Thursday, September 11, 2008

Char siew Pau

I have Typhoon Nuri to thank for having tasted the best char siew pau in the whole of my ?? years. 
On 22nd of August, our third day in Hong Kong, the day I thought I would be able to indulge myself in the many shopping malls, Hong Kong decided to take a day of rest (can you imagine every single shopping mall and shop were closed) during the worst tyhpoon in more than five years. We knew there was a typhoon but we didn't know the extent of it as we didn't watch the news at all. If I had known the typhoon was at level 9 alert I wouldn't have been so brave! 
About 10 am, we ventured out for breakfast and thought it was eerily quiet but I thought as most shops usually open only about 11 am or later we were not overly concerned. I wanted to look for a porridge shop on my list that was not far from the hotel. As we walked, the rain and wind got stronger and stronger, and if we were to hold up our umbrellas any longer we would be flying around HK like Mary Poppins.

We were practically 'blown' into the only shop that was open, a restaurant with huge posters featuring HK$3000++ abalone dishes and with a name like ' Sportful Garden Restaurant' (Had it not been for 'Nuri', I don't think I would have ventured here  as the abalone posters with that kind of prices would have scared me off). We had to enter to get away from the gusts and rain. The girl at the door told us they serve dim sum too. Thank goodness the inside was like any normal dim sum joints with many locals sipping tea and reading newspapers. The dim sum menu wasn't very extensive and I couldn't find the price. I treaded very carefully and ordered only familiar items without anything 'abalone' attached.
There wasn't much dim sum choice so I had to order char siew pau (with abalone sauce) which I normally would skipped and gone on to something more interesting. I have had too many unpleasant experiences with this dim sum item. I don't like food that needs to be dug out from the roof of my mouth and that leaves a medicinal after-taste. I'd rather have the Hainanese version of char siew pau than this laughing dim sum pau, that was before I tasted this... 

This had to be the most perfect pau I had ever tasted. The skin was soft but not airy, had a bite without being heavy and ... so smooth (not quite the right word but I can't think of another more appropriate description), the filling was not overly sweet like they always seem to be (another reason why I didn't like it before) and the gravy just tied everything together perfectly. I couldn't help myself and asked for another tray.  
The dim sum here were really good, better than Treasure Lake but with less selection.  

The kids' favorite - shui jiao. I liked it too, the skin was super smooth yet had a bite to it (any idea how they do that? We always do this dish at home but getting a good skin like this has been very elusive).

Can't get them like these back home.

Vegetable dumplings with dried shrimps.

Xia lung pau, yes, Leanne striked again. Skin too thick but like most of the xia lung pau we tasted elsewhere here in Hong Kong the fillings were good.

Lotus leaf glutinous rice with very few ingredients but unbelievable myriad of flavors and tastes with the lovely aroma from the lotus leaf.


Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

so there's some good tt came out frm the 'bad'/typhoon.

ur dim sum pics r truly awesome, n i fully agree with u about the amazing tastes n quality of hk dimsum.after eating hk dimsum tt wong kok dim sum place tastes bleh.

a feast, everyday said...

wat u doing up so early?
n i had to polish off most of d bleh dim sum as u picked at ur food...
has d local 'tyhoon' die down yet?

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

yes. the wind came with the rain n thunder, n i chased them away. then the wind came again n begged bc he couldn't cop with the rain n thunder. smtimes we need to show them how hard life is w/o us. wind said frm now on he'll do the disciplining according to my instructions...