Ugly Curry

One thing I haven't quite managed to blog about (somewhat to my own disappointment) is the absolutely fantastic food one can find in Hong Kong in the cooked food centres. The cooked food centres were established to house what used to be dai pai dongs, before the strict and overbearing hygiene laws made it virtually impossible to operate street food stalls. 

As a result, what you get is a eclectic mix of small food stalls in a (relatively) hygenic indoor enviroment. You go up to your stall, shout your order, and sit down on one of the many tables inside. It's very similar to Singapores hawker centres, though much more local. Most menu's aren't written (most stalls specialise in 1 or 2 things usually), and if they are written its almost always in Chinese. But that shouldn't discourage anyone from trying the cooked food centres. They're mostly frequented by locals, who are mostly happy to see a foreign face coming to enjoy their culture. Everyone is very helpful. Another benefit of the cooked food centres is that all of the stalls use the produce sold by meat and vegetable vendors in the municiple building in which they're housed, meaning everything is super fresh.

 Wai Kee in the Bowrington Road food market uses all ingredients freshly chopped, slaughtered, or rinsed from the vendors beneath. You could probably pick your own produce and ask them to do something with it. What sets Wai Kee apart from the rest of the stalls is that it's all Halal food, catering to the tastes of the (often) muslim domestic helpers, and the large muslim indian community living in Wan Chai. Up here you can see Wai Kee's famous chilli and onion mixture airing out in the open. 

Wai Kee are famous for their curries. Lamb, Chicken, Beef, whichever. They all look and taste the same, and on looks alone it has to be the ugliest curry in Hong Kong. Get past the hideous melamine crockery and the way that the curry is placed in a bowl and kind of tossed on a mound of rice, and you're rewarded with a fantastically spicy, rich curry packed with flavour. It's semi-sweet and heavy on the turmeric, this aint no butter chicken. 

The part of chicken that you're eating is dubious at best, but the thing I like about the curries at Wai Kee is they'll usually try to enhance it with random different ingredients. One day I got roast potatoes, one day carrots, and another time fried tofu. It's slapdash, whatever they feel like, and its delicious. Oh, also very cheap, HKD $29 for a very masculine sized serving.