{hk} wong chi kei {黃枝記}

10:09 AM sians 0 Comments

rush hours in hong kong is usually between 7:30 am - 9 am. 

we planned for an early start.

or perhaps we wanted to be a part of the rush hour crowd just to experience the local culture. 

and in the thick of things we were -- at about 8 am. 

mtr stations were full of commuters and it was replicated in the sardine-like trains. it forced us to wait for a second train, which wasn't any different and we squeezed ourselves into the small space that was left. 

the sun was working its early morning shift as it was reflected against the tall glass buildings in central, glaring into our eyes as we exited the mtr station at central.

we were a few minutes early as we found the front of wong chi kei {黃枝記}. it wasn't quite open yet but we hung around about 5-10 minutes that we were happy when the metal doors were lifted.

we were the first and perhaps a tad too early for service but they graciously accepted us and gave us a table for two in a spacious dining space. the restaurant was tastefully decorated with chinese accents from the choice of paper lamps to the walls adorned with calligraphy drawings framed by wooden panels and the tables with marble tops.  the open kitchen shone from the back of the dining space as the steam emanates from many pots and the kitchen staff seemed really chirpy in the morning. perhaps a tad too early in the morning.

i came with an intention. i was led here from my extensive food research and this was the favorite/best spot for cantonese style congee or rice porridge according to a lot of food bloggers -- especially for a special kind of congee, the crab congee! in fact, i've had my heart and tummy set for some fresh crab in rice porridge and it was the first thing i asked when they showed us to our table.

"oh, we don't have crab congee now. it depends on the supplier since we get the fresh crab every day and it's too early so it isn't here yet. perhaps you could try later in the day"

-- oh..that was disappointing.

so it was back to the drawing board, menu to pick out something else.

congee :: sliced pork + preserved egg congee  (hkd 43)

congee or rice porridge is one of the many foods that hong kong eateries prides themselves with the smooth textures and perfectly seasoned with generous amount of ingredients. wong chi kei embodied exactly that. the congee was smooth with a nice starchy thickness, resulting from the correct ratio of water and rice, cooked just nicely. it was a nice lightly flavored base for the the sliced pork, which resembled more of shredded pork, which were a tad dry but what stood out the most is the preserved egg.

the preserved egg. also known as century egg or even the thousand year old egg. the preservation ingredients and process makes it an acquired taste for some. this was the best one i have ever had. the creamy consistency of the yolk and the hard jelly-like of the "whites" of these high quality eggs added different dimension of texture to the congee without having overpowering flavors of the yolk itself.

the combination of these ingredients made it a comforting and heart-warming bowl of delicious congee (the pork could have been done a little less time)

noodle in soup :: shrimp dumpling noodle soup (hkd 38)

{mh} was in the mood for egg noodles (aka wanton noodles) and opted for shrimp dumpling noodle soup. the noodles looked like it was cooked al dente but i only tried a sip of the soup. it was a tad bland and wished for a bit more seasoning. the shrimp dumpling were huge and generously packed with fresh ingredients {mh}'s comment: the shrimp dumpling was delicious. it was a plus point that the bowl of noodles had some vegetables (at this point, we were craving for vegetables! lol)

[#protip] : payment is cash terms only

wong chi kei serves cantonese-style congee as authentic as it gets. although i haven't managed to get their famous whole crab dowsed in congee, my bowl of congee was a yummy, comforting warm meal with clean flavors to start the day with.

as we were more than halfway done through our breakfast choices, a delivery was made to the kitchen.

"man, i would be somewhat upset if that was the fresh crab. i mean, it couldn't be!"

i meant that as a joke but it DID end up being the fresh crabs! grrrr!
and as much as we wanted to order it, we knew that we were too stuffed for another bowl of porridge.

lol perhaps next time if i return to hong kong! and without a doubt, it will be with addition of century egg! :)

wong chi kei | location
15b wellington street
central, g floor
hong kong
{opens daily: 7:30 am - 12am}
nearest mtr station:  central station, exit d2

disclaimer this is written based on personal experience and opinion. experiences and taste buds may vary for others.