Friday 30 January 2015

Food & Dining: Best Rice Congee in Quarry Bay

Not just any rice congee
Image from Locky's English Playground
I was never a congee person, whether that has anything to do with my childhood memory horror is something I cannot confirm, but this congee shop in Quarry Bay has brought a kind of gluttony I had never experienced before.

Dine in queue and takeout queue
Image from Locky's English Playground
It is not usual to see queues outside a congee shop, this is one rare exception.

Menus on the wall
Image from Locky's English Playground
 Menus are all on the wall, no English though, so you have to memorise those Cantonese food names of your choice.

Image from Locky's English Playground
Price-wise, it is not the cheapest but more tha fair for what you will be getting.

Panoramic view outside the shop
Image from Locky's English Playground

5 orders
Image from Locky's English Playground
So what have I got? For this occasion, I bought pig's blood congee and deep-fried youtiao rice roll for my wife, and beef congee, fried noodles and plain rice rolls for myself.

Beef congee and pig's blood congee
Image from Locky's English Playground
Just like all other types of food, there are dozens of ways to cook just one. This congee is knowing as the "raw-cooked" type, meaning that the congee is cooked from rice form to its congee form entirely on flame, not by electric stove and definitely not rice cooker.

Well, it is not as green and it is not so good in terms of carbon emission, but the texture -- that perfect, inseparable blend of molten rice and water, together with the ingredients added to the boiling only after you place the order, is unbeatable on a cold winter day.

Fried soy sauce noodles
Image from Locky's English Playground
The fried noodles with bean sprouts was done so well that there is not one bit of burnt on one noodle, as opposed to most others.

Zaa loeng -- Youtiao rice rolls
Image from Locky's English Playground
炸兩 (Cantonese: Zaa3 Loeng5), literally meaning "Fried Twice", aka Youtiao rice rolls, are oh-so-tremendous!! You get crispiness of the Youtiao, you get that bread-like softness in the middle, and you get that elasticity of the rice roll that bonds so well to it's inner crunch. It is served with soy sauce, sweet sauce and chili sauce but in my humble opinion, you can have it without all those and still get that smile of satisfaction.

Plain rice rolls
Image from Locky's English Playground
Last but not least, the plain rice rolls, which has basically the same chewiness as the Youtiao rice rolls, but because of their compactness,  you'll find a multi-layered bite in them.

The best part about these two dishes is, they are excellent when hot and still delicious when cold.

Do you me any good other good congee shops? Leave a comment below.

gluttony -- (n) [U] disapproving when people eat and drink more than they need to
youtiao -- (n)[C] also known as the Chinese cruller, Chinese oil stick, Chinese doughnut, and fried breadstick,[citation needed] is a long golden-brown deep-fried strip of dough eaten in China and (by a variety of other names) in other East and Southeast Asian cuisines. Conventionally, youtiao are lightly salted and made so they can be torn lengthwise in two. Youtiao are normally eaten at breakfast as an accompaniment for rice congee or soy milk.

Youtiao @Wikpedia

炸兩 (Cantonese: Zaa3 Loeng5) @Wikipedia

Wednesday 21 January 2015

Auto: HK$400 Dual HD Dash Cam Installation on Tesla Model S & Hands-On Review

Brandless Rearview Mirror Car Recorder
Image from Locky's English Playground
After knowing what has happened to many other Tesla Model S cars on the roads of Hong Kong (and many others cars in fact), I decided it is time to get a dashcam. This one that I found on Taobao has a dual cam option at RMB 313.35 (HK$400, US$51.3), or just RMB 255 for the front cam.

Image from Locky's English Playground
Specs-wise, there is nothing to complain about, it is simply the same as those branded ones at around HK$3000. You can see that for yourself.

From the side of the box
Image from Locky's English Playground
The question is then, is it really that good? Here I made two videos about the installation and my hands-on review.

Some Model S owners tell me that I can actually wrestle the headliner for a gap underneath it with the help of a tool, but mine seems very toughly glued onto the glass. I am sure some brutality will do the job, but I dare not risk.

There are still certain parts I can improve on this installation, but surely there are parts, say the cable along the small rear seat windows which had to be taped. The tapes themselves are not pretty and I could have gone for a black tape, but black tape usually leaves very sticky residue and 3M Scotch tape seems to be my best option, for now.

