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Let’s have some Dim Sum in Hong Kong! – Part 1 of 2

Posted on 05 January 2012 by Danica

When many tourists come to Hong Kong, they automatically assume the standard cuisine of the Hong Kong people is Chinese food.  While this is true, “Chinese food” is such a generic term that it hardly describes the regional uniqueness of the cuisine that’s popular and common here.  What I miss most from Hong Kong is the DELICIOUS dim sum that is typically served in the morning till early afternoon.  Therefore, in this two part post, I want to introduce you all to the art of ordering dim sum so you too can know what to order when you are here.

For today, I will focus on what is dim sum, the most popular dishes and where they are served.  Then tomorrow, I will touch upon when to go for dim sum, how to order them, and some cultural tips so you are comfortable ordering them on your own.  And of course, if you still have questions after reading the posts, just drop us a comment below!

1) What

I think of dim sum as the Chinese version of the Spanish tapas, with Chinese tea replacing your sangria.  Dim sum is a collection of small meat or vegetarian dishes.  It is usually served with Chinese tea (no surprise here!).  In recent years, you can also order other types of beverages such as bubble tea (you HAVE to try it), or other healthy drinks made with different herbs and vegetables common in this part of the world.

Some of the most popular dim sum dishes are:

a) Ha Gaau (Shrimp Dumpling, 蝦餃)


b) Siu Maai (Shaomai, 燒賣)


c) Cha Siu Baau (Barbecued Pork Bun, 叉燒包)


d) Cheong Fan (Steam Rice Noodle Roll, 腸粉) – Note that there are many different types of fillings.  Most popular are beef or shrimp


e) San Juk Guen (Bean Curd Skin Rolls, 鮮竹捲)



2) Where

Most Chinese restaurants offer dim sum seven days a week.  Note I said restaurants, not cafes or noodle shops, and certainly not places that serve cuisines from other parts of the world!  These restaurants are usually quite large in size, and most likely require you to walk up some stairs or take an elevator to get to.  This is because real estate in Hong Kong is like gold, and very few restaurants (…none?) can afford such a large space on the ground level.  If you are not sure where to find one, just ask the hostess or the reception desk at your hotel.  These restaurants are more common than you think if you know where to look.

Here is how a typical Chinese restaurant that serves dim sum looks like inside:



Now that you made it inside the restaurant, do you know what to do?  If you don’t, the waitress is likely to just bring you an English food menu and you will end up ordering the same thing that you always do back home, like pork fried rice, chicken with broccoli etc.  How boring!   If you want to actually order some dim sum, then come back tomorrow for the second part of this series where I will go through the mechanics of ordering dim sum.

See you tomorrow!

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An Unlikely Food Choice in Marrakech

Posted on 09 October 2011 by Danica


Tagines in Morocco are like hamburgers in the U.S.  Every local restaurant offers them.  If you read our previous post on Djemaa el Fna, you might think that we never left the medina for food!  That was simply not true.  While both of us love tagines and had it almost every day in the week that we were in Marrakech, we wanted to break the monotony of the every day tangine by looking for some other cuisines as well.   We found that different cuisine in the most unexpected way.

During our quest to find a local laundromat that charges by kilo as opposed to by piece in town (if you need to do laundry in Marrakech, see our previous post here), we came across a laundromat that not only does laundry, but prepares and serves Japanese cuisine as well.    We know what you’re thinking.  Japanese food in Marrakech?  In a laundromat?!   Don’t worry.  We’ll explain.

Kin, the owner of Lost in Marrakech, has an even more interesting background to share.  She knows Japanese and actually lived in Hong Kong for a while before settling in Marrakech.  Without knowing a word of Arabic and with very limited French when she arrived, Kin, an Asian female, opened up a laundry business in the part of the world where you can certainly keep count of the number of Asians with your fingers.

Besides the laundry business, she keeps herself busy with developing a simple but delicious Japanese food menu.  When we dropped off our laundry, we decided to try her Japanese ramen noodles and fresh fruit smoothies.  Both tasted home-made, were delicious, satisfying, and very refreshing.  The dining area also offered a welcome respite from the unforgiving heat and sun in the medina.  In fact, we liked the food so much, we went back a second time!

Next time when you are in Marrakech and are ready to take a break from the tangines, stop by Lost in Marrakech for some smoothies and ramen noodles, no laundry required!   If you would like to order Sushi, you may need to give Kin a heads up as the ingredients may need to be specially ordered.

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My Love Affair with the Hyatt Regency Greenwich Lobby

Posted on 18 September 2011 by onthegroundtravel

Hyatt Regency Greenwich from Trips Around the World

The Hyatt Regency Greenwich hotel has one of the most romantic lobbies from our trips around the world.  Ever since I came back from Hawaii last year, I have been looking for a hotel with a lobby that has the open air tropical ambience of the hotels I stayed at in Hawaii. It’s no easy job to replicate (or compete with) the natural habitat of Hawaii, but the Hyatt Regency hotel in OldGreenwich, CT did a pretty darn good job at it.

Lobby of Hyatt Regency Greenwich from Trips Around the World

Lobby of Hyatt Regency Greenwich from Trips Around the World

The hotel lobby of this Greenwich hotel is basically an indoor garden complete with a small stream and miniature stone figurines along a small stone path. Guests can stroll on the meandering path that connects from the bar at one end of the lobby to the restaurant in the other. In the evening, it’s particularly romantic to have a drink at the bar as the soft lights along the path light up and the sound of the flowing stream envelops you. It’s also worthwhile to mention that this is an indoor lobby, meaning rain or shine, whether it’s 100°F or -32°F outside, you still feel nice & cool in the lobby.

I think I just fell in love with this hotel.


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EEW! Rodents droppings on Delta Flight!

Posted on 18 September 2011 by onthegroundtravel

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) publicly warned Delta of numerous rodent droppings violations that are “too numerous to count” regarding inspections that took place in Jan to Feb of this year at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

In this warning letter addressed to Richard Anderson, CEO of Delta, the following violations were noted:
• Approximately 8-11 rodent excreta pellets above the right door panel in the forward galley (G1) where food is prepared by flight personnel;
• Approximately 10-20 rodent excreta pellets above the left door panel in the forward galley (G1) where food is prepared by flight personnel;
• Approximately 9-15 rodent excreta pellets on the right aisle of the aircraft over seats C3-C7;
• Rodent excreta pellets (too numerous to count) in three areas in ceiling panels located in the middle cross over galley G2, which is directly over places where food and drinks are stored in the aircraft; and
• Mammalian urine in six areas on ceiling panels located in the middle cross over galley G2.

Hmm…make you think twice before picking Delta to fly to this airport again.

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