They're famous for their hot po lo bau with a pat of butter. As well as milk-tea, and yuen yeung. It's in Kowloon, equidistant between the Prince Edward Station and Mongkok East, just a short walk from either. You know where Lai Chi Kok splits off from Nathan Road? Go east, cross Sai Yeung Choi Street, and in the middle on the left hand side.
Be prepared for a madhouse.
It's very popular.
金華冰廳 KAM WAH BAKERY CAFE
47 Bute Street, ground floor,
Prince Edward (Mongkok), Kowloon, Hong Kong.
Bute Street (弼街 'bat kai
') is named after the southern Scottish peerage of the same name, which is principally located on Bute Island in the Firth of Clyde. As with many Hong Kong street names, there is no rational connection with the appellation and the area. Nor with the transcription into Chinese; 弼 means to assist or aide.
TRULY SUPER TASTY
The list of items which you really must have is, of course, topped with the toasted po lo bau (菠蘿油: 加一塊凍牛油 'po lo yau: gaa yat faai tung ngau yau
'), but not far behind are the little chicken pies (雞批 'gai pai
') and the egg arts (酥皮蛋撻 'sou pei daan taat
'). You can also have a quick lunch there. Try the saté sauce beef (沙嗲牛肉 'sa de ngau yiuk
'), which can be served on regular noodles, macaroni, or rice stick (可配公仔麵, 通粉或米粉 'ho pui gong jai min, tong fan, waak mai fan
The meat shred and pickled brassica (雪菜肉絲 'suet choi yiuk si
') is best with boiled rice noodle (米 'mai
Their po lo bau is unusual, in that the object represents an earlier stage of development, not changed in over forty years. A thin friable layer of sugary sweet dough above the standard puffy body, firmly melded on and in. Packed with a thick and generous wedge of chilled creamery butter to melt after toasting, it can also be had with a slice of luncheon meat added, or even the saté sauce beef.
In general, a toasted po lo bau with butter and meat or jam is rightly considered one of Hong Kong's most dangerous snacks, a calorie and cholesterol overload.
Well worth eating, with milk tea to drink. Yummy.
Naturally, if it's a warm day, you should have your milk-tea with ice (凍奶茶 'tung nai chaa
Hot po lo bau with a pat of butter:
The short form is 'po lo yau' (菠蘿油), meaning 'pineapple oil'. Butter is called 'cow grease' (牛油 'ngau yau
'). Pineapple bun:
'po lo bau' (菠蘿包); a sweet bun with a top layer of cookie dough which expands at a different rate than the rest, yielding a crackle-crusted confection which presents a pleasant textural dissonance. Milk-tea:
'naai chaa' (奶茶), the national drink of Hong Kong, whether scalding hot or poured over ice; strong tea strained through a cloth filter, which gives it a velvety mouthfeel, accentuated with sweetened condensed milk (煉奶 'lin naai
'). It was invented at so-called 'tea restaurants' (茶餐廳 'cha chanteng
'), which are places where the food is fast, the furniture is rickety, and the ambiance twixt home-town hang-out and fondly remembered cheap date. Yuen yeung:
Mandarin ducks (鴛鴦), also the term for a mixture of bitter coffee and sweet milk-tea, which is popular hot or cold.
Both beverages can also be served with the glass standing in an ice bath: 冰鎮奶茶 or 冰鎮鴛鴦 ('bing jan naai chaa
', 'bing jan yuen yeung
'), which cools the drink down without diluting it.
This is not common everywhere.
We shall not speak of Boba Tea (波霸奶茶 'bo baa naai chaa
') or Pearl Tea (珍珠奶茶 'jan jyu naai chaa
'); these are very silly things.
Prosperous Corner (旺角 'wong gok
'), formerly 望角 ('mong gok
'; gazy corner, ferns corner) a once-swampy area now densely built-up, filled with residents, businesses, and shops. Prince Edward Station:
Tai ji jaam (太子站), the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) station nearest Nathan Road (彌敦道 'nei duen dou
Gong Tit (港鐵 "harbour iron"), abbreviation of 香港鐵路 ('heung gong tit lou
' "fragrant harbour iron road", Hong Kong Railway). Mongkok East:
MTR Station by the Diocesan Boys School (拔萃男書院 'bat seui naam syu yuen
'), and the Grand Century Place mall (新世紀廣場 'san sai gei gwong cheung
'; MOKO) if you're interested in fabulous shopping, just south of Prince Edward Road (太子道 'taai ji dou
') and Flower Market Street (花墟道 'faa heui dou
'). For Kam Wah Bing Teng (金華冰廳) head south along Nathan Road if you got off at Prince Edward, go west if you took the Mongkok East Station.
Lai Chi Kok Road:
荔枝角道, a diagonal street named after a village, Lychee Corner (荔枝角村) in Sam Shui Po District (深水埗區). Sai Yeung Choi Street:
西洋菜街 literally, 'Western Ocean Vegetable Street', which refers to watercress (西洋菜 'sai yeung choi
') once grown in this area as a commercial crop.
比特島 ('bei tak dou
'), also 弼島 ('bat dou
'); a semi-barren island in Western Europe (西歐 'sai au
') with a population of six and a half thousand souls, and a climate which is not salubrious.
Firth of Clyde:
克萊德灣 ('hak loi tak waan
') the vast inlet on the south-west corner of Scotland (蘇格蘭 'sou gaak laan
'), which is an area of historical significance; the Scots (一個凱爾特的支派) landed here when they invaded from Ireland.
snow vegetable (雪菜 'suet choi
'), also called plum vegetable (梅菜 'mui choi
') is a salt-packed wet winter mustard cabbage frequently paired with fatty pork and used in soups for flavour and colour. The dried version is 梅干菜 ('mui gon choi
'). Rice noodle:
pasta made from rice flour. Distinguish 米粉 ('mai fan
'), which are regular rice noodles; 沙河粉 ('saa ho fan
'), also simply called 河粉 ('ho fan
'), which are broader and softer; and 米線 ('mai sin
'), a Yunnanese specialty that require as much cooking time as Italian Pasta (意粉 'yi fan
gwo jeung (果醬); fruit compote.
For an explanation of the tea restaurant paradigm, see: Cha Chanteng
. There's a sample menu in that post which might fascinate you.
What, you may ask, brought all this to the front? Well, ask yourself, where would you rather be? Someplace reasonably warm, about to enfold a cold beverage (iced milk-tea: 凍奶茶), or in a frigid and soggy part of Northern California?
At this time of year I am not fond of rain. My feet feel chilled. Hong Kong sounds like a very lovely place to be right now, unlike the islands in the Clyde, such as Bute (弼島), which are part of North-Western Europe.
And Scottish food, let me remind you, is not pretty.
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Labels: Cha-chanteng, Milk tea, 香港