Friday, April 10, 2015
Haikou Qi Lou Food Court 海口骑楼小吃
Haikou Qi Lou Food Court (海口骑楼小吃) was strongly recommended as a place for good traditional Hainanese food. I checked up on the location and decided to take a public bus the following morning,
The guide books I bought were not useful, fortunately the map I took from the hotel listed detailed bus routes to various places of interest. The bus fare costs only one RMB per person per trip. *Wow!*
Besides the public bus, one can also hire the 3-wheel vehicle to get to your destination. The food court was a mere 15 minutes bus ride from my hotel.
It was still early when we reached this huge food court. We went round the building and took a look at the food. There were over 2000 types of dishes to choose from! We were very excited by the variety of food and they looked yummy.
We had to purchase a card which we paid 150 RMB (refundable 10 RMB deposit and whatever money left). At each food stall, we ordered the dishes and the cashier would deduct the price from the card.
There was so much choice .... everything looks delicious and reasonably priced. I have to control my purchases in order not to waste food. We tasted 15 dishes. I particularly like the Black Chicken Coconut Soup, coconut ice cream, salt baked pulled chicken and the savoury steam cake.
The hawkers come from all over Hainan Island, they do not have to pay rent, utilities nor service charges. To keep costs down, there is centralised purchasing of ingredients and a kitchen for preparing the food, profits are shared with the food court owner.
The food court is clean and no unpleasant smells, the food looks safe to consume, we were told there is no risk of gutter oil, LOL
This place gets very crowded from 11 am. We were there early, so we were able to get a table and eat comfortably,
After our yummy brunch, we walked to a nearby street on the left of the food court. It was the Tailong Taipei Food Street (泰龙台北小吃街). There are some stalls selling Taiwanese food and most of the stalls sell food from all over China. We just tried a Hainanese prawn fritter as we were too full.
We took a walk around the neighbourhood and took a bus back to our hotel for a nap.
We showered before going out at 4 pm to the street behind our hotel. On both sides of the street are long rows of eateries and shops. We met many locals who offered us tea and chatted with us.
We had dinner at a Hong Kong cafe which serves delicious soups and roast meat. They serve good milk tea too. Prices are cheap when we convert to SGD. :D
Spotted a Taiwanese Yong He Soy Bean Eatery (永合豆浆) on the second storey of a building, probably could have lunch here with my brother-in-law before leaving for Sanya the next day.