Posts Tagged With: restaurants

Time Fries in Hong Kong

Time Flies when you are having fun, as the saying goes. Well in Hong Kong it seems Time Fries 😉 It seems someone who thinks up the names of shops and restaurants in Hong Kong has a sense of humour.One such place is a restaurant we were invited to breakfast to called the Flying Pan. It was explained it is FLYING instead of FRYING since the Chinese have trouble pronouncing R sounds as much as we have trouble with the tones and subtleties of Chinese.

 

20140402_094127A few other silly names we have heard about were the Lee Key Boot Shop, Kung Fu Shoes, Hip Wo Housewares, Woo Ping Optical. The best one is from Jo on word press who shared the Fook Hing Book Shop. All these shops are real places and sell real things! The last one, the Book Shop has recently closed or moved. We found the address, but it is now a mattress shop. After having the hotel staff call the phone number and look it up in a local directory we figured it closed or moved within the last year. The phone number was still active, but needed a password to continue. If anyone has come across it again please let us know 😉 As I said someone must have a sense of humour, is very clever, or does not think about the translation.

On our last day in Hong Kong we headed down to Wan Chai Metro stop. From the metro we turned left and walked a 20140402_095450block or two before we came to this restaurant. It was tricky to find since it is on the 3rd or 4th floor and the sign was covered by trees. The entrance is into an office or apartment building, so it was easy to miss from street level. Luckily John’s friend waited for us on street level and lead the way. Inside we found a spacious restaurant in a 50’s style soda shop. Comfy couches on one sie and booths and tables on the other. Black and white floor tiles gave me the impression it was like the dinners of long ago.

 

Being a week day the place was not too crowded and service was pretty good. Weekends and later in the day we heard it would be crowded. Prices were reasonable and options for large English and Western style breakfasts adorned the menu. For many of the plates you could ‘build your own’. The sides were all listed on the bottom of the page and you could pick what you wanted to best compliment your meal. 20140402_092451Choices of breads went beyond your traditional white or brown toast to croissants, English muffins or pancakes. The side dishes were also different with healthy fruits, cinnamon apples, to more traditional tomato and potatoes. It was nice to have so many options.

 

The food came and loaded the plate. I had a delicious omelette with the sides of fruit and cinnamon apples. John’s friend had poached eggs, side of fruit and tomato. John had a big breakfast with fruit and potato. It filled us up and was delicious. Juice is included in the meal, or for an additional 20 HK$ (I think) you could have a bottomless cup of coffee. The atmosphere and food were just like home. Being away for so long sometimes it is just nice to have something familiar. Not to mention the unappealing breakfasts that was included in our hotel package. After 2 days of that this was a nice and welcome treat.

 

 

The Flying Pan was a little hidden gem that I am sure we will seek out again if we return to Hong Kong.

What is your favourite place for breakfast?

Stay tuned…

Categories: travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , ,

Cost of Shanghai June 2012

Jennifer over at My Sardinian life posted a grocery bill on her blog to show how much some basic items cost at the grocery store. Alyson over at Algarve Blog  did the same, so I thought I should follow suit here in Shanghai. When we first arrived things were cheaper here than at home, unless you wanted to buy Western. A box of pop tarts cost maybe    $1.99 at home, but here they are 42 RMB (renminbi) which is over $6.00! Prices have increased over the last 2 years and salaries have not been able to keep pace with the inflation. Things seem to be about the same cost as home or more sometimes. As my co-teacher says at least I am on a Western Salary and not local salary (which can be 1000 – 3000 RMB for the majority of low wage earners. That is $150-300 a month). Eating out is often cheaper than cooking and staying in. If you look for the 2 for 1 deals then it is definitely cheaper to eat out! We eat at a few local places too and they are less than 120 RMB for the two of us (or under $20 that included drinks and we are stuffed!).

This week I got home late and it was pouring rain. Instead of running the 10 minutes to the store I ordered in dinner and the trusty sherpa delivery guy brings it hot, fast and to your door. The 45 minute estimated wait was only 20 minutes. Element Fresh does free delivery and the food is good and fresh. It is mainly salads and healthy sandwiches and fresh juices. It is a little pricey, but the portions are big so I had enough salad for lunch the next day.

