“A feast on FRESH Seafood in Lamma Island, Hong Kong. TENDER, FRESH & DELICIOUS!”
Mini abalone in the shell. Tender, fresh and delicious. Where to eat? Lamma Island should you go!
In Hong Kong, there are two areas recommended for seafood i.e. Sai Gong (西贡), and outlying Island of Lamma (南丫岛). We chose Lamma Island, just to experience an excursion out to one of the three largest Islands of Hong Kong. Lamma Island is segregated into two parts i.e. Sok Kwu Wan (索罟灣) and Yong Shu Wan (榕樹灣).
If you prefer to visit to a more tourisy sight, go to Yong Shu Wan. There are many Westernize places/ cafes for drinks and snacks. Since there are many Caucasians and tourists, even motels are catered for overnight stays.
We chose Sok Kwu Wan just for a seafood dinner, as we did not have much time and energy to arrive Yong Shu Wan for visits then walk an hour (or more) to Sok Kwu Wan for dinner, which you may do so, if you like. We went direct to Sok Kwu Wan by ferry from Hong Kong Island, the Central Ferry Pier 4. The 40-minute ferry ride costs only HK$18 per passenger. Octopus card (八达通) is acceptable here.
There is Tin Hou Temple (天后庙) each at Yong Shu Wan and Sok Kwu Wan. We wanted to visit this temple for a photo shot as well as praying purposes. However, it was closed when we arrived at Sok Kwu Wan’s at about 6pm.
Frankly, nothing much for the eye, except some sea views, at Sok Kwu Wan, we had a short stroll for about 20 minutes, before heading to one of the restaurants there for dinner.
There’s a handful of restaurants for you to pick and dine.
Most of the restaurants are facing the sea. The choice of restaurant for most tourists and even locals is always Rainbow Seafood. However, we did not choose to go with the flow as I think they are over-publicized through the commercial channels, just my point of view. A credit to them though, they provide free ferry ride thru-and-flow, if dining at their restaurant.
We chose Tai Yuen (泰苑), a restaurant which located in the middle of whole stretch of restaurants. Why this? Firstly, they claimed that service charge and ‘tea charge’ of about 10% are waived. Secondly, the restaurant staff were aggressive in attracting customers to dine-in at their place. So, we couldn’t reject them straight. Halfheartedly, we gave in at last. Lastly, was just thinking that all of these restaurants appeared similar to me, in term of price and ambiance, just pick any shop that pleases you, sit down and relax. Why bother too hard?! Laughing.. Oh well, this restaurant has many water tanks containing fresh live sea creatures for your choices. We added a fish dish to our set dinner menu, and hence, I had to go and pick my choice of live fish! It’s one of a kind, you get to experience a different way of having seafood meal!
The first course from the set menu was mini abalone. You may choose either scallops or abalones. The restaurant staff recommended abalone. Well, it was a brilliant recommendation!
Other than the fish, all dishes featuring here were from the set menu for 2 costs around HK$380 which comes with 2 drinks, too. Each dish comes with 2 to 3 choices of seafood with similar values and various cooking methods. In fact, there are few set menus starting from HK$198 to HK$380. They usually serve you with 2 pots each of hot Chinese tea and water, despite the complimentary soft drinks or beers from each set menu. Not to worry about the real purpose of serving you with hot water, it is safe for drinking, or washing cutlery. However, this restaurant will prepare another bowl of hot water for cutlery-washing purpose, still. A bowl of hand-washing ‘lime-tea’ will be provided, too.
This is the fish I chose, 包公鱼. It looks very black in colour when alive, which does not look very appealing to me. However, the restaurant staff recommended it to me, and she promised that the fish will turn lighter in colour when cooked. Yes, it was so. This fish costs about HK$120 ($S24). They offered a little discount on an additional order on top of our set menu. We paid about HK$110 for it.
No regret! This ‘swimming’ fish was super fresh. No worries about the earthy scent where some fishes might yield, if it’s not fresh enough, this fish was absolutely free from any unpleasant taste! The sauce of this steamed fish was excellent. We could smell the fragrance of this fish even before it was served on the table! Again, it’s tender, fresh and delicious!
I loved this steamed lobster with Ee-Fu noodles. The texture of this lobster was tender and springy. We got to enjoy the whole flesh easily twisted out from its shell using just a fork.
These steamed prawns were fresh, but size of each prawn was petite. Thankfully, the serving was generous, enough to satisfy our craving for these fresh prawns.
Taste of stir-fried clams with black beans sauce (豉汁炒蚬) wasn’t too impressive, but clam meat was fresh (of course) and fleshy. This dish wasn’t spicy, it’s just mild briny taste of its gravy. In general, we liked it!
Well, just because we were at Lamma Island, a small Island which produces fresh homemade shrimp paste, I decided to try it with a vegetable dish. So, we ordered Stir-fried Kang Kong with shrimp paste. Order this in Cantonese, you say, Tong Choy Chao Har Jiong (通菜炒虾酱). It wasn’t spicy again, the vegetables were plainly fried with shrimp paste. The shrimp paste was fresh (yes, basically all the food here taste FRESH.. laughing), but its taste wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. Was it too bland? Or was the flavour too mild for my palate? I think it needed a spicy lift, to make it better executed. If given another choice, I guess I would have ordered the Stir-fried lettuce with preserved bean curd (生菜炒腐乳) which will be my alternate recommendation (chuckling)!
Besides the set menu and additional fish dish, they also served a plate of two fried squid balls free, which supposed to be complemented only if you pay your bill by Hang Seng (恒生) credit card.
Anyway, our stomachs were ballooned with the seafood feast! We paid a total of HK$500 (S$100) for 2 person. I think it was pretty reasonable for such plentiful seafood meal, and their service rendered to us through out the meal was up to standard. Worth it!
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