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Saam Hui Yaat (叁去壹) @ Hong Kong

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Since we started ploughing through Hong Kong's old eats, every visit is a chance for me to track down the city's oldest dimsum place. I think we could have struck gold and found possibly the oldest place this time - Saam Hui Yaat. Even the Hong Konger himself is not familiar with this.

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In between Sai Ying Pun and HKU Station, this is closer to the latter but walking is definitely not a problem from November - March but thereafter, the weather could get to you accessing it.

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Dirt cheap people have lauded this place as and I cannot agree more. Each basket starts from HKD 18. A singlet clad pudgy uncle trods around the coffeeshop placing tea pots and cups, takes and delivers orders too. What was clearly missing was some form of roughness, the loud mouthed owner barking orders or screeching at unknowing diners. Perhaps, Hong Kong did had some dining ettiquette afterall, in the olden days.

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A menu board with numerous amendments to price.


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马来糕

A generous wedge steamed and served, I had my reservations about its shade though - looking too pale in my opinion. I suppose the proportions of brown sugar for the rest were imbalanced hence the overly brown shade.

I dug into a spongey delight, it was barely oily and had such a lovely spongeyness about it, totally had the makings of the best 马来糕 eaten. 

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蠔油鮮竹 (HKD 14)

My obsession with this not so popular dimsum item started not too long ago, each bean curd skin was rolled with meat, fats and occasionally black fungus to resemble a bamboo stick - hence the name. Steamed till hot and the beads of condensation clouded the steamer, each time I opened the steamer brought a clout of happiness. 

The ones eaten in Hong Kong surely triumph any other I have eaten and surely, the magic lies in lard.  

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烧卖 (HKD 14)

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蝦餃 (HKD 14)

Even in this hole in wall, I found har gao and siew mai made so skillfully and tastefully - puts our local pau shops to utmost shame infact. The skin, fillings and texture all nailed beautifully.  

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排骨飯  (HKD 20)

I usually do not order rice pots for breakfast but ended up really thankful we did because this was sublime! Pork ribs, black beans and salted fish in a metal pot of rice. None of the soggyness was there but what remained was a fragrant, dry and very tasty pot to start the day with. No further seasoning was even required, and that kind of precision told tales of the years of experience behind those closed doors.

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The experience cannot get more authentic than this with a coffeeshop full of old foggies, glassy eyed and nobody ever whips out a phone to snap away at the food. I must have been classified a looney that fateful day.

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It is downright dirty, absolutely squeezy and you get a taste of Hong Kong in the 60's. We may very well have found a gem and one for keeps.

Saam Hui Yaat 叁去壹
11 Pokfulam Road

A foodie born to eat, shop and travel. Forced to work.

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