Thursday, July 31, 2014

Pigging out on mutton and more at the Royal Garden Hotel's Dong Lai Shun restaurant

This was only part of the Beijing-Huaiyang feast
set out for just eight willing souls to eat!

Among the nine main dishes on the menu
was this beautiful deep-fried mutton cake

Among the six appetizers served was 
this pretty substantial plate of mutton terrine! ;O

In summer, I've learnt in recent years, one should eat 'cooling' foods like cucumber and eel; in winter, 'warming' meats like mutton and snake are good.  But when I was invited to partake of a mutton-heavy feast a couple of weeks ago, I decided I couldn't turn down the opportunity -- even though July is hardly the ideal time of the year to eat this meat that comes from sheep (rather than goat, as it is much more likely to be when people talk of 'mutton' in those territories that don't have winter such as Malaysia).

Anticipating a big meal in store at dinner, I made sure to not eat too much at lunch that day.  Even so, I went somewhat pale when I got to the previously one Michelin star Dong Lai Shun restaurant at the Tsim Sha Tsui East branch of The Royal Garden hotel and was shown a menu with six appetizers on it, nine main dishes, one dim sum dumpling dish and three kinds of desserts -- and this even after being told that there would be seven other foodies at my table, and knowing that I was being treated to this meal (as in my not having to pay for it)!

Amazingly, despite many of the portions being on the generous side (as can be seen by the photo of the mutton terrine "appetizer"), the eight of us actually managed to polish off pretty much everything that we were served!  One good reason for our being able to do the food so much justice was because so much of it was really very tasty.

In particular, I'd actually happily pay to eat the crispy eel in honey (which I actually think would be a great bar snack!), the mutton terrine (that I reckon would not be out of place at an European restaurant), the stir-fried mutton with sweet sauce (which, surprisingly, was like the mutton cousin of the crispy eel in honey -- in taste, if not texture!)  and the fried ox-tripe with Chinese parsley (that came across like an ultra refined version of the cow omasum dish I've enjoyed in Sham Shui Po) again.   

At the same time though, I must admit that I don't think I'll be heading over to Dong Lai Shun again all that soon -- at least not for a feast like this -- because I actually was rather terrified post-meal that I had gained quite a bit of weight in just a few hours at that restaurant!  And it's experiences like this one that help me understand all the more a food writer friend's fears that she'll get majorly fat and unhealthy if she didn't spend significant amounts of time at the gym working out to 'compensate' for all the eating she does for work!! ;b   

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

From Shek Pik Reservoir to Tai O on foot, and then to Tung Chung by ferry (Photo-essay)

The 70-kilometer-long Lantau Trail is divided into 12 sections, with some sections (like the 9-kilometer-length Section 12) being hikeable on their own.  Others are not though because they begin or end far from where such as bus stops or, for that matter, roads accessible to vehicular traffic.  

Such is the case with the Lantau Trail's Sections 7, which ends at Kau Ling Chung, and Section 8 which begins there. So should you decide to go on one of these two sections, they have to be conbined into a 16 kilometer hike that takes one from Tai O to Shek Pik Reservoir (if you religiously follow the Lantau Trail routing) or vice versa (something I prefer since Tai O's got a number of places where one can have a good post-hike meal!).

To date, I've hiked from Shek Pik Reservoir to Tai O twice.  Photo-essays here, here, here and here chronicle the first time I went on this long and -- particularly after you leave the catchwater -- scenic trail; one I recall with particular fondness because it was the hike that introduced me to my first regular hiking companion (who returned to Canada a couple of years back but has returned for a couple of visits since).     

This second time around, I took fewer photos, not least because it was a foggier and grayer day than the first time I went along this trail.  Still, it was also a memorable hike since, among other things, I actually went on it with two other friends on a pleasant enough Christmas Day! ;)

 View out to the Pak Kok that means White Point in Cantonese
(not North Point, like is the case for a couple of other Hong Kong locales)

 Looking back at Kau Ling Chung, where the Lantau Trail's
Sections 7 and 8 meet -- and where a beach, camp site,
 official viewing point and obelisk are to be found

Certain sections of the trail are pretty close to the edge and
I must admit that the metal chain fencing does help me feel safer!

Considering its remoteness, it's rather surprising that 
Fan Lau village remains inhabited

Less surprising is that Fan Lau's remote beach does not attract 
all that many visitors, especially on a cool winter's day!