Do leave me comments if you have any better suggestions to improve on my installation.

wrestle -- (vb) [I or T] to fight with someone (especially as a sport) by holding them and trying to throw them to the ground
brutality -- (n) [C or U] behaviour that is very cruel or violent showing no feelings for others, or an act of this type


Tesla Model S Dual HD Dash Cam Installation Part 1 @YouTube

Tesla Model S Dual HD Dash Cam Installation Part 2 @YouTube

正品行车记录仪前后双镜头后视镜一体机高清1080夜视王超广角监控 @Taobao

Saturday 17 January 2015

Auto: Tesla Model S Rim Protector Re-Installation

Rimblades from Taobao
Image from Locky's English Playground
After I wrote Auto: Tesla Model S Rim Protector Installation, the response has been very good, so I should write a follow-up on what I did to the rims on the back wheels. As I wrote in that post, I was left with the front rim protectors after a day. Now that I have recovered the Rimblades, it is about time to put them on. The first thing I noticed is that everything is of a huge difference from the previous set.  The box is very well colour-printed.

Image from Locky's English Playground
Rimblades rim protectors are more rubbery, more elastic and with that, I can already feel it will be able to absorb more shock upon impact. The 3M double-sided tape on it also looks more real and is definitely more sticky.

Alcohol wipes and 3M primer!!
Image from Locky's English Playground
It comes with 4 alcohol wipes and 4 perfectly-sealed 3M primer wipes instead of a nail polish-looking one I used for another set, all these makes me believe that this is actually the real deal!

And now the installation video:

A plastic bag to keep the dust and sand off the Rimblade on the ground
Image from Locky's English Playground
Some points to note while installing rim protectors:
1) Should put a plastic bag under the rim protectors to keep the dust and sand off them. You don't want those to be stuck in between your rim and the tape.

Damp cloth and tonnes of pressure
Image from Locky's English Playground
2) Wear a pair of gloves to keep your fingers from getting all crazy black.
3) Do get a damp cloth before you apply pressure over and over the rim protectors, water might actually activate the primer so that it can stick better. I missed this step entirely in the previous installation even though the video I followed did tell me so.

TATA!!!! Left back wheel installed!
Image from Locky's English Playground
4) Apply pressure around the rim, paying special attention to small gaps between the rim protector and your rim.

Right back wheel installed
Image from Locky's English Playground
5) Try not to drive for the next 12 hours. Maybe the time need not be so long, but just in case, some videos even say 24 hours!

After a day of driving, rim protector shrunk a bit
Image from Locky's English Playground
6) After a day of driving, the rim protector shrunk a bit, possibly due to the cold temperature, thus it is advisable to leave the cut a little longer than it should. Use a cutter for precision.

Blue rim protector on the front wheels that have survived
Image from Locky's English Playground

Blue in front, black at the back
Image from Locky's English Playground
Days after the installation, I still have all four rim protectors, so I can say my re-installation is a successful one! Hope yours will be too!

Auto: Tesla Model S Rim Protector Installation @  Locky's English Playground

Tesla Model S Rim Protector Re-Installation @YouTube

精美轮毂装饰贴 轮圈装饰条 韩国进口-淘宝网

Tuesday 13 January 2015

Auto: Tesla Model S Rim Protector Installation

Rim protector installed!
Image from Locky's English Playground
After the rim scratch on the Tesla Rally day, my mother-in-law found in her home the lost rim protector I bought through a Tesla Motors Club group buy. C'est la vie, isn't it? You just can't find something before you need it. I thought I was never going to recover it so I bought another set from Taobao, this time from a different company which is selling something similar but at RMB 99 only.

Rim protector worths RMB 99 from Taobao
Image from Locky's English Playground
The ad definitely has the brand KABRIS on it, but the box definitely doesn't have that.

Image from Locky's English Playground
Unboxed and found a 3M(?) 94 Primer, I wonder if 3M has ever produced any primer of this size.

The Rim protector itself
Image from Locky's English Playground
The rim protector comes with 3M (?) double-sided tape on one side, but the rim protector itself is of a pretty cheesy quality. Oh well, what should I expect from a RMB 99 purchase? Here's a video I made, because I didn't have a spare pair of hands, I could not show the actually installation process, but I must say, I put in a lot of elbow grease.

and I followed the guide here:

Can you see the protector?
Image from Locky's English Playground
The result is not at all obvious.

Very subtle, isn't it?
Image from Locky's English Playground
But being subtle is kind of my style.

