After delivering lunch to hubby today, I tottered around Central in my five-inch boots looking for a place to rest my feet in the insanely crowded lunch time rush that is HK between the hours of 12:30-2:00pm Mon-Fri.
I was headed towards the Honolulu Coffee Shop to get their famous eggtart(which is not as tasty as Tai Cheong) when I spotted this:
Wong Chi Kee!!! It closed down sometime between June and August of 2011 in their original Wellington Street location due to the crazy Central rents. Ever since then, hubby had been listening to my rants about the lack of a quality congee store in Central. I consider the famous Sang Kee and Law Fu Kee below par as I can taste the MSG in their congee. I think people like Sang Kee and Law Fu Kee’s congee more for their price than anything else, as a bowl will run you about 26HKD($3.50USD). Wong Chi Kee is considerably pricier.
Additionally, I am not a fan of the lung/heart/stomach/fish paste type ingredients.Back when I had only Sang Kee to tide me over when I was too lazy to go elsewhere I hated the fact that my century egg was ALWAYS of poor quality…ie the “egg white” part would always be watery and melt in the scalding hot temperatures of the congee. Law Fu Kee uses better century eggs but their pork quality was low, often using only the discard parts of pork.
Wong Chi Kee’s congee ingredients on the other hand are things that appeal to me such as: prawn, scallop, roast duck, crab, abalone, and frog. They are also extremely fresh. Prices are higher with the lowest priced congee at 38HKD($5USD) to the most expensive at 200HKD($25USD). Today was the first day of their grand re-opening:
Normally, I do not like to eat at an restaurant on their opening day because the food is usually disappointing as all the kinks have not been worked out yet. But for Wong Chi Kee, I broke that rule. Even though it is 80 degrees out, I proceeded to order my usual congee:
Crab congee with the addition of a century egg. The portion size is huge, almost double their regular congees. It is easily enough for two unless you happen to be a congee lover like me. I could easily have downed another bowl. This meal would be better with some fried noodles, but I took a look around and thought that the noodles did not look up to par to their usual standard so I passed.
Check out the crab and the century egg after I stirred it up a bit. They do not skimp on ingredients here. This congee was so delicious that it was worth burning the roof of my mouth for. Many people may not like to eat crab congee because of the amount of work involved, but the natural umami flavor of the crab congee is amazing. I would even order it for the crab flavor of the congee alone. Additionally, the crabmeat was also plump and juicy unlike other places where they tend to overcook the crab.
Wong Chi Kee crab congee in Central is the best I have had so far in HK and Macau(including their original Senado Square branch, the crab was too small that time). This is coming from someone who orders crab congee whenever it is listed on the menu even if I do not happen to be craving congee then. I definitely consider myself a congee expert and you cannot beat Wong Chi Kee in terms of taste or quality. The consistency and smoothness of their congee is something that a rice cooker on congee setting cannot achieve.
However, Wong Chi Kee’s congee is on the pricier side. My crab congee is $70HKD, with addition of the century egg $10HKD, and $8HKD service charge it comes to around $12USD. Not cheap, but definitely worth it. Much better than the famous Sang Kee, Law Fu Kee, Tasty Congee, Ho Hung Kee, Lee Yuen, Chee Kee, Ocean Empire, Chao Fa, Shun De hotpot congee, and etc. I am considering doing a detailed congee post from best to worst in HK. =) I am anticipating this year’s hairy crab season as I will be making my own version of crab congee on a pot over the stove. No more rice cooker congee for me.
Located at: 10-12 Stanley Street Lower Level. I think it opens at 9am and closes at 10pm…will update as I find more details.