Danang Food Tour, Danang, Vietnam

Whilst we were in Danang, ‘The Mother’ suggested that we go do a food tour. Believe it or not, I have never ever been to a food tour – ever so this was my first time and it was a brilliant idea and a fantastic way to try the street food of Danang.

We did a our research and we found a few, but the one that suited us and could fit us in was Summer, who is a former foreign affairs professional turned food blogger, she is also a hostel owner and her website is DanangCuisine.com which has been featured in media all over Asia. Summer’s sister, Helen also does the food tour with her, as at the time we were in Danang, Summer was pregnant, so we met the lovely sister Helen.

The tour is based on Summer / Helen’s top 10 favourite dishes, and the tour ‘will take us to shops scattered around the central district, some within walking distance, others a short cab ride away’. Helen picked us up, and we also picked up 4 other guests – it was great to meet new people and learn about their experiences and hear about their adventures.

Tour details: Capacity of 2 – 6 person. There’s one for lunch time (11 – 1.30pm) or evening (6 – 830pm) and price: US45 pax or (980,000VND) inclusive of all food and drinks, transport and photos were taken during the toor.

We started at Quan Ba Vui – they only sell two things here, bun ga (Vietnamese grilled chicken with Vermicelli noodles) or xoi ga (chicken steamed sticky rice)

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We had one each, the xoi ga – chicken steamed sticky rice was a little too heavy for my liking (like any other sticky rice) however, it was tasty, full of flavour and the chicken was tender. Dragon absolutely loved this dish! I didn’t realise how much she loved sticky rice!

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The bun ga – vietnamese grilled chicken with vermicelli noodles was DELICIOUS! silky smooth vermicelli noodles, the soup was clear (with added chili oil) and again the chicken was tender.

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I was so glad that we got to try Mi Quang Ba Vi – it is a Vietnamese noodle dish that originated from Quang Nam Province in central Vietnam. It is usually served in various occasions such as family party and the dish is made with rice noodles tinted  yellow with the use of turmeric and served with shrimp, pork, chicken or even fish and beef. The broth is made by simmering the meat in water or bone broth for a more intense flavour, seasoned with fish sauce, black pepper, shallot and garlic. It is also served with toasted Vietnamese sesame rice crackers, fried shallots and various herbs.

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The condiments – spring rolls, Vietnamese rice cakes (i had originally thought it was pork skin!) and some vegetables

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Mi Quang – superb! It was slightly spicy for Dragon but I know she would have loved the rice noodles! It was cooked to perfection, and one couldn’t help but ‘slurp’ the noodles! The pork was ok but it was the condiments that goes with it that makes this one of my favourite dishes in Danang.

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I was getting full by now, but there were MORE! WE hop out of our van and walked down an alley way and at the end of the corridor there is a bight sign marking our destination, Ba Duong – one of the best places for banh xeo, a crackling fried rice flour crepe filled with bean, sprouts, shrimp, spring onions and mung beans.

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The restaurant only serves banh xeo, which is accompanied by pork skewers, rice paper, and a pork liver and peanut sauce. Helen said that the ‘secret to this place is how crispy the pancake is’.

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As I couldn’t eat prawns, they made a special one for me without prawns

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The way you eat it is, take a rice paper roll, then the yellow rice crepe, and pork skewers, dip it in the sauce. My goodness – the flavours, the crunchiness, the pork – burst of flavours in my mouth. this was excellent and the sauce – i wanted to buy some and bring it home!

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‘The Mother’ wanted to try corn juice – I have to say, I am definitely not a fan. It was sweet, milky, corn-y (is that even a word?). ‘The Mother’ thought it was nice but it was definitely not for me!

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We went to Ba Lan (which ‘The Mother’ and I went previously on our own) to order some Vietnamese pork roll, but this time, it wasn’t your typical pork roll.

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First, pork floss, with the vegetables and pate – this was interesting. I do like pork floss but it was a little weird I thought. Definitely not my favourite type of banh mi.

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Second was just the pate with some chili and now this was delicious! They were tiny and went down so easy! The bread, again that bread was just incredible! Crunchy on the outside and perfect on the inside.

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Last but not least, desert. Helen mentioned that there aren’t many deserts of cakes in Vietnam. They usually just have fruits and we went to Sinh To Che Thai. My glass was filled with jack fruit, avocado, banana, bit of condensed milk and crushed ice! Perfect for the warm weather in Vietnam!

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We met some wonderful friends during the tour, got some pretty good recommendations for where to eat in Ho Chi Min City, so will keep that in mind for next time!

