Posted by: Rebecca | April 6, 2012

Mong Kok shopping

In Kowloon there’s a district called Mong Kok – it’s one of the best shopping areas with everything from department stores to street traders, deodorant to digiboxes, trainers to tofu. A friend at work told me Mong Kok is HK at its best, but it doesn’t get going until after 10 and watch your bag for pickpockets.

So I’ve walked across Kowloon, jumped on the MTR (train) and found my way here. Despite getting here after 11, some of the market stalls were still just thinking about waking up, so I’ve wandered pretty much every street before giving in to curiosity and heading into Langham Place (www.langhamplace.com.hk) Describing itself as ‘a quintessential 15-storey landmark of the Kowloon district, with exceptionally long opening hours’ and ‘a one stop shopping, dining & entertainment experience’ for its customers, I guess this is to modernity what Lan Kwai Fong was to traditional, right? Let’s have a look then.

The floors are separated into categories, so the basement is confectionary, ground is cosmetics, L1 is international brands, L3 is young fashion (looking at the shoppers, this clearly refers to the buyer profile rather than the maturity of the brands – wouldn’t get away with that in the uk, there’d be some pc discriminatory bollocks about it!) But I’m thinking this will be handy as the brats (who are, as usual, out in groups of 30 or more everywhere) should be confined to their floor(s)?!

Generally it just feels like a typical shopping mall, only I don’t recognise the names, apart from the House of Fraser-like cosmetics floor – same old, Dior, Estée Lauder, Chanel, Clinique etc.

Anyway, it’s lunchtime. Last time I was here I did fast food street-style on HK island. This time it’s retail style in Kowloon. It’s totally different but just as good. Although my conscience is telling me I’ve put on at least half a stone (if not more) whilst I’ve been away, my jeans feel really tight, and I know I had a big breakfast at the hotel; I have to try one of L4’s fast food places.

There’s the Curry Factory, Pepper Lunch, Shang Shang, Korea House… And they all appear to work like any other fast good place: you order and pay, your receipt goes on a tray in a line on the counter, and the person dishing up thus knows what to serve up. I choose Korea House as the food coming out looks the best of the bunch. The only snag is that the menu’s in Chinese! Luckily they have pictures and codes (R1, G2 etc) so I spot one which looks / smells good as it comes out, clock the code of the tray receipt and hope like hell. My food takes minutes, is served up in front of me and turns out to be a kind of chilli beef with veg on rice but it’s served in a red hot clay pot, so it comes out hot and stays hot until I’ve finished it. And I finished all of it, it was delicious. For $45 (about £4) it was a damn good feed and better than the Chinese at most UK takeaways. Not surprising, but reassuring that even when they do it fast food, here it’s still good.

Right, I’m now struggling to hold my stomach in but sod it, there’s still a good few hours’s shopping and another six levels to check out yet!

ttfn /Boxy xx

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