Hello friends! I know I keep telling this every time I post but I swear, I am so swamped lately. Anyhoo, I managed to squeeze in a weekend for an out of the country trip and guess where! Of course, Hong Kong!
If you remember, I was in Hong Kong for a post-Christmas trip with my in-laws last December. Last weekend, I went back to Hong Kong but this time with my hubby, my parents who celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary, and my cousins. I love discovering things in Hong Kong and that is why I love to go there at least twice a year. Some friends would react, “HK again?!” I know! It’s HK again and I love it! 🙂
For this trip, we spent our first night at the Venetian Resort Macao and got two non-smoking Bella Suites with Cotai View for our family. As always, we went around the Venetian Resort and visited the usual tourist attractions. I won’t be discussing tourist attractions in detail but if you wanna know the places to hit in Macau, you can visit the website of the Macau Government Tourist Office. You may also want to check out my posts about the Senado Square and Ruins of St. Paul and the Taipa Houses Museum.
As for food trippin’ in Macau, I have already posted about Bambu, one of the best Asian buffets in Venetian Macao. I also talked about the free jerky taste test in Pasteleria Koi Kei, as well as the best shrimp roe noodles in Macau from Wong Chi Kei. Let me now share with you my three recent food discoveries in Macau 🙂
The first one is also from Pasteleria Koi Kei. Remember that jerky shop you pass by on your way to visit the Ruins of St. Paul? Yup, that one where you can taste test all the meat jerky on display. It’s quite famous among tourists so if you go to Macau, it’s least likely that you will miss it.
Aside from the jerky, the pasteleria sells an extensive array of cookies and pastries that you can also sample for free. As they say, you can tour Macau for less because of the free shuttle and free food samples! 🙂 Anyways, while everyone got excited with the jerkies, I got excited with their Almond Pastry.
It’s a typical puff pastry that is very flaky with a teeny-weeny crunch in it. The almond slivers are generously splattered on top and there’s a nice mixture of sweetness and creaminess to it. I really really love it! A box costs HK$112 and I promise, you won’t regret going home even with a dozen-worth of boxes off your pockets. The almond pastry is really good.
My other food discovery in Macau is the Steamed Milk Pudding from Yee Shun Milk Company.
This place is something that I intended to visit last December. The directions given in most blogs I read say that it’s just opposite McDonald’s near Senado Square. Now, there are two McDonald’s near Senado Square and I didn’t find any Yee Shun Milk Company opposite either. Thing is, it’s not directly opposite McDonald’s but yeah, Mickey-D can be considered a landmark.
It was only by accident that I found it. We were walking along that stretch of shops past Grand Lisboa towards the Senado Square, one of which was an Omega shop, and my eyes got glued to that side of the road in deep contemplation of whether I should go in to inquire about their watches or not. Just when I decided not to, I looked up and found the sign I’ve been waiting for a long time! 🙂 And yes, it’s near McDonald’s which is at the other side of the street.
So what did I get? I only got the basic steamed milk pudding with a little of that ginger curd on top (HK$22). My verdict? I liked it but I’m not jumping up and down for it. My dad loved it though, he consumed two bowls. It’s not sweet at all, almost bordering on being flavorless. The milk also has this weird slight bitter aftertaste. But as I spooned my way down, I realized that it’s actually nice. Just nice, not good, not great either.
I don’t know where all the hype is coming from and as for me, given that my excitement for this place got heightened by the challenge of searching for its location, I would definitely say that the steamed milk pudding didn’t live up to the hype.
My third food discovery in Macau are these delectable balls made of flour, evaporated milk, sugar, and eggs which we also found on our way to the Ruins.
They’re egg ball waffles called kai tan zai or gai daan tsai. The mixture of ingredients are poured over a skillet that looks like a flat beehive and when the balls turn golden brown, they’re ready to eat 🙂 We got a plain-flavored one and another one with peanut butter filling. These egg ball waffles are yummy and they’re sold for a really cheap price.
I’m not sure if there’s any famous stall or restaurant that sells egg ball waffles but during the time I was in Macau, I noticed that they’re just sold along the streets. I guess you just have to figure out which street food vendor makes the best egg ball waffles but whatever, they’re really good and they make great snacks especially if you’re on a budget 🙂
Let’s now go to Hong Kong, shall we? 😛
We stayed at Guangdong Hotel which is not as fancy as the Venetian but very ideal for tourists because of its location. Everything is like a walking distance from it! Charlie Brown Cafe is just at the other street and going there from our hotel is no hassle. I also like that there’s a nearby stall that sells refreshing mango-sago drink that’s so good.
But if there’s one thing we discovered during this trip, it’s this street food place near Guangdong Hotel called Kai Kee. It’s located at the junction of Carnarvon, Humphreys, and Prat in Tsim Sha Tsui. The food stall sells fish balls, beef balls, octopus, sausages, rice cakes and many others.
On our first night in Hong Kong, my parents got me the spicy sausages and I tell ya, I had to spit everything out. They’re hot as hell and elevate that to the highest degree! 😛 Well, that’s just what I thought because my tolerance for spicy food is really low. Much to my surprise, my parents loved the spicy sausages 😛
I didn’t give up on Kai Kee just yet. The next time my parents got me sausages, they gave me the regular ones. And oh my, they’re so delicious! With my first bite alone, I was already thinking where to buy a cup of rice. I am so sure that the sausages are gonna be a hit with hot white rice! And I’m right, my cousins devoured the sausages with white rice for their midnight snack 😛
While in Hong Kong, we went to the usual places for tourists and went shopping. Of course, our trip wouldn’t be complete without visiting Harbour City and Citygate Outlets, and not to forget, Giordano-Bossini-Esprit-and-Sasa-hopping 😛 These shops, especially Giordano and Sasa, are everywhere!
