Day 3: Breakfast at 美心皇宫 (Maxim's Palace)
Maxim's is one of the big name restaurant chain in Hong Kong. From the Hong Kong airport, Kowloon, Hong Kong Island to The New Territories, you will see the Maxim's brand restaurants and eateries, serving mouth-watering cuisines, cakes and pastries. One of my favorite snack-to-go is Maxim's classic almond flakes (from Maxim's cakes at most of the MTR stations). Our local Four Leaves bakeries has a similar almond puff, but the taste and texture is not quite the same.
Back to my Day 3 breakfast. Today is the last day in Hong Kong and we are crossing over to Shenzhen after breakfast.
|肠粉，风爪，牛肉丸，蟹肉南瓜粥，油条，绵花鸡，鳞鱼生菜汤 ... some more goodies, but forgot to snap pictures.|
There are several Maxim's Palace restaurants in Hong Kong, one newly opened at Hong Kong Central, complete with a nice harbour view. But, we have our luggages in tow and do not wish to do a detour, so we opt for the outlet at Sha Tin (沙田) at the New Territories. The restaurant is conveniently located on the 8th floor of New Town Plaza (新城市广场), a big shopping mall with the 3rd floor connected to the Sha Tin MTR station.
Many dim sum restaurants in Hong Kong operate as early as 7 am. The best part is most restaurants offer an early bird discount before the peak period, say around 10 or 11 am. Thereafter, the dim sum is charged at full price. The downside to it is not all items are available in the early morning. We were there at around 8.30 a.m. and ordered a variety of dim sum.
Spent: Can't remember the exact amount, around S$35 for 5 pax.
Recommended: Pumpkin crab porridge, beef balls, fish paste soup
Location: 8 floor, New Town Plaza Phase 1 (Sha Tin MTR)
Crossing over to Shenzhen is very convenient via the blue MTR East Rail Line to Lo Wu station (罗湖) or Lok Ma Chau station (落马洲). Lo Wu station is usually more crowded, so if you want a fuss-free transit to Shenzhen, use the Lok Ma Chau checkpoint. Once you are into Shenzhen, you can take the Shenzhen MTR lines to visit places of attraction.
After breakfast, we took the MTR and alighted at the terminal, Lok Ma Chau Station (about 25 minutes from Sha Tin station). It was Saturday morning and a long weekend, so we kinda expected to see long queues at the checkpoint (we saw on TV, massive crowds at Lo Wu Station just the day before on Easter Friday, reported over the evening news in Hong Kong). Phew... luckily, the queue was manageable, we cleared both customs within an hour (including the long walk across the sheltered bridge from Hong Kong to Shenzhen).
Day 3: Lunch at 深运潮州粥
The specialty here is the clay pot porridge. We ordered a big pot of fresh prawns porridge and a few side dishes. The prawns were very fresh and crunchy as these were sea prawns (海虾) and it adds a natural sweetness to the Teochew-style porridge. I love the fried bean curd - very light & crispy outside, yet super soft inside.
Spent: About RMB150 (for 7 pax)
Recommended: Clay pot porridge, fried bean curd, braised duck (and many other dishes, can't order all!)
Location: Huanggang 2nd street (Fumin MTR station, Exit C)
|Direction: From Shenzhen custom checkpoint, take the MTR at Futian station (福田) and alight at the next station, Fumin station (福民), exit C.|
One thing to try in Shenzhen is the foot bath and massage. There are many massage parlours in Shenzhen, just look out for the sign "足浴". Take a stroll after lunch and relax with a foot massage for less than S$10 an hour (including tips). You can also opt for shoulder and back massage instead. Of course, if you are willing to splurge on beauty and wellness, there are some high end massage and spa entertainment complex, where you will find services such as manicure/pedicure, sauna, spa, TV rooms, free flow of fruits, in addition to massage services. But do expect to spend a minimum of RMB200 (or about S$40) per pax, including entry, shower, sauna, locker service, towels, basic massage in the big hall (w/o private room), free flow of fresh fruits.
Day 3: Dinner at 俏江南
After trying many Cantonese-style cuisines in Hong Kong, let's try something hot and fiery here in Shenzhen. Maybe nothing comparable to the real thing in Sichuan province itself, but we are just as happy to try something a little hot and spicy. The restaurant is located in a shopping mall near the "Window of the World" Station (世界之窗). It has a modern and stylish decor and the dishes are artistically presented. The signature dish is 水煮鱼, literally translated as "fish cooked in water". But, don't be fooled by the name as the fish slices were actually cooked in a bowl of hot chili oil, with numerous chillies floating on top! The dishes here are generally very salty, which is the typical Sichuan flavour.
Spent: Around RMB300 (for 7 pax)
Recommended: The appetiser - sweet and salty honey ham, wrapped with cucumber and crispy bean curd skin. Other dishes are quite average and do not really appeal to our local palette. Nevertheless, just try it if you are on holiday.
Bonus: Enjoy free fireworks display while dining! Try to get a table near the window and watch the fireworks display in good view, around 8.30pm (The fireworks display is from Window of the World, after their daily 7.30 grand show).
Location: Yitian Holiday Plaza (Window of the World MTR station, Exit C2)
Window of the World is a theme park worth visiting. The park reproduces miniatures of major heritages, natural sceneries, famous attractions from all round the world. Travel the world in a day where you will marvel at the sights of the Eiffel Tower, the Pyramids, the Taj Mahal and many more! This is why you will read the Chinese characters displayed at the grand central area of the theme park "你给我一天，我给你一个世界"
Coming up next .....
The final chapter:
Better roast goose than the famous Yung Kee
Shopping at a local wet-market
A hearty home-cooked meal
Dinner at 滋味堂瓦缸煨汤馆
Dim sum breakfast at 潮楼 before leaving Hong Kong