If you have the word ‘Tasty’ included in your brand, you better be able to live up to it. Tasty Congee & Noodles Wantun Shop (正斗粥麵專家) was recommended by one of my colleague who frequent Hong Kong quite regularly. They received “Best of the Best Culinary Award –Gold with Distinction Award” from Hong Kong Tourism Board and were rated “Bib Gourmand” in the premier edition of Michelin Guide, Hong Kong and Macau since 2008. My anticipation toned down significantly after I realised that they have a few branches in Hong Kong. They are probably like Crystal Jade in Singapore, just a convenient restaurant chain that serves good food. We went for the outlet in International Finance Centre (IFC) which was walking distance from where I stayed.
I was a little worried about the menu prices when I stepped into the restaurant. The walls were beautifully adored with coloured glass and over 30,000 chopsticks. There was also an extensive display for traditional media ornaments from past China dynasties but of course everyone knows the real thing can’t be here. I heaved a sigh of relief when I saw the decency of the prices, no wonder the restaurant was so packed on a Saturday morning.
Famished after our walk, we did quick work of the menu and so did Tasty for our orders!
Our order of their House Speciality Shrimp Wantun Noodle Soup (Large – HK$48 & Small – HK$38) was served within minutes. As usual, the wantuns were nicely hidden below the golden noodles and soup base. Hong Kong people love their shrimp dumplings so much that they have 2 versions in English for them – Wantons and Wantuns.
The rich and slightly oily soup base went really well with the chewy noodles. The serving size (including wantuns) was a little bigger than Mak’s Noodles but of course we paid HK$5 more for the rental as well. The shrimps in the wantuns were really fresh and offered a bouncy bite.
We also ordered a small bowl of Lean Minced Meat & Century Egg Congee to share. Thick gluey congee is popular among Cantonese which made up the bulk of the population in Hong Kong. The rice has to be continuous re-boiled in excessive amount of water until it breaks down to achieve this desired state. As a Hokkien, I am used to the more watery porridge.
We got Fried You Tiao Wrapped In Rice Rolls (HK$35) to accompany our congee. Usually taken separately in Singapore, Tasty has tried to fuse these 2 delicacies together by wrapping the thin translucent rice skin around the You Tiao.
It turned out to be a disaster. The fried You Tiao turned soggy when it got into contact with the rice rolls. The savoury sauces that accompanied the dish failed to do much recovery.
I have seriously forgotten why we were on such a carbohydrate craze that day. We actually ordered a round of Char Siew Paos to complete the meal!
Moist and tender, the char siew meat was flavourful without being overly sweet. They were generous with the char siew sauce which soaked into the soft fluffy dough and gave the buns a scrumptious texture.
While we were recovering from the heavy meal over tea, I suddenly realised that I have not seen much senior service staffs in both Retail and F&B establishments. There might be a few matured staffs that hold supervisory roles but there are limited slots for those positions.
In the competitive retail and F&B space where youth, appearance and speed are prized, where do retail and service staffs find work when they get older? Given the ageing population, will the skewed focus on employing younger workers over older ones create a huge unemployment issue for older workers in the near future, and increased foreign hiring to fill in the gap?
Many companies may be reluctant to hire or train older workers due to the perception that older workers are less physically-able, resistant to change and training, and expect higher wages. But these are assumptions that cause many companies to lose out on the human capital, knowledge and experience these older workers can offer.
Wouldn’t it make good business sense to give every worker a fair chance, for jobs, training and opportunities to identify good performers, rather than to make sweeping assumptions and cut out a section of the workforce without getting the benefits that this section could potentially contribute? But it is going to be a challenge to convince the employers as youth & speed is often seen as the solution to their bread and butter.
If you are interested to check out this ‘Crystal Jade’ of Hong Kong, here are the full details:
Tasty Congee & Noodle Wantun Shop
Address: Shop 3016-3018 Podium Level 3, IFC mall, 1 Harbour View Street, Central, Hong Kong
You may also like to check out my posts on other exciting travel destinations here