Macau – Day 2

After a good night of sleep, we went to the restaurant in our hotel for breakfast. Breakfast is served from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. For a breakfast buffet, there was a good variety of items and cuisines to choose from. The most popular was the noodle station; there were people constantly waiting there. I found the quality of the food to be just so so. Most items looked better than they tasted and seemed really oily.

After we checked out, we stowed our luggage with concierge and took a taxi to our first attraction, Monte Forte. There was some traffic although it was already past morning rush hour so it took us about 15-20 minutes to get there.

There is about a 5-10 minute walk up few flights of steep stairs before you get to the entrance of the Monte Forte. Since it was raining that morning, the path was particularly slippery. Monte Forte is a UNESCO Heritage Site and was built originally to protect the Jesuits from pirates in the 16th century.  A few of the 32 cannons remain on site. You can also catch a great glimpse of the city from this mountain top.

If you have time, you can also visit the Museum of Macau which is also located here.

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From here, it is only a quick walk down to the Ruins of St. Paul, Macau’s most famous landmark. It is the remains of the Church of St. Paul and St. Paul’s college and was built in the 16th century. I think they were doing some repair works when I was there because there were lots of bamboo shoots sticking out from behind.

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If you walk further down the path for about 5 minutes, you will end up at Largo Do Senado which is a popular shopping and dining area. There are some small shops here such as Sasa and Bossini. Some old architectures remain here such as the St. Dominic Church and the Santa Casa Da Misericordia that are worth checking out.

We stopped here for lunch at Ou Mun Cafe which was a highly recommended restaurant on Tripadvisor. The restaurant is located on a smaller street which is only 2-3 minute walk from Senado Square. When we arrived, there were only 1-2 tables there.

For drinks, we ordered hot chocolate and chrysanthemum tea. These drinks were decent.

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As we were still pretty full from breakfast, we ordered a seafood rice to share at the recommendation of the staff. The seafood rice had a good quantity of seafood (i.e. squid, shrimp, mussels and fish) and the tomato broth that it was served in was rich. It was a little pricey for $208 MOP though.

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The dessert was MY favourite. We ordered one biscuit mousse – serradura to share and it was just amazing. The dessert was so creamy and fluffy but it was not overly sweet. Every bite seems to just melt in your mouth. I really wish I had a smaller breakfast so I could have eaten one all by myself! Definitely must try this dessert when you visit Macau!

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After a very satisfying lunch, we were on our way again. We were off to the Mandarin House and was going to catch a taxi. When we got on, the taxi driver told us that it was too close and it was only a 10 minute walk. So, we got off and started heading in the direction that he suggested. Our GPS was not working as we did not have wi-fi so we stopped and asked someone that we passed by to make sure we were on the right track. She told us that it was more like a 30 minute walk…Since we were half way already, we continued on.The street was very narrow and less traveled by tourists.

After what seemed like forever on a hot sunny day, we finally arrived at the Mandarin House. The Mandarin House is one of the oldest and largest residential propertoes in Macau which was built in the the late 1800s. It was taken possession by the government in 2001 and construction was done to preserve the building to its original state. The house was not very busy when we visited, with only a 1-2 other tourists. The house does not have air conditioning and fans were turned on to keep cool. You can take a quite stroll in the house and the souvenir shop which should take you around 30 minutes. They have some unique souvenirs which are only sold here.

There are many other historic landmarks located along this street. From The Mandarin House, it is about another 20 minute walk to the end of the street. On our way, we passed by the old tax office which was previously housed in a Portuguese-design building.

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The final attraction along this street is the Ma Jo Temple. It is a small temple but there were many people. The scent of incense was very strong here and it was very smoky so after a quick stroll and few pictures, we took off for our next attraction.

It was very difficult for us to find a taxi along the street. Many taxis went by but they were occupied. After 30 minutes, we finally flagged one down that was vacant and went to Rampa Da Guia. The staff at the Mandarin House told us that this attraction was very pretty and couples come here for their wedding photos.

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However, when I arrived, I was quite disappointed. From our drop off point, we had to walk uphill for another 10 minutes before we reached the lighthouse. When we got there, we found out that the lighthouse was only opened on the weekend as they were doing construction during the week. It also did not look half as nice as it did in the photos.

