M&C Duck

May 15, 2014 · 0 comments

in Food, Hong Kong

This was a restaurant that didn’t appear in any of my research (probably because I wasn’t actively looking to find a restaurant like this). We chanced upon it because we were hungry and there was nothing else available at Harbour City. So we really weren’t expecting anything when we walked in.

Anyone familiar with Hong Kong would recognise that M&C Duck belongs to Maxim’s chain of restaurants. Decked out in minimalist-chic decor, the restaurant appears to target the younger/adventurous set, who have no qualms about modern Chinese (read: fusion) food.

I was impressed with their attention to detail – from the adorable duck chopstick holder, to the duck on their plates and cups; it was more elegant than tacky.

M&C Duck

M&C Duck

We randomly picked out things that looked/sounded appetising. So we ended up ordering:

Bean curd and vegetable rolls
This cold dish tasted interestingly… raw. It wasn’t bad, but neither was it fantastic. We liked that it was refreshing, but would have enjoyed it more if it had been accompanied by some kind of sourish or spicy condiment.

M&C Duck

Fried brown rice with vegetables
This simple dish was incredibly moreish and the clear winner of the evening. The candied walnuts were a great touch and because there was no meat in it, it wasn’t heavy on the palate. We loved it so much that we spent half the time trying to figure if we could replicate this at home.

M&C Duck

Stir-fried string beans with minced pork
This was also another simple, everyday dish that was particularly flavourful, all thanks to the mei cai (preserved vegetables).

M&C Duck

Peking duck
The main attraction did not disappoint. With a generous serving of crispy skin, just the right amount of fat and more than enough meat for us, we gleefully savoured each roll that we had meticulously prepared for ourselves. I personally don’t believe it’s the best Peking Duck I’ve ever tasted, but it certainly satisfied.

M&C Duck

Because it was such a hit with the mother and godmother, at their request, we went back to M&C on our last day in Hong Kong. Without hesitation, we ordered the fried brown rice with vegetables again. We also ordered:

Grilled spare ribs in cranberry sauce with apple salad
Using cranberry to recreate this fancy version of sweet and sour pork meant that we could feel less guilty while sinking our teeth into the tender chunks of meat. And if you need more convincing that this dish is “healthy”, there are strawberries in this too.

M&C Duck

Baked eggplant and seafood in hot garlic sauce
We specifically chose this because the godmother missed eating spicy food. That said, it wasn’t nearly spicy, nor was it garlicky enough. Don’t get me wrong – it tasted great. But I guess I had a very different understanding of “hot garlic sauce”.

M&C Duck

With its solid offering and casual-yet-stylish ambiance, this is definitely one restaurant I’d be glad to revisit each time I go back to Hong Kong.

M&C Duck
Shop 3319
3/F Gateway Arcade
Harbour City
(MTR: Tsim Sha Tsui)

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Without a doubt, breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. Warm croissants, pancakes, cheese, eggs, bacon. OMG, bacon. If it’s on the menu, I’d almost always order the all-day breakfast. That said, I tend to have a preference for “western” breakfasts. But because we were in Hong Kong – one of the two food capitals of Asia (Singapore being the other one) – I made sure we stayed away from the buffet spread in the hotel, and hit the local joints instead.

Our first morning, we hit a small establishment that introduced me to the most amazing you tiao (dough fritters) I’ve ever had in my life. No kidding.

Wai Kee Congee Shop
82 Stanley Street
(MTR: Central)

Wai Kee

I’m not the biggest fan of congee. But I’m a HUGE fan of you tiao. And with so many blogs waxing lyrical about the you tiao served here, I was determined to try it for myself.

The verdict? You can believe what you read on the Internet.

(At least when it comes to the you tiao at Wai Kee Congee Shop.)

These crispy, doughy sticks are so divine, I could have easily eaten 4 of them if it weren’t for the huge bowl of flavourful congee that I’d also ordered. I kicked myself for not trying the you tiao first. Otherwise, I would’ve suggested that we shared the congee so I could ingest more of this sinful deliciousness.

