Monday, January 7, 2013

Hong Kong Day 1: Diamond Hill, the Jade Market and bits of TST

We arrived on a rather rainy morning in Hong Kong. It was cold and wet but I was certainly in the mood to walk around. So after checking in at the hotel (we stayed at The Kowloon Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui, if you're curious),  we went to the Chi Lin Nunnery, which I've read so much about.  The whole monastery was filled with humming and the smell of incense; it was nice. I could've stayed there the whole day, just relaxing and taking in the architecture of the place, but it was lunch time and I also read so much about the vegetarian restaurant across the nunnery (which, honestly, was the reason I found out about this place to begin with).
Across the nunnery, down the road, is the Nan Lian Garden filled with beautiful rock forms (if you've never admired a rock before, I think you will here) and little pagodas and flora. 

The Chi Lin Vegetarian restaurant is hidden beneath the greenery and this artificial waterfall thingie.

A minimum of HK$95 per head is required. We ordered the set lunch menu (HK$98 per head) that came with the soup of the day, four vegetarian dishes and rice.  The soup of the day was a mixed mushroom broth that was rather weird.  It was slightly sweet and reminded me of gulaman--sweet cold drinks with jelly here in the Philippines.  I ordered a side order of the Deep Fried Stuffed Pumpkin.  Now that one I highly recommend.  It was crunchy on the outside and chewy inside.  There were stir fried mixed vegetables (bean sprouts, onions, green beans) that were good, marinated beancurd sheet rolls that were just as good, a vegetable curry dish that was really delicious and then...heaven.  My favorite amongst the dishes: Baked Beancurd with Creamy Truffle Sauce. When it was served I didn't think it would be anything great.  It looked simple, it looked bland.  But I took one bite and man oh man I was hooked. If you're keen on checking the place out, please try this dish! There was another order we made but I forgot what it was at this point; I was too busy with the baked beancurd.  There was a teensy little fruit platter for dessert but I can't complain, I was filled to the brim by the time we were done with the other dishes.

The Chi Lin Nunnery is located at 5 Chi Lin Drive, Diamond Hill, Kowloon, Hong Kong. The Nan Lian Garden is at 60 Fung Tak Road, Hong Kong. To get there via MTR, go down the Diamond Hill station and take exit C5.

Near the Yau Ma Tei Market is the Jade Market, two buildings full of all the jade you might think you need.  Try not to linger too long in one stall, there's a lot to go by. In the end, all I got was a nice little coral jade pendant and a turquoise bottle, where I plan to put a nice little personalized blend of essential oils in.

On our way back to the hotel, we stopped by a little take away counter called Three Virtues Vegetarian Restaurant.  There was a line when we got there.  We saw everyone ordering the same thing and the waitress didn't seem to speak english so we pointed to what everyone else was ordering and put out the same amount  of money they were all putting out. I think it was around HK$15. I may be wrong though.  But I ordered an extra vegetarian "pork" bun which was HK$4 and it was fabulous.
The vegetarian 'pork' bun on the top, and a mixture of all these veggie meat/beancurd goodies in this little styro container. 

Three Virtues Vegetarian Restaurant is located at 1/F, 395 King's Rd, North Point.

A Kentaro Kobuke exhibit I saw in the paper and wanted to check out but didn't get to see.  How lovely is the poster though?
The view from my window. I see the bay!

Also, I have posts about my beauty related hauls over at my other supposedly-secret-but-I-really-can't-help-revealing-it blog. Hope you check it out.

More tomorrow! Love, W.

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