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