Old skool teh tarik session@Mido Cafe, Yao Ma Tei, Hong Kong

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It took me a whole lotta’ sweat and speed walking to get here in a span of only an hour’s time to spare before my airport transfer arrives. It was no fun walking so much, cramming your way through this densely populated metropolitan in this hot and humid weather. I failed to find the branch shop of Tai Cheong bakery at Mongkok station (along the way to Yao Ma tei station) and that wasted me a good 20 minutes already.

By the time I got to Mido Cafe (after a few wrong turns), my entire face was covered with sweat, soaking my working attire all the way to my feet.

It didn’t motivate me more when the cashier lady (I assumed she was the owner) was being quite rude to shoo me off the table on the ground floor itself and told me to head upstairs.

I obeyed along and jusy quietly went up, mainly because I was just too tired. I found a spot near the window and quickly sat down. This was my view for a good 30 peaceful seconds.

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As this place was widely known for its old skool style of kopitiam like the locals, and if you are lucky, you may also spot some local celebrities too as it is known as one of the foodie spots for them. Oh well..I was not in luck this time. Not that it mattered much of course.

The chairs, floor tiles, ceramic walls and rusty windows did give a really old skool chinese kopitiam feel. Nonetheless, it ain’t like I had never seen something like this before in Malaysia.

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Funky artsy tiles by the wall. Overlooking the park filled with elderly people doing their exercise and taichis. I admit, it was quite calming to just stare blankly outside while you cool off from the heat outdoors.

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I have yet to have a cuppa “si mart lai char” (stockings milk tea) which is so often spoken about in Hong Kong, until now. It came in a funky old looking cuppa, much like some kopitiams in the rural areas. Thumbs up to the old skool feel. However, in terms of quality and taste, big time let down for me. I think our local Malaysian teh susu panas is wayyyyy better than this one. Cost me nearly RM10 ringgit over. Madness!

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As lunch was only served to us about 2 hours before, I was still quite full. Thus, I ordered the french toast (was also told that this is famous here). And I was in a way, quite surprised at its looks when my toast arrived. It was not quite like what I had in mind though.

The bread was so severely overfried with used oil and it so oily so much so, it became borderline freaky to see so much oil seeping out once the bread was pressed.

They added honey and butter as well. And I thought that the oil was more than enough, without the butter.

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There was a slit sliced cheese in the middle of the bread and that ruined the taste for me. Having it sweet and buttery (minus off the over oily part) was probably a good enough combination. Adding on with a cheese layer in the middle just upsetted the flow of the taste for me. I could only finish 1 slice as it was just a little too “jelak”/ nauseating to the palate if I finished both slices.

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I should have ordered the red bean ice instead of the hot tea after reading some other blog reviews. Oh well…

The tea and french toast cost me a whopping RM35 over. Great reminder of our weak currency, yet again.

A view of the cafe before I left. And it was an unpleasant note as well. The cashier lady, didn’t even bother to smile or say thanks to me after I paid my dues. Gee, thanks for reverting towards a customer who tried hard to pay a visit to your cafe.

Overall: I foodieventured here to experience what it was like to dine old skool food in an old skool manner. If I would revisit? Likely not. Average food. Unpleasant experience. That is my take.

Address: 
63 Temple Street,
Yau Ma Tei, Hong Kong
(油麻地廟街63號地下, 香港)
Tel no: (852) 2392-6830
Opening hours: Open Daily: 8:30 am – 9:30 pm

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Dim Sum shop by Michelin Star chef@Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong

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A colleague of mine who visits HK twice year brought me to Sham Shui Po for dinner. He is an eletronics and gadgets fanatic (like all boys) and SSP is THE place to be. Tons and tons of handphone and ipad accesories, lightings, etc covered two major streets. What amazed me most are the workers from the lighting stalls.

All lights of all kinds were swtiched on and they were so bright and fluorescent and hot (literally) so much so thinking of the scene now brought me a headache.

The workers were shirtless as the heat from the bright light generated so much heat. I was left wondering how in the world could they withstand such conditions long hours each day? Full respect!!!

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The scene changed a couple of streets down from the “inspector gadget” section. Some stalls sold wholesaler clothes, slippers and bags etc and I was quite amused to see this view: clothes on the left, meat on the right. Yet perfect in harmony.

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A view of an elderly man arranging his meats properly. I didn’t expect to see old skool stalls like this in this modern metropolitan city.

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The foodie reason behind coming to this area was this Dim Sum place, located just by left side of the “A2 exit” at Sham Shui Po MRT station. Pretty easy to get here. Follow A2 exit and the restaurant is on the left of the exit. There isn’t much reviews I can find on the internet regarding this place, maybe it is more known to locals.

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he shop’s exterior was not fanciful, perhaps easily missed too. Just a tiny shop with the steaming dim sum cart located outside. The inside section of the restaurant was also small. Enough to accomodate about 40 paxor so. Tons of awards and photos of celebs were hung on the walls. I was told that the chef who opened this shop was a michelin star chef. Many framed articles on write ups of the chef were hung on the left side of the walls. This was my first time ever trying out food in a michelin staf chef restaurant!

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As we were not really hungry, we ordered just a couple of dim sum dishes as snacks. Without a doubt, I must try to char siew paos! The ingredients inside were a little less heavy on the flavours, no strong sweetness, and had a more salty and savoury porky meatie taste. The skin were a little let down though, I was hopinh they’d be fluffy and soft as I expected more from a michelin star chef. Rating: 6/10

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This grilled pork bun was supposedly one of the signatures of this shop. They were actually average as well. The bun was fluffy and soft, with the crunchy outer layer making it quite enjoyable to eat. But the minced pork meat inside was just so-so. I personally felt that the buns I ate at Imperial Pot, at Publika Dutamas won this 10 times over. Sadly, Imperial Pot had closed down. Truly unfortunate!

The fried foochuk with minced pork on the other hand was quite good. Very crunchy and very fine. The pork meat were thick and chunky yet nicely hidden inside. Yums!

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Upclose shot of the grilled pao. What is your take on this?

My take home message: I’d expected MORE from a michelin star chef. Not of this level of quality. Then again, there are many michelin star chef restaurants all over Hong Kong. Could the title be obtained easily? Hmmmm…

Address:
Exit from Sham Shui Po MRT station exit A2, and the shop is on your left.

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