Yesterday was a public holiday, but I found myself at work trying to get ahead of the curve. At a loss for lunch ideas, I found myself driving without purpose in the car and somehow drawn to Karangahape Road. After a little aimless wandering around Turkish Pizza bars, Mexican places that might or might not be open, a food court with only two options and every place that was closed, I settled on Lee Hong BBQ in the confines of Lime Chhour Supermarket. I think I had Mrs P on the brain, because I was drawn to the Beef Hor Fun ($9.50), which is normally her go to.
There were two sides to these noodles. On the one hand there was the beef, it was generous and tender. For all the times I’ve paid over $9.50 for tough and chewy, these strips were little juicy beauties. The sauce had plenty of savour with just enough sweetness on the back end to keep things interesting. On the other hand the noodles came out smelling of smoke and char, not the BBQ kind so much as the burnt old newspaper kind. A bit like having someone’s dog get in a place and lie all over everything, the smell was pretty pervasive (even coming out the fridge cold after I took them home for Mrs P), the taste just a little less so. Also, the noodles? Not completely flavoured and in some parts:
On the whole, I was reasonably satisfied for $9.50, although, considering it was a slow morning, it seemed to take them a while to get my order ready. In fact, they took so long that I had enough time to take in the other food offerings and spied some dumplings on the menu of Jiang Ji. I splurged an extra 50 cents to get my twenty pork and cabbage dumplings fried instead of steamed ($10). I thought the sesame seeds on the dumplings were a nice touch, and thought the same of the chinkiang black vinegar that they included with it. However, I think the vinegar gave me the wrong impression about the dumplings, as it washed out much of the dumpling flavour. This is very much a cute little piglet from Charlotte’s Web or Babe trotting gingerly through a cabbage patch. One can’t make the most of that scene while the pig sloshes around in vinegar. However, that doesn’t mean you have to have the vinegar. Once I stopped dipping I found the dumpling experience more uplifting. On their own they were quite the little joys, so much so I almost got through them all in one sitting, without leaving any for later.
I’ll be looking for a way to scheme my way back to this little food court on a Sunday (free parking on the off streets if you know where to look) for some dumplings, but I’ll be looking to test out the Malaysian and Thai options before I think about giving Lee Hong BBQ another try.