Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Aside from Tsim Sha Tsui (TST), one of the more famous places for us Filipinos is MONG KOK and it is synonymous with shopping.

And off we are to MongKok, which is just three stops from TST station.
In the MRT to MongKok...

As we were going out of the subway to MONGKOK

MongKok station schedule
Again, I picked up some Wiki knowledge which I dropped here for your information!
Mong Kok (also spelt Mongkok), is an area in the Yau Tsim Mong District on Kowloon PeninsulaHong Kong. Before the 1994 merger, Mong Kok was part of theMong Kok District. The Prince Edward area occupies the northern part of Mong Kok.
The district is characterized by a mixture of old and new multi-story buildings, with shops and restaurants at street level and commercial or residential units above. Major industries in Mong Kok are retail, restaurants (including fast food) and entertainment.
According to Guinness World Records, Mong Kok has the highest population density in the world (mean 130,000 per km2 or 340,000 per mi2) and with a development multiple of four.


The current English name is a transliteration of its older Chinese name 望角 (or 芒角), which is pronounced "Mong Gok" and is named after its plentiful supply of ferns in the past when it was a coastal region. Its present Chinese name "旺角" is pronounced "Wong Gok". The name in Chinese means "prosperous corner".

The area was also called Argyle in English for some time in the past. This name was used for the MTR station in the area, when it was opened in 1979. Also, the office building 旺角中心, which was named after the area, is known in English as Argyle Centre instead of Mong Kok Centre.

Streets and markets

Mong Kok preserves its traditional characteristics with an array of markets, small shops, and food stalls that have already disappeared from other areas in Hong Kong over the past several decades of economic developments. As such, a few of these streets in Mong Kok have acquired interesting nicknames reflecting their own characteristics. Some interesting sites are:
  • Ladies' Street (女人街, Ladies' market on Tung Choi Street) - This market specializes in women's clothing, accessories, cosmetics, and the like. It is open daily from noon to 00.00 a.m. at Tung Choi Street on the east of Nathan Road. Typically, where there is a market, there are also food stalls selling noodles, seafood, andcongee for mid-afternoon or late-night snacks. A grocery market is also located in the vicinity, convenient for consumers searching from a diverse range of items; ranging from vegetables to clothing.
  • Sai Yeung Choi Street South, (西洋菜南街) - A street full of shops selling consumer electronic products, comestics, and discount books, the last of which are usually located on the lower floors above ground floor of buildings.
  • Temple Street (廟街, sometimes referred to as Men's Street), extending into Jordan, is also in the area, however, the area famous for the Hong Kong specific goods are only in the section between Yau Ma Tei and Jordan.
among others....

As soon as I entered MongKong, this is a sad sight I saw...

Of course, we didn't go all around Mong Kok but I was amazed by the spirit of the place.
It was filled with lots of stores - - in buildings and just along the streets, all with the "tiangge" experience as we call it.
It was so bright with all the neon signs and all the people that we saw!

It also had the usual stores like the electronic stores, Fortress and Broadway and the personal beauty shop, Sasa and many more of the name brand stores like Giordano and Bossini.

The first set of stores we saw were selling shoes and while my friends were busy, I went a few more steps away to the Night market area with all the stalls selling cellphone covers, keychains, souvenirs and whatnots.
shoe stores

food stalls

of course, Angry Birds stuff toys and other trinkets

the Night market with the "Tiangge" air... but be careful, haggle to the max even as low as half the price...but make sure you buy after all the haggling OR ELSE, you'll get the ire of the angry stall keeper saying things you don't understand, but you know what she means anyway! Decided to keep away from them! 

We were at the computer side of MongKok.
Mong Kok Computer Centre (旺角電腦中心 )- This three-story computer mall has around 50 to 70 computer shops. They sell various kinds of products includinglaptopssoftwarehardware and computer accessories.

C d C or Cafe de Coral is one of the fastfood restaurants in HongKong.

