Ah Meow aka Choco Cat Cafe 啊貓地攤

Hitman and I first heard of the concept of cat cafes about a year ago.  He read about them in one of those free daily papers and became really excited, and we planned on visiting one in Asia someday.

Then we sorta forgot about it for a while.

Ah Meow Choco Cat Cafe

Then, on Fannypack’s and my last day in Seoul, which was a Saturday, we were doing one last round in Myeongdong and I saw a cat mascot.  I walked over to see what it was and it turned out to be a mascot for a cat cafe nearby.  In fact, there were about 3 of them in the vicinity.

In the end, Fannypack didn’t want to go, and we don’t leave each other alone, so that was that.

But when I got on the phone with Hitman, he strongly urged me to find one in Hong Kong, which was our next stop.  I found one, and since I was meeting up with my cousin I decided that we should go there.

Ah Meow Choco Cat Cafe

Thank god for my cousin.  I never would’ve found Ah Meow on my own.  It’s located at the centre of Causeway Bay near Times Square and so it was very busy.  Plus the cafe is up on the 3rd floor of a pretty run-down looking building with no flashy signage.  I could only confirm it by looking up and actually seeing a cat by the window.  The elevator up is equally sketchy.  The building reminds me of the ones you see in Hong Kong triad movies where you go up and find multiple brothels.  I must admit I was a bit nervous.

Ah Meow Choco Cat Cafe

However it turns out that on the same level was a classy looking Japanese-goods store and another restaurant I think.  The front door was cute so by then my nerves were calmed.

On the door it says “Members Only”, but really they just need you to fill out a small form and to get a card and that’s it.  I’m not sure they even need to see it when you visit.   This cafe’s official name, as listed in Google search, is Ah Meow.  However, it’s previously been known as Choco Cat Cafe and is also known as simply Cat Cafe, or Cat Store.  In fact, that’s the name that’s printed on their membership card.   啊貓地攤 is the only name they have in Chinese though.

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牛仔餐廳 Cattle Cafe

As promised!  Cattle Cafe post!!

I’ve went to the Richmond location quite a few times already.  It was around the time the no-MSG fish-soup-noodle-combo thing started to get popular.  They really do make quite good food.  And they’re always packed.

When a good good friend of mine came to visit from Taiwan, we wanted a no-frills lunch so I took her there.  It was probably the only time in quite a few years that I ventured into the Alexandra Road area on a Sunday at 1pm.  I really hope I never have to do that again actually….

Cattle Cafe: Cilantro (they call it Parsley there) & Century Egg soup

My choice is always the Cilantro (they call it Parsley there) & Century Egg soup with the thicker vermicelli (米線), fish puffs, and basa fillet.

As usual there’s tons of napa cabbage and tofu puffs in this.  I like the soup here much more than that of Deer Garden ‘cuz the version here is less salty.  Much much less.  It tasted more authentic.  They also put more of your own chosen toppings too.

Cattle Cafe: Cajun-style Boneless Chicken on Rice

I guess M wasn’t much of a soup noodle person.  Her choice was the Cajun-style Boneless Chicken on Rice.  It was actually very very good.

I like how they give you tons of sauce.  Now the sauce tastes just a lil’ bit like Thousand Island sauce but the “cajun” was still there.  It was slightly spicy.

The chicken was done very well.  It was crispy and moist.  My only complaint would be that they didn’t give a lot of veggies on the side.  But it’s an Asian restaurant.  What did I expect eh~

Cattle Cafe: XO Sauce Pan-fried Turnip Cake

M also ordered the XO Sauce Pan-fried Turnip Cake.  Man this was so good.  It was done quite perfectly in that the sides were just the right amount of crispy and they definitely didn’t skimp on the XO sauce either.  For me it was quite spicy but I could stop eating it either.  They pan-fried it along with some garlic bits and onion slivers which were an awesome touch.

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鹿園 Deer Garden

I’m back to being addicted to HK-Style Milk Tea.  Lately, I’ve noticed that there really isn’t a restaurant in Richmond that really makes it good anymore.  The only ones that come to mind who makes decent ones are Alleluia, Cattle Cafe, and Joy’s Kitchen in Parker Place.

Actually, I really really like Cattle Cafe.  They’re one of the ones who I think started the trend of “No-MSG Fish Soup Combo Noodle” type meals.  Now Cattle Cafe’s post will be coming soon (I hope).  Today we’re gonna talk about Deer Garden.

Deer Garden

G’s actually the one who introduced me to it.  Now he’s Filipino but he eats out in Richmond more than me (and I live there!).  He highly recommended that I try their version of the Fish Soup Noodle dish.

My parents and I went on a weekday at around 11am or so and that’s probably the best time to go.  Lots of parking still available, and seated right away.  By the time we finished the waiting area was packed.

Having said that, they still stuffed us into the backroom where it was quite hard to flag people down.  But then I thought the young servers did still try their best.  That room was quite stuffy though.

Deer Garden order sheet

I guess it’s kind of convenient that they place these sheets on the table so you can mark down your own choices.  But then when we handed them the sheet they still just wrote down the whole order on the back, so I thought it was more of a waste of time.  It seems to confuse them too.

Deer Garden: ChaoZhao Fish Soup with Minced Pork

I picked their signature soup (the first one on the list) which was something like ChaoZhao Fish Soup w/ Minced Pork.  I also picked handmade squid balls, fresh bean curd, and thick vermicelli.  Also a cold milk tea.

I guess I should’ve read the sheet over clearly, as apparently it already comes w/ bean curd and mushrooms.  So I got lots and lots of bean curd.  They were stingy w/ the squid balls too.  I only got three.

Now for the taste.  The soup was quite salty, so I was suspicious about the no-MSG claim.  The vermicelli was chewy as always.  The squid balls, were quite small and uneventful.  Overall a “meh” experience.

The milk tea, well, I think I’ll stay w/ Cattle Cafe.

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Sensus Bistro: Pork Cartilage Ramen – CLOSED

Update Jan 28, 2011: This restaurant is now closed.

As I said before the next dish I wanted to try at Sensus Bistro was the Pork Cartilage Ramen.  I finally got the chance to try it.

Sensus Bistro: Pork Cartilage Ramen

This was $7.95 and it’s quite a large portion size.  The soup looks flavorful and it was, it didn’t really taste like MSG.

Sensus Bistro: Pork Cartilage Ramen

There’s also quite a few pieces of the pork cartilage.  They were perfectly marinated and were fall-off-the-cartilage tender.  Even though they were soaked in the broth they didn’t lose any flavor.

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Sensus Bistro Revisited – CLOSED

It has been a while since we last visited Sensus.  Business has picked up since we’ve last been here.  We had to wait about 10mins for seat.  However, the head waitress here was very nice.  She kept coming to reassure us that we’ll have a table soon.

So we finally did.  Boyfriend always orders the same #19 (the salt and pepper chicken) here.  I saw that aside from the set menu, they also had a “Spring Menu” (yes…it’s almost the end of Summer and they still have their Spring menu….that’s chinese restaurants for you~!).

Sensus Bistro menu

The thing that caught my eye was the 3 noodle dishes with the smiley faces.  I plan to try all 3 :D

This time, I tried the Special Crab Paste w/ Crushed Tomato w/ Rice Vermicelli in Soup.

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