Temple Street is synonymously known as Hong Kong's busiest night market. That said, we also did not have to delve much deeper into Temple Street to learn that besides the night market, this street is also very popular for its claypot rice and oyster omelet. In attempts to find the location of the popular claypot rice restaurant, Hing Kee, search results were as vague as you won't miss it on Temple Street, or you will know it when you see it on Temple Street. Like many local eateries in Hong Kong, Hing Kee's signage only bears Chinese characters which could be a little tricky for those who do not read the language. However, with faith that we wouldn't miss it since that was what everyone else said, we headed to Temple Street ready for some claypot rice and oyster omelet.
We had to stand in line waiting for a table on a Monday night, which in itself showed the popularity of Hing Kee. It does have several locations on Temple Street and while standing in line we saw an employee transporting claypot dishes on a trolley to the other nearby Hing Kee locations. The line moved along quickly and we were seated within 10 minutes. Anyone expecting a little bit of Hing Kee fanciness will be disappointed. This place is a hole-in-the wall with tables crammed together, Hong Kong-style, where people come to just for the claypot pilgrimage. The employees have a straightforward and no nonsense aura so as to be as quick and efficient as possible to get the orders put in and have the food served to the hungry customers.
The claypot rice was brought to the table, steaming hot, with the lid on the pot. The way to eat it is to take the bottle of black sauce, already on the table, and drizzle as much as you would like over the rice before stirring it up. You can put the lid over the rice again for a few more minutes but we decidedly dug right in after we stirred in the black sauce wth the rice.
The claypot rice with chicken meat and Chinese sausage was a pleaser. The chicken was soft and tender; the sausage flavorful. We also ordered the claypot rice with frog legs which was very delicious as well. Served with strips of ginger and scallions, it added a nice fragrance to the rice. Given that the rice was cooked in a claypot, the sides of the pot will have rice stuck to it. This part of crispy-and-slightly-burnt rice makes a nice bite and crunch if the meal did not already fill you up.
The oyster omelet was a tad bit greasy but fried to a perfect crisp. Hing Kee's housemade chilli sauce added a wonderful tangy touch to the omelet but even without the chilli sauce, I found the oyster omelet to be as great eaten on its own.
We were in an out of Hing Kee in less than an hour, with satisfied bellies. The Temple Street Night Market was a fantastic way for us to walk it all off.
Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon