I think my last food review was probably half a year ago. Shame on me. Per my "new year resolution", I need to blog more. Here goes:
Zuma: Japanese fusion restaurant in Hong Kong that was left off the the HK Michelin guide. For a good reason, me thinks. The sushi and sashimi were ordinary - better than average Hong Kong only. There were a couple of cooked dishes as well, but I have long forgotten its taste. I'll skip right to dessert where the green tea banana cake more than made up for the otherwise unspectacular food. Banana and green tea, who knew?
(Note: the restaurant is quite well laid out and the utensils were excellent. Good atmosphere that made you think that you are not in the middle of Hong Kong for 2 hours. I'd pay for that.)
Slightly recommended. Get dessert.
"Food stalls" in Shanghai
There were two fairly famous cheap eats in Shanghai and are conveniently located right next to each other. Both are dumpling places even though the dumplings were different. The first is a fried one and the second is a steamed one. Both have long lines though, at 3pm, the desire to eat seems to be less for most people (not me, I just woke up at 2pm). And both are dirt cheap at a few dollars for their signature dishes.
This is Xiaoyang Shenjian. Their fried dumplings are quite good. The inside is pork with a very tasty (and super hot, ouch) soup. I found the inside to be very good but the skin was a bit too oily and think. Locals will tell you that is the point of the friend dumplings, and that you should enjoy every bite into a slightly burned wrapping. I find it difficult to savour the after taste of burnt dough... anyway, I stuck to the non-brown parts and it was very good. Just be careful with the soup. Very yummy. Highly recommended if there were no line.
JiaJia Tangbao is right across from the friend dumpling shop. I've attempted to visit this place twice and both times they were sold out of their dumplings. This time, at 3pm, it had one type left: their most popular type, pork and crab. I ordered a dozen.
Usually, with steamed Xiaolongbao, you have to be very careful with the soup. The dumpling is delicate and if it breaks, the good stuff is all gone. If you just bite into it, the hot soup spills and your burnt tongue will not feel the next 10 bites. So... as always... I approach with caution. The key is to bit from the top and leave the hot soup at the bottom. Once you've pierced the top, slowly suck the hot soup inside and cool the whole thing down before devouring it in your mouth.
Except this was a bit different. I put on some excellent (and I do mean excellent) ginger sauce and took my first bite from the top. Surprisingly, the soup didn't seem that hot. But the rush of the smell of the meat made me want to gallop the whole thing. I tested the soup again. Okay to put the entire thing in the mouth. Excellent combination of wrappng and meat: thin wrap, big and juicy meat, tasty soup.
And the best part: you can put the whole dumpling inside your mouth without cooling it down! Major kudos to the cook. Highly recommended. Wake up early.
We visited this particular restaurant near the Kota Kinabalu Le Meridien (thank you, Starwood points!) FOUR times during our stay there. Chili crab was the best.
Along with all the other fresh seafood...