The Lantau Trail turns off south of Tai O's former salt pans
(that's now a mangrove area) but we walked over the breakwater
on their western edge towards the village proper

Rather than stay for long in Tai O, we elected to take
a fun ferry ride to Tung Chung, from whose MTR station
we caught trains back to urban Hong Kong :)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A hike that took in construction sites and signs of village protests along with the more usual hike sights!

Not the usual hike sight

Neither is this detailed account of the grievances that
Pak Mong's villagers have against the Hong Kong government!

That's more like it -- a panoramic vista looking from
Wong Kung Tin southeastwards down to Mui Wo
and beyond as far as Hong Kong Island :b

A friend and I walked all the way from Tung Chung to Mui Wo earlier today, with the Tung Chung to Pak Mong sector involving a route closer to the body of the water between northern Lantau and the southern edge of the northwestern New Territories than the more inland trail I had gone on with two other friends some time back.
Unlike the route I had gone on previously, this one was not along a designated hiking trail.  Rather, after we belatedly discovered that the New Lantao Bus Company's number 36 bus ran really infrequently (less frequently even than according to the schedule listed on its website), we decided to follow a bike path that took us beyond the Tung Chung New Development Ferry Pier to Tung Chung Waterfront Road and, we hoped, as far as Yan O Wan and Luk Keng Tsuen along the waterfront.

A few hundred meters east of the ferry pier, however, we found construction sites impeding our planned coastal route.  Rather than give up after encountering a large construction site in our way, we opted to go inland a bit and picked up the bike path once more before it led us to yet another large construction site. 
Seeing signs for "pedestrians", we elected to follow a route we could make out, even if the route sometimes involved walking on top of rotting pieces of wood, through a field with thorny seed things that easily attached to hiking boots and the inner edges of the shorts I regularly wear on my hikes!  But upon going through a hole in a wire fence that wasn't our making, we ended up walking on a paved path that I had seen many times while taking the train between Central and Tung Chung or Chek Lap Kok Airport -- and were filled with glee that we'd be able to stroll along near the waterfront for some time.
But near Pak Mong Ferry, we found our path blocked by truly mega construction works for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge that are estimated as blocking the path at least until 2018.  So, thanks to what we were coming to think of as Tung Chung Construction Hell,  back we went to our original plan of hiking from Pak Mong to Mui Wo -- even though it had already been quite a hike to get to Pak Mong from Tung Chung!

I had previously read about there being villager unrest at Pak Mong and for a time, the Nature Touch website's trail closure, etc. notices page had alerted me to disgruntled villagers having barred entry to sections of hiking trail that passed through the village.  When I checked the website this morning though, the trail closure notice for Pak Mong had gone.  So I knew to ignore the many signs and banners erected in the area announcing that certain sections of the trail we were planning to go on hda been closed off.
Still, it was somewhat disconcerting to walk by many signs and banners (some of them impressive in their sheer detail) announcing the villagers' anger at such as the government having shrunk the village's boundary -- this even though it did reassure us somewhat that the few villagers we passed by along our way didn't seem all that hostile, at least to us!
So it was with a mental sigh of relief when I saw signs that we had entered Lantau North Country Park and continued to feel like things had gone back to normal as we descended into the greater Mui Wo area.  Seeing all the beautifully green areas around us also had a calming effect (and the beautiful, clear vistas got our spirits soaring).  And the only reason why we hurried a bit on the way down to Mui Wo was because we were looking forward to celebrating our hike's completion with dinner at the China Beach Club! ;)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Wet and Modern Architecture (This week's Photo Hunt themes)

Back when Taipei 101 was the tallest building in the world (rather than number 6, like it is now), my mother and I went on a vacation to Taiwan's capital city.  In some ways, late December 2007 was a good time to visit: among other things, Taiwan's one of those countries where December 25 is not a public holiday, so museums and many other attractions were open as usual rather than closed for the holidays.  

Despite it being ultra-wet when we visited, I still got much out of our visits to both those Taipei landmarks, including some cool photos. (Incidentally, yes, I could have used just photos from my Taipei trip for this entry for Sandi's and Gattina's Photo Hunts but decided to go for a bit more geographic variety!) 

