[HK] 沾仔記 | Tsim Chai Kee

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

When the talk about local food stirred during conversations, 'Wanton Noodles' never fail to shine as one of the top local delights. Alongside wanton noodles are its peers, namely beef and fishball noodles, which could similarly steal the heart of my stomach on any given day.

It had been some time since we wanted to give Tsim Chai Kee Noodle, located on Wellington Street, which houses many other top local eateries serving its never ending stream of busy diners. What caught our attention at Tsim Chai Kee was the tally of accolades ranging from local awards to recommendation in the Michelin Guide for four continuous years running starting from 2009.

Apart from the need to share tables with other diners, there were more than sufficient compelling teasers in the dishes served to entice one for a quick meal fix.

Fresh Minced Fish Ball Noodles (HK$21/-)

The noodles were perfect al dente standard and left nothing for us to castigate, which I would personally and quite critically too, when it comes to a 'Noodle House' specializing in serving quite simply - noodles. The soup base was mildly saline but complemented the bland egg noodles well. The generous offering of spring onions enhanced the flavours of the fish stock. What was highly commendable though was the huge minced fish ball, made from dace. Being one of the more commonly used ingredient in the making of fish balls, the minced dace did not have the typical appalling 'fishy' smell nor taste. It tasted surprisingly fresh and what rounded up the dish was the bouncy and springy texture of the fish balls, making one crave for a second bite after the first.

Verdict: 8.5/10

The one regret that could be regarded as the weakest link for the dish to our tasting palette were the accompanying condiments. Personally, I favour a good bowl of noodles (well-checked) with the minced fish ball noodles with some bold chilli oil that would give a strong solid oomph. On a fair note, the chilli oil was not terrible. In fact, it tasted bold and fragrant, but the pitfall was salinity. When served together with the bowl of noodles with an already salty fish stock, it was too overwhelming for our tastebuds.

King Prawn Wanton Noodles (HK$21/-)

The sheer size of the dumplings were enough to draw 'wows' among first time diners like ourselves. Similar to the minced fish balls, they were much larger than the usual wantons (dumplings) served at noodle places. Moving on to tasting, the stock used was the same one for the above noodle dish, and the noodles were cooked to perfect al dente as well. The mere difference really was the king prawn wantons, which were extremely crunchy from the first bite. I remained highly skeptical and cautious whenever the menu stated 'king prawns' for most eateries would offer below par mediocre prawns. Tsim Chai Kee certainly proved me wrong on this with their signature wanton noodles. 

Verdict: 8.5/10


A word of advice if you intend to visit Tsim Chai Kee - Avoid the peak dining periods such as lunch and dinner times, otherwise be prepared to join the queue. Even getting 2 seats at almost 9pm required us to share table with other diners. This is definitely not your romantic dating venue, but would be highly recommended if you are around Central and after a quick and good fix. 

沾仔記 - Tsim Chai Kee
98 Wellington Street
Hong Kong Island
Tel: 2850 6471

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