Hong Kong-style cafes typically have a variety of dishes on their menus but the most prominent are the following:
- Congee (rice porridge) with different toppings, such as preserved vegetables, and meats (beef, chicken, fish)
- Chow mein
- Fried breadsticks
- Dim sum
- Soup noodles (e.g. won ton noodles)
- Barbecue foods (e.g. roast duck, roast pork, char siu)
We tried two places: Congee Queen and Congee Wong (which translates to Congee King).
This is a restaurant franchise that has multiple locations throughout the Toronto suburbs. It is a great place to go for every meal of the day, if you fancy something simple. My family and I have eaten at this restaurant a couple of times but at different locations. This time we ordered fried Singapore-style rice vermicelli, wonton noodle soup with shrimp dumplings, ride noodle breadsticks, roast pork rice, Chinese donuts, house special congee, and stir-fried snow pea leaves.
Fried rice, BBQ pork, and Wonton Noodle Soup
Stir-fried vegetables, congee and Chinese donut
Lounging with a cat at the Dancing Cat in San Jose, CA
Imagine yourself lounging in an easy chair, trying to relax from a busy day. A curious feline jumps down onto the couch next to you and pads his way toward you purring. Stirring with curiosity, you reach out tentatively. The cat sniffs at your hand and licks it. A smile beams on your face and gently you stroke his head behind the ears. The cat purrs appreciatively and lays down enjoying the tactile sensation. An hour goes by swiftly but all worries slip away with the company of a feline.
An agile cat at the Dancing Cat in San Jose, CA
Cat cafés are not new. With the perfect ambiance and environment, one could pay for an hour to play, observe, or enjoy a beverage in the company of cats. The first cat café, Cat Flower Garden (貓花園), originated from Taipei, Taiwan in 1998 (see the Taipei Cat Café blog for reviews). This first introduction to Japanese tourists became the fuel that started the trend in Japan. Continue reading
Downtown Toronto — Hydro Canada (2013)
After a tough semester, I spent a week (August 3-10, 2013) in Toronto– the city of my birth– to visit relatives and family friends; go sightseeing, and investigate various suburban areas (i.e. Markham and Richmond Hill) to determine the market for pharmacy. In this account, I will highlight some of the important must-see sights of Toronto and their exquisite cuisine.
August 3, 2013
We left San Francisco and arrived in Toronto on time. The plan was to meet my mother and brother, who would arrive at the airport from Montreal at 8 PM EST, at Payless car rentals. Unfortunately, we had trouble looking for the rental place, so we waited for the rest of our family before going together. After asking the airport staff, we learned that the car rental place was off-site and one had to call the place for a shuttle to go there. Not very convenient as we have liked.
We rented a Hyundai Elantra that was fairly easy to drive. Since we had not returned to Toronto in years, my father had trouble getting onto the highway toward Markham/Unionville. By the time we arrived at the Hilton Suite (formerly Markham Suite Hotel), it was already 10:30PM. We then headed to Richmond Hill Court restaurant for a quick meal of wonton noodle soup, beef congee, ying yang fried rice, gai lan, and satay vermicelli noodles. We finally went to bed at 2 AM.
A quick near midnight dinner at Richmond Hill Court
August 4, 2013
Breakfast at Congee Wong’s
In the drowsy morning, we had breakfast at Congee Wong consisting of dumplings, gai lan, congee, Chinese donut, and breadsticks. Today, we planned to meet my aunt in downtown Toronto. We drove to Finch Ave, where we parked our car at the park-and-go area and took the subway to College Street. The fare prices were reasonable. We purchased 14 tokens for $36 CAD. Continue reading