Sunday, November 29, 2020

Late Night and Early Morning

There’s no better time to check out a few spots in Mongkok that open in odd hours – either late night or early morning – while “staycationing” in the neighborhood. In the area “that never sleeps”, there are plenty of those and here are two of my favorites. 

We opted for a late dinner after a substantial lunch followed by afternoon tea at the hotel lounge. Ling Fat Chiuchow Congee (陵發潮州白粥) is a few blocks away at a quiet neighborhood and it’s almost hard to miss as they took up almost the entire block on one side of the street. The restaurant opens only for dinner service til late and it got more crowded by the hour, but luckily they managed to squeeze us a table at a packed dining room upstairs when we arrived slightly after 9. Forget about social distancing – we were literally rubbing shoulder with the people at the next table. 

Despite the name, congee is not the only thing they serve here, though their Chiuchow-style congee was spot-on with either baby oysters or meat as the ingredients. My favorite of the evening was their signature oyster omelette, done with a fluffy batter, plenty of the plump baby oysters, and deep-fried in oil. The chiuchow-style marinated dishes were excellent too, and I particularly like the goose intestine served in generous portion with great bouncy texture and the fatty lining underneath. All went down well with a bottle of cold beer. 

Where? Ling Fat Chiuchow Congee, 625-627 Reclamation Street, Mongkok

We got up early the next morning for the real congee experience at my favorite breakfast spot in town. Mui Kee (妹記) specializes in the Cantonese-style congee and they were very good at it with everything made to order using the fresh ingredients from the market right downstairs from where they are at a cooked food center in the middle of Mongkok. 

Their most famous dish was their fish belly congee, but this time I went for their seasonal spear squid plus meatball congee. Love the silky smooth texture of the congee with subtle umami flavor from the fish soup base which was mixed in. Fried fritters is the condiment of choice and here they were made fresh and arrived at the table still hot. The perfect combo to kick-start the morning.  

Where? Mui Kee Congee, Shop 11-12 Cooked Food Centre, 3/F Municipal Services Building, 123A Fa Yuen Street, Mongkok

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