Hitting the Mainland

Big leagues, kid. Batter up.

Hong Kong Sky
Hong Kong is a special Administrative Section of China, but technically separate from the peoples republic. This group of 235 (mostly rural) islands amount to less than the size of Los Angeles , but are home to seven million plus. Only Singapore, Monaco and Macau are more densely populated. Here you can find hundred million dollar estates perched on Victoria Peak, $10,000 dollar a night hotels rooms, overzealous Filipino hookers, expats with bulging bank accounts and the coolest seaside skyline since the great Avante Garde revolution of ’26. Oh, and I hear they're obsessed with eating here as well.

雲吞麵 [ Wonton Noodles ]
雲 吞麵 (Wonton Noodle Soup) is an important dish when you’re talking the Cantonese cuisine talk. It’s been said that a 70-30 [shrimp to pork] ratio is the industry standard to stuff inside the freshly rolled wrappers. Shrimps were garden fresh and broth was rich and buttery. One of the few standout inexpensive dishes in this cosmopolitan cash-sucking metropolis. I’d dive in again for sure. ~18 HK ($2.32).

叉燒 [ 'Char Siu' Pork ]
叉燒 ['Char Siew'] is the ‘bbq pork’ of China. Fatty pork shoulder strips marinated in Hoisin sauce, honey and 5 spice then roasted to a salivating crisp. This is a basic course in proper caramelization and the wonders it does to meat. Caramel + Pork Fat = happy campers. Proper 叉燒 should be fatty and juicy, not fibrous and dry!! I’ve had too much of the latter in my day but they were born to roast in Hong Kong and it shows.

燒鵝 [ Roast Goose ]
燒 鵝 (Roast Goose) alongside 叉燒 (Char Siew) in theoutskirts of Hong Kong (New Territories). Succulent, tender, greasy and crisp skinned. The grand slam of roast meats. In addition to these two you can also find roast pork belly (saltier flavor, cracker-like skin), roast duck and roast chicken in these types of eateries. Many have attempted but nobody does it better than the roast masters of Southeast China.

芥蘭 [ Chinese Kale ]
Served with some 芥蘭, stir-fried Chinese Kale. Gotta have your greens on the side. Well, not obligatory but if you fancy taking out the trash more than once a week it's best to get some fiber. Super crisp stalks of Vitamin K stir-fried with garlic. As global as a vegetable comes.

點心 [ diǎn xin ]
點心. Of course we also have to talk a bit about dim sum. Little steamed or fried snacks usually served in the mornings or evenings famous in Hong Kong and the Guangzhou (Canton) province of China. Here we have some 牛肉球 (steamed beef meatballs), but please do yourself a favor and sample 叉燒包 {Char siu bao [bbq pork bun]}, 蝦餃 {har gao [steamed shrimp dumpling]}, 芋角 {wu gok [mashed taro with pork, mushrooms and a crispy fried shell]}, and 腸粉 {cheong fun [steamed, stuffed rice rolls]}. Basically, just try anything. In Hong Kong a dish of Dim Sum would run you around 2 bucks.

鍋貼 [ Guo Tie ]
These are 鍋貼 (guo tie; "pot stick") or as we know them in the west, Ling Ling. This is more of a northern Chinese dish instead of Cantonese but anytime I see anyone hand-making anything on the spot, I most definitely have to stroll on in and investigate.

Making 餃子 [ Jiao Zi ]
Pork, green onions and soy. You’ll be eating that one again, China traveler. By the way this lady had insane Usain speed. I clocked her at 6.52 seconds per dumpling.

Nappy Noodles
Along with the goodies, meals like this were far too common. The sauce couldn’t have been saltier and the noodles had the texture of plastic. Could not swallow. Horrid.

Clams with black bean sauce
The three of us never actually made it out but rumors were circulating about this huge mass of water surrounding Hong Kong. I guess you catch fish and stuff out there. Here’s some clams with black bean sauce. In Asia they love their snails and shells. I’m a huge fan nowadays, although you have to eat something like 116 to fill up.

Bulgogi Burger
Korean Bulgogi Burger! My travel partner craves western fare like a pregnant chick craves cashew butter and catfish smoothies so I occasionally come along for the ride. For the record, I did enjoy the $9 patty.

To be real with you, a lot of sub-par grub was had in this Asian Western Wonderland. It's undoubtedly out there, but we just didn't stumble upon into those amazing places. The massively debilitating hangovers from nights in Wan Chai and Lang Kwai Fong that impeded on our will and or ability to scour long and hard for great eats could have played a part- but I'm not making excuses. $9 drafts we're worth it...right? I had fun, though. Ok…on to the People's Republic next! Brace yourself!

Stay Nocturnal.


Mike Corsini said...

Stay antsy.

mina said...

The first photo is stunning! I am jealous of your willingness to try anything. I may have drooled a little bit at the photo of the Char Siew.

P.S. Your comments on our blog always put a smile on my face!

pj20 said...

better than schling-ling-ping?


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