Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hong Kong - Hot Pot Season! 愉記 - my personal fave!

Hot pot shops make a slaughtering this white season in North Asia.  Of course, every region has their own specialties and defining characteristics and Hong Kong is no different.  Having tried a few over the years, it is ironic that the one I like best is in my own backyard in Happy Valley. 

愉記 (Yu Kee) - the English translation is my own.  There is oddly no English version of the name.  But so what.  When you think about the quintessential Hong Kong hot pot, it's about the beef, the soup base and of course, the ability to concoct your own dipping sauces with the variety of condiments they present you at the start!  Soya-sauce based with a splash of vinegar, topped with thick sesame sauce, and given the added kick with freshly cut chillies and coriander and spring onions.  For the brave, there is also fresh or fried garlic bits!

Yu Kee may not always have the best beef but it is pretty darn good.  And coupled with the best satay soup base, it is already half way there.  The other special is the crunchy carp chunks - if you like fish, ask for the belly parts - smooth and crunchy at the same time.  

Of course, the shrimp, cuttlefish, and other freshly made meat balls are competent and tasty too.  

My personal thing is to have a half-and-half (no not milk).  Half satay and half clear soup base like (coriander and century egg works).  Enjoy the above good stuff, add other flavour enhancing or texture making ingredients like radish, fresh bean curd sheets.  End off with satay-laced vermicelli (my Singapore roots) and instant Nissin noodles (my Hong Kong influence).  

Burp up all with a regular bottled Coca Cola .... ahhhh....  let it all settle before putting on your hot pot smelling coat and heading out to brave the cold once more. 

Shop B, No. 13 Yuk Sau Street
Happy Valley
Hong Kong
Tel: +852-2574 7111 

If you must, try Hotpot Instinct only for beef.  Hop Hing is good old fashioned tasting and pretty good but be warned, you don't get to concoct your own dip.  Soya sauce is your only friend - I had to pay for additional spring onions, vinegar and chilies.  

Hotpot Instinct  火鍋本色
G/F,52 Tang Lung Street
Causeway Bay
Hong Kong
Tel: +852-2573 2844

Hop Hing Hot Pot  合興火鍋
No. 4 Lung Kong Road  龍崗道4號
Lung Fung Lau  龍鳳樓
Tel: +852-27166007

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