The tour was definitely worth it if you only have a short time in Danang and wanted to try all the local cuisine. Helen, our tour guide was friendly and very knowledgeable. We had a great time, and would definitely do another food tour next time. All the food was delicious, and I am missing Vietnamese food and can’t wait to go back to Vietnam!

Next – our delicious eats in Hoi An and where I had the BEST, seriously THE BEST BANH MI EVER!

Quan Ba Vui

Address: 55 Lê Hồng Phong, P. Phước Ninh, Quận Hải Châu, Đà Nẵng

Mi Quang Ba Vi

Address: 166 Lê Đình Dương, Hải Châu, Đà Nẵng

Quán Bánh Xèo Bà Dưỡng

Address: K280/23, Đường Hoàng Diệu, Phường Bình Hiên, Quận Hải Châu, Đà Nẵng

Ban Lan

Address: 62 Trung Nu Vuong, Danang, Vietnam

Danang, Vietnam

It seems like a life time ago we went to Danang. Life in the GA household is never dull, have been super busy with Dragon, work and traveling a little. Since Danang, we have been to Indonesia for my cousins wedding, and a short trip to Singapore for some eateries. On top of that, we were also in Sydney for 2 weeks, so this blog has been slightly neglected, and I am truly sorry!

Now, Danang, we were here just after the Easter break and I have to say, it is one of the most enjoyable and relaxing holiday we have been too for a while. The three of us, slept so much, ate so much and relaxed so much that we didn’t want to come back home! We had buffet breakfast every single morning at the resort, then when we came home, Dragon asked me where the buffet was! My dear child!

Where we stayed: Premier Village Resort Danang – the resort is beautiful and child friendly (as friendly as it can be!). The resorts all have 3 – 4 bedrooms, however, we only needed one so they closed the other 2 bedrooms, and it was beautiful. We had our own private plunge pool where we swam almost every day, there’s a kitchen for us to cook (which we didn’t of course!) and a kids area for Dragon just in case it rained. There was also a main pool which we frequently visit and the resort was right near the beach, you could pretty much walk to the beach but considering how much Dragon hates sand, we didn’t venture out to the beach. The resort also had activities for kids, kite flying for one, and many more.

Danang1

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What we did: relaxed and swam in the pool every single day. We went to town to eat almost every day, and we did 2 trips to Hoian (which I will post separately!) Hoi an was just beautiful and next time we are in Danang, will sure to stay there!

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What we ate: now the list is long! We had such amazing for that we didn’t want to leave. The resort had great food and we ate at the resort a couple of times that week, but most of the time, we ventured out and even did a food tour! My goals was to have a banh mi every single day, have 7 banh mi’s and believe it or not I did! I simply couldn’t get enough of it!

First day at the resort we didn’t do much, we ate by the pool – the food was pretty decent. ‘The Mother couldn’t go past their chicken burger with chips – chicken fillet with tomato, lettuce on a deliciously soft bun and served with chips.

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Dragon wanted a burger, to be honest, I should have known she would have just eaten the chips!!!! which she did, I ended up eating her burger. Sadly though, the beef pattie was a little dry and disappointing.

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I ordered the meatballs with baguette and Dragon preferred this to hers. The meatballs were succulent and the baguette, was excellent, believe it or not, better than any bread I have eaten in Hong Kong.

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‘The Mother’ was still hungry and ordered a tuna salad. The tuna was lightly crumbed, the tuna itself was fresh and delicious.

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That evening, we were ready to venture out for some local food! ‘The Mother’ was craving pho so Pho 75 – caught a taxi there, which costs more than the food itself! But so worth it.

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They only served pho and it was phenomenal! Best I have eaten, the noodles were translucent, and the broth – it was much cleaner and clearer than the northern cuisine. No sauce required, the broth was just perfect, and the beef was just a wonderful complement. Pho cravings satisfied!

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The next day, my quest for banh mi started! We started with Banh Mi Thit Nuong (banh mi with grilled pork), again we caught the taxi to town, and I found one called “Huong” on the corner of Le Loi and Le Thanh Ton. Apparently, this is quite popular with the school kids, as there are schools nearby.

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We sat on one these small stools, it was perfect for Dragon and she absolutely loved it! Now, the banh mi itself, DELICIOUS! Filings of grilled pork, vietnamese mint, papaya pickle, bit of butter, pate and chili sauce (mine had no chili sauce as i shared it with Dragon).  Seriously superb, nothing I have had before. The banh mi I am used too from Sydney was with different cold meats, but this grilled pork was just divine. I asked for an egg also, and boy it was just magnificent! The bread, yes, again, the bread, was just fantastic! I have truly been deprived of good fresh bread in Hong Kong.

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This is the lady that makes the banh mi – she was uber friendly, even gave Dragon a free bread!

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‘The Mother’ on the other hand, was on the hunt for the BEST vietnamese coffee, he had coffee at least twice a day, but I am still not quite sure which one he liked! A few hundred metres away from this banh mi stall, there is a coffee shop for the life of me I forgot the name. However, we ordered some Vietnamese coffee – served cold and with condensed milk.

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I couldn’t go past this taro milk tea, with taro pudding – surprisingly good!

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The next banh mi place we tried was bnah mi thit nguoi (banh mi with jambon) and the main ingredients are jamon, cha and pate – no other herbs but long strips of chili, cucumber and spring onion. The stall we went too was called Ba Lan. We didn’t eat at the stall as there were no seats and Dragon was getting a little restless so we took it home to eat.

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WOW! This was definitely ‘The Mother’s’ favourite, we bought four and he ate 3 in one sitting! ok, maybe 2 and 3/4. The bread was excellent again, and the filing was just superb. I was told that it is the BEST banh mi thit that there are already numerous fake banh mi Ba Lan – this is the original place! Definitely worth visiting.

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The best banh mi that I ate was definitely at Hoian – which I will post later on. We went to a pretty decent restaurant on our last night in Danang which was recommended by a few people called Aspara Restaurant – mix of Thailand and Vietnamese cuisine. The menu was vast, it took us a while to peruse the menu, however, the best bit, there were performances which Dragon loved – she didn’t want to eat and kept dancing. i have to admit though, it is a bit of a tourist place, but the food was definitely good!

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We started with these fried salt and pepper tofu, the tofu was silky smooth and cut into bite sizes.

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I ordered the fried chicken with rice for Dragon, the fried chicken was pretty decent, as good as the one you get in Sydney.

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‘The Mother’ wanted some seafood – started with some pipis served in a clear, gingery brother, the broth was tasty and the pipis were a wonderful addition.

Danang FOod

The scampi cooked with onions and garlic were definitely the highlight! So much flavour and the scampi itself was deliciously succulent.

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Last but not least, the vegetables.

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It was possibly our most expensive meal in Danang. It was good to try but I definitely still preferred the street food! We did one food tour, which will be in my next post, and also Hoian – such a beautiful place!

In the mean time, where can I get a decent banh mi here in Hong Kong?

Premier Village Resort Danang

Address: Vo Nguyen Giap Street, Ngu Hanh Son District, Danang, 055000, Vietnam

Ph: +84 511 3919 9999

Pho 75

GA’s ratings: 8 / 10

Address: 91 Ngo Gia Tu, Danang, Vietnam

Ba Lan 

GA’s ratings: 8.5 / 10

Address: 62 Trung Nu Vuong, Danang, Vietnam

Aspara Restaurant

GA’s ratings: 7/10

Address: 22 Tran Phu, Danang, Vietna

Ph: +85 511 561 409

Kin by Us, Macquarie Park

My goodness, it seems forever since we were in Sydney! At the rate I am going, I will be back from my Sydney trip in June and I am still writing about my last visit! Whoopsie! Now, Kin By Us, is run by My Kitchen Rules 2014 couple – Uel and Shannelle – I have heard wonderful things about this place, especially the menu which has a Chinese and Korean influence. But best of all, it was in my old hood where I grew up!

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The place was incredibly busy when we rocked up at 11, we waited for a good 35 mins before finally seated but it was worth it! We started with this cool fretting water-my-melon drink. It had a combination of watermelon and all the different types of melon in it. It was definitely refreshing and Dragon couldn’t help but drink most of it – there is no sharing in her vocabulary!

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I couldn’t go past the Snap Crackle Plop (AUD10) – only available after 11.30. Chicken rice, chicken skin and a slow cooked onsen egg! My goodness, this was AMAZING – and who doesn’t like chicken skin right? My only gripe, wish there was more chicken skins!!! The chicken rice was definitely legit, Dragon demolished this and I am pretty sure I only had one piece whilst Dragon had the rest!

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The congee (AUD17) was beautifully presented. There was way too much shallots for my liking, but I did enjoy the pork floss and not to mention the fried bread dough. There was mix reviews on this congee, one absolutely enjoyed it, the other wasn’t a big fan of pork floss. I thought it was nice, but I am not much of a congees person, except for when I am sick, and I would definitely eat this if i was sick!

