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Restaurant Review #3 – Jumbo Kingdom – Top Deck

JUMBO KINGDOM, ABERDEEN HARBOR, Hong Kong, SAR, China – Situated in the middle of Aberdeen harbor is the world-famous floating restaurant known as Jumbo Kingdom. This boat is also one of the staples of Hong Kong. It has four different floors each housing a different restaurant. Upon arrival in Aberdeen this was my first stop. There are two ways of reaching the restaurant and both are by ferry service. One of the boats leaves from the Aberdeen Promenade and it is marked by a large archway that simply says “Jumbo” on it. The second ferry departs from the Shum Wan Pier near the Aberdeen Marina Club. The ferries are constantly shuttling people between the mainland and the restaurant and depart approximately every five minutes. After a quick five minute boat trip, you arrive at the restaurant. Along the way, make sure to take in the numerous fishing vessels that clutter the harbor and are reminiscent of Aberdeen’s past. The floating restaurant is extremely popular with both tourists and locals.

Each restaurant is fairly large and has a good number of seats available. The first three restaurants serve various types of Chinese food. One specializes in Dim Sum. The third restaurant is fairly expensive. The restaurant located on the top of the restaurant is called Top Deck, this is where I ate. Upon first entering the boat, I found the decorations within the floating restaurant to be extremely ornate. Yet the Top Deck restaurant had an extremely laid back feel. I went on a Sunday, which is when the Top Deck holds their brunch buffet. For $440 HKD (approximately $55 USD), you get all you can eat from the buffet until they close. You also receive your choice of sparkling wine, champagne, rosé, or various juices. Whichever drink you choose, you will receive unlimited refills, however, any other drink you order, you will be forced to pay additionally by the glass. While this may seem expensive for a student living on a budget, it is definitely worth checking out at least once.

The food available here ranged from various cuisines. I stuck with breakfast foods. I started with the eggs Benedict and ham with a side of naan bread, unlimited bacon, a Peking duck burrito, and the lamb. This food was unbelievable, it was also the first time that I have had eggs in four months, and bacon has never tasted so good. For my second helping, I again went with the eggs Benedict, but I also piled on some of the asian cuisine offered. They had fresh hand rolled sushi and sashimi, as well as all you could eat oysters on the half shell. There were many other aspects to the raw bar, including queen crab legs and New Zealand mussels. There was also a desert bar with fresh made crepes. Aside from the food, the Top Deck also had a full bar, serving jumbo sized drinks. I honestly cannot recommend this restaurant enough, everything I had was delicious and it was definitely worth the price.

The Top Deck operating hours:

Tuesday – Friday:

5PM-12AM

Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays:

11AM- til late

Monday:

CLOSED

You can find this restaurant by taking bus #70 from exchange square three in central (exit D out of the Hong Kong station). Get off of bus #70 at the Aberdeen promenade and walk along the water until you reach the archway that says Jumbo.

Location:

Middle of Aberdeen harbor

Jumbo Kingdom

Jumbo Kingdom #2

View from Top Deck Restaurant

Top Deck Restaurant

Interior of Jumbo Kingdom

Interior of Jumbo Kingdom #2

Jumbo drink

Round #1

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Boat Party

SAI KUNG, Hong Kong, SAR, China – Last weekend,  a good number of our exchanged group decided to rent a boat for the day. This turned into a day long party and allowed us to sail to a beach in the New Territories. We rented from Standard Boat. They have a large fleet of boats for rental and very reasonable prices. We did this as a way to celebrate the end of the semester before everyone got too involved with finals and started leaving a various times. It made for a great day and allowed us to see other parts of Hong Kong that we wouldn’t normally see. Personally I was not a fan of the people who owned our boat, but I guess it also isn’t easy having a boat full of college aged students partying all day.

There website:

http://www.standardboat.hk/home/index.html

Hong Kong from the Harbor

Sai Kung Beech

Sai Kung #2

Aberdeen

ABERDEEN, Hong Kong, SAR, China – Located at the southern end of Hong Kong island, Aberdeen was once a fishing village. Today, like most of Hong Kong, it is dwarfed by newly built high rises and other buildings. It is slowly becoming an part of history. The village of Aberdeen is built along the water. Many of the people here used to live on their boats and use fishing as a way of life. To this day there are still many people living here that fish. This is evidenced by the number of fishing boats that are located in the harbor. The people that used to live and fish in Aberdeen used to almost never leave the their boats for their entire life.

Aside from the a nice stroll along the harbor promenade, Aberdeen is home too a couple of tourist features. The first is Jumbo Kingdom or the Jumbo Floating Restaurant (review to come later). There is also a temple located near the harbor as well as shopping area in Aberdeen square. Older women are also walking about the promenade offering tours of the harbors on sampans. The prices of these tours will vary based on how busy the area is on a given day. I was offered a ride for $40 HKD (approximately $5 USD).

