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Posts Tagged: seafood

I am so far behind… I have not really posted about our company sponsored taipei trip or the Chengdu trip that we just came back from.  So… the next bunch of posts will be both these events when I get to some pics.

Let’s start with some food pictures of the last Taipei trip.  Basically, my wife’s company held a leadership offsite meeting for the China team and all spouses/kids were invited.  So, while the hardworking spouses are having daylong meetings (albeit… eating nonstop still), the trailing spouses and kids are wined and dined through 3+ days of touring around Taipei.  I cannot even imagine the amount of cash dropped on us… I mean, we had a full size luxury coach bus for maybe 15 people???  Plus, we had a Taiwanese tour guide and a helper guide from Guangzhou with us at all times.  Plus, we had the most amazing lunches and dinners possible.  I mean…. these are not your normal fancy lunches… these are like 12 course behemoth meals where by the end of the 6th dish/course, we are all full, but muuuuust push on to get through the end.  OMG.  I ate so much and despite all the good food… I never imagine that I would say, I don’t want to see another abalone or lobster tail again.  Lol.

So, here are some crappy phone pics to kick us off on the last Taipei trip.  I have to get the rest of the pics from my small camera to post more… so you’ll all probably see a couple Chengdu posts in between.

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After teatime, we headed to the pool bar and had some happy hour drinks.   Pretty cheap for sure!  At 50% off, it was only $8 usd for two cocktails and a tiger beer.  We then got ready for our dinner reservation at the Rhu restaurant and had us a 4 course meal…. beautifully presented and really tasty food!  We all had fish or tiger prawns as our main and all the fish were cooked just right.  Pics depict just some of the dishes we ate tonight.  Next post will highlight our view during dinner…. just out of this world sunset.

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Landed at Sydney and after checking into the hotel… we went out to the Fish Market for a late lunch!  The wife missed it last time and so had to make sure she gets to try a giant mud crab.  This time… we went bigger and got a 1.692 kg crab and had it cooked salt and pepper style.  Soooooooo good.  We also had 18 oysters (3 different kinds) for only 26 AUD.  Incredible when you compare prices to restaurants by the hotels.

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We went to try a restaurant this morning for dim sum… it’s a new branch of the restaurant group Nanhai Yucun Restaurant located at GTLand Plaza by the Flower City plaza.  Nanhai Yucun is suppose to be a really nice seafood restaurant that’s gotten tons of awards including some Chinese 5 diamond award.

Anyways, on to the food.  The dim sum here can be summed up as simply delicious.  Along one bank of the restaurant are giant fish tanks filled with stuff.  There is a big lobster in that tank with my name on it for a future dinner visit!!!  This location has been open for about 7 months (we asked the manager), but I’ve only really noticed the sign the past couple of months.  So, because of that, it’s not super full yet and is a nice space to dine yet.  Service is also high because of the lower volume right now.  Price-wise… yes, it’s a bit more on the expensive side, but I feel it’s worth it for the high quality of food.  Oh!  They have a free fruit bar… so.

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Weeknd of food continued on Saturday as we met up with my wife’s work team for a seafood feast at (sp?)Nansha Shijiu Tong (南沙十九涌).  Basically, imagine a live seafood market at this riverside harbor which has tons of fresh seafood from the ocean, rivers, and lakes.  Similar to fishmarkets in HK, you can bargain and buy your seafood at the stalls and then bring them to a restaurant where they charge a cooking fee to cook them anyway you like.

The harbor is about 1 hour away from Guangzhou and when we got there, our friends already picked up all the fresh seafood.  We walked around a bit and took some pictures.  I forgot to take pics of the final dishes… shame on me, I know.  Trust me, there were so much food… like over 10 dishes of stuff.  We had 3 different types of fish, a platter of mantis shrimps, platter of freshwater shrimps, 12 small crabs, platter of snails, platter of clams, a couple veggie dishes, and etc.  OMG…. seafood overload!  It was obviously very tasty as everything was alive and kicking just minutes earlier and I tell you, I ate so much shellfish…. I actually had a mild case of allergies when I got home!  

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HK 3/10 Continued - So, we headed back out to find dinner after a few drinks at the hotel…  We went to the Tsim Sha Tsui (TST) area and specifically Temple Street.  

Temple Street reminds us a bit of ChiangMai in that they are outdoor stalls selling stuff and outdoor restaurants everywhere.  Actually, I think this area specializes in seafood and especially SPICY CRABS!  We, however, were not in the mood for that, so settled in at “Free Go Yummy House”, which is like a phonetic and literal translation of the actual name in Chinese.  We had a folding table outside and sat on plastic stools.  The food was DELICIOUS!!!  Standouts were the mango shrimps in a light curry sauce and the sweet and sour pork (a HK staple).  Bear in mind, the real sweet and sour pork is made with pork ribs with the bone still attached.

After dinner, we walked through the market areas and checked out the Spicy Crabs restaurant and they were all packed with tourists and locals.  Looked really good and so we made sure to make a mental note for our next weekend trip back to HK.

So, we then walked around the TST area some more and then headed back to the hotel.  Great first day/night in HK.

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Sydney Day 4 Continued - So… my hunt for a mud crab landed me at Nicholas as they had the best price at $24.99/KG for a live mud crab.  I asked the girl behind the counter how it works to get it cooked up and she helped me out.

Basically, you pick a crab and I had her help me pick a good one, and then they weigh it for the crab price.  My crab came in at 1.28 KG or 2.81 lbs.  They then tack on a cooking charge and in this case it’s $10 per KG.  I pay and choose how I want to get it cooked (Singapore Chili!!) and get a number.  They then clean and cut up the crab and walk it over to the kitchen… who cooks it up and yells out my number.  I collect my giant crab and a stack of napkins and chowed down!!!

IT WAS DELICIOUS!!!  Very meaty and super sweet.  The Singapore chili sauce provided and sweet but spicy kick to it.  Very very good.  Now, I can’t imagine how much better that special Singapore Chili crab restaurant is in town, but at about 1/3 of their price… I have to say it’s a bargain!

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Sydney Day 4 - Last full day in Sydney and looks like rain will come later in the day. So, I headed out to the Sydney Fish Market with the goal of checking out some live seafood and maybe getting something to eat.

I walked through Darling Harbour to get to the fish market… nice little 30 minute walk.  I knew I was getting close when the smell of seafood filled the air… obviously, sometimes that smells reallly bad!!  Anyways, unlike most of the other fish markets in Hong Kong, Japan, the Sydney market has a main building that has storefronts selling fresh fish and cooked dishes… kind of like Pike’s Fish Market in Seattle albeit smaller.

The seafood looks delicious and I started browsing around.  After reading about Singapore chili mud crabs online the other night at some famous crab restaurant ($120 a crab per person!) in Sydney… I decided I want my own mud crab but at a much cheaper price.  So, I did one loop of all the stalls and…. more in the next post!!!

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Some pics from dinner tonight at Fish at the Rocks.  Love this place when we went to Sydney in November of 2010 and we went with the wife’s boss tonight and had a great time!  Soooo good and as usual with good food, I forget to take pictures of all the food… so only have 5 pics.

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Seafood Buffet Photo Extravaganza part 2.  Yes, I love food pictures and yes, this deserves two separate posts.

I don’t know what’s amazing… the fact that I ate 4 little dessert as I usually do not eat dessert and stay away from them at buffets or the fact that the wife ended the food marathon with a plate of carbs…. as in Pad Thai!!!  She amazes me with how much she can eat for a skinny girl!!!

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So the final day (day 4) means that the wife has most of the day free (just one phone conference) and we had a nice leisurely breakfast followed by a nice work out in the gym.  We then hit the pool for a few hours so that she can get a bit of sun.

All these activities leads to what we’ve been waiting for all day which is our splurge of the trip.  The Friday night Crustacean Buffet at the Shangri-La!!!!  At about $100 USD a person, this is not a cheap buffet at all, especially for Bangkok, but…  it had such an amazing spread of food… REALLY… maine lobsters, rock lobsters, tiger prawns, regular prawns, king crabs, small crabs, fresh oysters bar, new zealand green lip mussels, fresh steamed mussels, sashimi, sushi, prime rib, lamb chops, indian curries, outdoor pad thai station, banana leaf grill station, fantastic desserts, and much much more.  There was not a lot of filler crap or cheap meats here and there… really, 75% of the show is shellfish!!!

I had way too much lobsters, king crab, and other food.  We even had the Executive Chef carve our prime rib (huge portions) and he made lovely presentations on our plates with the prime rib, veggies, and sauces.  I couldn’t help it so I asked to take a picture of him with my plate of prime rib… you can tell he’s quite proud of it and I have to say, it was one of the best prime rib that I’ve ever had.

We also shared a jug/carafe of a special cocktail made with Lemongrass.  Imagine capihirina with lemongrass.  It was delicious and hit the spot.

So, cliff notes.  Expensive Crustacean Buffet that lived up to its name.  Totally worth the splurge.  Also, pics will be shown in two separate posts!

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After the museum and on our walk back to the hotel, we stopped at Khai Silk, which is a nice store on Dong Khoi that sells nice clothing.  The wife bought quite a nice load of stuff, which I liked because at least it’s really high quality materials and designs for less than half of what you would pay for the couture stuff in most malls.  Not cheap for Vietnam, but for the quality, it surpasses anything you would get in Guangzhou for the same price range.

The funny thing is, we thought Khai Silk is like this boutique shops in Vietnam, until we met up with Anthony, Linh, Lawrence at Cham Charm for that mega awesome seafood buffet.  My expectations were quite off… I imagine like a big buffet type place, but the cab driver brought us to this beautiful elegant mansion like place and this beautiful interior.  We were one of the first ones there and probably one of the last ones out.  The funny part is that all the linens are embroidered with “dining with Khai Silk” logo… and then we realized that Khai Silk is a big time corporation that opened up this nice upscale restaurant.

Anyways, we took full advantage of the buffet because it includes white/red wine, beers, and sake in the price of about $45 per person.  Now the food… just delicious and fresh sushi made to order, 7 different types of oysters, giant prawns and scallops, and tons of other stuff.  I must have been too excited as I DID NOT take one single picture of my food.  How’s that for a first…

After dinner, we went to a German brewery for more beer and then the boys took me out to another bar for a nightcap.  Phew…. I think I was a little bit tipsy but we did get ourselves up for our 10 AM flight the next morning back to GZ!

So, a great trip and a lot of fun hanging out with friends!

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So, we went out to the Night Bazaar area for dinner.  Wanted to get some seafood after scouting the area the night before and decided on Ping Ping Seafood.  They had tons of live fish tanks and the food looks wonderful!  We know Pint Ping has to be good as there were a couple of nearby Thai restaurants that get their seafood from Ping Ping.  Literally, you can see the waiters/waitresses walk back and forth carrying fish/prawns/other stuff from Ping Ping for their patrons in their restaurants.  Plus, we get to sit outside and watch all the people pass by including all the drag queens that came out to take pictures with tourists and to let people know about the free show at 10:30 PM!

Upon sitting down, we ordered a plate of giant grilled prawns, steamed whole live sea bass thai style, and a plate of manila clams.  The food was fantastic!  Fresh and delicious.  The manila clams were quite spicy and delicious… good thing we had plenty of beer to cool our tongues.  The feast with 3 large bottles of Chang beer came in at just under 1100 baht (~$34 USD).

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So, after the fishmonger led us to a restaurant that he likes… we decided to sit on the little patio next to the harbor.  Beautiful view from this very unassuming looking restaurant.  I can feel the excitement coming on… and we looked at each other declaring that this has to be good…

Sure enough, the food start rolling out… we ended up with 4 dishes.  Mantis shrimps done salt n pepper, crab done slightly differently, snails in a bowl of spicy/sour broth, and a plate of super good baby bokchoy.  All the food was really really good and we ate every single bite.  Lunch ended with free fruits (mango and watermelon) and we sat there enjoying our last sips of tea while watching the water/harbor before we set out for the scenic walk along the seafood village.

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So, one of the highlight of this short trip was our little adventure to the Lei Yue Mun Seafood Village/Bazaar/Market at Kowloon.  I will explain the draw of this little gem over two posts.  This first post is devoted to the fishmonger/dining portion of the village.

So, upon entering the “gate” of the Seafood Village, just imagine stalls after stalls of the freshest seafood you’ve ever seen (everything is all ALIVE and swimming/breathing/wriggling in tanks all over the place) crammed into small areas and tiny walkways… Along the walkways, there are restaurants (small to medium sized) strewn all throughout… and that’s basically what we saw.

Now, we came here with the intention to eat an awesome seafood lunch, but we had no idea which restaurant to pick or what to do, really… so, after wandering around for 10 minutes and gawking at all the cool looking seafood swimming around and checking out a couple of restaurants… we walked by this fishmonger who called out to me in Cantonese first… then Mandarin… then in really good English… saying “Are you guys looking to eat seafood?”.  I asked him… yeah, which restaurant is good.  He points back down an alley and says that one is good, but you can pick your seafood from me and they will cook it up for you anyway you want.  This is when the Mrs. and I looked at each other and said… wow, had no idea you can do this and this sounds pretty cool…  So, we started asking him questions about things in his tanks and what they are and if they are good/pricey/cheap/how to cook them.  

What ended up happening is we picked two of these babies up first… Mrs. RHHOG said these Mantis Shrimps (huge centipede looking things that do look like shrimp at all) are a specialty of Hong Kong… BUT she has NEVER tried them while growing up in HK!!!  They are also commonly called “Pissing Shrimps” for their propensity to shoot out water when picked up.  Anyways, in reading more about these critters, they are neither shrimps or mantids… just a type of crustacean that taste closer to a lobster than shrimp.  So, I said… we must get a couple big ones to try.  He suggested doing a classic salt and pepper style.

Next, we wanted to try a crab… but one we’ve never had before.  He picked up this really dark (black or dark blue color) crab and said… this type is really good and not too expensive.  We asked for a larger one and he hand selected this one.

Then we got some snails for good measure… he suggested cooking these in a spicy broth… 

So, after he bags the selections, he leads us to the restaurant and talked to them about how to prepare them for us and the restaurant folks took over at that point.  Now, this is our first experience doing this and I know you don’t have to as you can probably just order from the restaurant and they will deal with the fishmongers, but it was fun.  Also, I’m sure we overpaid a little as we did not haggle at all, but it was still fun.  Next post will be the cooked stuff.

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