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Bacon and sausage rolls

Bacon and sausage rolls

Bacon and sausage rolls Fried rice from our school canteen! Stir-fried noodles with beef

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  • Image © 2011 Alex Wong
A nice sleep reliefs you from a day of hard work. A decent good meal refreshes you from a dragging morning of lessons. For fastidious gourmets out there who find passion in eating, the Editorial Board presents to you a thorough review about the popular restaurants Josephians usually go to. Read on to find out more.

Josephians are given a lot of freedom from the school to have lunch outside of the campus regardless of the forms they are in. Not just can we enjoy a wide choice of restaurants, but also given that the lunch breaks are an enviable one hour and fifteen minute, students can explore in the nearby area to try out new delicacies. As the American writer Mark Twain once said, "Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside." A meal can be a philosophy or mortification. A meal can be a pleasure or a disaster. A meal can be a beginning of a relationship, or an end of it. The essence is to choose the right restaurant, because finding a good one isn't easy.

School Canteen
Rating: Food: ????? Service: ????? Environment: ????? Price: ????? Address: LG 2/F, 7 Kennedy Road, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong
Doing a food review is not as easy as it seems, considering the unprofitable prices it incurs. They are charging a mere $17 for regular lunch-boxes with a variety of choices ranging from pastas, rice, fried rice, fried udon, vegetarian meals etc.; thus students should not expect extravagant tastes.
The school canteen is serving its first year at St. Joseph's, and is receiving very little complaints on its food and services. The lunches are fairly good, compared with the former providers. During every lunchtime, students, especially the junior-formers, rush to the canteen in order to avert the long queues which form quickly afterwards. The school authority wishes the canteen to offer students with healthy, safe food choices by providing large portions of vegetables and little preservatives. Despite that, the food for whatever reason is well-seasoned without preservatives, and teachers are enjoying it as much as most students do.
The Editorial Board reporter tried the fried rice with shrimps and egg white. The rice was rough and lumped together, but the taste was plainly normal and edible. Served with a lot of siutongchoi soaked in a tasteless soup, the appearance was not pleasing but it tastes better than it looks -- come on, what do you expect from a $17 lunch?
While the critique might be harsh, we believe that every Josephian should at least try once at the school canteen before leaving the school, as school canteens are good-old high school memories and are incomparable to having fine dining experiences in Michelin restaurants later in life.

Man Lee, King Shing, Suen Kee
Rating: Food: ????? Service: ????? Environment: ????? Price: ????? Address: G/F, 10-18 Kennedy Road, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong
Right across Kennedy Road lies three lasting restaurants which have served St. Joseph's, St. Paul's Coeducational and the working class for half a century. Possibly the second most convenient dining choices for our students, they never lose their competitive edge despite the occasional price rises on their lunch-boxes (now charging for $26 per lunch-box).
The Editorial Board reporter had tried lunch-boxes from the middle store, Man Lee, arguably the most popular one amongst. Their signature dish, beef in red Chinese curry, is relatively less healthy. The appearance of it at first sight was truly intimidating: red oil spilling from the surface of the rice and cubes of beef looking tough and sticky. But the first bite was relieving, though a little spicy for some, was pleasantly stimulating and fun to chew. The steamed rice on the other hand, was a bit hard in texture making the meal less enjoyable. The Chinese glutinous rice roll (also known as ??) available at the first store King Shing is often patronised by Josephians for breakfast or a quick lunch. Although the deep-fried oil sticks inside the rice rolls could have been more crunchy, the pickles, meat floss and sticky rice blend together well to provide an authentic Shanghainese experience. Of course, it is best served with a bottle of soy milk, which can also be bought from the stores.
The stores also offer snacks and soft drinks. Snacks can be a whole different story considering the obsessive use of oil in deep-fried bacon and sausages, and their spooky approach in making chicken wings. However, its rather unhealthy approach in preparing the bacon-sausage roll does not pull the Editorial Board reporter away from admitting that they do taste better than the ones provided in the canteen. There are definitely worse restaurants than that.
The Editorial Board also doubts if students have the courage to try out the food at Suen Kee, the third store. There have been rumours among students about its poor hygiene, including claims about cockroaches being witnessed at the store. Believe it or not... they may just be hoaxes made up by playful Josephians to trick others!

