[Hong Kong] Wai Kee Congee (威記粥店)

Located right smack in the heart of Central, Wai Kee Congee enjoys a steady stream of customers every morning. The premises are tiny so expect to share a table with strangers, as is the case with nearby Lan Fong Yuen.

Wai Kee Congee serves a mean bowl of traditional Cantonese porridge (juk), where the rice grains are boiled till they’ve “flowered” (煲至开花) or to the point of disintegration. What results is a smooth, creamy gruel and a perfect breakfast to atone for all the late night dim sum feasts that you’ll be having. We got a bowl of century egg and pork congee (pei dan sau yuk juk or 皮蛋瘦肉粥) to share between two, and while the silky texture of the porridge was out of this world I thought it was a little too bland. Thankfully they were quite generous with the century egg and pork, although you wouldn’t be able to tell from the picture below.

Preserved egg and pork congee (皮蛋瘦肉粥), HKD 17; Chinese donuts in rice roll (炸兩), HKD 10.

Fried dough fritters, or you tiao (油条) are common in Singapore. Wrapping you tiao in a steamed rice roll (as in cheung fun or 肠粉) and coating it with sweet black sauce, however, was an entirely alien concept to me. This love child of you tiao and cheung fun is known also as zha leung (炸兩). Because the cheung fun is moist, you have to eat this dish the minute it’s served so the you tiao is still crispy. Definitely not something you’d want to order for take out.

I thought the zha leung was nothing to write home about – I don’t get flour on flour pairings. The you tiao was crisp on the outside and airy on the inside, but it got soggy very quickly from the layer of cheung fun encircling it. It would have been excellent on its own, and looking around the restaurant I noticed many people had ordered the you tiao to go with their juk. It’s known as yau zha gwai or 油炸鬼 on the menu, translating hilariously into “oily fried ghost”. Wiki will tell you more about the different names of this dish.

The steamed radish cake at Wai Kee Congee has also attracted a number of rave reviews on Openrice. That’s something I’ll be adding to my to-eat list when I’m back in Hong Kong… next week. 😉

Wai Kee Congee (威記粥店)
G/F, 82 Stanley Street
Central, Hong Kong
(Address in Chinese: 中環士丹利街82號)
Menu is bilingual (English/Chinese).

Opening hours: 6.30 am to 7 pm, Mondays to Saturdays; 6.30 am to 5 pm, Sundays. Closed on first three days of Lunar New Year.
Tel. no.: +852 2551 5564

Nearest MTR station: Central


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