Lafa Bread Salad with Chicken

123 RMB

The cost was 123 RMB for the salad and a fresh mountain cranberry pear ginger juice. About $18.00. Bit much but saves cooking after a long day or going out in the rain. Divide that into 2 meals and not bad value.

 

 

 

 

Today I went to the grocery store and bought a few things. We shop at Carrefour, a French chain or City Shop which sells mainly western goods from the US and Germany. Carrefour caters to the locals and has a small international section, big meat department, and also sells household items and electronics. It is like a Grocery/Wal-Mart with everything. City Shop is small and is more expensive for most things… you pay big time for the imports.However, they have organic farms so it is better and cheaper to get some of their produce. This is what I got today.

2 bags full

This is all I could carry. I walk to the shops about 1o- 15 minute away. I have a granny trolley, but didn’t think it would be too heavy so I carried these bags. It looked like rain and was thundering so the trolley would have slowed me down.

For 181 RMB ($27) I got some green peppers (2 for 5 RMB about .75c), Organic salad mix (10 RMB or $1.50). Last time I bought this at home it was $4.50. 4 bananas (9 RMB $1.40), German Pretzel fresh-baked (4 RMB .60c), gourmet packet of instant coffee in caramel -YUM (22 RMB for 10 packets $3.30). I usually get Maxwell House Instant and that is between 45-56 RMB for 42 packets, but it is not as tasty. Regular coffee is really expensive and just not the same since you can’t get cream. Chicken, skinless leg slices, I thought they were thin breasts. Oh well it was good and much better than the cheaper stuff I usually get at Carrefour  (21 RMB just over $3). 2 large tomatoes (6 RMB – .90c), apple chips (2 bags, 12 RMB each bag $1.80). They are good as a snack or to put in my instant oatmeal which comes mostly plain. They just added some flavours of oatmeal -some purple chestnut or corn on the cob! I am NOT kidding!, Granola bars (35 RMB $5.25) the most expensive thing usually. I can get a cheaper brand at Carrefour, but didn’t want to walk all the way there in case it rained.  Baked Cheesies these are so yummy and a treat once in a while. Today when you buy one you get one free… I love these little surprises! (45RMB each, but today for 2 $6.75).

What would all this cost at home? Probably a lot more. I know I rarely came away from the grocery store less than $50 at home. It is easy to spend a lot here, but if you are careful it isn’t too bad. So what did you buy today?

Stay tuned for more next weekend… my adventure to the art gallery!

 

Categories: everyday occurances, post a week | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Paradise at Last -More on Vietnam

We quickly put our packs down and headed outdoors and explored our new playground for the next few days. The grounds were covered with gardens that held many types of flowers, trees and even a small rice patty! There was a nice pool in the centre of the resort and it was steps away from a deep sandy beach. The beach stretched for maybe 100 meters before you reached the water. The surf was rough and waves pounded in on a steady beat and the red warning flags were  straight out flapping and snapping in the wind. After the typhoon things were still unsteady and there was slight chance of rain and thunderstorms in the forecast, but the beautiful clear blue sky didn’t show any warning signs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mui Ne is very cleverly designed with all the resorts on the beach side and most shops and restaurants on the opposite side. The area we were in is nestled behind a hill and appears to only be one long road along the coast. We ventured along the street looking for a place for dinner as the sun was setting.

