Old Bazaar Kitchen
207 Wan Chai Road, Wan Chai
Tel: 2893 3998
Open: noon-4.30pm, 6pm- 10.30pm
Cuisine: a mix of Chinese, Southeast Asian and random dishes (such as prawns with Thousand Island sauce).
Ambience: very basic, with bright lights and rows of rectangular tables that can be pushed together to seat larger parties. Diners can look through a window (right) into the long, narrow kitchen.
Pros: the servers are friendly and the food - for the most part - is good and well priced. The menu listed a lot of innards and other less popular 'parts', which were a hit with my friends.
Cons: drunken ox tongue (HK$38) didn't taste as if it had been marinated long in the rice wine, and the meat was coarse.
Recommended dishes: pan-fried ox tongue (right) was a bargain at HK$128. The meat came from the thickest, most tender part of the tongue, and the thin slices had been seared so they were still moist inside before being sprinkled with fried garlic. Drunken goose liver (HK$88) wasn't top-quality foie gras, but the thick, cool slabs were surprisingly rich and smooth. Deep-fried pork intestines (HK$68) had just enough of the funky smell we expect from this meat, and were crisp outside and tender within. When we ordered the fresh chicken in Sichuan hot sauce (HK$148 for half), the waitress asked if we could take spicy dishes - we should have said 'moderately' instead of an over-confident 'yes'. It was a well-presented dish, with beautiful colours, but it was a bit too spicy for some of us. Lamb belly soup with black and white pepper (HK$88) was a generous serving of tender meat and light but intense broth that got some of its flavour from pickled Chinese mustard. Thick noodles with belacan (fermented shrimp paste) sauce (HK$58, above) was another generous serving of al dente egg noodles with a rich, oily sauce.
What else? The original Old Bazaar Kitchen was in Tin Hau.