[Hong Kong] Hong Kong excels in comforting eats such as congee.
Imagine a chilly morning slurping a bowl of smooth and hearty bowl topped with the freshest ingredients. An experience not to be missed.
Sang Kee Congee 生記粥品專家 is one of the favourite eats found in the Sheung Wan neighbourhood.
The quaint eatery has been around for more than 40 years, famed for its fish belly congee, so much so that CNN has included the place in its top 40 Hongkong dishes they cannot live without.
From its humble beginning as an open-air food stall on Burd Street, it has now expanded to two shops in Sheung Wan alone.
The original Sheung Wan shop offers just congee, while the other serves brisket beef noodles as well. (There are two other branches at Yau Ma Tei and Quarry Bay.)
The exterior is nothing to be raved about – simple, basic and as local as it gets where the environment is essentially quick eat and go. Definitely not a place to linger.
There is an English menu with photos which makes for easy ordering. Itcomprises of various choices for congee, from pig’s giblets congee to chicken congee.
Prices range from HKD32 (SGD5.54) to HKD62 (SGD10.74) – which would be the Congee with fresh fillet, sliced beef & chicken congee.
For certain choices such as Meat Ball Congee or Preserved Egg Meat Congee, you have an option between a small bowl (HKD32, SGD5.54) and a large bowl (HKD41, SGD7.10).
Deep fried Chinese dough does not come complimentary; a small plate costs HKD8 (SGD1.39). There are other side dishes such as Fried Fish Meat Pancake (HKD16, SGD2.77) and Fried Vermicelli (HKD 16, SGD$2.77).
Every customer gets served a complimentary cup of hot tea.
I opted for Chicken Congee, and of course the Fish Fillet & Meat Ball Congee that is supposed to be the game of this establishment.
The bowls came brimming and steamy, served with small plates of home-made soy sauce and slices of spring onion and ginger. I added a dash of pepper and the Chinese fried dough as they are supposed to be eaten soggy.
A few spoonful of the congee had me wishing this eatery was in my neighbourhood.
If I lived in Hong Kong, I would definitely have been a regular here, although the people at this establishment speak no English.
The Congee was silky smooth, almost grain-less. The taste of the Congee itself was slightly bland, supposedly so that diners can adjust it to their taste.
Fish fillets were sweet, fresh and tender, while the meat balls had great chewy texture. However, they were not as well seasoned as I would have liked.
The Chicken Congee had a slightly sweet aftertaste, yet delicious all the same. Chicken was said to be seasoned in wine, enhancing the overall taste.
While eating I spotted an uncle sitting opposite picking the sliced spring onion and ginger provided earlier on, putting on his spoon and eating them at the same time with the Congee.
Do what the locals do, as they say, so I followed. They added a whole new dimension to the Congee. Every spoon was flavourful.
The portion was big and toppings were incredibly generous. Though plain-looking and unassuming, the Congee makes for a heart-warming meal.
You would definitely head to the original store where it all started to experience this bowl of goodness when you are in Hong Kong.
Sang Kee Congee Shop 生記粥品專家 Branch 1: Original branch
7-9 Burd Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong (Sheung Wan MTR Station Exit A2)
Tel: +852 2541 1099
Opening Hours: 6.30am – 9:00pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
Google Maps – Sang Kee Congee Shop Sheung Wan
9 Tung Fong St, Yau Ma Tei, Hong Kong Branch 2
Tel: +852 2770 6099
Opening Hours: 11:00am – 10:00pm (Mon – Sat) Closed Sun
Google Maps – Sang Kee Yau Ma Tei
Shop B, G/F, Wai Fong Court, 955-957 King’s Road, Quarry Bay Branch 3
Tel: +852 2811 8103
Opening Hours: 10:00am – 11:00pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
Google Maps – Sang Kee Quarry Bay
* Written by DFD’s Correspondent Hoang Anh Dang @youreatingbuddy, additional photos from Daniel Ang @DanielFoodDiary. Anh loves sharing her eating journey from hole-in-the-wall shops to world’s best restaurants. Daniel’s Food Diary pays for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.