Hung Hom is an interesting place, with Gillies Avenue South dividing the region in two. On one side, you have the residential area. On the other, nearly all of the establishments are in some way related to the funeral industry. As a result not many people tend to venture there after nightfall. But with the opening of Sang Kee, these days are over.
Sang Kee is a family-run business that operates as a normal cha chaan teng, serving toast with butter and condensed milk, instant noodles and the like during the daytime. At night, the owners, the Lui couple, serve seafood dishes such as crab congee and Thai-style clams. The eatery has quickly become a hotspot in this once-dreary region and you can always find quite a number of hungry clients queuing outside.
Three of us went there on a weeknight to find that the small shop has just eight tables and about 40 seats. The kitchen is run only by the Luis, who serve a relatively small and simple menu featuring only the best items. For appetisers, the deep-fried octopus balls ($38) were one of the must-try items. Despite the name, these were mainly made from squid, not octopus. The deep-fried spheres were very crispy and not oily on the surface, with a crunchy texture and a savoury taste, and went perfectly with an ice-cold beer. We also tried the spring rolls ($38), which were browned and dried on the outside, but moist and juicy with an interesting, briny clam filling inside that tasted like the ocean.
The crab congee ($88) is the signature dish here that nobody should miss. Two mud crabs are used per serving and the congee is served piping hot in a clay pot. The congee was smooth and mushy – exactly the kind of congee texture I like. The light yellow colour meant that the congee was boiled with crab and the taste was so sweet, especially when you ate a spoonful with tiny bits of crab roe floating about. The crabs themselves were very fresh and the flesh tender and delicious. Take my advice and reserve this popular dish when you make your booking to guarantee an order before it sells out.
The clam with tom yum goong soup ($68) was equally impressive. With a strong sour and spicy taste, the soup was enriched with the tantalising aromas of different Thai herbs that will certainly rev up your appetite. The crunchiness of the clams and the sweet aftertaste was a good indication of their freshness. Looking at the large pile of empty shells when we finished eating, it was easy to see how generous this restaurant is with their serving sizes. This is another dish that is also great value for money.
No desserts are served here so we headed elsewhere after the meal, but we noticed upon leaving (at about nine in the evening) that there were already around 20 people waiting outside the restaurant for a seat. Yes, it’s that popular. So make sure you book a table in advance, or come nice and early to avoid waiting too long for the delicious crab congee.
13 Lo Lung Hang Rd, Hung Hom, 2334 7573, Daily 6pm-10pm. Meal for two: around $350.
|Venue name:||Sang Kee Crab Congee|
13 Lo Lung Hang Rd, Hung Hom