Our weekend walk led us past an old-style corner shop called "Home Town Dumpling". We decided to go in for an impromptu snack, enticed by the food review articles from different magazines and newspapers (all in Chinese!) that were displayed on the window. The words "home-made noodles" in English were the deciding factor for me.
As it was around 4:30pm, the place only had one other couple dining inside. To my surprise, the restaurant was very spacious and roomy with a high ceiling and ample table space. The man on the photos outside with black hair, was seated behind the counter, now with a full head of white hair, so we concluded this place had been around for quite a while.
We sat down at a long table facing the television screen (the Olympics were on!) and to my great happiness, the full menu was in English and Chinese (and not a limited range English menu you sometimes find in local places). There was a lot of choice - rice and noodle sets, dumplings of all varieties in small and larger portions, dumplings with noodles or without. As it was just a snack before dinner, we ordered one bowl of dan dan noodles to share, and a small serve of steamed vegetarian dumplings (5 pieces). We also ordered 2 cold soyabean drinks.
The noodles arrived first, and to my surprise there was a lot of soup in the bowl. I had been expecting the noodles to come with more sauce than soup, but I know there are many soup versions of it around - I'd just forgotten to ask before we ordered. Speaking of which, we had also forgotten to specify we wanted hand made noodles (which you can order for HKD 3 extra).
After a fairly long wait, the waitress came out with 2 soybean drinks but served another table who had come in after us. Since there were only 3 occupied tables in the store, including ourselves, it was a bit hard not to notice. We were slightly put off since it was a hot day, we were very thirsty, and we'd noticed the waitress standing around doing nothing for a long time. We ended up blaming it on the Olympics on the tv - I guess it was distracting for everyone there.
YH liked the dumplings, but I thought the taste was only so-so. Since pure vegetable dumplings are not really my cup of tea, I was probably a little biased. The dumpling skin was also just a tinge on the dry side. The dan dan noodles were very good, though. Very spicy but not a Sichuan ma-la chilli type of tongue numbing. And no strong overwhelming peanut taste, just a slight crunchiness here and there. The noodles were also firm and springy, which made me wonder how their home-made noodles compared.
I'd go back again, to try the home-made noodles, some other meat dumplings and also the ja jiang mian that was on the menu!
Home Town Dumpling is located at G/F, 102 Caine Road, Mid Levels, Hong Kong. Tel: (852) 2517 0969