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Another favourite of mine is the Waffle Belly (AUD17) – delicious succulent pork belly and onsen egg on top of potato waffle! My goodness, that pork belly was just too die for and the perfect gooey onsen egg was a wonderful complement. This was definitely my favourite!

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Oh and those who likes Durian, they have durian affogato and my goodness – this was excellent. I would come back just to have the waffle belly and durian affogato!

Service was excellent and friendly. Come early, as it does get extremely busy. Also, parking around the hood is NOT easy. I went here twice and the first time I drove and ended up parking in Macquarie Shopping Centre, the second walked! Definitely a good addition to Macquarie Park and can’t wait to go back and try it!

GA’s ratings: 8 / 10

Kin By Us

2 Saunders Close

Macquarie Park, Sydney, Australia

KIN By Us on Urbanspoon

Bread Street Kitchen, Central, Hong Kong

My goodness, it certainly has been a long time since my last post, almost a month!!! Things has definitely been busy in the GA household. We just got back from an 8 day trip to Danang, Vietnam, now if you haven’t been, it is an excellent place to relax, unwind, and spend time with the family – more to come!

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Now Bread Street Kitchen part of the Dining Concepts group, is the not so new restaurant by Gordan Ramsay. It’s been opened for a while now, and I was fortunate enough to go one day for lunch – reservations has been hard as it is always fully booked! They have managed to replicate the original London decor almost exactly to Hong Kong – a blend of vintage and modern feel and offers diners an upmarket British gastropub fare.

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Everything on the menu sounded wonderful, I wanted to try everything but it was the burger that definitely caught my eye. We started with some warm bread, fresh out of the oven – yum!

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Now the burger – Bread Street Kitchen short rib burger, monterey jack cheese, spicy sriracha mayo (HKD188) – oh my my! Served with wedges, I knew I was going to hit food coma and a very very slow afternoon at work! Even before I began to attack the burger, sauce was already dripping – I knew this was going to be a messy one and indeed it was. It was fantastic though, the pattie was soft and cooked the way I like it, the bread was soft and slightly toasted, and the spicy sriracha mayo was a wonderful compliment! It was absolutely delicious that I devoured all of it without asking my dining companion if she wanted some!

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My friend, R, opt for Dingley Dell pork chop (10z) (HKD228) and it was indeed a generous serving. It came with a few garnishes and sauce of your choice – peppercorn, red wine marrow or béarnaise sauce.. hmhmmhhm red wine marrow! The pork was incredibly tender that it just melted in your mouth. You can’t get pork chop wrong but this was impressive and R demolished it!

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Unfortunately, we were pressed for time, the service wasn’t slow, it was actually quite good (staff were friendly) but we were both running late to lunch, and I had to attend a meeting (which I almost fell asleep!) so didn’t have time for desserts, which is a shame. All the desserts sounded great, and I look forward to going back again. There’s definitely a next time!

GA’s ratings: 8 / 10

Bread Street Kitchen

Mezzanine Level, LKF Hotel,

33 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2230 1800

Mister Gee Burger Truck, Leichhardt

I have seen so many pictures of Mister Gee’s Burger on my feed that I had to check it out for myself on my trip to Sydney. The menu is minimal, burger, french fries and a milk shake. The burger menu changes weekly, and on the night we went it was serving the fat boy burger, chili cheese fries and baklava shake.

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The queue when we rocked up was quite long, thing we waited a good 30 – 40 mins for our burger and seating is minimal, however, we were lucky enough to have found a seating. Majority of the people had takeaway, but I can’t imagine driving back 30 mins and eating a soggy burger! I had originally thought about eating in the car also, but with kids, I don’t think that would be very comfortable!

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The Fat Boy Burger – Oh my my… beef patty, melted jack cheese, oak leaf lettuce, pickled cabbage some sauce which I couldn’t figure out what and bacon jam all in a soft light brioche bun. The patty was cooked well-done (i would have preferred it medium rare but i would assume it would be difficult to have it cooked different ways!), the pickled cabbage i love, it really gave it that added sour flavour and the caramelised bacon was sweet and smokey which was a wonderful addition to the burger. It was messy, it was big, and it was frigging delicious!!! Burger cravings SATISFIED!

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The chili and cheese fries was also excellent, my SiL and I couldn’t stop eating it, and neither did our kids! They absolutely loved the fries.