Boat Shop – Aberdeen Harbor

Yachts – Aberdeen Harbor

More fishing boats

fishing boat and high rises

Fishing boat #3

fishing boat #4

Fishing boat #5

Restaurant Review #2 – Agave

WAN CHAI, Hong Kong, SAR, China – The second restaurant that I have decided to review is called Agave located on Lockhart Road in Wan Chai. This is the first time that I have gone to this restaurant since learning about it last summer. This restaurant, like many restaurants in Hong Kong is small and has limited seating, but it is hard to tell if it is popular with the locals as it was not that crowded when I went. One main features of this restaurant is the different types of tequila that they offer. They must have over one hundred different types of tequila, as well as various home made margarita concoctions. I had the Toro Loco Margarita, which is made with their house blanco tequila, absinth, lime juice, sugar syrup and red bull. It cost $73 HKD (approximately $9.12 USD). They have a daily happy hour from 3-9PM which is buy one drink get one free. The happy hour here only applies to house margaritas and beer.

Often meals are over priced for the size that you are getting.  However, here I felt that the price of food for the amount provided was justifiable. For my main course I had one of their hot pots, which cost $175 HKD (approximately 21.87). This meal was called Pollo Y Nopal and was served in a bowl made of volcanic rock (I believe pumice). It was heated up and inside was a tomato sauce with chicken, cheese, cactus, and cilantro. I went here with several friends and we also ordered a few appetizers. These included their nachos, cream cheese stuffed jalapenos wrapped in bacon, and lightly fried shrimp with a chipotle dipping sauce. My guess is that this food was pretty authentic and it was delicious. While this place is slightly more expensive then some of the cheaper options, I would definitely recommend it even if it is only for the bar.

You can find this restaurant by taking the MTR to Wan Chai and taking exit C and walking along Lockhart road. The restaurant is painted yellow.

NO WEBSITE COULD BE FOUND

Location:

NO. 25 G/F, Rainbow Garden, Tuen Mun, New Territories, Hong Kong

The location in Lan Kwai Fong on D’Aguilar street is CLOSED

Toro Loco Margarita – House Blanco, Absinth, fresh lime juice, sugar syrup, and red bull

Nachos with Chicken

Fried Shrimp with chipotle dipping sauce

Bacon wrapped jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese

Pollo Y Nopal – Chicken breast and cactus in a tomato sause with cheese and cilantro

Bohemia Beer

Corona Beer

Classic Hong Kong Moment #2 – Exiting the MTR

TUEN MUN, Hong Kong, SAR, China – It’s time for another installment in my entry of classic Hong Kong moments. This one is one that you will see at any MTR station. Most MTR stations have elevators, escalators and stairs that you use to access the lower levels where the trains are located. These exits are spaced intermittently along the platform. When a train arrives in the station there is an organized rush to leave the station, however, instead of using the stairs which are conveniently located next to the escalator, everyone crams up one escalator to exit. As you can see from the picture below it can be be a long wait. Fortunately I take the stairs and get out of the station before most people, plus I get some exercise while I am at it.

Exiting the MTR

Restaurant Review #1 – Tuen Mun Curry House

TUEN MUN, Hong Kong, SAR, China – So I have again decided to expand the scope of my blog to further help people who currently live in Hong Kong or are considering traveling to Hong Kong. In order to do this, I have decided to start reviewing various restaurants that I have gone too. As such these are mostly going to be restaurants that I highly recommend.

The first restaurant that I have decided to review is the Tuen Mun Curry House located on Castle Peak Road in Tuen Mun. I have gone to this restaurant at least two times a week since I found out about it in April. This restaurant, like many restaurants in Hong Kong is small and has limited seating and seems to be extremely popular with the locals. One of the greatest aspects of this restaurants is that you get a good size meal for relatively cheap, which is a hard thing to come by in Hong Kong. Often meals are over priced for the size that you are getting. For just around $100 HKD or slightly over $100 HKD (approximately $12 USD) I can get a main course, soft drink, a side of rice and two types of naan bread. I usually have a hard time finishing all of this and am able to sometimes get two meals out of this single meal. I have also gone here with a friend that has been to India and he has said that it is pretty authentic. This place is perfect for students who are studying abroad at Lingnan and living on a budget or for those people who love Indian Food.

As a tip for those future students that will be studying at Lingnan you can get here by cab or by taking the K51 bus and getting off at the second stop after Tuen Mun Town Plaza (TMT). The restaurant is marketed by a red sign with white lettering and it sits next to a 7-11 on the corner of the street.

