Saturday 6 December 2014

Hong Kong 2014 Day 2 - Argyle Centre, Kam Wah Cafe, Via Tokyo

The weather was so hot and humid during the August period when we were there. And so the second day of our trip was to mainly eat and shop, cover mainly Mongkok and Causeway Bay. Since I was travelling with my parents this time, I didn't cover much eateries as planned. As most of them needs quite abit of walking.

Rise and shine in the early morning to have dim sum for breakfast over at Mongkok area before shopping at Argyle Centre, a wholesale shopping mall which is similar to Bangkok's platinum mall.

Took a shot of the homz and mum at Jordan station, which is also where we stayed.

First stop for breakfast is at Dimdimsum Dimsum speciality store (點點心點心專門店). They are known for their culinary skills and affordable dim sum dishes. As well as amazing crispy rice rolls. We arrived exactly at 11am where they've just opened and there is already a queue outside.

You'll be given a order chit upon entering where you'll tick those that you want to order. Not to worry if you don't understand chinese, English menu is available as well.

Table full of dishes for the 4 of us, morning hunger aye lol.

Pan fried carrot cake, was wow by the aroma of it. Crispy on the surface and moist within. And I would suggest dipping it with the spicy sauce given to enhance the taste.

The highlight - Crispy Rice Roll w Shrimp! Thin and smooth hand made rice roll skin wrapped the crispy layer within. I could still remember the first bite vividly in my mind, soft & crisp. A must order whenever at Dimdimsum.

As usual Siew Mai, in a typical dim sum meal. In Hong Kong, this is no exception either.

'SO CUTE', this is what came into our minds when it arrived. I saw it on IG that the Liu Sha Baos (custard egg yolk bun) served at Dimdimsum are in the shape of piglets. No doubt they look real adorable, but the taste was unfortunately far fetch from what I had previously in Jordan.

Overall, the dim sums here were affordable and tasty. If our tummies had more space, I would order more :P They have a few branches in Hong Kong itself but we went to the outlet located in Mongkok:

DimDimSum Dimsum Specialty Store
112 Tung Choi Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon
Mong Kok MTR, Exit D2
 Opening Hours: 11:00am - 2:00am daily

After satisfying the stomach, time to head over for shopping at Argyle Centre, just an alley away from dimdimsum stall. Argyle Centre is somewhat like Singapore's bugis street and Bangkok's platinum mall, selling inexpensive ladies' clothing, shoes and accessories. A trip to Mongkok isn't complete without heading to Argyle Centre, one of the famous shopping malls.

Argyle Centre (旺角中心)
688 Nathan Rd, Mong Kok 
Mongkok MTR, Exit D2
Opening Hours: 1130am - evening
*Note that most shops open after 1230pm

Argyle Centre is the ideal place to fullfill your wardrobe and shopping needs, if you're interested in ladies' clothing, apparels, bags etc. You may find some similar clothing that you see on blogshops, just that it's way cheaper here than Singapore. Anyway, we left with several shopping bags! :P

And so I heard the highly raved 冷面 (Cold noodles) is located at the ground floor of Argyle centre. It's mad popular and I was dying to find out how good it was. The stall named '百味' can be easily spotted with people queuing for it. Upon ordering, you get to choose your preferred noodles, ingredients and sauce to go along of your choice.

Finally get a pack out of it and I've to admit I'm not a fan of it. It could be the wrong selection of sauce or ingredient, but I'm definitely not 'wow' by it. First timers can join in the hype and try ya.

My itinerary for this trip is definitely for the gluttons, back to back eating. For tea, we settled down at Kam Wah, known for their freshly baked Polo Bun and Traditional egg tart. And those who have been here vouched that Kam Wah serve the best Polo Bun in the whole of Hong Kong.

