Sunday, July 11, 2010

Pork cutlet sandwiches at Lan Fong Yuen (蘭芳園)

豬扒包 (pork cutlet burger)

Multiple people mentioned Lan Fong Yuen (蘭芳園)as a place I had to visit during my stay in Hong Kong. They couldn't really explain what was so great about it, aside from the fact that they served some sort of pork cutlet sandwich (from what I gathered, it was essentially an Asian diner). That vague description of a food item just elicited memories of a certain video. "My god did that smell good." Anyway, I happened upon this place by accident when I suddenly remembered I was supposed to eat there. How could this go badly? Pork + bread = good... always.

蘭芳園 storefront

If the store front doesn't look too familiar, it's because I got lazy and went to the one in Kowloon. I only had 2 days to spend eating stuff, so I really didn't have the time to run off to Hong Kong island to look for the original, although I was dangerously close when I visited Victoria peak. Oh well, I'm sure it tastes the same (or so I tell myself).

Anyway, my order consisted of the sandwich you see at the top, which is called 豬扒包 (zhu pa bao). Basically it translates to pork stuffed bun. Not a tremendously detailed description, but like I said, I like pork, and I like bread. Win.

豬扒包 (pork cutlet burger) innards

So what you see is what you get. The sandwich itself is pretty modest in size. I forget what I paid for it exactly, but it was around 15 HKD (~$2), so that seems pretty fair. In all honesty, if you bought 3 and stacked them together, it'd probably rival a Big Mac in size. Hmm, I probably should've done that. Anyway, the bun itself is a plain seeded white hamburger bun, lightly toasted. Nothing special, just a generic bun. Inside, the bottom layer is spread with butter (another thing HK does well... they butter the crap out of everything), a couple of tomatoes, and a thin spread of mayo (not Kewpie, but sweetened). The meat is comprised of multiple smaller pieces of marinated pork chop. Not the thick cutlet kind associated with Japanese cuisine, but rather... the kind you'd find in Taiwanese shops, pounded ultra thin, simmered in pork soy broth, then pan fried. Topped with another dollop of mayo (seriously, they don't understand the idea of heart disease), the sandwich is finally capped with the top of the bun. My opinion is this, it's nothing life changing, and nothing that would make me say "HOLY CRAP I NEED MORE PORK CUTLET SANDWICH," but for $2, it's definitely worth trying, and something I'd definitely eat again if I were in HK.

pantyhose milk tea (絲襪奶茶)

I also got the HK take on bubble tea. Yeah, there are multiple interpretations of bubble tea in Asia. Go figure. Called 絲襪奶茶 or 'pantyhose milk tea,' the way they make it there is apparently to strain it through a cloth that's as fine as pantyhose, leaving a milk tea that is unrivaled in it's smooth texture. That's cool. I can't really tell the difference in texture. I can tell you that it's probably twice as expensive as a larger cup in Taiwan though. I feel ripped off, but then again, it's one of Lan Fong Yuen's specialties, so I had to at least try it. That said, it tastes fine and good (you're an idiot if you screw up mixing tea and milk), but it doesn't warrant the price tag. Or maybe I've been spoiled by Taiwan. Hm...


Anonymous said...

Lollll pantyhose tea?! That sounds like a fob translation gone wrong.

sam said...

Oof it's not the hong kong take on bubble tea, hong kong has bubble tea too (well they call it pearl tea).
@munchimonster, pantyhose is (or originally) actually involved with the making of said tea!! haha so the tea would come out richer/smoother or something. Milk tea is a big part of Hong Kong's cafe culture ;o

Nicholas said...

@sam haha my bad, I guess I misspoke when I called it the HK take on bubble tea! I did see boba places there, but most of them had signs that kept saying they were Taiwanese style so I never got any... maybe that was a mistake :(

I think pantyhose milk tea is wasted on me though, I guess it had thicker consistency, but it didn't really live up to the hype that some friends who live there give it.

Krista Goon said...

Hi Nicholas
Your blog is really funny even when you're writing about food. Well the original Lan Fong Yuen in HK isle is a tiny, super cramped outlet. I was like you too - had to go since it was like the Most Famous Place in HK when it comes to Milk tea. Found out their pride is using condensed milk from Malaysia where I am from! You should try Teh Tarik - a kind of milk tea - if you visit Malaysia and I think that is far better than any nai cha. But that's just me of course.

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