Eliza Eats: Foodie Finds in HK

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Our first day in Hong Kong started rather late, but it was fine because we were staying in TST, where food establishments open later than usual. My siblings and I had brunch at Kam Tao Restaurant (金淘餐廳), which was only a few seconds walk from Hop Inn on Carnarvon, where we were staying.

They serve different dishes everyday. They have a menu for a particular time period in a day, so if you want a particular dish, you have to go to there depending on when they serve it. For 2:30pm-6:00pm, they serve french toast, special hot dog, special pork bun, deep fried chicken, and other yummy dishes. We ate at around 11:00am. At that time they were serving their set lunch for $40 each:

A - Grilled Pork Chop and Fried Egg served with onion gravy
B - Braised Seafood with mushrooms
C - Steamed Marinated Chicken
D - Sweet and Sour Pork
E - Braised Chicken with bean curd and salty fish

I think they also have an all-day set, but the lady that served us directed us to their lunch menu. My sister spoke to her in Mandarin, but she seemed like she was used to tourists as she sometimes conversed in basic English. Oh, and the menu is in Chinese and English so it is very easy to order.

Dichi and I ordered set E, which was Braised Chicken with bean curd and salty fish (HK$40), while the rest ordered Grilled Pork Chop and Fried Egg served with onion gravy (HK$40).

These come with soup and complimentary coffee or milk tea. It was actually a great deal. all for $40 each. For customers that prefer cold beverages, you have to pay an additional $2 for iced drinks and $4 for a coke.

The serving was huge. It was worth every cent! I felt like I ate for three people, and in the end I couldn't finish my rice. The braised chicken meal was soft and sauce-y. I didn't get to taste their grilled pork chop, but it looked good to me. The HK-style milk tea was very authentic, with the tea taste strong and distinct that I had to add two packets if sugar to make it taste all sweet, just the way I like it. The lady that served us kept smiling when she saw me taking pictures of my food before I gobbled them up.

If you are looking for a restaurant that serves Hong Kong style food, tea, and fresh bread (it's a bakery too!) in TST, then Kam Tao Restaurant is the place to go!

Kam Tao Restaurant 金淘餐廳 is located at 尖沙咀寶勒巷3號萬事昌廣場地下9號舖. Translation: Shop 9, G/F, Multifield Plaza , 3 Prat Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. They are open everyday (Monday to Sunday) from 07:00-03:00 according to OpenRice.com ☺

'Hop Inn' to a Living Art Space

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Over week ago, my siblings and I went to Hong Kong and stayed at Hop Inn on Carnarvon Road. It's a tourist hostel well known for the artistic designs of their rooms, and that was what got us interested in the first place.

Each room was uniquely designed by a local artist. Guests are not allowed to choose their rooms, so whatever room you get would be a surprise. The drawings in our room were a bit quirky. There were strange characters with some plant sticking out of their bodies near the bed. It's really interesting.

drawings on the wall
The room themes range from grunge to bright colors. Since there were five of us, we got a twin/double room and a triple room.

A panoramic view of the triple bedroom. The curtains in the bathroom are drawn halfway.
This is a view of the double room from my bed. It's a bit small, just right for two average-sized ladies.
I really liked how an ordinary piece of art can be transformed into a living space. 

Even the door of this room is painted.
The doodle on this door says "I Love my Room." Cute!
Also, the bathrooms in each room are see-through. The only thing that separates the room from the shower/toilet area is a glass wall and a translucent curtain. It's actually pretty neat because the light seeps through the glass but you can't see anything when the curtains are drawn, for privacy, of course.

the thin glass wall separating the bathroom from the bedroom

What I like about it:
  • There's free WiFi internet access in the rooms.
  • The towels and bed sheets are spotlessly clean and white.
  • Toiletry (liquid soap, shampoo, and a roll of tissue) and drinking water are provided.
Liquid soap and shampoo are located near the sink. The soap smells nice, imo.
  • It's conveniently located at the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui, so shopping malls such as the K-11 Art Mall and The One in Nathan Road are walking distance from the hostel. It only takes about 5 minutes (at most) to get to the nearest MTR Station, Tsim Sha Tsui. There's also a convenience store (7-Eleven is right next to it) and other Chinese restaurants nearby so getting something to eat would not be a problem.
The MTR System Map painted on the wall of the common room.
  • The staff and managers are friendly and accommodating. They speak good English too.
  • The place is quiet and cozy.
the main hallway
  • The rooms get all tidied up when guests back to their room at the end of the day. I remember our room being a mess when we left it before, haha.
  • There's a common area where guests can read books, play table football, or chill outside the balcony/rooftop area. 
The common area is a nice place to hang out with friends.
  • The air conditioning and boiler works well.
  • Guests can request a hairdryer, power adaptor, or a laptop with webcam for their personal use, to be returned at the end of their stay.
The plug holes in HK are different from the ones in the Philippines so my sister and I had to take turns charging our phones because we only borrowed one power adaptor.
  • It's an environment-friendly place! They use energy-efficient light bulbs and appliances.
  • The room rates are very affordable.
  • They have good security. There are security cameras all over the common places and the guard at the ground floor strictly locks the gate during ungodly hours. Also, guests can only open the section where their room is located. (It was quite inconvenient for us because dichi and I were staying in Room L6, while my other siblings were at Room R3. Our key card only works on L rooms so whenever we want to visit them, someone from their room has to wait for us near the door so it would be opened.)
  • They have a weather forecast board posted near the elevator. It's being updated every now and then.

What I don't like about it:
  • There's only one pillow per person, and that one pillow is too cute that it's too small for my comfort. I hope it could be fluffier or maybe provide two pillows, at least.
  • The place is kind of difficult to find when we first got to TST because the entrance to the building (which was partly in construction) is kind of dodgy looking.
  • I hope there would provide another keycard for guests staying in the triple/double/quadruple rooms.

  • A friend told me that it's a bit hard to get a reservation because the rooms are almost always full, so it's better to book in advance, especially during peak seasons.
Hop Inn in Carnarvon is located at: 9/F James S. Lee Mansion, 33 - 35 Carnarvon Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong. They have another branch in Hankow, also in TST. Visit their official website at: http://www.hopinn.hk for more information. ☺