Again most vehicles along the roads were bikes and motorcycles with a few buses and cars sprinkled in. Taxis would slow down and honk to see if you wanted a ride as we walked along. I didn’t think a taxi was all that practical and how busy would they be in such a small place? We soon realised how long this little village was and to save your feet or escape the heat a taxi would be a good idea. There were enough restaurants in our end of town that we  checked each menu for something to tempt us. Most places were seafood restaurants, especially since this still is a fishing village. I am not a seafood eater and John was in search of a pizza place that was recommended to us, so we kept walking. Some restaurants hire ‘greeters’ and they call out “Hello” and wave to people passing by… just added to the friendly atmosphere that seems to be “Vietnam”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many signs were in Vietnamese, English and Russian. Many Russians tend to flock to this area for a much deserved break from winter. As English speakers we are very lucky travelling. Many signs will be in English and often you can find someone who can speak or understand you. To see things in Russian was certainly the unusual. We finally saw the sign in the distance “Good Morning Vietnam Pizza”. A transplanted Italian runs the restaurant and uses a wood fire oven for cooking. YUM! Nice thin crust with so much cheese. Almost as good as we had in Rome a few years ago! A good meal here is cheap! Much cheaper than home and Shanghai, for maybe $8.00 we each had a medium size pizza and a drink. Bellies full we headed back to the resort. Along the way we peeked in a few of the tacky tourist shops loaded with the usual souvenirs that you would see anywhere. We passed a few corn vendors set up along the road. Steaming boiling pots of water were ready for hot corn on the cob. If you were lucky they even had a tub of margarine to slather your street treat. Back at the hotel we turned in for an early night so we could make the most of the next sunshiny day.

The next morning we awoke and headed off to our breakfast buffet, which was included in the room price. Seems most resorts in Asia include breakfasts, and are not all inclusivelike the Caribbean resorts we are used to back home. I am a picky eater, but in a new place I attempt to eat some of the local foods. Most foods were a mix of local dishes and western choices. I tried the pho (fahh) from a soup cart that they had set up to look like one you may see in the streets. The cook took some rice noodles and bean sprouts and quickly cooked them in some boiling water for a few seconds.

Pho -my new fav food

Next she added some broth, spring onions, flavoured pork, basil and a few hot chillies. She put a wedge of lime on the side as well. The enormous steaming bowl seemed a bit odd to be eating not only for breakfast, but in such heat. Chopsticks in hand I sat down with my new food adventure. After getting the hang of holding onto the flat slippery noodles I had my first taste. It was delicious! I found my new favourite food that I could eat everyday. It was very filling, and good for you too!

After breakfast we staked out our claim by the pool and sat and relaxed for the day. I read half a book in a few hours, what a treat! The weather was fantastic and not a cloud in the sky. Seeing some very red and burned people the night before we knew the sun was not forgiving and we stayed under the beach umbrella for the day and slathered on tons of sunscreen. The surf was still rough and the wind was strong, so you felt cool even in the hot sun. This is always the most dangerous since you do not realise you are burned until it is too late. The pool was  a bit cool, so I just dangled my feet in a few times. I was glad I was so careful to cover up as I had missed a spot and my knee had an interesting heart shape burn where it didn’t have enough sunscreen. The burn was like nothing I had before and the sting was very uncomfortable; even more painful than the time I burned my back and blistered. I pity those poor people who looked like cooked lobster with bright red bodies.

The hotel (Seahorse Resort) had a spa and it was much cheaper than in Shanghai so I waited until we arrived to get a pedicure and make my toes beach worthy. The spa was closed that morning, so I had an afternoon appointment. I must say I was a little disappointed with the pedicure, even though I had paid extra for the ‘deluxe’. I am used to a little massage and creams as well as the top quality polishes. This was OK, but at times awkward as the woman positioned my feet for her to work on; my leg didn’t always bend where she wanted it to! She was a bit rough with the scrub and pulling off the nasty winter skin. Finally it was time for the polish and she quickly applied the colour, with a cheap brand, and no top coat. She left and never came back. After about 15 minutes I attempted to check my nails and the manager came over and helped me. A pedicure is expensive and something I occasionally treat myself to. In Shanghai they are cheaper than home and I usually have had a few in the summer months. They are relaxing and it is nice to feel pampered. This left me feeling awkward and rushed… so much for coming back for another spa treatment. A fellow teacher told us about the Seahorse and comparing notes since we came home she said the massages were fantastic… duly noted for next time.

The next few days we had to decide what to do next? Go out to the dunes (red and white sand dunes), relax by the pool, or go into town? Stay tuned to find out more…

As always play nice:) and words and images are property of ME and cannot be used witout permission from CTB.

Categories: Culture, Photography, post a week, strange adventure, teaching overseas, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,