A lot of things caught my eye - - attractive Chinese signs, interestingly lighted stores and we walked on more to discover MongKok more.

But what caught my attention most was the free spirit of the youth, who just gathered in the middle of the street and danced their hearts away... taking their shirts off in the process.
Of course, a huge crowd gathered around them...I felt a bit old as I went closer to the group!

Break dancing away!

Also in another corner, a group of young men just stood and sang catching the attention of the people.

MONGKOK, another face of HongKong!!!
As the night was coming to an end,
the crowd thinned out just a bit!

Thursday, January 19, 2012


From Din Tai Fung in Silvercord, we moved on to I Square in Tsim Sha Tsui!

As I said, we just followed Anthony C. and trusted where he would bring us. Who were we to question when we had no idea of any Hong Kong restaurants.

Now, we are in I-SquareThis high escalator skips several levels, so we can reach the seventh floor faster
This high escalator skips several levels, so we can reach the seventh floor faster...
I think we reached fifth floor from the second floor?!
We pass this area in I-Square before reaching Praise House. This level is also where the Imax is located.

We now reach the restaurant called Praise House Congee and Noodle Cuisine.
 Praise House Congee & Noodle Cuisine, shop 705, I Square, 63 Nathan Road.

It was quiet here and I see no long queues.
It crossed my mind... I wondered would the food be good?

We were the last to eat, but it was also about 10:25 p.m. too.
Maybe, it was because it was at the seventh floor of I-Square and this level appears to close earlier.

The place is clean with the Chinese ambience and cool. It still had the modern air.
And the people were friendly.

I am not so into congee but noodles is fine for me.
But, here is what we ate...
Barbecued Pork, Chinese style
Funny, I think I got a bit shy and didn't take pictures of the noodle (I should have taken a photo of the noodles!) and the vegetables...

Service was quite fast and we were done in 30 minutes.

I liked the place and the food!


Second night in Hong Kong, our friend brought us to Silvercord  since he wanted to show us what is said to be the Number 1 Restaurant of 3243 Hong Kong restaurants according to TripAdvisor, and this is Dai Tin Fung.

So here we are in Silvercord at Canton Road... 

Din Tai Fung is located at: Shop 130 & Restaurant C, 3F Silvercord, 30 Canton Road, Hong Kong, China.
Tel. No. 852-27306928

Lo and behold!
This is the longest queue that I ever did see and to think it was about a half past nine p.m.!!!
View through the glass: customers in Din Tai Fung

Part of the long queue at Din Tai Fung

and many more!!!

Well, this time, we were hungry so off we went to find another restaurant.

Well, I guess, not this time for the Din Tai Fung Xiao Long Bao!!!

This is the taste of Hong Kong i did not taste...yet!

Sunday, January 15, 2012


As I mentioned in my Hong Kong blogs, I thought I would just sit in my hotel room and immerse myself with the computer after the conference.

However, I met two new friends who decided to make the most of the evenings by enjoying Hong Kong and I obliged.

We just followed Anthony C. because Bong B. and I have no idea about Hong Kong. It was 16 years since I last visited Hong Kong! Other times in between I just passed by the airport -- in transit!

For our first dinner at Tsim Sha Tsui, Anthony brought us to Crystal Jade Restaurant, sounded like one in Manila but the old Crystal Jade is not of the same company.
There is a new Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao in Greenhills, Philippines with this address: 

Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao
Unit 117-121 (near Haagen Dazs and Goodwill Bookstore)
V-Mall, Greenhills Shopping Center
Greenhills, San Juan City, Metro Manila
Website: www.CrystalJade.com
Telephone: +632 570-6910, 570-6912
Operating Hours: 11am to 9.30pm.
Reservations are accepted for a group of 8 or more only.

