Angie and Isaac Set the Bar

In Food, Hong Kong on January 23, 2011 by triotriotrio

I arrived in Hong Kong knowing only one other person, not counting Jennifer. Her name is Angie and we both are participating in the Johns Hopkins Museum Studies program. But because most of the coursework is done online, I had never met her face to face. So after a few weeks of settling in I said to Jennifer, “We need to meet up with Angie and see how the natives do it.” (Of course I was talking about food) Let me begin by saying that every expectation of the food was met and then surpassed. Jennifer and I were equally impressed with the company.

We met at a Wan Chai restaurant that specializes in Shanghai cuisine. I never saw the menu. Our generous hostess picked out all the dishes out beforehand and we just sat back and enjoyed. He had no idea how many dishes were coming, all we knew was that it was going to be wonderful. Angie and her friend Isaac created a symphony of tastes and textures. It was truly a sampling of the best that Shanghai has to offer.

Liu Yuan Pavilion
3/F The Broadway, 54-62 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai


Act I: Main Characters are Introduced

Tea: In retrospect, the tea was the lubricant that got us through the evening.

Small plates: Tiny dishes of peanuts and pickled vegetables were placed on the table.

Smoked chicken: A simply prepared chicken with complex taste. It had a rich smoky undertone with crispy skin holding all the juicy goodness together.

Beef with red chilies: POW! BAM! ZOOM! Holy fire Batman, what a punch. The dish had a lot of heat but it was the tenderness of the beef that impressed me the most.

Sweet and sour chicken: A welcome relief to the spiciness of the beef. How do they keep the outer coating so crispy and the inside so juicy? The sauce also made me think this is what a contrast of flavor should taste like.

Stir fry vegetable: Yes – we did have at least one vegetable (similar to bok choy). I liked the bitterness of the vegetable, it was complemented by a deep brown vinegar.

Fish stew: Angie explained it best when she said, “This is the kind of dish you could never make at home.” It was a rich broth served on hot plate. Inside was a complete fish peeking outside of the steamy liquid and tender fish balls. It was the perfect dish on a chilly evening. It was specular in the way the soup so comforting.

Pork meatballs: Tender meatballs served with tender spring onions in a rich brown sauce. Mama mía – they could give the Italians a run for the money.

It was at this point that Isaac announced that the suckling pig was about to arrive. Thank goodness he was kidding. He could tell Jennifer and I had taken the reclined Seder position. But the meal went on …

Act II: The Plot Twist

Soup dumplings: Piping hot on the inside. They were filled with a beautiful broth and pork stuffing. Angie showed us the proper way of eating them. Tricky.

Pork dumplings: Kidney shaped dumplings filled with the same pork goodness. One bite brought forth a fountain a rich broth. The tablecloth was already a speckled mess so I thought, why stop here?

Pork buns: This one was a little different because it had a crispy bottom, like a pot sticker. At this point I was starting to reach my limit. Actually – I had far passed my limit.

Intermission. We sat back and started discussing a wide variety of topics. The topics were mainly about traveling and museums. Lovely. Many cups of tea …

When the dessert course I couldn’t believe that they had ordered dessert. They had in fact not ordered dessert. They had ordered had two desserts.

Act III: The Conclusion

Fried dough with banana filling: Delicious! It had a wonder outer coating, powdered sugar on top with a little taste of chocolate as well.

Rice wine broth with rice and chamomile: Fragrance filled the bowl. Not too sweet, but the perfect end to a wonderful meal.

This is a meal that I will not soon forget. Thank you Angie and Isaac!

I promise to anyone who comes to visit us that I will try to replicate this masterpiece.


3 Responses to “Angie and Isaac Set the Bar”

  1. Robert,

    Great description of what seemed to be a wonderful meal! Thanks, now I’m hungry!

  2. Wow! Almost makes me want to get on a plane. Glad you guys are settling in.

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