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.

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

9 thoughts on “One of those…”

  1. Oh dear, I wonder what went wrong with the char siew. Thanks for the mention. I only go there because my spouse likes food like this whereas I prefer western fare but I found that I like their prawn dumplings. I believe the mock abalone is abalone mushroom but better to ask and find out.

    I don’t think they know – these franchises usually get everything from the franchise owner and they just do what they have to do and serve.

    Oh? So the char siew was ok when you had that same dish? Maybe it was the cut I got and that WAS the ear!!!

    Even if the char siew was good, considering that it wasn’t anything exceptionally nice, I still think it is way too expensive for a franchise place – I wouldn’t say it is some fancy classy fine dining restaurant where one would expect things to be THAT expensive, far from it.

    1. My spouse didn’t complain when he ate the char siew so I think the char siew should be acceptable. Normally restaurants just use pork belly or lean meat or pork ribs to make char siew and not the ears. It could be the soft bones (rawan) at the end of the ribs. Dragon I, canton I, ding tai fung have many branches too and their prices are also like this. Let us see how long this Sheng Kee can survive in Sibu since it looks like there is something wrong with their char siew.

      I guess all these franchises are the same – nice but not really sensational…and expensive. I was surprised that the place was quite crowded! Maybe it was because it was a Sunday, dunno what the business is like on working days. I may go again to try the dim sum, even though we have our own nice ones here (chef from Shanghai) since this is an authentic Hong Kong franchise – maybe that is their main draw.

  2. As expected, dim sum are always expensive even not in a classy dim sum place. Over here, RM5 per basket for three tiny tweeny siew mai. The char siu in the photo looks extremely good and so is the congee. Hope the pix are not for illustrations purposes only.

    The real thing did not look too bad but unfortunately, the char siew was disastrous. Even the worst ones here would be nicer…and of course, a whole lot cheaper.

  3. I used to patronize that Hong Kong restaurant in Sungei Wang too. I don’t think there is any outlet in Kuching. The one we have in Saberkas and Padungan is Hong Kong Noodle House but I don’t think that they are related.

    Like the bamboo steamer decor on the wall. Dim sum not cheap anymore. Had 2 bamboo steamers yesterday. One har kaw and one was spring roll cost us RM10. Sure price hike if go to those air con restaurant such as Boulevard Restaurant.

    Oh? So those are not outlets of that Hong Kong Noodle House in KL? Oh! Just saw in a blog the Sg Wang one is now called Super Noodle House, and it’s very expensive – change of hands already, I guess. I did go to the one at Saberkas a very long time ago when it first opened, very nice too. I think it is still there today, not bad that it has survived despite being in that half-dead mall.

    Yes, dim sum is not cheap but we do have some nice ones here that are a little bit cheaper, not as expensive.

  4. There’s one near my home but I have yet to try. The menu didn’t really excite me.

    I am sure we have nicer local ones…with prices that are a whole lot more attractive.

  5. Singapore have too, but I was not really attracted to the place to try out…

    At those prices, better go elsewhere. There are lots and lots of nice dim sum in Singapore, I’m sure…not here.

  6. We have HK Sheng Kee in SG too, but I think I only been there for their dessert before, Har Gao and Char Siew Bao are common items, yet they are not available

    Indeed! I wonder why they are “coming soon”.

  7. I prefer Canton I, Dragon I as compared to Sheng Kee, somehow this Sheng Kee does not really appeal to me

    I’ve seen those in KL, crowded but I never bothered to drop by and try – I’m not really into Chinese. Dragon-i’s specialty is xiao long pao…and I don’t really enjoy that.

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at sibutuapui@yahoo.com

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