Eat's my life
IT WAS my son Marty’s fifth birthday last August 17, and as a birthday gift, we took him to Disneyland in Hong Kong. We’d planned this for several months already, and bought our airline tickets early, so they would be cheaper. We’d already made reservations at a fairly nice hotel in Kowloon, the Salisbury, which was pretty much okay because it was just one bus ride from the airport.
While my wife Chacha and I were looking forward to seeing Marty enjoy himself in Disneyland, I was also looking forward to going on a culinary adventure. I know we have a lot of pretty good Chinese restaurants here in Cebu, but since it was a chance for me to taste the real thing, I scouted around for hole-in-the-wall places to eat in.
Sure enough, I found Tong Tai Seafood Restaurant, at the corner of Temple and Ning Po
Sts., run by a nice guy named Alex Leung. I don’t think he’d remember me if and when I go back there, but it’s okay, as I’m sure he meets a lot of people while running his restaurant, taking orders, and supervising the staff.
So, I started my meal with a bottle of Tsingtao and a plate of fried chicken wings.
The chicken wings were really good, and they were fat, fat, fat, unlike the typical chicken wings we have here. I don’t know where they get their chicken, but each wing had lots of meat on it, that maybe one chicken wing would equal two of what we have here.
I also ordered a plate of Yang Chow fried rice, and it turned out to be pretty fantastic. They use long-grained rice, (basmati perhaps?), and it came loaded with shrimps and scrambled egg. I’d put Tong Tai’s fried rice against any of the better Chinese restaurants here in Cebu, and mind you, I was eating on the street, sitting on a monoblock chair, with a bunch of Caucasians behind me.
I also had a plate of noodles to go with my fried rice. The fried noodles came with a choice of chicken or spare ribs, and since I already had some chicken, I ordered the version with Chinese-style spare ribs, seasoned only with salt and pepper. It was also pretty good, and reminded me of the pancit here at home.
I’d already finished my meal, but I still wanted to have a drink or two and needed something to pair the beer with, so I ordered one of the Cebu Food Mafia’s favorites, mapo tofu. It’s soy bean curd with ground pork and lots of chilies, sauted nicely, and pretty good with practically anything. I ordered the slightly spicy version, because I didn’t want to have a tummyache the next day, and when it arrived at my table, I found it perfectly to my liking.
It was a pretty good evening, having a fine meal, and meeting someone new in another country. If I ever get the chance to go back to Hong Kong, I’ll definitely head back
to Tong Tai Seafood Restaurant for more fantastic authentic Chinese food.