[HK] Sun Kee Chicken Congee | 新記煲仔雞粥

Monday, November 12, 2012

Trying to find a remote area in Hong Kong with less crowd is as good as searching for an oasis in the Sahara. Even the seemingly far Yuen Long located at New Territories is busy and popular with diners on the hunt for a bargain meal. On the prowl for good food, the flashes of camera set caught my attention.

After moving to Hong Kong, this was my first time witnessing TVB filming, and what best to catch the filming of a food show! The rumbling stomachs coupled with curiosity on the filming process, we took our seats at the adjacent table inside this simple looking eatery.

The discreet memorising of the script on the side.

Signature chicken congee

It seemed incredibly difficult to taste fresh chicken in Hong Kong post bird flu era. To our surprise, their signature chicken congee did not disappoint. The chicken was tender and succulent, with a slight tinge of sweetness. The congee itself was very slushy, in a positive way, allowing you to just drink it down rather than swallowing. Our chicken congee was served while the filming process began, and the hosts were food tasting the same signature dish. Instantly, we grew increasingly skeptical about the authenticity of the contents of food show. Indeed, the chicken congee was flavoursome as suggested by the hosts, but the chicken meat portions were far from what was claimed. At about $50 per pot of congee, one would commonly expect more edible chicken meat, rather than it being filled more with bones. I would recommend trying this for the sake of the taste, though I would beckon when it comes to value for money.

Verdict: 7.5/10

Soy sauce fried noodles

When it came to fried noodles, the most critical element would fall on the 'wok hei', which required high heat for fragrance. Ideally, the food would be cooked in a seasoned wok over a high flame while being stirred and tossed quickly. For this very reason, cooking would usually be done over an open flame rather than over electric stoves. The so called flavour imparted from 'wok hei' was a result from caramelization, maillard reaction (which typically caused browning) and the partial combustion of oil that came from charring and searing of food at heat in excess of 200 degrees celsius.

This was one of their signature dishes, which was featured during the filming as well. The thermal radiation from the wok (commonly known as 'wok hei') was perfect for the dish, which helped to lock in the dark soy sauce and condiments used in the frying process. The noodles were slightly stiff, which went well with the fresh crunchy beansprouts to give a balanced texture with each mouthful. The noodles tasted savoury, owed in part to the dark soy sauce. The calories conscious might find this a guilty treat, as your lips would almost certainly be left gleaming with the excessive oil.

Verdict: 7.5/10

Cheong fun with fried fritters

The wrapping steamed cheong fun tasted soft, which complemented the slightly stiff fried fritter on the inside. This was an okay dish, for the fried fritter on the inside could have been crispier to provide a more enhanced contrast in texture.

Verdict: 6.5/10

Roasted pigeon

Always a fan of roasted pigeon, we hesitated due to limited stomach space. However when the filming crew dished this out as yet another signature dish, I felt the compelling urge to order a serving too. It certainly did not disappoint. The pigeon was prepared and left to stand and was only roasted with each placed order. The skin was very crispy, yet it did not dehydrate the meat of its juices. The meat was tender, succulent and savoury to say the least. Personally I felt it was tasty even on its own without the accompanying toasted salt.

Verdict: 8.0/10

Lime Juice

We ordered this as a quench-thirster and the flavours of the lime in this simple-looking drink was surprising. I was half expecting a highly saccharine lime syrup, but this tasted zesty and refreshing. After a greasy meal, this was much desired indeed to give a cleansed feel to the stomach.

Verdict: 7.5/10

There were both indoor and outdoor seating available at Sun Kee. We opted for the former solely for novelty's sake of getting closer to the filming crew to catch an insight of how it was done. One might find their signature chicken congee outstanding due to the usage of fresh chicken, but I found it 'okay' when compared to some of the more renowned chicken congee eateries in Singapore. Oh well, do we not agree that taste is a very subjective issue?

Sun Kee Chicken Congee (新記煲仔雞粥)
No. 42, Yau San St, 
Yuen Long, Hong Kong

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