....... Divertimento: An afternoon in Sheung Wan

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

An afternoon in Sheung Wan

I was in Sheung Wan with a few hours to while away on Monday. After a week of solidly raining, the weather was quite dry. So instead of sitting down with a good book in a coffee shop, I decided to do some exercise and take a walking tour of the older parts of Sheung Wan. Its not an area I frequent and it was rather interesting. Firstly, in answer to a friend’s query (she’s been away from Hong Kong for 15 years), yes, the 2 Hong Kong establishments Wing On and Sincere departmental stores are still here:

Wing On Department StoreSincere Department Store
Of course, we all know Western Market:
Western MarketTram Hong Kong
By the way, did you notice that the tram fares have gone up recently, its $2.30 per ride now.
Then there is Bonham Strand, famous for shops selling dried swallows’ nest and marine products:

Bonham StrandBonham Strand

For me the ‘highlighShop Bonham Strandt’ of Bonham Strand was an old style household goods shop around the corner from the Sheung Wan Market . My guess is that it has been around a very long time. The bowls and crockery at the back of the shop reminded me of the ones at my grandparents’ homes in Malaysia.

Look at the combs for $3. My grandmother used these and I have not seen one of these since she passed away in 1977! Judging from the price, they probably haven’t sold any for quite a while. I didn’t manage to get a picture of the chopsticks in the tray below. They are painted black with some red designs. Remember them? Like the combs, the paint’s already a little worn. I am not sure they are safe to use for eating but if you are touched by nostalgia and looking for some reminders of your childhood………..by all means. They are only a few dollars a bunch.

Toilet brush
Look also at the totally environmentally friendly toilet brushes. Not a scrap of plastic – just bamboo and coconut bristles.

Shop in Sheung Wan
Another shop I discovered was a shop selling all manner of cookware made of steel. Great for baking tins and roasting pans, as I avoid using aluminium cookware.

I also set out to find the best value lunch spot and to be honest, you’d be hard put to beat this eatery on Jervois Street. $15 for a bowl of noodles at lunch time? I must admit I had to think twice before walking in-there is cheap and there is too cheap. Anyway, I did take the plunge, but I still have some standards. I don’t particularly like the time honoured Hong Kong tradition of sharing tables. So I waited till 1.45 pm and made sure there were vacant tables. By 2 pm, there were only two other customers. Definitely a drop in for a quick feed place. Look at my bowl of ‘fresh shrimp’ wonton noodles. It was quite good, I have to say. Not a Café de Coral size but I know of another famous wonton noodle establishment in Central that serves the same sized portion for 2.5 times the price.

Shop in Jervois StreetWonton noodles
Did you know that the Po Lin Monastery (see my posting on May 9th) has a vegetarian restaurant Sheung Wan? From the menu, it offers the same fare as the famous restaurant on Lantau Island.

Po Lin Monastery vegetarian restaurantMenuMenu

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