263 Queens Road West
Sai Ying Pun
Looks can be deceiving.
In this case it’s a little claypot house called Kwun Kee, on the street side and with tables spilling out onto the road. Filled with locals and with the staff speaking Cantonese, we were lucky
After rinsing off our bowls and chopsticks in the obligatory big bowl (which we pour hot tea into and swish everything around inside to ‘clean’), we settle back and await our food. The one BIG problem of this place? All the dishes come out first… and the actual claypots come much, much later! I honestly can’t see why, because it seems like they put the rice and ingredients into a piping hot claypot and just serve it, so why does it take so long? Anyone know?
Anyway, I adored the clams with spicy gravy. The dish arrived piping hot, a tumble of clams coated in the rich gravy. The clams had a nice bite and no fishy flavour, and went beautifully with the slightly spicy thick gravy. It’s fun digging the little morsels out of their shells, though I wish we’d ordered 2 plates – they were excellent!
Our eggplant dish is interestingly called fish-smelling eggplant, literally translated from Chinese (“yu xiang qie zhi”). Shanghai does this dish too and both countries do it amazingly. I have no idea why, but eggplant is inedible in Australia. I don’t know if it’s the cooking style, or the way it’s grown, but I don’t like the stuff there. But in Asia, it’s flat out amazing! Buttery soft and creamy, and braised in thick gravy. Chris also swears that eggplant’s better in Asia, so with my sample size of two – I’ve declared it a universal truth 😛
I’m in love with their sweet and sour fish, which isn’t on their menu but I specially requested it because I love love love sweet & sour fish – it’s easily my favourite Chinese dish, though I know it’s a total “lao wai” (foreigner) dish and isn’t really eaten nor served in China. I really like the thick chunks of soft flakey fish, lightly battered and deep-fried. Oh it is gooooood. FYI, Kingsford Chinese in Australia is still better, but this one is up there!
And of course……. the claypots. The first one is Claypot with preserved meats and pork ribs. I’m a bit startled by the odd, unidentifed meats in there… which is a preserved waxy sausage (“lup cheong”) and a preserved blood (!!!!) sausage. Plus bony pieces of pork ribs (I get scared of bony meat). They all look weird, and freak me out. So I avoid it and eat just the rice. What you do is pour the little bowl of dark gravy over the claypot, and it soaks into the rice and… crispens with rice against the bottom of the claypot (since it’s sizzling hot). Oooooh that part is good! I never thought I’d like burnt rice at the bottom of the pot, but in this case, it’s the best bit 😉
The second claypot is the Claypot with beef with egg and is my favourite dish of the night. Same claypot concept, but with sliced tender chunks of beef and with a raw egg. We stir the egg gently into the rice so that it makes the rice sweet and creamy, and again pour in the dark sauce. The end result is heavenly. Soft beef paired with moist richly-flavoured rice and crispy charcoaled rice. Ohhhhh it is GOOD! Most definitely going back for more next time I’m in Hong Kong – this is a must-visit place for me now.
At the dodgy little roadside Claypot place
Clams – these were so tasty in the rich gravy. Mmm..
Eggplant is god-awful in Australia, but is always absolutely amazing in Asia!
Sweet & sour fish. Thick tender chunks of fish encased in thin batter. Ooooooohhhh
Some kinda veggies. I didn’t have any, waste of stomach space 😛
Claypot with preserved meats and pork ribs. I didn’t like the meat (too weird)
but the rice was amazzzing with the rich gravy!
Claypot with beef with egg. THE BEST. The egg stirs into the rice and makes
it creamy. I love love love love this dish. Will go back when I’m in HK for sure!
Then we adjourned for dessert at Wagyu’s, an Australian-owned joint. Despite looking posh, the dessert prices are really reasonable (around 60HKD each). I only had a small bite of the others, because mine was the Molten chocolate cake and it was goooood. To be honest, I know these babies are easy and super cheap to make. But I just can’t help myself when I see them on the menu… it’s like I suddenly get tunnel vision and I can only see that on the menu and everything else fades away 😉
Chocolate brownie sundae, very prettily presented
Pavlova with fruit
Molten chocolate cake – this one was MINE, obviously 😉
Very happily fed and fat