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The lighthouse was constructed in 1864 and was built on the highest point in Macau on Guia Hill. There is also a chapel here which was constructed between 1622 and 1638. You can go inside the chapel to take a look at the frescoes. There is also a small information center here where you can read up about its history and enjoy some air conditioning.

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We walked to a hotel at the bottom of the hill and took a taxi to our next attraction, Grand Lisboa Casino. This casino is the largest and most famous hotel on the Macau Peninsula. The old and the new casino are side by side and connected via a walkway. My friend and I do not gamble so we just walked around to experience the gambling atmosphere and see the extravagant architecture. These two casinos did not feel as modern and spacious as the ones in Taipa but they do have many ancient Chinese artifacts here which are probably in the millions of dollars.

It was still early for our dinner reservation at A Petisqueira so we went to Studio City to grab a drink and relax for a bit. We got lucky and caught the shuttle bus back so we saved ourselves a few bucks.

On our drive back, we passed by the Macau Observatory Tower. I’ve been here a few years ago so we decided to skip it on this trip. It is worth checking out as the bottom of the tower is all glass.

With much difficulty, we finally got a taxi to A Petisqueira which is one of the highly recommended Portuguese restaurants in Taipa near Souvenir Street. Good thing we made phone reservations two weeks in advance as the restaurant was fully booked that night.

The restaurant is pretty cozy and was fully occupied when we arrived. The restaurant has simple decorations with the traditional red checkered tablecloth commonly found in Portuguese restaurants.

We ordered lemon tea for drinks and was given some free bread to start. The bread was a little tough but was served warm.

We ordered the Portuguese sausage ($72 MOP) and codfish cakes ($45 MOP) as appetizers. The sausage was very salty but delicious. It paired nicely with the bread. It was my first time trying codfish cakes. I found it to be very crispy and mushy but it was not too bad. The texture felt a little more rough relative to deep fried fillet.

For entree, we shared the Portuguese Steak which was highly recommended by my cousin. The steak is hidden underneath a piece of thinly sliced ham and served with a layer of baked potatoes and mixed vegetables. I really liked the potatoes as they were very creamy. The steak was not bad but would have tasted better if it was cooked medium rather than fully cooked.

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After a delicious dinner, we took the shuttle bus back to Studio City and hung out there briefly. Then we went back to our hotel to grab our luggage and took a taxi to the terminal to board our ferry back to Hong Kong.

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Although our trip was quite rushed and it was difficult to get taxis at times, I had a great time! It was nice for us to experience the glamourous side of Macau on day 1 when we were enjoying the hotel facilities and luxury shopping experience but also be able to see the city’s historic landmarks and architectures on day 2. The city has something for everyone along with great food and souvenirs! A 2 day trip is enough for Macau so it is perfect for a weekend getaway or a short excursion if you are visiting Hong Kong!

Macau – Day 1

I found a good deal for Macau while I was in Hong Kong but it was very difficult to find someone available to go on a weekday! Good thing my friend from Malaysia was also interested in going so I was finally able to go!

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COST

We only booked 2 weeks prior to going so we missed out on the really good deal. The cost was only $1,139 HKD per person which included one night stay in Hard Rock, round trip ferry tickets and C section tickets for the House of Dancing Water show! It was sold out so we settled for another option which was still a very good deal – $920 HKD for one night stay at the Sheraton with breakfast/lunch buffet and an additional $749 HKD for B section tickets for the House of Dancing Water and a lunch buffet at Studio City. That’s only about $250 CAD which you definitely won’t be able to get something similar in North America!

The package is a really good deal but the down side is that you have to physically go to the travel agency to buy the tickets and then to pick up the actual vouchers afterward. You also have to go to several places (i.e. terminal, hotel concierge, ticket station) to exchange for the actual tickets. Of course, in Asia, there are line ups for everything…so the time spent in preparation for the trip was alot….!

FERRY

We booked the 9:30 a.m. vessel to Macau from the China Ferry Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui which was only a 10 minute walk from our hotel. There are limited sailings from this terminal (5-6 a day) so we had to get off at the Shun Tak Center in Sheung Wan coming back. That terminal has sailings every 30 minutes and go past midnight so you have many options.

For point of arrival, you should choose the Outer Port if you are staying on the Macau Peninsula (i.e. where the Ruin of St. Paul is) and the Taipa port if you are staying at majority of the hotels.

I would suggest that you reserve your sailing time early (i.e. 1 day prior to departure and as soon as you check in the hotel) to ensure you get the sailing time you want. Both our vessels were quite full since it was peak season in the summer.

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Make sure you arrive 10 minutes before your sailing time as you have to go through customs and get your seat assignment prior.

We had stayed up late the night before planning and packing so we were quite tired. We took a quick nap on the ferry and arrived in Macau after a 60 minute ride.  The ride was quite smooth so I did not experience any motion sickness.

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TELECOMMUNICATION

If you are using your HK phone network, this would be considered roaming. Therefore, if you will be needing data or will need to make local phone calls, you can purchase a sim card at the vending machine located on the side of the arrival building. The plans are not cheap and most hotels have wi-fi so if you can live without having data on the go, you can just save yourself a few bucks. We accidentally bought this wi-fi card which proved to be completely useless and cost us $10 HKD per day.

CURRENCY

Macau uses the currency MOP but they also accept HKD. The exchange rate is 1:1. Note that they do not accept $10 HKD coins. You may be given MOP by local vendors when they give you change so make sure you use it up before you leave.

TAXI/SHUTTLE BUS

There are free shuttle bus service offered by most hotels to and from the hotel to the ports. Some of the bigger hotels such as Studio City also offer drop-offs at places such as City of Dreams, 官也街, and Hotel Sintra (Macau Peninsula). They run every 15-30 minutes. You can go online and check the schedules.

As we were going to some of the attractions which were not close to these drop-off points, we resorted to taking the taxi for most of our trip. Taxis start off at $17 MOP and go up $13 MOP for every km. However, taxis are actually very difficult to flag down unless you are at the hotel taxi stands.  Even when we were at the stand, we waited almost 15 minutes to get one. If possible, call the taxi company and request for one. This will save you some waiting time!

ITINERARY

Our first stop was 官也街 (Rua do Cunha), also known as “Souvenir street”. This street sells  all of Macau’s famous souvenirs (i.e. egg rolls, black sesame candy, ginger candy, etc) and has some of Macau’s famous Portguese restaurants (木偶葡國餐廳).  The two most famous souvenir shops are Koi Kei and Choi Heong Yuen bakery but they have shops throughout Macau. Rua do Cunha is not a very long street so you only need about 1 hour.

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After you buy your souvenirs, make sure you visit the shop above the Choi Heong Yuen bakery. It consists of 3 floors and they sell really cute souvenirs such as do-it-yourself stamp playing cards and unique postcards. They also have a leather workshop on the top floor where you can sign up for lessons.

After shopping, we headed to Studio City for our lunch buffet. Unfortunately, they were all full that day because I did not make reservations ahead of time! You can still dine at any restaurants inside the hotel using the voucher which is good for $500 HKD. After going through the menus online, we decided to dine at Bi Ying since it was the more affordable option.

We picked a few items on their menu but the server said they were sold out. It turns out that they were about to change their menu and many of the ingredients they were no longer carrying. After three attempts, we finally placed our lunch order. We ordered barbequed honey glazed Iberico pork, steamed coral clam dumpling, beef brisket with white radish and a gingseng chicken soup. The bbq pork was super delicious! It was cooked using a brick fire stove and it was prepared by a Michelin star chef.

After lunch, we walked over to our hotel and checked into our rooms. It was very busy at the front desk; it took us almost 30 minutes to check in! Although our lobby was not half as nice as the one in Studio City, our hotel room was very spacious and comfortable. The size of the bathroom was almost the size of my hotel room in Hong Kong…

We went for a quick dip in our swimming pool which was really nice on a hot summer day. There were several pools but the pools were very shallow so it was not very good for swimming laps.  However, there are some lawn chairs for you to do some suntanning. We wore our bathrobes to the swimming pool which was a horrible idea…The swimming pool is about a 5 minute walk from the elevator and you must pass through the conference rooms before hand. If you do not want to look like an idiot like me, better to wear your regular clothes on top of your bathing suit.

Our show time for the House of Dancing Water was at 5:30 p.m. so we had to rush over to the City of Dreams after we got changed. We had seats in the third row on the side of the stage which was also in the splash zone. I thought the seats were just as good as section A but you just do not get as wet. The seats were automatically assigned so I guess we got pretty lucky! The show was 1.5 hours and it was just amazing! I’ve seen a few Cirque du Soleil performances but I think this one was far more exciting and engaging. It was really cool how they were able to change the stage set from a deep diving pool to a shallow pond  in a matter of seconds! When we were there that evening, they had a session where they did motorcycle stunts. Apparently, they do not do that at every showing so we were very fortunate. If you are in Macau, this is a must-see attraction!

After the show, there was an announcement that people with House of Dancing Water tickets can ride on the ferris wheel at Studio City for free as it was the hotel’s 10th year anniversary. Everyone rushed over, hoping to get on before the ferris wheel closed at 8:30 p.m. Although the line was very long, we only waited 30 minutes before it was our turn. There was not much to see but it was nice to see the city from up top and it was interesting to experience how the ferris wheel moves in a “8” shape rather than a circle (I couldn’t tell the difference). If I had to pay for it separately, I probably would suggest to skip it.

It was almost 9 p.m. before we had a chance to sit down and grab dinner. I don’t know if I was just too hungry but the meat paste with rice on lotus leaf tasted very delicious. After the ferris wheel, we went over to Canal shopping malls in the Venetian hotel to eat in the food court and to try the Lord Stow egg tarts! There was a short line for it but it moved pretty quickly. They sell for $3 MOP each and are said to be the best egg tarts in Macau! The egg tarts were relatively more creamy and smooth than the ones I’ve had before.

After eating, we did some shopping before the mall closed at 10 p.m. Then we made our way back to the hotel. It was a rushed but eventful day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wooloomooloo Prime – Tsim Sha Tsui

This is my last food blog from my 2 month work term in Hong Kong! Of course, I saved the best for the last!

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Ever since I came to Hong Kong, I’ve always wanted to eat dinner here because I can see the restaurant from my office window everyday and I’ve heard that the view of the city’s skyline is fantastic. Therefore, for my cousin’s birthday, I decided to take her here for a treat!

Ambiance – 9/10.   As the restaurant is located on the 21st floor of The One, there is a clear view of the city’s skyline if you sit by the windows. Therefore, I made a phone reservation a week in advance and requested a window seat for my cousin’s birthday. We were given a table where both seats were facing the window. We arrived half an hour before sunset so we were able to see the day and night view of the skyline plus the sunset! I subtracted a point here as the patio door was kept open sometimes and it got quite warm at times. Also, the windows were slightly dirty which made my pictures of the skyline a little foggy.

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Food – 9.5/10. Our bill came up to $1,656 HKD which was less than what I expected given the location and the food we had. For Vancouver, you would have definitely paid more. My cousin and I each ordered a non-alcohol drink. This was the first time I had apple juice with actual apples inside. For appetizers, we shared the garlic prawns ($185 HKD) and lobster bisque ($135 HKD).

The garlic prawns were jumbo-sized and tasted very fresh. It was cooked just right and paired nicely with the lobster bisque sauce. I also enjoyed the lobster bisque soup which had large chunks of lobsters and just the right balance of creaminess. Some lobster bisque could be too thick that it becomes filling but this one was just right.

We each got a 12 ounce, medium-cooked, Australia steak (1 was 150 days and the other was 200 days aged) with a side of french fries and mushrooms. The steak came with four types of sauces (mushroom, gravy, red wine, and au jus). My favourite was the mushroom sauce but the steak was already very flavourful on its own. It was grilled just right and it was very juicy and tender. The 200 days-aged one was slightly more tender than the 150 days one but not noticeably enough for the $80 HKD difference.

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The sides were surprisingly very big. Had we knew that it was so big, we may not have ordered it. We could barely finish our steak, let alone the sides! However, both the sides were very delicious. The french fries were very powdery and the mushrooms were very juicy and flavourful.  Unfortunately, we were too full to try their desserts.

