January 15, 2017

Killing Hello Kitty with kids

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It's been a while since the last time a whole bunch of us got together for a meal, and our organizer figured that this was long overdue - and it's been years since we've seen the kiddies.  I was very surprised when our organizer suggested that we meet up at Hello Kitty Chinese Cuisine (Hello Kitty中菜軒).  Well, given that one of the families lives just across the street from the place, and I myself would be staying only a few blocks away this weekend, it seemed pretty perfect.  And we were also bringing three kiddies with us to lunch - although they were all boys, as the only girl was now a teenager and curiously has zero interest in Hello Kitty...

I was the first to arrive and get seated at the long table spread in the private area named 林檎閣.  This was my fourth time at the restaurant, and the very first time where I've had a reservation.  But I guess with an original party of 12 (we were down to just 10 today) that made things easy.

As I seemed to be the one with the most experience - and most knowledgeable regarding the menu - I was tasked with ordering.  Thankfully our organizer has also been to the restaurant, and I was able to discuss it with her.  Always helpful to have a second opinion!

Hello Kitty bombing rice (Hello Kitty爆炸飯) - I guess I shouldn't expect this place to care about serving order... Carb dishes are meant to be served last at Chinese restaurants, but oh well...  The fried rice was made with shrimp and kailan (芥蘭), and was reasonably tasty.  Hello Kitty's whiskers were made with marinated kelp (昆布), and the bow was made from red capsicum.  Why was this called "bombing rice", you ask?  For some reason they decided to sprinkle some green pop rocks on the side...

One last thing... for some reason the restaurant served this on a plate that had clearly just come out of the fridge.  It was chilled!  Now, why would you serve a hot dish on a chilled plate?!

Hello Kitty barbecued pork puffs (叉燒酥) - not up to par today.  I thought the puff pastry tasted a little off... like the oil or shortening used had gone off.

Hello Kitty bow puffs (蝴蝶角) - I didn't like this much the first time, so I only ordered one portion and didn't have any.

Hello Kitty stir-fried beef noodles (干炒牛河) - this has ALWAYS been the best dish here, and today was no exception.  In fact, it was so good that we ordered a second plate.  It would be easy to dismiss the chefs here as only catering to the girls and don't care about the food quality, but this actually had a lot of wok hei (鑊氣).  You can see how the noodles were caramelized...

Hello Kitty steamed turnip cake (Hello Kitty蒸蘿蔔糕) - I've always been curious about this since they introduced it, and this was OK.  There were actually strips of radish inside, and surprisingly this had a slight spicy kick on the finish.

Hello Kitty steamed prawn dumpling (蝦餃皇) - these have always been of reasonable quality.

Hello Kitty steamed pork patty with squid (Hello Kitty土魷玉蝴蝶) - this was surprisingly good.  The thickness meant that it wasn't over-steamed, and the little bits of dried squid inside were pretty decent.  The salted egg yolk on top wasn't too dry, either.

Hello Mimmy vegetables and shrimp dumplings (Hello Mimmy菜苗餃) - this is the only dish named after Hello Kitty's twin sister Hello Mimmy.  These were actually not bad at all, with spinach mixed together with shrimp inside.

Sweet and sour pork (秘方咕嚕肉) - I was told by our organizer that this was pretty good, and it was!  Even though there was a bit of starch, the sharp acidity from black vinegar was pretty nice.

The failure, though, came in the form of the apple fritters on the side.  Just not very good at all... and the batter just tasted off.

Hello Kitty steamed sausage rolls (腸仔卷) - these were as good as I remembered, with baby franks instead of the Cantonese sausage that they should have come with.

Giant Hello Kitty birthday bun (百子千孫) - now THIS was the pièce de résistance!  I reminded our organizer to pre-order this, as this was a special item which they only make a limited number per day.   I was soooo happy that we got this!  Just look at the size of that thing!

This was supposed to come with 8 little steamed buns inside, a mix of lotus seed paste buns and custard buns with egg yolk.  But today they only came with lotus seed paste buns...

The lotus seed paste buns (蓮蓉包) were honestly a little subpar.  Maybe because they've been sitting under the "dome" for too long and dried out from the heat...

Yes, the bun dome is edible.  In fact, it was a little more moist than the buns underneath.

Hello Kitty custard buns with egg yolk (流沙包) - actually not bad, and probably as good as I remembered.

Hello Kitty steamed brown sugar sponge cake (馬拉糕) - not as good as my first time.  The color looked much paler, and is kinda pale yellow instead of more brown.  Maybe they used less brown sugar today.

We (the adults and the kids) were having so much fun that we ended up overstaying our welcome a little, but the manager was pretty gracious about it, so we left them a nice little tip.  I'm pretty sure this won't be my last visit here...

1 comment:

Derek said...

Great review. I really need to get over there before my daughter grows too old!


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