But.. as big as a bear’s butt.. while I’m planning for this trip, I already made sure that I won’t be coming back to the Philippines without having gone to this place somewhere in Ap Lei Chau. It’s called the HORIZON PLAZA! 🙂 Gosh, just saying the name of the place is already making me excited! I don’t know if it’s a secret place or what but how come it’s only now that I’ve heard about it!?!
So what is in this building called the HORIZON PLAZA! It’s not a mall, it’s not even considered a commercial center in my opinion. It’s a 28-storey building in a far-flung place called Ap Lei Chau that is loaded with tons of designer goods! At markdown prices! *breathe in, breathe out* 😀
There are so many things I can’t tell you about this place because there are just some things that you would have to learn by yourself when you get there. Let me just give you a few tips in case you want to go there.
- THERE IS NO MTR GOING TO AP LEI CHAU. The only way to go there is by bus or taxi. If you’re rich, fine, you can hail a cab for all you want. But for cheapskates like me, you can go there by bus.
- TO GO THERE BY BUS, FIND YOUR WAY TO THE CENTRAL STATION FIRST. At the Central Station, take exit D going to the Exchange Square where the bus terminal is. Look for Bus No. 590 going to Ap Lei Chau. The bus lane is situated near the lane for Aberdeen buses. Just make sure that you bring your MTR card with you because you’ll use that to pay for your bus fare. One way from Central to Ap Lei Chau is HK$7.50. Go down at the last station in Ap Lei Chau which is at the South Horizons near Marina Square.
- THEN TAKE A CAB. Don’t attempt to walk to Lee Wing St. from South Horizons because it’s a looooooong walk from there. Don’t be a cheapskate this time. Take a cab and say you’re going to Horizon Plaza. Flagdown fee is HK$18 and you shouldn’t be paying anything more than that.
- GO STRAIGHT TO THE 28TH FLOOR. If you know where to go, you can exercise discretion on which floor you want to stop. But if you’re a first-timer like me, the smart move is to go directly to the 28th floor then go down floor-by-floor by stairs. Otherwise, you’ll lose 10-15minutes of your precious time waiting for the elevator to stop by your floor.
- CHOOSE YOUR FLOORS. If you don’t have all the time in the world, you need to choose your floors. You don’t have to go to each of the 28 floors in Horizon Plaza. It is primarily a furniture outlet so if you’re there for fashion, pick your floors and skip the rest. Here are the places I checked out:
- TREE @ the 28th Floor. It is one whole floor of fabulous wooden furniture. There’s a cafe there and I will tell you a bit more about it later.
- MAX MARA FASHION GROUP WAREHOUSE @ the 27th Floor. Remember, you have to deposit all your stuff and secure a locker. You’ll find lots of Juicy Couture and Stella McCartney pieces around.
- LANE CRAWFORD @ the 25th Floor. I love the shoe section! I found Ugg designed by Jimmy Choo for only HK$3500 but I don’t know where to go with Uggs on so I didn’t buy one. Next time, I definitely will get those Uggs!
- BLUEBELL FASHION HOUSE @ the 24th Floor. Jimmy Choos on sale!
- SIFT PATISSERIE @ the 22nd Floor. Yummy cupcakes with a review below.
- If you stop by at any of these floors, then you will definitely see these other outlet stores: ALDO, REPLAY, DIESEL, JUICY COUTURE, and RALPH LAUREN.
- There are still more but these are the only stores I went to.
The experience was overwhelming 😛 In all honesty, I was so overwhelmed by the designer goods there that I couldn’t think clearly. I was almost about to go home empty-handed from being too overwhelmed (really, it did happen to me!). Luckily, I found Aldo just before I hopped on the elevator. I grabbed a pair for only HK$399 from an original price of HK$1299 😀 Savings galore!
I will definitely stop by Horizon Plaza now every time I’m in Hong Kong and by then, I won’t be overwhelmed anymore.
Whew! 🙂 Let’s now check out the food!
Tree is a furniture shop located at 28F Horizon Plaza. It’s Hong Kong’s first eco-chic furniture boutique. Aside from selling great and eco-friendly furniture, they also serve delicious food and coffee.
What’s good with Tree is that you can also buy the tables you’re eating your quiches on because everything inside the Tree store is for sale 🙂
We just got croque monsieur for snacks with a bottle of Fanta 🙂 What’s more interesting than the food is the message on the napkin. Really inspiring.
I’m not sure if it’s the location, but I figured there were not so many locals in Horizon Plaza. Most of the visitors when we came were expats and tourists.
Well then, in case you decide to go to Horizon Plaza and you need to rest those tired legs with a cup of cofee, best place to rest is at the 28F where the Tree Cafe is 🙂
Then there’s this patisserie at the 22F also in Horizon Plaza that serves yummy cupcakes. It’s called Sift.
We got the double choco cupcake which is moist and decadent. I wish I could take home the crumbs 😀
We also got their Red Velvet and I have to say, their cream cheese frosting is so good. I tasted a hint of whipped cream or some light marshmallow-y flavor beaten into the cream cheese frosting 🙂 I will have to find the recipe out.
Thing about Hong Kong is, it is a real heaven for shoppers and I can’t blame people who go there only for shopping. But shopping is not everything I want to do. I want to explore. I want to discover. And 4D/3N trip is not enough to learn about the place. This is why I keep on coming back to Hong Kong.
Well… that plus HORIZON PLAZA 🙂
I hope I didn’t bore you with this massive post. And I also hope you picked up something that will help you in your next travel to Hong Kong/Macau.
I’m so tired … this is such a long post 😛 Til next time.