Friday, April 8, 2011

叁去壹 Sam Hui Yaat

It really startled me when a Singaporean friend mentioned that she wanted to visit 叁去壹 or San Hui Yaat. I didn't realize that this place had become so well-known (or is it?). I stumbled on this ghetto old school dimsum eatery many years ago when Little Demon and I were still young, foolish and hormonal enough to think that we would make it as a romantic couple.

We had heard of a mythical 24-hour dimsum place in Sai Ying Pun and were determined to find it. At the time, Little Demon still hadn't started doing graffiti, and he was just a common delinquent, while I had quit a retail marketing job and was surviving as a freelance editor/writer. In other words, we had a lot of time on our hands. We'd spent the night entering abandoned and half-finished buildings (one of my favourite things to do is to go out late at night to visit newly-built office buildings that are still unoccupied. I love it when there are still tapes of Xes on the glass windows and the light is left on in the lobby but it's completely empty. It's so post-apocalyptic).

When morning came, we still hadn't found the 24-hour dimsum place (although we eventually did find it another time, and it was a real disappointment), but we stumbled on Sam Hui Yaat instead.

I was a bit hesitant to post this up because it's really local in every way. The flavour of the food is not for those who are used to commercial or Westernized dimsum. It's very old fashioned, probably very similar to how dimsum used to taste back in the 1960s. Also, if you don't speak and read Cantonese, you're fucked. It's not for tourists, basically.

However, I thought I'd share it anyway because I like this place so much.

One of the things I forgot to mention before is that when you enter any busy Chinese eatery, you should already have your fingers up indicating how many of you are in your party. That will save a lot of time and humiliation for you.

There is a per person charge for tea at Sam Hui Yaat regardless of whether or not you drink tea. Don't worry, it's only HKD3, although I do my best to drink as much tea as possible to make the charge worth it.

I felt a bit uncomfortable taking pictures because they don't really welcome it here. But the uncle said I could take a couple.

These places always remind me of my childhood in Taiwan. At any moment, I feel like an auntie is going to come over and pull me out by the ear for doing something naughty.

I wanted something fairly light, so I ordered salty fish and pork patty on rice. It's comfort food to me because the pork is so fatty and the saltiness of the fish really sets it off. The fish is awfully boney, though, so you'll be spending most of your time pulling bones out of your teeth.

I love the little metal container it comes in! So clever!

I'm going to buy some of these metal container things next time. Next time I have guests over for a meal, they're going to be eating out of these babies.

I was still a bit hungry so I also ordered chicken feet. They make it a bit spicy here, which I like.

Sam Hui Yaat offers mostly dimsum, but you can also get the usual rice and noodle dishes here. From what I understand, the most popular items are their scrambled egg and beef rice (I was almost going to have it but I've been eating too many eggs lately) and fried pork chop noodles (not a fan of noodles). My brother had the fried noodles before, and he said it was pretty good.

Sam Hui Yaat is on Pokfulam Road. I forget the street number but you can't miss it.

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