On July 1, as I was watching the swearing-in ceremony of Carrie Lam and her ministers on television, my family members urged me to take them out for breakfast.
On such trips, we normally take cha chaan teng’s fast sets, which usually include Nissin instant noodles, buttered toast and a cup of hot milk tea.
But that day I was in the mood of indulging in something else: rice or congee.
For good steamed rice pots, I would recommend Chow Kee Cha Chaan Teng on Aberdeen Main Road. As for congee, Kam Fung Congee & Noodles in Quarry Bay, for sure.
Well, there has been little democracy in my home since I am always the one to make the call.
For the record, I hadn’t been to Kam Fung over a decade. Now, don’t rush to think that it was because of an unpleasant meal the last time around. The actual reason why I didn’t visit the eatery for so long was this: huge crowds. There is usually a long line of people waiting in queue — be it for dine-in or takeaway.
Anyway, I made the trip that day and was prepared to line up under the scorching sun. Perhaps I missed their congee too much.
Though I hadn’t tried their offerings for ages, I had been reading online about the specialty shop, which had a mixed bag of reviews.
When it comes to personal preference, there are no absolute yes’s or no’s, but I was fairly confident about my decision to go to Kam Fung, given the experience I had there during my last visit many years ago.
Ginkgo nut and beancurd porridge is a must-order signature dish from Kam Fung. As it was so difficult to get there, of course I had to order a full table of food — grass carp belly with mud carp fish balls congee, rice noodle rolls with dried shrimps, fried dough in rice noodle rolls — to maximize the gain of my visit.
“Gosh,” I cried when I was chewing a mud carp fish ball from which there was a tiny piece of bone.Since I have been a fish lover since childhood, dealing with fish bones is a piece of cake to me. Bones are the best indicators for fresh fish meat, and I was glad about its presence.
However, the dough was overly fried, and tasted too hard and dried. Even if that was wrapped by silky steamed rice noodle rolls, the dish was not okay.
I found the place a bit unfamiliar, probably due to the new interior refurbishment. Never mind. Most important was food quality.
The grass carp fish belly and mud carp fish balls congee was impressive while the signature porridge was of supreme quality with the same old good taste. If I really had to come up with one improvement, I would say the congee would be perfect if it was slightly less thick.
Kam Fung is famous for simple reasons: skillful chefs cook congee dedicatedly out of fresh and ample ingredients, making every bowl of congee come with superior tastes.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on July 5
Translation by John Chui with additional reporting
[Chinese version 中文版]
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