I left the car there overnight for more than 12 hours,

After a day, two of the protectors on the back wheel fell off, leaving only the front wheels. I am left with enough blue rim protector for 1 more wheel, so should I have 3 wheels blue and 1 wheel black?

cheesy  -- (adj) informal clearly of cheap quality or in bad style
elbow grease -- (n)[U] informal a lot of physical effort


Tesla Model S Rim Protector Installation

Auto & Event: Tesla Rally Hong Kong 2014 & Shark Conservation @ Locky's English Playground

Rimblades Fitting Guide +YouTube

Monday 12 January 2015

Food and Dining: Old Place -- Amazing Chicken Pot Hot Pot @ North Point

TV outside the restaurant showing price and TV show
Image from Locky's English Playground
Winter, the season for hot comfy, the time when every Hong Konger flood to reserve tables at hot pot restaurants. Some are so popular that reservation has to be made at least a month earlier.

Name in Chinese
Image from Locky's English Playground
So what if I didn't plan for a hot pot dinner before hand? What I'd I suddenly feel like having hot pot? Usually I will prepare for hot pot at home, its cosy and free (as in freedom).

Order form
Image from Locky's English Playground
But one day I wanted something different, something new for my wife, so we searched Openrice and found this great restaurant called Old Place in North Point.

Panoramic view from inside the restaurant
Image from Locky's English Playground
The huge glass walls are brilliant and rare for a restaurant on ground floor. Usually there are stickers to cover parts of the seats but there is none for this place. Some might think there is a lack of privacy, I actually like it this way, feels like we were having dinner on the streets like the Tai Pai Doong style in Hong Kong.

Image from Locky's English Playground
Appetizers are long beans, wood ears and spicy cucumber, all quite tasty, but are incomparable with what was to come.

Staff is stir-frying spicy chicken
Image from Locky's English Playground
Staff came with a large metal pot, removed the lid and there it was a gush of hot spicy chili vapour onto my face.

Spicy chicken pot
Image from Locky's English Playground
When the vapour cleared, goldenness appeared...

Close up
Image from Locky's English Playground
...and immediately there was too much saliva to hold in the mouth. For me, because we ordered "light" spiciness for the chicken to suit my wife's taste, I can focus more on its richness. Although the chicken might not be fresh chicken, it did taste really fresh. The mixture for marination had done an excellent job in bringing up that chickeny flavour. Ingredients which we could see are onions, chili and parsley, but the secret lied deep in the sauce and it was not for us to know. All I can say about this chicken pot is that it is the best I have ever had, EVER!!! And if I have a chance to try "strong" spiciness, I will.

The first order
Image from Locky's English Playground

After finishing the chicken pot, the pot is used for hot pot and the chicken pot sauce left in it is used as the soup base after adding broth.

The food in the order list is pretty standard, but considering the price we paid -- $168 per head with free-flowing soft drinks/beer, there should be little room for complaints.

Beef, chicken, fish balls, dumplings, sausages and beef balls
Image from Locky's English Playground
Honestly speaking, the food were not bad at all, everything has reached a level of decency, freshness is definitely there.

Dried fish skin
Image from Locky's English Playground
Variety is a little wider than the usual selection, but if you are looking for something spectacular, particularly the seafood, then this may not be the right place for you.

Various mushrooms and corn
Image from Locky's English Playground
That being said, they did not say you cannot bring in your own purchase of seafood, so judging by the price you paid and the non-restricted dining duration, and the immense quality of the chicken pot, this is definitely a great place for rendezvous!

Newsletter from the restaurant
Images from Locky's English Playground

Oh, and the restaurant is not actually a hot pot restaurant for the entire day. In the morning, it is a place for Hong Kong breakfast, in the afternoon it is a bit of Szechuanese and a bit of Shanghainese, tea time it is a bit of American and a bit of Hong Kong, then to hot pot at night.

EV charger at AIA Tower car park @ North Point

What I would like it to have though, is free parking at the AIA Tower car park next door upon spending. The car park entrance is large and the parking spaces are big, there are 2 EV charging spots but chargers can only be activated by the car park staff, so EV drivers must call that number on the charger and wait for the staff to come with a fob to activate the charger for you.

Important left turn you don't want to miss
Image from Google Map

If you are driving to park in AIA Tower car park, be sure you don't miss the left turn on Electric Road into Fook Yum Road as shown in the street view above, otherwise, you will have to drive a long way to get back to this entrance to the car park

rendezvous -- (n)[C] plural rendezvous an arrangement to meet someone, especially secretly, at a particular place and time, or the place itselfa place where a particular group of people often go or meet, by arrangement or habit

Old Place 老地坊小館 @Openrice

Google Map Street View

Tuesday 6 January 2015

Auto & Event: Tesla Rally Hong Kong 2014 & Shark Conservation

Participants of Tesla Rally HK 2014, photo taken outside Marriott Sky City
Image from TMC HK
This year with the arrival of Model S in Hong Kong, Tesla Motors Club Hong Kong initiated a rally on the 14th December. Families and friends gathered together to promote this latest car model as well as the importance of eco-driving. As a prelude to the upcoming documentary "Racing Extinction" on the 24th January 2015, we showed our support by donating some money raised in this event to the Hong Kong Shark Foundation (HKSF).

