MIDDLEBURGH BREAKFASTS OUT
I subscribe to the principle of beginning the day with a "proper"breakfast as opposed to just having cereal and coffee. During the week I either grab some Dim Sum on the way into work or get a egg + something sandwich from the canteen. When I first came to HK I discovered Dai pai dong's
and the joy of Chow Mein (breakfast noodles) with chili sauce, meat/fish balls or tofu).
Exceptionally, on special days such as Chinese New Year and Xmass day I have been known make a politicaly incorrect fry up. When #2 son recently visited, he was treated on his first morning to canandian bacon, herb sausages, scrambed eggs,spice baked beans, mushrooms, french bread and coffee. (I hadn't patience to saute some potatoes). He didn't seem too upset that there was no white pudding, although he wistfully enquire after it.
Weekends breakfasts depends on what where we are going:
- When we go into town we tend to hit a Delifrance
- When we go to Aberdeen to do chores like this weekend, we tend to go to Cafe de Coral because its near to the ferries for Lamma (and it serves really good Hoki fillets, egg, toast and coffee).
- if we are going for a hike round either the Pok fu Lam or Aberdeen reservoirs to get away from it all, we either eat (steak,chicken steak and/or fish fillet egg/omelete, toast and coffee) at Fairwoods or
Samuel's Cafe next to Ap Lei Chau Bus/Taxi terminal. Coincidently last week we bumped into my boss on a back trail near Pok Fu Lam also doing the wilderness thing.
- Alternatively if we are going down the hill to the village for a walk down by the harbour, we may eat at the Libary (they do an excellent breakfast and there is always the promise of squeezing in the lift with a womens volley ball team). We were going to take #2 son for dimsum on his second morning in HK but we whimped and took him a cafe next to the library. (He interpreted this as me being cheap and taking him to a greasy spoon. In fact it was deliberate cultural immersion). The place is children friendly, has big portions is extremely popular with local families.(other than us). We explained menu and councelled him NOT to take the sausage or the Tea. Needless to say he didn't listen so he got the full experience.
Contrast this with my ample helping of rashers, delicately fried fish fillet, lightly scrambled eggs, a side salad , french bun and coffee (ok so it was local version like tea).
- The sausages I had cooked were the nearest equivalent to an Engish/Irish sausage that I could find locally. (Most of the expat sausages on sale are US/German style excuses). Chinese breakfast sausages on the other hand are sort of a mix between a savaloy and a frankfurter and are typically boiled not fried (or grilled - well someone might beat them against the table until they talk ?).
- Chinese Milk tea merits its own wikipedia page. Although it has colonial roots in afternoon tea ,it owes more to the traditions of the British Naval Dockyards. It's an aquired taste , thick and strong (robust ?) with an unforgettable taste of evaporated milk.
- When the weather is inclement or we simply want to stroll round the local promenade without going down into the village we go to the food hall on the estate for a Macdonolds or KFC breakfast. The hall atmosphere is good - regulars greet one another with a nod and mothers compare notes about kids. They in turn chase the sparrows that have somehow got inside the glass roof (like eating in an aviary or H5N1 incubator).
- Alternatively we may go to the dimsum restaurant off to the side for fried wanton/spring rolls, saumei. haggau , charsui bar etc with real chinese tea). Personally I prefer Dimsum restaurant over in Lei Tung.The Wanton and spring rolls are superior). The thing about the Dim sum places is that they have time dependednt prices which means that just after 9am like the tide the budget customers flow in when price drops.
Of course we are not the only ones to have breakfast. The other week we watched Pilot Boat # 11 slipping out of the harbour and then coming back within a couple of minutes - clearly they forgot something ....The pilot ??... more likely the soy sauce for their breakfast noodles. We also watched Customs and Excise Cutter #2 pass through the harbour. Since we had previously seen a smaller customs boat hiding behind Magazine Island just of the tip of Ap Lei Chau, playing cat and mouse with passing fishing vessels it did occur to me that shielded by Ap Lei Chau Island #2 was sneaking through Aberdeen harbour to the eastern entrance from which they could pounce on passing vessels. On reflection though they were probably going to dock at the marine police base at other end of the harbour in order to get breakfast. Meanwhile we spied police launch #24 coming out the harbour, rounding the point and laying up about 250m offshore. They were probably going to have a picnic breakfast at sea (no room in police canten - full of customs officers) although it was possible that they were either
- mounting a highly sophisticated surveilance operation using long range microphones and the like on some unssuspecting miscreants in one of the flats in the closest block facing the sea or
- they were monitoring the throng of visitors to the Victoria nursery situated in the same block in case it turned into a riotous and illegal assembly !!. or
- they were simply admiring the ladies on nearby clubhouse terrace practicing Wushu with fans... It is not generally realised that chinese fans in the right hands may be a deadly weapon. The middle aged women seemed to be innocently practicing folk dancing to taped chinese opera but the sharp crack as the fans snap open and shut belies the fact than when snapped open the outer razor sharp edge of the fan can be dragged across a victims throat as effectively as a samari sword and when closed the two fans can be driven in hard against vulnerable pressure points to imobilze a victim prior to a coup de grâce !!