Having missed dinner, Suanne and I decided that we should go out for supper. In many parts of Asia, where there are always places to eat at any hours of the day, suppers are meant to refer to the meal after normal dinner time … usually late at night.
It had been many years since we went to the Neptune Wonton Noodle. This restaurant is positioned as a cheaper version of the Neptune Sharkfin Seafood Restaurant and is located just side-by-side to it (on Akroyd and No 3 Road). This is the restaurant with the green entrance … the more expensive one is the one with the red entrance.
Neptune Wonton Noodle, despite the name is actually more famous for its other food than wonton. I don’t know if people really order wontons here at all. It is a popular spot for late night supper and opens until 2AM.
When we were there past 10:15PM, the place was packed — and noisy as expected of such a place. Walking in, one cannot help but notice the fragrant aroma of herbal soup — which is a specialty of Neptune.
For a busy Chinese restaurant, Neptune’s service is fast and efficient. More importantly, it is not rude … but then they do not smile much. At least one does not feel ignored or offended from poor service as one might get from busy restaurants.
They have a well arranged menu, sensationalized by the hour of availability. It took us a while to figure the sections we should be looking at. Take a look at the menu at the bottom of this post … they have exotic congee and noodles … like Lobster Congee ($14), or Sharkfin with Tossed Noodle ($13) or Abalone with Noodle Soup ($20). Well, you get the idea.
Other than these exotic ingredients, most of their other menu items are pretty cheap at less than $10.
We knew what we wanted here … their famous Hot Pots. This is not the all-you-can-eat hot pot here but specialty hotpot. A lot of tables orders this for supper — with the Drunken Chicken our favourite. There are a few hot pot options on the “Chef Special” on the menu.
We ordered the Drunken Chicken Hot Pot Assorted Plate. The name is kind of confusing but I have you know that this is like a two course hot pot. This costs $27 and is meant for 2 person.
The “first course” is a consists of half chicken. I think this is Free Range Chicken that they provided. It appears firmer, leaner and less fat.
The soup goes changes as we progressed with the meal. It started off with a clear herbal soup with rice wine and wolfberry (in Cantonese, Kei Chee). It has a distinctive “tong kwai” (Anglelica) smell to it — absolutely lovely.
In the “first course”, we only put in the chicken and let it boil until it’s cooked just right. Leaving the chicken too long in the boiling soup will make it tough.
Help Suanne and I sort this out … Suanne thinks that we should continually let the soup boil throughout the meal while my thoughts are that we should turn off the heat when we are eating. I wanted to preserve the precious soup rather than had a lot of it evaporated through the constant boiling. Is Ben right or is Suanne wrong?
The chicken is quite boney. So, the best way to really eat this is with your fingers!
With the flavour from the chicken, the soup takes a different taste. The soup was good and had a few bowls of it but we needed to leave it for the next course.
They provided a bowl of sweet soya sauce for the meat (no, it’s not for the soup). We love this … just the right amount of sweetness without overwhelming the taste of the chicken meat and the herbal soup.
Once we’re done with the first course, we move on to what we call the second course. It is an assortment of fish, liver, meat balls, tofu and mung bean noodles.
The next round of boiling transforms flavour of the soup and makes it slightly richer. Suanne love soup a lot and had many bowls of it.
I like the liver best. Importantly, it should only be cooked just enough to get the soft texture.
The mung bean noodle is just perfect for hot pot because it does not soak up much all the soup and makes it too thick to enjoy. With a dash of the sweet soya sauce, it is very good.
They gave us quite a lot of green leaf lettuce. It was so fresh and cooling that we could smell the freshness of it from where we sat.
Suanne and I was wondering if we should eat it fresh (i.e. put the meat and wrap it with the lettuce) or we should boil it first. We did both ways but agree that the best is to boil it before we wrap the meat in it. It softens the lettuce and most importantly, it holds the flavour of the herbal soup in.
It was a very good meal … some of the best we had. The problem is dealing with the guilt of having such a heavy meal just before bedtime. If it is of any consolation, we told ourselves no breakfast the next morning for us.
We like the place too … particularly the liveliness and bustle here. I had no complains for the service despite the lack of smiles and eye contact. They actually did come and replace our plates midway through the meal — something we appreciate.
We highly recommend this place … go check it out for dinner … or supper. Try their Drunken Chicken.
BTW, like many places these days, they accept only cash here.