Image from Leilani Munter's Facebook
And here is an extract from the rally organisers' letter:

This year, the proceeds will go to the Hong Kong Shark Foundation ( As many as 73 million sharks are harvested each year for their fins, and more than half of these fins are traded in or through Hong Kong.

Leilani Münter ( is a biology graduate who eventually became the unusual combination of a race car driver and environmental activist. She was involved in the Cove documentary, and drives for the upcoming Racing Extinction documentary movie.

Here is what she has to say:

"I was thrilled to hear that my fellow Tesla owners in Hong Kong are raising awareness about the terrible practice of shark finning. As a long time scuba diver, I have encountered many sharks in the wild and they are incredibly beautiful creatures. They have roamed the deep unchanged for hundreds of millions of years since before the dinosaurs.
The balance of the ocean ecosystem depends on animals from the smallest microbe to the top predator and humans have already killed off 90% of the shark population, largely due to shark fin soup. Humans depend on the health of the ocean, if the oceans die, we die. This horrible practice must end, for their sake - and for ours."

The fact that the organisers managed to get Leilani to say a few words to support us really gave us the morale boost for the rally and the fighting for a greener better world.

Image from markwj
The rally's route has a distance of 153km with an estimated 2 hr 55 mins of driving. A Google Map version has been linked here. The following drone video shows the gathering at the Kai Tai Cruise Terminal and at the Science Park. (My car is the second last near the end of the video.)

All Tesla EVs except mine began at the Kai Tai Cruise Terminal in Kowloon where took photos and videos. Then mine joined in after the group of 14 EVs crossed the Eastern Harbour Tunnel to Hong Kong side, then we headed towards Cyberport all together. The fact that I did not start together with the group was because I lived near the Eastern Harbour Tunnel, it would be a waste of money if I had to cross the tunnel twice just to get back to where I started.

Gathering near Cyberport Superchargers
Image from Locky's English Playground
Because the charging at my car park tripped at 2am the night before, I would need a quick supercharge at Cyberport just to be safe. The entrance to the supercharger car park was horrifically littered with dozens of fist-size pebbles (it must be some sort of vandalism!), and because of the cars behind me, I had to drive over them. Subsequent cracking sounds were terrifying and when nervousness set in, I drove too close to the right side of the curb at the car park entrance and scratched my rim on the front wheel!!! And it just had to be this day after I had failed to search for my rim protector the entire day before (and recovered it after the rim was scratched the next day). So much for my first official charge at a supercharger EVER!! And because of the charging, I missed the chance to have a good chat with the rest of the owners. I did get my No. 14 car stickers though. Since No.13 has left, my car is the last in the queue.

Here's a music video I made using raw videos taken by fellow owner Core (with thanks).

I had about 10 mins of supercharging and got the battery filled up to roughly 275km of range, and then quickly headed back to the group and drove towards Hong Kong International Airport. The drive was awesome, but many highways got me both excited and nervous. For one thing, I have always driven with wife and baby inside the car, going mostly tight city roads means that I had hardly driven passed 70kmph. Although we were going rather slowly for the purpose of keeping in one line and in sequence, being the last of the queue means that if I got lost or going too slowly, there would be a hard time chasing the rest and I had to drive even faster, which could be pretty dangerous for me.

Heading towards Marriott Sky City
Image from Locky's English Playground

There were indeed one scary incidence in which I was cut off from the group by a taxi, and because there was enough space between the Model S in front and the taxi, I decided to overtake the taxi again. I cut out on my right, but the car behind was too fast and too close without my noticing, I heard the first honk of complaint from the car behind. Then I accelerated and cut left before the taxi back to the queue and then there was the second honk, this time from the taxi, as I was probably too close once again. But that wasn't it, the taxi driver thought I was doing it on purpose instead of being inexperience in driving fast, decided to take revenge and dangerously overtook me in a similar fashion as I did. I had to brake pretty hard when he did that. However, soon enough he realised that the rest of the Model Ss in front of him are going way too slowly for his liking, he left for the fast lane and I was back with the group again. I bet the driver realised that he had intervened our rally once he switched to a faster lane and it was stupid to take revenge on a car with women and baby just to get into a slow-moving lane.