McDonald's
Rating: Food: ????? Service: ????? Environment: ????? Price: ????? Address: UG/F, CNAC Group Bldg., 10 Queen's Road Central, Hong Kong Shop Nos. 1-41, G/F, Admiralty Centre, 18 Harcourt Road, HK

Doing a food review for the McDonald's may seem seem futile, but after all, it is worth occupying the space for being a long-term food supplier to Josephians.
The Golden arches can be reached on Queen's Road Central, beside the Standard Charted Bank, and at Admiralty Centre. Both serve regular McDonald's food such as fat burgers, fat fries, fat coke, and fat salads -- yes, they are fat. As suggested by the documentary, Supersize Me, excessive consumptions are not encouraged but occasional visits do no harm. In recent years, the fast food franchise has actively attempted to detach from the image of unhealthiness by providing greener foods such as salads and soup, yet whether there is a significant increase in nutritional value is disputed.
Nonetheless, McDonalds are offering cheap and delicious food, thanks to their secret recipes and extremely effective costs-cutting policies. The services are efficient as being named fast food, catering unhesitant office ladies and gentlemen, fitting in our hectic lives perfectly. A cup of McFlurry might be a guilty pleasure one could afford before becoming too old for it.
The estimated budget per regular eater is between $20 and $35. If you can gather enough friends to consume McDonald's, you may like to order it with McDelivery. However please note that the menu for delivery is slightly varied and more expensive. Delivery is free for any order over $60.

Monster Burger
Rating: Food: ????? Service: ????? Environment: ????? Price: ????? Address: Upper Ground Floor, Far East Finance Centre, 16 Harcourt Road, Admiralty, Hong Kong
The Monster Burger is definitely a high-class McDonald's. It sells what they call Gourmet Burgers, with crispier lettuce, fresher tomatoes, juicier beef and more sesame on the bread. A meal at Monster Burger costs about twice as expensive as McDonald's, but you can possibly enjoy twice the amount of pleasure, if not more.
Situated in the Far East Finance Centre, it takes a fifteen minute walk from SJC. The Editorial Board reporter ate the Texas BBQ Hamburger and was in love with it. The beef was thickly sliced and trapped inside succulent juice and BBQ sauce. With sweet tomatoes and lettuce and pickles, it had a well-balanced taste and was a satisfying and sensuous meal. The fries and potato mashes are also notable dishes. Fries are cut in larger sizes with the inside tender and soft, outside crispy free of oiliness. Potato mash is made into the shape of a flower bud and tastes exactly like the fries. Burgers specially prepared for vegetarians are also provided.
A meal will cost at most $60.

Subway
Rating: Food: ????? Service: ????? Environment: ????? Price: ????? Address: E1, UG/F, Far East Finance Centre, 16 Harcourt Road, Admiralty, Hong Kong
Amid a pursuit of a healthy diet, Subway was born to heed the demand. According to a survey, Subway has surpassed the McDonald's to become the chained restaurant with the most number of branches worldwide. One of the branches is found beside the Monster Burger, also at the Far East Finance Centre.
It offers grab-and-go sandwiches and salad wraps with a custom choice of sauce, bread and toppings, catering for the needs of vegetarians and eaters who stress the importance of a primitive and green diet. If you are a vegetarian, Subway would be the right place for you. While ordering six-inch sandwiches from the menu costs at least thirty something, the daily special costs only $19, well within affordable for students.
The Editorial Board reporter loves the freshness and simplicity of the food and the subtle yet unforgettable taste of the sandwiches. The B.L.T. is a must-try with either Light Mayonnaise or Mustard. While Turkey Breast works well with Sweet Onion sauce, there are lots of lettuce and veggies. Note that most of the staff only speak English, it can be embarrassing if you don't know the pronunciation of the names of several food items like Jalapenos and Parmesan Oregano.

Café De Coral
Rating: Food: ????? Service: ????? Environment: ????? Price: ????? Address: G/F & Basement, Cheung Kong Centre, 2 Queen's Road Central, Central, Hong Kong Shop A5, Upper G/F, Far East Finance Centre, 16 Harcourt Road, Admiralty, Hong Kong
Café De Coral is always a good choice for those of us who are short of money. A meal at the Café can be as cheap as $20, almost a "school canteen" price. It also offers student discounts such as free drinks, which is quite a tempting offer.
The Café sells nearly everything ranging from "Italian" pastas to more secure dishes like tomato sauce beef and cream of corn sauce fillet. The Baked Pork Chop Rice is one of the Editor's favourites because of its unique, tasty tomato sauce, sweet slices of pineapples and thick pieces of pork chop. Café De Coral also falls into the fast-food category. The service is decent and efficient. During lunchtimes, the Café is always packed with hungry lunchers.
The nearest Café is in Cheung Kong Centre's basement, but another in Far East Finance Centre offers more food choices. But be careful though, there aren't usually seats during the busy lunch hours.

