Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hong Kong - Sing Kee Seafood Restaurant 勝記海鮮酒家

For city folks, it's not often that you get a chance to get out to the New Territories to enjoy a touch of nature and eat by the water.  Saikung isn't far from the madding crowds since it's become such a popular weekend destination for local families, especially those with dogs.  I swear there are more canines than humans walking on the Saikung promenade.

Of course, Saikung also promises some of the best hiking trails in the territory, and of varying levels of difficulty so there's something for everyone.  You can also take the boat to Kau Sai Chau for a game of golf on the 2 scenic courses a mere 10 minutes away on the water, if you can secure a booking, that is.

Late risers that we are, and it being Easter Monday, gorgeous sunshine beating down with a subtle breeze, it was a brilliant top-down drive day and perfect for a late and lazy seafood lunch and stroll (perhaps dodge since the crowds were out in full force).

View from sitting outside of Sing Kee
All these years, I've only tried the crowded restaurants along the promenade and was no longer impressed after the first experience more than 10 years ago.  This time, we decided on the far end of the promenade, supposedly where Sai Kung's promenade should have started decades ago.  Sing Kee looks out onto boats docked in what looks like a makeshift marina, but it is all rustic and set the backdrop for a lovely al fresco experience.

白灼蝦 or quick blanched Prawns
This is almost the quintessential starter to any seafood meal in Hong Kong.  It may look boring (and it is if executed poorly or if prawns are not as fresh as they should be) but Sing Kee's version was actually very good.  The meat of the prawns left the shells with one flick (sign of ultra freshness) and the quick blanch did not age the meat, retaining a fresh, natural sea-sweetness that was very enjoyable.  So good that it was easy to forget the usual soy dip that accompanies the dish.

豉椒聖子 or Steamed Bamboo Clams with Black Bean Sauce
Again, the clam was very fresh and cooked to the perfect point that is crunchy without being chewy.  The sauce was very tasty although the consistency was a touch heavy.

椒鹽鮮鮑 or Salt/Pepper Baked Abalones
This was the favorite of the afternoon.  A huge dilemma whether to stuff ourselves with more than 2 each.  Any fears that the abalone would be tough was quickly put to rest.  Our teeth sank into a crunchy, sweet sucker from Dalian, China, that had layered on textures of tasty crispiness from the deep fried bread crumbs laced with salt and pepper.  So easy to pop into the mouth, chew and savor.  This alone, would be good reason enough to visit again.

豉油皇炒麵 or Dry fried egg noodles with Premium Soy
To finish, one of my favorite Hong Kong carbo dishes.  This is definitely all about execution.  Sing Kee's version was tasty but paled in comparison to Yuet Wah Hui in Causeway Bay.  It was definitely tasty, with hints of the smoky wok it was in, but a tad greasy.  Perfection should leave the base of the serving plate dry, and only slightly stained from the dark soy.  Still enjoyable though, just had to leave the base layer untouched.

Original Flava with Mochis and Cookie Crumbs
And in the spirit of the froyo movement, we went to Mr. Froyo to pick up dessert.  Original flavour with toppings of mochi balls coated in sawdust, and cookie crumbs.  Not bad, but not as good as Yogo.  Still made for a sweet ending to a relaxing afternoon.  Perhaps next time, we might think about doing the hiking thing first before stuffing our faces...

Sing Kee
G/F, 33-39 
Sai Kung Tai Street
Sai Kung
Tel: +852-2791 9887

Mr. Froyo
Shop 65, Sai Kung Villa
Fuk Man Road
Sai Kung
Tel: +852-2388 7848

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