Intra-rally communication was carried out using Zello, but I had no idea that my Zello wasn't even working from the start. I found this strange because no one was using the app throughout the journey but somehow the rest of the group seems to know when the video taking was going to happen (Can't believe Core was driving with his legs only while his hands were holding the camera!!). It was only on Tsingma bridge that I asked my sister to check out what was wrong with the app by Whatsapping her boyfriend who was in another Model S in front, and finally got connected with the group. The above is another music video I made using raw videos taken by fellow owner Core (with thanks).

Getting parked for photos
Image from Locky's English Playground

Coolly parked outside Marriott Sky City
Image from Locky's English Playground
Being able to reach airport intact was a real blessing for me with all those car chases and without communications with the group and thus knowledge of the exact route. Lunch was most needed at that time.

Someone is having fun
Image from Locky's English Playground
Buffet at Marriott was great, but the people were even greater.

More someones
Image from Locky's English Playground
Chatting with the rest was so much fun and friendship just seemed to have formed immediately.

Some babies need game time
Image from Locky's English Playground
The babies would agree with me too.

He's faster on bare feet
Image from Locky's English Playground
After their meal, they just couldn't sit on their high chairs any more.

Babies chit chat
Image from Locky's English Playground
They had to socialise...

Beads can be fun for baby Muse
Image from Locky's English Playground
...and played with everything they find fun.

Organizer Mark(left) with wife and daughter (centre) and Mike from Liberty
Photo by Vincent
After lunch, there was a lucky draw and everyone got a small gift, some more photo-taking of each one of us holding signs and plush toys of sharks, and then we left for Science Park .

We Love Sharks!!! Particularly my baby
Image from Vincent
I let my sister drive this part and I became her co-driver. We were told explicitly that we had to stick to the left before the toll but both of us weren't sure how left was left, since all other cars have autotoll tag, our car was the only one that had to look for a cash toll, ended up we couldn't switch lanes to rejoin the rest after the toll and we had to drive to Science Park on our own.

Car Exhibition?
Image from Locky's English Playground
Lucky that we still managed to reach the same place, though we were the last to get there as we got lost once more, that allowed us to see the scene of a scary car crash that the group was telling us to be careful of.

A Red Roadster led the entire rally
Image from Locky's English Playground
The fact that suddenly so many Teslas appeared made people think that this is a car show.

L1TELOG Owner Core is better than most sales on the Tesla Motors HK team
Image from Vincent
Most of them were definitely attracted by the passion of our fellow owner Core, here demonstrating the hugeness of the frunk himself, while the rest started digging their fingers into the tiny gaps of door handles wondering why they failed. After 15 minutes of stay, we left the completely Model S-amazed weekend families at Science Park and headed to our final stop of the day, Clear Water Bay Golf and Country Club. Here is the last music video I made:

Nicely parked outside Clear Water Bay Golf and Country Club
Image from Locky's English Playground
Sunset on Teslas
Image from Vincent
The sun was setting beautifully on these gorgeous eco-friendly cars while hunger was also setting in, so it was time for tea.

Most energy efficient drivers of the rally
Image from Vincent
There was another prize presentation then for the most energy efficient drivers. Although I drove a lighter 60kWh battery car, my slow-driving tendency made me the least energy efficient driver of the day, so no prize for me.

Final shot of the day
Image from Vincent
When the rally drew to a close, everyone still felt awesome and promised to join the rally again next year! Meaningful and educational, and that is HK$4,133.75 worth of donation to the Hong Kong Shark Foundation.

We did it for the sharks and our future generations, what have you done for the world lately?

PS: For more photos, please visit TMC_HK_Pic's photostream .

Hong Kong Shark Foundation Official Website

Racing Extinction

Tesla Motors Club Hong Kong 2014 Rally +YouTube

Tesla Rally Hong Kong 2014


Leilani Munter @ Twitter

Rally route @ Google Map

Tesla Motors Club Hong Kong 2014 Rally @ YouTube

Tesla Rally HK 2014 @Locky's Google Plus

Tesla Rally Hong Kong 2014 Cyperport Stop @ YouTube

Tesla Rally Hong Kong 2014 Science Park & Clear Water Bay Golf and Country Club @ YouTube

TMC_HK_Pic's photostream 

It's On: Oil Versus Electric @ Huffington Post

Liberty International