Service – 8/10. It appears that most servers here are foreigners (i.e don’t speak Cantonese). Overall service was good but at times, it was difficult to find a server to get help. Service quality was a little lower than I would expect for a fancy restaurant such as this one. However, they did redeem themselves with a nice surprise for my cousin. They took a picture of us with a Polaroid camera and gave the picture to my cousin in a nice photo frame which says happy birthday. It was very sweet of them to remember that we came here for a special occasion!

Good to Know! – Make a reservation and request for the window seat! If it is busy, they will request you to return the table after 2 hours. They asked me if we would be done in 2 hours but since we went on a week day, there was no line up so we were able to sit for as long as we want.

Overall – Highly recommend this restaurant for steak and the great view!

Ngong Ping 360, Hong Kong

I have been to the Big Buddha more than 10 years ago when it was only accessible via bus. This was my first time seeing it after they have added the cable cars and the Ngong Ping village.

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Prior to going, we bought our tickets online for the 360 Fun pass which includes round trip on the cable car and admission to Walking with the Buddha, Stage 360 and Motion 360 for $230 HKD. Buying it online saves you $25 HKD and allows you to reserve the viewing time for Stage 360. They were doing a special promotion when I went so for one of the trips on the cable car, you  get a free upgrade to the crystal cabin.

The cable car boarding point is a 5 minute walk from the Tung Chung MTR station. When we purchased our tickets online, we had to specify a boarding time for the cable car. However, it turns out that the time does not really matter; you still have to queue in line. Luckily when we went on Saturday at 2:00 p.m., there were not too many people. We waited about 5 minutes before getting on.

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The cable ride is about 40 minutes long and you go across 3-4 mountains. We went on a clear sunny day and the view was fantastic. You could see the dense forests on the mountain and a clear view of the Hong Kong airport.

After we disembarked from the cable car at Ngong Ping Village, we went to see the first show, Walking with the Buddha. This is a 5 minute clip of the life of Buddha which has showings in different languages. At the end of the clip, you are given a slip of paper where you can insert into the Buddha’s hand for good luck.

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We still had some time before the showtime for Stage 360, so we walked around the shops in the village. There are a few shops toward the entrance which sell ice cream, desserts and savoury food. Further back, you will find some shops that sell Hong Kong souvenirs and Buddhism-related items. There are also some interesting shops that sell fans, toys and fortune cats.

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After doing some shopping, we went to see Stage 360. This is a 10 minute show that illustrates how sound effects are created in movies. There is some interaction with the audience and is quite entertaining. We did not end up seeing Motion 360 as the next showing was much later and we had to head down for dinner. It is a show which takes you on a flying journey. Frankly, I did not think we missed much. If I did not get the 360 Fun Pass, I would not bother with the shows. It is not worth the admission price!

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Finally, we had to embrace the big challenge! 268 steps were waiting for us before we can get up to the Big Buddha! Luckily there was some shade when we walked up so it was not as bad. It took us only about 10 minutes! From the top, you can also see some other stone statutes and get a glimpse of the Po Lin Monastery. The Big Buddha was the same as how I remembered it 10 years ago.  After snapping some pictures, we walked down which was much faster than going up!

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We walked over to the Po Lin Monastery and took a quick stroll. There is an area at the back of the temple where you can enjoy some vegetarian dishes. The temple was quite smoky as many people were busy burning their incense. After a few photos, we headed back to the cable cars.

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On our way back, we saw some free-roaming cows. Many people were trying to get a picture with them. There are also some food stalls here where they sell the famous tofu pudding made from mountain water. It is suppose to be smoother because of the water used.

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When we left, it was already 5:30 p.m. so there were not too many people as it was near closing time. We decided to take the crystal cabin. You have to go to the counter to get a pass by showing them your ticket. The crystal cabin was quite neat as you could see the forest and water through the glass bottom of the cable car. It was interesting but I do not think it’s worth the extra $70 HKD per person.