Squash centre cafeteria -- Cafe Granvio
Rating: Food: ????? Service: ????? Environment: ????? Price: ????? Address: Hong Kong Squash Centre, 23 Cotton Tree Drive, Admiralty, Hong Kong
The cafeteria at the squash centre beside our school is a family-owned business and the waiters and sales are very friendly to students. However, it does not hide the fact that its food is horrible and the prices are unreasonably high.
With a lunch between $30 and $45, the food is of such a low quality that it is irrational to eat there again. It sells unendurable fried noodles and spaghetti, fully soaked in oil and with a creepy raw smell. The Editorial Board reporter tried a few of its fried noodles dishes and was unable to finish them because of the large portions and the unappetising tastes. The borsch wasn't any better. There were too many beetroots and the soup was frighteningly sweet, apparently over seasoned. The silver lining is the convenience and efficient services. However, the Editorial Board reporter does see quite some Josephians visiting the cafeteria on a regular basis, after all, different people have different tastes. Just one kind reminder, if you are not ordering the set lunches of the day, it may take quite some time before you can get your order.

YWCA cafeteria
Rating: Food: ????? Service: ????? Environment: ????? Price: ????? Address: G/F, The Garden View - YWCA, 1 MacDonnell Road, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong
The YWCA cafeteria appeals to The Editorial Board reporter as a warm and generous restaurant, as to how the disadvantaged are given the opportunity to work there, e.g. the employment of mild mentally challenged waiters and cleaners. In addition to that, the food is surprisingly pleasant with traditional Chinese tastes.
This little restaurant in the Mid-Levels is a real gem - unpretentious, good food, friendly service and reasonable price from twenty something to around fifty. The Editorial Board reporter tried Cantonese dish "beef fried noodles", and appreciated the "wok hei" it contained. The flavour, tastes and essence were imparted by a hot wok during stir-frying, resembling dishes offered at Cha Chaan Teng. The only problem is that these stir-fried dishes take quite a long time, so make sure you are not in a hurry and have the patience to wait for your delicious lunch-boxes. The cafeteria surely made an impression! If you worry about the price, then go on and pick the "daily special", they are at a more than reasonable price.
The drawback is the exhausting journey to walk up the steep road from SJC to reach this otherwise perfect restaurant.

Simplylife Foodplace
Rating: Food: ????? Service: ????? Environment: ????? Price: ????? Address: Shop 6, Citibank Plaza, 6 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong
As suggested in its name, if you can enjoy the food there, your life is really a simply life. This is because of its rather steep prices compared to most of the restaurants around our school. The minimum entrance fee is around thirty if you are having the "siu mei" roast dishes. There is also a set of two toppings together with rice, which is set at $55; if you are a more gluttonous consumer, then you can go forward to pick the $65 set with three toppings. Burgers and soups are also available if you are interested.
The Editorial Board reporter has tried the "siu mei" with rice, the food, and especially the "wu long" tea provided with the meal undoubtedly do taste good. However, considering the extortionate price, it's just the right quality, and it would really be exaggerating to say that it has outstanding quality. As for the sets, the feedback from some other Josephians is that they just aren't worth it at such an expensive price. Yet, if you are simply aiming for the quality, as well as the myriad appealing and mouth-watering choices in front of you, then simplylife would doubtlessly be your cup of tea.
The restaurant is located at the basement of Citibank Tower, and is rather close to the school.
Epilogue
The Editorial Board laments the fact that most restaurants which can make their ways to Central are dominating fast food chains, and wishes for more places with distinct characters and distinguished qualities. In addition, with Hong Kong being one of the freest economies in the world, the market is extremely competitive, which means quality products are often competing on price. This in turn favours multinational corporate juggernauts to thrive under the umbrella of their immense capital and strong marketing teams. Family-run businesses such as Man Lee and King Shing may not offer the best food, and definitely not the best price, but they are here for a reason: to define the city with local features, so that big cities from all over the globe do not look the same, or at least taste the same.

Published on 5/31/11

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