first of all, let me warn my vegan and vegetarian readers that this is not a veg-friendly post; that's coming later! the purpose of my trip was to visit with friends and also to attend a friend's wedding dinner in china. funny that the three of us met in the first module of our danish language course! i was in hong kong for about 2 weeks and it was pretty much nonstop eating and shopping with a tiny bit of sightseeing thrown in for good measure. let's just get the dim sum out of the way first. P:
i've eaten a lot of dim sum in my lifetime; both in california and denmark and also once in singapore airport. now that i finally had the chance to try it in hong kong and china, i can say that the places i've been to in orange county are more authentic than the two decent dim sum places in copenhagen. but there were a few differences that stood out. in hong kong, the dumpling wrappers were rolled very thin and the radish cakes had big chunks of radish and shrimp (instead of a consistent texture). also, it seemed generally less oily than copenhagen and more than california. i had the honor of watching a woman in a noodle shop rolling her own dumpling wrappers and eventually wrapping some. i saw it with my own eyes and still don't get it. the fluffy buns were slightly sweeter than i'm used to, with the lightest feel! i need to learn how to make char siu bao like that! o_o
pickles to start
i would dare to say that one of the best meals i had there was at a private kitchen. i love the idea and wish i could do something like that in denmark... but there's that whole problem with me having only a work visa for echocardiography and my lack of enthusiasm for becoming a permanent resident... anyway, sìchuān cuisine da píng huō served us 12 courses of plate after plate of amazing food. not pictured are 2 bowls of palate-cleansing soup that the low light was not kind to. corkage is very reasonable so we brought a bottle of white and later ordered another one from the menu. i wish i could remember the names, as they went surprisingly well with such strong food.
glass noodles with peanuts and chilies
chicken with peanuts
braised beef cheeks(?)
in the background of this photo you can see some vegetarian dishes that they made especially for my friend. how thoughtful! (:
pork sticky rice with sweet potatoes
okay, now i really like spice but this dish was just insane. from the very first bite, the schezuan peppercorns did their job numbing my mouth... and then the chilies kicked in. we all ate a little bowlful but i stubbornly took a second helping. hey, it tasted good! this dish haunted several of us for a long time... i didn't feel completely right until after we got back from china a few days later; my stomach was really complaining! this was probably one of the spiciest dishes i've ever eaten. ><
to finish, we had a not-too-sweet tofu pudding. it helped take a bit of the edge off of the mabo tofu and was a nice close to the seemingly never-ending meal. then the wife and husband team who own the restaurant came out to thank us for coming and she sang opera! i was blown away.
it's quite intimate since the room is only suitable for about 40 diners and only 2 seatings. and you can really tell that they pay attention to every detail of the food... and the price? well, a bit expensive more expensive than traditional chinese restaurants in the area but absolutely worth it. there are a handful of other private kitchen in hong kong. i can definitely recommend the experience!
sìchuān cuisine da píng huō
49 hollywood road (central)
entrance on graham street!