Last Saturday morning, strangely sunny for this time of the year, a big bunch of food bloggers met in the Fisherman’s Wharf seafood restaurant for yum cha. The place is located on level one of the main building of the fish markets.
I was the first one to arrive, about 10 minutes early. They had prepared two big round tables for us; I took a seat and watched the huge tanks with live sea creatures waiting to be chosen and cooked. I was thankful we were there for yum cha only and not a seafood feast.
Most of the people arrived before or on time, which was great because I was seriously starving! It was great to see again some of the food bloggers I met in the Christmas picnic, and to meet lots of new faces.
The waitresses wanted to start placing food on our tables from minute one but we kept telling them to come back when the tables were full. Finally, the moment came and we were attacked by steam baskets coming from everywhere to the spinning glass table centres.
Centre: pan-fried prawn with shallot & spice. Bottom: steamed BBQ pork bun
Clockwise from top: Har Gow (shrimp dumplings), scallop dumplings, salt & pepper squid, steamed prawn & chives dumplings, steamed spinach dumplings
Deep-fried meat dumplings, steamed prawn dumplings
Clockwise from top: BBQ pork pastry, steamed prawn dumplings, steamed spinach dumplings, deep-fried taro pie
Egg custard bun
BBQ roast duck
Siu mai (pork and mushroom dumplings)
The best part of eating with food bloggers is that no one gets pissed of for having to wait for the photo ritual in order to eat.
The second best part, of course, is the conversation, which is always entertaining and informative at the same time. Food was good but not the best yum cha ever. I love prawns, so everything with prawns became my top picks of the meal, but I did try a bit of almost everything.
My first plate (of many)
BBQ pork has a special place in my belly “heart”, too, I loved it in its two appearances: steamed buns and pastry.
Steamed BBQ pork bun
My eating philosophy is to try everything at least once before deciding if I like it or not. This time I tried a chicken foot for the first time. Where I come from chicken feet are poor people’s food, but in Hong Kong I learned it’s considered as good (or maybe better?) than any other chicken bit. The way they had cooked it in the restaurant was tasty but because I normally dislike the taste of fatty animal skin, I only had a bite. Not that I hated it but there was plenty of other more appealing stuff.
Chicken feet in black bean and chilli sauce
Another first for me were the steamed pork ribs with black bean sauce. When I think of pork ribs I always think about a beautiful caramel color achieved by marinating and roasting or grilling. In this case, the meat was greyish and pale, certainly not very appealing but I gave it a shot and it was nice. Again, not a highlight for me but good to try.
Steamed pork ribs with black bean sauce
At the end of the savouries we received our green supply: steamed chinese broccoli with oyster sauce. Crunchy and refreshing, just the way I like it.
Steamed chinese broccoli with oyster sauce
The deep-fried prawn wontons were, I think, the only morsel that escaped my chopsticks. They disappeared in a heartbeat but I managed to snap a pic.
Deep-fried prawn wontons
At this stage some of us were already reaching our stomach capacity. But we hadn’t had dessert yet! Luckily, some of the girls made a wonderful selection for the less experienced of us to try. Mango pancakes and custard tarts were the only familiar desserts for me.
Custard tarts, mango pancakes
The mango pudding two ways (with and without evaporated milk) was nice, and reminded me of what I love about Chinese desserts: simple, homely and not overly sweet.
Mango pudding two ways
Another “exotic” dish arrived with the desserts, the pan-fried turnip cake. I heard something about each colour being a different flavour but I only managed to eat a bit of the light-coloured one. It tasted a bit like fried mochi, but more salty. Weird.
Pan-fried turnip cake
The final dessert to hit our stomachs was the tofu far, silken tofu with a sweet syrup. Again, super simple but tasty and comforting in a way.
Tofu Far (silken tofu with sweet syrup)
A million thanks to Wendy for helping me out with the dish descriptions, and of course for the lovely chat during the meal. Also many thanks to Miss Piggy and Laura for organising such a wonderful catch-up.
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