My first week in Hong Kong found me in kind of a foodie haze. All the cheap and delicious snackies. All of the new flavors. I was overwhelmed! My senses numbed and everything sort of blurred together making it very difficult for me to be objective about whatever it was I was eating. By now, I think the madness has come to an end; all thanks to a noodle shop that cut through the bullshit.
Last week Lucky's friend Killer agreed to take me out for some drinks and show me around a little bit. We met at TST station and before going out both decided the time was ripe for a fortifying light lunch. Killer took me to the first noodle shop outside of the station and ordered me a fat bowl of beef noodle soup with everything in it and a plate of leafy greens with oyster sauce. I thought it was just some random noodle spot chosen for convenience but the first bite floored me. When I couldn't speak, a slurping killer confessed "Oh yeah. This is my favorite place. I used to live around here. I only come here for beef soup noodles; the family that runs it is really nice". It was then that I realized the degree to which I'd been f'ng around before.
All of the random neighborhood spots I'd been trying were great (some were excellent) but this place was exceptional. The noodles were thin, ramen style and cooked perfectly. They started with an almost crunchy bite then, as they sat in the soup, mellowed into a perfect al dente. The soup itself must have been stewing for days. Although the broth was not dark the taste was so rich and beefy it tasted like sucking on a marrow bone. Paper thin slices of beef floated in the soup their connective tissue having complelty melted away leaving little pools of unctuous lip-smacking goodness floating on the surface. In the soup were pork balls, fish balls, pork wantons, shrimp wantons and a big sheet of tofu skin. The best bite of the whole meal for me was the shrimp wanton. The wantons themselves were huge, just slightly smaller than my cell phone. The noodle was delicious: paper thin with a slight bite. Inside each wonton wrapper were curled whole, or barely chopped large shrimps. The shrimps were perfectly, barely cooked and unbelievably fresh. The wrinkles of the wonton skin held just enough rich beefy broth, the firm shrimp providing the perfect pleasant little crunch. A perfect bite.
Also, the place was cheaper than the other noodles I'd been eating. Thank god for those too few moments in life when the best is also the least expensive. So now I'm ratcheting up my networking skills and getting all of the local recommendations I can handle. Once you've tasted the level of what Hong Kong has to offer you never want to go back. This weekend Killer, Lucky and their boys Rainbow Rider and Piano are taking me out for some more local snackies and I cannot bare the waiting much longer. I'll keep you posted. Now I'm off for my morning egg tart and milk tea...