Sunday, October 13, 2013

[香港 HONG KONG] - Getting my sticks on at 肥姐小食店 Fei Jie Snack Shop (Mongkok)

 Those who have watched Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations: Hong Kong" that aired in 2007, may remember a scene where blogger Josh Tse (ChaXiuBao) took Anthony Bourdain to an eatery that essentially specialized in "meat and parts on a stick". The auntie was obviously not fond of cameras and people filming. So Tony and Josh had to stand in the building entrance to the right, aka the Hung Tat Building gateway, to enjoy their conquests.
As it turns out, the name of the store was never officially revealed, but locals know this to be Fat Sis's Snack Shop 肥姐小食店 (Fei Jie) in Mongkok.
This visit was sometime January 2013, so I am 9+ months late to posting. However a few things have not changed throughout the years, and that is the recipe used to marinate (and simmer) the meat and meat parts for skewers, that have won the hearts and minds of locals.
The view from across the street. Don't worry about the line, it moves a lot faster than Food Truck Festivals in America. 

There are quite a few choices here. Pork gizzards, sausages, cuttlefish, squid, octopus, pork tongue, pork large intestines, to name a few that I remember.

Actually, photography is prohibited, but they were either too busy or stopped caring :-)

From left to right: pork tongue, pork intestines, squid. All AWESOME. 

It's very simple. You line up until you get to the counter, and ask what skewers you want (in Cantonese) and they will ask you if you want mustard squirted on. Do say yes! Have your bills or exact change ready, and you essentially do the Seinfeld "soup nazi" routine. Order, then move out the way, pay, pick up your skewers and move on.

This is true street food. All standing room. All I can say is that if this is not your thing, then don't bother. But if you can appreciate the subtleties of the complex marinade used to season and flavor the meats, meat parts, and seafood, you will be absolutely delighted.

Those who grew up in Hong Kong during the 70s and 80s will surely remember push cart vendors selling snacks like this outside movie theaters. This was well before the age of craptacular popcorns, big sodas, and the like. So obviously those vendors have long gone, and independent movie theaters have been converted into multiplexes. Which leaves places like Fat Sis to carry the torch to preserve the original flavor, or whatever is left of it.

Mongkok has a plethora of street food vendors selling random snacks. Of the numerous snack vendors and drink shops (including boba milk tea chains from Taiwan that are forgettable), I suppose this is the best we have. While it cannot compare to night market food culture in SE Asia or Taiwan, let alone hawker food stalls in Singapore and Malaysia, it is better than nothing, and still a symbol of grassroots Hong Kong food.

肥姐小食店 Fei Jie Snack Shop
Shop 4A, 55 Dundas Street, Mong Kok