I used to be a fan of Hong Kong tv serials and very often such shows would feature seafood villages with enormous variety of choices swimming in tanks, waiting to be served to hungry diners. Those scenes are etched in my mind whenever “seafood village” is mentioned. So, you can imagine my excitement and glee when a good friend, J took us to Lei Yue Mun for a seafood feast. There’s no way we’d miss this!
Lei Yue Mun is that short channel of water between Junk Bay and Victoria Harbour which separates Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. The fishing villages, famous for their seafood villages and restaurants are on the Kowloon side.
Standing at the waterfront, you’ll be greeted with picturesque scenes of fishing boats with Hong Kong’s skyline in the horizon…
A short stroll down the waterfront boulevard will take you to the entrance … walk beyond that and you will be totally swarmed with countless numbers of seafood shops! It’s like a maze of never-ending fish tanks and tubs and the shopkeepers will be trying their level best to grab your attention.
So, just nod and smile and continue walking if you do not want to be mobbed and pulled in by these enthusiastic stall vendors.
The choice and variety of live seafood available in the shops are really mind-boggling! Of course we do have such live seafood restaurants here but those are nothing compared to the variety and size in Lei Yue Mun. Every swimming creature here seems to be bigger, more colourful or never-seen-before than those back home.
I totally lost track of the number of stalls we passed before we arrived at The Chosen Stall – one which is a favourite of J and friend. Both of them did the selection and we were ushered to Lung Tang Restaurant nearby. We were famished and luckily we didn’t have to wait very long before the dishes started arriving one after another. Those chefs are really efficient, I tell you. Starting with the appetizers, we had a huge platter of sliced Geoduck on ice, to be eaten either sashimi-style or dipped quickly in boiling soup.
The natural briny sweetness of the geoduck is best enjoyed in all its raw glory. However, for the innards, it’s best to cook these lightly in boiling soup before eating them.
Sea snails in their pretty dotted shells were served lightly blanched and all one has to do is to dig out their sweet succulent flesh with a pointed toothpick!
The shrimps we had were not very huge but then size does matter – it matters that the shrimps should NOT be big – medium-sized shrimps are the best! Oh yes, we couldn’t stop gorging on those plain-looking boiled shrimps. Their sweetness is quite different from the usual ones we have here, I really can’t explain why. Somehow, there’s this added unique marine flavour to them which I don’t taste in local shrimps.
We had huge mantis prawns, cooked in the typical “typhoon-shelter” style… deep fried and topped with a mountain of chopped garlic and chillies.
Bamboo Clams – giant ones, but surprisingly they were not tough or chewy at all! Done in the popular HK-style, they were steamed with glass noodles and garlic. The little bunches of glass noodles had soaked up all the natural flavours of the clams and were really yummy!
The highlight of the meal must definitely be the Fresh Abalones…
There’s no other way to cook these babies other than to steam them with just a dash of superior soya sauce and top them with chopped spring onions and slivers of ginger. This method of cooking – plain & simple, will just bring out their best natural flavours.
Served sitting on their shells, one has to carefully cut it out so as not to make a mess on the plate… and then slice them into small pieces to slowly savour their exquisite flavour and texture.
We had this popular HK fish that’s called “Lai Mung” – I have no idea what its English name is. I know it’s a very popular fish because it’s always mentioned in their tv serials – haha! Anyway, it’s a very tasty white-fleshed fish with a sweet tender delicate flavour. The fish we had was quite sizeable and it was done in 2 ways – fillets stir-fried with celery…
… the Bones & Head were deep-fried and lightly braised in a thick sauce… and I must say I love both dishes! Lai Mung rocks, I tell you!
For carbs, we had this big plate of Fried Noodles in Soya Sauce – again another popular HK-style, done very simply, where the egg noodles are the star!
Soup and desserts were complimentary, thanks to the generous restaurant. It was no plain simple soup by any means… we had this huge tureen of milky seafood soup with lots of fresh seafood chunks in it… but because we were so full with all the superb dishes served earlier, we could hardly bring ourselves to eat those tasty chunks in the soup!
Desserts were a platter of supersweet solo papayas and mangoes…
… and these crunchy Fried Pastries (“lau mun chai” in Cantonese) sprinkled with icing sugar – my god, they were so addictive!
So, that was our very memorable seafood feast in Lei Yue Mun (many thanks to J & friend) … something you should not miss in Hong Kong. Experience the rustic village with the fishing boats dotting the seafront and of course, dine on the freshest seafood cooked in the simplest, most delicious ways. Ahhh… what bliss!
We had this amazing feast at:
Lung Tang Restaurant
1-2 Hoi Pong Road Central
Lei Yue Mun, Kowloon
and the fresh seafood came from this stall located at:
10C Hoi Pong Road West
Lei Yue Mun, Kowloon