years in service, but is it me or do locals just like their food overflavoured? The meal wasn't cheap too with the mantis prawns and per pax was still HKD160. However if you want to experience what the locals go through including queuing for tables, visiting empty wet markets, and drink beer from bowls with the addition of air-con, this is the place for you.


Christy said...

I used to stay near North Point when I was in HK!!
This place looks very interesting ya; named after the famous scholar Tung Po, is it? :)
Then you should've ordered Tung Po Yoke!

The food does looks so Hongkie, nothing like our Hongkie food here....but I will pass on the the squid ink spaghetti, I have a faint heart (LOL!)

Nic (KHKL) said...

woah, squid ink pasta! i think the oriental touch has got to be the wok hei la...hahaha! just had deep fried garlic pork yesterday. breath still pungent..hehehe

Precious Pea said...

Jotting this down...i dun care! I must make a trip to Hk just for this next year!

zewt said...

when was the last time u got yoru cholesterol checked? :P

Bangsar-bAbE said...

Damn expensive right the prawns?? Squid ink meat balls spaghetti looks too geli to eat...hehe! =P

Sean said...

that squid ink meatball spaghetti is the most bizarre food pic i've seen this month! would definitely order it just for fun. :D
the food actually looks really appealing, but ermm, what's wrong with fried rice noodles ar?

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

sean: beats me with the rice noodles too..haha

bbabe: yeah but its huge!!

zewt: lets say not till i hit 30..meanwhile always exercise, which i still do regularly

ppea: u have so much time..go take the next flight!

nic: goes to show why there are no draculas in our horror movies..all died from garlic overdose..

christy: not to bad until u will faint la haha..

thule a.k.a leo said...

north point... a territory that I have no time to explore on my trip there 3 years ago... last time it was purely sightseeing while eating tai pai dong... maybe it's time to organise a foodie tour to HK?? I wonder...

mimid3vils said...

Did I saw some starchy gravy on the lotus rice?

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

leo: haha good idea hor..eating all the way to heaven..

mimi: yes, i suppose its consider starchy of some sort..

thule a.k.a leo said...

did u make reservation by the way?? u stated that booking is essential...

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

leo: we were abit the lucky..somehow a miracle happened, n we got a table..bcos we were a big crowd..

thenomadGourmand said...

even the notorious back-alley didnt keep the prices down and tourist awy?

Cindy Khor said...

omg, they look absolutely delicious judging from your photos. i think i would pick squid ink pasta, the dug, the knuckles, the mantis prawns and the glutinous rice (well, basically everything).

SuLee said...

how does the squid ink meat ball taste like? they dont look very appealing, does the ink stay in ur mouth very long?

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

tng:looks like no.. =(

cindy: hahaha yeah thats everything..

sulee: taste well like err squid meatballs? ink doesnt stay that long and you can rinse it off with some tea

xin said...

squid ink pasta! i wanna try!

btw, i read this post in the afternoon right after lunch, not so hungry. but now im DEAD hungry! starving to death!

YilingL said...

Haha the squid ink meatball pasta is real black! Lol... the pork knuckles, beef pot and mantis prawn looks good though.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

yiling: yeah as black as it can be..

xin: well tea time?