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Overall, I had a great time and I think Ngong Ping 360 is worth checking out when you are in Hong Kong. However, I would highly recommend going later in the day when it is not as hot. Also, the queue for the cable car will be shorter. Alternatively, you could take the bus up to the village which is also less expensive. I would recommend allocating 4 hours for this attraction.

 

Dazzling Cafe – Tsim Sha Tsui

There’s lots of hype for this restaurant and Teawood so I wanted to try it before I go. My cousin said Dazzling Cafe is the better of the two so I picked this place for dinner on a Monday night. We arrived at 7:15 p.m. and there was a short queue. I waited about 10 minutes.

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Ambiance – 8/10. The restaurant serves Taiwanese & Western fusion dishes. They are well known for their desserts and teas. The decor of the restaurant is elegant and classy. Even the servers are dressed as maids. There is a small dining area located outside the restaurant in addition to seats inside.

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Food – 8/10. This restaurant is quite pricey. I paid $250 HKD for a 3 course meal plus a 10% service charge.

I ordered the caramel tea which had a very strong taste. They serve it with sugar, milk, the teabag plus a piece of marshmallow. The server said the marshmallow was to be eaten with the tea.

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My friend ordered the mango slush. The slush is filled beyond the rim so you have to drink the top portion fast before it melts all over the table!

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My friend ordered the truffle french fries as she was not too hungry. Truffle bits were sprinkled generously on the surface of the fries.

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For entree,  I had the chicken linguine with lemon pesto. The flavour of the pesto was very rich. The chicken was pan seared and was very juicy.

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For dessert, I ordered the chocolate Belgian waffle with mochi filling. This is one of the most expensive desserts I’ve ever had at $113 HKD! However, it was well worth the price. The waffle was served warm and soft.  The mochi filling added a chewy texture which was really neat! This dessert is very big and filling so I suggest sharing this with a friend.

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Service – 7/10. Most servers speak Mandarin here but only one or two speak English. We also had to follow up on our food couple of times. They also served our food in a strange order; they started with my entree, then my drink and then my friend’s appetizer.

Good to Know! – They do not take reservations and everyone has to be here before they seat you. Seating time is 90 minutes. The restaurant is located on L3 in The One shopping mall.

For their waffles, you can choose between soft or crispy. As for their toasts, there are 3 options to pick from. Their toasts are very popular as well.

Overall – A good place to grab a drink or dessert but they have limited options for entrees.

Sai Kung, Hong Kong

We picked the day with the best weather to hit up Sai Kung. However, blue skies and white clouds mean hot weather! We took the mini bus from Mong Kok to Sai Kung which took us approximately 45 minutes.

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Our first stop in Sai Kung was to grab lunch. You will spot the restaurant, S2 Seafood and Wine, as soon as you walk past the mini bus stop. The restaurant has a mix of patio seats which are shaded or seats indoors. There is no air conditioning but the open breeze keeps the restaurant cool. Food is alright but don’t expect too much. Prices are relatively cheaper than other restaurants in Sai Kung.

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My cousin ordered deep fried chicken wings and french fries.

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Her friend ordered the stir fried rice noodles.

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I had the pan-seared flounder fish with orange pumpkin sauce.

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After lunch, we took a small boat to one of the neighbouring island ($30 HKD round trip) from the terminal. There are many stalls that offer these boat rides so take your pick.

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After 10 minutes, we arrived at Kiu Tsui Island. There is a government-maintained beach here (i.e. lifeguard on duty). Since it was such a nice day, there were many people playing in the water.

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The island is connected to the Kiu Tsui country park which can only be accessed during low tide.

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The few times that my cousin came here it was high tide so we were very lucky that day!

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It takes about 30 minutes to walk back and forth from the park as it is difficult to walk on the loose rocks.

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After being in the hot sun for one hour, we almost had a heat stroke! After grabbing some water from the concession stand, we went back to the “terminal”and boarded the boat back which only comes every 30 minutes.

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After we got off the boat, we went to the Starbucks to cool down and took a break.

Once the sun was down and it became cooler, we came back out to look for a restaurant for dinner. 20160619_184538_resized.jpg

Sai Kung is known for their seafood so you must try it here! Restaurants showcase their seafood in large tanks where you can pick your own seafood and have it cooked.

