Over the course of 2 days, I felt compelled to go to multiple dim sum restaurants in Hong Kong. Not for lack of variety or anything, but just because my first experience had been so... scintillating, that I wanted to see if every dim sum parlor in HK was just of another standard compared to the US and Taiwan. In hindsight, I probably should've stopped at the first one, since things can only really go downhill from an experience like that, but on the morning before my flight, I stumbled into a smaller place called 'Shamrock Seafood Restaurant.' I had high hopes that a cheaper atmosphere would foster a more 'authentic' flavor... whatever that means.
Anyway, note to self (if I ever do end up going back to HK). Don't get 小籠包 from a dim sum parlor. They're overpriced, and not all that good. Perhaps it's because incredible soup dumpling places are a dime a dozen in Taiwan, but I was thoroughly disappointed with these. Thick skins, lack of soup, and bland meat describe these to a tee. When you couple that with the fact that I'm only getting 3 per basket... well, that's just annoying. Sure they look nice, but they were pretty awful.
Then there's these. Again with the 鹹水餃 (salty water dumplings) since I'm obligated to order this everywhere. These were actually good, but then again it's really hard to screw up frying glutinous rice and stuffing it with fatty pork isn't it?
More turnip cakes! Also remarkably well prepared. Flaky exterior holding together delicate shreds of steamed turnip just waiting to fall apart. Sound familiar?
Oh great, it's more of those stupid things called 潮州蒸粉果 (Chao Zhou steamed fen guo) with the water chestnut filling. God I hate them so much. They're bland, they have a strange texture, and the only reason we bought them was so my grandmother would stop complaining about my unhealthy eating habits. Argh, sometimes I honestly don't know why old people like things that taste like nothing.
Ultimately it was okay though, because I also got char siu noodle wraps. Like I said, rice noodles = awesome, char siu = awesome, rice noodles + char siu = still awesome. I realize that some people prefer getting these with shrimp, or beef, or vegetables inside, but that's not my cup of tea. Nope, 10 times out of 10 I'll go with char siu. Goddamn I miss this so much.
I didn't really love these all that much. I don't even remember what they're called (they did have a special name). What I do remember though, is that they were on the day's special menu, and that you get 3 meatballs for 4 HKD. Which is like 58 cents. That's stupid cheap. So cheap that I felt compelled to order it even though I wasn't sure what I was ordering. Plus they're bright red. Bonus points for bright red meat. That's always a plus in my book.
This is actually a dish I looked for at the other dim sum place but couldn't find. It's basically layered pastry with char siu stuck inside, which is then baked, and glazed over top with sugar. End result is a sweet and savory dish. One that I'm not sure should be classified as dessert or not. Still valid here is the fact that char siu in Hong Kong tends to be sweeter and more sauce based than the ones in Taiwan, so the filling is much more apt to spill out upon biting. Call it a plus or minus, whatever, basically this shit is irresistible.
Of course I got egg tarts too. Except these were shaped like footballs, and bright orange instead of yellow. All the same, the pastry portion is light and buttery, the filling is delicate with a subtle sweetness. All the previous superlatives regarding egg tarts still apply here. Nothing new, carry on. Anyway, I realize most of these pictures look really similar to the ones from the other dim sum place, and some people might say I'm an idiot for taking pictures of things that look exactly alike. Well... yeah that's probably true, but I actually have nothing better to do. So... there.