Here is their website:

http://www.tmcurryhouse.com.hk/home.htm

***Prices may vary between the website and the menu at the restaurant 

***NO SERVICE CHARGE HERE***

Location:

NO. 25 G/F, Rainbow Garden, Tuen Mun, New Territories, Hong Kong

Turkey Soup – on the house, usually costs $16 HKD

Chicken Tikka Masala – 52 HKD

Jeera Pullao Rice – $15 HKD

Onion Kulcha (onion naan) – $13 HKD and Keema Naan (Lamb Naan) – $15 HKD

Beertopia 2012!

WESTERN MARKET, SHEUNG WAN, Hong Kong, SAR, China – For people living in Hong Kong, one of the first things that is noticeable is the lack in the variety of beer. Everywhere you go in Hong Kong, no matter what bar or club, most places serve the same standard fare of beers. These range from Carlsberg to Heineken and also include San Miguel and Stella Artois. There are many others and occasionally you find a rare gem, but it is hard to find truly unique and well crafted beers.

This year for the first time, someone sought to change this. Their idea was Beertopia. Self described as Hong Kong’s first true beer festival, Beertopia brought together craft beer brewers and distributers from around the world. There goal was simple: introduce Hong Kong to craft beers and start a chain of events to change the face of the current beer scene in Hong Kong. Tickets came in two forms, either a regular ticket or a premium ticket. The regular ticket cost $250 HKD (approximately $31.25 USD) and you received five tasting tokens, a tasting glass, and one lucky draw raffle ticket. The premium ticket cost $300 HKD (approximately $37.5 USD) and you received the same things above, the only difference is that you got ten tasting tokens instead of five. The tokens could be used to buy drinks, gear from the various brewers and distributors or to buy food.

Over all I would say that the festival was a success and I had a great time. They had a plethora of beers, as well as, amazing food, great local bands, and beer pong. The festivities also included raffles and trivia questions. The winners of the trivia were awarded more drinking tokens or six packs of beer (I was one of them). The raffles included some great prizes such as gift certificates to some of Hong Kong’s nicest dining venues.

My personal favorites were any of the beers provided by Monteith’s Brewery, especially their Original Lager. I also enjoyed Tui beer from New Zealand and Viru beer from Estonia. The festival also had a great turn out for only being in its first year…I’m pretty sure they sold out. I only wish I was going to be here next year to see what this festival grows into. Hopefully we will start to see some excellent craft beers in the future in Hong Kong.

Here is my list of beers that I enjoyed in no particular order:

Original Ale – Monteith’s New Zealand

Tui – New Zealand

Vale Ale – Australia

Great White – Lost Coast USA

Dead Guy Ale – Rogue Oregon, USA

Viru – Estonia

Cobra – India

Typhoon Eastern Lightning – Typhoon Brewery’s – Hong Kong

The website for Beertopia! is as follows:

http://www.beertopiahk.com/

My Ticket

The crowd

Dead Guy Ale – Rogue

Monteith’s Original Ale – New Zealand

Viru Pilsner – Estonia

Vale Ale – Australia

Lost Coast Great White Wheat Beer

Cobra Beer

Tui Blonde Lager – New Zealand

Night Life – Part 3 – Wan Chai

WAN CHAI, Hong Kong, SAR, China – Alright so after three and a half months here, myself and most of the people in our group are growing tired of Lan Kwai Fong. It is not to say that Lan Kwai Fong is bad, but I have grown tired of the club scene. Personally I would rather socialize at a bar, where I can actually carry on a legitimate conversation with someone. Also I am tired of the over-priced drinks and hearing LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem every five minutes. For those that do not know this song, I will admit it was catchy at first (about a year ago), but it got old real fast.

Wan Chai is another club/bar district. It is located off of the Island Line (dark blue). This place is streets of bars of various themes. It is also a place that is clustered with many tourists, but I feel that it has a better atmosphere. The prices of drinks are more worthwhile for amount that you get. Wednesday is ladies night in Wan Chai and I would recommend this place to anyone looking for a new place to party.

Classic HK Moments

TUEN MUN, Hong Kong, SAR, China – This is a new section that I am officially titling “Classic HK Moments.” These are moments that I have witnessed numerous times throughout my stay in Hong Kong and in a way truly exemplify the culture of Hong Kong. This first moment is one that you see often.

The Date

The photo below shows a couple on a date at dinner. In classic Hong Kong fashion they are not interacting with each other. Instead the guy on the date is playing a game on his cell phone. Talk about great communications skills. Anyway, sorry for the poor quality, I had to quickly take this photo during dinner with some friends.

Classic HK Moment #1 – The Date

Just Under a Month Left!

TUEN MUN, Hong Kong, SAR, China – So I realize I haven’t posted anything in a while, but I have been busy doing school work here for the first time in a while…well its actually the first bit of work I’ve actually had to do but thats beside the point. Today was the last day of classes and this past week I took my first final in Chinese. I also had to hand in three term papers. The next two weeks will have another three finals. Then I will be traveling around for a while and I promise there will be a ton of posts about various sight seeing opportunities in Hong Kong, China, and Macau. But first finals…