The congee was good too, and got a seal of approval from the mother and godmother. But we all agreed that the you tiao was the clear winner. We also ordered the zha leung (dough fritters in rice flour roll), cos all the other local patrons in the shop had one on their table. The man who served us teased my horrid pronunciation of “zha leung” and tried teaching me, refusing to walk away until I got it right. Thankfully, it only took me two tries.

I’d totally recommend hitting Wai Kee Congee Shop if you’re ever in Hong Kong. It’s as old-school as it gets so you get an authentic experience eating here. The congee packs a real punch, and it appears that the fried noodles are popular too. Did I also mention the divine you tiao? ;)

Hokkaido Dairy Farm Milk Restaurant
8/F The Loop
33 Wellington Street
(MTR: Central)

Hokkaido Dairy Farm Milk Restaurant

Hokkaido Dairy Farm Milk Restaurant

We shared a lift up to this outlet at The Loop with a local couple who discussed 24′s revival. In that short ride up to the 8th floor, I’d wanted to kick them. Twice. Firstly, they couldn’t believe that Jack Bauer is back. (And why not?!) Then, they got the title of the new season wrong. It’s not 24: Another Day. It’s 24: Live Another Day. Get it right, man. Sheesh.

Anyhow.

Our second morning was all about thick french toasts and scrambled eggs. The milk tea here was particularly good (probably because of the type of milk used), otherwise this has “comfort food” written all over it.

The french toast was decadently thick with a slather of kaya (egg & coconut jam) in between the slices. We enjoyed the fluffiness of the scrambled eggs, but I’ve personally tasted far better ones (till now, none has come close to the ones made by my cousin-in-law, Lukasz, who needs to make them for me again when I visit them later this year :p).

I liked that this outlet was small and didn’t seem to draw a huge crowd. But it was also a little too modern, and made me miss the chaotic charm of cha chaan tengs (tea restaurants).

Macau Restaurant
25 Lock Road
(MTR: Tsim Sha Tsui)

Macau Restaurant

We wanted to stay within Tsim Sha Tsui on our final morning, so we asked the concierge to point us in the direction of the closest cha chaan teng. He told us about Macau Restaurant, whose name I’d remembered seeing in my travel research.

Till then, the mother and godmother still hadn’t tried bo lo bao (pineapple buns), so I was happy to see it on the menu. They wanted congee again, and because of my general weakness for you tiao, I insisted that we try some. Alas, it was ordinary and made me miss Wai Kee’s version tremendously.

I got somewhat concerned when a huge group of tourists walked in. Fortunately, the congee didn’t disappoint and the godmother enjoyed the massive bo lo bao enough to ask if they have them back in Singy. The crispy bun with condensed milk was a little too chewy for my liking though. Methinks Tsui Wah wins in that department, hands down.

We didn’t get to try the Portuguese egg tart, which appears to be one of their more popular items. Overall, it’s a decent joint and probably worth a visit if you’re in the area.

Tomorrow’s Hong Kong post: more food.

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Because she knew I didn’t have dim sum at Mandarin Court earlier this week with my buddies, my mother promptly declared that we would go there for lunch today. I didn’t complain mostly because we both like going there and we’re almost always in the mood for dim sum. :p

(All photos were taken on my BB, so I’ll admit right now that the pictures aren’t great.)

Deep Fried Prawns with Wasabi Mayonnaise

‘Cheong Fun’ Rice Roll with Char Siew

Steamed Prawn Dumplings


Deep Fried Yam Puff with Black Pepper Chicken

Steamed Beancurd Roll with Mushroom

Steamed Spare Ribs with Fish Maw and Pumpkin

As always, everything was lip-smackingly delish, with the prawns being our personal fave (not exactly dim sum, I know, but my mother really wanted it). I’m sure there are better restaurants out there, and I have heard that the food used to be better (back when it was still known as Pine Court), but I always walk away fully satisfied. Besides, dining 35 floors over Orchard Road with very friendly and patient wait staff attending to you will certainly add to the overall experience. So if you’re ever in the area and need a good Chinese food/dim sum fix, Mandarin Court is definitely reliable.

. . . . .

Song of the Day

Carol of the Bells, by Pentatonix

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