I was on my own last week, on holiday at home and also on a budget. I’m far less ambitious when eating on my own. For me, one of the joys of a great meal is being able to share it with someone.
Wednesday night was little bits of food here and there and it ended with me deciding to try a slice of pizza at Uncle Hiro’s, the place that’s taken over the old Cul de Sac location on Luard. I believe they are owned by the same company that owns Ebeneezer’s and Subway (and most people I’ve spoken to have agreed with me that the quality of Ebeneezer’s kebabs has fallen off a cliff in the past couple of years).
This was without a doubt the saddest slice of “pizza” I have ever eaten. They have this dough sitting there already cut into small triangular sections. I suspect it was frozen. It was grey and crying to be put out of its misery. Then the guy spreads a spoonful of the sweetest pizza sauce it has ever been my misfortune to eat, sprinkles some cheese and 4 tiny slices of pepperoni and sticks the concoction into some sort of counter-top oven. This is $28. About the same price for a 12 inch slice on fresh made dough with imported cheese and generous piles of pepperonis that you can get from Paisano. And they charge $32 for a hot dog? They have one of those metal rotating things with dogs on them, looks as if they were sitting there for a week.
There really is no excuse for this sad attempt at food. It’s not just bad, it’s cynically bad, it’s “we know you’re so drunk at 3 AM you can’t tell what you’re eating and by the way we hate you” bad.
Thursday night I picked up my gf at the airport. Normally we’d stop and get a bite at the branch of Crystal Jade there but we weren’t feeling so hungry. By the time we were getting close to home, hunger was setting in. There aren’t many late night food places in Sai Kung, especially on weeknights, and I remembered that the two garishly lit places (seen above) on Sai Sha Road stay open late. They’re both village houses with large patios and they’re both Thai restaurants. They may or may not have the same owners. They’ve both been there at least a decade.
I parked and we chose the first place, Country Inn. What a disaster.
Sour and spicy pork neck salad – Very fatty slices of pork neck that were inedibly sour and not at all spicy. I think I know something about proper Thai food and this was just completely out of balance. The “salad” consisted of a single piece of lettuce, as opposed to the photo on the menu which indicated all sorts of veggie goodness on the plate.
Fried chicken with chili and basil – The menu, at least the English portion of it, neglected to mention that this is minced chicken, which tasted more like pork to both of us. It was the one dish that was okay.
Grilled beef with I forget what – tiny strips of presumably local beef with a lot of salt and no other spice, incredibly tough and chewy.
The above 3 dishes, with a young coconut and a lime soda, cost over HK$300. The only thing this place has going for it is the large outdoor patio, which is covered and heated in winter, air conditioned in summer, and smoker-friendly. But we will not be going back there again.
The place next door is called Sai Sha Cafe. The writing on the side of their delivery car informs us that they have “the most exquisite spicy food in Sai Kung.” The listing on Open Rice pegs them at 17 good, 14 okay, 16 bad. I think I’ll pass.