One of those…

I guess everyone knows by now that I am not into those franchise places, never mind where they originate from but I do know of a lot of them including the ones from Hong Kong and Taiwan that had people queuing up by the mile when they first opened their doors in KL or somewhere. I did notice as I walked past one at a shopping mall in Penang that it would always be full of people – obviously, they do have their following but no, I did not bother to stop by to give it a try, thank you very much.

Not too long ago, one of those…

Hong Kong Sheng Kee Dessert Sibu 1

…appeared at a mall right here in our little town. I had seen zmun2‘s posts here and here on this place and soon after it started, an ex-colleague went and he shared a couple of photographs on Facebook. I quickly asked him for his opinion and he said that it was nice but expensive and a lot of things were still not available.

Well, on our way home after our brunch last Sunday, we passed by our electricity board’s sub-station right round the corner from our house and there were a lot of their vehicles there and people at work. When we got home, our worst fears were confirmed – there was no electricity…and my missus saw the announcement in the local papers that it would stretch from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. After a while, we decided that we might as well go and hang out at some mall instead of sitting around idling at home in the heat so off we went!

I noticed this nice arch at the back entrance of the mall…

Star Mega Mall back entrance

…at the staircase to what they call the Orange Zone. The ladies went off on their own – they never like me tagging along because I would spoil the mood, so to speak. Left to my own devices, I just loitered here and there, browsed around some of the shops, sat in one of the massage chairs and eventually, I decided to go and check out that Hong Kong franchise place so don’t say I never even gave it a try.

There was quite a crowd and I liked the use of those bamboo steamer baskets for their decor…

Hong Kong Sheng Kee Dessert Sibu 2

…on the wall.

I would agree with my ex-colleague about the things being rather expensive, to some extent, at least…

HK siew mai RM8.90 for 3

…and a lot of items were not available…

Coming soon 1

…even now after it has been operational here for quite a while…

Coming soon 2

I did see some stopping by to browse through their menu…

Menu

…at the entrance but they eventually left and went some place else. Either there was nothing that tickled their fancy or looking at the prices, they could feel the pinch.

The char siew (barbecued meat) in this one…

SK signature combination noodles

…caught my eye and of course, I just had to order it (RM18.90)…

SK signature combination noodles, served

It seems that they take pride in the QQ noodles used, imported all the way from Hong Kong, so much so that they even featured it on their Facebook page. Yes, I thought they were nice but at the end of the day, they were what they were – noodles.

I liked the wanton (dumplings) too. There were prawns/shrimps inside…

Wanton

…other than the minced meat but I wish I could say the same about the char siew, the very thing that made me order this dish…despite the somewhat shocking price.

I have said time and time again that we can’t get really good char siew here, nothing like the really nice ones that I had had before in KL and elsewhere. I used to stop by the Hong Kong Noodle House to the right of the Sungai Wang Plaza entrance for theirs and I had it at their outlet behind Mid Valley too a long time ago before there was Gardens – I think they have outlets in Kuching as well but not here.

Well, what I had here that day was completely out – it was bad enough that it did not have the texture of freshly-barbecued meat, something like that of ham or bacon but it was hard, very very hard…and it did not help one bit that I was given those slices with stripes of white like what one would find in pig’s ears and that was absolutely inedible…and it absolutely ruined my enjoyment of what I would think was not too bad a dish, not exceptionally good, but it was all right.

I had this mango pudding and vanilla ice cream (RM9.90)…

Mango pudding with vanilla ice cream

…for dessert and yes, I liked it – I could taste something like freshly-made mango pudding or even if it wasn’t – being a franchise, they probably get their supplies for these things from one main source, it definitely was not anything like those off-the-shelf supermarket brands.

Service was prompt and efficient and very friendly – I like how they said thank you, bowing slightly as a gesture of appreciation, faces smiling, after I had paid and as I was walking out of the place. At some places here, you might as well be invisible – they are not in the least bothered with these little things that go a long way in making one feel good and like wanting to come back again.

I sure would not mind coming by again but I did not see much of anything that my girl would be able to eat and enjoy – there is either wheat (flour) or soy sauce in most everything. Perhaps she can go for their congee…

Hong Kong Sheng Kee dessert congee

…but I am not sure what the mock abalone is made of.

HONG KONG SHENG KEE DESSERT is located at the Star Mega Mall here, the first shop lot on your left as soon as you walk in through the main entrance.