We went to the Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao at Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong.
Address of the Restaurant: Zone GW 3328, Harbour City, Canton Road, Tsim Sha TsuiHong KongChina
Tel. 852 2622 2699

From Trip Advisor: Ranked #35 of 3,231 restaurants in Hong Kong
Good for: Families with children, Local cuisine, Dining on a budget

Here is a bit of the history of Crystal Jade from the web.
Crystal Jade Culinary Concept Holdings (Chinese翡翠食饮集团pinyin: fěi​cuì shíyǐn jí​tuán) is a restaurant-chain serving Chinese cuisine based in Singapore. The group has restaurants in Asian countries, including IndonesiaMalaysiaThailandHong KongPeople's Republic of ChinaJapanVietnam and South Korea. The group has restaurants and bakeries in the city, Singapore Changi Airport and the suburbs, including JurongWoodlandsToa PayohHolland Village and Tampines.


The company was founded in 1991 at the now defunct Cairnhill Hotel. It opened its flagship restaurant known as Crystal Jade Palace at Ngee Ann City a year later, serving exquisite Cantonese cuisine. That same year, it opened Crystal Jade Kitchen at Shaw House serving affordable Cantonese cuisine, such as noodlesjook, cze char and roasted meat. It opened its first overseas outlet in Indonesia. The group expanded its group of restaurants during the late 1990s opening more outlets across the island.
The group expanded into the suburbs and opened restaurants at Causeway Point and Holland Village in 1999, with the latter being known as "Seafood Kitchen". It was then when dim sum was brought into their "Kitchen" brand restaurants. Long queues started to form at the restaurants during that period of time, and waits can be as long as an hour during peak periods. It opened the Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao outlet serving Lanzhou style la mianjiaozixiaolongbao and northern style Chinese cuisine. Bakeries were also opened, selling Hong Kong-style bread.
Crystal Jade opened a Teochew and Cantonese restaurant in the Paragon in the early 2000s. During the 2000s, the chain expanded in Indonesia and throughout Asia. The chain also opened a Korean restaurant at Ngee Ann City and The Centrepoint.

We were already warned that usually, the very good restaurants would have a long queue and it may about an hour before we could be accommodated.

So we have to get a number from the lady just outside the door of the restaurant. Our friend came back and said, the wait may not be that long because there were only 6 ahead of us.

We were there at about 9:20 p.m. since we went around the malls before going to the restaurant. Good that we weren't too hungry, too.

So we waited, and we saw a big group leave.

And we thought we would be seated soon!

We were wondering now how they called numbers. Maybe, there were two sets or maybe, it depended how many customers left. We never really got to know how they handled the queue, but, the people didn't really complain. 
Maybe, our friend didn't understand the lady at reception.

So, if you already see a long queue, just make sure you aren't too hungry.

It was already 10:04 p.m. before we were seated. That's 44 minutes before we got in the restaurant! And we noted, everyone around was cool.
In the Philippines, I guess, there would be lots of noisy people complaining!
There, those who couldn't wait, just moved on.

Finally, we are seated...
So yummy!!!

And now have our Shainghainese meal. And here it goes...
Xiao Long Bao or soupy Shanghai steamed pork dumplings... this looks like the typical dumpling, but with a very good soup broth within the dumpling!

Xiao Long Bao costs HK$28 for 4, HK$7.7 =US$1

Wanton in spicy chili sauce

Wanton in spicy chili sauce

Sichuan Dan Dan noodles using authentic ‘Lanzhou’ noodles (spaghetti thin egg noodles) with very spicy peanut, sesame broth. Broth is usually made of pork tailbone, chicken, Jinhua ham and dried tangerine peel. 

The Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long bao Dan Dan Noodles cost HK$48.
We can just call it Spicy Beef noodles.

Beef with green onions

Beef with green onions

Shrimp with salted duck egg
And of course, Chinese vegetables...

As I said, I am no good judge of food, but I appreciate eating.
I am glad we were brought there for dinner.
The wait was worth the dinner!
But, you could also visit at less busy hours so you can be served faster.