Saturday, June 25, 2016

Friday Dinner Double Date and Mahjong Into the Late Night

We just had a wildly successful and very fun double date with our friends on Friday night at the renowned local restaurant, Shung Hing, a very old school, traditional Chiu Chow restaurant that has been in Hong Kong for decades.  

The exterior is pretty gritty, but usually that's a very good sign.  I love these establishments, with their no-fuss exteriors, neon lights and unflattering bulb lighting, family style decor.  You would not be at all surprised to find cigarette burns in the tablecloths here (though theirs were actually in good shape).  The chairs are plastic wrapped and the wallpaper looks like it is an original 1968 vintage.  Sure, it's a bit rough around the edges, but I love it because it captures an irreplaceable flavor of old Hong Kong.    
 Confusingly, there are two storefronts, but it is the same restaurant.  The family has clearly done well in the business (the interior is lined with photos and autographs from local celebrities) and, adhering to the magic rule of Hong Kong real estate, continued to expand by buying up land.
 They have a lot of fresh clams and crabs, for which they are famous.

The speckled flowered crab, the highlight of Chiu Chow cuisine, is traditionally steamed and then served cold, with the lightest of vinegar and ginger dips, so that one can taste the sweet creamy flavor of the unadulterated meat.
The cold fish is also a Chiu Chow staple.  It comes to the dinner table flayed open like thus, and you have to dip the fish in soybean paste, for a salty flavor, or the black vinegar, for a syrupy sweet and tart flavor.
 The goose breast was delicious.  It is marinated in lushui, a soy marinade that has been perfected over decades.  The tofu underneath the goose was also really tasty.
 This is the webbed feet and wings of the goose - for those who like to gnaw at bones and really get the lushui flavor.  Admittedly, it is not for everyone.
 Our spread.
Michael insisted on a more straightforward dish - stir fried pork and cashews.
 We also go this fried taro and minced duck dish for Michael, as it consists of two his favorite ingredients.
We may have over-ordered a bit - we also got the signature pan fried Chiu Chow yellow noodles, and an oyster omelette (but I didn't like it as much as I thought I would).
 The aftermath.  Note my bowl of very neatly cleaned goose bones.
After dinner, we strolled back to our apartment, where we had the mahjong table all set up in anticipation of a long night.   I am not certain why this is so, but  it is always as if we enter a time space warp when we play mahjong.   Finally at 2:30 AM, after many exciting rounds of play and two whole bottles of sake later, we finally called it.

Shung Hing Chiu Chow Restaurant
29-37 Queens' Road West
Sheung Wan Hong Kong
+852 2544 8776

No comments:

Post a Comment