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The baklava shake was a little on the sweet side for me, but my brother, F, really enjoyed it!

Glad to have tried this burger, it was definitely tasty and those chili and cheese fries were excellent! Would I wait again for 30 – 40 mins? Probably not, but that’s just me, however, I wouldn’t mind dropping by after a big night out and need some grease!

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

Mister Gee Burger Truck

315 Parramatta Road

Leichhardt, 2040

Ph: +61 411 092663

PS: do check their website on Facebook or Instagram, they have previously moved location since they first started.

Work in Progress, Sydney

Sorry for the lack of post. Things in the GAs household has been chaotic. Dragon and I have been sick 6 times in the past 10 – 12 weeks, yes that’s every fortnight that we were sick! It was crazy, my body needed some rest and a reboot!!! Work has been chaotic also, and I was in Sydney for a fortnight to visit family and work! It has been a crazy couple of months, hopefully it will die down soon and I can focus on the more important stuff in life, like health, food and Dragon!

This post is quite late, and there’s only a week or so left of the pop up, Work in Progress, which is head by Patrick Friesen of Papi Chulo and on the menu is fried chicken, noodles and many more!

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The menu is split into three sections, snacks and vegetables, noodles and FRIED CHICKEN! There are three types of fried chicken, and can be ordered by the half serve of the whole chook.

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We started with the agedashi’ish tofu (AUD14) and OMG, this was absolutely amazing! Silken tofu cubes which was have a crisp batter was covered with dried bonito flakes, sweet mayo and BBQ sauce. I could definitely have eaten the whole plate myself! Probably my favourite on the menu

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We ordered the sichuan duck and tofu lo mien (AUD16) – the noodles are al dente (i prefer it a little more soft) which was served with generous servings of duck and cubes of tofu. The sauce is a tad spicy, and garlicky which was a wonderful complement.

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Lastly, the reason why we were here, fried chicken ginger nuoc cham (AUD16) – the batter deliciously crunchy and meat succulent (except for the breast which I thought was a little dry but I am never a big fan of chicken breast!)

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Everything on the menu sounded delicious, the wonton noodles also looked great, it’s a shame that I didn’t get a chance to come back and try their other dishes. If you haven’t been, definitely worth going for a visit before it finishes. I do hope that it does become permanent, I wouldn’t mind some of that agedashi’ish tofu now!!

There’s no reservation, we came at about 12pm and it was quiet, but by the time we left about 1pm the restaurant was quite busy!

GA’s ratings: 7 / 10

Work in Progress

50 King Street

Sydney

Work in Progress on Urbanspoon

Social Place, Central, Hong Kong

Newish restaurant located in the L Place in Central. It’s a new dim sum place, contemporary Chinese cuisine with a modern, healthy (no added MSG) and unique twist. I caught up with the lovely J for lunch, the restaurant offers dim sum and other dishes, but we were here for one thing, dim sum and wanted to try lots of it.

I love the plates – at first I thought there was something on my plate, a fly perhaps? I also love the décor, it’s a beautiful, open space, there’s a ping pong table that has been converted to a dining table which dominated the floor.

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We started with duck salad – so much color on a plate and it was beautifully done.

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Our favourite was the truffle shitake buns – I literary thought they were mushrooms but they were steamed buns in the shape of mushrooms and they were surprisingly good, and the truffle really gave it a nice kick.

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Next the turnip cake, pan-fried, it really gave it a nice crispy exterior and soft-pillow-y on the inside.

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I definitely couldn’t go past these pork belly slider babies. The pork belly were soft and tender, which was perfect with the soft bun, the preserved vegetables were a wonderful complement. We devoured these fatty pork belly babies within seconds and wanted more!

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The seared Chinese pancakes were a little disappointing I thought. It was pretty much roti and shallots, which I could probably have done at home.

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Another disappointing dish was the steamed glutinous rice ‘siu mai’. It lacked flavor and was bland.

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For desserts, we thought we would get the steamed custard buns and boy oh boy it did not disappoint! Flowing lava of custard and egg yolk, my goodness, I wanted more. It was the perfect way to end a delicious meal.

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Majority of the dishes I thought was good. This was my second visit (didn’t take photos during the first one) and thought it was pretty decent. I love the open space, there are no trolleys here at this dim sum place, but most places in Hong Kong don’t have trolleys anyways. Will be back to try their other dishes, even maybe for dinner.

GA’s ratings: 7 / 10

Social Place

2/F, The L. Place, No.139 Queen’s Road Central (next to The Center),

Central, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 3568 9666

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