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Saturday 15 March 2008

The Ticket to a Childhood Dream

When I was a child, I always sat in front of the TV waiting for that Disney tune to play and anticipated very much for Mickey Mouse to appear on the screen. I don't like mice, but I just love Mickey! I hope I don't get labelled as having split personality for that!

When I first knew about the Disneyland where all those Disney cartoon characters lived in, I always wanted my parents to take me there. Apparently that didn't happen, so I had to keep that as a dream. When I grew order, this dream became more distant.

Not until our recent trip to Hong Kong, this long forgotten dream was realised!

After taking our lunch at Mak's Noodles, we boarded the Disney Express heading straight into my childhood dream.

With the children in us unleashed, we flashed our BALLs (pun definitely intended) in front of Mickey!

To the best of my knowledge, Snow White was the first full-feature animation movie in the world. It was such a hit during its release. I still remember that she immediately became my dream girl after I saw the movie. Though the criteria of my dream girl has changed over the years, I still find her cute!

Mickey was definitely one of my idols during my childhood time, among Doraemon and others.

Mickey was never out of sight when we were walking towards the heart of this wonderland. He was featured with his girlfriend Minnie and his other mates Donald, Goofy, etc. There was even Mickey figurines made out of crystals! Oh my!

The Hong Kong Disneyland is definitely not the most popular one among others, but having been to any of them is every child's dream comes true. Every child would believe that this is the world that they would want to live in. Well, I'm just speaking it for myself. I won't mind living in a world like this even at this age.

We didn't plan to ride on any of the heartbeat accelerating machines, but we were attracted to this Astro Blasters. So, we joined the kids blasting away the space monsters in outer space!

Without any merchandise to trade with the aliens, we decided not to go to the outer space this time round.

Leaving Tomorrow Land, we entered Fantasy Land. This is the land where Winnie the Pooh and gang roam around.

The three 'old' kids hopped on to the Disney Train for a round trip of the Disneyland. Well, it was just an excuse to save the walk!

We wanted to watch the Lion King Musicals, but having been lost in the Adventure Land, we were denied entry at the theatre as the show had started. So, the best thing to do was to secure the sweet spot for the fireworks show at the Sleeping Beauty's Castle. After about an hour's wait, the fireworks show had finally started.

Coupled with the music, this has got to be the best fireworks show that I've ever seen! It was just so romantic. I would have proposed to any girl I know beside me. Unfortunately the only girl I know there was already married.

Though heavy-hearted, we still had to leave this land of our dream and got ourselves back to reality. I wonder whether there's a way for us to live in our dream forever.

It was just like yesterday that I saw Mickey in black-and-white animated series on TV. Although I'm a bit too old to idolise Mickey, but finding the child living in me once in a while is such a wonderful thing.

Thursday 13 March 2008

The Rival of the Noodles Specialist

We were walking down Wellington Street on night in Hong Kong hunting for the famed wonton noodles at Mak's Noodles. When we were very near to the shop, our hearts were pounding as we were expecting the nicest noodles in Hong Kong to be served. Unfortunately the shop was closing when we were about to ask for a table, so we went to the opposite shop, Tsim Chai Kee (沾仔记).

How could three professional food hunters declare defeat so easily? So, we returned to the shop in one afternoon to beat the closing time!

The interior of this place is no different from a typical tea and food outlet in Hong Kong. The uncle would come with a few glasses of tea and take your order immediately.

The lady boxer would watch over what you eat and she would punch in the prices of the food you have eaten if you show indication of leaving the table. The bill is presented to you when you are in the proximity of getting it from her hand, making sure that you pay before you can walk out of the shop.

The bowl of legendary noodles had finally arrived in front of me! Even the noodles were glowing!

My order was the special item on the menu, i.e., soup noodles with dumpling and wonton (HKD38.00). It came with three shrimp wontons and a dumpling.

The taste was nice, but it was spoiled by the little hint of ammonia. It would have beaten Tsim Chai Kee (沾仔记) hands down if not for that slight ammonia taste.

The chef cooks the noodles in a kitchen with glass walls all round for you to enjoy the show of cooking while savouring your bowl of noodles. What a show!

Wednesday 12 March 2008

Wordless Wednesday – X-Wing

Tuesday 11 March 2008

Money Printers

Before I went to Hong Kong, I didn't know that there are several bank-note issuers in Hong Kong. It took me a while to realised that the 20-dollar notes have different designs and there are actually three issuers of bank notes in Hong Kong, namely: Hongkong and Shanghai Bank Corporation, Bank of China and Standard Chartered Bank. I wish there is another bank to issue bank notes legally, CK Bank! I don't even mind people calling me Ah Bank thereafter.

These bank-note printers have their building built like tanks. No ordinary person is able to penetrate the guarding walls. The Bank of China was designed by the world-renown architect I.M. Pei. It is a resemblance of a bamboo and it looks like one.

The Hongkong and Shanghai Bank Corporation building was designed by Norman Foster. Some may not like the design that resembles a machine or robot, but I like things mechanical, therefore I'm into this kind of design.

How I wish to own one similar building to print my bank notes! I may be dreaming, but sweet dreams are good for health!

Monday 10 March 2008

Traditional Dim Sum Restaurant

We wanted to have the authentic Hong Kong dim sum but we did not know which restaurant is good at that. We asked the taxi driver who sent us back to the hotel across the underwater one night and he recommended us Wing Wah Restaurant (荣华酒楼) just opposite the hotel that we were putting up at the junction of Lockhart Road and Stewart Road. His comment on this restaurant was that this restaurant is the 'traditional' type, so we thought the food must be authentic.

The dim sum were all listed out on a piece of menu, so we just needed to scribble the number of servings inside the parentheses next to each item.

In fact, the definition of 'traditional' by the taxi driver was that this restaurant is patronised by the regular customers, meaning that most of them are uncles and aunties. We were at the only table with so called 'young people.'

So we ordered some very traditional items too, since this is a 'traditional' restaurant. The oven-baked cha siew puffs (焗叉烧酥) were actually very nice. One of the best I have tasted.

I don't know how to translate the name of these into English. The direct translation would be 'hometown salted-water puffs' (家乡咸水角). The filling was fried meat cubes which tasted salty. The deep-fried wrapping skin was crispy. Nice item though.

We wouldn't miss this item whenever we have dim sum. This time we ordered the cheong fan with fresh shrimps (鲜虾肠粉). This was also very good at this restaurant.

Another 'must order' item whenever we are having dim sum, the shrimp dumplings (虾饺). These were also quite good over here, the shrimps were pretty fresh.

Beside the shrimp dumplings, there are always the siew mai, and this type was called the 'crab-king' siew mai (蟹王烧卖)!

And beside the siew mai, there are always cha siew bau (蜜汁叉烧包). These steamed buns with barbecued pork were really nice, especially the fluffy and soft wrapping skin.

We saw the uncle on the next table kept ordering just one thing, so it must be good! We peeped to see what was it and ordered the same thing. It was the custard Malay cake (奶皇马来糕). It was indeed very tasty. No wonder the uncle liked it so much.

Another type of common dim sum item that we ordered was the pan-fried turnip cake (煎萝卜糕). We were quite full already before we ate this, so I don't think we had made good justice on its taste.

The last item on our table was this glutinous rice with preserved meat (腊味糯米饭). It tasted nicer and nicer with each bite. I finished the whole thing even though I was full. Remember that there are still levels of 'very full' and 'exploding!' No wonder they put this as the first item on the dim sum menu.

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