This was particularly so at atmospheric Lungshan Temple, which I would happily have spent more time photographing if my mother had not been champing at the bit to go somewhere else!  But while my mother and I enjoyed going up to the observation floor of Taipei 101 in its super fast elevator and then walking around and viewing the rest of city from up on high, doing so only got us thinking that as far as tall buildings and other examples of modern architecture go, Hong Kong actually impresses way more.

Sure, "Asia's World City" has never had a building that held the title of world's tallest but Hong Kong easily tops the list of cities with the most skyscrapers.  And although there are people who like to criticize its modern architecture as being on the visually boring or uninspired side, I reckon that some of them, including that which is its currently Hong Kong's tallest building, actually don't look all that bad, be it during the day or at night.

At the very least, I do like that the International Commerce Centre is part of a complex with other tall buildings near it. To my way of thinking, this makes it look less ridiculous and an "ego-product", the way that buildings built to tower over everything and look like they're standing in isolation are -- like *cough, cough* my home state's 60-storey-high Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak (KOMTAR), which sticks out like a sore thumb on the cultural heritage-rich George Town landscape even now, close to 40 years after it was first built! :S

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A commemorative Hello Kitty blog post :)

My favorite Hello Kitty plush gazes at the images on the only 
T-shirt I have with Dear Daniel as well as Kitty Chan on it! :)

Puppet Ponyo is inspired to try to fly like the 
Ninja Hello Kitty on the T-shirt I got in Kyoto last year ;b
Earlier today, the Hong Kong branch of Madame Tussauds unveiled its Hello Kitty waxwork figure.  Even more amazingly, a few days ago, I received an email from representatives of the PR company behind the event inviting me to the unveiling ceremony because "We are a huge fan [sic] of your blog, and couldn't help but notice that you are also a fan of Hello Kitty"!
To commemorate this event, here's sharing two photos of two of my favorite plushie and puppet interacting with two of my four Hello Kitty-themed T-shirts.  And should anyone wonder (and a few friends of mine have indeed asked): yes, of course, I wear the T-shirts rather than just have them on display somewhere in my apartment!! :D

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Along the High Junk Peak Country Trail down to Joss House Bay (Photo-essay)

Some day, I'll gather up enough courage to actually get to the top of the formidable looking High Junk Peak, long considered to be one of Hong Kong's most treacherous peaks.  For now though, I'll just content myself with having gone along the High Junk Peak Country Trail on two different occasions.

The first time around, I was perfectly content to stick to the High Junk Peak Country Trail in Clear Water Bay Country Park.  On my second time on the trail, I did seriously consider diverting off trail to scale the peak -- but while I could see myself getting up to the top without too much difficulty, I worried about getting down without any sprained ankles or tumbles.  (For the record: going down steep inclines scare me a lot more than going up them.)

Even without going up to the top of High Junk Peak, I'm still glad that I hiked in that area that day -- because, the way I saw it, visibility was noticeably better this time around than previously.  And while they don't have the glamor of High Junk Peak, I do very much like the plateau area around Tin Ha Shan and also the Tin Hau Temple at Joss House Bay close to this particular hike's end! :)

The High Junk Peak Country Trail has distinct sections
for hikers and mountain bikers

This is one of those Hong Kong trails on one side of which
are high rise buildings and on the other, beautiful beaches!

The formidable High Junk Peak

This photo gives some idea of how high up I got 
before I decided to turn back and head down the hill... :S

A view of beautiful Clear Water Bay, with the 
Ninepin Group of islands far away in the distance 

Do the people behind this emergency helpline
know something that we don't?! :O

I'm not sure which is the more surreal sight -- 
my hiking buddy posing atop an interesting rock formation
or the golf course perched at the end of this scenic peninsula! ;b

One steep descent along hard stone steps later, we're down 
at sea level enjoying beautiful sights like at Joss House Bay :)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

An afternoon visit to the Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve

A species of brown butterfly I had never seen before prior
 to my visit to the Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve earlier today

 A much smaller winged creature (check out its size 
relative to the black ant above it in the photo!) that 
I also spotted at Fung Yuen this afternoon

 Closer to the ground, I spotted such as 
this grasshopper and its long antennae :)

Earlier this week, Super Typhoon Rammasun came close enough to Hong Kong to warrant the raising of Typhoon Signal Number 3.  Unlike with sections of the Philippines and mainland China, it spared us from disaster, with only some strong gusts of wind and changeable weather providing evidence of its being our neighborhood.  

