Saturday, 2 July 2016

Four Seasons Pot Rice 四季煲仔飯 - Yau Ma Tei - Kowloon, Hong Kong

Those in Australia, don't forget to vote in the Federal Election as every vote counts! 

There are two famous claypot rice joints near Mongkok, Hing Kee Claypot Rice Restaurant and Four Seasons Pot Rice. The decision was pretty easy. One was outside in the open air and the latter had indoor seating. On that particular night it was cold so we chose to go with Four Seasons Pot Rice in Yau Ma Tei.

Claypot rice is essentially rice grains slowly cooked with your choice of toppings over a high heat charcoal fire. It is served piping hot and the bottom layer of the pot has a crunchy crust with a slightly smoky taste.

My colleague who is from Hong Kong always tells me the best thing to eat there is the claypot rice. It's his favourite comfort food and I was curious to find out why. I'm particularly fond of the Singaporean and Malaysian version of the claypot rice as it is well seasoned. The Hong Kong one is similar but it comes in a plain state and you have to add the provided seasoning to give it flavour.

We were lucky to get a table arriving just after 6pm, but as soon as we were seated the line outside got longer. It's a hit with the locals and even celebrities so be prepared to wait. Sharing a table with others is a possibility. The inside is basic and no-frills yet charmingly old school.

There are over 30 claypot options to choose from spanning across a few pages in both English and Chinese. Four Seasons has a few house specialties such as ducks feet, eel and frog. Yes you read right, frog! We weren't too adventurous so we chose to go with the traditional options.

A bottle of sweet soy sauce is presented at the table before the claypot arrives. Once the claypot arrives at the table, take off the lid and quickly put in the seasoning. Add it liberally. Then close the lid so the flavours penetrate into the rice.

The 'Chicken and Salted Fish Pot Rice (HKD 51.00 )' is subtle and not overpowering with the salted fish. The rice is cooked perfectly leaving it fluffy and fragrant.

The 'Chinese Sausage and Chicken Pot Rice (HKD 51.00)' embodies a plethora of flavours and the beautiful aroma whiffs through the air once you open the lid. The chicken is tender and the fatty lap cheong is delicious.

What I like about the Hong Kong claypot rice is having the flexibility to adjust the seasoning to your own preferences allowing the combination of flavours and textures to be infused together. The portions are generous in size and each pot can easily be shared among two people.

We also ordered a side of vegetables.

Four Seasons Pot Rice restaurant is an unpretentious and cheap eatery that serves excellent claypot rice. Go early and be prepared to queue for a table.

The line stretched all the way down the street when we left. I've heard that the waiting time could be up to an hour or even longer.

46-58 Arthur St
Yau Ma Tei
Hong Kong

Opening Hours
7 Days a Week
6:00pm - 12:00am


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