Sunday, April 22, 2012

2012 HK Trip - Good Start Restaurant 囍点

Location: Mong Kok, S.A.R. Hong Kong

My first night in Hong Kong was filled with adventure - all of my focus was on getting my bearings and finding my way to the hostel. Despite my understanding of Cantonese and Mandarin, aligning myself in a foreign place was still an adventure, especially with the hustle of night time Mong Kok.

By the time I settled down, it was already 10p.m. This was usually a bad news, since I was used to stalls closing down before 10p.m. Without any particular shop in mind, I just wandered down the streets and with some hesitance entered this shop which looked decent from the outside.

Welcome to Good Start Restaurant! Its name 囍点 actually transliterate into "Happiness Point".

For my first Hong Kong food experience, Good Start Restaurant offered quite a good choice for me to begin my culinary adventure. The wave of activity hit me when I entered, and I was particularly shocked to read from its menu that the shop operated from 12p.m. to 3a.m. Talk about nightlife in Mong Kok... You definitely have no worries of nothing to eat in the middle of the night.

Despite its name as a restaurant, it was but a simple shop with a nice setting. The interior was quite narrow, giving me my first real impression of how scarce space is in Hong Kong, which my subsequent experience will prove. 

The shop is quite well decorated and brightly lit, providing a nice experience for dining within the limited space.

The interior of Good Start Restaurant is actually quite small and space is scarce. Somehow the Hong Kongers have adapted to this and manage to make the most out of it, and along the way, showcasing how efficient they really are. The kitchen is placed upstairs, with orders and food being conveyed through the dumbwaiter.

So what to order there? Dim sum at late night, or dishes which could easily be sampled back at home? In the end, I chose the latter since I was too hungry to dare the unfamiliar ones. A bowl of rice, a plate of steamed rolls and another plate of greens filled my growling tummy on the first night.

Steamed Chicken Rice with Mushroom (北菇滑鸡饭) (HKD22) allowed me not to miss a beat with my customary starch. The steaming bowl gave me a nice taste of home in a foreign land, and a good beginner's introduction to the food of Hong Kong. The meat was well done and nice large mushroom was tasty.

Malaysians may be used to it as Chee Cheong Fun (猪肠粉) but in Hong Kong, it is known as Cheong Fun (肠粉) or 'steamed rolls'. That, to the unfamiliar, will be pale white rolls made from starch sheets with yummies being wrapped around. This will be the Hong Kong steamed rolls, which may be different from the Malaysian version which has sheets of starch cut down into strips and served with gravy. The Hong Kong version should definitely be featured on a traveler's list of must-try items.

Steamed Rice Rolls with Barbecued Pork (that's the familiar Char Siew) (云茸叉烧肠) (HKD16) served in a pool of soy sauce. It was not not bad but nothing to scream about either. Although it was not enough to fill your stomach like a bowl of rice could, it was still slightly stuffy with all those starch. The pork was nice and chewy and dipping the rolls in soy sauce provided a sweet and salty taste to an otherwise bland dish.

Boil Chinese Vegetables (白灼青油菜) (HKD13) was a pleasant surprise to me - it was indescribably delicious! The greens were sweet with the taste of veges when served with soy sauce, and for a dish so simple and usual, it really left a lingering memory in me. The green and fresh leaves gave off a satisfying crunchy feel in the mouth along with the taste of vegetable sweetness. Take my advise - if you are given only one choice, get this dish over all others.

Food in Hong Kong is by no means cheap when a conversion is made between Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) and our Malaysian Ringgit (MYR). Of course the trick is not to do the conversion when ordering but I still couldn't help and do the silent calculation at the back of my head anyway. 

Most dishes of Good Start Restaurant cost between HKD15 and HKD20, so conversion will give a range of RM6 to RM8 per dish. It would most probably take at least about 2 dishes per person in order to sate your hunger. That makes about RM14 per person for a meal in this shop - that wasn't so bad.

For readers who had the patience to go through my article, here is a snapshot of the price and food list off the menu of Good Start Restaurant for your comparison against MYR. ^^

For my first sharing of Hong Kong meals, this was not a bad experience at all. Although I was not sure with the waitress' grasp of English, they weren't rude or unfriendly. Do expect their attitudes to be different from the usual Malaysian waitress though - eye contact will not be made and sometimes they were so quick that it bordered on being impolite. Just remember that this is a place which work round the clock and that this is Hong Kong.




Suitable for:            a late night dinner
Cost:                             Despite the fact that it may take up to RM14 per person per meal to sate a hunger, that is considered as usual in Hong Kong.


Website:                    Facebook page. More reviews in Hong Kong Mandarin through Open Rice

Contact:                     +852 - 2309 1833 (main branch), +852 2309 1928 (offshoot)
Address:                     110 ground floor, Fa Yuen Street, Mong Kok, Hong Kong (main branch); 116 ground floor, Tung Choi Street, Mong Kok, Hong Kong (offshoot)
                                        旺角花園街110號地舖(主舖),旺角通菜街116號地舖(分舖)

Operating hours:   Mon - Sat (12 p.m. - 3a.m.), Sun and Public Holiday (11a.m. - 3a.m.)
Getting there:          Exit at Mong Kok MTR D3 exit and walk along Argyle Street - this is one of the major road in Mong Kok. Fa Yuen Street is the third street to the left after the exit.




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