Eating Outdoor Street Food Indoors

On Monday night we tried Tung Po (東寶小館), one of the more popular “restaurants” around here. Back in the day Hong Kong had a lot of food stalls out in the open (大牌檔, “dai pai dong“); I remember eating under a tarp in one of these places when I was a kid. Due to sanitation issues and legislation, there aren’t really any outdoor food stalls in Hong Kong anymore, and a lot of these food stalls have moved indoors to “cooked food centres” usually located near or above wet markets. I don’t know if Tung Po used to be outdoors, but they are at the Java Road Cooked Food Centre now helping people relive the good old days.

An Old Tradition
Clean before you eat
Tonight's Menu
Tonight’s Menu
Napkin, Sir?
Napkin, Sir?
Beer in a Bowl
Beer in a Bowl
Water Convolvulus
Water Convolvulus
Pork Knuckle
Pork Knuckle
Razor Clams
Razor Clams
Shrimp and Egg Yolk Dust
Shrimp and Egg Yolk Dust
Ice Bucket
Ice Bucket

Homecooked meal, 5-27-12

We enjoyed a much needed home-cooked meal this past weekend, courtesy of my aunt and uncle. When traveling, pretty much the only option for dining is to eat out, and it’s nice to be able to stay in for dinner every so often.

Recent Hong Kong Meals

A super gallery containing tons of photos from our recent meals!

Tonight’s Dinners

Tonight we did takeout for dinner again, sampling a couple of styles of iconic Hong Kong food: street food, and the “rice box” (飯盒).

Today’s Lunch

Today we tried eating at the Java Road Market across the street from our hotel. We’ve wanted to try it since the last time we were here but never got around to it; after seeing it on Anthony Bourdain’s the Layover, we made a point to go there this time.

The first floor is the wet market where stalls sell fruits, vegetables, meat, and seafood. A place like this is probably where you’d want to buy groceries if you were local.

Once you’re on the second floor, the entire hall is lined with establishments vying for your patronage. Staffers greet and try to convince you to dine in their section.

We decided to try the one that had the most people. It didn’t hurt that the lady was very friendly as well. Two plates of rice and two drinks, $54, and quite good!

Curry beef brisket and tendon over rice:

BBQ pork and preserved/pickled vegetable omelette over rice:

Iced lemon tea, iced coffee:

This was just lunch, can’t wait to go for dinner!

Recent Meals

I’ve had some pretty good meals recently and would like to share them here. First up, Vien Huong (aka VH), probably my favorite restaurant in Oakland Chinatown:

Chow Jew Ho Fun
Chow Jew Ho Fun
Iced Coffee
Iced Coffee from VH

My usual standby is Chow Jew Rice Noodle, but I got the Chow Jew Ho Fun (潮州河粉) instead on this occasion. Of course, gotta have the iced coffee as well.


Next, a homemade steak dinner:

Bone-in New York Steak with Baked Asparagus
Bone-in New York Steak with Baked Asparagus

My buddy from work took me to Ruth’s Chris about a week before this, so I was starting to crave red meat again. It wasn’t Ruth’s Chris, but it was red meat, and it was satisfying.


And now, Korean Cold Buckwheat Noodle with Beef from Seoul Gomtang in Oakland:

Korean Cold Buckwheat Noodles with Beef
Korean Cold Buckwheat Noodles with Beef

It was so hot that day, I had to get a cold noodle. There was actually ice floating in the soup. Add some hot mustard and vinegar, and what could be cooler and tastier?


Next up, Shredded Pork and Tomato Soup Noodle at Ba Le in Oakland Chinatown:

Shredded Pork and Tomato Rice Noodle
Shredded Pork and Tomato Rice Noodle

Tried this place for the first time and it felt pretty authentic. In the middle of Chinatown, a bit rundown, a bit dirty, but delicious food. Pretty authentic indeed. Of course, my rule-of-thumb when in a Vietnamese establishment is to always try and judge them by their iced coffee, and they passed with flying colors.


Finally, some more home cookin’:

Elbow Macaroni with a Fried Egg, Kalbi, and Veggies
Elbow Macaroni with a Fried Egg, Kalbi, and Veggies

My usual routine is to wake up, wash my face, and brush my teeth. Imagine finishing your morning routine and then being greeted with breakfast from your spouse, made with love. It wasn’t dessert, but it sure was sweet.


Life is short. Eat and enjoy the food, and enjoy the company of the people eating it with you.

Ribeye Roast in Red Wine Mushroom Sauce

Ribeye Roast with Red Wine Mushroom Sauce

My dinner tonight, shared with family. It was one of those meals where I spend hours preparing it, and then eating it seems anticlimactic because it’s over so relatively quickly. Also, with all the hustle and bustle in the kitchen, it’s difficult to just sit down and eat. I kept getting up for one reason or another. Maybe in the future I’ll rest myself as well as my roast before I start eating.

Note to self: the Bridlewood Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles was pretty good, in case you want to get another one.