Dragon Back’s Hike @ Shek O Country Park on 11May2013

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view of Shek O from dragon’s back trail

we came Hong Kong ostensibly to eat & hike, so I better put up something to show we did la..hahaha. 🙂

one thing the Hong Kong weather forecast was utterly unreliable. this day (11.5.2013) was supposed to be a mostly wet day & since we had a bit of showers on 10.5.2013 – the day we arrived – we were expecting maybe we had to do this on Sunday. anyhow we woke up to glorious sunshine, so no excuse! 🙂

we had the free continental breakfast of croissant, bread, fruit, coffee etc at Ovolo where we stayed and set off for our morning hike at Dragon’s Back @ Shek O Country Park, voted the Best Urban Hike in Asia (Times Magazine 22 Nov 2004 Asia Issue). Sam Shui Po MTR was a 10mins walk from our hotel. we took the Tseun Wan line to Admiralty and changed to Island line to Shau Kei Wan and took the A3 exit to the Bus Terminus. Here we were queueing up for the No9 bus to Shek O when a private bus tout got into the good books of our adventurous trip leader who thrives on unknowns, and we got shepherded to a private bus waiting nearby. fortunately we were the last passengers they were waiting & the bus took off rightaway. The price was kind of irrelevant (like HK$7 vs HK$7.90 on the public bus) but I guess it was another experience. why not? – except this bus truly “took off” and was like hurtling through the winding country roads at >70kmh! phew – fortunately this time it got us faster to where we wanted & not some place else..heng ah! (means lucky) 🙂

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we started the hike at 9.11am from the point further down Shek O road (you could also start the hike mid-way at To Tei Wan).

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the ground was a bit wet from the rain the night before. as we got onto higher grounds we captured the first views of Stanley.

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we came to the first fork – the one facing outwards which we took was the dragon’s back trail (4.9km ending at Tai Long Wan).

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and we got a great view of Shek O (top photo & above). 🙂 panning back we also had a better birds eye view of Stanley.

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more views of Shek O! we took quite a few group photos here for memories. 🙂

looking back at the dragon's back trail

looking back at the dragon’s back trail

& the view of the dragon’s back trail looking back. 🙂

view of Tai Long Wan

view of Tai Long Wan

more walking, and Tai Long Wan unfolded just ahead! 🙂

Shek O peak 284m

Shek O peak 284m

and then we were at Shek O peak at 284m. 🙂

mid-way exit to Shek O road at To Tei Wan

mid-way exit to Shek O road at To Tei Wan

we were not planning to go to Tai Long Wan as the return journey would take 5 hrs, so we made a mid-way exit to Shek O road at To Tei Wan Village and that was just a nice 2hrs 5.7km hike. 🙂

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we had some time to kill, so we walked around the wet market at Shau Kei Wan. there were live seafood of all description – the rarer ones like conch 海螺, abalones, razor clams (we only see in restaurants in Singapore), mantis prawns, braised goose (we hardly could find in restaurants here).

as we were still in good time and having already made prior reservations, we decided to make our way back to Tsimshatsui & had a very pleasant dimsum lunch at 迎Joyous One.

we did not do the Peak Circle walk the day before because of the rain. so after lunch & a short walk around Tsimshatsui, our trip leader herded us to Central bus terminus where we took No15 to the Peak. I had taken the Peak Tram the last few times when I went to the Peak. The bus offered a very good alternative really -cheap & excellent views during the journey up. 🙂

small fall along Peak Circle route

small falls along Peak Circle route

we were surprised with this mini falls along Peak Circle Walk as usually there was no water flow but maybe the overnight rain brought enough water. 🙂

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we were planning to do a casually 1hr walk on paved roads with round-island views of Hong Kong skyline (and would have if we had stuck to Lugard Road) . however we got distracted and decided to take Harlech Road & pursue the Pak Fu Lam park & reservoir route. that became another 2hr+ hike over terrain with quite steep slopes & another 5.3km. 🙂

another excuse for big eats! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

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Homegourmet 6-course Dinner for belated Mother’s Day on 1June2013

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usually my wife & I & family avoid the actual days of public holidays or commercialised offerings like Valentine Day, Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day etc to dine out. 🙂 while there are good reasons to do on certain occasions, mostly it does not make sense to spend atrocious amount of monies for lesser service & food quality experience, which is what you get when the restaurants are jam-packed & servers are harried.

on those occasions we would either go on an earlier or later date or select a restaurant that served the usual menu or the very few which served a better menu at better prices on special occasions – Majestic was one which served great ala carte buffet for Christmas & New Year but for this year seem to have stopped doing for Mother’s Day & Father’s Day (not to forget they served an excellent World Gourmet Summit Dinner recently). 🙂

for this time, since I cook a decent meal at home these days, we thought we would do Mother’s Day at home instead. However I was called away by the Hong Kong Eat & Hike group and was in Hong Kong on 10.5.2013. and after that I was away in Kyoto/Osaka with my sis & my wife was away with daughter & her friend also. so we decided on a belated Mother’s Day home dinner on 1.6.2013 which also coincided with another special day for us. 🙂

there were only 4 of us for dinner. I wanted to do the Nobu miso cod for my wife as she was never into lamb & now less into beef . so I designed a 6-course dinner but reduced the quantity. 🙂

calamari (by auntie Bes)

calamari

first we had a very good calamari – this one was done by aunty Bes. she did this quite many times now and was becoming very good at it. I added this dish as my eldest daughter does not take some of the other dishes.

pan-roasted brined chicken breas

pan-roasted brined chicken breast

pan-fried kurobuta steak

pan-fried kurobuta steak

the pan-roasted brined chicken breast & the pan-fried kurobuta were served together with the calamari as a tapas – for eating & chatting around the table. 🙂 chicken was good as always & the kurobuta from mmmm was very good (though I think wagyu is still better but this kurobuta is better than the normal ribeye & striploin). 🙂

chashu for chashumen - Japanese braised belly pork

chashu – Japanese braised belly pork

chashumen - runny yoke egg & Japanese braised belly pork

chashumen – runny yoke egg & Japanese braised belly pork

next I had a pre-prepared chashumen dish ready to serve – only have to boil the soup from the braising sauce & pour over the noodles. 🙂  The chashu or Japanese braised belly pork was done the usual standard fare for ramen style & I am now able to consistently produce a 6minute runny yoke egg. I used very small quantities of thin white Japanese noodles instead of ramen so it was less “je lak” and also to reduce the carbo. 🙂

vongole fettucine

vongole fettucine

I did a really splendid spicy vongole fettucine in white wine the last time in my first attempt. this time the littleneck clams were again super, the pasta was tasty but not as good as the first time. 🙂

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Nobu miso cod

Nobu miso cod

the Nobu miso cod was again super -so tasty, and such wonderful bite & texture. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy