I went to Facing East for 2 items only — Taiwanese pork bun and fruity green tea.
The Taiwanese pork bun, or Gua Bao 割包, was an extremely additive snack.
Gua Bao had a soft sweet bun with soy sauce flavored stew pork belly in the center, accented with fresh cilantro, Chinese pickled vegetables and sweet ground sweetened peanuts.
The end result was a party in the mouth both in texture and flavor!
The fatty and melt-in-your-mouth pork belly gave this super soft and quick disappearing texture as if we were eating ice cream.
The meat part of the pork belly gave some tender texture of meat to savor in.
The raw cilantro gave crisp and freshness to lighten up the fat, and the pickled vegetables gave a slightly softer crunch and more texture in the mouth to enjoy.
The ground sweetened peanuts provided a small granular texture in the mouth and the bun was soft and cottony.
It was as if there was layer after layer of different texture in the mouth to make Gua Bao extremely interesting.
The flavor and taste were just rich in this tiny little bun.
There was the soy saucy and earthy spice (star anise being one of them) flavor from the pork which covered the salty taste.
Cilantro offered the fresh and strong herby flavor, while the pickled vegetables was lightly sweetened and definitely offered the sour taste component of Gua Bao.
The sweet taste came from both the bun and ground sweetened peanuts.
While the peanuts added nutty flavor to Gua Bao , the bun gave a comforting sweet plain flour flavor to contain the full flavor party in the mouth.
Gua Bao was something that I LOVE but cannot eat too much of because I found it satiating, and Facing East made a fantastic Gua Bao.
Then, my favorite drink, fruity green tea.
I tired to duplicate this simple drink at home without much success, I believe it had to do with the green tea I was using.
The fruity green tea was made with, I believe Jasmine green tea, citrus honey and fresh chopped fruit.
The sweet, fruity, citrusy and floral flavor was very delicious both in hot and cold versions.
We tried the Hakka stir-fried wide rice noodle for the first time.
The predominant flavor of the noodles came from shallots and was very subtle with a hint of dried shrimp and chives.
It was a little bland for my taste but the rice noodle texture was fantastic.
All the noodles were cooked thoroughly and mixed thoroughly (one of my pet peeve was receiving stir fried rice noodles that were stuck together with some noodle pieces completely unflavored and were still white).
The spicy minced pork (肉燥) noodle had great flavors of soy sauce with green fresh flavors from cilantro and green onions.
I appreciated the crunchiness from the slightly cooked bean sprouts, but the egg noodle unfortunately was overcooked and was too soft.
The yam pocket was tasty with soft mashed yam, mixed with small amount of ground pork and finely chopped Chinese mushrooms in a crispy soy skin pocket.
It was a great play of textural contrast between the crisp soy skin and soft mashed yam.
All-in-all, Facing East delivered reliably flavored dishes.
The star of the restaurant was still the pork bun.
My father had mentioned that it was difficult to find places in Hong Kong serving Gua Bao.
Aside from taking a trip to Taiwan, he would have to visit me to get his Gua Bao fix.