Tuesday, November 17, 2015

[Hong Kong] Bing Kee 炳记茶档 : The Old-fashioned Feel of Hong Kong

Tai Hang has an increasing number of hip eateries though not quite affect the sleepiness of this quiet neighborhood. Bing Kee (炳记茶档) is one of the long surviving Dai Pai Dong that has been in this residential area for a long while, the nostalgic feel is irreplaceable particularly in the fast developing Hong Kong.

I was here in October 2014 but did not get to eat it as i did not know that their closing time is 3.30 pm and so, i was here just in time to see them packing up and closed for the day. I came back a year later and this time, i was here at about 12 pm for lunch.

There was a queue right next to the stall and all the tables there were fully occupied but the turnover rate of tables was pretty fast though. I waited for about 10 minutes before being ushered to one of the tables and to share it with another couple.

As i do not understand nor speak Cantonese, i encountered slight difficulties in getting the service staff to take my orders. In fact, i had quite a hard time. The couple sharing the table noticed it and my friend overheard the wife telling the husband in Cantonese, 'Maybe we should help them'. She then asked in English, 'Do you any need help?' And, i said to her, 'I just wanted my order to be taken.' 

The husband waved and called out to the service staff to come over for order taking. While waiting, we talked about what is nice to eat there. They recommended that we should try the signature Braised Pork Chop with Bee Hoon or Instant Noodle. They said as for the Braised Chicken Wings, they would recommend that to be ordered as a side dish as it is not as good when compared to the Braised Pork Chop. One of the service staff came over to take the order and when he realised that i do not speak nor understand Cantonese, he sent someone else over. The other Uncle speaks pretty good Cantonese style English and it was a breeze to order through him. 

The Iced Milk Tea (HKD $14) and the Iced Lemon Tea (HKD $15) came first. The Iced Milk Tea was quite nice, it tasted smooth with just enough of tea fragrance and not overly sweet as well. The Iced Lemon Tea tasted quite normal though.

Next came the Braised Chicken Wings, a portion consists of 5 pieces of mid-wings. I took a bite and it actually did not taste as bad as commented by that couple. It tasted simple and homely, like something prepared by the mother for a home-cooked meal.

The 2 bowls of Pork Chop Noodle (HKD $26 each) added with Luncheon Meat came right after, served by the same service staff that took my order. He pointed to the condiments on the table and he said, 'Try it, it is nice.' Those condiments consist of Japanese sesame oil, marinated red and green cut chili and chili Oil. I added a bit of chili Oil to my bowl of bee hoon and it actually tasted nicer. Each bowl has got a good portion of braised pork chop with 2 slices of Luncheon Meat added with a few stalks of lettuce. I tried the bee hoon in one of the bowls and instant noodle in the other bowl, i actually prefer the bee hoon a bit more.

The braised pork chop tasted flavorful and still retained its tenderness.

The texture of the instant noodle was a bit too soft, it lacked the firmness and not as springy as i liked.

There were still quite a queue waiting for tables when i left.

Most people that i encountered in Hong Kong are actually warmer than the people i have came across in Singapore. Most Singaporeans are not as proactive and not too helpful particularly towards a complete stranger. Perhaps too much frustrations and challenges have made their hearts turned cold.

Next to 5 Shepherd Street, Tai Hang, HONG KONG
Operating Hours: 7.30 am to 3.30 pm (Tuesday to Sunday) (Closed on Mondays)

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