Kam Wah Cafe (金華冰廳)
G/F of Pioneer Centre
 47 Bute Street, Prince Edward
Prince Edward MTR, Exit B2 or Mong Kok East MTR, Exit B3
Opening Hours: 8:00am - 10:00pm daily

Your trip to Hong Kong wouldn't be complete without having these freshly baked Pineapple bun (Polo Bun). Pick your choice between a slab of butter or pork chop. Butter polo bun over anything!
 It was very crowded by then and we were squeezed into a table. 

Another must order, French Toast stuffed with peanut butter filling and a big slab of butter. So good!! Though I've been to HK several times, I've to say this is one of the best polo/ toast I ever had till date.

The only thing I didn't like is the milk tea they served, it's really 'gao' and bitter for my liking. Anyway freshly baked polo buns served, can you imagine how tasty this is?!
Sigh, I'm craving for it now.

In Hong Kong, most signboards are read from left to right, and we almost missed it! I would suggest saving a soft copy or print out the shop's front view for reference. So here's Kam Wah's.

Trained over to Causeway bay for shopping and to check out Hello Kitty Le Petit Café.
 Finally found them at the basement level of SOGO but realised it's a takeaway store T.T

Causeway Bay area for some shopping - Times Square, SOGO Department Store etc. After which we walked over to Via Tokyo for desserts, which is about 15 mins walk. Partly we were lost so takes longer.

Thanks to Google map, we arrived shortly. Via Tokyo - a Japanese desserts cafe, specializes in matcha desserts and soft serve, along with traditional Japanese sweets. They're known for their highly raved matcha soft serve and it's one of my 'must go' places in HKG,

Via Tokyo Dessert
1A-1B, G/F., Leishun Court, 106-126 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay
Causeway Bay MTR, Exit F1, near Lee Gardens One & Lee Gardens Two
Opening Hours: Mon to Thu & Sun: 09:30 - 22:30
Fri to Sat: 09:30 - 23:00

Super tiny area with limited seating capacity. Thankfully, we waited awhile and got seated shortly. 
But the queue gets longer after, that was probably after 7pm. 

One of the recommended dish was Okome Shiratama Azuki Mix Soft Cream (HKG50). A mix of vanilla and matcha soft serve, with shiratama (mochi), japanese rice crisp and a chunk of azuki beans. It was nothing out of the world, but I must say the matcha soft serve is rich in flavour.

Another recommended one on the menu was Fruit Matcha Soft Cream Shiratama Anmitsu (HKG50). 
It's matcha soft serve served with fruits, mochi and small but of azuki beans.
Nothing impressive, would prefer the first one though.

Overall, the coffee and desserts were rather decent, slightly above average. You would notice that it's not really cheap too, about $10SGD for one serving. But definitely worth coming if it's your first time.

In Hong Kong, Ichiran Ramen is a must! Besides having several stores all around in Japan, this is Ichiran's first international branch in Hong Kong, Causeway Bay. Have tried the one in Tokyo and Ichiran hands down, the best tonkotsu ramen I had till date. More on Japan's Ichiran here.

Ichiran Ramen 一蘭
Shop H & I, Ground Floor, Lockhart House
Block A, 440 Jaffe Road
Causeway Bay MTR, Exit C
Opening Hours: 24 Hours

Exact seating concept as the ones in Japan. The only difference between Ichiran in Hong Kong and Japan is the ordering process through vending machine. In Japan, you order and pay through the vending machine and in Hong Kong, you eat and pay later. 

A bowl of piping hot ramen at Ichiran can be ordered at a few easy steps. Circle your preference on the order chit, I suggest having 'half' of Ichiran's original red sauce. A little spice in the broth enhance the overall taste. Then hand over your order slip to the staff and pay at the cashier counter once you're done. 

Ever since my trip to Japan last year, it's great to taste Ichiran once again. We went back to Ichiran twice for supper when in Hong Kong. I'm not sure is it just me or anything, I feel the standard in Japan is better than HKG. 
What do you think? :)


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