Then I’ll give you some! 🙂
How would it be possible for me to not have one meal which would include Dim Sum while in Hong Kong? That would just not do! Not to mention my fellow foodies would never let me hear the end of it. Even though I have been Dim Sum-ed out over the years, I knew I had to try my hand at least one Dim Sum parlor during my short time in the city that comes up with the truly spectacular mini dishes.
We had our first Dim Sum lunch with my Mom’s older sister, who took us to a restaurant in a huge shopping mall. Do I remember what the place was called or even where it was near? Sadly I do not, but what do have are my glorious pictures to show you the delicious things we ate.
On the left, we have a vegetarian rice noodle roll. There was an assortment of vegetables in the rice noodles and although I prefer the meat variety, the rice noodle skin was superb. Soft, tender, smooth, and thin…mmmm. On the right are BBQ pork pineapple buns. They’re called pineapple buns because of the cracked sugary topping of the bread (or at least that’s how I’ve always associated it). The sweet and salty pork was perfect – little fat, glazed just enough, and tasted fresh (*gasp!*). Man…I don’t really recall ever having any type of pork bun tasting so delicious. And oh! The plate up at the top left is more of that delicious BBQ pork for the bowls of noodles below.
Going clockwise from the top left: “micro-pulled noodles” (x2) and “thin-pulled noodles”. These noodles were ordered upon Dad’s request for them, but when I tried each type, I wasn’t impressed. Thus, I moved on with my eating!
Top left: chiu-chow fun guo – my Dad’s favorite dim sum dish. I took a bite and found nothing special from the usual.
Next, the ma lai gou but in the rolled version (top right), which is A MILLION TIMES BETTER! We used to have this version of the traditional ma lai gou in San Diego, but for whatever reason (cost according to my Dad) they discontinued it. Even in the LA dim sum places we’ve been to, they don’t make it. Soft, moist, and the sweet custard between the rolled layers add another level of decadence that is not usually there.
The bottom plate is what I call: genius. Delicious genius to be exact. Cubed, pan-fried radish cakes, stir fried with onion, pepper, celery, and TONS of garlic. Add a dash of hot chili oil and we had a terrible time of stopping ourselves from gorging senselessly at this dish. By far, it was the most flavorful and unique dish we had that day. And hands down, my favorite at that table.
This was the Szechuan spicy wonton. Do not let the red color deceive you! This was hardly spicy, heck! It was actually SWEET! Much to my great disappointment. I was expecting to be taken to that endorphin-filled rush that one gets from eating foods so spicy that you’re sweating after one bite. Nope…instead, I got a really delicious and well crafted wonton that had a slightly sweet sauce with it. Sigh…
Ok…did this meal help change my mind on Dim Sum? Yes and no…because I know that I could never find something of this level in the states. I have friends and family who go wide and far for good Dim Sum, but they all have told me the same thing over and over again: nothing can compare to Dim Sum in Hong Kong. The true masters of the art of Dim Sum resides in Hong Kong. Whether it be in a fancy, sit-down, air-conditioned restaurant, to a side street vendor. The good stuff is overseas and I am glad I partake in this food journey to something I knew, yet knew nothing about.
During my first full day in Hong Kong, my family and I went to visit the graves of Grandpa and my uncle in the mountain sides. While doing so, the mosquitoes were feasting on my legs during the entire time. I became their all-you-can-eat buffet from the West. What didn’t make sense was that they completely bypassed my sister and mom, even though they were both prone for mosquitoes as well. So within 2 hours, I left with at least 9 huge bites and I mean they were SWELLING.
Not hard to tell that I was quite miserable at that point. I was hot, sticky, itchy, and hungry. Some vacation huh? Thank goodness we had my cousin, who was showing us around, to take us to our lunch spot. The shop wasn’t classy, nor spacious, but my cousin boasted it being the best spot for a bowl of wonton and fish cake soup noodles.
What can I say about this meal, other than – OH MY F-ING GAWD THIS WAS ONE MOTHER FREAKING AMAZING MEAL I COULD EVER HAD FOR UNDER $25!!!!! Ok, let me break it down for you: the lemon tea at top was super refreshing and perfect to cool off a hot traveler.
The first bowl is of wide rice noodles with fish cakes and wonton. The next bowl is of egg noodles with fish balls and cake. The fish cake and balls were perfectly tender, but neither mushy nor gummy. It was the freshest fish cake/ball I have ever tasted! The wonton – aaaamazing! And even though I forgot my picture of the chili oil, it was one of the most, intense (like someone took a bottle and cap off some of hell’s fire into it) heat I had ever experienced!
The noodles were handmade, cooked al dente, and just slurp-able! And oh! The broth was perfect – clean and only enhanced everything else!
Of all the meals I had during my time away, this was the one that stood out the most. I know from experience that the most unexpected meals can hit you and leave an indent in you so deep that you cannot ever forget it. Trust me, this meal will never be forgotten and all other wonton/fish cake/ball noodles will be judged upon this.
This past week was my first full week back home, so I finally had the chance to take a look back on all the food that I had partake in during my tour of China, and visit back to Hong Kong. Although I am sure there was much more to try in China, unfortunately the food I ate was all geared towards “tourists.” We were in a tour group, but it still makes me sad that there could be amazing food out there that I never got my hands on. In my recap, I think I want to focus on the items that stood out above all the rest and mediocre.
When I browse through my album and relived all that I ate in the 16 days away, I must say that the one that caught me completely off guard was this:
This simple, hot, sticky, delicious, hot mess was something that I thought I should have thought of…SO WHY DIDN’T I?!?! The snack before you is a sliced, fresh roll that has been toasted and slathered with butter, natural, chunky peanut butter, and drizzled with sweet condensed milk. Yes my friends…this is totally NOT part of ANY diets out there, but it was part of my diet of orgasmic food experiences.
The bread was perfectly toasted on the sliced side, soft on the insides, and natural crust to the outside. It was a perfect vehicle for all the extra goodness to be piled on top!
Now that I know this is a GREAT combo, I plan on making this my special Sunday brunch at home :). I just need to find the right natural chunky PB to match it. Any suggestions?? (or if you know a place in San Diego that serves this, let me know too!)
Tsui Wah Restaurant
All over Hong Kong, Kowloon, and New Territories;
Shanghai, China; Macau
Ladies and gents…I am off to my next adventure. I have been busily packing and wrapping up things here at work, plus it is during this time of the year where lots of events are going on as well. It has been quite hectic.
Am I ready for this vacation?…Most definitely YES! So where am I headed off to this time?…Here’s my itinerary:
…then back to Hong Kong for more!
Yes! I am finally, FINALLY going back to where it all started. Needless to say I am completely and utterly ecstatic. This will be all unfamiliar and maybe a little familiar too. The next two and half weeks will be a whirlwind adventure.
So until then…再见! (See you soon!)