Suanne and I hardly go to Chinatown anymore. We used to.
Many many years ago, we would drive down to Chinatown at least twice a month to buy groceries and also have dim sum. And then we stopped going. There was no longer a need to drive all the way there as we get better food and groceries in Richmond.
It had been so long, we just lost touch with Chinatown.
Thomas recently wrote to us about a restaurant where he had a dish called Baked Portuguese Pork Chop with Rice. He said it was called May Sum. We searched high and low on the internet but we could not find it. It was only a week later that we realized that he was using the phonetic translation of the Chinese name of the restaurant.
So May Sum is actually Maxim’s which is a more recognizable name. We had always thought that Maxim’s only a bakery. We see a lot of Maxim’s bakeries around town. However, they also have a restaurant, a Hong Kong Style Cafe, on Keefer in Chinatown. We were not aware until Thomas told us.
Maxim’s is a well known chain of restaurants in Hong Kong. It was founded in 1956 and today operates all kinds of restaurants. They are also the one who brought Starbucks to Hong Kong. It all started with that one brand, Maxim’s Restaurant and with that familiar and yet simple logo.
But as I understand it, the Maxim’s Restaurant and Bakery on Keefer is not affiliated to the Maxim’s in Hong Kong. This is despite that the logo is exactly the same, down to the font used. Can someone help confirm this?
We were expecting a grimy dark dingy restaurant well past its prime. It was far from it. Instead, we were confronted by a well lit and clean flight of stairs leading to the restaurant located upstairs.
Yeah, from the front of the street, not many people are aware that they have a restaurant here.
We were pleasantly surprised. It is like going into a different world. Outside on Keefer, everything looked so old and worn. In the restaurant (no windows to remind you of the grime outside!), it is clean and bright. Quite unreal.
We also saw a couple of tourists having snacks here. I know they are tourists because they had guide books with them. They looked like they are European judging by the accent they had. I was thinking that a tourist knows how to find a place like this better than Ben of chowtimes. Such shame. LOL!
The seating is very much like other HK Style Cafes with mostly booth seats.
We were there at an odd time. It was 3PM and yet there were quite a lot of customers. Apart from the two tables of tourist, most of them look like they live or work around Chinatown.
Their normal menu is under a glass top on the table – very practical but not very classy. But then who cares, right? Certainly not in a place like this.
Service was very prompt but serious. Looking at their faces, I know it is not a place for me to ask dumb questions. If they are chatty, I would love to learn more about the restaurant. I was itching to ask if they had just renovated … questions like that.
But they were definitely very chatty with the regulars, mostly older looking customers. Here they don’t care about chowtimes and jazz like that. “Chow Meh Yeh, Ah?” is probably their reaction at the mention of chowtimes. LOL!
The prices are quite good with the same low prices you expect from all HK Style Cafes. To us, there are not many dishes that stands out.
Armed with Thomas’ recommendation, we already know what we want. We looked high and low for the Baked Portuguese Pork Chop with Rice on the menu. We even scanned it twice slowly but we can’t find it. The closest we found was something called Baked Portuguese Chicken with Rice but not with pork chop (on the rightmost menu above).
Ben is like a pit bull. He never lets go. Once his mind is set on something, he wants that and nothing else. Not when he drove all the way from Richmond to try it. Failure is not an option.
So I asked the waitress about it. Yeah, it was just our luck that we got the waitress who has a more serious look. With all the charm I can muster, I asked for that version. She said no, they don’t have it on the menu. But I pleaded again … can they maybe make it for me? I mean, it is just the pork chop and I am sure they can make a substitution.
No, I did not mention chowtimes in case you are wondering. Like I said they might just respond by say “chow meh yeh, ah?”
The waitress quite reluctantly check with the kitchen and come back to say, yes, they can make it for us. But it will be an extra charge. $1 extra!
I took it.
Hey, hey, hey! Look at that!
It was mouthwatering to say the least. It smell nice and it was served so hot that … the “jup” was still bubbling. We could smell the melted cheese which was a nice touch.
