175 Changle Lu (长乐路175号)
For my Hong Kong food fix, I normally hit up Cha’s, famous amongst Hong Kongers and I’ve always loved their food. However, my last 2-3 visits there, I noticed the quality has changed / gone down. Most evidently is the Bo lo bao, a fluffy bun with a crusty sweet top and stuffed with a big pat of butter. Normally their’s is divine, but the last few times, it was soft and chewy, a strange orange-y colour, and the top wasn’t crusty! FOR SHAME. In fact, the last time we went, it was so bad we sent it back and refused to eat it. I’ve also heard stories from others that various dishes have slid down in quality, so I went on the hunt for another Hong Kong place.
I decided to try Xinwang, since it’s so close/walkable from our place. And crap I wish we’d discovered it sooner!!! EVERY dish we ordered was fantastic. Very close to all those “cha can tings” (street-side cafes) we went to everytime I’m in Hong Kong. Best of all, their double-storey restaurant seats a lot of tables, so we don’t need to wait for a table. Their staff are also very friendly, knowledgeable and efficient, we were pleased with their service.
We kicked off with a Toasted sandwich with scrambled egg and ham. The bread was fluffy and beautifully brown, and we enjoyed the thick pat of scrambled egg. I would probably have preferred spam instead of ham in there, so will remember that next time :P
Toasted sandwich with scrambled egg and ham
Next up was THE BEST dish of the night. The Pork chop and onion bun. It was even better than the ones I had in Hong Kong! The bun was really soft and fluffy with a sprinkle of sesame seeds, and housing a THICK pat of pork. The pork was lean, tender, and oh so tasty… it was luscious. A tumble of soft onions added a nice bite and flavour to the bun. It was perfection. I’d go back for this any day.
Pork chop and onion bun
We had a shared plate of Crispy skin suckling pig, and Roast duck. I loved the tender pork with exceedingly crispy skin, though it was probably the day’s worth of calories with its thick layer of fat ;) We specifically asked for “breast meat” with the duck and were glad we did, as the pieces came out chunky and lean and full of meat (I’m always wary of ordering roast duck because we always end up with tons of bones, and I have a phobia of food on bones). The dish was served with a side of spicy mustard (for the pork) and sweet plum sauce (for the duck).
Crispy skin suckling pig, and Roast duck
I heard that their Shrimp wonton noodles were good, so decided to order a bowl. It came out very unimpressive.. but one bite and I was sold. The tender noodles still had a lovely bite to it, and the broth was subtle yet still flavourful. There were 4-5 large wontons – each one had a big prawn inside and was encased in silky wonton skin. Oh the dish was divine!! I slurped every bit right up. Quite amazed that a (relatively) healthy dish could taste so good…
Shrimp wonton noodles
And of course, how can we resist their Instant noodles with spam and fried egg… considering it consists of ALL of our favourite foods? ;) It doesn’t disappoint. A sizable bowl comes out with sqiggly noodles, and 2 thick pieces of spam. An egg cooked to perfection rests on top, with a still-runny yolk. Freakin’ fabulous.
Instant noodles with spam and fried egg
We’re pretty full by now, but we simply cannot resist getting a serve of Bo lo bao each. Airy light bun with a crispy sugary top that crumbles in your mouth when you take a bite… we stuff a pat of chilled butter into the middle of the hot bun where it becomes gooey. I think we may be in Heaven. It’s spot on perfect, exactly what a Bo lo bao should be, and we’re completely sated.
Bo lo bao with butter
We wash it all down with a shared Iced lychee drink. It comes in a tall milkshake glass, and curiously with a spring of parsley on top. There is a strong lychee flavour but be warned, it is fairly sweet so have it at the end of the meal or your food will taste a little strange alongside this drink.
Iced lychee drink
It’s an impressive meal, and we’re stoked with all the dishes. The prices are also very reasonable. A lovely place for either lunch or dinner, and we like the casual ambience and cleanliness of the place (they’re given an ‘Excellent’ rating by the government for hygiene standards). I’m already planning on convincing Mum and Dad to go back there with us in the next few days :P