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