Monday, 29 July 2013

CHINESE PHARMACY

Ran an errand at Wong Yiu Nam over the weekend.  I used to tag along with my grandmother to this very shop for Chinese herbal remedies when I was a little girl.  I had quite forgotten how to shop here.

Purchasing medicines at a traditional Chinese medical hall is quite similar to baking a cake, really.  First you need a written prescription (much like a recipe), which can either be written by a Chinese physician or a family's secret formula passed down from generation to generation.  You hand it over to the nice elderly man behind  the counter and he locates the ingredients from a large wooden chest of drawers behind him then weighs each out with precision. 

Almost anything imaginable (and unimaginable) can fall into the Chinese medicine category - flowers and fauna, fruits and nuts, roots, twigs, barks from trees, reptiles, grubs ...





 ... parts of animals (bones and shells, horns and antlers are considered the more "normal" stuff). And some sea creatures, like the sea horse and sea dragon above.  I know, I know ... I agree that it isn't always easy to swallow. 

 Mortar and pestle







Thursday, 25 July 2013

HONG KONG: GOOD TIMES


Some people say that the true test of friendship is the time your friends spend on you.  It means, then, that I have true friends in Hong Kong for during my recent visit they kept me very busy indeed.  Knowing my love for good food, they rallied around, entertained me and took me out for some of the best suckling pig, 奶油猪仔包,菠萝包,蛋挞,鸡派,奶茶, 清汤牛腩面 in town.  They showered me with gifts of homemade cake, crispy egg rolls, cookies, Chinese sausages and salted fish.  They skipped work on Monday just so they can accompany me for 早茶。得友若此,夫复何求?

<新斗記>铜锣湾店
新斗記佐敦店曾獲得2012年米芝蓮一星的美譽
这道招牌的「火山石乳豬」被視為必叫之菜






北角<鳳城酒家>
 渣華道62~68號
62 – 68 Jaffe Road
+852 2578 4898
旧茶楼feel   有不少街坊fans

主角出場: 灌湯餃






湾仔<金凤茶餐厅>
湾仔春园街41号
历史悠久的传統港式茶餐厅

蛋挞,鸡批,奶茶


湾仔<檀島咖啡餅店>

蛋挞

***
A friend once commented that I’m 长情.  Can it be a way of telling me that I can't let go of the past?  As I get older I find myself more in awe of historical architectures around the city than spanking new malls.











***
The electric trams are still running!  Though I do feel a sense of forlorn knowing that the old ding-dings are being replaced by modern new ones.

***
Traditional local diners (茶餐厅) are part of Hong Kong's charm and character.  Sadly, soaring rents have forced several tiny boutiques and local diners to shutdown completely.  Over the past years, small shops in Causeway Bay, especially those in Russell Street, Lockhart Road and Jaffe Road have been gradually replaced by chain stores operated by international companies.  A November 2012 report by global real estate adviser Cushman & Wakefield indicated that the average rent in Causeway Bay is now higher than New York’s Fifth Avenue and Paris’s Avenue des Champs-Elysees!

<德兴隆>
店面格局怀旧 沒有冷气设备
无敌豆腐花
 


<龍鳳冰室>
湾仔春園街16號
怀旧装潢冰室   
TVB actor 林子善所投资的茶餐厅   林子善在电视剧<怒火街頭2>里饰演米佐治





***
I've always had a penchant for open-air and street markets ( 街市).  I especially enjoy the hustle and bustle during the early mornings when hawkers open their stalls.  The narrow street comes alive.  A man, with a massive dog on leash, haggles with a butcher, an old lady yelps in surprise as a fish leaps out of its tank and lands on the floor, colourful fruits and vegetables are stacked neatly side by side.  The dim sum trolley is loaded with steaming baskets of goodies.  Next to where I'm standing the baker slides open her shop door and the scent of freshly baked bread immediately fills the air.  I take it all in, the sights, sounds and smells.  It's like watching a movie.  There comes a day when all these that I treasure will disappear into new and modern constructions in the name of redevelopment and progress.  Will it be for the better?  I need to believe that it will be so.










After dinner on a Saturday evening Tammy, Cindy, Pearl, Ally and I hung out in my hotel room with a constellation of conversations at our feet.  At one point, the inevitable question was raised. "How many years have we been friends?" Some mental calculations followed. “23,” came the shocking revelation.  A reminder that old architectures may collapse and street markets may become outdated, there remains Friendship. Strong, steadfast, forever.


Thursday, 11 July 2013

UNIVERSAL GEMS


There are Magic Belly Buttons in the office pantry this week! We took turns to dip a hand into the tall cookie jar to recapture those childhood memories we left behind.


Most of us in the office could recall these little iced gems.

"I remember having these when I was a kid," said Lakshmi, who is from India.

"Sugar gems or magic gems or something like that," answered Simon, when we asked him what these minis were called in the UK.

"台湾也有啊,"said Ken, who was born in Taiwan and later moved to the US. "好吃!"


For a moment, we were kids once more.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW THE RAIN IS GONE

Just yesterday, it was raining cats and dogs.  Then this afternoon we all had to squint because of the sunlight piercing through the window.  So we let down the blinds.




Outside, the trees danced in the wind.  Kind of eerie because they remind me of shadow puppets.