Monday, January 13, 2014

Noms in Asia 7: Mango Mania

Apparently mango is big in Hong Kong, which was great for me because it's one of my favorite kinds of fruit. A lot of the desserts involved the sweet tropical fruit (I feel like Leslie Knope paying a compliment to her beautiful best friend Ann Perkins), as did the drinks — and those are exactly what I tried.

Mango Juice

Hui Lau Shan in Causeway Bay

According to my mom's research, Hui Lau Shan is famous for their mango juice, so I was very curious to try it. We were in Causeway Bay one evening, and while we were trying to make exact change for our bus back to Kennedy Town (traveler's tip: HK buses will not give you change if you only have bills, so you must have exact change for your trip), we saw Hui Lau San and decided to break our $20 bill with some mango juice.

It was almost like fate that we didn't have exact change for the bus, and we just happened to be waiting right in front of a Hui Lau Shan (there are several throughout the city) because omg, this thing was so incredibly fresh and delicious. I believe it was about HKD$25 (~USD$3), but it tasted like a million bucks after a long day of touring and walking around.

Mango-Flavored Shaved Ice (is what I'll call it)

Lucky Dessert in Kennedy Town

So, I have no idea what this is called — but it was really good! I think I've had a knock-off version of this dessert in Korea's CanMore, a chain cafe/dessert house, and it was called the "snowflake shaved ice" (λˆˆκ½ƒ λΉ™μˆ˜). I was on a craze for those the summer I discovered them (2005, I think?), and this traditional Hong Kong (or maybe Cantonese) dessert threw me back to my high-school summer days.

We went to a tiny dessert place called Lucky Dessert, and the entire menu was in Chinese, so it was quite a challenge to decide what to get. But we kind of gambled and after asking the server what was the most popular, ended up with a really yummy dessert. The term "snowflake" is quite accurate for what we got because the ice shavings were very, very fine slices that melted instantly on your tongue, like real snow.

The ice itself was so delicious. It had just the right amount of mango flavor and the perfect balance between tart and sweet. Along with the ice were actual slices of mango and a condensed milk-based sauce on top, which, I thought, were very good accompaniments.

I definitely got my mango fix during this trip, and I just thought of this: I wonder if they have out-of-this-world, amazing dried mango????? Like the ones from the Philippines or Cambodia (SO good, btw)???? Guess I'll have to go back soon and find out ;)


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