Sunday, February 14, 2010

Hong Kong: Shanghainese Food

So we have had a few experiences with Shangheinese food while in Hong Kong and we finally found a place worth blogging about! The following pictures were taken at a place called Delicious Kitchen located in Causeway Bay. Delicious Kitchen is right next to an outlet mall, a particularly tourist oriented row of restaurants and one of the major shopping streets in Hong Kong, but the restaurant hides itself at the end of a street, furthest from the busy commerce and does not post it's name in english. I happened to stroll by it on the last day of the pre-lunar year sales and was immediately stricken by both the amazingly strong and tantalizing aroma and that it had a line of people outside in the rain waiting to be seated. I made a mental note and went back to the hotel to see if So-Han had returned from re-uniting with his family. He had and we were both ready for food so out we went, luckily finding the lunch rush to be at its end.

Smoked Fish with Rice and Preserved Vegetables
So-Han had luckily been a bit more observant than I at our previous Shanghainese restaurant excursions and had noticed that the above dish had stood out to him on each menu. We correctly decided that this boded well and decided, to both of our delight, to try the dish. Shanghainese food uses more sugar than most other Chinese cuisine styles and this element is very striking both visibly and gustatorily. Smoking fish seems to be a generally extremely win idea, and when combined with this delicious marinade it made for an extremely tender dish with a deliciously crisp and full flavor.

Nian Gao with Assorted Meats
Nian Gao in this style is uniquely Shanghainese and is also associated with the Chinese New Year so we had a few reasons to try it and were very well rewarded by doing so. The Shanghainese style of Nian Gao is notable as it is made with non- glutinous rice and then sliced into the shape of a fat flat rice noodle and stir fried. The assorted meats were shrimp, chicken and Jinhua Ham which was definately the all star meat featured in this dish. All in all, this dish was fantastic.

Sliced Eel with Golden Mushrooms
Dishes like these are the reason I am constantly hunting out new restaurants and new cuisines. Who would have thought I could find a dish that was essentially eel swimming in a sea of delicious mushrooms. The Shanghainese evidently. Perfection. Eel is such a flavor rich fish and by pairing it with mushrooms the chef has guaranteed that all the juices and marinade lost from the eel while cooking would be absorbed by one of nature's most capable culinary absorbers.

To clue everybody in to just how high our standards have risen I will post pictures of the previous Shanghainese dishes as well:

Twice-Cooked Pork
Sliced Eel with Scallions

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