The second part of our holiday was mostly occupied by eating, and, well, maybe a little bit of shopping. CW and I have done the sights before, this time we just wanted to relax. Andrew, our makanguru friend, and his lovely wife HL, also timed their trip to sync with us and together the five of us enjoyed some truly memorable meals.
We met up for our first meal at the very old-school Spring Deer restaurant on 42, Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. The easiest way of getting there is to take the MTR to Tsim Sha Tsui and walk through the interconnected passageway to East Tsim Tsui station exit P3. The restaurant is about 2 minutes walk away, on the second floor above a dingy shop selling tourist tat.
It was not my first visit. An old friend's mother invited me to their Chinese New Year gathering many years before, when I was doing my elective in Hong Kong. I introduced CW to this place when we visited Hong Kong nearly 8 years ago, we ate very well but we were only two people so could not try some of their dishes which came in generous portions. Therefore husband was determined to make good of this opportunity and eat all the good things we saw being served to other diners. Andrew did the ordering. We caught up on our separate adventures.
First course. Kai Pow Chi. A dish I have only heard of through watching old TVB serials. It means chicken wrapped with sharks fin, and comes in a wicked chicken broth. This was a half-chicken portion. It can feed six to seven people easily.
The close up. Proper combs of quality sharks fin. Beautifully cooked so that the fins have absorbed the flavours of the broth, the broth was just as satisfying, you can taste chicken clearly but it also has body and depth from other enriching ingredients, just wonderful. It's a dish I think every foodlover should eat at least once in their life, and then they will begin to understand the Chinese obssession with this controversial ingredient.
Peking duck, served in traditional style, i.e. sliced thickly to include some meat in each slice.
The duck was delicious, it tastes of duck instead of the bland muscle we have been brainwashed into eating nowadays. The pancakes were a bit heavy, and missing that sweet elastic chewiness I enjoyed in a Peking Duck restaurant in Beijing. Andrew joked about eating Donald. Days later, V reminisced about eating Donald in Hong Kong.....she really gets it, I think!
Basically everybody orders more or less the same dishes, their hit parade. Like these sesame bread pockets to stuff with beef jerky. Initially I dismissed them as being too sweet, but they grew upon me; as we chewed, the spices and marinade of the beef released their flavours. The meat remained quite meaty, a very nice change from the usual beef treatment which is to tenderise the hell out of it.
What a mess. A super-duper delicious mess. It is tofu braised in crab roe. A very superior comfort dish, to be spooned over plain steamed rice.This was my favourite dish of the night.
There was another dish we didn't order, it that appeared in every other table - a whole fish served on a hotplate. It looked amazing, we must return to try it.
Dessert of egg-white doughnuts dusted in sugar. It comes in a serving of 10 pieces. Husband and I were lucky to have a neighbouring table share an order with us when we came here last time, this time we had the whole plate to our table. It was magnificient, the inside has fillings of not just red bean paste, but fresh banana.
It was a fantastic meal, we all agreed, as we waddled out into the warm night air of Kowloon. We walked home to our service residence in Yau Ma Tei, motivating the child with the purchase of a pair of shoes along the way, thinking of the meals we have yet to eat...