For $8.50 + $1 extra charge, I thought it was not too bad price-wise.
The dish came with a very big plate of rice which was more than enough for the two of us.
This is marvelous and obviously a very good recommendation from Thomas (he knows his food!). The pork chop was very well made and it was a lot of meat too. It was crispy and yet moist inside. With the way this is made, I don’t even care if it is served together with the “jup”.
BTW, the word “jup” is pronounced as “ja-up”, not “joop”. Learn to use this word and make it a mandatory foodie vocabulary. All together now … “Ja-Up!”.
The “jup” goes well with steamed rice. Can you do me a favour? Can you write a comment on this blog for me and suggest to Suanne to make this at home for me? I dare not ask her for it because she always gives me that evil stare whenever I ask her to make food we eat outside at home.
Don’t worry, she only gives me (and the boys too!) the evil stare. She doesn’t do that to others. So you are safe.
Yeah … I like the “jup” a lot that I got to show you again. It was very creamy and delicious.
What exactly is Portuguese sauce anyway? I think I heard somewhere that it is just curry sauce with coconut milk but am not sure what gives this that extra creaminess.
The iced lemon tea was extra charge. $3. It was quite OK. They gave us enough lemon slices that we can taste the lemon.
Suanne spotted something she like. It was the Deep Fried Shrimp Toast and Fries ($6) which came with a free hot drink.
But it was not what she had in mind. She thought that it was going to be one of those triangle’ish toasts topped with shrimp (like this).
It was disappointing for Suanne having to eat this. I mean, it wasn’t very bad but this is not the type of food that Suanne likes at all.
It was dry but at least there is a thousand island dip to go with it.
There is nothing much in terms of shrimp too. It does not even taste like shrimp at all.
He he he … good thing we had lots of “jup” from the baked pork chop. The “jup” saved the dish!
Oh … we also ordered an Ovaltine … WITH EGG!
Without the egg it was $2.00 and with the egg added it is $2.50. Have you ever tried having beverage with eggs in it? It is awesome I tell you. The egg makes the Ovaltine richer.
One thing I did not like is that they stirred the egg into the Ovaltine. Not good because it disappeared into the drink. They should just leave the egg alone for the customer to decide if they want it stirred in or not.
Suanne said she can actually smell the raw egg in the drink. I can’t. She just has a more keener sense of smell than me. But she just took a sip because she just don’t like egg.
This drink with egg reminded me how I love to have egg with my Milo. Yeah, I do add an egg to my Milo when I was a teenager.
That gave me an idea. When I got home, I wanted to let Arkensen and Nanzaro try it.
We had just bought a tin of Milo (the ones made in Malaysia!) about a couple of weeks ago. I was showing them how to make Milo the right way … the Dad’s way … the way it is meant to be. And they liked it. They like it so much that the tin of Milo is almost finished after just two weeks.
So I followed up with a phase 2 lesson in making the ultimate – Milo with egg! When I suggested that they said I am crazy and thought I was pulling their legs.
Here is how to do it right:
Put in lots of Milo. Rightfully the Milo should be 1/4 of the glass with three large spoonful of condensed milk! Because they were aghast at all the sweetness, I held back a bit … just a bit.
Now, the water must be boiling hot … 100C, when you pour in the water. Stir the Milo and condensed milk just slightly but don’t over stir it. You want a bit of chunks of Milo and concentration of condensed milk in there.
Crack an egg … and let it be.
Viola! Milo with egg. 🙂
Best drank with a spoon. Don’t ever stir the egg in but use the spoon to break the yolk. If the water is hot enough, you will get pieces of egg white and egg yolk. It was wonderful.
Nanzaro took a spoonful, said thanks and took a step back. He doesn’t want me to force him to drink the whole glass! He said it was “meh”. I thought it was great.
Have any of you ever tried drinks like this before? If not, you should!
Anyway, back to the Maxim’s Restaurant …
There is a bakery downstairs. It looked like it is smaller than the ones I see in Metrotown and Richmond Center with lesser variety. Nope, we did not get any of their bakery items. We were just full from the meal upstairs.