Saturday, 8 October 2011

Celebratory Feast

Bamboo clams stir-fried with peppers and black bean sauce
A few of us celebrated a colleague's birthday earlier this week by going to a restaurant of her choice in North Point. It's called Tung Po and is actually a dai pai dong on the second floor of the food market. The place is very popular so it's best if large groups book in advance which is what we did.

Deep-fried golden prawns with their shells on
We were seated in a corner area and the decor is pretty much bare bones with white tiled walls with some movie posters and a simple large round table with a lazy Susan on it. Wait staff are casually dressed and some wear rubber boots as the floors aren't the cleanest.

You are given a large kettle of tea, not only for drinking but to clean your utensils as well.

But you're not here for cleanliness -- you're here for the good food.

After a few rounds of Asahi beer poured into cold bowls, we started eating. First came the deep-fried pork knuckle that were more about cartilage and bone than anything else which makes it very similar to chicken feet. Those who enjoyed gnawing bones had fun pigging out as it were.

Clay pot rice with Chinese sausages and diced pork
Next came deep-fried "golden sand" prawns, which were unfortunately cooked with the shell on so it required some deft de-shelling or just eating the whole thing in tact. The prawns while meaty were slightly on the salty side.

We also had excellent soya chicken, meaty, juicy and had a crisp dark skin. I was pretty much addicted to the chicken and every time it swung near me on the lazy Susan I had to get another piece.

For the vegetarians at the table we had braised tofu with vegetables, and a claypot of vermicelli and Nappa cabbage.

Another winner was the bamboo clams -- they were laid out nicely on top of the rectangular-shaped shells, stir-fried with black bean sauce. They were cooked perfectly, the stringy clams very fresh.

We also ordered two clay pot rice dishes where the rice and ingredients are cooked right in the clay pot. It takes a while for these to cook so we drank more beer and watched the table next to us, mostly a group of young men in suits trying to get each other drunk, shouting and swearing at each other and playing drinking games. We wondered if they were a bunch of repressed accountants trying to relieve some stress.

Clay pot rice with minced pork and salted egg yolk
Finally the clay pot rice came -- one with steamed minced pork and salted egg that was excellent, as well as another with Chinese sausages and diced pork. Everyone took a turn to eat the rice, trying to scrape off the sides where there were crunchy bits of rice. Some were burnt to the bottom but we pretty much finished both.

Then we paid the bill -- not even HK$200 a head -- and were on our way out when the waiter brought out dessert -- herb grass jelly with ginger in it. My colleague remarked the last time she ate this dessert it was so spicy from the ginger but this time admitted it was tolerable and finished the whole bowl.

Thanks to birthday girl YTSL for these pictures. Her blog is here. Hope we have another cheap and cheerful feast again soon.

Tung Po
2/F, Java Road Municipal Services Building
99 Java Road
North Point
2880 9399


  1. looks like very good home cooking indeed.

  2. OMG! I'm salivating after reading this post!

    Interesting practice of using tea to wash your own utensils.

    But "rubber boots"? Do they have to hose off the floor while patrons are present?