Monday, February 15, 2010

Hong Kong: Hakka Cuisine Again!

So we have totally destroyed the no repeats rule a few times over... Maybe next time I would switch hotels every week... But honestly, it really seems a shame to only try a handful of the menu offerings at these restaurants. With this in mind, and the determination to at least not order the same dish twice, we returned to Chuen Cheurng Kui, the aforementioned Hakka Restaurant. This was to be our Lunar New Years meal and we had high hopes for eating squid-balls, dried oysters, hair fungus, wontons and suckling pig. We succeeded at finding and consuming most of these items over the 14th and 15th.

Haaka Eight Treasure - 8 Treasure Duck - 八寶鴨 - Bat Bao Ya - Bat Bao Aap
Eight Treasure Duck was absolutely phenomenal and I'm not sure that the pictures do it justice. I can't recount the eight treasures for you but I can relate that this dish included Sea Cucumber, Pork, Duck, Goose Intestine, Gai lan, Green Onions and Ginger. That's only seven and we really aren't sure which of those really count as treasures. Regardless, this dish has now defined for us a very high standard to which we can now hold all sea cucumber dishes, included the best goose intestine I've ever eaten (I eat a lot of intestine) and every other element was phenomenal as well. We didn't leave even a bite.

Deep Fried Pork Intestine - zhà zhū dà cháng - 炸豬大腸
Didn't I tell you that I eat a lot of intestine? This menu item really ordered itself, I just knew it had to be on our table. I'm not sure if it is normally associated with the Lunar New Year but it certainly seems like an auspicious dish. Red is a particularly auspicious color and is as associated with the Chinese New Year as it is associated with Christmas, if not more so. One element of the Chinese New Year is that people should buy new red underwear and wear it on the first of the new Lunar Year (presuming that the local Cantonese people telling us these things aren't just playing games on the gullible Americans.) I've never worn red underwear on Christmas despite red being a Christmas color. Anyways, this dish was masterful. The intestine was perfectly crisp and airy. Often times pork intestine is fried into an extremely dense form, seemingly collapsing the interior lining of the intestine into the crisp outside so that the dish eats more like a normal meat. The interior of this intestine almost felt like a soft crouton or Chicharrón, something firm but airy that crunches and then dissolves with a buttery - rich - fat sensation that is oh so satisfying and delicious.

Suckling Pig - 燒乳豬 - shāo rǔ zhū - Siu Yu Jü
Having been awed by suckling pig and by this restaurant on two separate occasions, we decided to see what would happen if we combined the two. This was an amazing idea and netted us a delicious dish that also happened to be an auspicious way to bring in the new lunar year. Suckling pig seems to be uniformly so tender and tasty. Every bite of this dish literally melted in your mouth. If you haven't tried suckling pig, you need to. Now.

Big Eel and Roast Pork Hot Pot - 大鳗烤猪肉锅 - dà mán kǎo zhū ròu guō
You might have read my commentary about clay pots in the Sham Shui Po post, well it goes triple for this dish. I don't understand how food can taste this good. It is mind boggling. I have eaten like a king in the US. I have eaten gourmet in some of the best rated restaurants in the US and I make a hobby out of finding the best food I can find anywhere I go. Every bite of this dish was a food-gasm. The pork was some of the most tender and delicious of my life. The eel was crispy while maintaining it's unique texture and taste. Even the chunks of ginger and garlic in this dish were edible and delicious. This is definitely the best clay pot of my life and the pork and eel will live on in my memory as some of the most delicious meats that have ever graced my tongue with their glorious presence.


  1. And to think - all this devouring of internal parts, raw things, and roasted baby animals by the boy who wouldn't even sample ketchup...!

  2. haha

    I still wont eat ketchup!