Because the weather was so unchangeable the past few days, my hiking friends and I opted against meeting up this Sunday -- and when it poured with rain for some time this morning, I felt that we had made the right decision.  But when the afternoon came and bright sunshine with it, I just had to head outdoors to someplace green and (relatively) wild!

I had passed by the Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve a few times on hikes but it wasn't until this afternoon that I paid a visit to this famous (in hiking and naturalist circles) butterfly haven where more than 200 species of butterflies have been spotted.  Managed by the Tai Po Environmental Association, its admission fee is an entirely reasonable HK$20.    

In recent years, this area that's been designated as a "Site of Special Scientific Interest" has come under threat as a result of housing developments in the area, notably the controversial Mont Vert that the Hong Kong government has issued an official advisory about and which has apartments whose small size has shocked quite a few folks.  And seeing the crowd of real estate sales agents and prospective flat buyers milling about when I got off the mini bus I took to Fung Yuen got me worried that enough damage had already been done to drive lots of butterflies away.

But even while I visited outside of the optimal hours for butterfly watching (i.e., 9am-11am or before sunset in the summer months), I still did spot a good amount of butterflies and other critters (notably dragonflies, Golden Orb Weaver spiders and grasshoppers) at Fung Yuen this afternoon.  

If truth be told though, I feel like I've been on hikes where I've seen more butterflies than I did in the one and a half that I spent within Fung Yuen's approximately 42 hectares this afternoon.  Where today's experience can't be beat though is in the diversity of butterfly species I spotted in such a short space of time, with the bonus coming from there being a number of butterfly species that I saw for the first time this afternoon!

I'm not sure how rare these butterflies are but they don't seem to be represented in the Hong Kong Lepidopterists' Society' extensive butterfly index as well as the LCSD's Butterflies in Hong Kong's Urban Parks' pages and Green Power's Butterfly Gallery.  In the case of the butterfly in the top most photograph in this entry, its design resembles a chocolate pansy but the edges of its wings don't.  And in all honesty, I'm not 100% sure that the critter in the photo is actually a butterfly -- since I've never seen one with such see-through wings before!

As with the strange spider I saw while out hiking a few weeks back, I'd be grateful if someone could identify them.  So here's thanking in advance whoever is able and willing to do so! :)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Sheer and Nails (This week's Photo Hunt themes)

Call it sheer stubbornness or sheer stupidity -- but even while I could have opted to take both the Photo Hunt themes chosen this week by Sandi and Gattina, I got it into my head to hunt through my photo archive for images featuring actual nails.  Perhaps if I had known how few photos with nails -- as opposed to screws, bolts and other fasteners! -- I wouldn't have done so... but, ultimately, I think the three that I've found are actually pretty neat.

The first photo is of a wooden walkway at the Hong Kong Wetland Park -- in terms of sheer numbers, it's the image with the most nails (or, at the very least, their tops) in them! And seeing that wooden construction got me thinking of a far more rickety one on which I've also been on, with greater misgivings as to its sheer durability.

The bridge at Tai Long Wan is one that a number of people hesitate to go on, even if they're super hungry and thirsty and know that there are a couple of cafes waiting invitingly for them on the other side of the stream!  It doesn't look too bad in the photo I've included of it in this entry that was taken while resting at one of those nice beachside cafes -- but you can go here or here to get a better sense of how its very sight can cause people to hesitate to go on it!

Finally, there's a photo that I think has the others beat for its sheer evocativeness. Taken at one of rural Hong Kong's many abandoned villages, it's of photo collections that remain nailed to the wall in what I'm assuming must have been the home of at least some of the people in the pictures.  

When seeing sights like this, I get to thinking that the residents of these homes must have left in a major hurry -- or were moving to a place where they weren't allowed to take much at all with them. Otherwise, I find it inexplicable that they'd leave such items behind -- ones that would help them call to mind moments and people in their lives whose memories they had considered worth capturing in now faded photos. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Reacting to a man-made disaster (and thoughts on the Malaysian Airlines tragedies)

In this picture's foreground are planes from the two airlines
I've been most likely to fly with these past few years

Late last night, I got home from a film screening to news about a Malaysian Airlines plane having crashed in the Ukraine, the second plane from my country's national airline to have met with disaster in just five months.  Shock turned to horror and disbelief upon finding out that MH17 had been shot down despite being a civilian plane from a nation not involved in the conflict in the area over which it had been flying more than 30,000 feet above.

