Date
22 July 2017
Try the supreme hand-cut beef shoulder blade and beef rump noodles (inset) at Min Saam Gun. It's worth the hefty price tag, but it would be better if you came when the weather is hot.  Photos: Open Rice, HKEJ
Try the supreme hand-cut beef shoulder blade and beef rump noodles (inset) at Min Saam Gun. It's worth the hefty price tag, but it would be better if you came when the weather is hot. Photos: Open Rice, HKEJ

Weather and beef noodles: the hotter the better

Having parked my car at The Center, I walked for almost five minutes to reach Min Saam Gun (麵三館), a newly opened eatery on Gough Street in Central which specializes in beef noodles.

I was completely soaked in sweat but I realized the trek was worth it when I spotted a police officer issuing an illegal parking ticket to a car nearby – that’s HK$320 saved.

As soon as I stepped into the restaurant, a waiter told me they’re running a “weather promo”.

It simply means the temperature at the time a customer pays the bill will be the percentage of the amount that will be discounted.

Sounds interesting. It also sets me in a mood of cheerful anticipation. After all, this joint is not known for offering cheap fare.

I ordered a bowl of supreme hand-cut beef shoulder blade and beef rump noodles, which costs HK$158. Without a discount, I might think twice before choosing it from the menu.

But there’s a reason for the hefty price tag. Customers are allowed to pick the soup base – beef bone broth (original), beef bone broth with dark soya sauce or fresh fish broth – and they could add as much herbs and spices they want – dried basil, chopped celery, fried onion, black and white sesames, Chinese chives, parsley, facing heaven peppers and jalapeño peppers.

As for the noodles, diners could go for pho, rice vermicelli, or their signature egg noodles. Whether you prefer 130 grams or 180 grams, the pay is just the same.

What makes the order expensive is the beef. I was assured the restaurant owner only buys premium cattle meat.

I also learned that Ngau Saam Gun (牛三館), a Chinese restaurant in the neighborhood, is a sister establishment.

The beef noodles were refreshing and the quantity was just right without overwhelming one’s stomach.  

After the gratifying meal, I checked my mobile phone for the weather. At 7 p.m. Wednesday, says the Observatory website, it’s 29.8 degrees Celsius.

I held my breath as the waiter approached, and validated my research: 30 percent off for me!

The last surge of excitement made the whole dining experience even more impressive.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Aug. 3.

Translation by Darlie Yiu

[Chinese version 中文版]

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DY/JP/CG

a veteran journalist and food critic

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