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We went to this restaurant that was slightly further away from the main street as it was recommended by my cousin’s friend. It is only $208 HKD per person (after 10% service charge) for a set meal which is a very good deal! The seafood was very fresh and sweet. Proportion was good as well.

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The combo first comes with a soup which has tomatoes, potatoes and crab. It was very sweet and had a strong taste of seafood.

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Next is the lobster with e-mein in cheese sauce. The shell was already broken for us using  clamps so it was easy to get to the meat.

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Third dish was the uni fried rice. There is a good amount of uni so you at least had one in each bite.

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Fourth dish, which was also my favourite, is mantis shrimp! This shrimp is so difficult to eat as you have to be careful of the sharp needle-like thorns they have on their legs and tail. 20160619_190133_resized.jpg

Next is the steamed barramundi (盲曹魚). The meat was very soft and fresh! There is also not too many bones.

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More seafood to come – steamed abalones! You are suppose to get it out using wooden skewers. Also love this as you cannot find this in Vancouver!

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Our last seafood dish, steamed scallops with garlic and vermicelli.

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The combo ends with pan fried rape flower (油菜). The veggie was pretty sweet.

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After a very fulfilling meal, we took a stroll along the pier. It was much quieter in the evening as everyone had gone home or was eating dinner.

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The serenity was nice and much appreciated when you are in a bustling city like Hong Kong!

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Enmaru Izakaya – Causeway Bay

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My friend picked this restaurant after reading good reviews on Openrice and wanted to try out their frozen beers. We made reservations for 3 at 6:30 p.m. on a Saturday but when we arrived, there were still many tables available. 

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Ambiance – 9/10. I really like the decor of this restaurant. There are pictures of Japanese beer, Japanese beer bottles and beer label stickers all over the restaurant. In the middle of the restaurant, where I originally thought was a sushi bar area, is actually an open fire where they grill entire fishes on skewers. I have seen this in Japan before but never inside a restaurant in Hong Kong!

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The restaurant is very spacious and the seats are very comfortable. There is no time limit so it is a good place to have a few drinks with your friends.

They also have a sign for each table with reservations. For our table, since it was reserved under my name, they had a picture of Ms. Chan Chan from Macdull! It is such a cute idea!

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Food – 9/10. Prices are on the high end as one would expect from a restaurant located in Time Square in Causeway Bay. Our bill came up to be $900 HKD for 3 people which actually is not too bad given its location. There is a good selection of snacks on the menu but I felt it was lacking in rice or noodle dishes which are more filling. I think they only have 1 or 2 rolls to choose from.

We ordered a few dishes to share. The first one was a grilled chicken wing. The wing was a decent size and not too dry.

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Next was the deep fried drum stick. It comes with mayo and was very juicy. There is 3 in one order.

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Deep fried fish cake was also very good and tender.

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Next was asparagus wrapped in pork. This was also very juicy as well.

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They served the minced chicken meatball and enoki mushroom wrapped in bacon on the same plate. I like the meatball as it was firm enough that it does not fall apart when you eat it but still really tender inside.

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Grilled shitake mushroom which came with bonito flakes.

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For second round, we ordered the tuna tataki. This one was very fresh.

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The only bad item we had that evening — beef with wasabi sauce. The beef was way overcooked compared to the one in the menu.

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And now…for our favourite dish of the evening – sweet potato in honey cream sauce. This was more like a dessert. The sweet potato was very soft and paired really nicely with the creamy sauce. It was also not too sweet.

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Of course…the frozen beers! We ordered the mango and lychee flavoured beer. The lychee one had a very faint taste of lychee so you could taste the beer whereas the mango one had a very strong mango flavour with a light taste of beer. Highly recommended!

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Service – 9.5/10. Overall, pretty good service. The waiters came by often to fill up our tea.

Good to Know! – They accept phone reservations but they only hold your table for 10 minutes. They have happy hour from 5:30 – 7 p.m. which will save you a few bucks on each skewer! The restaurant is located on the 10th floor of Time Square. Take the elevators on the side so you don’t have to waste time taking the escalators which go to each floor.

Overall – Definitely a restaurant worth trying while you are in Causeway Bay! Come here for a light snack and a drink!