And then came the personal fears and worries that comes from my being one of those people who lives thousands of miles apart from family members, making flying about the most convenient way for us to meet up every once in a while.  In addition, there's the fact of my parents being among those who travel in planes a lot more than most others -- in part because they have a child each in Australia, England and Hong Kong.

My favorite footballer of all time -- Arsenal and Holland's Dennis Bergkamp -- was nicknamed The Non-flying Dutchman (as well as The Iceman, Bergie or just plain God) because he was afraid of flying on planes.  While his teammates flew to play Champions League and international matches in far away locales, he stayed at home.  When Arsenal played clubs within driving distance of London, such as Paris or Amsterdam, he'd be chauffeured there while, again, his teammates flew over.

In contrast, I can't imagine a life without flying on a plane -- not because I particularly love this form of transportation but, rather, due to flying having been something I've done ever since I was a very young child.  And being Malaysian and living in Malaysia for the early part of my life, I naturally tended to fly on Malaysia Airlines (and its precursor, Malaysia-Singapore Airlines).

Soon after the MH370 disaster, I returned to my home state of Penang for a short visit.  Before I left Hong Kong, a friend asked me which airline I'd be taking there, and expressed his relief when he heard that I was going on Cathay Pacific (which operates daily direct flights between Hong Kong and Penang) rather than Malaysian Airlines.

Although I didn't take Malaysian Airlines that time, I actually hadn't thought of deliberately avoiding flying on its planes in the wake of what happened to MH370.  And even while I have to admit to having thoughts post the MH17 disaster that the airlines may be jinxed, I still am not going to point fingers at the airline and say that these two tragedies are its fault.

The thing is: until this year, Malaysian Airlines had had a very good safety record -- and I've definitely felt much safer on its planes than on quite a few other airlines' (including Air India, where on one flight, I couldn't get the seatbelt buckle to work, Air Tanzania Corporation (i.e., Air Total Chaos), and some American airlines' whose planes looked considerably older and less well maintained than Malaysian Airlines').

Leaving aside national pride and family concerns, there's also the matter of the victims of MH17 (and MH370) and their loved ones.  Truly they have suffered in ways that I do not wish on anyone, and my thoughts and condolences go to them.  And I sincerely hope that no more disasters and tragedies of this sort will befall anyone else for some time, if not ever.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A hike up along the Ngong Ping 360 Rescue Trail on a super misty/foggy day (Photo-essay)

One super misty December day ago, a friend and I trekked up more than 500 meters above sea level to Lantau's Ngong Ping Plateau via the Ngong Ping 360 Rescue Trail.  Granted that it was the most scenic as well as easiest of hikes but I was surprised that my friend declared at hike's end that it was one of the most challenging and plain worst hikes he had ever been on.

For my part, I'm glad that I went on this hike -- and feel a real sense of accomplishment at having successfully gone on it (on the day that we did).  To be fair though, there were a few hairy moments --including when I saw a trail runner fall down and sprawl flat right in front of me on a slippery wooden section of the trail.  

Also, this is not a trail I plan on going on again any time soon -- because in the winter, conditions are likely to be like the ones we encountered, and in the summer, it'd just be too hot on account of substantial portions of the trail not having much tree cover! ;(

The run up to the hike, where one catches glimpses of 
and Ngong Ping 360 are pretty innocuous

As the first hill that one will have to hike up comes into view 
though, one gets a better idea of the task ahead ;b

The start to the hike proper's here

View of Tung Chung Valley that includes the (new) Tung Chung Road 
that connects the northern and southern sections of Lantau Island

I got a rush of adrenaline upon ascending the first hill
and coming across this sight! :b

The worst part, frankly, was how slippery the 
wooden sections of the trail were!

 This frankly was a pretty discouraging sign to see 
along what turned out to be the upper reaches of the trail!

Near hike's end, the mist and/or fog did not help one to realize 
that the end (of the hike) was, in fact, just moments away! ;O

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Critter spottings while hiking on Lamma one hot summer's day

Shy, or just wary? A grasshopper hopes the creature that spotted it 
resting between two long stalks of leaves will do it no harm

  Not shy -- and without shame!  A pair of dragonflies

 Not camera shy -- a bird photobombed my photo of

In recent weeks, I've had irrefutable proof that summer's most definitely here in this part of the world.  Among the signs that this is the case has it having become hot enough that the Hong Kong Observatory have been issued its "very hot weather" warnings.  (This past June has been so hot, in fact, that the observatory has declared it to be the hottest June in Hong Kong since records began to be kept back in 1884!)

Further signs that I noticed while out hiking have involved different wild critters.  Firstly, on a June 1 excursion over in Lantau, I spotted a significantly larger number of different creatures than I had on the hike just before it.  Then, on a later hike in northeast Hong Kong that month, I spotted a couple of beetles that had decided that 'tis the mating season

Then last week, just one day after telling a couple of friends I hadn't seen any live snakes in Hong Kong yet this year (only snake skin and chopped up snake), what did my hiking buddy and I see but a snake swimming in the waters of a Hong Kong Island catchwater!  And on the same hike, we caught sight for the first time this year of spiders, particularly Golden Orb Weavers, of a pretty significant size. 

For much of today's hike -- which took us around the northern section of Lamma Island before my hiking friend and joined up with the Lamma Island Family Walk and headed southwards to Sok Kwu Wan (where we treated ourselves to a Rainbow Seafood Restaurant dinner and boat ride home) -- there were so many big spiders about that I was getting flashbacks to the big spiders hike that my then regular hiking companion and I went on in the eastern portion of this same island!

Still, it wasn't the many large spiders that provided me with the most memorable sights and moments while out hiking on a super hot and humid day.  Rather, I will recall with fondness how much -- and far -- I could see this afternoon on account of it being a super high visibility day.  And I will remember our trek up to check out the Lamma Winds' impressively large wind turbine -- and how, along the way, my friend and I caught sight of two dragonflies going at it, and flying about from one resting place to another while joined together!

Furthermore, I won't easily forget catching sight of a circa 6 foot long snake crossing just a few meters ahead of the part of the Lamma Island Family Walk that I was on!  I wish I could have snapped a photo or two with my camera but frankly, my reaction when seeing a snake is to just plain freeze in shock -- and in this case, I was particularly surprised to come across a snake because I had just been thinking that the more popular sections of this particular trail had so many people on it that that was why I hadn't spotted many critters at all while on it!! ;b 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Rest and Pasta (This week's Photo Hunt themes)

Pasta purists: avert your eyes!  Or, rather, read what I have to say before looking (closely) at the photos at the top of this week's entry for Sandi's and Gattina's Photo Hunts!

The reason I write this is because none of the pasta dishes above are the kind that would be seen in an Italian restaurant. I'd even go so far as to suggest that they are not meant to be looked upon as Asian takes on Italian dishes.  Far more accurate to think of them as showing the love that people in certain Asian territories have for pasta -- hence their incorporating that ingredient into their cooking.

The top most photo is of a dish of -- brace yourself -- fried spaghetti with ox tongue, peas, carrots and tomatoes that's actually pretty yummy as well as substantial. (So yes, I did feel a need to go home and rest for a bit after eating it!).  It was taken in the Goldfinch Restaurant, a dining establishment serving Soy Sauce Western cuisine that has a special place for Hong Kong film buffs as a result of it featuring in Wong Kar Wai's In the Mood for Love (and again in 2046).

The second photo from the top is of a budget set that I frequently order whenever I eat at a branch of the Macau Restaurant chain that serves up "Macau-style" food here in Hong Kong.  For less than HK$40 (~US$5.16), I get a bowl of macaroni, beef and vegetables in a tomato soup, a plate of sweet crispy bun slathered with butter and scrambled eggs, and a soft drink of my choice -- not bad, eh?

The third photo is of a plate of mentaiko spaghetti with a seaweed garnish and a slice of garlic bread.  For the record: I love mentaiko -- on its own, with rice, stuffed into chicken wings or as a sauce.  The first time I heard of this Japanese pasta concoction though, I must admit to thinking it a bit strange to have spicy pollack or cod roe and spaghetti in the same dish.  As weird as it may sound though, it really works -- with the Tsim Sha Tsui branch of the Te chain being my go-to place for it these days.

So... would you guys be willing to try these dishes?  Sure, they may not look the greatest but I really do find them tasty.  And with that said, I'll hereby give my preaching about them a rest! ;b