Monday, March 23, 2020

Herbal Tortoise Jelly (Gui Ling Gao / 龟苓膏) in the Middle of Ladies Market @ Hong Kong

Back in 1997, i don't remember getting fascinated with food in Hong Kong. There was, however, one item that remains etched in my memory; the Herbal Tortoise Jelly (Gui Ling Gao / 龟苓膏) which i had almost daily when i was in the fragrant harbour at the age of 17.

Even though it's also available in Singapore, i had never tried it before and it was because of that trip over twenty years ago that i realized it wasn't as disgusting as i assumed it would be; given that one of the ingredients is said to be tortoise shell! Anyway, i chanced upon a shop while exploring Ladies Market in my recent visit and thought i should rekindle my memory.

恭和堂 - opened for business in 1904, this was said to be the oldest shop in Hong Kong that specialized in guilinggao! There's actually 8 branches in Singapore under the same Chinese name but according to the official website of kung wo tong (hong kong), it's not affiliated with the company which is based in Malaysia.

This is it; the jelly like dessert said to be darn healthy and nutritional for the body. The Chinese believes that bitter things are healthy (like bittergourd) and this is one dessert not known for its palatability; you need the honey (placed helpfully on each table) to force it down your throat!

The recipe at 恭和堂 was said to be the original one from the Qing Dynasty! If you are interested to know more, click here. As the webpage is only in Chinese, you may wish to consider the Wikipedia page instead. Check out the link here! Just realised rice and corn flour are used to thicken the concoction so that it became jelly-like; darn, that's a lot of carbohydrates there!

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Address
61A地下, Tung Choi St,
Mong Kok, Hong Kong

Map
As above.

Menu
As above.

Pricing
Herbal Tortoise Jelly (Traditional) - HKD $56

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